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D&D 5E Does the Artificer Suck?

Not really. When creating magic items, I always require my characters to obtain and expend magical substances and use spell slots to create it. Having a process doesn't make it a technology. I wouldn't allow a nonmagical barbarian character to create a magic item, but an artificer or wizard with the right tool proficiencies, supplies, and process could make it if they are high enough level and spend enough time making it and questing for knowledge how to make it.
But they know exactly what it is, how it works, and how to reproduce the effects. Requiring a character to have special skills and tools doesn't stop it being technology. I don't know how to build a car engine, but I know it aint magic.
 

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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
But they know exactly what it is, how it works, and how to reproduce the effects. Requiring a character to have special skills and tools doesn't stop it being technology. I don't know how to build a car engine, but I know it aint magic.
I know exactly what electricity is but don't know how it gets in the wires. even if I have a vague understanding of how a generator solar panel or nuclear power plant works it might as well be magic because as the comic says "any technology, no mater how primitive, is magic to those who don't understand it".
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
The whole magic = technology thing really depends on how much magic you have in your world.

If your city is lit by continual flame lampposts every 100 feet or less, and the citizens are used to it, it is not really "magical" anymore...

Ultimately, it depends on if you magic = mystery or not... I like the idea of 3rd level spells being thought of as EXTREMELY powerful--not mundane.
 

But they know exactly what it is, how it works, and how to reproduce the effects. Requiring a character to have special skills and tools doesn't stop it being technology. I don't know how to build a car engine, but I know it aint magic.
Maybe we're just using different words for the term "technology". Doesn't matter a ton. If you don't want PCs making permanent magic items in your campaign, I don't care.
 



Magic isn't unknown in Eberron, it's their version of technology, which is really cool IMO. Science was unknown to people thousands of years ago, but over time people mastered it and learned more.
Eberron is science fantasy though, and it still draws a distinction between arcane magic, that people understand, and divine magic, which is magic people don't really understand. There are plenty of magic items in Eberron that cannot be reproduced by PCs.
 


Ashrym

Hero
The doubt is over which proficiency bonus to use, if any, right? Is your intended implication that it should be the PB associated with the spell level, e.g. +2 for 1st-level, +3 for 2nd-level, or do you mean the PB associated with the artificer at the time they stored the spells, i.e. at least +4, or something else?

One might feel drawn toward the PB of the artificer, but then by that logic the DMG should have been focusing on the level of the caster required to create a scroll, not to cast the spell, seeing as surely a 17th-level wizard could have created a 1st-level spell scroll. The words in the DMG on that are "the level of the spell on the scroll determines the spell's saving throw DC and attack bonus".

Therefore, is it right that you are saying the effective PB should be +2 if a 1st-level spell is stored, or +3 if it's 2nd-level?

Likewise. I find the SSI rules indefensibly poor. There is no reason not to have spelt out the DC formula, or to have failed to make the intent crystal-clear regarding costly material components. Part of the point of paying for rules from the WotC design team, for me, is to procure a level of expertise, forethought, playtesting, and consistency across tables, that would be effortful - perhaps impossible - for me to achieve myself. I do also value ingenuity, but that alone is not sufficient. (Part of why I am - reluctantly - keeping away from the advanced rules project. We're far enough into 5e that I would value better rules over more rules.)

Which proficiency bonus would have been the expected argument. The way it's laid out the individual using the SSI uses his/her/their own proficiency bonus. If the artificer's proficiency bonus was expected to be used the ability would have stated it uses the artificer's DC's / spell attack bonus.

It could have been presented better, for sure, but the general rule for DC's / attacks applies, the user of the item is the individual enacting that general rule, but the specific rule of using the artificer's INT is what dictates what ability score is applied.

Alot

Alot of that comes late in the Artificers career.
As I said if you wait to level 10+ your class basically sucks. To many of the archetypes are in that category.

That's not a rebuttal. It's restating your opinion. Plus, everyone else's tables aren't restricted to your level ranges you play. It's the "trap" option that I compared to bards above that you just confirmed don't suck after 10th level ;-)

What I demonstrated earlier is how strong the SSI is. It's a good feature.

The benefits of additional magic items at the lower levels outweigh the benefits of the slots long term (at no point is there no benefit to having more magic items, which infusions provide). Short term the slots are can be better immediate gratification but not necessarily better overall. Artificers are also one of those classes that adds a lot to subclasses early while bards are strong in the chassis just giving a few more options for a limited resource in the colleges.

The use artillerists get a lot out of a spell slot to resummon a cannon is so good that people make the claim alchemists are bad in comparison but that doesn't actually make alchemists bad. It makes them burn resources faster as the significant difference. The alternative for long term strong benefits is the steel defender, and I think the armorer isn't as bad as some people claim either. Thunder gauntlets kicks ass over vicious mockery because it's also at will, does better damage, and affects more than one attack. It's a d8 weapon that SAD's attack and spell modifiers and also either forces disadvantage on attacks or soft controls targets into attacking the high AC armorer with an extra attack subclass, and that's what people complained about because the UA armorer was better.

Artificers are great. Even the "traps".
 

Artificers are great. Even the "traps".
Fully agree. The "traps" aren't even traps anymore than other spellcasters have. A wizard can choose to have an 8 for Intelligence and know only Mending, Message, and Prestidigitation for their cantrips and only put Alarm, Distort Value, Floating Disk, Jump, Identify, and Snare in their spell list, which most people would consider a "trap". However, in both that case and for the Artificer, those aren't really traps as much as they are you purposefully nerfing yourself.

The biggest "trap" an Artificer can take (besides spell selection and not maxing out their main Ability Scores) is the Alchemist subclass, which isn't actually that mechanically awful. It's just frustrating that you don't get to choose the potions you want unless you give up your already limited spell slots.

Nothing else in the class is a true "trap", as in that it pretends to be viable and ends up being disappointing.
 

Ashrym

Hero
However, for D&D, those changes do not generally make it into the next printing.

As stated earlier - our discussions must allow for folks who work with the rules as originally printed, as well as for those who prefer to incorporate the errata. Working without the errata is totally legitimate, and if you intend to rhetorically beat someone over the head with errata to make them accept your point, or suggest that there's some moral superiority to using them, there's going to be problems.

...

In the end, in a game that starts with "rulings, not rules" and a 40+ year long tradition of homebrewing and houseruling, you cannot lean on RAW as, "this is correct and everyone else can shut up." Proving what is RAW is less important than demonstrating what works better at the table and why.

WotC's site states that the errata does go into the next printing so even if it does not make it in time the intent is clear. Errata isn't a preference. It's an update and it is the official version.

The same is true for sage advice. It's not just advice. Those are the official rulings.

Arguing whether those are official or not is fruitless. They are official. I'm only pointing out because if people are going to argue about rules it should be clear that those two sources are official and do trump older copies when it comes to a discussion like that.

It's your final comment I quoted that I agree with. Just because something is updated, RAW, or has an official ruling doesn't dictate anyone's particular table. What works and what doesn't at anyone's table is far more important, and demonstrating how or why is a better use of our time in discussions like this than something tangential like what version is correct. ;-)
 
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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Magic isn't unknown in Eberron, it's their version of technology, which is really cool IMO. Science was unknown to people thousands of years ago, but over time people mastered it and learned more.
There's even magic that's been lost & magic from ancient fallen civilizations. Warforged & the creation forges that make them are very strongly implied to have been copied by house cannith from something found in xendriik rather than invented, they even had to spend some time just trying to make it work & tweaking the results. The elemental binding for airships wasn't invented by cannith or the zil gnomes... it was stolen from the drow who preserved it from the giant empire they used to be slaves to. Both the dhakaani empire & giant empire were likely more advanced than the 5 nations & in the eberron of 998yk khorvaire isn't even the most advanced nation/continent in the world.
 

Ashrym

Hero
Fully agree. The "traps" aren't even traps anymore than other spellcasters have. A wizard can choose to have an 8 for Intelligence and know only Mending, Message, and Prestidigitation for their cantrips and only put Alarm, Distort Value, Floating Disk, Jump, Identify, and Snare in their spell list, which most people would consider a "trap". However, in both that case and for the Artificer, those aren't really traps as much as they are you purposefully nerfing yourself.

The biggest "trap" an Artificer can take (besides spell selection and not maxing out their main Ability Scores) is the Alchemist subclass, which isn't actually that mechanically awful. It's just frustrating that you don't get to choose the potions you want unless you give up your already limited spell slots.

Nothing else in the class is a true "trap", as in that it pretends to be viable and ends up being disappointing.

What's funny (to me anyway) is I play alchemists all the time. It's my preferred artificer subclass. The elixirs are costly compared to the other options but they do open up abilities. The randomness is more of a flavor implementation and I've seen tables remove that for a choice of elixir, but I've never seen a random elixir go to waste either. Any randomly rolled elixir gets used instead of going to waste.

Some of those I'd gladly spend a 1st level slot for. The only reason the elixirs look bad is because elixirs are in the shadow of the canons and defender. It's versatility vs longevity and longevity looks better. I prefer the versatility and flavor (also important) of the alchemist.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
WotC's site states that the errata does go into the next printing so even if it does not make it in time the intent is clear. Errata isn't a preference. It's an update and it is the official version.

The same is true for sage advice. It's not just advice. Those are the official rulings.

Arguing whether those are official or not is fruitless. They are official. I'm only pointing out because if people are going to argue about rules it should be clear that those two sources are official and do trump older copies when it comes to a discussion like that.

It's your final comment I quoted that I agree with. Just because something is updated, RAW, or has an official ruling doesn't dictate anyone's particular table. What works and what doesn't at anyone's table is far more important, and demonstrating how or why is a better use of our time in discussions like this than something tangential like what version is correct. ;-)
I think the point is the DM still decides to use it or not.

Doesn't really matter imho as long as it's consistent.

WotC RPG police won't be coming around and to your place and beat you over the head with the errata book.

Generally I don't go out of my way to follow errata but I do tend to use updates in books I own.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
It seems that your only measure of suck is DPR, which is fine, for a specific type of gamer.

But that will always result in certain build types being judged as awful. The Artificer can do lots of support in combat, are immeasurably valuable in exploration (a steel defender & homunculus exploration team can do a lot), and are fine in social situations.

You may not get what you want if you want only a combat build.

Not at all but there's better combat classes and better support classes and I would argue both eg clerics.

Battlesmiths pet died the other night and not for first time and low opportunity cost (AoEs).

White room can't guarantee pets always active.
 


Not at all but there's better combat classes and better support classes and I would argue both eg clerics.

Battlesmiths pet died the other night and not for first time and low opportunity cost (AoEs).

White room can't guarantee pets always active.
Explain how a Cleric can send two bonded allies to explore a room on its own, at zero cost of slots.
 

cbwjm

Hero
I think the thing I dislike about the artificer is their general lack of spell slots, I really feel like they could have been a 2/3rds spellcaster instead of a half because as a half-caster they gain their spell slots too slowly for my taste. It would mean that they gain 7th level spell slots and they might need an expanded spell list to go with it, but I think it would give them a nice boost.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Explain how a Cleric can send two bonded allies to explore a room on its own, at zero cost of slots.
Lots of classes can do that like so:
"I have my familiar perched on the rogue/ranger/whatever's shoulder"
It's also rarely a significant hurdle for a group to overcome
@AcererakTriple6 artificer doesn't get a third cantrip till 10 & at quite a few of their archetypes are pretty one element cookies.
 

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