D&D 5th Edition Unearthed Arcana Introduces The Artifcer - Page 10
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    Quote Originally Posted by blakesha View Post
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    oh... yay... WOTC going the "cater for everyone Pathfinder class glut" route..
    No. This is WotC bringing back a class popular in a previous edition and central to one of their major settings from the 3rd Edition. It's also a fantasy archetype not yet in the current edition of the game.

    While I feel fear and trepidation when viewing the list of Pathfinder classes and archetypes (Pathfinder subclasses), this hardly brings us to the point of overwhelming splat.

    I'm excited to see the final, published version of the 5th Edition Artificer!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raunalyn View Post
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    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???
    Paladin has a much earlier ability that can, by this level, be +5 to all saves for you and your closest (literally) friends.

    I'm really liking this. Magic rogue is a very nifty way of looking at it.



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    This artificer is dope.

    Should maybe been a half-caster though. We lack a Half-caster arcane-Int, would be nice for the artificer to be one way to fill that hole. plus, 1/3 caster levels progression is soooo slow.

    Also, the damage scaling all at different intervals bothers me a lot more that i like to admit. they should just have an "artificer attack/alchemy dice" on the table like sneak attack, and all the damage modifiers referring to that. Single target effect just get a bonus on the initial damage if really wanted and be done.
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    Decent. Below par. Has potential. Rookie mistakes. Actually, my initial read was "decent, good enough for people to play" but the more I delve into it to write this, the less I like it.

    Tool Expertise - is it really game breaking to have an artificer who can make all of this be extra good with any tools they use?

    Wondrous Invention - a class feature that grants items instead of innate abilities. I'm okay with it but I can see pushback, especially with people doing lower or higher amounts of magic then default. Or from parties who give magic items evenly and count these class features.

    I'm not more than okay with it because of the tiny list of possible items that isn't future proofed or fit to a campaign. And what happens if you are captured and your class feature is taken from you? Or your DM gives out one so you aren't all that special. Or you start with a bag of holding but at 10th really want that Hewards Handy Haversack and now your lower level class feature is obsolete. I'd rather is was treated as a class feature and you need to keep renewing it (so you can't sell it) but instead you can change what the item is and the old one falls apart and you can get a different one. Also good if your class feature gets stolen or disenchanted, which can't happen to others.

    I wish mechanical servant was a subclass feature, I don't see every artificer having one.

    The design team is apparently unable to remember just a few months back when the released the revised ranger that there was two years of consistent negative feedback, and gave out a companion as a class feature that doesn't scale. Either rip out this abortion or make it scale, but right now all it's doing is being an opportunity cost that there isn't something else written there except for a few levels.

    Spellcasting. Fine with the slow advancement, wonder how ti will multiclass.

    Alchemist - does the line "After you use one of those options, the bag reclaims the materials" mean you can only have one of these out at a time? If so, spell it out. I can't tell and that vastly changes the balance of the powers.

    If you can pull out multiple at a time, something about them going bad would stop you from selling them and ruining the economy. (Healing Draught has this, but the others don't.) The though of an alchemist spending an hour every day (just how many rounds is that?) to outfit a thieves' guild with several alchemical items each (acid for locks, damage is automatically maximized, smoke sticks and swift step draught if seen, fire if attacked, etc.) is just frightening.

    Healing drought needs an action to take out and an action to use? If you can only have one out so giving one to your front liner will it negate all of your other alchemist uses, it's effectively non-combat. If not then it's the first thing you do when you awake (and refresh every hour when they expire) is to hand one out to everyone.

    Gunsmith doesn't fit thematically many campaign settings. Please rip out every little bit of flavor in there including mechanics that support the flavor like making ammo, and put in a sidebar of different ways you can flavor it such as gunslinger, or magical construct bird that attacks, or whatever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'm A Banana View Post
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    You can have an artificer without the ability to craft magic items from the DMG that satisfies "creating magic items" as well as rewarding characters who find magic items.
    Sure, but the converse argument (to my mind, at least) is that if you're not making magic items like in the DMG, they aren't really magic items.

    It's like your argument from way back in the "full caster bard" thread that the container you use for a mechanic (for example, spell slots and bardic magic) matters to the story of the class. A "magic item" that really just mimics a spell or ritual doesn't feel like a crafter of magic items, it feels like an alternate wizard mechanic.


    Quote Originally Posted by I'm A Banana View Post
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    Reading the subclasses more closely, it seems like they've put a good handle on it there. The main class has this issue (8 hours is plenty of time to run out and bash some gobbos and come back to camp), but the subclasses don't really. The way they accomplish it is a little artificial, but it's flavorful, so I'm cool with giving them a pass there. Though I'm a bit concerned about the "short-rest-recharge healing" offered by the healing drought, that's a specific quibble.
    I'm a little confused, healing draught is once per target per long rest.


    Quote Originally Posted by I'm A Banana View Post
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    A high campaign variability is not a desirable thing in a class, I'd think - you want it to be broadly useful, in a variety of campaigns. Otherwise, it's for a small niche of your audience. Could be OK, but if the goal is to get the class into the hands of players, not really what you're aiming for.
    I think we're misunderstanding each other. My argument was that those two abilities in tandem support both low AND high magic campaigns for the reasons I outlined. Magic items are more valuable in a low-item campaign (since their abilities are less likely to be available), and the slots are more valuable in a high-item campaign, AND the abilities work together to ensure you don't craft more items than you can attune.

    Quote Originally Posted by I'm A Banana View Post
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    Narrowly speaking, it's possible that crafting a mechanical companion might be one sharp corner that needs a good sanding off. Possibly, find familiar-with-construct-option would make a good replacement.
    It might be better as a subclass option. If you leave it is as a construct, you're restricting possible subclass options. If it has more options available, than the ability doesn't tell as much of a story. I'm thinking a slightly more generic set of options at the class level, with customizations and enhancements in the subclass.

    Quote Originally Posted by I'm A Banana View Post
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    If you can't give me a golem-maker, don't pretend like this is adequate. Give me a golem-maker, or go home!
    I've seen this floating around, but where is the precedent? Artificers didn't make golems in either 3e or 4e. The closest they had was the renegade mastermaker PrC in 3e (which was more of a turning yourself into a Franken-cyborg) and the dedicated wright homunculus (the other homunculi were beast shaped or animated objects). I mean, if you absolutely need a golem-making artificer, I fully support your Promethean crusade, but it seems a little odd.

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    I only have one issue with it:

    The narrative of alchemical items "disappearing." I will be ruling that they have a brief active life and become inert if unused, not that they just disappear.



    Regarding the discussion about the gun, I think it works.

    They were able to keep the gun relatively good (2d6 ranged weapon) while also providing scaling of damage from a class ability that augments the weapon. This prevents a lvl 20 artificer's stolen gun from doing 11d6 damage in the hands of whatever non-proficient user happened to steal it. No matter who has it, the gun is a good ranged weapon, but the artificer can squeeze more devastation out of it, and I'm fine with that.

    I don't even have an issue with the bonus action cost to reload because the artificer's extra damage scales up more quickly and ends up higher than those of other cantrips (compare with Firebolt, which doesn't do an additional die of damage until lvl 5, and which caps out at 4d10).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
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    I wish mechanical servant was a subclass feature, I don't see every artificer having one.

    The design team is apparently unable to remember just a few months back when the released the revised ranger that there was two years of consistent negative feedback, and gave out a companion as a class feature that doesn't scale. Either rip out this abortion or make it scale, but right now all it's doing is being an opportunity cost that there isn't something else written there except for a few levels.
    This is a concept test. They want to see how people feel about the pet now, before they fine tune the balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
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    Spellcasting. Fine with the slow advancement, wonder how ti will multiclass.
    Every three levels counts as one level of spellcasting, like the eldritch knight and arcane trickster.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoSix View Post
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    I've seen this floating around, but where is the precedent? Artificers didn't make golems in either 3e or 4e.
    'Constructs' or 'Animates,' then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
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    If you can pull out multiple at a time, something about them going bad would stop you from selling them and ruining the economy.
    The other items also disappear if unused.

    Alchemical Fire, acid, Tanglefoot Bag, and Thunderstone all disappear at the end of the turn if unused.

    Swift-step Draught and Smoke Stick disappears if unused after one minute.

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    Wow, it's a full new class.

    I was not expecting that.

    Class Features:

    1d8hd: So it's meatier than the average magic user.

    Proficiencies: A combination of the cleric, and the rogue, with out the emphasis on agility. So far, it looks like a second-line warrior/support. Con/Int saves mean they join sorcerers in the "I don't worry so much about concentration club"

    Skipping the subclasses, for now

    Magic Item Analysis
    Detect Magic as a ritual? That's odd, why not must make it work like the Paladin's Divine Sense? That way they can use it in the middle of an encounter.
    Identify as a ritual is basically expected at this point.

    Tool Expertise
    Needs some verbiage cleanup, explicitly call it Expertise, and just change the rules text a bit, so that people don't get the weaselly idea that it stacks with the Rogue or Bard Ability due to technically having a different name.

    Wondrous Invention
    So you get 5 magic items as a class feature. What happens if the magic items are stolen or lost? Do you get a new one or are you just screwed out of a class feature?
    This needs to be reworked into a "Magical load" mechanic where the Artificer can just make one of the things on the list, but it stops working if they aren't attuned or in possession of it.

    Anyway, this list seems to be geared more toward shoring up any deficiencies in the exploration pillar of the game your character might have. Though there are a few fun items like the Alchemy Jug and Decanter of Endless Water. Of note: you can get darkvision or a substitute for it at level 2. Something Rogues wish they could have, but artificers don't come with stealth skills as the default.

    Spellcasting
    They are a 1/3 caster, without cantrips? Oversight much? Cantrips are one of the best parts of 5e, proliferate access to them please. Mending in particular should be a default option for an Artificer. In fact, fitting with the theme of the "modifies people or objects" spell list, crib most of the cleric cantrips (sans Sacred Flame) too.
    Also noticeably missing from the list are: Find Traps, Locate Object, Heat Metal and few others I will cover shortly.

    Additionally, the artificer (and especially the alchemist) is intended to be a healer of no small measure. Arrogantly quoting myself, here is the list of most of the stuff that is supposed to be healed in 5e:
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
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    • Ability Score Reductions
    • Blindness/Deafness
    • Charm
    • Curses
    • Death
    • Exhaustion
    • Fear
    • Lost Limbs
    • Maximum Hit Point loss
    • Paralysis
    • Petrification
    • Stun
    I give Kudos for placing Lessor Restoration and Revivify on the list. But the list should still have Remove Curse, and Dispel Magic. Both of which are staples. Calm Emotions would be another nice pick. Maybe even break the spell level rules and give them Greater Restoration. But in particular, an Artificer should be able to replace lost limbs with prosthesis, it would be a hugely complex subsystem, but they have existed in D&D before, and it would be nice to see them return.

    Overall, I get the feeling Artificers would have benefited from being a 1/2 caster. They don't have cantrips to start with, party healers need access to ways to cure maladies sooner rather than later, and there are a few level 5 spells that would be perfect for them. Alternatively, they could just get a brand new subsystem to handle the healing side of the house.

    Infuse Magic
    This is a fun little ability that allows the party to bend the action economy around it's knee. And give buffs to players who wouldn't normally have access to them. Self-targeting spells, in particular, open up some interesting non-standard encounter and combat options.

    Ability Score Improvement
    This is standard (well for non rogue/fighters, another deviation from traditional 1/3 casters) with the exception they get their last one at 18th instead of 19th level. Could be useful for multi-class purposes.

    Superior Attunement
    More attunement slots, fitting considering that they get more magic items.

    Mechanical Servant
    This one is a bit odd.
    Firstly, it's only Large beasts. With a CR of 2 or less. Lets see what that list looks like.
    • Axe Beak
    • Brown Bear
    • Camel
    • Constrictor Snake
    • Crocodile
    • Dire Wolf
    • Draft Horse
    • Elk
    • Giant Bat
    • Giant Boar
    • Giant Eagle
    • Giant Hyena
    • Giant Octopus
    • Giant Owl
    • Giant Sea Horse
    • Giant Spider
    • Giant Toad
    • Giant Vulture
    • Hunter Shark
    • Lion
    • Plesiosaurus
    • Polar Bear
    • Rhinoceros
    • Riding Horse
    • Saber-Toothed Tiger
    • Tiger
    • Warhorse


    I took the liberty of highlighting some of the more interesting or strong options.

    In Volo's you have:
    • Aurochs
    • Cow
    • Hadrosaurus

    Secondly, they can look like whatever you want, so long as the stats can fit. You want a gyrocopter ? Use the giant bat or eagle stats. A submarine? Use the hunter shark.

    Unfortunately, they aren't going to be combat-viable for very long because they don't scale, making them slightly more robust familiars rather than animal companions. Also of note: Nothing has hands! And although the Giant Eagle can speak naturally, the construct cannot. Which severely limits the ability of the servant to do anything involving items. Your best bet is to make some kind of mount depending on your campaign preference (though a flying mount is always in-vogue), and use them to haul yourself around. Keeping them out of combat unless absolutely necessary.

    A free flying or swimming mount at level 6 is rather good, it's just not as mind-blowing as some would imply it to be.

    Soul of Artifice
    It's a capstone that gives you an additional attunement slot, and +6 bonus to saving throws. Capstones are always weighed against the "Can I do something better by multi-classing?" conundrum, mostly because so few people actually get to 20th level. As it stands, you can safely drop out of this class at level 18, the 4th level spells aren't all that spectacular, and the level 20 wondrous items outside of maybe Ring of Mind Shielding are just not impressive enough to consider. Just Pick up two levels of Fighter for a Fighting Style (probably archery) Second Wind, and Action Surge; and call it a finished character.

    Now for the Subclasses!~
    First of all, it's apparent that the Subclasses(called Specialist) have a feature that makes up for the lack of attack scaling on attacks or attack cantrips. It's a thing more appropriate to 1/2 casters than 1/3 casters for sure.

    Alchemist
    Potions and Bombs! perfect for your aspiring Kobold or Gnome.

    Alchemistĺs Satchel
    It's an Arcane Focus for all your Alchemical tomfoolery. An excuse to get rid of the bookkeeping, but a needed one.

    Alchemical Formula
    This subclass does not use weapons as a rule, they use bombs instead. Nifty!
    Alchemical Fire: A 5' explosing doing 1d6 damage that scales, about cantrip quality. Also gives an incentive to take level 19.
    Alchemical Acid: Your alternative to fire, single target, does max damage to objects. This will probably end up being your main damage go-to.
    Healing Draught: An healing ability with it's ups and downs. You can make one of these at a time, and have one ready for up to an hour before you need to use it. However, it takes an action for that person do drink it, you have to hand it to that person or pour it in their mouth yourself (meaning you are right next to them), and any one person can only benefit once per day from it. Once per short rest may be more appropriate for how healing works in 5e, even if that warrants a reduction in healing power.
    Smoke Stick: Effectively an encounter power that lasts the entire encounter with no concentration. If there was some way to dispel the smoke at the whims of the Artificer, this would be an amazing gold-standard power for area denial.
    Swift Step Draught: You give someone a Cup-O-Joe and their speed increases by 20'. Also an encounter power, has the drawback that you can't brew a pot of the stuff for your entire party to get away, but it is really good for getting the plate-clad warrior into position or out of an exploding volcano.
    Tanglefoot Bag: This one sucks compared to Smoke Stick. Or even in general. A 5' patch of difficult terrain just isn't going to cut it most of the time. Should have been a single target restrain of some kind. Also an encounter power.
    Thunderstone: An at-will ranged AoE 10' knockback and prone, with a CON save. This thing is awesome. It may not deal damage directly, but it's good enough to not have to.

    Gunsmith
    Son of the Gun. Perfect for Crazy Dwarves. Or anyone who want's a gun in general. Also potentially a better Arcane Archer than the Arcane Archer Fighter Subclass.

    Master Smith
    You get Smith's tools and Mending. Why is this the only way to get a cantrip on a 1/3 caster? I have no idea.

    Thunder Cannon
    You make a gun, it's a slightly stronger Heavy-Crossbow with greater range. You can also make a new gun should you need it for whatever reason. Note: It's not a very good to give anyone else a gun, as they aren't Proficient in it, and it costs a bunch, and it takes 3 days to make one. However, you should totally keep an extra gun on hand, just in case.

    Arcane Magazine
    A Combination of a Quiver and and a Focus for all your gun-shooting needs. You can make like 60 bullets a day, which is upwards of 20 encounters worth of shot. Why even bother with the bookkeeping at that point? I dunno, maybe they just didn't want people to blow a blood vessel from seeing an officially supported and functional gun in D&D, and threw in the arbitrarily high number of bullets per day as a preemptive appeasement.

    Thunder Monger
    At level 3 you no longer take the attack action, you make a"special attack" action when using your gun, in return you get bonus damage, like sneak attack, only unrestricted and thunder damage. It's a very strange wording that may have been used to prevent interactions with things that trigger when you take an attack action. However, things like the Sharpshooter feat still apply (because that applies to attack rolls, not the attack action), so I dunno what the big problem they are supposed to prevent is.

    Blast Wave
    You now have a moderately powerful Cone-based PBAoE option that deals force damage and knocks targets away from you. What's not to love? It isn't an attack roll, so it doesn't work with Sharpshooter, but I doubt that will be relevant in the situations where you want to use it.

    Piercing Round
    This is an at-will variation of Lighting Bolt.

    Explosive Round
    Ditto above, but with Fireball.

    Closing thoughts.
    This is a way better offering than the Wizard Subclass Artificer. More akin to the Magical MacGyver from Eberron, though it falls a bit short in some areas. And it could really use a trapsmith subclass.
    Last edited by Leatherhead; Tuesday, 10th January, 2017 at 07:26 AM.
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