Grand Alchemist of the Golden Cabel

To Prestige Classes


Painting by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771 Painting by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771
Occult Lore
Author Keith Baker, Adam Bank, Chris Jones, Scott Reeves, and Elton Robb
Series Lore
Publisher Atlas
Publish date 2002
Pages 240
ISBN 1-58978-021-3
OGL Section 15 occult-lore
Content Puller Mark Gedak

Netbook can be found on the following website

The Grand OGL Wiki

The material below is designated as Open Game Content

Grand alchemists of the Golden Cabal achieve purity through great works of magic and artifice. NPC grand alchemists can often be found in the courts of high kings or the wealthiest merchant houses. In return for patronage, the grand alchemist crafts magical items, all the while pursuing the secret dream of immortality.

Hit Die: d4


To qualify to become a grand alchemist, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: The Golden Cabal has so far refused to admit any characters of chaotic evil alignment.
Skills: 10 ranks in Alchemy; 8 ranks in Knowledge (Arcana)
Feats: Brew Potion, Craft Wondrous Item
Spells: Ability to prepare arcane spells

Special: A character can only adopt this prestige class by invitation from the Golden Cabal (or a similar group that knows the secrets of philosophical alchemy). Additionally, the character can only advance a level after a grand alchemist of a higher level tells him the secret knowledge necessary to perform the class features of the character’s next level.


The grand alchemist’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Alchemy (Intelligence), Appraise (Intelligence), Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Heal (Wisdom), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Intelligence), Profession (Wisdom), Scry (Intelligence) and Spellcraft (Intelligence).

Spell Points at Each Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

The Grand Alchemist
BAB Fort SV Ref SV Will SV Special Spells per day
1 0 +1 0 +2 Philosophic Copper +1 level of existing class
2 0 +1 0 +3 Harmony of the Humours +1 level of existing class
3 +1 +2 +1 +3 Philosophic Tin, Bonus Feat +1 level of existing class
4 +1 +2 +1 +4 Harmony of the Spirits +1 level of existing class
5 +2 +3 +2 +4 Philosophic Iron +1 level of existing class
6 +2 +3 +2 +5 Ageless, Bonus Feat +1 level of existing class
7 +3 +4 +3 +5 Philosophic Mercury +1 level of existing class
8 +3 +4 +3 +6 Elixir +1 level of existing class
9 +4 +5 +4 +6 Philosophic Gold, Bonus Feat +1 level of existing class
10 +4 +5 +4 +7 Timeless +1 level of existing class


All of the following are class features of the grand alchemist prestige class.

Spells per Day: A grand alchemist continues to advance in spellcasting ability based on the abilities of the character’s previous class. When a grand alchemist gains a new level, the character gains new arcane spells per day as if he had also gained a new level in his previous, arcane spellcasting class. These new spells, however, require alchemical concoctions as explained below. The character’s previous levels also count toward prerequisites for obtaining item creation feats and making magic items. Special powers of the previous class, however, are not gained.

Alchemical Tincture Requirement: In addition to any other necessary preparation, all spells per day obtained as a grand alchemist gain an alchemical tincture requirement. An alchemical tincture is an alchemical extract of rare plants or minerals, and must be prepared in advance of casting a spell. For example, if Doctor Ambrosius acquires a 4th-level arcane healer spell slot as a grand alchemist, he must prepare or purchase an alchemical tincture before casting any 4th level spells.

Preparing an alchemical tincture is an Alchemy task treating Alchemy as a Craft skill for creation purposes. Each spell has a unique alchemical tincture. The effective market cost for a pinch of alchemical tincture is the level of the spell x 20 gp, with a raw material cost of one-third that amount. The DC for crafting the alchemical tincture is 10 + the level of the spell + the number of pinches prepared at the same time. One pinch of alchemical tincture is used up per casting (typically in a flash and a puff of smoke).

Bonus Feats: At 3rd, 6th, and 9th grand alchemist levels, the character gains a bonus item creation feat.

Philosophic Copper: At 1st level, the grand alchemist learns the secret of extracting philosophic copper from ordinary copper. Philosophic copper is a fiery red powder that quickly evaporates if left in an open-air container. A pinch of philosophic copper takes the place of 1 XP when brewing potions of all kinds. Extracting philosophic copper is an Alchemy task using Alchemy as a Craft skill, with a DC of 9 + the number of pinches extracted at one time, and an effective market price of 1 gp per pinch. In addition to the raw material cost of 3 sp per pinch, it takes one pound of vulgar copper to extract 1 pinch of philosophic copper.

Harmony of the Humours: At 2nd level, the grand alchemist learns the secret of using philosophic copper to keep his bodily humours in perfect harmony. The character is immune to all forms of natural and magical diseases.

Philosophic Tin: At 3rd level, the grand alchemist gains the ability to distill philosophic tin from ordinary tin. Philosophic tin is a viscous, heavy fluid that looks much like dull gray mercury. It hardens into a useless cake of dust if exposed to heavy moisture. A dram of philosophic tin takes the place of 50 XP when crafting wondrous items. Distilling philosophic tin is an Alchemy task using Alchemy as a Craft skill, with a DC of 14 + number of drams distilled at one time, and an effective market price of 50 gp per dram. In addition to the raw material cost of 17 gp per dram, it takes 5 pounds of vulgar tin to extract 1 dram of philosophic tin.

Harmony of the Spirits: At 4th level, an alchemist infuses himself with philosophic tin to keep his enlivening spirits in eternal balance. The character is immune to all forms of poison. The character gains a circumstance bonus equal to his current grand alchemist level that adds to Constitution checks against drowning, starvation, and thirst, and Fortitude saving throws against heat and cold (including fire and cold-based attacks). Finally, the character heals hit points and ability damage at twice the regular rate.

Philosophic Iron: At 5th level, the grand alchemist learns the secret of smelting philosophic iron from ordinary iron. Philosophic iron resembles gold leaf. It melts upon contact with other metals. A sheet of philosophic iron takes the place of 100 XP when crafting magic weapons, armor, and rings. Smelting philosophic iron is an Alchemy task using Alchemy as a Craft skill, with a DC equal to 19 + number of sheets smelted at one time, and an effective market price of 100 gp per sheet. In addition to the raw material cost of 33 gp per sheet, it takes 10 pounds of vulgar iron to smelt 1 sheet of philosophic iron.

Ageless: At 6th level, the knowledge learned from smelting philosophic iron keeps the body free of impurities. The character no longer suffers the effects of aging, and is immune to magical or unnatural aging, but still dies when his time is up (at the end of his normal lifespan).

Philosophic Mercury: At 7th level, the grand alchemist can distill philosophic mercury from ordinary mercury. Philosophic mercury resembles silvery balls of cotton. If not kept in an immaculately clean and air-tight container, it rots into a brown slime. A ball of philosophic mercury takes the place of 200 XP when crafting rods, staves, or wands.

Distilling philosophic mercury is an Alchemy task using Alchemy as a Craft skill, with a DC equal to 24 + the number of balls distilled at one time, and an effective market price of 200 gp per ball. In addition to the 67 gp in raw materials per ball, it takes 20 ounces of vulgar mercury to distill one ball of philosophic mercury.

Elixir: At 8th level, a grand alchemist uses philosophic mercury to truly extend his natural life span. The character’s Venerable and Maximum Age is now double the normal limit for his race. For example, a human reaches Venerable at 70 years and has a Maximum Age of 2d20 years after Venerable. Taking philosophic mercury as an elixir, a human reaches Venerable at 140 years and has a Maximum Age of 4d20 years after Venerable.

Philosophic Gold: At 9th level, a grand alchemist can distill the purest substance known to the Golden Cabal, philosophic gold. A single drop of the precious liquid can illuminate an entire room with its brilliance. It is impervious to corruption as far as the Golden Cabal can ascertain. A drop of philosophic gold takes the place of 1000 XP when crafting magic items of all kinds. Creating philosophic gold is an Alchemy task using Alchemy as a Craft skill, with a
DC equal to 29 + the number of drops created at one time, and an effective market price of 1000 gp per drop. In addition to the 333 gp of raw materials needed per drop, it takes 100 pounds of vulgar gold to distill a single drop of philosophic gold.

Timeless: At 10th level, the grand alchemist applies the techniques of distilling philosophic gold on her own body. Her type becomes “outsider,” and she is no longer affected by humanoid-targeting spells such as Hold Person, but is subject to spells targeted at enchanted creatures such as protection from good/evil/law/chaos. Additionally, the grand alchemist gains Damage Reduction of 20/+1. The character’s Venerable and Maximum Age is now quadruple the normal limit for her race. This is the nearest the Grand Cabal as gotten to its goal of true immortality — so far.


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