IntroductionArtificers and rangers are quite similar in terms of their core abilities, yet I have noticed that rangers tend to be played as fully-martial characters (bar the occasional Hunter's Mark) and artificers played as if they where full casters. As a result neither are fully effective. Plenty has been said about rangers, so I don't intend to add to that discussion. I have seen two attempts to do caster-artificers, the UA archivist, and Exploring Eberron Maverick. I felt both failed because of the lack of high level spells.
Prompted by a recent discussion, I went back to one of my own ideas, which I completed and am posting bellow. For those of you who think it steps on the wizard's toes, I also stamp on sorcerer and warlock toes. Yar boo sucks to you!
Arcane Experimenter (artificer subclass)Where does magic come from? Other planes of existence? The inner will? The life-force of the world? Clearly the only way to uncover the answer to this and similar questions is through experiment! Arcane Experimenters construct an elaborate apparatus of clockwork and crystal to try and experiment with different spells and kinds of magic.
Tool Proficiency3rd-level Arcane Experimenter feature
You gain proficiency with Jeweller’s tools. If you already have this proficiency, you gain proficiency with one other type of artisan’s tools of your choice.
Arcane Orrery3rd-level Arcane Experimenter feature
You craft an Arcane Orrery, a complex device or clockwork and crystal. You can use your orrery as a spellcasting focus. In addition, you can place one of your infusions that targets a rod, staff, wand or other spellcasting focus into your orrery. Choose first level spell and one second level spell from any spell list that does not have a specific cost listed. When you are holding your orrery and using as a focus you may cast each spell of these spells once. You regain the ability to cast that spell when you finish a long rest. You may also learn one cantrip from any spell list that you can cast using your orrery. In all castes Intelligence is your spellcasting ability. You may replace one of your orrery spells with a different spell of the same level whenever you complete a long rest.
If your orrery is lost or destroyed you can construct a new one, identical to the first, when you complete a long rest. You must have Jeweller's and Tinkers Tools in your position to do this.100gp worth of materials is also required.
Note: The arcane experimenter does not gain any other additional spells.
Improved Orrery5th-level Arcane Experimenter feature
You can add one third level spell to your orrery. In addition, you can now put spells in your orrery that require material components of up to 50 gp value. If the description states that the component is consumed this does not occur.
Metamagic Dabbler5th-level Arcane Experimenter feature
You gain sorcery points equal to half your artificer level (round up). If you have sorcery points from any other source these add to those. You learn one Metamagic option of your choice from the sorcerer class. You may choose another when you reach level 9 and 15. You can use only one Metamagic option on a spell when you cast it, unless the option says otherwise. Whenever you reach a level that grants the Ability Score Improvement feature, you can replace one of these Metamagic options with another one from the sorcerer class.
When you cast any of your orrery spells of 1st level or higher, you can cast it by spending a number of sorcery points equal to the spell’s level. This ability cannot be used to cast the spell as if a higher level spell slot was being used, nor can it be used to cast any of your non-orrery spells.
Superior Orrery9th level Arcane Experimenter feature
You can add one forth and one fifth level spell to your orrery. In addition, you can now put spells in your orrery that require material components of up to 100 gp value. If the description states that the component is consumed this does not occur.
Perfected Orrery15th level Arcane Experimenter feature
You can add one sixth, one seventh and one eighth level spell to your orrery. In addition, you can now put spells in your orrery that require material components of up to 500 gp value. If the description states that the component is consumed this does not occur.