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D&D 5E Does the Artificer Suck?

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
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.
You are making a lot of assumptions on how the gm will rule when wotc leaves holes in the rules. Even if that were the intent of the spell storing item to require tiny servant
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The artificer is already reeling from a level 10 ability that literally does nothing unless the gm decides to finish systems wotc did not in a way that benefits the artificer & now your suggesting offloading concentration spells to a construct with 2 int using a spell that does not in any way mention concentration. There is even ample reason for the GM to rule that the concentration falls to the artificer who summoned it such as any of the reasons mentioned in here or here. Back to back abilities that come down to "ask your gm if this is even useful after ruling on rues omissions" is pretty awful design
@Stoutstien I agree completely, but you also need to look at what is being given up for it and ask if the loss is justified by the boon. Warding bond is a no concentration spell that battlesmith could cast 10x sure... but you need between 2 & 20 platinum rings each worth 50gp to do that depending on how many targets your hoping to cast it on & very little about the battlesmith screams "this guy could take all* the damage for the entire party!". Even a barbarian would have trouble with that. shatter is on armorsmith & artillerist lists sure, but one of those has a use every round bonus action & both of them are half casters with a level 10 ability that amounts to "ask your gm the value of having more angels dancing on the head of a pin." As a leveled spell that does 3d8 save for half & since the spell storing item is a level 11 ability we shouldn't forget to look at the class as a whole. It seems there is something else artificer has that does 3d8 at this level.

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If ten casts of such a mild improvement to that spell & a fast way to die is the highpoint of the spell storing item... are we seriously going to pretend that the problem is not engaging in creative enough minmaxing with it rather than the ability itself? don't forget what other classes get at level 10&11.


* Depending on how you read the spell.
 

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Mistwell

Legend
As for scrolls.
It takes an action to use one. The DMG is quite clear on that. Yes, it means that reaction spells are almost useless on scrolls but not entirely so. Casting shield preemptively to cross a trapped room, or misty step for the same thing without using your spell slot might be good. Situational, yes, but still useful.
Scroll.jpg



See also DMG errata, "Spell Scroll (p. 200). Starting with its second sentence, the first paragraph now reads as follows: If the spell is on your class’s spell list, you can read the scroll and cast its spell without providing any material components. Otherwise, the scroll is unintelligible. Casting the spell by reading the scroll requires the spell’s normal casting time. Once the spell is cast, the words on the scroll fade, and it crumbles to dust"
 
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The SSI explicitly states that you do not need the material components, costly or otherwise, because you aren't actually casting a spell. So for warding bond, continual flame and so on it's a good way to create wealth. It is also subtle with no requirement other than an action to activate it while being held. Like a garage door remote in your pocket you can have sorcerer level shenanigans.

The wording of SSI works perfectly with tiny servant because they don't need to know how it works. just a simple command to press a proverbial button. If a DM wants to nerf it by passing concentration back to the caster it hurts a lot of combos but houserules always have that potential.

Familiars are also A list users for the SSI as it bypasses the usual no attack clause with an item interaction that happens to produce a spell like effect.

The SSI is all about having a tool with the flexibility to fix that one problem you think you'll have each day. Damage is the least fun you can have with it. Mix it with magical tinkering for extra fun.

Bonus fun using the SSI doesn't break Invisibility on use because it's not an attack or casting a spell.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The artificer is already reeling from a level 10 ability that literally does nothing unless the gm decides to finish systems wotc did not in a way that benefits the artificer

So, first, you're using emotionally loaded language - "reeling". The class is words on paper. It does not suffer shock or confusion. Word choice impacts how we think, though. So how about we tone down the rhetoric, so we don't slip into treating the rules for a fantasy class like they are person who is being attacked, please and thank you.

Next, I'm sorry, but the system for creating magic items is there and finished - the final throttle for it is in the GM's hands. Unless you only call systems that don't actually call for the GM to be involved in their game to function "finished", which would not be a great position to take, you might wanna back off that.


& now your suggesting offloading concentration spells to a construct with 2 int using a spell that does not in any way mention concentration.

The Tiny Servant spell doesn't have to mention concentration. The spell creates a construct, and constructs are creatures. The ability says that a creature may enact the spell, and concentrate to maintain it if needed. The intelligence of the creature in question is not relevant, as concentration isn't based on Intelligence.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
The SSI explicitly states that you do not need the material components, costly or otherwise, because you aren't actually casting a spell. So for warding bond, continual flame and so on it's a good way to create wealth. It is also subtle with no requirement other than an action to activate it while being held. Like a garage door remote in your pocket you can have sorcerer level shenanigans.

The wording of SSI works perfectly with tiny servant because they don't need to know how it works. just a simple command to press a proverbial button. If a DM wants to nerf it by passing concentration back to the caster it hurts a lot of combos but houserules always have that potential.
Familiars are also A list users for the SSI as it bypasses the usual no attack clause with an item interaction that happens to produce a spell like effect.
I'm not sure "nerf" and "how does the GM choose to interpret an undefined area of the rules" are the same or even close to each other. I've read over the spell storing item's wording quite a few times & it doesn't mention components either, where are you getting the idea that spells like "warding bond continual flame & so on" can be put in or cast from it without them?
 

I'm not sure "nerf" and "how does the GM choose to interpret an undefined area of the rules" are the same or even close to each other. I've read over the spell storing item's wording quite a few times & it doesn't mention components either, where are you getting the idea that spells like "warding bond continual flame & so on" can be put in or cast from it without them?
Let's start with the SSI and components. The feature is unique in that it is not spell casting on any level. So not only does the feature excluded any mention of components past the SSI itself, it goes as far to double back on wording to emphasize it's not a spell. no spell casting means no components. Action to activate and the spell's effects happen.

As far as concentration and tiny servants are concerned there is no intelligence or stat requirements whatsoever to remain concentration on an effect. See familiar with a ring of spell storing.
The SSI say the creature who actives the item maintains concentration. full stop. no side bars with exceptions or intelligence checks to see if they are a smart enough. that's about it clearly defined as you're going to get. The tiny servants are creatures and they can take the action to activate the SSI.

How bout the tiny servant spell? Nope nothing there. If anything the text gives the artificer a flat out direct rule for commanding the TS to use the SSI.

So if a DM is shifting concentration from one creature to another they are actively making a ruling that is contrary to every written rule. Not a bad thing but it is the very definition of both a house rule and a direct nerf to a class feature. There is absolutely no support for this ruling past rule zero.
 
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NotAYakk

Legend
It says "produce the spells effect", it does not say cast it. The spells effect does not require components.

Look, I get that you are committed to thinking that feature sucks. And yes, a hostile DM could make any feature suck.

But SSI both a license to commit shenanigans, and it is quite strong when used in relatively simple ways. It is a suitable level 11 feature for the Artificer.

I get that there are also really boring and nearly useless ways to use it. And a level 11 fighter doesn't have to use their extra attack action; the feature says "can". What if they choose not to do the extra attack? Then the feature sucks.

Spell-Storing Item is weird and wonderful and it breaks piles of rules and has decent level of power.
 

cbwjm

Hero
That 11th level spell storing item feature is pretty good, getting an additional 10 casts of a 1st or 2nd level spell is decent and there are a few spells on the artificer list that I'd happily make use of. Even something as simple as cure wounds or lesser restoration would be good to store in the item especially as others can use the item as well the different subclasses add in a few good attack spells and the main list has a few defensive or utility spell that would be great to have a few extra casts of without taking up one or your limited slots for spell preparation. The only thing really holding it back the ability is that it takes an action to use it to cast the spell, otherwise I'd have branding smite stored in a weapon for a battlesmith.
 

Scroll.jpg



See also DMG errata, "Spell Scroll (p. 200). Starting with its second sentence, the first paragraph now reads as follows: If the spell is on your class’s spell list, you can read the scroll and cast its spell without providing any material components. Otherwise, the scroll is unintelligible. Casting the spell by reading the scroll requires the spell’s normal casting time. Once the spell is cast, the words on the scroll fade, and it crumbles to dust"
Ok. So reading a scroll is now a reaction depending on the type of spell you have on the scroll??????
So...
The great giant swings its great club at Fasthand the incredible Wizard.
In a split second, Fasthand realizes that he does not have any spell slots anylonguer and the mighty club will bring him to a pulp and that a shield would save his skin...
Fortunately, he has a scroll of shield. So faster than the Flash, Fasthand takes the scroll and voilà! Fasthand is now protected.
This is utter bullshit.
This is an other example of why SA and some errata are utter bullshit and why I don't take these into account. My point stands, using a scroll is an action. Whatever the spell. RAW from the DMG.
 


Ok. So reading a scroll is now a reaction depending on the type of spell you have on the scroll??????
So...
The great giant swings its great club at Fasthand the incredible Wizard.
In a split second, Fasthand realizes that he does not have any spell slots anylonguer and the mighty club will bring him to a pulp and that a shield would save his skin...
Fortunately, he has a scroll of shield. So faster than the Flash, Fasthand takes the scroll and voilà! Fasthand is now protected.
This is utter bullshit.
This is an other example of why SA and some errata are utter bullshit and why I don't take these into account. My point stands, using a scroll is an action. Whatever the spell. RAW from the DMG.

Fasthand would need the scroll of shield in hand already if he wanted to cast as a reaction.
 

Ok. So reading a scroll is now a reaction depending on the type of spell you have on the scroll??????
So...
The great giant swings its great club at Fasthand the incredible Wizard.
In a split second, Fasthand realizes that he does not have any spell slots anylonguer and the mighty club will bring him to a pulp and that a shield would save his skin...
Fortunately, he has a scroll of shield. So faster than the Flash, Fasthand takes the scroll and voilà! Fasthand is now protected.
This is utter bullshit.
This is an other example of why SA and some errata are utter bullshit and why I don't take these into account. My point stands, using a scroll is an action. Whatever the spell. RAW from the DMG.
I mean shield (spell) is already kinda a nonsensical effect. It triggers on a hit but can potentially cancel said hit which would prevent the trigger of bing hit from accruing.

Generally you would need the scroll in hand to use it if has a reaction casting time but that isnt always the case. Here we do go into the realm of DM rulings becaue oddly scrolls don't need to be in hand to use. So any feasible way you could mount a scroll, such as the back of a shield, is not against the rules nor is it explicitly allowed. Spell scrolls also have no set size or shape allowing some interesting angles.
 

Ok. So reading a scroll is now a reaction depending on the type of spell you have on the scroll??????
So...
The great giant swings its great club at Fasthand the incredible Wizard.
In a split second, Fasthand realizes that he does not have any spell slots anylonguer and the mighty club will bring him to a pulp and that a shield would save his skin...
Fortunately, he has a scroll of shield. So faster than the Flash, Fasthand takes the scroll and voilà! Fasthand is now protected.
This is utter bullshit.
This is an other example of why SA and some errata are utter bullshit and why I don't take these into account. My point stands, using a scroll is an action. Whatever the spell. RAW from the DMG.
You can only cast it if it's in hand earlier, as free actions can only be taken on your turn. It's not nonsensical, it actually makes more sense than having to use your action or readied action to cast Shield.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Ok. So reading a scroll is now a reaction depending on the type of spell you have on the scroll??????
So...
The great giant swings its great club at Fasthand the incredible Wizard.
In a split second, Fasthand realizes that he does not have any spell slots anylonguer and the mighty club will bring him to a pulp and that a shield would save his skin...
Fortunately, he has a scroll of shield. So faster than the Flash, Fasthand takes the scroll and voilà! Fasthand is now protected.
This is utter bullshit.
This is an other example of why SA and some errata are utter bullshit and why I don't take these into account. My point stands, using a scroll is an action. Whatever the spell. RAW from the DMG.
As others have already said, obviously the wizard is going to need to be more creative than that, because you still need to pull the scroll out. Which is a free object interaction on your turn...but it's not your turn. So yes it's a reaction to cast it if you're walking around with the scroll in your hand in that moment, but it's not a reaction if you need to withdraw the scroll from your pack or something like that.

I don't find it ridiculous at all that you can trigger the spell scroll as a reaction if you sacrificed holding something else in that hand. Why do you find it a problem?
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Ok. So reading a scroll is now a reaction depending on the type of spell you have on the scroll??????
So...
The great giant swings its great club at Fasthand the incredible Wizard.
In a split second, Fasthand realizes that he does not have any spell slots anylonguer and the mighty club will bring him to a pulp and that a shield would save his skin...
Fortunately, he has a scroll of shield. So faster than the Flash, Fasthand takes the scroll and voilà! Fasthand is now protected.
This is utter bullshit.
This is an other example of why SA and some errata are utter bullshit and why I don't take these into account. My point stands, using a scroll is an action. Whatever the spell. RAW from the DMG.
I'll be sure as a player to bring one of the newer DMGs with the updated printings. RAW FTW!

If you want to house rule it, then house rule it. Don't stick you head in the sand and pretend it never happened though, because if you house rule something in your head but hide it from your players by not telling anyone until it comes up - likely biting your player in the butt - that's not a cool move.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
The Tiny Servant spell doesn't have to mention concentration. The spell creates a construct, and constructs are creatures. The ability says that a creature may enact the spell, and concentrate to maintain it if needed. The intelligence of the creature in question is not relevant, as concentration isn't based on Intelligence.

You can't always apply that logic to creatures summoned by a player like tiny servant though. Wotc has long treated them different under the ALfaq & possibly other places like sage advice where wotc is not known for being all that strict in applying things like stare decisis to their rulings
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I'm pretty sure that at least one of the many artificer UA's explicitly said that concentration transferred from the homunculus to the artificer as well. also the post you quoted linked to two different threads on a familiar & concentration not getting a very warm response. this one is actually about doing it with a spell storing ring & filled with reasons why it wouldn't fly at someone's table. Your RAW interpretation would probably hold in some older editions, but 5e made the deliberate choice to move away from that to natural language for better or worse.

The spell storing item should be very good & it could be if it were obtained earlier or was written in a way that encouraged rather than maybe allowed the gm to generously interpret some of the if your gm rules this way things people are suggesting.

@NotAYakk XgE133 scribing a spell scroll under "Resources" States: "In addition the character must have proficiency in the Arcana skill and must provide any material components required for the casting of the spell." You could say that's a scroll not the ssi but it's more than a bit of a stretch to suggest that not mentioning components on the ssi automatically means they are strictly not required by RAW for spells that need them rather than chalking that up to another knob in 5e left to the gm by omission. I agree it could be an interesting money making loophole as you note if it were the case, but I think even an extremely permissive gm is going to say no when it goes from fun things like making it so the party seems to be on fire/has wearable torches on over to printing money. Money printing schemes tend to only be given so much rope & a gm could rightly point out that if an artificer could make all of those continual flamed items for free they would quickly have lost any market value just from all the other level 11 artificers in the world if not the one at the table trying to sell yet another bag of holding filled with continual flaming friendship bracelets.

There are useful spells on the artificer 1st & 2nd level list & I don't deny that, but at the level you unlock it those aren't really big problem solving spells a party of level 11+ characters will struggle to solve when allowed a long rest.

If you could cast or "produce the spell effect" of 10 spells in a first or second level slot consisting of any combination from the artificer spell list rather than what is chosen during the rest that would mean that you are likely to always have access to the perfect one you need now without needing a rest so even if they aren't solving a super hardcore problem they do it quickly & efficiently in a wowworthy way. If you need to wait till the next long rest to change the spell on your spell storing item your already a prepared caster with access to the entire class & archetype spell list to prepare from at a long rest

Loading it with web or cure wounds is a solid choice & definitely one of the better options unless you as a player are able to predict the future to know well enough what your gm will toss at you before the next long rest to specifically prep something else on it, but it's hardly an option that is appropriate for level 11 class ability as written. If it were as grand as your making it out to be you would see a lot more Level 11 sorcerers using flexible casting to convert the 3x4th & 2x5th level spell slots they have over a half caster like artificer to make 32 sorcery points that convert into 16 level 1 slots(or 10 2nd with 2 points left over) quite a bit more often... I might have had unusual players in my personal & AL games but don't think I've ever seen that happen at any of my tables; have you ever seen a sorcerer do that at your table? If yes do you see it frequentl?, Do you think they would still do it if the sorcerer had to pick which spell (singular) they would be using in all those slots during the long rest?

I would love it if the level 11 spell storing item were a great level 11 ability on par with other level 11 abilities, but stretching the limits of RAW & natural language to almost accomplish that doesn't really change the fact that as written it's just almost good & certainly not standing shoulder to shoulder with other level 11 abilities unless one or more of many possible things change about the spell storing item itself is changed. There's just nothing in the wording of the spell storing item to suggest the sort of leeway you are trying to give it was intended. Wotc didn't put out optional class features for artificer in tcoe & said as much before tcoe was released though so who knows what the future will hold when they give us the artificer ones.
 

Al'Kelhar

Adventurer
As others have already said, obviously the wizard is going to need to be more creative than that, because you still need to pull the scroll out. Which is a free object interaction on your turn...but it's not your turn. So yes it's a reaction to cast it if you're walking around with the scroll in your hand in that moment, but it's not a reaction if you need to withdraw the scroll from your pack or something like that.

I don't find it ridiculous at all that you can trigger the spell scroll as a reaction if you sacrificed holding something else in that hand. Why do you find it a problem?
Hmm, my hexblade has found pinning a scroll of hex to the inside of her shield to be useful for those times when she loses concentration. Now, I'm thinking maybe a scroll of shield pinned to the inside of her shield would be better, to avoid the damage that causes the loss of concentration it he first place.

Cheers, Al'kelhar
 

NotAYakk

Legend
It isn't scribing a spell. That is irrelevant.

SSI is a non-magical item that produces a spell effect on activation. It is not casting a spell. There are no components involved.

Artillerist with a Tiny Servant + Spell storing item scorching ray can tell their servant to cast scorching ray on that creature there as a bonus action. The Servant will repeat until told to stop. That is a 21 damage every round.

That is a significant power bump. And it has lots of other uses.

And yes, you can house rule it to uselessness. Good job. Keep up the good work.

Bored now. Bye.
 

You can't always apply that logic to creatures summoned by a player like tiny servant though. Wotc has long treated them different under the ALfaq & possibly other places like sage advice where wotc is not known for being all that strict in applying things like stare decisis to their rulings
View attachment 131578
I'm pretty sure that at least one of the many artificer UA's explicitly said that concentration transferred from the homunculus to the artificer as well. also the post you quoted linked to two different threads on a familiar & concentration not getting a very warm response. this one is actually about doing it with a spell storing ring & filled with reasons why it wouldn't fly at someone's table. Your RAW interpretation would probably hold in some older editions, but 5e made the deliberate choice to move away from that to natural language for better or worse.

The spell storing item should be very good & it could be if it were obtained earlier or was written in a way that encouraged rather than maybe allowed the gm to generously interpret some of the if your gm rules this way things people are suggesting.

@NotAYakk XgE133 scribing a spell scroll under "Resources" States: "In addition the character must have proficiency in the Arcana skill and must provide any material components required for the casting of the spell." You could say that's a scroll not the ssi but it's more than a bit of a stretch to suggest that not mentioning components on the ssi automatically means they are strictly not required by RAW for spells that need them rather than chalking that up to another knob in 5e left to the gm by omission. I agree it could be an interesting money making loophole as you note if it were the case, but I think even an extremely permissive gm is going to say no when it goes from fun things like making it so the party seems to be on fire/has wearable torches on over to printing money. Money printing schemes tend to only be given so much rope & a gm could rightly point out that if an artificer could make all of those continual flamed items for free they would quickly have lost any market value just from all the other level 11 artificers in the world if not the one at the table trying to sell yet another bag of holding filled with continual flaming friendship bracelets.

There are useful spells on the artificer 1st & 2nd level list & I don't deny that, but at the level you unlock it those aren't really big problem solving spells a party of level 11+ characters will struggle to solve when allowed a long rest.

If you could cast or "produce the spell effect" of 10 spells in a first or second level slot consisting of any combination from the artificer spell list rather than what is chosen during the rest that would mean that you are likely to always have access to the perfect one you need now without needing a rest so even if they aren't solving a super hardcore problem they do it quickly & efficiently in a wowworthy way. If you need to wait till the next long rest to change the spell on your spell storing item your already a prepared caster with access to the entire class & archetype spell list to prepare from at a long rest

Loading it with web or cure wounds is a solid choice & definitely one of the better options unless you as a player are able to predict the future to know well enough what your gm will toss at you before the next long rest to specifically prep something else on it, but it's hardly an option that is appropriate for level 11 class ability as written. If it were as grand as your making it out to be you would see a lot more Level 11 sorcerers using flexible casting to convert the 3x4th & 2x5th level spell slots they have over a half caster like artificer to make 32 sorcery points that convert into 16 level 1 slots(or 10 2nd with 2 points left over) quite a bit more often... I might have had unusual players in my personal & AL games but don't think I've ever seen that happen at any of my tables; have you ever seen a sorcerer do that at your table? If yes do you see it frequentl?, Do you think they would still do it if the sorcerer had to pick which spell (singular) they would be using in all those slots during the long rest?

I would love it if the level 11 spell storing item were a great level 11 ability on par with other level 11 abilities, but stretching the limits of RAW & natural language to almost accomplish that doesn't really change the fact that as written it's just almost good & certainly not standing shoulder to shoulder with other level 11 abilities unless one or more of many possible things change about the spell storing item itself is changed. There's just nothing in the wording of the spell storing item to suggest the sort of leeway you are trying to give it was intended. Wotc didn't put out optional class features for artificer in tcoe & said as much before tcoe was released though so who knows what the future will hold when they give us the artificer ones.
I think your short selling the potential that offloading a concentration burden can bring.

How many of the mid tier skirmisher features give something along the lines of "turn invisible until your next turn...unless there's light nearby, or you move too fast, or you get distracted by a squirrel" or something? The warlock gives at-will invisibility at level 15, at the cost of an invocation. How much do you think they'd pay to do it a limited but considerable number of times 4 levels sooner?

Similarly with something like enlarge/reduce. If your fighter casts it, he can be big and hasted. Or warding bond, now the fighter or barbarian or maybe wild shaped druid can grant the other casters damage resistance, basically all day helping protect the concentration on buffs they might receive from those casters.

These are all significant quality of life upgrades, even at level 11.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
You can't always apply that logic to creatures summoned by a player like tiny servant though. Wotc has long treated them different under the ALfaq & possibly other places like sage advice where wotc is not known for being all that strict in applying things like stare decisis to their rulings

I'm pretty sure that at least one of the many artificer UA's

Citation, or that's speculation. And, in any case, I'm not playing in AL. Sage Advice is advice, and UAs are not official rules - they are explicitly test content.

Let us step away from the Tiny Servant for the moment, because any Battlesmith could pass the item to their Steel Defender instead....

Now, note that the Artificer appeared in UA, the Eberron book, and then was revised for Tasha's. The Steel Defender and the SSI have appeared through all of this.... and when they revised it, they could easily have included this tidbit you claim "must" appear all over the place... but interestingly does not appear in the current class.

Thus, I don't find your arguments convincing. Your protestations notwithstanding, I am looking forward to making my Steel Defender start laying about with Faerie Fire or Heat Metal.
 

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