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D&D 5E Does the Artificer Suck?

Its pretty standard for the fighter to expe t y have a magic weapon by level 5
Maybe they do. Maybe it's even of a kind the fighter prefers to use.

Then the artificer can make whatever other thing the party is lacking.
Also because thieves tools tend to be DeX, a medium armor caster with them is going to.... well I'm sure you see the problem...
DEX 14 and expertise + Guidance (artificer cantrip) is enough for most locks, and traps typically involve an INT (thieves' tools) check to disarm.
 

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Number of fights vary large amount is 6/long rest, sometimes 1/long rest.

If your playing support there's better classes eg various bards and clerics and they seem better at damage as well.
The artificer's niche tends to be sustained contribution throughout a full adventuring day. Their at-will damage through boosted cantrips + companion attack is very solid. The magic items they infuse for the party last all day. Spell storing item gives access to a lot of casts of a low-level spell and good concentration economy. They, like many other classes aren't so good at going nova for just a couple of fights a day.
If the party full-casters aren't being exerted to the point where they are having to use at-will attacks for a reasonable part of it, then it is very likely that they will be appearing to be much stronger than the other classes outside of the Paladin perhaps.

What other characters are in the party?
 

Damage wise the battlesmith artificer comes in just behind the paladin, which is a pretty high bar, with the added advantage of being hard to shutdown (see any fight dealing with ranged combat with the paladin) while simultaneously having the ability to place there class features where they have the biggest impact.


Passing out infusions can have a huge impact on the the party's impact with little action economy costs which rare. Giving the SS fighter a +1 repeating heavy crossbow is a pretty big buff at any point. Every miss that that that infusion turns into a hit and all those little boosts of damage should be credited to the artificer.

Even if the artificer is going all in self buffing they can do a fairly good job at chipping away HP on top of the utility support they have. Being very SaD, they can grab the standard SS/GWM feats and leverage the higher attack bonuses they get.

In the end artificers may not be the strongest class in the game but I can't see the either of the other half casters soloing an ancient red dragon for laughs while pumping out a lv 1 spell scroll every time the party takes a long rest at the same time they are running a side hussle of selling ever lasting torches a rock bottom prices just because your tired of traveling on dark roads.
 

Maybe they do. Maybe it's even of a kind the fighter prefers to use.

Then the artificer can make whatever other thing the party is lacking.

DEX 14 and expertise + Guidance (artificer cantrip) is enough for most locks, and traps typically involve an INT (thieves' tools) check to disarm.
Don't forget flash of genius and gloves of thievery if they really want to go alt rogue.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Maybe they do. Maybe it's even of a kind the fighter prefers to use.

Then the artificer can make whatever other thing the party is lacking.

DEX 14 and expertise + Guidance (artificer cantrip) is enough for most locks, and traps typically involve an INT (thieves' tools) check to disarm.
Except due to an overly conservative list loaded with filler items and no ability to change infusions known in support of such a solution seeking a problem "whatever other thing the party is lacking" is probably not doable either. If the intent was to let them flexibly fill the needs of "whatever other thing the party is lacking" at a solid but not amazing level that would have been fine too but the limits on infusions are more the sort of limitations you would expect to see if they were limiting a list of very powerful top shelf tems at the levels that they were allowed
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
They might have my favorite spell list in the game, and I love that they use cleric/druid/paladin style spell prep. But this is offset by the frustratingly low number of spell slots.

If you have an artificer and a bard in the same party, I have found that the bard generally outshines the artificer at doing the same sorts of things.
 

They might have my favorite spell list in the game, and I love that they use cleric/druid/paladin style spell prep. But this is offset by the frustratingly low number of spell slots.

If you have an artificer and a bard in the same party, I have found that the bard generally outshines the artificer at doing the same sorts of things.
I think the design intent was for the artificer to excel at complementing rather than trying to be in direct competition with anyone.

I like playing half-casters due to the spell slot limitations. Full casters are playing on easy mode and martials can be very one dimensional. Half casters strike a good balance of options but at a cost so making decisions feel like they matter.
 

If you have an artificer and a bard in the same party, I have found that the bard generally outshines the artificer at doing the same sorts of things.

Aside from 'at-will' damage, something Bards suck at (badly), and Artificers are generally top tier at (on par with the Warlock).

Bard 5's at will options include Vicious mockery for 2d4 damage (save for none) or a single subpar melee or weapon attack.

Battlesmith, Forge Adept and Armorer artificer get extra attack (twice as good already) with Int to hit and damage so nearly on par with most martials. Artillerists have access to firebolt for 2d10 plus an arcane firearm and turret of 3d8. All of them have access to SCAG cantrips as well.
 

Except due to an overly conservative list loaded with filler items and no ability to change infusions known in support of such a solution seeking a problem "whatever other thing the party is lacking" is probably not doable either. If the intent was to let them flexibly fill the needs of "whatever other thing the party is lacking" at a solid but not amazing level that would have been fine too but the limits on infusions are more the sort of limitations you would expect to see if they were limiting a list of very powerful top shelf tems at the levels that they were allowed
You can change infusions known at level up, and you have more known than you have slots anyway.

In my experience artificers can almost always supply what is needed.

Of course, in a monty haul campaign, when the party have more magic items than they know what to do with, the value is diminished.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
You can change infusions known at level up, and you have more known than you have slots anyway.

In my experience artificers can almost always supply what is needed.

Of course, in a monty haul campaign, when the party have more magic items than they know what to do with, the value is diminished.
Oh I'm quite aware of the at level up, but "whatever other thing the party is lacking" is not even on the same planet as changing infusions "at level up" & artificer has too many areas where every possible strongpoint is limited in every way as if it wasn't so much possible but defacto reeking of design by committee where in the end they took all the things on the limits side of the whiteboard & none of the stuff to bring secondary/tertiary features into the spotlight on the strengths side of the whiteboard
 

Oh I'm quite aware of the at level up, but "whatever other thing the party is lacking" is not even on the same planet as changing infusions "at level up" & artificer has too many areas where every possible strongpoint is limited in every way as if it wasn't so much possible but defacto reeking of design by committee where in the end they took all the things on the limits side of the whiteboard & none of the stuff to bring secondary/tertiary features into the spotlight on the strengths side of the whiteboard
And some people just have to hate anything new that doesn't do everything better than anything old.
 

You can change infusions known at level up, and you have more known than you have slots anyway.

In my experience artificers can almost always supply what is needed.

Of course, in a monty haul campaign, when the party have more magic items than they know what to do with, the value is diminished.

In such campaigns the Artificer shines seeing as they can attune to up to 6 items (8 if you're an Armorer) at once.
 

Except due to an overly conservative list loaded with filler items and no ability to change infusions known in support of such a solution seeking a problem "whatever other thing the party is lacking" is probably not doable either. If the intent was to let them flexibly fill the needs of "whatever other thing the party is lacking" at a solid but not amazing level that would have been fine too but the limits on infusions are more the sort of limitations you would expect to see if they were limiting a list of very powerful top shelf tems at the levels that they were allowed
How is the list overly conservative? Which items do you believe are just "filler"?
The artificer can adjust to supply something that the party is lacking quite easily: Weapon infusions can be applied to any non-magical weapon so if the GWM fighter only has a magic dagger, the artificer can infuse a greatsword for them instead.
If the fighter later finds a magical greatsword then as Paul pointed out to you, they can just swap their infusion to a utility item, or an AC bonus: whatever the party lacks. If they don't have any unused infusions for something the party don't have or can't use more of, then they do get to change their infusions known at level up.

You can change infusions known at level up, and you have more known than you have slots anyway.

In my experience artificers can almost always supply what is needed.

Of course, in a monty haul campaign, when the party have more magic items than they know what to do with, the value is diminished.
i don't think any campaigns get so monty-haul that an artificer can't find an infusion of something the party lacks.
Also, in a monty haul campaign, the artificer's ability to attune to extra items and use any item, particularly wands and staves, gives an increase in value from that.
 

G

Guest User

Guest
But Alchemist and Armorer are trap choices.
I have no direct experience with the Armorer, but I have seen an Alchemist in play, and It was fine. The Alchemist was in an 8 person party that included 4 flavors of Paladin and one Arcane Cleric...so I would say the deck was stacked against the PC being a bright shining star with that party composition stepping on their subclass toes.

The player is clever, learned their class abilities, and thought about ways to differentiate themselves and used the artificer class' ability to "retool" on a Long Rest to their advantage.

3-5 Free uses of Lesser Restoration, and one Use of Greater Restoration and Heal, let the other characters able to prepare different spells.

Alchemists and Artillerists deal great damage with their Cantrips.

A Tier 3 Artificer that is able to use any magic items, regardless of restrictions, is impressive. The High Level Artillerist in a game I play in has Efreeti Chain, a Ring of Spell Turning, and a Staff of the Magi, and still has room for other items that require attunement. The Artillerist constantly changes their kit...and can tank in a pinch.
 


G

Guest User

Guest
Of course, in a monty haul campaign, when the party have more magic items than they know what to do with, the value is diminished
Actually, in a Gygax style campaign, at high levels the Artificer can really shine.
Battle Smiths duel wielding a Vorpal Sword with a Staff of Striking, just because they can..and so forth. Attuning to 5 Legendary Items is nice.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
How is the list overly conservative? Which items do you believe are just "filler"?
Look at the replicate magic item lists. The 2nd & 6th level ones are relatively appropriate and the value of the +1 on a nonmagical weapon is still good because it's not until 5ish that the party is likely to have them. After that however that +1 weapon/armor doesn't improve till 11th & never gets better again wile the +1 and some minor stuff like radiant weapon just never improve to begin with. The higher an artificer goes the more hat replicate magic item needs to pickup the slack for those infusions but instead of doing that it fails at doing so. Look at the level 10 & level 14 replicate magic item lists, yea there are a couple good items but even those wouldn't be out of place if obtained earlier & even some of those are made not useful due to obtaining them too late(ie gauntlets of ogre power). do you really think that a 10th+ level character is needed to keep a quiver of ehlona, uncommon boots of the winterlands, wonderous item brooch of shielding, wonderous cloak of the bat(oops that's actually on the 14 list not 10), wonderous hat of disguise, uncommon helm of telepathy, uncommon medallion of thoughts, uncommon gloves of swiming & climbing, wonderous necklace of adaptation, uncommon periapt of wound closure, uncommon ring of jumping, uncommon ring of mind shielding, or uncommon slippers of spider climbing from being unbalancing to the 2nd or 5th level list of replicate options? do you think there are many strength or int based characters needing or even benefitting from gauntlets of ogre power or headbands of intellect still by level 10 when they become replicatable? It's just a recycled grab bag of a few good items a tier or two too late to stil be meaningful in most cases that is padded out with stocking stuffer neat but not very likely to change much at any level a gm awards them to players

The artificer can adjust to supply something that the party is lacking quite easily: Weapon infusions can be applied to any non-magical weapon so if the GWM fighter only has a magic dagger, the artificer can infuse a greatsword for them instead.
People keep saying that, but the mechanics of artificer don't really support doing that & more importantly it's probably not really needed after level 5 or so in most of wotc's HC adventures.

If the fighter later finds a magical greatsword then as Paul pointed out to you, they can just swap their infusion to a utility item, or an AC bonus: whatever the party lacks. If they don't have any unused infusions for something the party don't have or can't use more of, then they do get to change their infusions known at level up.
No at level up he can do that swap, that's hardly accomplishing
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This whole line is like saying that warlock imited spell slots make sense because they can change spells at level up to cast whatever spells the party needs. The difference is that those warlock spell slots come with a powerful feature in the form of getting the back on a short rest while the powerful feature for the infusions never made it to print.
More importantly the artificer specific infusion items and replicate magic item lists don't fill the slack once +1 is met.
i don't think any campaigns get so monty-haul that an artificer can't find an infusion of something the party lacks.
Also, in a monty haul campaign, the artificer's ability to attune to extra items and use any item, particularly wands and staves, gives an increase in value from that.
I think you might be pretty far off base by suggesting that +1 stuff is what is needed to qualify as "monty haul" +1 weapon & +1 shields are only uncommon. +1 armor is rare sure, but you can't make more than one so it's still absurd to say it's monty haul.
edit
6 Legendary items. 8 if you're an Armorer and those extra ones are in your armor.

Ignoring class and other restrictions.
Those just grow on trees in your games? I could be mistaken, but I don't think there are any legendary items on the artificer infusion lists either...
 

Those just grow on trees in your games? I could be mistaken, but I don't think there are any legendary items on the artificer infusion lists either...

At high levels they do make appearances, but the fact remains in my games by around 10th level, attunement slots are the deciding factor in magic item use, with tough decisions being made already.

DMs with artificers should definitely allow downtime magic item crafting as well.
 

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