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Osbo25

Making a Profit with the Alchemist (and turning him into a BEAST)

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I'm sure I'm not the first person to discover this (and perhaps there's already a thread devoted to it), but as I was playing the Alchemist tonight with the City expansion, I learned how to have essentially unlimited gold.

 

In the City, go to either the Apothecary or the Magic Emporium.  Buy either three potions from the Apothecary or three Scrolls from the Magic Emporium.  This will cost you a total of 3 gold.  But then you will have three magic items that you can alchemise for 3 gold each.  Bam.  Your 3 gold is now 9 gold.  And if you have the Crooked Scales, it only costs you 2 gold to get 9 gold.

 

If you start with the standard 5 gold and then you go to the Apothecary first, you can go from 5 gold to 11 gold.  Then you go to the Magic Emporium where you buy three scrolls (3 gold) and three Psychic Crystals (6 gold).  You alchemize all of those, and suddenly you have 20 gold.  That's good for all five warhorses from the Stables deck, which gives you a +20 bonus to your strength in battle.  If you don't want to spend all of your gold in the first go-round, only buy four of the Warhorses.  Then go through again so that you can get your Spell Book, Flail, and Full Plate.  Two passes through the City, and the Alchemist is ready to go take down the Lord of Darkness and head straight to the Crown of Command.

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Yes, you're not the first to discover this:

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/78893-alchemist-infinite-gold-in-city

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/86062-alchemist-question

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/78829-alchemist-in-the-magic-emporium

 

It is a well-known problem of interaction between the City Expansion and the Alchemist character. It has been waiting for a FAQ clarification for a while now.

Edited by The_Warlock

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Yes, you're not the first to discover this:

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/78893-alchemist-infinite-gold-in-city

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/86062-alchemist-question

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/78829-alchemist-in-the-magic-emporium

 

It is a well-known problem of interaction between the City Expansion and the Alchemist character. It has been waiting for a FAQ clarification for a while now.

What clarification does it need?  Or what would that clarification look like?  It would require either changing the cards in the shops or changing the special ability of the Alchemist, neither of which is a good idea.

 

For the record, I just tried this scheme again, and it still took 50 rounds of me playing against 5 AI opponents to win.  When I got into the Dungeon I got thrown in jail.  When I got nearly to the end of the Dungeon I hit a Trap Door and went back to the beginning.  Then the random ending was Danse Macabre, and it took forever to finish off the last character.  The only reason I made it through the Dungeon without losing my Warhorses was because I had the Bolster spell when I went up against a Craft 9 enemy.

 

So while this scheme gives the ability to get really powerful in a very short period of time, it's not fool proof.  The wrong series of cards can leave you in a real mess.  And going up against human players instead of AI will create an even greater difficulty, especially if othSo I'ers are trying to stop you along the way.

 

So I'm not really sure anything needs to be clarified.  This is what the Alchemist can do.  When mixing expansions it can become a huge advantage (just like the Elf can teleport to a lot more spaces or the Druid can replenish his spells in a lot more places in the Woodlands expansion).

 

It still takes good rolls, good cards, and a bit of luck.

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Yes, you're not the first to discover this:

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/78893-alchemist-infinite-gold-in-city

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/86062-alchemist-question

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/78829-alchemist-in-the-magic-emporium

 

It is a well-known problem of interaction between the City Expansion and the Alchemist character. It has been waiting for a FAQ clarification for a while now.

What clarification does it need?  Or what would that clarification look like?  It would require either changing the cards in the shops or changing the special ability of the Alchemist, neither of which is a good idea.

 

There's no need to clarify how this is done, but it's not something that could remain as it is. It's just too cheap and repeatable.

There are cards that need to be changed in the game and we already have a couple of erratas in the current FAQ, so I don't see how changing something that doesn't work would not be a good idea. Gaining 3 gold for each Magic Object has always been too much, not only because of the City, but because it makes the Alchemist almost invincible in a standard ending game.

 

For the record, I just tried this scheme again, and it still took 50 rounds of me playing against 5 AI opponents to win.  When I got into the Dungeon I got thrown in jail.  When I got nearly to the end of the Dungeon I hit a Trap Door and went back to the beginning.  Then the random ending was Danse Macabre, and it took forever to finish off the last character.  The only reason I made it through the Dungeon without losing my Warhorses was because I had the Bolster spell when I went up against a Craft 9 enemy.

 

So while this scheme gives the ability to get really powerful in a very short period of time, it's not fool proof.  The wrong series of cards can leave you in a real mess.  And going up against human players instead of AI will create an even greater difficulty, especially if othSo I'ers are trying to stop you along the way.

 

So I'm not really sure anything needs to be clarified.  This is what the Alchemist can do.  When mixing expansions it can become a huge advantage (just like the Elf can teleport to a lot more spaces or the Druid can replenish his spells in a lot more places in the Woodlands expansion).

 

It still takes good rolls, good cards, and a bit of luck.

You're talking about the game of Talisman here. Still, playing against AI opponents doesn't exactly give you the idea why most players would like not to see the Alchemist follow this scheme.

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There are cards that need to be changed in the game and we already have a couple of erratas in the current FAQ, so I don't see how changing something that doesn't work would not be a good idea. Gaining 3 gold for each Magic Object has always been too much, not only because of the City, but because it makes the Alchemist almost invincible in a standard ending game.

 

To me, the card that needs to be changed is the War Horse.  It doesn't make sense to be able to stack War Horses.  Only one War Horse should be usable at a time.  (You could possess more than one, just like you could possess more than one Riding Horse.  But you should only be able to use one.)

I have no problem with the Alchemist's ability.  There are ways to overcome it.  It nearly happened to me against unthinking AI bots last night.  But against a live opponent there are any number of things that you can do to diminish his ability, especially if someone who can attack with Craft goes after him, or someone who can pile on a couple of spells.  Hit him with Freeze, Toadify, Generosity, Transmute, etc., and everything that he works for dwindles to nothing.

 

If you are playing against an Alchemist you simply have to adjust your game play appropriately.  He is a powerful character, even without the City expansion.  So deal with him accordingly.

But fix the War Horse.  (That's going to be a house rule at my place from now on.)

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I remembered played this trick with the alchemist (but on day one we all agreed we could only use one warhorse), and I just circled in the city to buy everything, including ALL pets. But it was boring. Yes I got powerful and won, but it's no fun. I picked him another time, tried the same but lose, cause my son know how to make the troll a monster pretty quickly.

Edited by phap

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Actually of all the things that are skewed in the expansions/game i dont think alchemist is a topissue. he gets super powerful but not a lot of stats, and the stuff can be taken from him through several means even if you cant beat him in combat.

He's powerful for sure, but not more than the strong caster characters, so I say let and let live. But yeah, first time it's fun cause its so stupidly OP, but it gets boring pretty fast.

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Can anyone explain what this strategy for going against the Alchemist entails? So far, the only real example mentioned is "Hope to draw a Spell card that will magically solve all your issues" which is... seriously?

You do realize that the Alchemist is a spellcaster, who can additionally buy the Spellbook from pretty much the start of the game, so any Spells you can name the Alchemist is just as likely, if not more likely, than other characters to draw (or an anti-magic protection Spell).

 

Also, some examples are just wrong. Generosity is not great against the Alchemist, because the Alchemist has little reason to alchemize his Objects until he actually needs to spend gold (especially considering any Alchemist strategy revolves around collecting Trinkets) and Generosity can only be cast at the start of the turn.

Using Spells to steal or discard his stuff... Ok, those are great against any character, the difference is that the Alchemist can simply buy them back with little to no effort (and can capitalize on them from the early game).

 

The fact is that the Alchemist character card, unlike other "broken cards", can't be discarded because the Alchemist is pretty much immortal.

Sure, focusing your attacks on him can still be a good strategy to make him waste his resources... But then the City comes into play, which gives him early access to Flail, Full Plate, Warhorse, and whatnot, making him harder than the Troll to defeat.

 

Frankly, the most likely scenario in which I can picture the Alchemist losing is if he forgets that Talisman is still a race game and wastes too much time in the City, trying to buy absolutely everything.

Edited by Loudo

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Can anyone explain what this strategy for going against the Alchemist entails? So far, the only real example mentioned is "Hope to draw a Spell card that will magically solve all your issues" which is... seriously?

You do realize that the Alchemist is a spellcaster, who can additionally buy the Spellbook from pretty much the start of the game, so any Spells you can name the Alchemist is just as likely, if not more likely, than other characters to draw (or an anti-magic protection Spell).

 

Also, some examples are just wrong. Generosity is not great against the Alchemist, because the Alchemist has little reason to alchemize his Objects until he actually needs to spend gold (especially considering any Alchemist strategy revolves around collecting Trinkets) and Generosity can only be cast at the start of the turn.

Using Spells to steal or discard his stuff... Ok, those are great against any character, the difference is that the Alchemist can simply buy them back with little to no effort (and can capitalize on them from the early game).

 

The fact is that the Alchemist character card, unlike other "broken cards", can't be discarded because the Alchemist is pretty much immortal.

Sure, focusing your attacks on him can still be a good strategy to make him waste his resources... But then the City comes into play, which gives him early access to Flail, Full Plate, Warhorse, and whatnot, making him harder than the Troll to defeat.

 

Frankly, the most likely scenario in which I can picture the Alchemist losing is if he forgets that Talisman is still a race game and wastes too much time in the City, trying to buy absolutely everything.

Well, there was this one suggestion that I made that you must not have seen:

 

"especially if someone who can attack with Craft goes after him"

 

The strategy against the Alchemist depends entirely upon the characters in the game.  But at the same time, even if there are weak characters, it still takes good rolls and good cards for the Alchemist to win.  He can easily beef up his strength, but if he runs into even a moderate craft opposition he's going to be in real trouble.  Even if he goes through the City, buys all of the Warhorses, and heads for the Dungeon, if he draws any craft enemies he's sunk.  If he tries to go through the Portal of Power and the inner region then he runs into the difficulty that his base stats are still low.  All of those modifiers don't do him any good in either Mines or the Crypt.

 

Every game depends on luck.  Characters who dominate one game really struggle the next.  Characters who are seemingly weak can walk away a winner.  That's the beauty of this game.  There are things that can make it easier, but it still requires luck.  The Alchemist is no more a slam dunk than the Prophetess is, and she's a very powerful character, too.

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a little perspective on the fearsome power of the alchemist:

 

his ability allows him to turn the potion and emporium into spaces that give him 6 gold. The average result of a turn is roughly equivalent of 1,5 gold. Making a full turn in city will take about 7 turns (17 spaces +2 shops minimum) + possibly some shops if he cuts movement short.

 

that means that every 7 turns he gets (6-1,5=4,5)*2=9 gold extra or about 1,3 gold extra pr turn. For comparison Leprechaun makes about the same depending how you play him.

 

That's the power the city gets him.

To be fair, if he gets a riding horse he can increase it to a bit less than 2 gold pr turn but even with that he's hardly invincible compared to character that get up to 3 spells every turn.

 

Incidentally that also show that all you'd need to balance him as a middletier dude even with city is to houserule (or FAQ) that you can't sell scrolls . With that,even with riding horse and also buying the items that cost 2 in emporium (i forget what they are) he'd make less pr turn than leprechaun.

Edited by Rawsugar

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Just house rule it that you can't sell stuff you buy. Another thing you can do with characters that continually replenish spells (or any character if you buy a spell book) is get a riding horse, or preferably Dreadwing, and sell spells in the city repeatedly. There are just certain cheap "bs" play strategies that any rational player would agree break the game. In DE Nomad Games needed the scribe by making him one use, they totally houseruled it, because he's too much. Take a page from their book and make your game a lot more fun.

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Incidentally that also show that all you'd need to balance him as a middletier dude even with city is to houserule (or FAQ) that you can't sell scrolls . With that,even with riding horse and also buying the items that cost 2 in emporium (i forget what they are) he'd make less pr turn than leprechaun.

 

I'm not sure why the decision was made to sell "scrolls" instead of selling "spells" (such as the Peddler does).  I would be content to make that a house rule, only insofar as it jives with the rest of the game.

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yeah its a little strange...to be fair scrolls are much better because you can save them and have more than craft allows etc...but with all the other fantastically underpriced stuff city offers i've never seen anyone but the alchemist actually buy them:)

alchemist without city is fairly meh. kinda middling-low in terms of power, but halving his income put him just where you want him really, if you dont like having him as powerful as the best casterclasses

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Well, there was this one suggestion that I made that you must not have seen:

 

"especially if someone who can attack with Craft goes after him"

But this is not an answer to the Alchemist, it is a (sort of) answer to a very specific Alchemist strategy (i.e., buying a lot of Warhorses).

The Alchemist is a high Craft character who can easily buy Psychic Crystal(s), making him not weak to psychic combat whatsoever.

 

Your strategy of buying all Warhorses and defeating the Lord of Darkness ASAP is not a bad strategy, but it's pretty much a win-or-lose-everything strategy. If it goes well, you've won the game superquickly, if it goes bad, you've probably fallen behind.

But that does not mean that the Alchemist requires luck to win. You deliberately chose a strategy where you are relying on not being unlucky.

 

There are many other ways to spend gold in the City, with different strategies that do not rely as much on luck.

 

 

 

his ability allows him to turn the potion and emporium into spaces that give him 6 gold. The average result of a turn is roughly equivalent of 1,5 gold. Making a full turn in city will take about 7 turns (17 spaces +2 shops minimum) + possibly some shops if he cuts movement short.

 

that means that every 7 turns he gets (6-1,5=4,5)*2=9 gold extra or about 1,3 gold extra pr turn. For comparison Leprechaun makes about the same depending how you play him.

For the sake of the argument, let's assume average rolls for movement. The Alchemist starts on the City space, meaning it takes him 3 turns (8 spaces) to reach the Pharmacy (-3 gold +9 gold = +6 gold for alchemising 3 Potions). From there, it takes him another 1-2 turns (4 spaces) to reach the Magic Emporium (-3 gold + 9 gold = +6 gold for alchemising 3 Scrolls, plus -2 gold + 3 gold = +1 gold for alchemising 1 Psychic Crystal, plus -6 gold for the Spellbook).

That means that by the 5th turn of the game, the Alchemist has 12 virtual gold plus a Spellbook (or 20 gold, if you don't buy a Spellbook, for example because another character is tailing you) (*). Frankly, unless you have a specific strategy, you don't even need to go around the City a second time, as all the interesting shops are ahead of you, and you should probably start grinding.

 

Also worth noting that having X item from the very start of the game or later on is not the same thing. For example, a Flail from turn 6 means many more occasions to use it and gain more Strength, a Spellbook from turn 5 means you've had access to more Spells, etc.

That's to say nothing of the fact that the Alchemist's easy access to gold gives him the option to prevent other characters from buying the items they need by depleting the shop deck. If the Leprechaun is full of gold, but the Alchemist in the meanwhile has already bought both Spellbooks or Flails, tough luck to him.

 

Finally, there's also the small matter that converting Potions -> gold means you occasionally gain more than you bargained for.

 

 

(*) Incidently, that is the equivalent of 3 Spellbooks, i.e. the Warlock's spellcycling ability. True, there are only 2 Spellbooks in the M.E., but considering the Warlock isn't spellcycling 3 Spells every single turn anyway and that the Alchemist has more options and abilities, the Alchemist still has an edge.

Edited by Loudo

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That's still about 10 turns before he get to grinding areas. A lot can happen for other characters as well in that time.

Having objects is very different from innate abilities, a ton of cards and abilities can make you lose cards really fast ( which is why i'd prefer to make at least 2 turns and get some extra ones to either overpower game or just not have to go back to city - because without city alchemist is meh)

 

now again, noone is arguing alchemist with city isn't extremely powerful. But he's still en par with the best caster classes, not unbeatable by any means. Be unlucky ( a little in many turns or a lot in one) and he loses, same as the other classes that clearly have the odds in their favor but are hardly unbeatable in this game.

Edited by Rawsugar

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That's still about 10 turns before he get to grinding areas. A lot can happen for other characters as well in that time.

Not really, there are plenty of options in the middle of the City to get anywhere you want fast, if you have gold.

Besides, the turns at the very beginning of the game tend to be meaningless more often than not, considering the Outer Region often makes you waste your turns and your stats are still too low to grind with any consistency or quickness.

 

 

 

Having objects is very different from innate abilities, a ton of cards and abilities can make you lose cards really fast ( which is why i'd prefer to make at least 2 turns and get some extra ones to either overpower game or just not have to go back to city - because without city alchemist is meh)

Actually Objects, PvP aside, tend to be pretty stable cards. There are relatively few cards or effects that force you to lose Objects. (*)

 

(*) May be not true for the most recent expansions, can't comment on that.

 

 

now again, noone is arguing alchemist with city isn't extremely powerful. But he's still en par with the best caster classes,

We strongly disagree then.

 

 

not unbeatable by any means. Be unlucky ( a little in many turns or a lot in one) and he loses, same as the other classes that clearly have the odds in their favor but are hardly unbeatable in this game.

No one is arguing you can't be unlucky and lose in this game. This isn't even worth mentioning.

But the Alchemist, if played correctly, is almost guaranteed to win, unless he is extremely unlucky. He doesn't need to be lucky, he just needs not face those handful of cards/effects which tend to spell doom to any character anyway.

(Or, by contrast, your opponents need to be really lucky.)

Edited by Loudo

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I said this in another thread: A simple nerf for the Alchemist is he only starts with 1 or 0 gold. [when playing the city expansion]

Edited by Bolithio

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@Loudo: guess we will never agree then:) imo items are fairly easily lost and a character almost starting with 2 strong items will be strong but anything but unbeatable. A second+ tour in the city makes alchemist harder to deal with but further to go. I will say though that dungeon expansion presents an opportunity to use alchemists' combatpower to win the game, factoring that in likely makes him a favorite even vs sprite or warlock. with random treasures he's back to being en par though.

 

@Bolithio: i'll admit i like that option better. it's much more elegant/unobtrusive than changing the type of an object.

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This is a good example of the OP discovering a tactic (even one well discussed on here), enjoying how overpowered it is, and defending why it should stay and why it is fair because the OP likes it.  Step back, really look at it, and realize why it is overpowered.  To beat it -- everyone has to gang up on the Alchemist early on or just hope the Alchemist gets really unlucky.  That's not balanced.  Any character that requires immediate attention from everyone else in the game isn't balanced.  What people want to see and play in this game is a more or less even chance, where your decisions and where you go help you win, not just what character you start with. 

 

Simple, fair fix:  The Alchemist cannot transmute an object he buys.

Edited by DHKnecht

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Simple, fair fix:  The Alchemist cannot transmute an object he buys.

 

Or even better, the Alchemist should get only 1 gold per Object, including Magic Objects. There's no real reason why this guy should get more gold from Magic Objects, since the Alchemist Follower and the City Alchemist are giving you only 1 gold. This way, he will never be able to gain more gold than he spends for, since Objects cost at least 1 gold.

 

This will also solve some of his evident problems when playing the standard ending. It's almost impossible to kill the Alchemist with the Command Spell, unless he's turned into a Toad first and ditches all of his Objects and gold.

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what you are suggesting is that  the city does not boost alchemist at all and warlock to even further nerf him. The alchemist without the city is mediocre at best, he certainly does not need a nerf.

Whether its balanced to make him a mediocre character like the thief or similar...depends on your point of view i suppose. starting with 1 gold if city is there is by far my favoriite suggestion.

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This is a good example of the OP discovering a tactic (even one well discussed on here), enjoying how overpowered it is, and defending why it should stay and why it is fair because the OP likes it.  Step back, really look at it, and realize why it is overpowered.  To beat it -- everyone has to gang up on the Alchemist early on or just hope the Alchemist gets really unlucky.  That's not balanced.  Any character that requires immediate attention from everyone else in the game isn't balanced.  What people want to see and play in this game is a more or less even chance, where your decisions and where you go help you win, not just what character you start with. 

 

Simple, fair fix:  The Alchemist cannot transmute an object he buys.

 

Of course I like it.  It's a fun strategy to the game.  I like finding new and different ways to use characters.  As such, I'm going to defend it (even if it was discussed in other threads that I didn't feel like taking the time to find out if they existed or not).

 

As was mentioned elsewhere in this discussion, there are other very powerful characters.  The Prophetess, the Minotaur, the Wizard, the Elementalist, the Ninja, the Sprite (just to name a few off the top of my head)....they all have their strengths that can be used to bring opponents into subjection.  They all must be given special attention if an experienced player is using them.  Someone who knows how and when to cast spells is extremely dangerous if he has a character that automatically replenishes spells.

 

And no, you don't want to see even chance.  You want to see the best rolls go to you and the worst rolls go to your opponent.  You want to exploit their weaknesses and rally around your strengths.  You want to use your special abilities to their fullest.

 

That's why there are some characters that are pretty lame to play.  They don't have good special abilities.

 

That's why there are some characters that are exceedingly (and almost universally) popular to play.  They have awesome special abilities.

 

So just as much as this OP loves the Alchemist and will defend him, you are equally as guilty of hating the Alchemist and want to change him.

 

This game fosters and encourages an active imagination.  Use yours and figure out how to beat him.  That's what makes the game so much fun.

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Simple, fair fix:  The Alchemist cannot transmute an object he buys.

 

Or even better, the Alchemist should get only 1 gold per Object, including Magic Objects. There's no real reason why this guy should get more gold from Magic Objects, since the Alchemist Follower and the City Alchemist are giving you only 1 gold. This way, he will never be able to gain more gold than he spends for, since Objects cost at least 1 gold.

 

This will also solve some of his evident problems when playing the standard ending. It's almost impossible to kill the Alchemist with the Command Spell, unless he's turned into a Toad first and ditches all of his Objects and gold.

 

The Alchemist follower and the Alchemist in the City space have differing abilities, though.  The follower cannot turn the gemstones from the Highlands into any more than one gold each, whereas the City Alchemist can turn the emerald, ruby, and diamond into more gold pieces.

 

As such, it's not that far-fetched to assume that the Alchemist character can do more.  He's not bound to the City space or to serving someone else.  That's why he can turn magic objects into three gold, and can turn gold into other things altogether.

 

As to using the standard ending, if you use the "No Extra Lives" option, then he can't heal himself.

Edited by Osbo25

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Ultimately, here's what we will enact as house rules in my games:

 

1) Sorcerer Square no longer sells spells.  However, it has a resident alchemist there, so that other players have easy access to gold.  This alchemist also has the ability to turn magic objects into three gold.

 

2) Magic Emporium no longer sells scrolls.  It sells spells instead.

 

This keeps the Alchemist's abilities the same while eliminating what appears to be a rather glaring loophole in the game's design.

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