And there he is in all his glory, ladies and gents. The product of our very first Patreon poll. The people have spoken, and Alchemist is the newest addition to Handbook-World. (Better luck next time, Ninja!)

If you guys are unfamiliar with Pathfinder’s alchemist class, I think that this specimen is spot-freaking-on for the archetype. Sure you can play a proper scientist, an eccentric nobleman obsessed with natural philosophy, or some kind of  variation on the white-bearded wizard trope. But given a range of abilities that includes such favorites as parasitic twin, vestigial arm, and tentacle, I think the game is giving us a clue about the kind of character it wants us to play.

I like to call this type of PC a “garbage pail alchemist,” because it seems to be as obsessed with squicking out people as the 1980s namesake. I also think that he’s a great reminder that there are other things to do in games beyond the typical power fantasy.

Like so many of my fellow gamers, I fondly remember (read: cringe at) my youthful days as a brooding assassin or a grimdark ranger. I’ve busted my fair share of vocal cords doing Batman voice in the pursuit of my cool dude self-image. And hey, I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with playing that kind of character. If that’s your deal, more power to you. I love my boy Alchemist though because he is not concerned with being cool. He’s playing the game for a very different reason, and both he and Abercrombie the tumor familiar seem to be enjoying it.

How about the rest of you guys? Have you ever played a decidedly uncool character? Someone that would never qualify as “conventionally attractive?” What was it? Let’s hear about your garbage pail PCs in the comments!


ARE YOU AN IMPATIENT GAMER? If so, you should check out the “Henchman” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. For just one buck a month, you can get each and every Handbook of Heroes comic a day earlier than the rest of your party members. That’s bragging rights right there!