Unearthed Arcana Revised Artificer Survey now available

Oh, sure. I’m cool with the pets, personally (kind of. I don’t like the turret conceptually, and I think the artificial mind needs work). My problem is with the spellcasting. And I wouldn’t even mind if spellcasting was a feature of some Artificer subclass, I just don’t want all of them to be forced into it.

So you remove the spells and replace them with a list of "Artificer Tricks" most of which duplicate the effect of spells, which consume "Resources" which regenerate on a long rest or a short rest (i.e. pretty much duplicating the effect of spell slots).

The main reason for not doing this is the finite number of pages available for this class in the Eberron print book.

Much more efficient to refluff spells as potions, bombs and gadgets by using a tool instead of a magic wand.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
So you remove the spells and replace them with a list of "Artificer Tricks" most of which duplicate the effect of spells, which consume "Resources" which regenerate on a long rest or a short rest (i.e. pretty much duplicating the effect of spell slots).

The main reason for not doing this is the finite number of pages available for this class in the Eberron print book.

Much more efficient to refluff spells as potions, bombs and gadgets by using a tool instead of a magic wand.

But again, if we’re just reskinning spells, we don’t need a new class for that. I can already just play a wizard and pretend he’s making potions, bombs, and gadgets using a tool instead of a magic wand. To justify its addition to the game, the Artificer needs to do something that existing classes don’t already do, and “cast spells, but pretend they’re not spells” is absolutely something other classes can do.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Personally, I rarely get into ‘pets’, but for certain Artificer archetypes it seems to work. The artificial mind feels like an appropriate concept but its implementation needs lots of work. The robot beast with a healing ray, I cant help but like for the tinkerer. However. The ‘turret’ is all kinds of wrong for a wand-maker archetype. The humunculus feels more like a cute familiar, and in the same way, works better as an optional spell for any players who want it. It has little to do with potions, per se, but can fit well enough for those who like it.

I strongly dislike the half-caster Artificer. But your point that perhaps one of the subclass archetypes gets access to higher level spells, might satisfy me too. Maybe the wand-maker archetype gets the high tier spell levels of 6 to 9.



[Edit]

Note, for me, I want a full-caster Artificer, who infuses items with magic. I now read you want a non-spellcaster, I guess more like a Rogue with a ‘Use Magic Device’ skill. I wonder if a class is possible that can handle both a full-spellcaster archetype and a non-spellcaster archetype.

Yeah, what I want out of the Artificer is D&D Batman. A character with no super powersspells, who can still keep up with the superscasters by using various tools and gadgets.

I don’t think full-caster and non-caster would work in the same class, unfortunately.

What I could maybe see working is if Infusions were powered by spell slots, instead of their own unique resource. Then the players who want a spellcasting Artificer could spend their spell slots on actual spells, and those who want a non-casting Artificer can spend their spell slots to make stuff.
 

The alchemist doesn't have to have a homunculus, just view it as one more thing they know how to make.
The Alchemist needs a mechanic that actually screams “I am doing alchemy!” While alchemists do have some stories about the creation of homunculus, I definitely see it as a side thing some alchemists might choose to do... not a primary part of the class fantasy. I would be totally fine with Homunculus being moved to Infusions. But either way, that Level 3 ability needs to be something else.
 


Balance. The infusions as they stand largely reproduce the effect of magic items the party might find anyway. So their actual effect of infusions on the artificers combat power is negligible*. However, the combat pets add significantly to the artificers combat power and do not reproduce the effect of something that could be found anyway. Ergo, artificers would be forced to take the pet infusion anyway or be gimped in combat. A choice between something powerful and something mediocre is not a choice at all.


*Repeating Shot in conjunction with a pistol or musket gives the artificer a significant boost to combat power, but that is situational and build-specific enough to be excused.
The suggestion that infusions don't really affect party combat capability because the party would find the magic items that they want anyway is a pretty massive assumption.
I would put a having homunculus as closer to having a couple of extra magic items in terms of concept and class design space than spell slots. I don't have a problem with homunculi being an effective way of spending infusion points, but I really don't think that its is that easy to "gimp" a 5e character.
Someone who likes the concept of the artificer crafting a companion can get one without it being required for someone who doesn't like the idea of artificer pets. Maybe they'd rather have a wand, or a flametongue sword or some other way of increasing their personal combat capabilities more directly than a pet attack.

But again, if we’re just reskinning spells, we don’t need a new class for that. I can already just play a wizard and pretend he’s making potions, bombs, and gadgets using a tool instead of a magic wand. To justify its addition to the game, the Artificer needs to do something that existing classes don’t already do, and “cast spells, but pretend they’re not spells” is absolutely something other classes can do.
The artificer already does do things that other classes can't. You seem fixated on the spells, when they're really not the entire focus of the class. Other classses retain identity despite the fact that they also have spell slots and can cast spells, and the artificer does as well. The "casting spells from items" schtick is a way of merging compatible mechanics with class concept but its not an artificers core identity. You could play a wizard like that - but you could also play a cleric, or a bard, or a ranger, or paladin etc like that as well, and they would still be distinct classes.
Infusions, capability with tools, companion constructs and such like are things that the artificer can do and no one other class can. Those are part of the class concept at least as much as the artificer's ability to mix up a healing salve or hotwire a lightning bolt from an amber necklace, a couple of runes and an angry rodent.

Yeah, what I want out of the Artificer is D&D Batman. A character with no super powersspells, who can still keep up with the superscasters by using various tools and gadgets.
That is indeed an interesting class concept, bit I don't think that it matches the Eberron Artificer that is being put together here. Remember the basis of the class is someone who understands the principles of magic possibly even better than a wizard does. The artificer isn't just someone who uses magical tools, they are someone who creates them.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
The artificer already does do things that other classes can't. You seem fixated on the spells, when they're really not the entire focus of the class. Other classses retain identity despite the fact that they also have spell slots and can cast spells, and the artificer does as well. The "casting spells from items" schtick is a way of merging compatible mechanics with class concept but its not an artificers core identity. You could play a wizard like that - but you could also play a cleric, or a bard, or a ranger, or paladin etc like that as well, and they would still be distinct classes.
Infusions, capability with tools, companion constructs and such like are things that the artificer can do and no one other class can. Those are part of the class concept at least as much as the artificer's ability to mix up a healing salve or hotwire a lightning bolt from an amber necklace, a couple of runes and an angry rodent.
One of the common critiques of the Artificer as it currently stands is that it’s too busy - the whole “140% of a class” thing. I’d rather the 40% that gets cut not come from among the unique things the class can do. Infusions are a pretty big cognitive load already, so having both Infusions and spells is a big contributing factor to the feeling of bloated ness in this class. If one of those things has to go (and I believe that is the case), it should be spells.

That is indeed an interesting class concept, bit I don't think that it matches the Eberron Artificer that is being put together here. Remember the basis of the class is someone who understands the principles of magic possibly even better than a wizard does. The artificer isn't just someone who uses magical tools, they are someone who creates them.
Frankly, I don’t think the Artificer should be designed exclusively around being the Eberron class. “The magitech guy” is a character archetype that could fit into many D&D settings, and I think WotC would be doing themselves a disservice by tailoring the Artificer to suit one specific setting’s vision of “the magitech guy” to the exclusion of others. If the Artificer has to be able to cast spells to work for Eberron, fine, put them in a subclass. Hell, put them in several subclasses. But leave room for the fantasy Batman without having to make a whole new class.

It’s ultimately the same argument as the one about rangers and spellcasting. I can appreciate that spellcasting is an essential part of the class’s identity for some people. But it is not an essential part of the archetype the class represents, and is in fact a deal breaking element for some people. Making spellcasting a core feature of the class makes it more difficult to add a non-spellcasting version later down the line, short of designing a whole new class. It is much easier to add spellcasting to a non-spellcasting class via subclass features than to remove it.
 

Psyzhran2357

First Post
Has the Artificer ever been fantasy Batman/MacGuyver?

From talking with people on the r/Eberron Discord, I got the impression that the 3.5 version needed to infuse items to use spells but their infusions followed an otherwise normal spellcaster's progression. Meanwhile, the 4e version casted spells normally.

Since 5e has the goal of keeping everything streamlined, it makes sense to absorb them into the existing Spellcasting system, particularly when their very identity as defined by D&D involves the practical application of magic. From my point of view, the people who are asking for a magicless Artificer either don'tknow or don't care what the Artificer is supposed to be, as it was never supposed to be outside of magic.
 

Savevsdeath

First Post
My feedback will boil down to “do not pare this class down to any significant degree. It’s good as is, with some tweaks to when things come online and where they exist in the class or subclass”.

I’ll be extremely disappointed if it has noticeably fewer moving parts on release.

This is my feeling as well, as someone who is actually playing one. It feels good, it feels useful and most of all it feels like an artificer. I'll be sad if it loses anything at all and becomes just a terrible class, period. It's well-balanced, save the flame turret needing some scaling. They need to publish this one.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
Yeah, what I want out of the Artificer is D&D Batman. A character with no super powersspells, who can still keep up with the superscasters by using various tools and gadgets.

The 3.5e Artificer had spells, so why would you want a 5e version of the class to not have spells? It seems like you want a different class altogether.
 

Savevsdeath

First Post
The 3.5e Artificer had spells, so why would you want a 5e version of the class to not have spells? It seems like you want a different class altogether.

A lot of people don't like and/or never played Eberron or played with/as an Artificer, and thus want it to be something that it never was. Others just don't like any magic that isn't 'choose from a spell list, memorize, cast'. Still more just hate magitech. Regardless, to those people i say: if you don't like it, don't use it. You weren't going to anyway if it didn't exist, so don't ruin it for people who actually like Eberron.

That being said, I don't think it's perfect right now - just very, very close.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
The 3.5e Artificer had spells, why would you want a 5e version of the class to not have spells?
Most editions’ Rangers could cast spells too, didn’t stop the 4e ranger from being a non-caster. And for that it was, in my opinion, a much better expression of the archetype the class represents. I don’t really care about how previous editions have expressed the archetype, I care about making the current edition’s expression of it the best it can be.

It seems like you want a different class altogether.
I disagree. I think the thing I want very much fits within the fiction of the Artificer. I just want a different mechanical expression of that “magitech crafter” concept. And I’m fine with both spellcasting and non-spellcasting options existing, it’s judt much harder to remove spells from a class that has them as part of its core features than it is to add spellcasting to one or more of the subclasses.
 
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Azzy

KMF DM
Yeah, and it was dumb then too. slwhy would you want a 5e version of the class to not have spells?
So I can enjoy the class more?
Most editions’ Rangers could cast spells too, didn’t stop the 4e ranger from being a non-caster. And for that it was, in my opinion, a much better expression of the archetype the class represents. I don’t really care about how previous editions have expressed the archetype, I care about making the current edition’s expression of it the best it can be.
I disagree. I think the thing I want very much fits within the fiction of the Artificer. I just want a different mechanical expression of that “magitech crafter” concept. And I’m fine with both spellcasting and non-spellcasting options existing, it’s judt much harder to remove spells from a class that has them as part of its core features than it is to add spellcasting to one or more of the subclasses.

Great, so you want something different than what fans of the original class and of Eberron want. Go you. However, this playtest isn't going to give you what you want as it's designed for an Eberron supplement. Sorry.
 
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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Yeah, and it was dumb then too. slwhy would you want a 5e version of the class to not have spells?

Most editions’ Rangers could cast spells too, didn’t stop the 4e ranger from being a non-caster. And for that it was, in my opinion, a much better expression of the archetype the class represents. I don’t really care about how previous editions have expressed the archetype, I care about making the current edition’s expression of it the best it can be.


I disagree. I think the thing I want very much fits within the fiction of the Artificer. I just want a different mechanical expression of that “magitech crafter” concept. And I’m fine with both spellcasting and non-spellcasting options existing, it’s judt much harder to remove spells from a class that has them as part of its core features than it is to add spellcasting to one or more of the subclasses.

Are you OK if they are using tools to produce magical effects? Ex. using a spell-storing item to create a cure wounds item, which results in using a tool to cast cure wounds.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
A lot of people don't like and/or never played Eberron or played with/as an Artificer, and thus want it to be something that it never was. Others just don't like any magic that isn't 'choose from a spell list, memorize, cast'. Still more just hate magitech.
And others, like myself, are perfectly fine with the Eberron Artificer, but want the 5e Artificer to be able to accommodate a wider range of character concepts than the original.

3.5 had a zillion classes and prestige classes to represent highly specific concepts. 5e takes a much broader, more archetypal approach to class design, with the more specific concepts falling to Subclasses to express. A 5e Artificer needs to be able to encompass more than just the Eberron Artificer, because it’s going to be the class everyone who wants to play a magitech character has to use, regardless of whether they’re playing Eberron or not. What I want may not be the Eberron Artificer, but there’s not going to be a class built around what I want out of a Magitech character. So, I want the 5e Artificer to be built broadly enough to use for both what I want and the Eberron Artificer.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Great, so you want something different than what fans of the original class and of Eberron want. Go you. However, this playtest isn't going to give you what you want as it's designed for an Eberron supplement. Sorry.
Which is shortsighted. The class isn’t only going to be used for Eberron, it should be built to be able to accommodate more concepts than just the Eberron Artificer. It should absolutely be able to accommodate the Eberron Artificer, but with 5e’s broad approach to class design, it should be able to accommodate other types of magitech characters too.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Are you OK if they are using tools to produce magical effects? Ex. using a spell-storing item to create a cure wounds item, which results in using a tool to cast cure wounds.
Yes, that is precisely what I want them to do. Rather than casting spells themselves, they craft items, which they use to cast spells they otherwise couldn’t.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Then you're good. That's what this class does. I literally used the words about the class in my post, word for word. You can read more in Keith Baker's comments about it.
Except, it doesn’t “use a spell-storing item to create a cure wounds item, which results in using a tool to cast cure wounds.” It casts the cure wounds spell, using thieves’ tools or artisan’s tools as a spellcasting focus.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Except, it doesn’t “use a spell-storing item to create a cure wounds item, which results in using a tool to cast cure wounds.” It casts the cure wounds spell, using thieves’ tools or artisan’s tools as a spellcasting focus.

I guess you didn't read the link.

In short, it does indeed do just what I said. You really should read the article.
 

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