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D&D 5E Clockmaker - Homebrew Artificer Specialty (need input)


I reworked my previous clockwork arbalist artificer specialty in a more "universal" clockwork-themed subclass. It's not quite a first draft, but It's sot final either. Among other things, I'm still hesitating which should come first between the 3rd level and 5th level features. I'm always looking for a critical eye on balance and pertinence, naturally.

The resemblance with the Tiny Servant spell is voluntary. See it as a beastmaster analogue vs a druid casting conjure animals.

Clockmakers specialize in the construction of clockwork devices of all sorts. Most fabricate toys, clocks, and various household mechanisms, but adventuring clockmakers create fantastical weapons that acquire exotic properties via hidden mechanisms in their construction.

Bonus Proficiencies
When you take this specialization at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with smith’s tools. If you already have this proficiency, you gain proficiency with one other type of artisan's tools of your choice.

Clockmaker Spells
Starting at 3rd level, you always have certain spells prepared after you reach particular levels in this class, as shown in the Clockmaker Spells table. These spells count as artificer spells for you, but they don’t count against the number of artificer spells you prepare.

Clockmaker Spells
Artificer Level
Clockmaker Spells
ensnaring strike, searing strike
arcane lock, enhance ability
glyph of warding, lightning arrow
fabricate, wall of fire
animate objects, conjure volley

Clockwork Tinkering
Also at 3rd level, you can create small, animated clockwork contraptions. When you create a magical object with your Magical Tinkering feature, you can create a clockwork object instead and give it one of the following magical properties:

  • The clockwork object sheds bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet upon command.
  • Whenever tapped by a creature, the clockwork object emits a recorded message that can be heard up to 10 feet away, and records a reply uttered by a creature within the same distance. You utter the message when you bestow this property on the object, and both message and reply can be no more than 6 seconds long.
  • The clockwork object emits your choice of an odor or a nonverbal sound upon command. The chosen phenomenon is perceivable up to 60 feet away.
  • A static visual effect appears on one of the clockwork object's surfaces upon command. This effect can fill up to full page (approximatively 100 square inches) worth of text, pictures, lines and shapes, or a mixture of these elements, as you like.

The clockwork objects you create can move or fly with a speed of 30 feet and carry one item no more than 10 pounds in weight. The clockwork object has 1 hit point and is immune to poison damage and psychic damage. Its armor class is 10 + your proficiency bonus and if it is forced to make an ability check or a saving throw, treat all its ability scores as 10 (+0). The clockwork object looses all properties if it drops to 0 hit points or if you exceed the number objects you can create with your Magical Tinkering feature.

In combat, the clockwork object shares your initiative count but takes its turn immediately after yours. As a bonus action, you can mentally command one of your clockwork objects if it is within 120 feet of you. You can issue a simple, general command, such as “move over there”, “fetch this object”, “follow me”, or “bring this item to this creature”. You can also mentally command your clockwork object to move up to 30 feet and attack a creature within 5 feet of it. Make a melee weapon attack using your spell attack modifier. On a hit, the target takes 2d6 force damage.

If you issue no commands or if the clockwork object is more than 120 feet away from you, it simply remains in place but conserves its properties.

Automated Weapon
At 5th level, you learn to construct automated weapons; intricate pieces or armament combining magic and clockwork craftsmanship. At the end of a long rest, you can create an automated weapon from a non-magical simple or martial melee weapon if you have smith’s tools or tinker’s tools with you. The hand crossbow, light crossbow, and heavy crossbow are also valid choices. You can create up to two automated weapon at any one time. When you create a new automated weapon, the oldest automated weapon you made with this feature immediately ceases to function and reverts to a regular weapon.

You are proficient with any automated weapon you create, and you can use your Intelligence modifier instead of your Strength or Dexterity modifier for the attack and damage rolls you make with it. When you create an automated weapon, you can give it one of the following property:

  • The weapon ignores the loading property.
  • The weapon’s reach is increased by 5 feet.
  • The weapon’s damage type can be changed between bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing before each attack.
  • The weapon acquires the heavy property.
  • The weapon acquires the versatile (1d10) property. If the base weapon has the two-handed property, it can be used in one hand dealing 1d8 damage on a hit.
  • The weapon can be used in melee without penalties even if it has the ammunition property.

As an action, you can wind up the clockwork mechanisms and magically charge your automated weapon to unlock its full potential. Once fully wound, the automated weapon acquires the following properties for 1 minute.

  • If the weapon has the ammunition property and you load no ammunition, the automated weapon produces its own when you make a ranged attack with it. The ammunition thus created vanishes the instant after it hits or misses a target.
  • Damage dealt by the automated weapon is considered magical for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
  • On each of your turns, you can use a bonus action to make a weapon attack with your automated weapon.

Once you magically charge your automated weapon this way, you can’t do so again until you finish a long rest, or until you expend a spell slot of 1st level or higher.

Utility Bolts
Starting at 9th level, you can propel special projectiles from your automated weapon. As an action, you can load and fire any one of the utility bolts options below with a range of 120 feet.

Grappling Hook. The bolt produces a strong filament as it goes and penetrates any surface that isn’t made of adamantine, or grapples any unattended object that isn’t a creature. If the target is an unattended object, you can use a bonus action to pull the object up to 30 feet toward you on each of your turns. Grappling an unattended object this way does not damage the item. If the target is an immobile object, your rope is securely anchored to it. You can use your automated weapon to climb the rope. When you do so, you gain a climb speed of 30 feet.

Signal Flare. The bolt leaves a trail of light and explodes in a dazzling display of colors when it reaches a point of your choice within range. Each creature within 10 feet of the explosion must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against your artificer spell save DC or become blinded until the end of your next turn.

Smoke Screen. The bolt leaves a thick black trail and explodes in a burst of dense smoke when it reaches a point of your choice within range. The bolt leaves a straight line of smoke 10 feet high and 10 feet thick, and explodes in a 20-foot radius sphere when it reaches the targeted point. The smoke spreads around corners and creates a heavily obscured area within its boundary. The smoke persists for 1 minute or until a strong wind disperses it.

Spell Bolt. You can cast a spell that has a range of touch and a casting time no longer than 1 action, and deliver it with a range of 120 feet. If the target is a hostile creature, you must succeed on a range spell attack to successfully deliver the spell. The bolt deals no damage other than the effect of the spell.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Clockwork Mastery
At 15th level, you can build advanced versions of your clockwork objects. Add your proficiency bonus to any ability check or saving throw your clockwork objects are forced to make. In addition, when you command your clockwork objects as a bonus action, you can command any or all of them at the same time, issuing the same command to each one. You can issue a compound mental command with no more than three simple clauses such as “deliver this message to this creature, wait for a reply, and return here”, or “wait until the guards are asleep, take the keys, and open the lock”. You must be within 120 feet to issue your command but once it has been given, the clockwork object continues to follow that command until the task is completed regardless of distance.

You can also mentally command your clockwork objects to move up to 30 feet and self-destruct. Each creature in a 5-foot radius must make a Dexterity saving throw against your spell save DC. A target takes 4d6 force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. A creature in the area of more than one self-destructing clockwork object takes damage and makes a separate saving throw for each explosion.

New Infusion
This was an early subclass feature. It didn't make the final cut but I liked it enough to keep it as an Artificer Infusion.

Item: At least 100 gp worth of mechanical materials
You’ve learned how to create a clockwork steed that serves you as a mount and a beast of burden, both in combat and out. The materials you use serve as the creature's body, requiring 8 hours and access to thieves’ tools or smith’s tools to assemble. You determine the clockwork steed’s appearance when you create it.

The clockwork steed is friendly to you and your companions, and it obeys your commands. When you finish a long rest, you can designate a creature (which can be you) within 30 feet of the steed. When you do so, the clockwork steed obeys the command of the designated creature.

The clockwork steed never flees from combat, rushes to attack, or otherwise act against your wishes. See this creature's game statistics in the Clockwork Steed stat block, which uses your proficiency bonus (PB) in several places.

Mounting the clockwork steed requires half your move. Once mounted, the clockwork steed acts on your initiative count and moves where you command it to go (no action required by you). If you don't issue any commands, the clockwork steed remains immobile and oblivious to danger. You can take a bonus action on your turn to command the clockwork steed to take the Shove action from its stat block, or to take the Dash, Disengage, or Dodge action. If the clockwork steed provokes an opportunity attack while you're on it, the attacker can target you or the steed.

The clockwork steed cannot regain hit points by spending Hit Dice when it finishes a short rest, or regain hit points and Hit Dice after completing a long rest, unless you are within 5 feet of the clockwork steed for at least 1 hour during the rest and have access to thieves’ tools or smith’s tools.

Clockwork Steed
Large construct, neutral
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)

Hit Points 1 plus your Intelligence modifier plus 5 times your artificer level (the thorny has a number of Hit Dice [d10s] equal to your artificer level)
Speed 40 feet

18 (+4) 12 (+1) 13 (+1 6 (-2) 13 (+1) 6 (-2)

Skills Athletics +4 plus PB, Perception +1 plus PB
Damage Immunity poison, psychic
Conditions Immunity charmed, exhaustion, poisoned
Senses Darkvision 60 ft, passive Perception 11 plus PB
Languages understands the languages you speak

Beast of Burden. The clockwork steed counts as a huge creature for the purpose of determining its carrying capacity (1080 lbs).
Leap. The clockwork steed can jump, fly, or glide in short bursts, jumping a distance up to 40 feet in any direction if it moves at least 10 feet on foot immediately before the jump, or half as much with a standing jump. Each foot cleared on the jump costs 1 foot of movement.

Contested Ability Check: +4 plus your PB vs target’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use), reach 5 ft., one target no more than huge size. Win: target is prone or pushed 5 feet away.

When the clockwork steed’s rider is subjected to an attack dealing damage, the rider gains resistance to that damage, and the clockwork steed takes the same amount of damage. The clockwork steed cannot use this reaction if the rider was subjected to poison damage.

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