• NOW LIVE! -- One-Page Adventures for D&D 5th Edition on Kickstarter! A booklet of colourful one-page adventures for D&D 5th Edition ranging from levels 1-9 and designed for a single session of play.
log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Does the Artificer Suck?

It's less broken than the hexblade/paladin MC.
No, it is MORE broken, because a three level dip is a significant cost.

Not to say that it isn't broken, mutliclassing is an optional rule by default, and I certainly wouldn't allow a hexblade/paladin at my table, but it's less broken than allowing the same benefit without taking the levels.
Got it via a racial ability and it's almost as much as the race (Dragonkin) gets. They're marginally better than the dragonborn.
Which is why you have to be careful using 3rd party stuff. They don't have the same level of QA checks to make sure they can't break the game. WotC would never let a possibility of free CHA-Shillelagh through.
Battlesmith also best the artificer has to offer imho. Two of the subclssses suck imho the other is ok.
Depends what you want to do with it. Battlesmith is the best for hitting stuff. Artillerist is a better party defender due to it's ability to spam temp hp every round, Armorer is a better tank due to it's ability to stop enemies ignoring it. Alchemist is an RP choice, but Tasha's buffs it by making the Homunculus available at level 2, but it depends on how often conditions occur in your game. If you have enemies who spam blindness then the ability to spam lesser restoration is not to be sneezed at.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I do get bored with people who think wilful misrepresentation is a legitimate form of debate.

Guidance is guidance. It is not a rule, nor is it a design outline. I have never said it was a "design outline". YOU brought up that bollocks.
I was calling it a design outline long before you jumped on saying the xge "guidance" is not a rule. It's ok for you to admit that your own logic fell apart but you don't need to get nasty. You came out saying that I was expecting bad wrong fun and in less than a day switched from its guidance not a rule to it's a completed rule.... those two positions are n the t comparable.
 

I was calling it a design outline long before you jumped on saying the xge "guidance" is not a rule. It's ok for you to admit that your own logic fell apart but you don't need to get nasty. You came out saying that I was expecting bad wrong fun and in less than a day switched from its guidance not a rule to it's a completed rule.... those two positions are n the t comparable.
Again, you are putting words into my mouth - to a degree I find extremely offensive - I have never said guidance the was a rule, I consistently stated it IT IS NOT A RULE. It is not intended to be a rule, it is not a prototype for a rule, it is not an outline for a rule.

The rule for 5e magic items is THERE IS NO RULE. This is complete and final and a deliberate design decision. There is guidance available for those DMs who feel they need help.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Again, you are putting words into my mouth - to a degree I find extremely offensive - I have never said guidance the was a rule, I consistently stated it IT IS NOT A RULE. It is not intended to be a rule, it is not a prototype for a rule, it is not an outline for a rule.

The rule for 5e magic items is THERE IS NO RULE. This is complete and final and a deliberate design decision. There is guidance available for those DMs who feel they need help.
It would be comical if this were not the result of having me agree with your original point about xge 128 not being a rule since I had already been saying it was a particular type & entirely inadequate form of guidance rather than a finished rule. Wotc making a "deliberate design decision" does not shield make that decision become above criticism over the resulting failings. I'm not saying your engaging in badwrongfun if you think that the "guidance" is acceptable or just what you need; I'm saying that wotc needs to consider more than the one true way beyond which only exists badwrongfun & that whatever you want to call it for crafting on xge128 does not do that
 

There's no conflict with the casting time of spell scrolls. The 2015 DMG errta is quite clear on this.
The Text has also been updated in any DMG that was printed after the 5th printing at the latest because I'm comparing a first and fifth printing side by side and the ladder has all of the 2015 erratas in it.

Ask for taking the scroll out it would most likely fall into the interacting with objects around you as part of your movement and action or in other words, your free item interaction. one of those it's withdrawing an item from your backpack which is probably harder than retrieving one from a scroll case.

Where the rules are not clear at all is how many hands does it take to read a scroll.
 
Last edited:

Asisreo

Archdevil's Advocate
The DMG and the Basic rules are in conflict on this point.

Basic Rules (Pg 169 in the 2018 version), and thus D&D Beyond baseline, says it takes the spell's normal casting time. DMG pg 139 says it takes an action.

Either way, there's the matter of whether the scroll is in hand at the moment you want to use it. Just getting it out of your pack may be an action in and of itself.
Just to be clear. There is no difference between the Basic Rules and the current version of the DMG.

The section Tetrasodium pointed out is outdated and has been errata'd to "the normal casting time."

Now, as for having the scroll in-hand, I think its fair that the spellcaster should have taken it out on his turn, but through an interaction rather than a whole action.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'm saying that wotc needs to consider more than the one true way beyond which only exists badwrongfun

You you may want to step back and separate some guy on the internet arguing with vigor, and WotC's stance on the matter. The Artificer design (remember, this thread is about the Artificer) seems pretty well designed to flex, rather than being a One True Way design.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Just to be clear. There is no difference between the Basic Rules and the current version of the DMG.

Just to be clear: D&D rules discussions must allow for folks using official products as printed. In that light, they are both correct.

The section Tetrasodium pointed out is outdated and has been errata'd to "the normal casting time."

Interestingly, that gets complicated.

The original passage on pg 139 says, "...unleashing that magic requires using an action to read the scroll..."
Applying the errata to that text, it says, "...unleashing that magic requires the user to read the scroll..."

It isn't until you get to the errata for page 200 that they give the casting time issue. So, they change the rules and move the information to a different place in the book, which will muddle understanding. Such is the nature of editing after the fact. Space needs to be left in our discussion to allow for that
 
Last edited:

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
No, it is not a problem.

RPGs that have a regimented "you should have this at level X" approach are the problem. Making them not so much role playing games as tactical combat board games.
I agree with Paul - 3.x implicitly and 4e explicitly had magic item bonuses worked into the expected math of character advancement. They were a hidden/pointed-out-but-discrete part of leveling. 5e does not have that.

If you look at the breakdown in XGtE pg 135, the idea that any specific character has any items in not addressed. What you do have is a loose guide by tier, and it's for an entire party. And that's just derived from the expected distribution of the DMG treasure tables plus adding in Common items which were introduced on the following page.

The other side of this is that when items are an expected part of character math, they need to be purchasable so there needs to be both magic item costs and wealth per level, and the wealth per level needs to handle the expected items but not more - pushing out other uses of wealth. By not having magic items being part of character math, those can be left out so that it is another knob the DM can use to customize their own setting without worrying about going monty haul in terms of magic items because they aren't directly exchangeable. So one DM can have a setting with plenty of gold and the characters buying titles, building fortifications, bribing officials, and doing whatever, and another can have characters always hungry for the next quest due to needing funds - and both of those parties are mechanically able to handle the same range of expected foes.
 



Asisreo

Archdevil's Advocate
Just to be clear: D&D rules discussions must allow for folks using official products as printed. In that light, they are both correct.
Sorry, I was unclear. What I meant was that the specific text between the Basic Rules and the DMG are identical in reference to spell scroll casting times.

Interestingly, that gets complicated.

The original passage on pg 139 says, "...unleashing that magic requires using an action to read the scroll..."
Applying the errata to that text, it says, "...unleashing that magic requires the user to read the scroll..."

It isn't until you get to the errata for page 200 that they give the casting time issue. So, they change the rules and move the information to a different place in the book, which will muddle understanding. Such is the nature of editing after the fact. Space needs to be left in our discussion to allow for that
Well, what happened is they first changed the rules that ALL spells required an action. This means that a scroll (in general) can now require a bonus action or reaction in future adventures/books without having contradictions (though it was always specific beats general anyways).

Next, they changed Spell Scrolls in particular. They used to require an action regardless of the spell, and then it would work. Now, it takes the spell's normal casting time. This can be seen as both a benefit and a drawback for certain spells. For example, a spell scroll of Misty Step can still only need a bonus action rather than a whole action, but a spell scroll of Find Familiar will still need a whole hour in order to cast rather than through just an action.

Of course, the main draw of spell scrolls will always be their ability to not require any components (a silent casting) while not needing to be known/prepared and no material components or spell slots required or expended.
 

I agree with Paul - 3.x implicitly and 4e explicitly had magic item bonuses worked into the expected math of character advancement. They were a hidden/pointed-out-but-discrete part of leveling. 5e does not have that.
I suspected 4e was to blame, but I didn't know the system well enough to point a finger.

It was Starfinder where I found a real bad case of gear based advancement, so the extent that I have never finished reading the rulebook, never mind played it.

It sucks all the excitement, mystery ands suspense out of finding loot. Oh, I'm level 6 so the chest must contain a tier 2 plasma rifle.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I agree with Paul - 3.x implicitly and 4e explicitly had magic item bonuses worked into the expected math of character advancement. They were a hidden/pointed-out-but-discrete part of leveling. 5e does not have that.

If you look at the breakdown in XGtE pg 135, the idea that any specific character has any items in not addressed. What you do have is a loose guide by tier, and it's for an entire party. And that's just derived from the expected distribution of the DMG treasure tables plus adding in Common items which were introduced on the following page.

The other side of this is that when items are an expected part of character math, they need to be purchasable so there needs to be both magic item costs and wealth per level, and the wealth per level needs to handle the expected items but not more - pushing out other uses of wealth. By not having magic items being part of character math, those can be left out so that it is another knob the DM can use to customize their own setting without worrying about going monty haul in terms of magic items because they aren't directly exchangeable. So one DM can have a setting with plenty of gold and the characters buying titles, building fortifications, bribing officials, and doing whatever, and another can have characters always hungry for the next quest due to needing funds - and both of those parties are mechanically able to handle the same range of expected foes.
That's all well & good but is a distraction from the problem with artificer that makes the missing pieces a problem even if the absence of them is considered a strength for some. Nearly every class gets a strong (or at least good) ability at level 10 & usually 11 but the artificer only gets that if the gm has set that knob in a particular direction. At 10 artificer gets
1611074414332.png

1611074643911.png
Those two points certainly look like they could be impressive, but wotc has done a lot of work to push the idea that no or very few magic items are the norm & a party is likely to be more interested in spreading out the magic items where they provide the biggest individua bump in effectiveness so the first point is of questionable value. The replicate magic item options are very much not bridging the gap either.

To help that 4 attunement slot perk that could be a completely unused ribbon along they add the second point of being able to spend less time & gold on common & uncommon magic items. But like asking how many angel can dance on the head of a pin & giving a class that lets you have double the dancing angels for a quarter the cost it does nothing unless the gm has set that same knob at a similarly high level as needed to really make the first one shine.

All of that could be forgiven if the level 11 ability was really top shelf and while it certainly looks extremely impressive at first glance in isolation it's lacking in execution when the player says "wow this is gonna be awesome, let me see what awesome stuff I can do"
1611075528668.png

1611077596855.png
I highlighted the critically important "this could have been amazing... but..." parts. I admit that ten first or second level spells seems like a lot but your still limited by concentration and double limited by being a half caster. It's pretty rare for casters in 5e to be "out of spells" like in earlier editions due to the ability to just upcast a spell that works well enough into a higher level unused slot so it's not really going to be a noticable amount of sustainability where the artificer is now the energizer bunny. There are very few concentration spells that you might want to cast 10 times per long rest but I marked those off on the list below
  • A level 11 full caster has:
    4 1st 3 2nd 3 3rd 3 4th & 1 5th level slot. For a total of nine spells
  • A level 11 warlock getting 2 short rests per long has
    9 5th level slots
    plus agonizing eldritch blast jumps from 2 up to 3 blasts
  • A level 11 artificer has:
    4 1st 3 2nd & 3 3rd level slots For a total of nine spells but unlike the warlock getting 2 short rests per long who has nine 5th level spells artificer doesn't even have anything above 3rd.
    That spell storing item needs to really pull double duty in being awesome given the cost it came with. I guess there could be a situation where you might really benefit the group by casting see invisibility darkvision arcane lock lesser restoration magic mouth protection from poison or rope trick 10x during the adventuring day but the damage spells are themselves having a tough time competing with the 3dx cantrips so are certainly not pulling the kind of double duty needed to make up for a dud L10 ability & s o far questionable L11 ability. All of that really puts a spotlight on web & cure wounds but hp recovery is so trivial in 5e that its probably going to mean your new role is to cast web in every fight making you wonder why the heck you needed to wait till level 11 for that "interesting" ability when we all know thanks to dndbeyond doing the breakdown* something north of 90% of games won't even reach there.
  • Other level 10& 11 abilities are an archetype feature & 3rd attack, a second 5th & 1st 7th level slot following or possibly in addition to a full caster class feature, improved divine smite following aura of courage, an extra asi & reliable talent, a third warlock spell slot & mystic arcanum for a 6th level spell slot following a patron feature

There are a lot of places they could put limitations on artificer & those are all good places to put them, but the problem of placing too many of them onto it become more and more obvious the higher you go in the class while the half caster progression is functioning as a larger & larger obstacle for the class. Casting second level spells at 5th not so bad, a third level at 10th however is particularly unimpressive & a 4th at 13th with no class feature is likely a completely unremarkable dead level if the game even reaches that point but don't forget to say "I cast web as a 1st level spell... again" & "I cast 2nd level cure wounds... again" ow that you know what awesome stuff that spell storing item can do.

*Or the more detailed one by level that I couldn't find
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Um, the spell storing item is best handed to another creature to use.

Either another PC who isn't casting (and hance isn't using concentration), or you create-your-own-minion (an animated object, a homoculous, your steel defender, whatever).

Cast Tiny Servant. You now have a robot that can web 10 times per day over 8 hours while you the artificer are concentrating on something else.

It doesn't quite double your action economy, but it is damn close (you have to burn a bonus action to change your servant's orders)
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Um, the spell storing item is best handed to another creature to use.
ok
Either another PC who isn't casting (and hance isn't using concentration), or you create-your-own-minion (an animated object, a homoculous, your steel defender, whatever).
Look at the artificer spell list, I even included it in #215, Keep in mind that this is a level 11 ability following a level 10 ability consisting of what is likely to be one or two ribbons due to a rules omission & what other classes get at those levels. which spell & what class do you think this poor deliberately awful build character is?... Even if you really stack things in favor of the spell storing item & say that the rest of the party is nothing but fighters & barbarians with no spellcasting or healing abilities waiting till level 11 for such an ability is misplaced at best

Use the homunculus? That's an infusion & weren't people saying that artificers should use their four infused item slots they just got at 10 to make use of the level 10 ribbon? oh yea... Homuncus & steel defender both include the line "the only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take another action." both the artillerist & armor have archetype abilities that use their bonus action so... again... which spell?
Cast Tiny Servant. You now have a robot that can web 10 times per day over 8 hours while you the artificer are concentrating on something else.
again you have the bonus action problem with that third level xge spell
It doesn't quite double your action economy, but it is damn close (you have to burn a bonus action to change your servant's orders)
assuming that doesn't for example keep you from using your archetype abilities....A level 11 ability needs to be more tightly designed than this
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Yes, you burn 1 3rd level slot and get 10 bonus action concentration-offloaded castsings of a 1st or 2nd level spell.

For the tiny servant, you can pre-order as well, like "ready an action to do X" or "cast Y on any monster who attacks a party member" and it will repeat it each turn.

This is only one use. Other uses is just 10 more spell slots. Or give it to an ally to let them cast spells.

Spam Faerie Fire, maintain invisibility, spam levitate, web. Even just blasting isn't horrible; tell the tiny servant to catapult or scorching ray at creatures attacking your party, and it will repeat it every round until you tell it to stop. 21 DPR for 10 rounds is a lot.
 
Last edited:

The SSI is meh in the hands of a novice, ok in the hands of a min/max player, and gold in the hands of a player who likes off the wall solutions. Don't overlook combos off the subclass lists like shatter and warding bond
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top