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The Pathfinder 2 alchemist gets the Advanced Alchemy feature, which lets them spend their daily Infused Reagents resource to create alchemical items. The class description suggests that alchemist's tools are involved with this process. However, neither the Infused Reagents feature nor the Advanced Alchemy feature mention that alchemist's tools are required.

Infused Reagents

You infuse reagents with your own alchemical essence, allowing you to create alchemical items at no cost. Each day during your daily preparations, you gain a number of batches of infused reagents...

Advanced Alchemy

During your daily preparations, after producing new infused reagents, you can spend batches of those infused reagents to create infused alchemical items. You don’t need to attempt a Crafting check to do this...

These features are different than the Craft downtime activity, which requires tools.

Searching through the Core Rulebook, the only mentions of alchemist's tools are:

  • pg 72: Quick Alchemy, a different alchemist feature that consumes infused reagents
  • pg 81: Improbable Elixirs, an 18th level alchemist feat
  • pg 245 & 480: the Identify Alchemy action (no reference to the alchemist class)
  • pg 287-289: Alchemist's Tools listing in the "Gear" section (no reference to the alchemist class)
  • pg 445: The definition of "Item bonus" uses alchemist's tools as an example.

Does an alchemist (or a non-alchemist with the alchemist archetype) actually need alchemist's tools to use Infused Reagents or Advanced Alchemy? Or can they make their daily preparations via Advanced Alchemy without using alchemist's tools?


Tangentially related: Can alchemists prepare alchemical items without reading their formula book?

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No tools are needed for Infused Reagents

Infused Reagents provides you some ingredients which you can automatically use to create alchemical items. It does not directly provide any alchemical items. The description of Infused Reagents does not mention requiring alchemist's tools, so none are required.

Advanced Alchemy does not require tools

Advanced Alchemy does not mention needing any kind of tools, so it doesn't.

Furthermore, advanced alchemy doesn't mention making a crafting roll or using the Craft activity, so the rules for those specific things don't matter here.

Quick Alchemy does require tools

You didn't ask about Quick Alchemy, but since it's the other way alchemist's can craft items it's worth mentioning for completeness. The requirements for Quick Alchemy explicitly say:

Requirements: You have alchemist's tools (page 287) ...

So you do need tools for Quick Alchemy.

A Suggestion - Require Them Anyway

My table plays with the expectation that narrative descriptions and rules ought to correspond to one another. Narration provides context and intuition behind rules that no formal logic could ever capture. To that end, we've acknowledged how weird this is and require our alchemist to have alchemist's tools to use Advanced Alchemy.

This has led to a game that makes more sense (to us), but requires our alchemist to have tools to use one of their key abilities. Since Advanced Alchemy is typically only used as part of morning preparations, it hasn't impacted anything. The tools are typically carried by another party member, or in the cart they purchased.

As Infused Reagents uses "your own alchemical essence", we haven't required tools for that ability. It seems pseudo-mystical, rather than a chemical, task.

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