See the title. What methods are open to an alchemist that allow them to gain access to the alchemical bomb's critical specialisation effect (increasing the splash radius to 10ft)?

This includes ancestry choice, etc... So far the only thing I've found is an Orc or Half-Orc taking the Hold Mark feat. Is there something I've missed within the class itself that grants this benefit?

  • \$\begingroup\$ This may be closed as a list question; we could make an answer but the answer may become outdated as new source material comes out. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Nov 12, 2020 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't understand the problem with list questions. If you search for "ways", you get plenty of results. See rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/77247/…, which has 95 votes and the corresponding answer which has 135 votes, and the corresponding meta post rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6213/…... "the list would be relatively stable and wouldn't change simply by a drive-by reader's opinion, and would only need to be updated when new material is released." \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben R.
    Nov 12, 2020 at 14:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Generally phrasing, it's better to phrase things as, "How can I do X?" rather than, "What things allow me to do x?" One asks for a singular point from an answerer, while the other requires an exhaustive list. \$\endgroup\$
    – willuwontu
    Nov 12, 2020 at 16:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is the meta that actually talks about list questions directly. I'm not saying it can't be changed, just commenting that it might be the case. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Nov 12, 2020 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


Hold Mark is currently the only way* (for an alchemist) to get critical specialization with bombs (as of early November 2020). That doesn't preclude Paizo from publishing such an option in the future.

There are several ways for non-alchemists to get the critical specialization effect of alchemical bombs (see the Swashbuckler's Weapon Expertise, for example). However, alchemists eventually can expand their splash radius to 10 feet with Expanded Splash at level 10 or the Bomber's Greater Field Discovery at level 13, which would obsolete the critical specialization anyway.

For reference, I looked through every instance of a feat that Archive of Nethys found as having both "critical" and "specialization" in the text. I also examined the multiclass archetypes to see if any granted access to features of their base class that would grant a critical specialization to bombs in some way (e.g. via critical specialization with all martial weapons). It is obviously possible I missed something.

*@Delioth mentioned another possibility; the Owlbear Claw talisman. This is an incredibly expensive option, but should work. You would have to attach these to the bomb before you threw them, so they could be "expended" on a hit or even a miss. They might be retrievable after the fight, as the Gamemaster's discretion. You pick up the Talisman Dabbler archetype to get some of these free every day, but it's still going to be tricky to make it work. You could perhaps ask your Gamemaster to allow you to fix these to your throwing appendage so that you can only expend them on a critical, but that is outside the realm of RAW. I don't think it would be unbalanced by any means though.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There's also the Owlbear Claw talisman, though it's worth noting that's a consumable that you'd need one per bomb you throw to have it somewhat consistently... which is a lot, so it isn't really feasible. \$\endgroup\$
    – Delioth
    Nov 13, 2020 at 21:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a good find; I edited it into my answer along with my best attempt to make something feasible out of it. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Nov 14, 2020 at 1:47

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