Alchemy is a major industry in Talislanta. The Sindarans, in particular, are masters of the art, but nearly every nation in Talislanta has its practitioners. Whereas in normal D&D the alchemist is a mage who can make his spells into potions, the Talislanta alchemist has no magical ability of his own, but can create a much wider-range of potions and elixirs.
Alchemists often venture into the wilds in search of new or rare ingredients, or perhaps to test their latest batch of potions. Alchemy can be an expensive process, and many adventure for a time to gain the wealth they need to set themselves up in business.
Alchemists can possess a wide-array of abilities based on the potions and elixirs they have on them. While no potion can every equal the earth-shattering power of the higher level magics, there are many cases where it is far easier to hurl a potion than to cast a spell.
Any, though the rigor and training needed to master the art of alchemy tends to discourage the extremely chaotic.
As per the race of the alchemist.
Alchemists typically begin as apprentices to an established alchemist at a young age and spend years washing bottles and cleaning up after their master before they begin to learn even the most rudimentary aspects of their craft. In time, they begin assisting with experiments and ultimately develop the ability to create and brew their own inventions. Once the master is certain his apprentice is not going to blow himself to pieces the first time he tries to make a potion on his own, he typically sends him out to make his own way in the world with a few lumen in his pocket and several mixtures in his potion book.
Anyone with the intelligence and patience to master the skill can become an Alchemist. The Sindarans are famous for their skill, as are the Mirin of the north, with the alchemists of Cymril a distant third. Some sub-men shaman have a primitive version of the skill that allows them to brew a few potions from natural ingredients.
Potions are divided into three categories or levels: minor, medium, and major. 1st level spells are considered minor, 2nd level medium, and 3rd level major. In addition, there are a number of other special potions and exilirs that alchemists can learn to brew. While anyone with the Brew Potion feat can turn spells they know into potions, only true alchemists can create non-spell potions. Alchemists can learn recipies for any type of spell (bard, druid, cleric, etc.)
The Alchemist starts the game with 4 minor brew recipies (plus one for each point of Int modifier) and 2 vials of each potion he can brew. At each new level, the alchemist can learn 4 new brews, either spells or non-spells. The alchemist can begin learning medium brews at 5th level, and major brews at 10th.
Alchemists can also learn metaversions of some brews. An empowered version of minor brews counts as a major brew recipie, and extended versions of minor or medium brews count as medium or major, respectively. The Alchemist must have learned the normal version of the brew before he can learn the metaversion, but does not have to have learned the empower or extend feats.
As per Brew Potion, it takes 1 day to brew a potion assuming the alchemist has access to at least rudimentary equipment. The base price in materials is the spell or potion level x the effective level of the potion (up to the alchemist's own level) x 50 gl. Many potions may have require special or unique ingredients which must be added to this cost. There is, however, no xp cost.
For example, a minor potion brewed at 6th level would costs 300 gl. A major potion brewed at 12th level would cost 1800 gl.
Alchemists with spellcasting levels combine the two for purposes of determine what level of potion he can brew. For example, a 3/2 Alchemist/Wizard can learn medium brews.
See Alchemical Brews in the Equipment section for a list of non-spell potions and exilirs.