Reading Dark Matter 4.1: Ionizer (Alchemist)

The alchemist, from its description, seems like something out of Pathfinder, a class focusing on alchemy, manipulating elements, and creating concoctions and bombs. Sounds similar to the Artificer Alchemist but leaning towards more focus on its field like the Alchemist from Pathfinder.

The Ionizer tries to replicate blaster and shield technology, energy manipulation, using their own niche.

They get Bonus Proficiencies at 2nd level with Technology and two specific types of martial blasters. The blasters make sense in this setting and that’s about it. But Technology is something I am yet unsure of because it doesn’t feel like a very techy class.

I’m guessing Alchemists get some formulas they can make under certain conditions but I don’t know specifics. On 2nd level, they get a Plasma Bomb which does radiant damage instead of fire and if you manage to hit with it, it sticks to a creature and deals additional damage. It’s cool and a kind of bellwether for this subclass but it’s not very exciting.

Heatsink, at 6th level, allows you to remove overheating from blasters a number of times. It’s nice to have but I’m not sure it’s an equivalent 6th level subclass feature.

At 10th level, they get an Electromagnetic Shield, a reaction to negate damage from a ranged attack from some damage types. It’s cool but the fact it only works on a 6 on a d6 is very problematic. Imagine you get Shield spell that is a cantrip and always gets you above the to-hit result but only works 16% of the time. I think most would rather just pick up Shield.

The subclass capstone, Energetic Discharge at 18th level, that procs off the previous feature. If it works, you get 1 charge up to 10. When used, you range attack and do 1d8 force or radiant damage per charge. It’s cool. I like it. But it should be a lower level feature if not part of the EM Shield itself. For 18th level, it’s very unexciting.

Overall, some cool stuff and some underwhelming stuff and it doesn’t feel very memorable or special.

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