5E Running Eberron in 5E

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Yeah. I gotta say, though: repeating "this is just subclass material" over and over again is not like something out of the Cambridge Union either. There have been lots of arguments and ideas posted in this thread. To me, they sounded distinctive, in terms of flavor and in terms of mechanics, and when I say "distinctive", I mean "as distinctive or more distinctive than Sorcerers or Rangers." I don't know what you're looking for here in terms of originality, but we're not likely to find the RPG equivalent of the Higgs Boson, nor are we required to.
Sure. To further pin down my meaning: it's a question of scale. Lets use proficiencies as an example.

Folks have said that artificers are distinct from wizards because they use medium armor and simple weapons and have skills like pick locks and disable traps (in 5e, this would be thieves' tools).

I say that this does not do enough to make artificers distinct from wizards. As support, I showed that a subclass in the PHB can add a proficiency (or several). So, if the goal is simply to replicate what a 3e/e artificer could do, the artificer can be a subclass and have those proficiencies. If the goal is to make the artificer an independent class, the artificer must have more to distinguish it than those proficiencies. "I think otherwise" is fine, but it isn't much of a reason for anyone to agree with you.

The current convo is more about infusions and crafting. Folks have said that making magic items that house spells is something that is distinctive from what wizards do.

I say that this does not do enough to make artificers distinct from wizards. As support, I showed that the difference between "I prepare and cast fireball" and "I make a bomb that explodes using the mechanics of fireball" largely boil down to whose action triggers the effect. Meanwhile, other classes that can use fireball (such as sorcerers and sun clerics) have additional mechanics that make them stand apart from each other. If the goal is to simply replicate what the 3e/4e artificer could do, the artificer can be a subclass and prepare spells in items that others can trigger. If the goal is to make the artificer an independent class, they must have more to distinguish it than letting allies trigger their spells. "I think otherwise" is fine, but it isn't much of a reason for anyone to agree with you.

Earlier, people said that subclasses based on creating certain items could support the class. I argued that the proposed subclasses seemed a little arbitrary. Someone came in and had the brilliant idea of using artificer PrC's as a basis for subclasses. I'm on board with that.

Recently, [MENTION=7989]Wrathamon[/MENTION] proposed an alternate item crafting system perhaps with different "rider effects" that artificers could choose. That sounds like it has some meat, too.

I can totally see an artificer class condensing out of that cloud of vaporous hypothetical mechanics.

But notably, both expand the mechanical place of an artificer beyond an armor-wearing, club-wielding, trap-disarming wizard who lets others trigger their spells. Warlocks and sorcerers both won their independence from wizards in a similar fashion: their mechanics are more than "I am a blood wizard who uses spontaneous casting and a spear" or "I am a sword-wielding wizard whose magic spells are gifts from beyond this world." Meanwhile, assassins couldn't jump away from rogues because they couldn't get a unique enough head of steam, and swordmages are a kind of fighter now because "I am a fighter who casts spells" is not big enough to leave a subclass.

So there is a distinct mechanical scope that a class needs to achieve in 5e to be an independent class. It needs to earn its large decision point. The concept of an artificer certainly can earn that (any concept could), but it needs big mechanics to back that up if it wants that. A slightly different proficiency load-out and letting your allies trigger your spells don't fly high enough.,
 
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Fralex

Explorer
About this class distinction issue, keep in mind what I said about the difference between clerics and druids. Not all classes need be as distinctive as the sorcerer and wizard have become in 5e.

Unique items is a good first step into some mechanically unique territory.

But, you'll need to make a strong distinction. The difference between "I made a rope that can't be torn apart or cut!" and "I know mending!" seems potentially cosmetic. Ditto something like "a staff that strikes with a deafening impact and knocks someone back" and "I cast thunderwave."
[snip]
But then, a sorcerer can twist that fireball into new shapes and ramp it up to new heights of power and do it whenever they want. And a sun cleric can also call upon the sun god's light to banish darkness and sear their foes with radiance. What does the artificer do that makes "I made a bomb!" different from "I cast fireball!."? Or, what do they do in addition to making bombs that essentially cast fireball?
Oh, don't worry, I think my current design fits these goals. Here's how I approached item-crafting class features:
  • The crafting process takes less time for artificers than other people, both for magic items and mundane. This helps keep downtime-focused class features slightly more viable.
  • Artificer infusions are simply a collection of spells centered around the concept of temporary enhancements to equipment. This includes the obvious, like magic weapon and elemental weapon, as well as things like the quick smite spells and ranged attack buffs paladins and rangers get. A couple new spells exclusive to the artificer were invented as well. More about those later.
  • In a manner similar to Channel Divinity, artificers get access to a couple very strong magic effects specifically designed to aid in the item creation process. They're tentatively called "Expert Infusions," and they all have a similar structure: Each one will have an ability that enables the player to permanently alter an object's properties in some all-purpose way that takes a lot of time. Each one will also have the option of being used to do a faster, but temporary, version of its permanent effect. You start with two Expert Infusions.
  • The first one, called Sustain Essence, is for turning an artificer spell into a magical property of an item. You can either choose to take the time to make it permanent, automatically refreshing itself each day if something dispels it; or long-lasting but temporary, multiplying its duration by 10. In both cases, the imbued spell will no longer require concentration, to make it independent from its caster.
  • The second one is called Retain Essence. It does what the class feature of the same name did: disenchant a magic item that you know how to craft. If you spend a full day with the item, you extract the magic as residuum, which can be used to pay the material cost of Sustain Essence. You get an amount of residuum worth half as much as the item it came from would cost to craft. It can also be used as just an action to temporarily disenchant a magic item with a successful Arcana check; even an item held by an enemy.
  • Artificers should gradually learn spells that enable them to give objects properties from the magic item details tables in the DMG. There's a cantrip for applying one minor property and a random quirk to any object. At higher levels you learn spells that mimic the artifact equivalent.
  • Spell-storing item, of course, is a 1st-level artificer spell that lets an artificer prepare an ordinary object to be a temporary scroll of any spell. This is similar to just casting a spell, but I think the difference between what an artificer does and what a wizard does is interesting enough: an artificer can gain access to any class's spells, but can't easily cast them in the middle of combat. Imbuing a spell into an item takes a full minute, putting a greater emphasis on good planning and foresight. Plus, it's cool.
Using these powers to make temporary and permanent magic items is distinct from casting a similar spell. An unbreakable rope is very different from a breakable rope owned by someone who knows how to fix it. Mending ain't gonna save you from falling to your death if you're hanging from a rope and the villain cuts it. A thunderous weapon has an effect identical to thunderous smite, but it's long-term. A paladin can make any of her attacks thunderous whenever she wants. An artificer can't, so if thunderous smite seems like a spell they'll want better access to, they spend time and resources to make a magic weapon out of it. There's more weight in the decisions, see?
 

Wrathamon

Explorer
I get where Kamikaze Midget is coming from now.

He is okay with an "Artificer Wizard" that casts spells like a wizard and can make magic items better than other wizards schools and gets armor and tool proficiency that those other schools dont. That is a subclass. I'm actually okay with this in design and theory.

It would work fine but its not true enough to he original concept imo.

Where I was opposed was trying to fit the original concept into the wizard because being able to cast spells like a wizard at level 1 then it all changes at level 2 because now you arent casting that spell but infusing an item with that spell (even thou its pretty much the same thing, it isnt the same thing). It's fine to hand wave and refluff things for home. But, it's clunky and disjointed design to try to do for others on a more mass scale. Many feel that artificers do not cast spells like wizards.

I agree they need a mechanic that sets them apart more than they cast spells but limited to items. Warlocks, Sorcerer, all have something more than just cast a wizard spell. That is why I always felt they needed to be more like the warlock and less like the wizard in structure.

If I had time I would write up the infusion system I was thinking about ... basically Buffs for items, or one use situational items.

It is interesting they say in the DMG that adding more Attunement slots is something you dont want to do, but I think it makes sense for artificers to do (but maybe that is their level 20 thang ... make an artifact that goes over the max 3 amount?)
 

collin

Explorer
About this class distinction issue, keep in mind what I said about the difference between clerics and druids. Not all classes need be as distinctive as the sorcerer and wizard have become in 5e.



Oh, don't worry, I think my current design fits these goals. Here's how I approached item-crafting class features:
  • The crafting process takes less time for artificers than other people, both for magic items and mundane. This helps keep downtime-focused class features slightly more viable.


  • I am totally in favor and on board with this concept.

    I also agree with Wrathamon that Artificers need something distinctive, including infusions/spells, that set them apart, and that those infusions would mostly be Buffs for Items.

    As I have been going through refining my concept of the Artificer, I have noticed something about the spell/infusion list: they are primarily Transmutation spells with some Abjuration spells thrown in, very few Evocation or Conjuration, and no Illusion or Necromancy spells. Although I am not in favor of the Artificer as a subclass of another class, if that was still what some other players wanted to do, you could create a Transmutation specialist (as opposed to, say, an Illusionist) that is a kind of wizard/artificer. These would be magic-users who have devoted their lives to creating, crafting, enhancing, constructing, and deconstructing various objects. Just a thought.

    At any rate, I have revised my previous attempt at the Artificer slightly, and I have created a list of Infusions for the class, many of which are unique and are not currently available in the 5th edition system to other spell-casters. As soon as I get a free time to polish it up, I will post it.
 

IchneumonWasp

Explorer
I think a sub-class of wizard could work for the artificer, but it would need a lot more 'changes' than the other sub-classes have; different tool proficiencies, armor, as well abilities that create the feel of the artificer and remind of infusions. It is not difficult to recreate the 'feel' of the Artificer though, for example through an more expanded Tinker ability like the Rock Gnomes have.

I think it would fit the spirit of 5e though to go back to the origin as much as possible, and with the artificer, that was a unique class in 3.5e. Of course it could be done differently, but I see no reasons why it wouldn't work well as it was. So I fully expect WotC to come with a full class if and when they plan to support Eberron (I hope that they do).

If they do make an Artificer class though, it would need to have different sub-classes. Since all 5e classes have at least two sub-classes. Any suggestions?
 

Zardnaar

Hero
The artificer was a wizard sublclass in AD&D before Eberron came along just saying. Spells and Magic 1996 2E had the class.
 

SavageCole

Punk Rock Warlord
I'm one of these prodigal players who recently game back to D&D. I hadn't played since the late 80s until recently and so I missed all sorts of fascinating campaign settings-- none of which fascinates me as much as Eberron, or what I know of it. If there was anything I would love to see for 5e at this point it would be a setting sourcebook for Eberron and campaign set there.

At this point, I'm torn between waiting until Keith does it right for 5e and buying the 3.5 stuff, reading this thread and Keith's blog, and trying to rig it myself.

WotC, make it easy for me and get this to market quick!

NOTE: My wife games a bit, but generally doesn't like fantasy. When I shared what I was learning of Eberron, she said she would love to play in "that".
 

collin

Explorer
This is my latest revision for the Artificer. My approach was this:
1) I wanted to create a separate, unique class, not a sub-class or archetype.
2) I wanted it to mainly be connected to Eberron, therefore, as an example, some of the infusions refer to Dragonmarks. These could be ignored if artificers were placed in another world setting.
3) I took initial work that Keith Baker posted on his blog and went from there.
4) I see the artificer as more of a support class, like a bard, as opposed to a front-line combatant. The artificer is there to make other characters better. However, with the ability to create magical devices, or imbue items with relatively strong magic, the artificer can offer some added help in a fight on his/her own.
5) I only included descriptions of infusions that were not already spells provided in the Players Handbook.
6) As a unique class, I thought it was reasonable to create unique spells (infusions) and continue with abilities that were consistent with the artificer first created for DnD Eberron
a) To my way of thinking, there is no point in simply creating a retread of what is already there by simply using just the current spell list in the DnD Players Handbook if you are going to create a new class. If one is to create a true character class, then it should offer something special and unique that other classes can’t offer or don’t have access. In the case of the artificer, I thought the ability to create magical objects more readily, either permanent or temporary ones, given how the 5th edition rules are put together for magic item creation, would be that niche.

Some things I noticed as I put this class together. Most of the spells (infusions) at the artificer’s disposal are Transmutative and require Touch to cast. I think this makes sense, given an artificer is not usually creating something out of nothing (like an evocation spell) but is rather transforming something or imbuing something with a special ability. So evocation spells are going to be very rare for an artificer. Also, illusion, necromancy, and divination are not really part of the artificer’s forte. However, the class does offer some bard/rogue like abilities which are obtainable at fairly early levels to make the class interesting, and again, more of a helper to the group as a whole.

I know this version is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am curious to see how this version would play out. I imagine it will get revised again and again, until WotC decides to publish their own (if they ever do).
 

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ad_hoc

Adventurer
As has been said, Artificer as its own class needs something that only it can do.

I think that should be to break the concentration economy.

Artificer should be designed around having more than 1 concentration spell active at a time. That would give it something unique to do and make it firmly part of 5e.
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
As has been said, Artificer as its own class needs something that only it can do.

I think that should be to break the concentration economy.

Artificer should be designed around having more than 1 concentration spell active at a time. That would give it something unique to do and make it firmly part of 5e.
I think it inherently would already...after all, creating items (either temp or lasting) on the fly removes the concentration requirement.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
I think it inherently would already...after all, creating items (either temp or lasting) on the fly removes the concentration requirement.
Sure.

I just think that is the place to start. Both for design and balance. That is a strong and unique ability in 5e and gives the artificer a reason to be its own class.

I think it is a mistake to try to make it like 3.x or 4e.

It should reflect the system it is in.
 

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