According to the Alchemist's alchemy ability, alchemists cannot create extracts of spells with a focus component:

If a spell normally has a costly material component, that component is expended during the consumption of that particular extract. Extracts cannot be made from spells that have focus requirements (alchemist extracts that duplicate divine spells never have a divine focus requirement).

Despite this, the alchemist's formulae list includes the spell True Strike which requires an archery target as a focal component. Damiel, the iconic Alchemist, apparently prepares an extract of True Strike.

Is this an oversight, or is True Strike only on the Alchemist's formulae list for wands? Is True Strike an exception to the focus rule?

Can I brew an extract of True Strike?


1 Answer 1


That rule as written conflict with the example of the Iconic Alchemist. Without clarification from Paizo, a DM has to rule based on what makes the most sense to them.

As written...there are odd inconsistencies. It's not just True Strike either. Fly requires a wing feather as a focus. Duplicate Familiar requires a familiar as a focus. Analyze Dweomer needs "a ruby and gold lens worth 1,500 gp". I suspect there are plenty more examples.

My hunch is that Alchemists were intended to have these formulae as extracts

Were spells with focus components added to let Alchemists brew potions of them? That wouldn't explain True Strike (with a range of Personal) or Duplicate Familiar & Analyze Dweomer (which are too high level to make potions of). 3Doubloons asks if they could be there so that they could craft wands (or staffs) of those spells...but the FAQ makes clear that alchemists can't craft magic items other than potions:

As written, no, alchemists are not spellcasters, and therefore can't select feats such as Craft Wondrous Item. The design team is aware that this creates some thematic problems with the idea of an alchemist creating golems and so on, and plan to examine this in the future.

Furthermore (as 3Doubloons mentions) the iconic Alchemist prepares both True Strike and Fly.

I think the fact that Paizo lists their Iconic as preparing these formulae, and that the formulae would otherwise be useless on the list, together persuade me to allow them.

That said, I don't see any rulings (or even FAQ candidates on Paizo's forums) to give an authoritative answer and if a DM ruled that Alchemists can't prepare these extracts I'd accept it...but this is an area where (until Paizo clarifies it) there are clear contradictions. In those cases I go with what seems reasonable...and (for me) that's the formulae being there to use.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't mean crafting wands, but using them. Alchemists are able to use spell-trigger items of spells on their formulae list \$\endgroup\$
    – 3Doubloons
    Mar 25, 2015 at 21:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahh, thanks for clarifying! I guess the ability to use wands (or, for Analyze Dweomer, staves) without UMD is a real mechanical benefit of having those formulae on their list. It's a good point (but doesn't change my answer). \$\endgroup\$
    – Jeff Fry
    Mar 25, 2015 at 22:50

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