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D&D 5E Does the Artificer Suck?

There is no 'Downtime by level'. It's not level dependent (however the rarity of items you can create is, and gold is another factor).

Artificers can simply create a common item in a single day, costing them only 50gp to do so. An uncommon item takes 5 days and 250gp (going by the DMG). Halve that for a consumable.

They can pretty easily outfit the party with +1 weapons pretty early on (3rd level) for not much gold at all (4 PCs and 4 magic weapons = 1000gp)

Havent got XgtE here, but I presume (once they have a formula for an item) they can really churn those suckers out making a tidy profit.
That is the problem. this is
Rarity is a useless metric for this as for example a +1 greatsword & an amulet against detection & location are both the exact same uncommon rarity &
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making this "guidance" from xge fairly useless
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the rules are incomplete and you are ignoring that to continue this

Not my rules. I have rules for magic item creation (times, cost, and other requirements). They're very DM dependent (he can choose to use them, they might require slaying monsters and harvesting parts or recovering components or a 'formula', there is a level requirement etc).

I also have rules for item rarity.

Now you might not agree with the rarity of certain items (and I dont blame you, I do too) but that's opinion.

If the rules are in use, that's what they (RAW) are.
 

That is the problem.
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.
this is

Rarity is a useless metric for this as for example a +1 greatsword & an amulet against detection & location are both the exact same uncommon rarity &

Err, what's the problem with that?

There certainly are anomalies, with items that have the same ability having different rarities, but any decent DM will take it with a pinch of salt anyway, and distribute magic items as they see fit.

making this "guidance" from xge fairly useless
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No, because it's guidance that DMs can choose which version, or none, they want to use. It's not rules.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The magic items they can make (as part of their class features) have limits though (in how many they can have, and of which types), and you're free as DM to limit them making more outside of their class features (in downtime) by either not allowing downtime crafting, or limiting downtime.

Simplest point - if you want to craft an item, you need a recipe. That has to be found in-game. If the GM doesn't place the recipe in game, you can't make the item, period. On top of that, all magic items require special ingredients they also have to find in-game. So this is completely in the GM's control.

My artificer has yet to make a single magic item. :(

In this way, you can keep crafting for things like healing potions and spell scrolls, but not have extra items crop up.

The smart GM, however, will allow crafting - and instead of giving the party so many items, makes many of the items they'd give as recipes instead, so that the Artificer has to make the things for the party. Keeps the balance while allowing the character to exercise their shtick.
 

Simplest point - if you want to craft an item, you need a recipe. That has to be found in-game. If the GM doesn't place the recipe in game, you can't make the item, period. On top of that, all magic items require special ingredients they also have to find in-game. So this is completely in the GM's control.

My artificer has yet to make a single magic item. :(

In this way, you can keep crafting for things like healing potions and spell scrolls, but not have extra items crop up.

The smart GM, however, will allow crafting - and instead of giving the party so many items, makes many of the items they'd give as recipes instead, so that the Artificer has to make the things for the party. Keeps the balance while allowing the character to exercise their shtick.
scrolls are a pretty power option for the artificer to capitalize on once you realize that 2 hours of crafting time lines up perfectly with the long rest rules. potions are kinda meh in comparison but if each person has a few on them it can be a good insurance plan.
 


Simplest point - if you want to craft an item, you need a recipe. That has to be found in-game. If the GM doesn't place the recipe in game, you can't make the item, period. On top of that, all magic items require special ingredients they also have to find in-game. So this is completely in the GM's control.

My artificer has yet to make a single magic item. :(

Did you discuss this with the DM in advance of creating the PC?
 

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.


Err, what's the problem with that?

There certainly are anomalies, with items that have the same ability having different rarities, but any decent DM will take it with a pinch of salt anyway, and distribute magic items as they see fit.


No, because it's guidance that DMs can choose which version, or none, they want to use. It's not rules.
Your assertion that the unfinished design outline is guidance not a rule is correct.... I agree entirely as that is the purpose of a design outline so there is guidance to follow while the designer is completing the thing it outlines. In this case the "thing" would be a completed set of crafting rules. I'm not the one who has been claiming that it's a completed or even acceptable rule. If it's simply guidance then obviously it can't be considered completed rules for crafting magic items but I can't help noticing you aren't trying to correct anyone who has been pointing at that "guidance" provided by the design outline saying it's a completed system of rules for crafting magic items. In fact you don't seem to even be going that far while saying that it fills the need so he problem is with anyone who has a playstyle that causes them to disagree. Imagine rules for a card game that at no point even mentions how many cards the dealer should deal each player at the start. the artificer ability to spend half the gold & a quarter of the time crafting (un)common items is an objective mechanical rule that falls apart when paired with the mere "guidance" provide by a design outline.

Like it or not, despite the attempts to make it something else by removing portions of the rules & leaving others to be finished by the gm d&d is still a tactical combat game with some story & roleplaying elements mixed in & that remains the case no matter how thin the layer of tactics is. That's why the system has things such as levels & monster CR. 5e's omissions will never make it into something like a shared narrative roleplaying game that goes a different route, here is a great example of such a game. Regardless of if that not a tactical combat game with roleplaying elements goal is what Mearls Crawford or whoever it is at at wotc that really wishes what the one true way of that 5e was having a class with a line item of "If you craft a magic item with a rarity of common or uncommon, it takes you a quarter of the normal time, and it costs you half as much of the usual gold" means that those elements are no longer something that can be "guidance that DMs can choose which version, or none, they want to use" unless the class with that line item has variants that come into play when the gm finishes that system in ways that hamstring or overpower that class.
 

You have a gracious GM who thinks a crafting day is 8 hours?
Not really. Even at 10, 12, or even 16 hours set as a craft day they are still pumping out scrolls every other long rest.

Which is really the heart of the issue. the artificer leverages time as a core resource and dnd doesn't handle time outside of combat well.

The 8 hour workday is also not a random number. on page 129 on the DMG it's the given normal time spent on a day of crafting a magical item.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
Ouch. Fair enough CR wise (Hard fight) as long as he was on his own, but the potential for a TPK is strong (particularly if he had time to buff in advance with Stoneskin and Mirror image, and you swapped out Burning hands for shield).

Even with absorb elements, it does like 23 or so damage on a failed save (and none of those PCs are proficient in Dex saves) which is a lot at 6th level for that party. The Cleric and Paladin likely take 45 damage, and are dropped to 0 HP as a result.



Burns a reaction and a 1st level slot.

Question for you: As DM, do you track their resource use during the game (either keeping rough tabs on it, or accurately, by recording it yourself?)

Also, the Paladin and Cleric dont have it, and likely dumped Dex for heavy armor.

Next time have the spellcasters mooks run around provoking AoO. (readying an action to just before the enemy casters turn if necessary) Then hit them with an energy spell from the caster.

Watch their faces when you remind them that they cant cast absorb elements as they've already used their reactions for AoO's.

I keep rough tabs on it but they keep track of it.

Storm sorcerer was resistant to lightning.

EK, Divine Soul, Artificer all have absorb elements.

None are wearing heavy armor, Paladin has 20 charisma, aura and uses shillelagh keyed off charisma. Pirate came so they're mostly in medium.

Invoker managed to drop 2 chain lightning plus upcast lightning bolt iirc.
 

I keep rough tabs on it but they keep track of it.
Track it next time.

I have a feeling a few of them are 'forgetting' to record a few slots here or there.
Storm sorcerer was resistant to lightning.

EK, Divine Soul, Artificer all have absorb elements.
Did they have warcaster or a free hand to be able to cast it?

Somatic (but no material) components, so free hand needed.
None are wearing heavy armor, Paladin has 20 charisma, aura and uses shillelagh keyed off charisma.

Rolled stats eh?

I hate rolled stats. It creates the problem that caused you to start this thread.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Track it next time.

I have a feeling a few of them are 'forgetting' to record a few slots here or there.

Did they have warcaster or a free hand to be able to cast it?

Somatic (but no material) components, so free hand needed.


Rolled stats eh?

I hate rolled stats. It creates the problem that caused you to start this thread.

One of them has warcaster and yes they've been tripping over not having a hand free often putting weapons away in effect forgoing AoO.

Rolled stats and +2 racial. Default array also has problems as some classes a lot more MAD than others.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
That is the problem. this is

Rarity is a useless metric for this as for example a +1 greatsword & an amulet against detection & location are both the exact same uncommon rarity

So you are saying that the amulet against detection and location, being something that could change how entire plots work, is on a table with an item that offers a small boost to your combat abilities, so the tables aren't very balanced?[/spoiler]
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Did you discuss this with the DM in advance of creating the PC?

No, because I didn't have a copy of Xanathar's at the time to know about this option to raise the question. My expectations had not included spending significant downtime crafting stuff, so I'm actually okay with it. It is more a wistful thing than a real gripe.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Not really. Even at 10, 12, or even 16 hours set as a craft day they are still pumping out scrolls every other long rest.

Hm. Different playstyles. I haven't found the 1st level spells worth the effort, and above that for my group the money cost becomes an issue.

The 8 hour workday is also not a random number. on page 129 on the DMG it's the given normal time spent on a day of crafting a magical item.

Ah. With these quotes, from Xanathar's, most GMs I work with don't view it that way:

"Downtime activities are tasks that usually take a workweek (5 days) or longer to perform."

"Consider handling downtime away from the game table."
 

So you are saying that the amulet against detection and location, being something that could change how entire plots work, is on a table with an item that offers a small boost to your combat abilities, so the tables aren't very balanced?[/spoiler]
Hat of disguise & weapon of warning along with many other things are also on that same table. That +1 also obliviates this line from every single one of these two hundred or so monsters with the line "Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons." The point is that attempting to repurpose treasure tables to gauge how many magic items that a PC might have at given levels, but is wholely inadequate as the foundation for what is either a design outline, guidelines, or as some claim actually complete "rules" for a crafting system using gp & downtime as the main resources involved in that section of xge
 

So you are saying that the amulet against detection and location, being something that could change how entire plots work, is on a table with an item that offers a small boost to your combat abilities, so the tables aren't very balanced?[/spoiler]
I believe Tetrasodium's complaint centers around +1 weapons being both "major magic items" (and thus suggested to be handed out less frequently) and "uncommon magic items". The time and money requirements in Xanathar's guide do not distinguish between major and minor items, and the guide does not explicitly tell DMs to make major item formulae and/or materials rarer or harder to obtain than those of minor magic items.
 

Hm. Different playstyles. I haven't found the 1st level spells worth the effort, and above that for my group the money cost becomes an issue.



Ah. With these quotes, from Xanathar's, most GMs I work with don't view it that way:

"Downtime activities are tasks that usually take a workweek (5 days) or longer to perform."

"Consider handling downtime away from the game table."
Aye. They really missed the mark trying to broad brush downtime without considering the larger impact. Downtime is something that can take a week(s) or a few hours depending on the order you read the rules.

As for the spell scrolls themselves, a handful of them really do go a long way.
 
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