Unearthed Arcana Introduces The Artifcer
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  • Unearthed Arcana Introduces The Artifcer


    The new Unearthed Arcana is a bit of a surprise - instead of a bunch of new archetypes for an existing class, it's a brand new character class: the artificer! "Unearthed Arcana greets 2017 with a new character class: the artificer, a master of magical invention. In a previous installment of Unearthed Arcana, we experimented with the artificer as a subclass of the wizard. Now the artificer stands on its own, based on the feedback we received about the previous experiment."


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    This article was originally published in forum thread: UA Artificer started by Raunalyn View original post
    Comments 324 Comments
    1. Jester David's Avatar
      Jester David -
      I don't think anyone saw this coming!
    1. Raunalyn's Avatar
      Raunalyn -
      I didn't...was hoping for the Mystic.

      Still reading through it
    1. Raunalyn's Avatar
      Raunalyn -
      I'm not very fond of the Wondrous Invention feature. While the listed magic items are utilitarian, they are still free magic items!
    1. akr71's Avatar
      akr71 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jester David View Post
      I don't think anyone saw this coming!
      That's for sure. Well, there wasn't really any point in revisiting the Ranger yet again, was there? I was kinda hoping that they'd touch on all the PHB classes first before heading into "new" territory. Rogue & Sorcerer have had previous UA articles, but has there been any Warlock or Wizard coverage?
    1. Raunalyn's Avatar
      Raunalyn -
      Level 20 capstone ability...

      You can attune up to 6 magic items, and you get a +1 bonus to all saving throws for each magic item attuned.

      ....say what???
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Somewhat surprising,but we knew they were working on Artificers.

      This does add to the hypothesis that the "Big Book of Crunch" will fill in setting gaps...
    1. MechaTarrasque's Avatar
      MechaTarrasque -
      I like the rival and the mechanical servant is interesting (I was kind of hoping the alchemist would get an alchemical servant instead, but that is just fluff).

      I like that the magic items are more utility/defense than offense. 3 days to rebuild the gun is the biggest problem for the gunsmith--it makes the ranger's pet replacement issue seem trivial, but I think that is so that the PC (and party) would be strongly motivated to get it back instead of waiting to rebuild it.

      This would be the first 4th level casting class (half cast round down?). Interesting that it doesn't give cantrips, so it is more like the paladin/ranger classes than eldritch knight/arcane spell thief subclasses.

      I guess the whole alphabetical class progression for the UA's is out the window, so I am curious as to what we get next week.
    1. DEFCON 1's Avatar
      DEFCON 1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Raunalyn View Post
      I'm not very fond of the Wondrous Invention feature. While the listed magic items are utilitarian, they are still free magic items!
      Yeah, but that's not really anything much when you compare it to another full caster at the same level. At 5th level an Artificer gets what... two "permanent" magic item features and three 1st level spells? Versus a full caster who has 4 cantrips, 4 1st level spells, 3 2nd level spells and 2 3rd level spells. Does gaining darkvision and the ability to swim really easily (for example) that overpowered compared to the other 6 spells per day the wizard would be casting plus 4 at-will magics? I don't believe so.
    1. Sacrosanct's Avatar
      Sacrosanct -
      Hmmm....nothing that really has an appeal to me, although the construct follower is interesting. But I totally get how this would have an appeal for other gamers, especially if firearms are part of your preference. If they do have a big book of crunch based off of UA articles, a class like this certainly has a place.

      *edit*
      Although, a gnome throwing bags and vials of splody things while riding a mechanical panda bear has a certain appeal.....
    1. Raunalyn's Avatar
      Raunalyn -
      Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
      Yeah, but that's not really anything much when you compare it to another full caster at the same level. At 5th level an Artificer gets what... two "permanent" magic item features and three 1st level spells? Versus a full caster who has 4 cantrips, 4 1st level spells, 3 2nd level spells and 2 3rd level spells. Does gaining darkvision and the ability to swim really easily (for example) that overpowered compared to the other 6 spells per day the wizard would be casting plus 4 at-will magics? I don't believe so.
      Admittedly I am filtering this through my years of DMing, but I think part of my "not very fond" is that I'm having problems seeing past the fact that they are getting magic items, for free, that most characters have to spend a good majority of their careers adventuring for.

      Or maybe I'm just very stingy with magic items to my players...
    1. MonkeezOnFire's Avatar
      MonkeezOnFire -
      I think it's interesting that they're experimenting with different class structures such as this one that has the 1/3 casting progression of the eldritch knight and the arcane trickster. I like what's here so far but I think some more revision is needed, particularly with the sub classes.

      For alchemist it would be nice to see some additional features gained at higher levels rather than just picking up more options for the alchemist satchel. Comparable to the battle master and they're maneuvers. They get to pick up more as they level but they also get some other things as well. Alchemy is a rich vein to design with and I'm sure they could come up with more features.

      There doesn't appear to be usage limits on the gun smith's features. Is Thunder monger supposed to be at will? 3d6 attacks at lvl 3 seems pretty crazy good. The other options being always on gives really strong versatility in how they attack.
    1. Bawylie's Avatar
      Bawylie -
      Hm. I like it.


      -Brad
    1. DEFCON 1's Avatar
      DEFCON 1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Raunalyn View Post
      Or maybe I'm just very stingy with magic items to my players...
      Understandable. And if you treat "magic items" like they are their own separate thing, then I can see why it might be troublesome. But if you look at it through the prism of "mechanical class features" regardless of the fluff of what those class features mean or are gained... an "always on" minor magical effect at 2nd, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level is not that overwhelming. Especially compared to the magical effects other full casters will be able to vary and pull off each and every day.

      Heck... a Artificer gets to "fly" via their own Wings of Flying at 20th level. An ability that other wizards have been doing and giving to other party members some 15 levels earlier.
    1. Garresh's Avatar
      Garresh -
      Quote Originally Posted by Raunalyn View Post
      Admittedly I am filtering this through my years of DMing, but I think part of my "not very fond" is that I'm having problems seeing past the fact that they are getting magic items, for free, that most characters have to spend a good majority of their careers adventuring for.

      Or maybe I'm just very stingy with magic items to my players...
      Think of it like the inverse of a monk. In low magic settings they become stronger, while in high magic they become weaker. This is sort of like that.

      Edit: I wonder how infusions work with concentration.
    1. Kobold Avenger's Avatar
      Kobold Avenger -
      I like this version of the Artificer so far...

      General:
      -Wondrous Invention, I think there should be a guideline for what types of magic items they get on each level. Also so many things have a "what happens if you lose it" entry, but wondrous item strangely enough doesn't. Also it should have something about what happens if you want to replace something.

      -Mechanical Servant, I feel there's some cases where an Artificer might want a Modron or a mechanical humanoid. But I guess that would be the subject of another Artificer specialization.

      Alchemist:
      -From what I'm reading they can produce formula at will, but can only have one out a time?

      -I feel a couple of other formula options should be there, like Alchemical Frost, Poison Clouds and Flashbang Grenade.

      Gunsmith:
      -I know the assumed tech level is medieval, but I feel that they should mention that Gunsmiths should get proficiency in all firearms if they exist as common weapons in a campaingn. I'm fine with the 2d6 damage stat, it's the type of damage I'd even give to rifles from the 19th century.

      -I feel that some of the special attacks could do different elemental damage types, I feel fire damage should happen before 17th level, but it's about the only one other force that a radius explosion should do. Maybe wave should be fire and explosive should be force.
    1. Valetudo's Avatar
      Valetudo -
      Needs some tuning, but much better than the last few articles. Good to see some ebberon luv.
    1. Waterbizkit's Avatar
      Waterbizkit -
      I like this. It's flavorful, especially the mechanical servant bit. I'd be interested to see how balanced it is in the long-term, especially with the ability to break the amount of attuned items, but there's nothing immediately glaring to me other than that. The six items at level 20 and +1 to saves for every items seems insane at first, especially if one of the items also boosts saves... but then again, it's a level 20 ability so being that impressive really doesn't bother me.

      Additionally, I really like the Alchemist build. Can't say why, maybe it's the flavor again. Not that I'm against firearms in fantasy, quite the opposite really, but the Thunder Cannon just doesn't wow me as much as I'd have thought... maybe because I'm partial to Matt Mercers Gunslinger. Regardless I'd love running around whipping thunderstones and alchemists fire at people... now I just need to convince someone else to DM...
    1. Kobold Avenger's Avatar
      Kobold Avenger -
      Another thought is given the beast guideline for Mechanical Servant, I guess an Artificer can definitely be riding around on a mechanical horse...
    1. TerraDave's Avatar
      TerraDave -
      These are cute. Thats the word I would use, cute.

      After some dark and heavy archetypes in the last few of these, I like the change of pace.
    1. flametitan's Avatar
      flametitan -
      Is it just me or is 11th level a dead level? I thought we were moving away from dead levels, and the bump to tier 3 seems like an odd place to put one as well.
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