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Ezren applying rigour to his alchemical studies.

Alchemy is the science of materials: alchemists can use scientific methods, sometimes combined with magic, to produce a vast array of alchemical substances with many practical uses.

Alchemy is not magic. It uses chemicals, minerals, plants, and other substances, collectively referred to as alchemical reagents, to create potent elixirs, alchemical bombs, and other concoctions. Purely alchemical items never have magical auras, and they cannot be dismissed or dispelled.1

Some alchemists adopt less rigorous methods.

Practice of alchemy

Although many on Golarion will be familiar with the simple products of alchemy, such as matchsticks2 or fireworks, readily found in merchant shops, some alchemists have studied many years to perfect their craft and are able to manipulate matter in many strange ways.

Alchemy has had a great influence on Golarion. Elemental weapons like alchemist's fire and alchemical elixirs are widespread and can be used by anyone, and alchemical techniques are often used in other sciences and industries. Alchemy enables creation of stronger materials for armor and weapons, black powder for guns and explosives, and even something as simple as preservatives for volatile substances for safe transportation. Steam engines, while very new to Golarion, also prefer to use alchemically derived heat sources rather than coal furnaces.3

Alchemy can be used by anyone who can find a recipe and alchemical reagents, with no need for specialized training or unique abilities. A single alchemist can greatly improve life for those around him by creating elixirs to cure disease and poison, and restore vitality, or alchemical weapons to help defend the community from outside threats.3

Types of alchemy

As well as traditional alchemy, there are many variant forms specializing in different areas of the subject, such as:

Alchemical processes

Alchemists draw upon a number of alchemical processes for creating their items, namely:4

Alchemical crafting tools

Alchemists use a number of tools for their studies often purchased in bulk as an alchemist's lab or a smaller portable alchemist's lab. They contain such items as crucibles, filters and retorts.5

A kobold alchemist.
A drow alchemist.

Alchemical items

The study of alchemy has produced a plethora of substances that are utilized by alchemists. Alchemical items may be categorized into many types:6

Alchemical organizations

Many alchemical organizations exists, including:

Schools of alchemy

Purveyors of alchemical items

A number of shops and similar establishments sell alchemical wares and a list may be found here.

Noted alchemists

See also: Category:Alchemists

Perhaps the most notable alchemist in the Inner Sea region is Artokus Kirran, the discoverer of the sun orchid elixir. Today his legacy is protected by the Citadel of the Alchemist.

Kassi Aziril is a Rahadoumi doctor who has made several important breakthroughs in medicine.

Religion and alchemy

Some gods and demigods take an interest in alchemy, including:15

Technology and alchemy

The most obvious incarnation of a technological alchemical product is black powder and its use in firearms.

Alchemical creatures

An alchemical golem.

Certain creatures have been affected by alchemy, including:


Paizo published major works regarding alchemy, including Alchemy Manual and Potions & Poisons.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Logan Bonner, et al. “11: Crafting & Treasure” in Core Rulebook, 543. Paizo Inc., 2019
  2. Paizo referred to matchsticks as tindertwigs until the publication of GM Core.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Michael Sayre, et al. “Introduction” in Guns & Gears, 7–8. Paizo Inc., 2021
  4. Jason Nelson, et al. “Spontaneous Alchemy” in Alchemy Manual, 4–5. Paizo Inc., 2014
  5. Jason Nelson, et al. “Spontaneous Alchemy” in Alchemy Manual, 5. Paizo Inc., 2014
  6. Jason Nelson, et al. Varisian Fireworks” in Alchemy Manual, 30–31. Paizo Inc., 2014
  7. Robert G. McCreary. The Godsmouth Heresy, 3. Paizo Inc., 2010
  8. Stephen S. Greer & Amber E. Scott. “City of Trade” in Dark Markets, A Guide to Katapesh, 48. Paizo Inc., 2009
  9. Michael Sayre, et al. “5: The Rotating Gear” in Guns & Gears, 193. Paizo Inc., 2021
  10. Laura-Shay Adams, et al. Vidrian” in The Mwangi Expanse, 282. Paizo Inc., 2021
  11. Jonathan H. Keith, et al. “Cities of Andoran: Liberty's Foundation” in Andoran, Spirit of Liberty, 20. Paizo Inc., 2010
  12. Adam Daigle & James Jacobs. “Magnimar” in Magnimar, City of Monuments, 10. Paizo Inc., 2012
  13. F. Wesley Schneider. “Counties” in Rule of Fear, 32. Paizo Inc., 2011
  14. Erik Mona, et al. Absalom and Starstone Isle” in World Guide, 20. Paizo Inc., 2019
  15. Sean K Reynolds, et al. Inner Sea Gods. Paizo Inc., 2014