New Unearthed Arcana: Revised Artificer

The Artificer Returns, and it's a better Beast Master than the Beast Master

ICYMI, enjoy! It's got two new subclasses, new spells, and some tweaks to multiclassing. Plus, you know, typos.

Now to the meat of the matter. The Battle Smith. Everyone's better at having pets than the poor Beast Master Ranger. Discuss!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Comments

5ekyu

Adventurer
TWF itself is known to be a problem. In fact, TWF is such a huge problem that it caused the Devs to doubt the entire Bonus Action mechanic itself.
As I recall, it was one dev and whenever he started to dive into options in depth it got ugly quick.

In my experience, the morning after musings rarely turn out to be worth much without putting in the work to again see "why we did this and didnt do that".

But that's me.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Lets see what the changes are here:

New Spells, mostly from XGtE.

Cantrips:
A thunder damage option, more control options, and options are always nice. Especially on a class that can get access to all of their cantrips.
The notable synergy here is Magic Stone. It guarantees that an Artificer has access to a magic weapon without having to burn an Infusion for it. Is that interaction intentional? That's debatable considering that they don't have access to Shillelagh, despite pulling from the Druid Cantrip list. In fact, they should just add Shillelagh to the list. It will also help smooth out the gap between level 1 and level 3 where Battle Smiths are going to be whiffing their attacks. Yes, it's a bit of a kludge (hah), but Arcane Armament is just kinda bad for requiring additional character build resources in the first place.

Level 1
Absorb Elements is nice. But it begs the question: “Why not Shield as a general pick?”
Catapult is just plain fun. It also has practical synergies: Want to poor some Alchemist Fire on someone that's on the other side of the room? No Problem, this gives you extended range on your flask throwing!
Faerie Fire, Feather Fall, Snare: All good stuff.

Level 2
Pyrotechnics and Skywright.
Better to have them than not I suppose.

Level 3
Catnap? That's out of nowhere.
Flame Arrows and Tiny Servant however, are both on point.
There is also a noticeable lack of Remove Curse. How are they supposed to deal with Cursed Items?

Level 4
Elemental Bane seems a bit too damage focused to just be up for any Artificer to grab.
Vitriolic Sphere, on the other hand, is simply lackluster. It's no Fireball, an it's later to boot. Is a half-caster really going using a 4th level spell for minion clearing?

Level 5
Skill Empowerment. Expertise on demand. The only problem is that the Artificer is a half-caster. So they don't get this until endgame, but whatchagoinado?
Transmute Rock. Another Fun spell.

I want to take a moment here to talk about Arcane Armament. It's unfortunately the same: it's still just Extra Attack with extra hoops to jump through. Which means you have to burn one of your Infusion slots (or stick with pebbles) if you want to use your own class feature. Having to double-dip like that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Also, Artificers still have two capstones. Break one of them up and let people use some of that before the end of the game.


Now for the Subclasses!

Alchemist is the same. Ok...

Archivist! Now, everyone can play with your invisible friend! Totally a psionic class that didn't make it into the psionic playtest. They make scrolls, and maps, and possibly books. Are we sure this isn't a wizard in disguise?

The spells are all mindful, nothing too outstanding.

They don't get a physical pet, which is unique for artificers. Instead they pull the same trick that Sheperd Druids do, and have a non-tangible holographic entity act as the anchor for a (somewhat) mobile zone of magical hi-jinx.

Information Overload has basically a point blank range mind blast, which would make it hard to use, especially considering that the Mind-Thing isn't extraordinarily mobile.

Mind Network is great, for talking to your party. Unfortunately, the psionic damage bonus is crimped by the limited range of Information Overload, and Dissonant Whispers is the only spell you have that will work with it for the bulk of your characters adventuring days.

Pure Information gives Mind Overload more bite, but not more range, it's glaring weakness.
It also lets you teleport across the entire multiverse, providing you are teleporting to one of your infused items. Which is rad.

Artillerist: More of the same. Also slow, but at least it has more range than the Mind-Thing.

Battle Smith! It sounds like a Cleric subclass, but it's actually a steampunk Ranger. By “smithing”, they mean you can make armor, but only magical armor! Which means no early potential source of plate.

Battle Ready. They do the Hexblade thing. Some people will insist this is the worse thing ever. In reality, they only have a fraction of the Hexblades true power, and almost none of it's cross-class synergy. Though on the plus side, you can totally ignore the ability and just focus on cantrips and your pet.

Oh yes, speaking of the pet, which is the reason people are going to play this class.
Iron Defender. Rangers everywhere are crying. It has generically good stats and scales smartly with your level. It can be repaired and resurrected (!) easily, at the level that you get it no less. But most importantly, and I quote: “It can move and use its reaction on its own, but 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 one of the actions in its stat block or the Dash, Disengage, or Help action ”. It's the next best option if you absolutely can't let the pet attack without spending the player's action.

Also, they get Arcane Jolt, which lets them heal your party when they bite something. Which is really good on the action economy.

As for spells, the Battle Smith gets a bunch of Smites, and some auras, but nobody cares. Because Rex the Robodog is the star of this show.

Now for Infusions!

Enhanced Wand is the new casters equivalent of Enhanced Weapon, with the added bonus of ignoring half-cover because spell attacks aren't all that common if you aren't a Warlock. Though it is a bit weird. Why does it ignore half-cover, but do nothing against 3/4ths cover? Couldn't it just reduce less than full cover by one step?

Repeating Shot makes Crossbow Artificers viable. It also makes low-tech Gun Artificers Viable, if you happen to use guns.

Repulsion Shield is amazing. It automatically pushes anyone who hits you, regardless of their size or saving throws!

Other than that, it's mostly the same as before.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

DEFCON 1

Legend
Yeah, it was Mearls who went off on thinking the Bonus action mechanic was not serving its proper purpose, but then later on determined it was probably just using it for Two Weapon Fighting that was causing issues.

If anyone doesn't like having your off-hand attack take your Bonus action, I'm pretty sure he said there shouldn't be any issue with wrapping the off-hand attack into the Attack action (If you use your Attack action to make a weapon attack with your main hand, you may make a second attack using your off-hand weapon.)
 

trentonjoe

Explorer
I like how they made a third level spell a first level:

Arcane Weapon
1st-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You channel arcane energy into one simple or martial weapon you’re holding, and choose one damage type: acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, or thunder. Until the spell ends, you deal an extra 1d6 damage of the chosen type to any target you hit with the weapon. If the weapon isn’t magical, it becomes a magic weapon for the spell’s duration. As a bonus action, you can change the damage type, choosing from the options above.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can maintain your concentration on the spell for up to 8 hours.


Which is VERY similar to Elemental Weapon
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I like how they made a third level spell a first level:

Arcane Weapon
1st-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You channel arcane energy into one simple or martial weapon you’re holding, and choose one damage type: acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, or thunder. Until the spell ends, you deal an extra 1d6 damage of the chosen type to any target you hit with the weapon. If the weapon isn’t magical, it becomes a magic weapon for the spell’s duration. As a bonus action, you can change the damage type, choosing from the options above.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can maintain your concentration on the spell for up to 8 hours.


Which is VERY similar to Elemental Weapon
They obviously believe a +1d6 damage magic weapon in the hands of the artificer themself is not as powerful as a +1 to-hit / +1d4 damage magic weapon in the hands of another PC. Especially considering the artificer is more likely to lose concentration on it when they are the ones in melee taking the hits.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Explorer
My only critique would be that level 7 is strangely empty. No new feature, increase to spellcasting is minor gaining an additional 2nd level slot. You learn an additional infusion, but the number of active infusions remains the same and the level requirement on the better infusions seems to be 8th level so it's not a real power increase. They could probably fit a feature in at the base class as currently there are no base class features between 5th and 10th level.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Now with tiny servant, and the ability to "flavor/describe" your spells, I look forward to the iron defender acting like a mothership, deploying swarms of tiny servants.
 

Sword of Spirit

Adventurer
They obviously believe a +1d6 damage magic weapon in the hands of the artificer themself is not as powerful as a +1 to-hit / +1d4 damage magic weapon in the hands of another PC. Especially considering the artificer is more likely to lose concentration on it when they are the ones in melee taking the hits.
Seems like they may have forgotten that bard (or magic initiate, if artificer is allowed like it should be) can snag this for non-artificers.
 

Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
I feel there still needs to be a sub-class along the likes of Dr. Frankenstein or Dr. Moreau, or maybe one that's based off of Dr. Jekyll instead.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
Overall the class looks pretty good to me. I’ll admit it does feel like 3 pet classes, they all are good but I don’t really see a pet less artificer here like the article mentioned
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
I expect there will be a lot of room for personalized style in the flavor text for your PC's pet. A High Elf's artistic melding of metal and wood won't be the same as a Rock Gnome's gear powered mechanism will differ from a Mountain Dwarf's animated stone construct.
Fair enough. I would expect the artifice of an Elf to look more ‘organic’ and less ‘architectural’.

Still, I would want some feature that made it clearly artifice − maybe elemental, like skin appearing as sculpted stone, eyes gemmy, hair gold thread or fiery.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
I worry about Artificer being a half-caster, and being subpar at the highest tier.

Any thoughts about how, say, a level 17 Artificer compares to other classes?
 

Kurotowa

Explorer
Send the AM into the dungeon whilst the party wait in a safe location outside. It can kill anything that isn't immune to psionics at no risk to the party (slowly and boringly). Whist it can't pass through objects, it has no size, so there is nothing to prevent it passing through keyholes or under doors. It has a range of 300 feet, which is large enough for most dungeons.
On the one hand, yes there's a powerful trick there. Displace your senses, send the AM out, zap things safely. OTOH, there are limits. First, I'd hotly debate the "can slip through gaps of any shape or size" ruling. The ban on being able to pass through objects seems there specifically to prevent those shenanigans. The text says it manifests as a Tiny creature and that's what I'd stick to. Also, the AM is limited to 30ft of movement a round. Anything but the slowest creatures can Move-Dash to get away from it.

I like how they made a third level spell a first level:

Which is VERY similar to Elemental Weapon
The better comparisons are Hex and Hunter's Mark, both of which are first level spells. They're all variations on a specific effect.
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

Top