Int ACP: No Untrained: Yes

You can make potions and other alchemical items.


You can make alchemical items, learn new recipes, identify substances, and conduct alchemical research. The descriptions of alchemical items, the DCs to craft them, and any special materials required, are listed on the Alchemical Items page. For more information about the process of creating alchemical items, the cost of ingredients, and the time required to create an item, see the Potions & Substances section of Creating Magic Items, on the Mundane & Magical Equipment? page.

The DCs for various tasks that involve the Alchemy skill are listed on Table: Alchemical Tasks. Information about alchemical recipes, including the DCs for learning or developing them (i.e. research), can be found in the Potions & Substances section of Creating Magic Items, on the Mundane & Magical Equipment? page.

Table: Alchemy Check Modifiers

Identifying substances

If you succeed on an Alchemy check to identify a potion, you learn which spell the potion contains, and the approximate caster level.

If you succeed on an Alchemy check to identify a poison, you learn the poison's effect; you also learn the specific sort of poison it is (greenblood oil, small centipede venom, etc.), for common poisons.

If you succeed on an Alchemy check to identify an unknown substance, you learn something of the substance's nature; you also learn the specific substance it is, for substances used in alchemy or that would otherwise be familiar to an alchemist. For unusual, exotic, or supernatural poisons, or obscure substances, a Knowledge check in the appropriate field may be required to get full information about the poison or substance.

If you fail an Alchemy check to identify a potion, poison, or other substance, you must make a Wisdom check (DC 5); failing this check means that you come to a false conclusion about the item (but still think that you have successfully identified it), while succeeding on the Wisdom check means that the results of your identification attempt are inconclusive, and you get no information. The DM should make the Alchemy check for identification, and the Wisdom check (if necessary), in secret, as the character has no way to know if the conclusion they have reached is false. (Of course, a cautious character may choose to make multiple identification attempts, to reduce the chance of a false conclusion.)

Crafting items

Depending on how well you do on your Alchemy check, you may create the item (with varying degrees of success), or fail to do so; you may even have a dangerous mishap.


If you succeed on an Alchemy check made to craft an item, you successfully create the item. If you beat the crafting DC by 10 or more, you have a chance to create more of the same item, create a better or more powerful version of the item, or both. Roll 1d100, then consult Table: Extraordinary Crafting Check Results to determine the outcome.


If you fail an Alchemy check made to craft the item, you might ruin the ingredients or cause a dangerous mishap.

Failing By 4 Points Or Less: If you fail by 4 points or less, you ruin the reagents (worth 10% of the item's gold piece value) and have a 20% chance to ruin the special ingredients (worth 40% of the item's gold piece value) per point by which you failed the check (20% if failed by 1 point, 40% if failed by 2 points, etc.). (If you are a spellcaster, and substituting a spell for special ingredients when crafting the item, the spell is always consumed on a failure, and you have the given chance to ruin the specially prepared magical solution.)

Failing By 5 Points Or More: If you fail by 5 points or more, you ruin all the ingredients for the item, and a mishap may occur. The chance of a mishap is equal to 25%, plus 5% for every point beyond 5 by which you fail the check (to a maximum of 100%).


If a mishap occurs, the exact nature of the mishap depends on the specific item being crafted. A DM may roll on Table: Mishaps to determine what happens, choose an appropriate event from those listed, or invent another sort of mishap, in line with the examples given. (If rolling, the DM should make this roll in secret, as for certain sorts of mishaps, the character may not necessarily immediately realize what has occurred.)

Mishaps such as explosions, clouds of poison gas, and mutations generally allow saving throws of the appropriate type to halve the damage, or to reduce or resist the effect. The DC for such saving throws is generally 5 less than the crafting DC of the item being created. Explosions may damage or destroy alchemical equipment (beakers, retorts, and other glassware usually have very few hit points, although hardness may protect equipment); corrosive gas usually does not (since alchemical equipment is created for the purpose of working with dangerous substances, acid does not bypass its hardness). A set of alchemist's safety gear (see Mundane & Magical Equipment?) grants a +4 bonus on saving throws against the effects of alchemical mishaps.

Learning recipes

If you succeed on an Alchemy check to learn a recipe for an item, you now know the recipe and can craft the item.

The consequences of failing an Alchemy check to learn a recipe depend on the way in which you attempted to learn it (from another alchemist, from a written recipe, via research, etc.). See the Learning Recipes section under Potions & Substances, on the Mundane & Magical Equipment? page.

Doing research


It takes 10 minutes to identify an unknown potion, poison, or other substance using alchemical equipment. Attempting to identify a substance without equipment (by appearance, smell, etc.) is a full-round action.

Learning a recipe from another alchemist can take as little time as it takes for the teacher to explain the recipe to the learner, which may be between 1 and 10 minutes. Learning a recipe by watching another alchemist create the item (regardless of whether the other alchemist is teaching the recipe as he crafts, or is merely being observed) takes as long as the item takes to craft. Reading a written recipe takes one minute per page of the recipe.

See Potions & Substances, on the Mundane & Magical Equipment? page, for information about how long it takes to craft items and conduct alchemical research.

Taking 10 & 20

If you're not rushed or threatened, you can take 10 on Alchemy checks to identify substances, or to craft an item (provided that you know the recipe). You can take 20 on checks to identify substances using alchemical equipment, but not on checks to identify substances without equipment, or checks made to craft an item. You cannot take 10 or take 20 on checks made to learn a recipe or on alchemical research checks.


You must have alchemical equipment to craft or identify items and substances, and to conduct alchemical research. (The exception to this is identifying a poison with the detect poison spell, for which no equipment is required, and attempting to identify any sort of unknown substance without equipment; see Table: Alchemical Tasks, above.) A portable alchemist’s lab is the minimum equipment needed to make use of the Alchemy skill; it provides no bonus on Alchemy checks. A basic alchemist’s lab provides a +2 circumstance bonus on Alchemy checks made to craft items or identify and analyze substances; a full alchemist’s lab provides a +4 bonus, and a superior alchemist’s lab provides a +6 bonus.

A character may aid an alchemist in the crafting of an alchemical item or in conducting alchemical research (but not in identifying substances or learning recipes). Doing so requires that the assistant make an Alchemy check against a DC 10 lower than the crafting DC of the item or the research DC of the recipe. If successful, the assistant grants the alchemist crafting the item a +2 bonus on his check to craft the item. Failure on the aid another check incurs the consequences described above (potentially ruining the ingredients and/or causing a mishap). Extraordinary success carries no extra benefits, regardless of the margin by which the assistant beats the check DC. Only one character may assist at a time; additional assistants provide no further benefit.


If you are attempting to craft an alchemical item without knowing the recipe, either by "working from the book" (that is, using a written copy of the recipe) or by being instructed during the crafting by an alchemist who does know it, then all the ingredients are always ruined on a failure, regardless of how many points you fail the check by, and the chance for a mishap (if you fail by 5 points or more) is doubled. See the section on alchemical items on the Mundane & Magical Equipment? page for more details.

A character may not identify substances, learn recipes, or conduct alchemical research unless he is trained in the Alchemy skill.

Category: Skills