In European tradition, Homunculus is alchemical creation:

The homunculus first appears by name in alchemical writings attributed to Paracelsus (1493–1541)

One of my players plays Alchemist class and, quite obviously, wants to be able to create them. Sadly, according to Paizo description of Homunculus, you need three feats that require caster level, and three spells. Alchemist can't have neither.

In 1e AD&D alchemist was required to make homunculus, as a hired NPC for a caster, but still. Then there was silence about alchemists, now we have them back and I want them to get a role that was theirs from the beginning.

I've been told that in Carrion Crown

there is alchemist that creates flesh golems

I understand that NPCs don't always have to follow PC rules, but it looks like published precedent.

So how to make that happen in my game? RAW options would be preferred, but Rule of Fun and historical sense means more to me. Golems may stay unavailable to her, it's cleric thing originally anyway, but homunculus is something that simply makes sense.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The alchemist must himself and in utter isolation—without any other creature's aid (except for the dealer from whom he purchased homunculus raw materials)—create the homunculus, correct? Is the alchemist allowed to use magic items and the (ab)Use Magic Device skill? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 20:41
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Just as reference, there is an alchemical golem created by an alchemist on the Tears at Bitter Manor module. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 20:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan alone and on his own, but items are OK if needed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 20:51

1 Answer 1


Any alchemist can take the Promethean Disciple discovery at level 6. It gives you the Craft construct feat for free and the ability to use your ranks in Craft (alchemy) skill to meet the caster level requirements, and to use that skill to craft the golem regardless of the golem requirements.

The discovery also grants the alchemist the ability to use extracts as replacements for the required spells that have an extract equivalent. Spells that have no extract equivalent must be provided in another way, like having someone cast it for you, use magic items, or simply increase the DC of crafting the construct by 5.

Note that alchemists have Craft(Alchemy) as a class skill and access to the Crafter's fortune and Fox's Cunning extracts. By the time an alchemist can get this discovery, and assuming 6 ranks in alchemy and crafter's fortune, he or she already has a large modifier to Craft(Alchemy) rolls:

+ 6 Craft(Alchemy) Ranks
+ 3 class skill
+ 5 Luck, crafter's fortune
+ x Intelligence modifier (+2 with Fox's Cunning)
16+ to Craft(Alchemy) rolls, and you can usually take 10 at those.

I previously included in the calculation above the competence bonus granted by the Alchemy class skill, but it only aplies to crafting alchemical items, so you cannot apply it when crafting constructs. Even with that restriction, a lone alchemist is quite capable to craft homunculi by himself easily (base DC 12) as soon as this discovery is available, and would be able to move to beefier constructs as he or she gains levels (golem recipe list here).

Alternatively, you can use the Promethean Alchemist archetype (thanks Shadowcraft for pointing out that). This archetype gives you access to that discovery as early as level 1, and gives you an Homunculus companion that levels with you (much like a ranger animal companion), but at the hefty price of losing access to both bombs and mutagens.

Lastly, I would like to challenge your assumption that alchemists cannot get item creation feats. Any alchemist can take Master Craftsman feat for the craft(alchemy) skill for a +2 bonus to that skill and the ability to qualify for Craft Wondrous Item feat. The last one opens the ability for crafting a lot of nice items, like the Homunculus clay, that allows to have a temporary, additional homunculus at the cost of expending an use of mutagen.

Both the discovery and the archetype come from the splat book Occult adventures, so it is 100% official Paizo material.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Dont forget the archetype that comes with that discovery. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 20:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1. Probably simplest way. Still, I'd love to see other ways. Will wait before I'll accept. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 20:52

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