The PC class was great because before this you could have alchemists in the Dungeons & Dragons Expert set as hirelings. But damn it I wanted to play one as a student of history damn it! The Complete Alchemist gave me as the player all of the toys to play with as long as A. I had to gold to purchase materials & my laboratory & B. I had the time to turn out the weirder stuff. From potions to constructs & the occasional
homunculus. But don't ask about the one that got taken over by a demon. I don't want to talk about it. Any I had a blast playing around with my alchemist & using Bard Games material. He retired & then became a patron to other adventurers which was a part of the system introduced in the book. My problem with the Expert D&D rules alchemists is that the NPC class didn't seem to breath to me. The Bard Games The Complete Alchemist was flexible & innovative. Man I had a blast with this book.
If I had access to half of the material that is now on the internet back then the amount of trouble I'd get the party into would astronomical amounts of trouble. Every few levels or so the alchemist could unlock new potions or powders,etc. with a chance of explosion. It was a lot of fun & this book seems like its one that I want to dust off from my collections.
The ability to utilize alchemy as a harnessable resource for their dungeon delving. The Complete Alchemist is a sort of swiss army adventurer's friend & a great PC class to play.