Combat Engineer (Alchemist Archetype)
Ultimate Spheres of Power
A combat engineer is an alchemist who focuses their magic and invention to the service of a cause - usually a nation and army.

This archetype requires sphere alchemist.

War College

At 1st level, the combat engineer gains the War sphere as a bonus sphere.

This replaces brew potion.

Alchemical Engineering

The combat engineer has the ability to create a unique alchemical item called a device. A device is a small item, easily held in the palm of the hand, which combines several ampules of magically enhanced chemicals with spring-loaded gears and spark-generating switches. Each is a single use alchemical item which the combat engineer can use to enhance his sphere abilities that create a non-moving area of effect. By default, this only works with totems, but some discoveries allow the combat engineer to use these devices with other spheres. Using a device expends one of the combat engineer’s bombs, but unlike bombs, creating a device does not take any time, and using a device is part of the action to use the sphere ability implanted in it. A device can be used with a sphere ability that attaches an effect to a creature, but the combat engineer must make a touch attack with the device to do so. This does not draw an attack of opportunity.

A combat engineer can use a device when creating a totem. When the combat engineer uses the device, he may add 1 modification to the device, plus an additional modification for every 4 class levels after the 1st, up to a maximum of 5 modifications at 17th level. Some modifications are counted as multiple modifications.

These modifications alter the way the sphere ability can be used, or the sphere effect that results.

This replaces instant alchemy, mutagen, persistent mutagen, poison immunity, poison resistance, poison use, swift alchemy and swift poison, and alters bombs.

The combat engineer may choose from the following modifications:

Concentration Enhancement

The device increases the caster level of the sphere ability by +1. This cannot increase the caster level beyond the character level of the combat engineer. This modification may be applied multiple times.

Diffuser (2 modifications)

The device unleashes a powerful aerosol that increases the potency of the sphere ability. Any saving throw versus the sphere ability it carries must be successfully passed twice by any creature that breathes in the gas. Creatures that do not need to breathe or are holding their breath only need to attempt their normal saving throw.

Experimental Chemistry (4 modifications)

The combat engineer may use this device to create a sphere ability he does not possess the talent for, chosen at the time of casting. The combat engineer must meet the prerequisites for the talent, and the sphere ability must be one that he can use with a device.

Explosive Charge (2 modifications)

This device can be used to do bomb damage in addition to carrying a sphere ability. The combat engineer makes a ranged touch attack with the device as if it were a bomb, and it does damage normally. Any sphere effect included in the attack occurs at the point of impact - either the location where the device detonated or the location of the creature hit if it was successfully used against a target and the sphere ability can be attached to a target.


A short delay occurs between the casting the sphere ability and the sphere effect’s creation, giving the combat engineer just enough time to throw the device. He may make an attack with the device as part of the casting, and the sphere effect appears at whatever location the combat engineer throws the device. If the device hits a creature, the sphere effect is created at the location it is standing and remains there. The device is considered a thrown weapon with a range increment of 10 feet.

Miniaturization (2 modifications)

The device takes the form of a large piece of ammunition, such as an arrow or crossbow bolt. This works similar to fuse, and the sphere effect appears wherever the ammunition lands after an attack is made with it or it becomes attached to a creature hit (if the sphere ability can be attached to creatures).

Rare Ingredient (2 modifications)

The sphere ability treats creatures with spell resistance as having a spell resistance of 5 lower.

Remote Detonator (3 modifications)

The device can be primed with a sphere ability, and then activated anytime within the next hour, either with a timer or by a mental command from the combat engineer (a free action).

The device may also be used as a dead man’s switch, automatically activating the ability inside when the combat engineer loses consciousness. The device can be carried by the combat engineer, or by someone else, or be placed somewhere, and can be used as part of an attack action.


This modification increases the radius of the sphere ability by 50%.


This modification increases the duration of the sphere ability by 2 rounds.

Slow-Burning Agent

When the combat engineer spends a spell point to allow an effect to last without concentration, it lasts for a minimum of 1 minute per caster level.

Sturdy Construction

The sphere effect has a +5 on magical skill checks to be dispelled or counterspelled.


The combat engineer gains exclusive access to the following discoveries:

Abjuring Device (requires Protection sphere)

The combat engineer may use devices to deliver ward effects.

Deluminating Device (requires Dark sphere)

The combat engineer may use devices to deliver darkness effects.

Illuminating Device (requires Light sphere)

The combat engineer may use a device to attach a glow to a creature of object by making a melee touch attack or by using the fuse or miniaturization modification.

Personalized Modification (requires combat engineer 10)

The combat engineer chooses 1 modification that costs more than 1 modification. When he uses it, reduce the modifications required by 1.

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