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Do alchemists with Swift Alchemy take half as much time to brew potions? What exactly is an "alchemical item"? Anything that can be made with Craft (Alchemy) ?

They can be created using Craft (Alchemy) rather than Spellcraft, and this is still limited by the 1 magic item / day crafting limit.

Even the most powerful potions an alchemist can brew are only base price 750g, meaning it will take a maximum of 1 day of crafting. During this day, the alchemist must spend 8 hours uninterrupted, or 4 hours with a +5 DC to craft.

So as far as I can see, the only benefit will be a decrease from 8/4 hours to 4/2 hours, and then further decreased to a full round action at level 18 with Instant Alchemy, which still seems perfectly reasonable given the 1/day limit and the spell level cap of 3 on potions.

Are there any loopholes I'm missing that would make such an inference a bad call? It seems safe to allow this, but I feel that the rules would have been more explicit about allowing it if potions are indeed meant to fall under this ability.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

An 'Alchemical Item' counts as any mundane item that can be created with Craft (Alchemy). Potions count as Potions, and even though they can be made using Craft (Alchemy) they are never referred specifically as an 'Alchemical Item' anywhere in the rulebooks.

Although, Alchemist classes making potions at half-speed is not game breaking (it even makes sense!), so as a GM I would allow that as a house rule.

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+1: Allowing potions with Swift and Instant Alchemy is certainly a very good house rule, but it is still just that: a house rule, and not the RAW. –  Matthew Najmon Feb 17 at 21:58

I would agree that it stands to reason that brewing potions with Craft(alchemy) could be accelerated using swift alchemy and instant alchemy. Swift only cuts the time in half, which is already fairly long in either the default rules or the "make craft better" rules, And instant alchemy doesn't kick in until way up there at level 18.

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Where did you find the "make craft better" rules you mentioned? Can I please get a book/page reference for those? –  Matthew Najmon Feb 17 at 21:59

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