Having a spell in your repertoire that you can only use to create magic items seems like less of a benefit than having a sample or formula of the magic item, and any character who can craft magic items can already obtain and use an unlimited number of magic item samples and formulae without needing additional special abilities.
I agree; but, it feels there ought to be a way to delineate what an alchemist can do 'on the fly' without formulae.
I'd kinda wonder if some sort of a mechanic for mixing "unknown concoctions", something akin to HFH's spellsinger's Extemporaneous Spellcasting, is an option. It's still not quite exciting, as the remainder of ACKS kinda demands that such an effort take more time and money than normal potion brewing, barring cost.
Is that three each, or three in total?
Three each. The spellcaster incurs a purchase of 9 proficiencies at level 5 to get potions, scrolls, and research, IIRC.
Ooh, I'd like to see an alchemist class that eventually gains the ability to create non-potion magic items.
Yeah, same here. It always struck me as weird that by RAW alchemists can't make anything that isn't a potion, so I allow alchemists in my campaign to craft items that seem like they'd need alchemical expertise to make (metamphorae and millitary oil, mostly)
That's a good plan. Given that there's a market for monster parts, and there's alchemists in markets, it seems to stand that alchemists should have some ability to process special components and such.
I'd posited elsewhere about a 'philosopher's stone' sort of deal that might reduce special components into "global components" - something akin to Blackmarsh's 'viz' or Dwimmermounts 'azoth' - that, for a good deal of extra cost, can transmute your 10 ogre skulls into a goop that can be used for anything else.
Not real sure where that price point is.
I'd been kinda puttering around with the idea that alchemists' effects are limited to things that need a "trigger", or reaction - this could be imbibing a potion, exposing an oil to air, lighting it on fire, dousing in water, a sufficient impact, etc,etc,blah - so the effects are put into objects that then must react with something.
In theory, that defines a limitation on the effects that can be drawn out of the PC's spell creation rules - range is always Self/0', illusions would require putting something in the water source maybe...no idea how summoning would work, and maybe that's OK - some things just don't make sense - or there could be a limited version of the spell building made just for alchemists.
I'd bet there's some corner cases where the alchemist's solution, while more difficult to use, comes in at a bit of a lower level (or not, Fireball, at 0', is still 40.83 points I think, and a (technically) 5th level spell)
It's an interesting problem - figuring out how to make an alchemist useful without devaluing true spellcasters. It's kinda driving me towards thinking Alchemist is a Class Build Point category, and my earlier thought about a "castless repertoire", so as to hide various abilities with odd balancing within the class build.
Perhaps quicker/extemporaneous potion making is paid for by overpaying for spell slots one cannot cast from? There's some room to incorporate failure-to-mix from HFH (and Axiom's mountebank)...incorporating just the current Ceremonial mechanics gives me the image of a nervous, sputtering alchemist spilling bits of stuff all over the place attempting to mix a potion up in a single round....