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An alchemist begins play with two 1st level formulae of his choice, plus a number of additional forumlae equal to his Intelligence modifier.

Just want to make sure I'm getting this right. I have bonus extracts/formulas I can prepare each day due to my int, so that means I can prepare a level 2 extract, if I know a 2nd level formula to make. The section above says I get to learn two first level formulas, but then for the extras I get from my int modifier, those have to be level 1 as well, not just any level formula that I can make, right? I can't use the extra four from my int mod to learn second level formulas. That's how I'm taking it, not wanting to take something I shouldn't, but I figured I may as well make sure.

EDIT:Using Pathfinder

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  • If a 1st-level alchemist has Int 11, he can create 1 1st-level Extract Per Day.
  • If a 1st-level alchemist has Int 12-19, he can create 2 1st-level Extracts Per Day.
  • If a 1st-level alchemist has Int 20-29, you can create 3 1st-level Extracts Per Day.

But, barring other influences (e.g. archetypes, feats, magic items, special abilities, traits), that's all he can create. He can't create 2nd-level or higher extracts, and he can't use the higher-level bonus Extracts Per Day to create lower-level extracts.

Although a high Intelligence score lets an alchemist create more higher-level Extracts Per Day, an alchemist can't create additional higher-level Extracts Per Day those until he has a number instead of a dash of Extracts Per Day of that extract level according to Table: Alchemist.

So while a high Intelligence remains extremely valuable for an alchemist, that high Intelligence doesn't let him create Extracts Per Day beyond what his alchemist class level dictates he can create.

The alchemist's Extracts Per Day follow the same rules as Bonus Spells Per Day for spellcasters.

What Would Happen If You Did
I'm guessing, but I think you were thinking that because of an Intelligence score of 18, a 1st-level alchemist would be able to create 1 additional 1st-level, 2nd-level, 3rd-level, and 4th-level Extracts Per Day if he could gain access to those formulae. The game expects, however, according to Table: Alchemist, a 10th-level alchemist to be able to create 1 4th-level Extract Per Day. In other words, an ability most characters would wait to use until halfway through their careers (i.e. create 4th-level extracts) would be available to a 1st-level Intelligence 18 alchemist. The game doesn't expect a 1st-level alchemist to use 4th-level extracts like freedom of movement and greater invisibility, even once per day, and you'd likely find such a character overcoming challenges far beyond his expected abilities, leading to DM frustration at the DM's inability to challenge such a character without killing him outright and, perhaps, boredom (or terror!) while playing a character who can so casually overcome challenges far beyond his ability in an extremely limited manner. You can play that way, but you should be aware you're choosing to break the rules, and your experiences with the game will be vastly different than those who are otherwise playing the same game.

A Minor Rules Quirk
The alchemy ability says that, "An alchemist begins play with two 1st level formulae of his choice, plus a number of additional forumlae equal to his Intelligence modifier." That last part means that an alchemist always begins play with 2 1st-level formulae but that his Intelligence modifier lets him select additional formulae of any level. He can't use those higher-than-1st-level formulae when he's a 1st-level alchemist, but he could totally have in his formula book as many total 2nd-level-through-6th-level formulae as his Intelligence modifier allows. Again, the 1st-level alchemist can't create extracts with them, but he could--through role-playing--trade that formula knowledge for other goods or services from a higher-level alchemist who desires that formula knowledge. Of course, such a higher-level alchemist is just as likely to disappear the low-level alchemist and take his formula book, but a low-level alchmist choosing to have high-level formulae in his formula book is an option--a strange and quirky option.

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Thanks for the detailed answer! Nice to know that last part, as I'm not sure there are as many 1st level formulas I want as I can get. Even though I can't use them yet, taking some extra higher level ones for when I can use them could also be useful. Like the other ways you've come up with to make use of them as well. – playerzero Jan 22 '14 at 20:01

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