So, I'm building an alchemist, specifically a bomber, and I'm really pretty confused about the value of the Lab Assistant feature for my familiar (and, indeed, the value of the familiar as a whole). It requires the Manual Dexterity ability, and I'd really like it to be useful with the Independent ability, even though that would require a second feat.

So, looking at the wording, it looks like they'd have access to the basic Quick Alchemy (along with all recipes) but pretty much none any of the upgrades (perpetual alchemy, powerful alchemy, double brew, anything from my research fields, additive feats, etc). Enduring Alchemy might work? They'll be starting on my square to use it, so it's not actually possible for them to take the thing to someone else by independent action alone. Their attack pool is going to be terrible, and they're going to be missing out on any bomb-throwing feats I might have, so making and then throwing a bomb is pretty much useless... and as far as I can tell I can't just grab bombs from them without someone spending an action, so any potential gain there is also going to be really marginal.

So... I guess I could give them an order, and have them brew and feed me the result in their two actions? That could save an action in situations where I wanted to quick-brew a single elixir for myself, but that seems kind of niche. Are there any other real use-cases here? It just seems not terribly impressive for the investment. It also seems like a very specific benefit, given how broad the ability looks at first glance. I feel like I'm missing something. Admittedly, I'm also hoping that I'm missing something.

  • \$\begingroup\$ might be nice to ask the crossbow reloading bit as a separate question, since you've otherwise got two asks going on here. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Feb 2, 2021 at 19:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ESCE fair point. will do. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Feb 2, 2021 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


The benefits are niche

Some uses of Lab Assistant are:

  • Make and administer an Elixir or Mutagen to you (saves 1 Action)
  • Make and deliver an Elixir or Mutagen to an ally within the Familiar's speed
    • The ally would have to spend an action to take said item, but you would not have to move your Alchemist to reach them (perhaps to be able to deliver two items)
    • This could be particularly useful if you invest in Familiar Abilities and get it the ability to fly or similar
  • The familiar can make an item (or two) when your hands are full or bound

Honestly, this ability is probably more useful on a non-bomber Alchemist as you are (probably) not able to use Quick Bomber with items it makes, although it may be worth asking the GM if you can "draw" bombs from your familiar.

It is decidedly unclear if your Familiar benefits from your other class features/feats. I would rule that it does benefit from them all, because of the phrasing

It can use your Quick Alchemy action. [...] This has the same cost and requirement as if you used it. [...]

However, it could also be ruled that "you" get the benefits of the features, not "your Quick Alchemy action", in which case the Familiar would gain only partial benefits. Essentially, the Perpetual abilites would work because the cost (0 reagents) is the same as if you'd used it. Powerful would not because the Familiar has no Class DC that I'm aware of, and the familiar would not (seem to) be able to make 2-3 items at once with Double Brew/Alchemical Alacrity.


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