5.5E Artillerist Artificer Houserule Idea

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'm playing one, DMing another, and using a third as a recurring NPC ally. I like the subclass.

However, it has always bothered me that it doesn't support using a crossbow or firearm as your main means of violence. So I came up with a couple ideas.

First. Right at level 3, you can use wands, staves, rods, crossbows, and firearms, as spellcasting focus. Then, Eldritch Cannon gets an additional option when you activate it.

Arcane Accelerator - As a bonus action when you hit with a ranged weapon attack, you can add 2d8 force damage to the attack.

Then at level 5, your arcane weapon can be as described, or it can be a crossbow or firearm. If you choose a weapon, it gains the damage bonus, just like the wand would.

Now, maybe the damage numbers would have to drop a die step on the weapon version, but I don't see how this would break anything.


The other houserule I'm ruminating on is; Give all artificers 1 more infusion at level 4, but it is specific to each subclass. Artillerist can put an infusion on their cannon, battlesmith on their pet, alchemist can make a consumable infusion x/day maybe, armorer gets an early preview of their later level feature of the same type.


So, thoughts on these two ideas?
 

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Horwath

Hero
yeah, having played artificer(armorer), I could say that the class is little on the weaker side.
Or is it just that sub class.

I was thinking for a feat for armorer.
I know that feats are not the way to "fix"a class, but maybe a very strong class exclusive feat can fix a class.

feat:
Versatile armor:
gain +1 int or +1 con
You have your armor as both Guardian and Infiltrator model.
Enhancing Thunder gauntlets and Lightning launcher together costs only one magic infusion.
 

I think it would be better to explain to your player that the artillerist was designed for Eberron, a world where wands and staves directly replace firearms, and often look just like them.

Along with general advice not to judge books by covers.

The gunslinger class might be more like what your player wants.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
There is definitely room for more.

I think the class could have 1 more infusion in tier 2, and significantly more Spellcasting.

You could probably make it a full caster, and as long as you’re careful about the spell list you wouldn’t go past the current top tier.

What I have considered is a series of infusions that give access to spells early, and eventually at higher levels than the artificer gets. So an item that casts a specific level 6 spell, that you can take starting at level 11, for instance.

Another way to go is to shift he Spellcasting up a tick, to soemthing like a 2/3 caster, going up to level 7 spells and getting spells a bit faster than they currently do, and then some high level infusions that mimic the effects of some 8th and 9th level spells.
 

I'm playing one, DMing another, and using a third as a recurring NPC ally. I like the subclass.

However, it has always bothered me that it doesn't support using a crossbow or firearm as your main means of violence. So I came up with a couple ideas.

First. Right at level 3, you can use wands, staves, rods, crossbows, and firearms, as spellcasting focus. Then, Eldritch Cannon gets an additional option when you activate it.

Arcane Accelerator - As a bonus action when you hit with a ranged weapon attack, you can add 2d8 force damage to the attack.

Then at level 5, your arcane weapon can be as described, or it can be a crossbow or firearm. If you choose a weapon, it gains the damage bonus, just like the wand would.

Now, maybe the damage numbers would have to drop a die step on the weapon version, but I don't see how this would break anything.
This sounds like something a Battlesmith or Forge Adept might be better at. - They are built better for using actual weapons rather than spells as their main damage option. They get more attacks and use their primary attribute with them.

(You can already have the artillerist shooting spells out of their firearm, but I think that you're after a physical damage dealer like the battle smith rather than a magic damage?)

You could look into swapping the Battlesmith extra attack and Int-for weapon attacks features for some of the features of the Artillerist like Arcane Firearm and some of the power of the turrets?

There is definitely room for more.

I think the class could have 1 more infusion in tier 2, and significantly more Spellcasting.

You could probably make it a full caster, and as long as you’re careful about the spell list you wouldn’t go past the current top tier.

What I have considered is a series of infusions that give access to spells early, and eventually at higher levels than the artificer gets. So an item that casts a specific level 6 spell, that you can take starting at level 11, for instance.

Another way to go is to shift he Spellcasting up a tick, to soemthing like a 2/3 caster, going up to level 7 spells and getting spells a bit faster than they currently do, and then some high level infusions that mimic the effects of some 8th and 9th level spells.
Have you seen the Maverick Artificer in Exploring Eberron?
They don't get higher level spells, but they do get more spell slots, cast spells at higher effective level, and access to any spell list.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This sounds like something a Battlesmith or Forge Adept might be better at. - They are built better for using actual weapons rather than spells as their main damage option. They get more attacks and use their primary attribute with them.
I disagree. I don't have whatever Forge Adept is from, but Battlesmith is a pet class. Artillerist is already 90% of the way there.
(You can already have the artillerist shooting spells out of their firearm, but I think that you're after a physical damage dealer like the battle smith rather than a magic damage?)
A weapon user, yes. Specifically a ranged weapon user that boosts damage with magic.
You could look into swapping the Battlesmith extra attack and Int-for weapon attacks features for some of the features of the Artillerist like Arcane Firearm and some of the power of the turrets?
Possible, but then it isn't empowering the attacks with magic. Why not just go with putting the extra damage from the cannon onto the weapon attack, rather than having extra attack?
Have you seen the Maverick Artificer in Exploring Eberron?
They don't get higher level spells, but they do get more spell slots, cast spells at higher effective level, and access to any spell list.
No, I don't have that book. In general I'd rather build than buy, if what I want isn't going to be official anyway.
 

I disagree. I don't have whatever Forge Adept is from, but Battlesmith is a pet class. Artillerist is already 90% of the way there.

A weapon user, yes. Specifically a ranged weapon user that boosts damage with magic.

Possible, but then it isn't empowering the attacks with magic. Why not just go with putting the extra damage from the cannon onto the weapon attack, rather than having extra attack?
OK. Do you see this version of the turret being an attachment to an existing weapon, or do you create a weapon of your own design instead of the turret?
The ballista version is fairly intuitive, although 2d8 will allow a somewhat higher damage output than the original class. You could stick to 1d8 and then add addition damage with the arcane firearm at level 5.

Flamethrower could become a sort of "grenade launcher", producing a 10ft blast around where the arrow hits.
I'm not sure if there is a way to translate the protective turret. Maybe a different way of supporting your group. Like if you hit a target with the turret-weapon, their attacks do reduced damage for the round, or maybe increase incoming damage to them?

No, I don't have that book. In general I'd rather build than buy, if what I want isn't going to be official anyway.
Is the intent to cast more spells, or to get access to higher-level spells?
For more spells, you could maybe allow infusions to replicate wands and staves, or upping the power of the spell-storing item.
Higher-level spells are trickier to evaluate. You could create a baseline by comparing the power of a multiclass Artificer 1/Caster X on the basis that the power of the class shouldn't go below that. If you're going all the way to getting 9th level spells, it is probably easier to consider you a full caster in terms of power level and then converting back

Artificer gets subclass features at levels 3, 5, 9, and 15.
Maybe a 2nd level spell at 3, 3rd level at 5, 5th level at 9, and 7th level at 15, with each advance also giving another slot of each lower level.
Infusions increase in power at 2, 6, 10, 14. Those are less easy to fit that sort of progression in, unless you add another tier at maybe 18th level?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
OK. Do you see this version of the turret being an attachment to an existing weapon, or do you create a weapon of your own design instead of the turret?
The ballista version is fairly intuitive, although 2d8 will allow a somewhat higher damage output than the original class. You could stick to 1d8 and then add addition damage with the arcane firearm at level 5.

Flamethrower could become a sort of "grenade launcher", producing a 10ft blast around where the arrow hits.
I'm not sure if there is a way to translate the protective turret. Maybe a different way of supporting your group. Like if you hit a target with the turret-weapon, their attacks do reduced damage for the round, or maybe increase incoming damage to them?
Ah, okay, I didn't make the intention clear enough. The Arcane Accelerator would be added to the list of options for the form the cannon (not turret) takes when you make/activate it, it wouldn't replace any of them or change how they work. So you'd have

Walking Cannon (the turret option)

Handheld cannon (basically a second magic pistol. Works for anyone whowants to have two guns)

Flamethrower turret

Shield generator

Arcane Accelerator (adds damage and range to ranged weapon attacks of the weapon it is attached to)

And then at level 5 Arcane Firearm let's you choose a weapon or a focus. If you choose weapon, you can use it as a focus for spells, but if you make ranged weapon attack with it, you can add 1d8 force damage to your attacks.
Is the intent to cast more spells, or to get access to higher-level spells?
Higher level spells, mostly. There are a strong handful of 6+ spells that really feel like good artificers spells.
For more spells, you could maybe allow infusions to replicate wands and staves, or upping the power of the spell-storing item.
I think more spell-replicating infusions would help, perhaps simply looking into scrolls and spell tattoos and such. Bringing the avialability level of the tattoos down a bit might be a good way to go.
Higher-level spells are trickier to evaluate. You could create a baseline by comparing the power of a multiclass Artificer 1/Caster X on the basis that the power of the class shouldn't go below that. If you're going all the way to getting 9th level spells, it is probably easier to consider you a full caster in terms of power level and then converting back
Yeah I think your idea below is a good way to avoid full "full-caster" status while still getting access to those spells.
Artificer gets subclass features at levels 3, 5, 9, and 15.
Maybe a 2nd level spell at 3, 3rd level at 5, 5th level at 9, and 7th level at 15, with each advance also giving another slot of each lower level
I really like this.
Infusions increase in power at 2, 6, 10, 14. Those are less easy to fit that sort of progression in, unless you add another tier at maybe 18th level?
It might be worth it to add 1 infusion per tier, intead of directly adding more spellcasting, but make it a special kind of infusion that lets you do it's thing once a day? Like you get your infusions, and then also get...Spell Infusions idk.

Though I do think that they just need more infusions overall. Especially inearly levels. IMO you wait too long for a third infusion, and never quite have enough of them.
 

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