Gate Pass Gazette Playtest the ARTIFICER (Kickstarter backers only)

Stalker0

Legend
UPDATE: I updated my table above, which now includes average spell slots. Further, I have withdrawn my initial analysis, as there was a major mistake in my understanding of the class that lead to an erroneous review.
 

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niklinna

Snickers satisfies!
UPDATE: I updated my table above, which now includes average spell slots. Further, I have withdrawn my initial analysis, as there was a major mistake in my understanding of the class that lead to an erroneous review.
Looking at your table, it's clear that an artificer can potentially get a lot of casts of low-level spells. It makes this aspect of the class much more like a sorcerer than a wizard...which doesn't feel quite right. And yet I like the basic idea of devices that can fizzle.

Going back to the limited number of spells prepared, what if an artificer could prepare multi-spell inventions that can cast 1 or 2 spells, but if the invention fizzles, all of the spells it can do are unavailable? (Possibly available in a different invention, if we have redudant prepared spells.) So, say we change "Spels Prepared" to "Number of Spell Inventions", and at some particular levels, each invention can include an additional spell?

Then you have a little puzzle each day of which combinations of spells to put in which inventions, too. Do I pair low-level spells with high-level, for good utility with the occasional nova? Do I pair low-level with low-level for maximal utility through the day, and high-level for high-level for that one-shot that might need to be one thing or the other?
 
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xiphumor

Explorer
As much fun as the fizzle mechanic is, it means that the Artificer sacrifices flexibility for more spell slots, which I think goes somewhat against the goal of the class. The Artificer, to me, is a maverick who is somewhat ready for any situation. Keeping them as a prepared spellcaster helps with this, but the fact that they only get to prepare a very small number of spells every day makes them somewhat limited in terms of utility. In short, I want an Artificer who feels more like a Rogue and less like a Sorcerer.

Now, they might compensate for this with magic items, but I think there needs to be a lot more guidance and assurance that they can construct certain magic items when they level up than is currently given. Unlike wizards, who know they'll learn new spells as they gain levels, the magic items Artificers have available to them seems somewhat up to DM fiat. I think promising that Artificers will be able to create certain magic items at certain levels (as with the Replicate Magic Items Infusion) would help make the class more reliable and help reduce the mental load on DMs.
 

As much fun as the fizzle mechanic is, it means that the Artificer sacrifices flexibility for more spell slots, which I think goes somewhat against the goal of the class. The Artificer, to me, is a maverick who is somewhat ready for any situation.
I don't think going back to the o5e spell casting way is a good idea. If you think the class is too limmited with their selection of spells then an ability that allows them to reconfigure a device on a short rest, or the ability to destroy one of their devices to reproduce any of the artificer spells they are capable of casting.

See I see an artificer as someone with a small number of devices (spells) who can use them more frequently than an normal spell caster but who can jurry rig a device at a cost if they need to.

As far as magical item creation I think that the artificer should be able to create their own blueprints by trial and error so they don't need to examine an existing magical item to try to reproduce it.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
As much fun as the fizzle mechanic is, it means that the Artificer sacrifices flexibility for more spell slots, which I think goes somewhat against the goal of the class. The Artificer, to me, is a maverick who is somewhat ready for any situation. Keeping them as a prepared spellcaster helps with this, but the fact that they only get to prepare a very small number of spells every day makes them somewhat limited in terms of utility. In short, I want an Artificer who feels more like a Rogue and less like a Sorcerer.
I don't think they should be compared to a sorcerer or wizard (even though I did earlier) in terms of spell power. I think they should be compared to a warlock. In general, they seem to have a few spells less than the warlock does--but unlike the warlock (but like the cleric), they appear to have access to their entire spell list and can switch out daily, rather than changing one spell each time they go up a level. And, of course, there's a good chance they can cast each spell multiple times without fizzling out or having to take a short rest.

So I think the real question is, do their non-spell abilities compliment their spellcasting enough? I think so, barring the exceptions I noted in my original post, but I'm not an expert in class balance. I still would give the Bombardier things to spend inventions on.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Wow I had started doing the math but looking at those number, they don't need to reroll 1s, and I don't even know if they need the die type to increase.
I updated the math once again. I was using approximate calculations for the spell slots before as I figured they would be sufficient for this simple analysis, but I realized that at the very low %s it was actually pretty inaccurate. So this time I used true geometric series (this is actually a very simple series with a very easy solution, I feel silly for not doing it earlier it was actually easier to do than the approximation).

You'll find that the number of 1st level slots the artificer can cast at higher levels is MUCH higher than I recorded before.
 

xiphumor

Explorer
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% (3.83)
2 - 50% (2)
3 - 75% (1.33)

d6
1 - 16.7% (5.2)
2 - 33.3% (3)
3 - 50% (2)
4 - 66.7% (1.5)
5 - 83.3% (1.2)

d6 (reroll)
1 - 2.8% (9.6)
2 - 22.2% (4.2)
3 - 41.7% (2.4)
4 - 61.1% (1.6)
5 - 80.6% (1.24)

d8 (reroll)
1 - 1.6% (10.2)
2 - 15.6% (5.4)
3 - 29.7% (3.3)
4 - 43.8% (2.3)
5 - 57.8% (1.7)

d10 (reroll)
1 - 1% (10.5)
2- 12% (6.3)
3 - 23% (4.1)
4 - 34% (2.9)
5 - 45% (2.2)
To add to this, here an expanded table of basically the same concept. Each box shows the likelihood of fizzling after rolling X many times

d4Times used
Levels 1-912345
125.00%43.75%57.81%68.36%76.27%
250.00%75.00%87.50%93.75%96.88%
375.00%93.75%98.44%99.61%99.90%
d6times used
Level 1012345
116.67%30.56%42.13%51.77%59.81%
233.33%55.56%70.37%80.25%86.83%
350.00%75.00%87.50%93.75%96.88%
466.67%88.89%96.30%98.77%99.59%
583.33%97.22%99.54%99.92%99.99%
d6 (reroll)Times used
Level 1012345
12.78%5.48%8.10%10.66%13.14%
222.22%39.51%52.95%63.40%71.54%
341.67%65.97%80.15%88.42%93.25%
461.11%84.88%94.12%97.71%99.11%
580.56%96.22%99.26%99.86%99.97%
d8 (reroll)Times Used
Level 2012345
11.56%3.10%4.61%6.11%7.57%
215.63%28.81%39.93%49.32%57.24%
329.69%50.56%65.24%75.56%82.81%
443.75%68.36%82.20%89.99%94.37%
557.81%82.20%92.49%96.83%98.66%
d10 (reroll)Times Used
Special12345
11.00%1.99%2.97%3.94%4.90%
212.00%22.56%31.85%40.03%47.23%
323.00%40.71%54.35%64.85%72.93%
434.00%56.44%71.25%81.03%87.48%
545.00%69.75%83.36%90.85%94.97%
 

Stalker0

Legend
So an idea. I haven't done any math on it yet, but since LU has introduced this new countdown mechanic, what if the artificer used it?

Lets say the Artificer had a pool of d6s every day. And every time their device was used, you made a countdown check, and remove each d6 whose value was equal or less than the spell slot used.

Once the Artificer's die ran out, it was out of juice.


Example: Lets say the Artificier has 4 d6s currently. They cast a 2nd level spell. We roll the 4 d6s, getting a 1,2,4,6. The 1 and 2 are equal or lower than the spell slot (2) and so are removed. Going forward, the artificier now has 2 d6 remaining.

Obviously you could have mechanics that maybe reroll die in the pool or refresh them or XYZ.

It mainly just came to mind because I really like the countdown mechanic, so it seems like a cool idea to use it in a class.
 

Anselm

Adventurer
Magical Buff Class
My biggest issue is the number of prepared spells. It just feels so low compared to other classes.
Could someone explain why they think this? The O5E artificer has the following total number of spells prepared assuming point buy and maxing int ASAP:

LevelO5EA5E
364
5107
101610
142013

Sure there is a difference but the gulf is not so wide that it seems problematic and if the difference is there to balance out the upgraded power and number of castings added by the fizzle die (not to mention fun and uniqueness it brings to the class) I think it's well worth it. After level ten the possibility of simply not running out of level one or possibly level two spells for the day seems very useful. Given you will always have 4 of those prepared you can spend your flexible prepared spells on some bigger guns with some gamble that you'll be able to cast them more than once. That seems like a fun as hell design to me.
 

xiphumor

Explorer
It suddenly occurs to me that 2nd level spell scrolls are considered common items, and there’s no rule that says you have to know a spell to create a scroll for it. Pick 3 2nd level spells for schematics and infuse them onto whatever paper is lying around. Sure, they take a DC 12 check to use at first, but that’s not bad.
 

noodohs

Explorer
Overall, I really like the core artificer class in LU, but I find the archetypes to all be pretty lackluster and, unfortunately, that means there's not much reason for me to want to play an artificer. I'll get to that in a minute, but for the core class I do think there's a bit of a problem in that it is trying to do what O5e did and make the artificer both an inventor and an alchemist and I really don't think that makes a lot of sense. One is a chemist, the other is an engineer. PF2e's idea of splitting into two classes made more sense to me, in which case the bombardier fits in as an alchemist archetype instead. All of the alchemical stuff that is currently part of the artificer would move over, too, but the end result is that each class can fill their niche better with more unique features instead of trying to cram so much into one class. Maybe that's just me, though. I still like the core concept, though, especially spell inventions. Having said that, on to nit picks:
  • With spell inventions, it says that you need both the spell invention and your tools (or an infused item) to use as a focus to cast spells. This means that you basically cannot cast spells unless you have two hands free, so you'd be unable to, say, wield a weapon and cast a spell unless that weapon happens to be infused (which you can't do at 1st level). Seems to me that the invention ought to be enough.
  • Spell inventions weigh 1 lb per spell level, but you could make one for a 1st-level spell and cast it at a higher level, effectively having a 2nd-level spell that weighs less. I dunno, the weight requirement just seems so arbitrary and unnecessary.
  • At higher levels, you can give your spell invention to someone else to cast it. Does the spell use your stats or theirs?
  • For tactical chemistry, do I just make these things out of thin air or do I need some material components? If it's the latter, what materials do I need for each one?
  • The schematic book is a neat idea, but as someone else mentioned, I think the availability of schematics needs to be fleshed out for it to work well. A wizard gets to add spells every level, but the only way to add schematics is to either find them or successfully reverse engineer a magic item. Depending on the setting/narrator, you could end up with 5 schematics or 20. Your infusions also depend on the availability of schematics, so I really think there should be some sort of every x levels you can add some number of schematics for free thing.
  • Speaking of infusions, the infusion recharge feature allows me to sacrifice an infusion use, but does it only work if I have an unused infusion or can I give up an infusion on an item to use the feature?
  • For trinket master, I assume I can only work on one item per long rest, but maybe it would be best to spell it out (unless it is already spelled out in the general crafting rules).
  • As others have mentioned, Laboratory of the Master is a neat ability, but it happens way too late to be useful and even then it is mostly only helpful while you are hanging out in your lab. It has almost no utility while actually adventuring, so it's unfortunately kind of a lame capstone (sorry).
  • For Modern Comforts, I assume that when you repurpose the spell invention, you lose the use of it for that period of rest, but do you get it back in the morning?
  • I have mixed feelings about the archetype spell lists. At least a handful of the spells on these lists are already artificer spells, so the only difference is that you get it in addition to your other spells. It's also not clear here, but I get the impression that these are not "always prepared" as some have suggested, they are optionally prepared in addition to your other spells, but that leads us to...
  • The Engineer and Stitcher. I really don't like that you have to give up spells for modifications. Considering that your spells are only guaranteed to work once per day, you could, with bad luck, end up with one or two cool modifications and one spell for an entire day (depending on your level, of course). I dunno, it just feels bad. By contrast, the Bombardier has no reason not to prepare their archetype spells every day, so the idea of them being optional doesn't even make sense for them.
  • Maybe it's a nitpick, but the Engineer should really be called Mechanic. When I think engineer, I think of someone more like a scientist or an inventor, whereas this archetype is more of a hot rod car enthusiast. An engineer would be more akin to the Battle Smith O5e subclass.
  • Speaking of which, none of the archetypes really have anything to do with inventing things, which, to me, is kind of the point of an artificer. Maybe I'm biased because I'm currently playing a Battle Smith in O5e and there is no really analogous archetype here, but it just feels like the archetypes miss the point. Bombardier is more of an alchemist and the Stitcher is more of a medical professional (maybe it could be an artificer/cleric multiclass feat tree?). The Mechanic (Engineer) is the only one that really seems to have anything to do with artifice and personally I don't really care for it, not because it's bad but it's just not my cup of tea.
  • Specifically with the Stitcher, I think it's cool that they get resurrection, but I'm struggling to imagine any time I would want to use it within the specified parameters. Yes, I could bring back an ally, but only once and they'd become a monstrosity. I could bring back an enemy, but they don't have to listen to me. No one in town is going to want to come back a monster. Maybe I'm just missing something?
TL;DR: I really like the core concept, but I feel like the alchemical bits should be split off into another class and two of the three archetypes don't really feel like they have anything to do with artifice.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Could someone explain why they think this? The O5E artificer has the following total number of spells prepared assuming point buy and maxing int ASAP:

LevelO5EA5E
364
5107
101610
142013

Sure there is a difference but the gulf is not so wide that it seems problematic and if the difference is there to balance out the upgraded power and number of castings added by the fizzle die (not to mention fun and uniqueness it brings to the class) I think it's well worth it. After level ten the possibility of simply not running out of level one or possibly level two spells for the day seems very useful. Given you will always have 4 of those prepared you can spend your flexible prepared spells on some bigger guns with some gamble that you'll be able to cast them more than once. That seems like a fun as hell design to me.
I think the confusion here is that the LU artificier gets no bonus prepared spells from stats. Hence there prepared spells are much lower than you quoted. Here are the actual values.


LevelO5EA5E
362
5102
10164
14205


So its actually a hybrid blend of the 3.5 wizard and sorcerer spellcasting models:

  • You get a large number of slots, but very limited spells known.
  • They actually "prep" spels most similar to a 3.5 wizard. The artificier does not have "2 spells and 10 slots" like most 5e casters would. They instead have "5 slots dedicated to 1 specific spell" and "5 slots dedicated to a second specific spell".... aka they cannot use their slots freely for any spell like other 5e casters can. This is how a 3.5 wizard works (kind of), each spell slot is dedicated to a specific spell.
 

I think the confusion here is that the LU artificier gets no bonus prepared spells from stats. Hence there prepared spells are much lower than you quoted. Here are the actual values.


LevelO5EA5E
362
5102
10164
14205


So its actually a hybrid blend of the 3.5 wizard and sorcerer spellcasting models:

  • You get a large number of slots, but very limited spells known.
  • They actually "prep" spels most similar to a 3.5 wizard. The artificier does not have "2 spells and 10 slots" like most 5e casters would. They instead have "5 slots dedicated to 1 specific spell" and "5 slots dedicated to a second specific spell".... aka they cannot use their slots freely for any spell like other 5e casters can. This is how a 3.5 wizard works (kind of), each spell slot is dedicated to a specific spell.

You are forgetting that your bonus spells that you get from your archetype.
LevelSpell Inventions
3rd4
6th7
10th10
14th13
18th16

This is actually how many spell Inventions you have access to.. now granted all of the ones you get from your archetype are fixed, and if you are using any manifestations then you are sacrificing spell inventions.
 

Anselm

Adventurer
You are forgetting that your bonus spells that you get from your archetype.
LevelSpell Inventions
3rd4
6th7
10th10
14th13
18th16

This is actually how many spell Inventions you have access to.. now granted all of the ones you get from your archetype are fixed, and if you are using any manifestations then you are sacrificing spell inventions.
Yes this is where my numbers came from (and I included the same for O5E in my table). I understand how they are prepared and see a difference in number but not so much so that it feels completely "so low compared to other classes" particularly half casters and warlock. Herald would have the same as O5E artificer (potentially even fewer since strength would likely be maxed before charisma) and warlock has the same amount as A5E artificer at lvl 14. Both A5E warlock and A5E artificer have a different (and unique from each other) way of casting spells.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Yes this is where my numbers came from (and I included the same for O5E in my table). I understand how they are prepared and see a difference in number but not so much so that it feels completely "so low compared to other classes" particularly half casters and warlock. Herald would have the same as O5E artificer (potentially even fewer since strength would likely be maxed before charisma) and warlock has the same amount as A5E artificer at lvl 14. Both A5E warlock and A5E artificer have a different (and unique from each other) way of casting spells.
Ah you are quite correct, so yes the artificier does have a lot more spells prepared than it looks at first glance. Let me update some notes with that in mind.
 

noodohs

Explorer
Now that the finalized version is out, it looks like there are only minor changes, so it is, unfortunately, still a dud for me. From a formatting perspective, seems odd to have the laboratory feature lumped in at the end of the spell list. The construct capstone feature is okay, but it's generally a worse companion than the O5e battle smith just gets and doesn't have to use up infusions for AND you don't get it until level 20, so that's kind of meh. I do like that they swapped modifications to using up infusions instead of spell inventions, but otherwise almost none of my questions/concerns were addressed, so... yeah. Really bummed about this one, was hoping for something better than O5e and I kinda feel like it's generally worse.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Now that the finalized version is out, it looks like there are only minor changes, so it is, unfortunately, still a dud for me. From a formatting perspective, seems odd to have the laboratory feature lumped in at the end of the spell list. The construct capstone feature is okay, but it's generally a worse companion than the O5e battle smith just gets and doesn't have to use up infusions for AND you don't get it until level 20, so that's kind of meh. I do like that they swapped modifications to using up infusions instead of spell inventions, but otherwise almost none of my questions/concerns were addressed, so... yeah. Really bummed about this one, was hoping for something better than O5e and I kinda feel like it's generally worse.
For the construct capstone, I would give it an Intelligence of at least 7 and the ability to make more than one of them.
 

xiphumor

Explorer
It does suddenly occur to me that at 3rd level, you can develop the schematics for a Wand of Magic Missiles and potentially use all three infusions to cast three 7th level spells each day, and then just infuse new ones the next day.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Now that the finalized version is out, it looks like there are only minor changes, so it is, unfortunately, still a dud for me. From a formatting perspective, seems odd to have the laboratory feature lumped in at the end of the spell list. The construct capstone feature is okay, but it's generally a worse companion than the O5e battle smith just gets and doesn't have to use up infusions for AND you don't get it until level 20, so that's kind of meh. I do like that they swapped modifications to using up infusions instead of spell inventions, but otherwise almost none of my questions/concerns were addressed, so... yeah. Really bummed about this one, was hoping for something better than O5e and I kinda feel like it's generally worse.
I just took a look myself, I think your right that only very superficial changes were made.
 

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