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I can find no reference in published Pathfinder material to how many doses a completed Craft (alchemy) skill would yield as a result. It seems to me that only 1 dose would be of very limited use considering the time it consumes according to the rules.

e.g. Black adder venom (120gp, DC 11, 1d2 Con damage for 6 rounds) is one of the lower level poisons suggested in the CRB. After each week of work (and success on skill check), the progress is measured by multiplying the result of the check with the DC and comparing this resulting number to the price in sp=1200. So, a player would need a combined total of 110 (1200/11) on successful skill checks. That will most probably take several weeks to accomplish for a lower level PC.

So, how many doses does 'crafting a poison' yield according to the Pathfinder rules? Please provide reference to rules if you can. Or if there are no specific rules about this, what would be a reasonable assumption.

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3  
I suspect the answer is related to "how many doses of Black Adder Venom does 120gp buy?" Although that may not be helpful :) –  AceCalhoon Nov 29 '11 at 17:47
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It is technically 1, but I don't have a reference handy. While I search with one, enjoy this fan post on "How to make poisons viable" davidvs.net/games/pathfinder-poisons.shtml –  Cthos Nov 29 '11 at 18:22
    
I assumed (feared actually) it was only one... that translates to 'unusable' for non-specialized characters. Thanks for the suggestions on how to make it work. –  Jo Heymans Nov 29 '11 at 18:58
    
Non-specialized is a bit harsh here. The Master Alchemist feat is a single feat, and while that may deoptimize a build, I don't think that's a huge trade-off. –  Cthos Nov 29 '11 at 19:04
    
Does Pathfinder still have Craft (poisonmaking)? The rules for that in 3.5 were found in Complete Adventurer, so I’m guessing not, but it’s incredibly useful if you’re at all interested in crafting poisons, because it makes poison about ten times faster and for half the price. –  KRyan Aug 19 '13 at 18:04

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

One successful crafting session = 1 dose of the poison in question.

From the Section on Crafting:

The basic function of the Craft skill, however, is to allow you to make an item of the appropriate type. The DC depends on the complexity of the item to be created. The DC, your check result, and the price of the item determine how long it takes to make a particular item. The item's finished price also determines the cost of raw materials.

That means 1 dose of poison (also see the feat below). This is slow. How can we make it faster?

Master Alchemist Feat

When making poisons, you can create a number of doses equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) at one time. These additional doses do not increase the time required, but they do increase the raw material cost. In addition, whenever you make alchemical items or poisons using Craft (alchemy), use the item's gp value as its sp value when determining your progress (do not multiply the item's gp cost by 10 to determine its sp cost).

Now we're cracking. So with the Master Alchemist feat, and an int bonus of +5, In a single week (assuming a Craft(Alchemy) of +20 and taking a 10) I can make 30 x 11 = 330 / 120 = 2.75 x 5 = 13.75 (round down) = 13 doses of Black Adder venom. Rock!

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That's a pretty sweet feat. Thanks for pointing it out –  KRyan Aug 19 '13 at 18:02
    
actually you have to round the 2.75 down, since you're making 5 at a time so the end result must be a multiple of five. So, you can make 10 doses, not 13. –  Eric B Aug 24 '13 at 23:06
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You could also add 10 to the DC and still automagically succeed. That'd make 25 doses per week instead of 10 –  3Doubloons Jan 16 at 23:12

Alternatively, use some source of the Fabricate spell, which takes 1 round/ 10 cubic feet of raw materials you use (possibly 1 round / cubic foot with inorganic poisons and a 'RAI' GM). RAW you can (and probably have to) use the poison itself as the material component for the spell, which limits its use in getting access to new kinds of poison, but once you have a sample of a poison you should be able to make unreasonably large quantities of the stuff with a single casting of the spell.

Good sources of fabricate include:

being a caster (Cleric's always a good choice) Custom 1/day Wondrous Item (probably not allowed unless your GM is running a parody campaign or feels bad b/c you're not a caster)

Custom Staff (probably ok for thematicness, pretty awful at a base 18K gp otherwise (minimum 1,800 gp but you have better options elsewhere at that point). I'd try to suggest a 'Staff of Artifice' (Stone Shape, Wood Shape, Fabricate for 1,1, and 2 charges respectively). You will have issues getting it to make poisons of varying kinds for you, however, as Fabricate is a 5th level spell and recharging the staff is likely to be costly and inconvenient (so is buying it, but hey, its thematic).

Scrolls (definitely the best choice by far. Scrolls are cheap, effective, and you only need to cast the spell very infrequently anyways. Scrolls of Fabricate cost 1125 gp each, RAW, and doubles your quantity of your choice of poison (or produce 18 or 180 cubic feet, whichever is less).

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Can you discuss how the fabricate spell relates to the craft (alchemy) skill check not used via the spell? –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Aug 10 at 0:46

Crafting poison takes indeed a lot of time. But you can speed it up with the "Master Alchemist" feat"

You receive a +2 bonus on Craft (alchemy) checks, and you may create mundane alchemical items much more quickly than normal. When making poisons, you can create a number of doses equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) at one time. These additional doses do not increase the time required, but they do increase the raw material cost.

In addition, whenever you make alchemical items or poisons using Craft (alchemy), use the item’s gp value as its sp value when determining your progress (do not multiply the item’s gp cost by 10 to determine its sp cost).

With your example:

  • you create more doses depending on your INT bonus
  • you are 10 times faster (do not multiply with 10 the price)
  • you have a +2 which will also speed up the process

Alchemists becomes even faster after the 3rd level with the Swift Alchemy extraordinary ability:

At 3rd level, an alchemist can create alchemical items with astounding speed. It takes an alchemist half the normal amount of time to create alchemical items, and he can apply poison to a weapon as a move action.

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Matteo! You beat me to it by 25 seconds. –  Cthos Nov 29 '11 at 18:39
    
Also there's some debate as to whether or not Poisons are "alchemical items". They are in my games, but I've seen some GMs who don't consider them as such. –  Cthos Nov 29 '11 at 18:39
    
@Cthos But you included an example -> +1 :-) –  Matteo Nov 29 '11 at 18:40

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