Some bards master a spectacular kind of alchemy instead of instruments. They perform grand shows of fire, smoke, sparks, and explosions. The mix artist does not sing epic ballads nor act out famous tragedies; rather, he wows his audience with reactive flair. He imbibes extracts instead of casting spells; blinds with fireworks instead of inspiring courage. The mix artist's alchemy is more about the show than anything, though, and remains second to a true alchemist's, more useful for impressing people than for creating bombs or turning lead to gold.
Primary Class: Bard.
Secondary Class: Alchemist.
Hit Dice: d8.
Saves: good Reflex and Will, poor Fortitude.
Bonus Skills and Ranks: A mix artist may select three alchemist skills to add to his class skills in addition to the normal bard class skills. The mix artist gains a number of ranks at each level equal to 2 + Int.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Mix artists are proficient with all simple weapons and light armor, but not shields. Mix artists can cast their cantrips (see below) while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance.
Performative Alchemy (Ex): The mix artist's performance is one of alchemical might, percussive explosions, and colorful flashes. The mix artist creates concoctions that produce a variety of audio and visual effects, ranging from thunder to whistling and smoke to sparks. So long as he has his alchemist's kit on hand when making Perform (act) and Perform (percussion) skill checks, the mix artist can use his bonus in Craft (alchemy) in place of his Perform skill bonus. When substituting in this way, the mix artist uses his total Craft (alchemy) skill bonus, including class skill bonus, in place of his Perform skill bonus, whether or not he has ranks in the skill. Because the mix artist's alchemy is more showy than academic, he uses his Charisma modifier to calculate his Craft (alchemy) bonus instead of his Intelligence modifier.
Extracts: The mix artist prepares extracts as an alchemist of his level instead of casting spells as a bard. The alchemist's formula list replaces his spell list, allowing him to use spell trigger (but not spell completion) items if they appear on his formula list. The mix artist's extract preparation functions differently from an alchemist's in a few key ways, however.
The mix artist does not keep a formula book—he instead memorizes his formulae, learning them as a spontaneous caster would. He begins play knowing two 1st-level formulae of his choice. At each new mix artist level, he gains one or more new extracts, as indicated on Pathfinder Core Rulebook Table 3-4: Bard Spells Known. (This is the same progression used by bards for the purposes of learning new spells.) The mix artist may take the Expanded Arcana feat to learn new formulae, but otherwise can only learn new formulae by leveling up.
Upon reaching 5th level, and at every third mix artist level after that (8th, 11th, and so on), a mix artist can choose to learn a new extract formula in place of one he already knows. In effect, the mix artist “loses” the old extract in exchange for the new one. The new extract’s level must be the same as that of the extract being exchanged, and it must be at least one level lower than the highest-level mix artist extract the mix artist can prepare. A mix artist may swap only a single formula at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the formula at the same time that he gains new formula known for the level.
Additionally, the mix artist prepares his extracts at lightning speed—his narrow focus results in familiarity with his formulae, and he prepares his extracts as part of the action required to produce and quaff them (a standard action)—effectively creating and drinking his extracts in the time it would take a spontaneous spellcaster to decide on a spell and cast it. The rapid and volatile nature of this mixture process means his extracts are short-lived—if he doesn't quaff them when he produces them, they become inert at the end of his turn. A mix artist can never create infusions of his extracts. If he takes the Brew Potion feat, he can prepare potions of them as normal.
Finally, to learn or use an extract, a mix artist must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the extract's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a mix artist's extract is 10 + the extract level + the mix artist's Charisma modifier. Mix artists use Charisma, not Intelligence, to determine bonus extracts per day.
Cantrips: Despite favoring extracts over spells, mix artists can cast ghost sound, prestidigitation, and spark as 0-level arcane spells at will. A mix artist's caster level for these effects is equal to his class level, and the DC for them is 10 + his Charisma modifier. All three spells require non-expensive material components found in an alchemist's kit.
Bardic Performance: The mix artist retains many of the bard's performances, though he uses alchemy to perform them. Others he abandons, replacing them with flashier options. These performances are presented below.
Countersong (Su): As the bard's performance by the same name, except that the mix artist makes a Craft (alchemy) skill check. The mix artist uses a series of loud explosions to interrupt sound-dependent effects.
Distraction (Su): As the bard's performance by the same name, except that the mix artist makes a Craft (alchemy) skill check. The mix artist produces a shower of sparks just bright enough to distract his allies from illusions.
Fascinate (Su): As the bard's performance by the same name. Hypnotic percussive rhythms and enthralling colored smokes fascinate the audience.
Pyrotechnic Show (Sp): At 1st level, the mix artist can create a pyrotechnic show that dazzles or chokes his audience. Starting with a substance like alchemist's fire, the mix artist adds various reagents until he produces either dazzling fireworks or a thick cloud of smoke. This choice cannot be changed mid-performance. A mix master must first end his performance and then begin a new one to change from one effect to another.
If the mix artist chooses dazzling fireworks, any creature within line-of-sight to the fireworks must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the mix artist's level + the mix artist's Charisma modifier) or gain the dazzled condition (–1 penalty to all attack rolls and sight-based Perception skill checks) until the end of the performance. This penalty increases to –2 at 5th level and by an additional –1 every six levels thereafter, to a maximum of –4 at 17th level.
As the mix artist gains levels, his pyrotechnic show improves. At 5th level, if a creature succeeds on its Will save, it is dazzled for 1d4 rounds, while a creature that fails its Will save remains dazzled for an additional 1d4 rounds after the performance ends. At 11th level, dazzling fireworks sheds bright light (as the daylight spell) in a 30-foot radius around the mix artist. At 17th level, the radius of the dazzling fireworks’ daylight effect increases to 60 feet and produces sunlight in a 30-foot radius around the mix artist. Light shed by dazzling fireworks lasts only while the mix artist is performing.
If the mix artist chooses choking smoke, he creates a cloud of smoke in a 20-foot radius centered on himself. This cloud remains as long as he performs and disperses immediately when his performance ends. Winds (magical or otherwise) cannot disperse it. This cloud also blocks all sight, including darkvision. Any creature caught within the cloud (except for the mix artist) begins choking and must make a successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the mix artist's level + the mix artist's Charisma modifier) or receive a –2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. At 5th level, and every six mix artist levels thereafter, these penalties increase by 2, to a maximum of –8 at 17th level.
Once a creature made a successful save against a particular mix artist’s pyrotechnic show effect, that creature is immune to that effect for 24 hours. Creatures that are naturally blind, or are unaffected by visual effects are also immune to this performance. This ability replaces inspire courage.
Inspire Competence (Su): As the bard's performance by the same name. The mix artist mimics the sound of an epic orchestra with his explosive mixtures, encouraging confidence and competence in his allies.
Gust of Wind (Sp): At 6th level, explosions from the mix artist's performance can produce a blast of wind, as gust of wind. The mix artist must have already spent at least one round performing one of the following performances: countersong, pyrotechnic show, dirge of doom, or frightening tune. Using this ability does not disrupt the effects of these performances, but it does require a standard action to activate (in addition to the free action to continue whichever performance he was already using). The Fortitude DC for the gust of wind effect is equal to 10 + 1/2 the mix artist's level + the mix artist's Charisma modifier. This ability replaces suggestion.
Dirge of Doom (Su): As the bard's performance by the same name. The mix artist creates startling explosions and weaves smoke into the shape of objects baneful to his audience.
Stinking Cloud (Sp): At 9th level, the mix artist can integrate smoke with toxic mists to produce the effects of a stinking cloud. This performance functions in all ways like stinking cloud, except that the cloud is centered on the mix artist, lasts only as long as he performs, and doesn't affect the mix artist. Winds cannot disperse the cloud prematurely. Creatures in the cloud when it is created and those who enter it must make Fortitude saves (DC = 10 + 1/2 the mix artist's level + the mix artist's Charisma modifier) or become nauseated. Nauseated creatures that exit the cloud, or are in it when it is dispersed, are instantly cured of their nausea. This ability replaces inspire greatness.
Soothing Performance (Su): As the bard's performance by the same name. Balms and elixirs are mixed to create a refreshing atmosphere.
Frightening Tune (Sp): As the bard's performance by the same name. The actual performance resembles dirge of doom, but it is far more effective.
Rainbow Pattern (Sp): At 15th level, the mix artist can create a brilliant display of multicolor gases and smokes that fascinate creatures. This functions exactly like rainbow pattern, except that the mix artist can affect a number of HD of creatures up to twice his mix artist level, and he does not need to concentrate on the effect; he merely needs to continue performance. The effect ends immediately if the mix artist ceases performing. As with the spell, the mix artist can cause the pattern to move. The Will save DC for this effect is 10 + 1/2 the mix artist's level + the mix artist's Charisma modifier. If a creature succeeds on its initial save, it becomes immune to this performance for 24 hours. This ability replaces inspire heroics.
River of Wind (Sp): At 18th level, whenever the mix artist uses his gust of wind performance, he can instead produce the effects of a river of wind. Once created, this effect lasts as long as he performs. The point of origin moves with the mix artist, and he can change the direction of the wind as a standard action. The Fortitude save DC for this effect is 10 + 1/2 the mix artist's level + the mix artist's Charisma modifier. The mix artist cannot create multiple river of wind effects at once; if he uses this ability twice during one performance, the previous instance immediately ends. This ability replaces mass suggestion.
Deadly Performance (Su): As the bard's performance by the same name. Unexpected explosions and terrifying images cause one enemy's life functions to cease.
Throw Anything (Ex): All mix artists gain the Throw Anything feat as a bonus feat at 2nd level. A mix artist adds his Charisma modifier to damage done with splash weapons, including the splash damage if any. This ability, along with swift alchemy and instant alchemy, replaces versatile performance.
Well-Versed (Ex): A mix artist is accustomed to different things from those in which a normal bard is well versed—he knows how to protect his eyes from harm. At 2nd level, he receives a +4 bonus on saving throws made against bardic performance and sonic effects, as well as against blindness and gaze attacks. This ability otherwise functions as, and replaces, well versed.
Swift Alchemy (Ex): At 4th level, a mix artist can create alchemical items with astounding speed. It takes a mix artist half the normal amount of time to create alchemical items. Unlike the alchemist ability by the same name, this does not allow a mix artist to apply poison to weapons as a move action.
Spectacle Master (Ex): At 5th level, the mix artist masters spectacular explosions and can take 10 on any Intimidate skill check if he has his alchemy kit on hand. He gains Dazzling Display as a bonus feat even though he doesn't meet its prerequisites and can use it with his alchemy kit instead of a weapon. Once per day, he can take 20 on an Intimidate skill check without increasing the time it takes to use the skill. He can use this ability one additional time per day for every six levels he possesses beyond 5th, to a maximum of three times per day at 17th level. He cannot take 20 on Intimidate skill checks made in conjunction with the Dazzling Display feat. This ability replaces lore master.
Instant Alchemy (Ex): At 18th level, a mix artist can create alchemical items with almost supernatural speed. He can create any alchemical item as a full-round action if he succeeds at the Craft (alchemy) check and has the appropriate resources at hand to fund the creation. Unlike the alchemist ability by the same name, this does not allow a mix artist to apply poison to weapons as a swift action.