It’s Dinosaur Week at Necromancers of the Northwest, and what’s cooler than fighting one of these ancient, primordial, gigantic lizards? Well, riding one as a battle mount is cooler, for one. Does that mean that today’s Best in Class is an archetype that gives you a dinosaur mount? No. Maybe another time. Because what’s cooler than riding a dinosaur? Becoming a dinosaur! With weird science! Today’s Best in Class is an alchemist archetype that trades in mutagens for… well, you’ll see.
New Alchemist Archetype
There are many different fields of alchemy one can specialize in. Perhaps one of the most specialized and focused of these fields belongs to the dinochemists, alchemists that study the biology of dinosaurs and other giant lizards, as well as how to hybridize that biology with their own.
Reptilian Empathy (Ex): At 1st level, a dinochemist is able to form a bond with reptilian creatures he encounters. This functions as the wild empathy class feature of the druid, except that it applies only to reptilian creatures of the animal type, and the dinochemist adds his alchemist level, rather than his druid level, to the d20 roll. Additionally, rather than being able to use this ability on magical beasts with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, the dinochemist can use this ability on reptilian creatures of any creature type other than animal (including dragons, lizardfolk, kobolds, naga, and so on) at a –4 penalty. The GM determines which creatures are suitably reptilian for the purposes of this ability, and determines the creature’s starting attitude.
This ability replaces the throw anything class feature.
Reptiliogen (Su): At 1st level, a dinochemist discovers how to create a concoction known as a reptiliogen, which partially transforms his body, giving him dinosaur-like features. It takes 1 hour to brew a dose of reptiliogen, and once brewed, it remains potent until used. A dinochemist can maintain a number of doses of reptiliogen at any given time equal to his Intelligence modifier. If he brews any further doses beyond that, any existing reptiliogens become inert. Multiple doses can be brewed simultaneously, up to the maximum amount that the dinochemist can have active at any given time. As with an extract or bomb, a reptiliogen that is not in a dinochemist’s possession becomes inert until a dinochemist picks it up again.
The effects of a dinochemist’s reptiliogen increase as the dinochemist gains experience. At 1st level, the reptiliogen increases the dinochemist’s natural armor bonus to AC by +2, and grants him a primary bite natural attack that deals 1d6 points of damage on a successful hit (1d4 points of damage if he is Small).
At 3rd level, the reptiliogen also grants him low-light vision and the scent special ability.
At 5th level, the reptiliogen grants him a +4 racial bonus to his Strength and Dexterity scores, and the natural armor bonus granted by the reptiliogen increases to +3.
At 7th level, the reptiliogen also transforms the dinochemist’s hands into claws. He gains two secondary claw natural attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage on a successful hit (1d3 points of damage if he is Small). While transformed in this way, his claws are poorly suited for holding objects, however, and he suffers a –4 penalty on attack rolls made with manufactured weapons.
At 9th level, the racial bonuses to Strength and Dexterity granted by the reptiliogen increase to +6, and the natural armor bonus granted by the reptiliogen increases to +4.
At 11th level, the reptiliogen causes the dinochemist’s teeth to become particularly large and sharp, increasing the critical threat range of the bite attack it grants to 19–20, and increasing the critical multiplier of the bite attack to x3. This stacks with other effects that increase the critical threat range (such as the Improved Critical feat).
At 13th level, the racial bonuses to Strength and Dexterity granted by the reptiliogen increase to +8, and the natural armor bonus granted by the reptiliogen increases to +5.
At 15th level, the reptiliogen increases the dinochemist’s speed and ferocity. Whenever he makes a charge while affected by the reptiliogen, he can make a full-attack action as part of that charge.
At 17th level, the racial bonuses to Strength and Dexterity granted by the reptiliogen increase to +10, and the natural armor bonus granted by the reptiliogen increases to +6.
At 19th level, the natural attacks granted by the reptiliogen become larger and more pronounced. The damage inflicted by the bite attack granted by the reptiliogen increases to 1d8 (1d6 if the dinochemist is Small), and the damage inflicted by the claw attacks granted by the reptiliogen increases to 1d6 (1d4 if the dinochemist is Small).
Consuming a reptiliogen is a standard action, and the reptiliogen’s effects persist for 1 minute, plus 1 additional minute for every four alchemist levels the dinochemist possesses. A non-dinochemist who drinks a reptiliogen must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the dinochemist’s alchemist level + the dinochemist’s Intelligence modifier) or become nauseated for 1d4 rounds, and then sickened for 1 hour. A non-dinochemist can never gain the benefit of a reptiliogen, but a dinochemist can gain the effects of another dinochemist’s reptiliogen. Even non-dinochemist alchemists cannot gain the benefits of a reptiliogen, and, similarly, dinochemists are not treated as alchemists for the purposes of determining the effects of consuming an alchemist’s mutagen. Additionally, although they have some similarities, reptiliogens do not count as mutagens for the purposes of feats and discoveries that modify mutagens. Multiple doses of reptiliogen do not stack.
This ability replaces the bomb and mutagen class features.
Cold Blooded (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a dinochemist’s repeated exposure to reptiliogens begins to have a lasting effect on him, and he becomes permanently semi-cold-blooded. He ignores the negative effects of extreme heat up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and gains a +2 racial bonus on saving throws made to resist the effects of extreme heat beyond 140 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as on saving throws made to resist fire effects. However, he suffers a –2 penalty on saving throws made to resist the effects of extreme cold, as well as on saving throws made to resist effects with the cold descriptor.
Beginning at 5th level, as long as the dinochemist is in an area with an ambient temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, he gains a +4 bonus on initiative checks. However, if he is in an area with an ambient temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit or less, he suffers a –4 penalty on initiative checks.
Beginning at 8th level, as long as the dinochemist is in an area with an ambient temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, he gains a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws. However, if he is in an area with an ambient temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit or less, he suffers a –2 penalty on attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws instead.
Finally, at 10th level, the dinochemist gains an amount of fire resistance equal to his alchemist level.
This ability replaces the poison resistance and poison immunity class features.
Persistent Reptiliogen (Su): At 14th level, the effects of a reptiliogen last for 10 minutes per level.
This ability replaces the persistent mutagen class feature.
Jurassic Revival (Su): At 18th level, a dinochemist learns to brew a special formula that can create new life from the fossilized remains of ancient dinosaurs. In order to create this brew, the dinochemist must grind up a portion of these fossilized remains and mix them into the brew, which takes 8 hours of uninterrupted work per Hit Dice the fossilized creature possessed in life. At the end of this time, an infant dinosaur of the same type as the fossilized remains emerges from the brew. The newly created dinosaur matures exceptionally swiftly, growing to its full adult size (and appropriate statistics) after a number of weeks equal to 1/2 the Hit Dice that it will possess when fully grown.
Dinosaurs created in this way are positively inclined towards their creator, and their starting attitude towards the dinochemist is helpful. The dinochemist may be able to train these dinosaurs as they could other creatures, but do not have any special ability to control them. At the GM’s discretion, some non-dinosaur reptiles may also be able to be created in this way, but only from remains that are suitably old.
This ability replaces the instant alchemy class feature.