Gate Pass Gazette Playtest the ARTIFICER (Kickstarter backers only)

At 20th level, you could have up to 16 5th-level spells (or spells cast with a 5th-level slot) and four cantrips, and could effectively cast them forever if you didn't roll a 1 on the Fizzle Die. I think they're counting on people spending slots on their vehicles and pets--and that definitely will happen. But that means the Bombardier probably needs something to spend those inventions on as well.
Your device fizzles if you roll the spell level you are casting or less on your fizzle die, not just on a 1, so your spells fizzles about 62% if you are casting a 5th level spell.
 

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W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
Spells: I would love to see the Arcane Muscles cantrip added so I can hulk out long before I get my Rage of the Meek.
oh-ho...
At 20th level, you could have up to 16 5th-level spells (or spells cast with a 5th-level slot) and four cantrips, and could effectively cast them forever if you didn't roll a 1 on the Fizzle Die. I think they're counting on people spending slots on their vehicles and pets--and that definitely will happen. But that means the Bombardier probably needs something to spend those inventions on as well.

Now, a 20th-level wizard has 22 spell slots (out of 25 spells that are prepared, assuming Int 20) and five cantrips, plus three free 1/day signature spells, plus 10 additional spell slot levels from Arcane Recovery, plus as many free first-level spells they want from True Magician, plus as many ritual spells as they want.

So... I'm not sure the artificer is actually the best caster. But they are very good, especially the Bombardier who doesn't need to spend inventions on archetype abilities.
yeah, good point. still terrifying.
This actually doesn't bother me so much because you don't have spells, you have magitech devices that should weigh something. This is why you get hirelings or your pets to carry your stuff for you. :D
oh i'm fine with it from a balancing perspective, my point was that 30+ pounds is still a lot.
Your device fizzles if you roll the spell level you are casting or less on your fizzle die, not just on a 1, so your spells fizzles about 62% if you are casting a 5th level spell.
well, remember that your archetype spells have an increased fizzle die - so by 20th level there's a 50% chance your 5th level invention will keep going if it's an archetype invention.
 

Alhazrael

Villager
Since they haven't added the Artificer to the Bug Report section, the released PDF has an error on either pg 3 in the table or pg 10 & 11. The 9th and 11th level features are swapped and I am not 100% certain which is supposed to be which (Advanced Tactical Chemistry & Reliable Invention).
 

well, remember that your archetype spells have an increased fizzle die - so by 20th level there's a 50% chance your 5th level invention will keep going if it's an archetype invention.
True. Something I keep forgetting is that the extra die bump at lvl 20 so I was thinking d6/d8 not d8/d10. That does feel powerful but if I remind myself that it is part of their capstone it feels a bit better.
 

RPGMajor

Explorer
So, from a purely mechanical stand point, I love it. So much better than O5e artificer.

I am a little grumpy about it being so completely not appropriate for every campaign setting flavorwise, specifically that the technological aspect makes it not really appropriate to a lot of more traditional fantasy or or medieval sword and sorcery settings, which is what I tend to prefer. The techno-magical approach is certainly a valid one for the artificer, but it's not the only one, and I would have preferred the base class to be presented in a slightly more flexible manner. However, I don't think that is necessarily a deal breaker, as other than the Engineer subclass I think this can be fairly easily reflavored/reskinned to fit into a less technological setting. Just in case anyone else shares my preferences and is interested, here's a rough draft of me rewritten non-techno flavor for the A5e Artificer:

Artificers are those who thirst for arcane knowledge and power, and more importantly for new arcane knowledge and power. They find the hide bound traditions, ancient "wisdom", and esoteric rituals of traditional magical practice to be narrowminded and stifling, and so they set out on their own in search of new, unorthodox means of channeling magic. Magic is an inherently unpredictable and dangerous thing, and though artificers risk life and limb and frequent failure in their experiments, they attempt to insulate themselves somewhat from the unpredictable risks of their recklessness by focusing on sympathetic magic, the channeling of mystical energies through physical objects and foci and the harnessing of the innate magical properties of strange alchemic substances, as opposed to directly casting spells. This reliance on physical implements means that many artificers come from a background of being mundane craftsman, and those who do not quickly develop such skills out of necessity. Most interestingly of all, their studies give them unique insight into the supremely difficult and costly creation, use, and powering of magical items, insight even the greatest of traditional wizards and sorcerers cannot replicate, much to their consternation.

Spell inventions become unstable foci, bombardier either makes their bombs more explicitly magical (mini fireball you can throw) or emphasizes their alchemical nature (supped up alchemist fire or acid flask), stitcher is pretty much good to go, drop the engineer, add in the O5e artificer alchemist if you really want a third (ideally tweaking it first since O5e alchemist sucks), and there you have it.
 

For those of you who don't like the engineer it could be a magical mount like a disk of Tzeentch (warhammer), a magical suit of armor, a magical carpet, animated chariot, it could also be a figuring wondrous power or something simmilar.
 

King Brad

Explorer
I am not opposed to mechanics like the fizzle die, but I don't like it here. Even though it does fit thematically really well, you have to get lucky twice for multiple spells to just work and there doesn't seem to be enough going on with the class otherwise to make up for that. The Archetypes help out in various ways, but I still feel like the core lass is missing something. That may be just me though.

I will say, however, that any time this style of mechanic is introduced for anyone's creation, there should be a disclaimer/designer note saying something like "This feature should be viewed initially as an additional option that accentuates the core game play loop of the class though is not expected to be its primary focus. We expect you to use it for X primarily, but wanted to give the option for Y" because 9 times out of 10 it just reads as "here's a thing you could do that a lot of other classes can do too but the risk of it failing is much greater for you because shrug"

That being said, I love a lot of this class. Bombardier and Engineer are right up my alley and while I dunno what combat looks like with the vehicle rules, I'm more that interested in finding out.
 


I am not opposed to mechanics like the fizzle die, but I don't like it here. Even though it does fit thematically really well, you have to get lucky twice for multiple spells to just work and there doesn't seem to be enough going on with the class otherwise to make up for that.
It is alot better than you think, I fact it is vastly superior to the o5e artificer.

  • 1st level O5e 2 1st level spells / A5e 2 1st level, roll a d4 on a 1 they run out of charges. So you have a 75% chance to cast more spells.
  • 5th lvl o5e 4 1st level spells, 2 2nd / a5e 6 devices can be up to 2nd level, 2 roll a d4, 2 roll a d6. Drastically better than o5e. So same number of spells, but a 75-83% to recast 1st level spells, and a 50-66% chance to recast 2nd level spells.
  • 9th level o5e 4 1st, 3 2nd, 2 3rd / a5e 9 devices that can cast up to 3rd level 3rd level spells have a 25-50% chance of being able to recast.
This just keeps getting better because at 10th level the fizzle dice increases making it easier to cast low level spells over and over, at 11th level you reroll 1s. By 13th level you have 1 more device than an o5e artificer has spells and keep that all the way through 20th level and at 20th level your fizzle dice grows again.

So the a5e can cast 1 more spell per day guaranteed, can up cast all of their spells to their heights spell slot I they want and have a good chance to cast the spell over and over again and can practically cast 1st level spells as often as they would like.

The engineer and the sticher get hit hard with the fact that they will be sacrificing their spell devices to power their modification which I am not sure is worth it.
 

King Brad

Explorer
It is alot better than you think, I fact it is vastly superior to the o5e artificer.

  • 1st level O5e 2 1st level spells / A5e 2 1st level, roll a d4 on a 1 they run out of charges. So you have a 75% chance to cast more spells.
  • 5th lvl o5e 4 1st level spells, 2 2nd / a5e 6 devices can be up to 2nd level, 2 roll a d4, 2 roll a d6. Drastically better than o5e. So same number of spells, but a 75-83% to recast 1st level spells, and a 50-66% chance to recast 2nd level spells.
  • 9th level o5e 4 1st, 3 2nd, 2 3rd / a5e 9 devices that can cast up to 3rd level 3rd level spells have a 25-50% chance of being able to recast.
This just keeps getting better because at 10th level the fizzle dice increases making it easier to cast low level spells over and over, at 11th level you reroll 1s. By 13th level you have 1 more device than an o5e artificer has spells and keep that all the way through 20th level and at 20th level your fizzle dice grows again.

So the a5e can cast 1 more spell per day guaranteed, can up cast all of their spells to their heights spell slot I they want and have a good chance to cast the spell over and over again and can practically cast 1st level spells as often as they would like.

The engineer and the sticher get hit hard with the fact that they will be sacrificing their spell devices to power their modification which I am not sure is worth it.
Apparently I can't read either. Okay this is a lot cooler than I realized. Also the big issue was that it is After the fact, not Before, as I originally thought.

Edit: Thank you for clarifying.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Can someone tell me how to get this new content? I've looked through my message on kickstarter and email and got nada. How do I get the document?
 


Stalker0

Legend
Look at the latest Kickstarter update.
Ah found it, thank you. So for feedback, the reason it was hard to find for me to find, is so far all other content has been through the kickstarter messages. So naturally that's where I went when I heard there was new content.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Ok so digging in the document, I have two key questions right off the bat:

  • My understanding of spell inventions. Each prepared spell = one spell invention. The invention is an "at-will" spellcaster, but each time I cast I roll the fizzle die. If it fizzles, the invention breaks, and has to be repaired over a long rest. Is that the proper use of the mechanic?
  • Is the Artificier or the Spell Invention casting the spell? This is very important for considerations like concentration and bonus action spell limitations, etc.
 

King Brad

Explorer
Ok so digging in the document, I have two key questions right off the bat:

  • My understanding of spell inventions. Each prepared spell = one spell invention. The invention is an "at-will" spellcaster, but each time I cast I roll the fizzle die. If it fizzles, the invention breaks, and has to be repaired over a long rest. Is that the proper use of the mechanic?
  • Is the Artificier or the Spell Invention casting the spell? This is very important for considerations like concentration and bonus action spell limitations, etc.
Your first point aligns with my new understanding of it. For the second point, it would likely be you casting it from it like a wand.
 

Stalker0

Legend
For ease of discussion, here are the failure chances for the various fizzle die and spell levels.

UPDATE: I have now added the average number of castings you would get for a spell of that level per day per spell invention.

% Chance (average spell slots per spell invention of that level)


d4
1 - 25% (4)
2 - 50% (2)
3 - 75% (1.33)

d6
1 - 16.7% (6)
2 - 33.3% (3)
3 - 50% (2)
4 - 66.7% (1.5)
5 - 83.3% (1.2)

d6 (reroll)
1 - 2.8% (35.7)
2 - 22.2% (4.5)
3 - 41.7% (2.4)
4 - 61.1% (1.6)
5 - 80.6% (1.2)

d8 (reroll)
1 - 1.6% (62.5)
2 - 15.6% (6.4)
3 - 29.7% (3.4)
4 - 43.8% (2.3)
5 - 57.8% (1.7)

d10 (reroll)
1 - 1% (100)
2- 12% (8.3)
3 - 23% (4.4)
4 - 34% (2.9)
5 - 45% (2.2)
 
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Stalker0

Legend
UPDATE: So in my initial review, I misunderstood spell inventions.

I thought you had to roll the fizzle die BEFORE you used the invention, and not after. That is a major oversight on my part, and completely changes the power and utility analysis of the class. Therefore, I would consider my review null and void for now. I am going to leave it in spoilers, as I may use the text for an updated analysis. But please ignore what I have written, and apologies for the oversight.

So my first take on this class.

At its core, this class is a "mundane combat class" + "magical buff class". Lets look at both.

Combat Class

Until you get to the d6 with reroll, there is no way I would ever cast spells in combat, and even then its probably only 1st level spells.

So I'm using cantrips, weapons, tactical chemistry, or my archetype abilities like my grenades as my combat options. That's fine, we can work with that....but I feel like the spell list doesn't understand this. I can't ever see this class casting fireball, at the best chance possible its a 1/4 complete flub, and its much much higher than that most of the time. And wall of fire at 4th....forget about it. Eldritch cube at 5th...no way jose

Now...if all the fizzle die did was make it so I lost the action, it would still be an unacceptable risk most of the time, but for those gambler people out there I could maaaybe see it. But its even worse, I lose the ability to cast the spell entirely. Now if the artificer had 10 spells at their command, ok I could work with that. But no...its 2 or 3 spells for the majority of a standard adventurer's career. There is no way I am risking losing 50% or 33% of my entire spell repertoire for the day to try some high level combat spell.

So at the end the day, I have a mundane combat class that doesn't get extra attack or sneak attack or rage or smite. So a lot of the "magical buff side" is going to be spent JUST to get me to basic parity with other classes, let alone getting ways to shine.

Combat Summary: In summary, any combat spell higher than maybe 2nd should be removed from teh list, or the fizzle die mechanic needs to be tweaked. Right now any spell that is expected to be in cast in combat and higher than 1st or 2nd level is a complete trap. So either remove teh spells and just focus on the buff/non-combat aspect of the class....or you need some more ways to control the fizzle die (such as using an infusion to repair a spell invention or something like that).


Magical Buff Class
On this side I think the class is a lot cooler looking. The flavor of "quasi-infinite" abilities is cool. I can make magic items, I can buff my party with neat effects, I might be able to provide a lot of out of combat healing. I like the concept here.

My biggest issue is the number of prepared spells. It just feels so low compared to other classes.

At the end of the day while the flavor of the class is neat....but what is this class really bringing to the table spellcaster wise? I'm never upcasting spells, too much risk. I don't have true at-will casing like warlock invocations. At some point I can cast lots of low level spells (probably) but never get to cast higher level spells. I still suffer concentration restrictions, which also diminishes the "mass cheap spell" potential of this class.

I will now repeat myself from the previous section: "So at the end the day, I have a mundane combat class that doesn't get extra attack or sneak attack or rage or smite. So a lot of the "magical buff side" is going to be spent JUST to get me to basic parity with other classes, let alone getting ways to shine."

Considering the effort I have to go through to get back to that parity, I don't think there is enough left to let the class "shine" in any unique way.

Magical Buff Summary: I think this is the strength of the class right now, but it feels like its missing something to really make it unique compared to other spellcasters. It has a unique mechanic, but ultimately what does this class do "better" spellcasting wise than other classes.



Ideas: These would be my off the cuff thoughts, worthy to try while its in beta.

  • Have the invention cast the spell. This opens up a whole new world. Now the artificer could have 2 or more concentration spells going at once (though he still can't spam the same concentration spell multiple times because the invention is concentrating). Now you could do a bonus action and a regular action spell. Suddenly the artificer is capable of combos that normal spellcasters are not, but still restrained by the extra restrictions they have. That is COOL.... now we have something to sink our teeth into.

  • Allow the same spell to be prepared multiple times. If my artificer wants to be a "wall guy" today, and just belt out walls of stone at the cost of that being his only spell today, why not let him. Aka let him make an invention and a few "backups", this opens up a lot more potential spell list builds.

  • More ways to control the fizzle die. Even ignoring combat, it really feels like I'm gambling way too much with spellcasting right now. Maybe allow infusions to be spent to repair the invention. Or maybe allow every spell (of X level depending on my artificer level) to be ritually cast (that would be a unique power of the artificier). One way or the other, I do feel there needs to be more control here. Nothing would be more "feels bad man" than an artificer starts their day, roll two flubs on fizzle, and now just lost all of their spellcasting for the entire day. And based on the current flub rates....its going to happen a good amount, and I think that will just be too frustrating for people.
 
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niklinna

Snickers satisfies!
Combat Class

Until you get to the d6 with reroll, there is no way I would ever cast spells in combat, and even then its probably only 1st level spells.

So I'm using cantrips, weapons, tactical chemistry, or my archetype abilities like my grenades as my combat options. That's fine, we can work with that....but I feel like the spell list doesn't understand this. I can't ever see this class casting fireball, at the best chance possible its a 1/4 complete flub, and its much much higher than that most of the time. And wall of fire at 4th....forget about it. Eldritch cube at 5th...no way jose

Now...if all the fizzle die did was make it so I lost the action, it would still be an unacceptable risk most of the time, but for those gambler people out there I could maaaybe see it.

You don't lose the action; the spell is always cast, and only after does the device possibly fritz out.

Combat Summary: In summary, any combat spell higher than maybe 2nd should be removed from teh list, or the fizzle die mechanic needs to be tweaked. Right now any spell that is expected to be in cast in combat and higher than 1st or 2nd level is a complete trap. So either remove teh spells and just focus on the buff/non-combat aspect of the class....or you need some more ways to control the fizzle die (such as using an infusion to repair a spell invention or something like that).

I don't think the combat spells need to be removed. Some players will have fun playing on the edge.

The real trap I see is the very limited number of spells you can prepare...roughly half what an o5e artificer gets. That really cuts down your versatility. (Also, you can't create two devices the produce the same spell? It's redundant, sure, but redundancy is a pillar of good engineering! That should be possible to do.)

Magical Buff Class
My biggest issue is the number of prepared spells. It just feels so low compared to other classes.

Bingo. As I mentioned above, really, really limiting. I think this is the thing most in need of a boost for the class.

At the end of the day while the flavor of the class is neat....but what is this class really bringing to the table spellcaster wise? I'm never upcasting spells, too much risk. I don't have true at-will casing like warlock invocations. At some point I can cast lots of low level spells (probably) but never get to cast higher level spells. I still suffer concentration restrictions, which also diminishes the "mass cheap spell" potential of this class.

Agreed.

Ideas: These would be my off the cuff thoughts, worthy to try while its in beta.
  • Have the invention cast the spell. This opens up a whole new world. Now the artificer could have 2 or more concentration spells going at once (though he still can't spam the same concentration spell multiple times because the invention is concentrating). Now you could do a bonus action and a regular action spell. Suddenly the artificer is capable of combos that normal spellcasters are not, but still restrained by the extra restrictions they have. That is COOL.... now we have something to sink our teeth into.
Altenatively, allow the artificer to let the invention handle concentration, at the cost of guaranteed fizzle, if you still want some limits to concentration.

  • Allow the same spell to be prepared multiple times. If my artificer wants to be a "wall guy" today, and just belt out walls of stone at the cost of that being his only spell today, why not let him. Aka let him make an invention and a few "backups", this opens up a lot more potential spell list builds.

Yep. Redundancy FTW! :p

  • More ways to control the fizzle die. Even ignoring combat, it really feels like I'm gambling way too much with spellcasting right now. Maybe allow infusions to be spent to repair the invention. Or maybe allow every spell (of X level depending on my artificer level) to be ritually cast (that would be a unique power of the artificier). One way or the other, I do feel there needs to be more control here. Nothing would be more "feels bad man" than an artificer starts their day, roll two flubs on fizzle, and now just lost all of their spellcasting for the entire day. And based on the current flub rates....its going to happen a good amount, and I think that will just be too frustrating for people.
More ways to repair fizzled inventions would be good, yeah. Hotfixer comes online very late (level 17), especially for something that recharges on a long rest.

Some other ideas, as alternatives or additions to the above:
  • Gain a few low-level spells as non-fizzling inventions (like wizard signature spells). Maybe they can't be upcast at all, maybe upcasting does risk fizzling, but as long as you use them for basic stuff, they are reliable.
  • Allow spells higher than 5th-level (maybe up to 7th?), but such inventions always fizzle after one use, and can't be hotfixed. For those who do want that unreliable-mad-inventor feel, you could make the fizzle roll for these be before use, but then that could get confusing.
  • Maybe higher-level spell inventions require two hands to use/activate? That's getting a bit into the fiddly weeds but I figured I'd toss that out there.
 

Stalker0

Legend
You don't lose the action; the spell is always cast, and only after does the device possibly fritz out.
Yes I had just realized this myself as you were typing. This does very much change the analysis, and I will actually be withdrawing my initial assessment until I think about it a little more, as my mistake has a major ramification on the power of the class.
 

niklinna

Snickers satisfies!
Yes I had just realized this myself as you were typing. This does very much change the analysis, and I will actually be withdrawing my initial assessment until I think about it a little more, as my mistake has a major ramification on the power of the class.
You weren't the first to think it. I wonder if there's a better name for the fizzle die, that won't lead people to that conclusion? So many other games use "fizzle" to mean it fails to work, not that it works but then burns out. Maybe "fuse die"? :p
 

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