Gate Pass Gazette Playtest the ARTIFICER (Kickstarter backers only)

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?
 

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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

učim hrvatski
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

učim hrvatski
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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