Last Updated: September 27, 2023
The Herbalist Archetype is all about healing with Alchemical elixirs. Taking the dedication feat grants basic alchemy benefits, allowing preparation of a limited subset of the Alchemist’s options. For Herbalist, this subset is any Alchemical item with the “Healing” trait. This gives anyone that takes the Herbalist Archetype a bit of additional healing to provide to the party, although it will be very small without further investment into the later Herbalist feats.
The Herbalist is great for anyone that wants to add a little extra healing to the party, but it is unlikely to be sufficient on its own. Don’t take this archetype expecting it to make you the party’s primary healer, but instead take it to add some additional healing to a class which otherwise wouldn’t have any. The cleric is on the floor, but here comes the barbarian with eleven herbs and spices to patch things up.
Herbalist vs Alchemist Multiclass
You might want to compare the Herbalist to the Alchemist Multiclass. For requirements, instead of a skill (Nature) and skill feat (Natural Medicine) the Alchemist MC Dedication requires 14 Intelligence. Both dedications grant the Alchemical Crafting feat and a number of reagents per day. Notably, Alchemist does not require anything special to get your full level worth of reagents as opposed to Herbalist only getting half for not being in the wilderness. On top of this, the Alchemist MC is not limited to any subsection of Alchemical Items and has an array of feats that grant some of the Alchemist’s class features, such as Quick Alchemy or other Alchemist feats.
However, unlike Herbalist, the Alchemist MC requires two feats at 6th and 12th to eventually gain an Advanced Alchemy level of Level-5. If you’re just looking to add Alchemical Healing to your toolset, Herbalist will do more for you with less investment in the long run. If you want a broader array of Alchemical power, you might look into the Alchemist MC or just take the Alchemical Crafting feat.
Table of Contents
RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
- : Good options. Useful often.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.
2: The Dedication feat grants basic alchemy benefits, which in turn grant
feat. This is good because we need to learn the 1st-level Healing formulas,
they are not auto-granted by the Dedication feat directly. As there are only
three such formulas, we are free to add one other 1st-level Alchemical
formula to our book for creation with standard crafting. We are granted
Expert in Nature and the ability to use Nature and healer’s tools for
crafting Alchemical items with the “Healing” trait. This does not prevent us
from also using the Crafting skill and alchemist’s tools for non-healing
Alchemical items with our Alchemical Crafting feat. So don’t skimp on
filling out your formula book.
As for the rest of the basic alchemy benefits, we have a version of the Alchemist’s ability to make stuff for free each day, limited to healing items of 1st-level. We gain a total number of reagents equal to half of our level unless we perform our daily preparations in the wilderness, in which case we use our whole level for a total. If you’re staying in civilization, plan to take a morning hike in the nearest national park. Keep in mind that things are made in batches of two identical items per reagent, thus with 2 reagents, we could produce 4 Elixir of Life (Minor) or 2 Elixir of Life and 2 Antidote (Lesser).
- 2: As a skill feat, we can take this at the same time as taking our Dedication feat if we want to, which is a way to fast track getting two feats in order to take a second Dedication. However, actually using this feat isn’t great for most people. You have to not spend some of your reagent pool making Elixirs in order to have them on hand to spend for a bonus to a Treat Wounds check. Keep in mind that one reagent is two Elixirs, which are 1d6 healing each at minimum, so just mix up the Elixirs.
- 4 (Uncommon): This feat has multiple extra prerequisites of being trained in Religion and being a member of the Knights of Lastwall, but the benefit it provides does not really justify being a feat, let alone having the extra requirements. It teaches you to make soup. Special soup that gives you a small bonus to Stealth, but only against Undead. And that’s all this feat does.
- 4: This feat is why you become an Herbalist. Instead of creating Healing Elixirs, the same properties are instead turned into poultices, bandages soaked in topical medicine. This changes the action to use these items from drinking to applying the bandages, allowing you (or someone else holding one) to apply the poultice to an adjacent target. If that were all it did, it would still be Blue, but upon application, the action also counts as assistance for making a check to remove persistent damage from Acid, Bleeding, or Fire. This feat also applies to any Elixir with the “Healing” trait you craft with standard crafting, not just the free stuff you make with your daily allotment of reagents.
- 6: While the benefits are nice, it does unfortunately require spending an extra batch of reagents to add the effect to one item, effectively giving you half as many uses per day for a small extra bonus dictated by where you happen to be. It might have some uses, but I wouldn’t recommend taking this unless you’re using Free Archetype and you want to take both of the level 6 feats here.
- 6: Very simple, very useful. This allows your free daily items to finally be higher than 1st-level, and level-3 is actually quite fantastic. If you refer again to the list of “Healing” trait Alchemical items, you’ll be able to make the 2nd-level ones now, assuming you’ve been filling out your formula book. Technically you can wait an extra three levels to automatically learn the improved Elixirs of Life, but I would recommend learning those formulas as you reach their minimum levels in order to craft a proper supply with the normal crafting rules.
Who Should Use This?
Anyone who wants a little additional healing ability and can afford to miss a few levels of class feats to get this minor in Alchemy would do well to pick this up. The quickest route into meeting the Natural Medicine feat requirement of the Dedication are to either take the Herbalist background, with options of Constitution and Wisdom, or Plant Whisperer, which instead gives the options of Wisdom or Charisma.
- : I would advise against taking this as an actual Alchemist. The only thing this Archetype can provide that isn’t already available to an Alchemist is Poultice Preparation, and even though it’s a very good ability, it’s not enough to justify the investment into the Archetype. Remember that as per Basic Alchemy Benefits, the reagents do not stack and you only get the higher total.
- with more on the way. : If you want to craft Alchemical Healing items, but lack the Intelligence for the Craft skill, this Archetype can get around that by using the Wisdom based Nature skill instead. It is specifically limited to Healing items, but that is still a lot of options,