Level Up (A5E) State of the Archetypes


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xiphumor

Adventurer
Oh I know! I’ve also thrown some pitches to the GPG in that direction, and if they’re not accepted I may publish independently. :)
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Hmm. So, everyone: what sort of archetypes do Savants and Artificers need?

The Artificer currently has one archetype that throws bombs, one archetype that builds vehicles, and one archetype that makes constructs undead monstrosities. It could benefit from an alchemist, of course. And someone who creates clockworks, which would include clockwork pets and... maybe Babbage engine-type computers that allow for research, divinations, and things like that. And perhaps someone who can replace body parts with

The Savant one archetype that basically a guide or doctor, one archetype that's a tactician, and one that's a public speaker. A chronicler or historian that provides large amounts of knowledge? EN5sider had a few interesting archetypes that could stand updating or adapting.
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
The Artificer currently has one archetype that throws bombs, one archetype that builds vehicles, and one archetype that makes constructs undead monstrosities. It could benefit from an alchemist, of course. And someone who creates clockworks, which would include clockwork pets and... maybe Babbage engine-type computers that allow for research, divinations, and things like that. And perhaps someone who can replace body parts with
i'm also thinking one centered around weapons/armor, sort of like a pf2e inventor or a mage hand press craftsman. the not-quite-computer idea is pretty cool, i like that
 



xiphumor

Adventurer
Nice! Got your self-publishing stuff ready to go? Because that should definitely be a commercial product!
I’ve never self-published before, so no, I don’t. Faolyn and I are ostensibly working on a project together, and they’ve published, but I wouldn’t really know where to start!
 

I’ve never self-published before, so no, I don’t. Faolyn and I are ostensibly working on a project together, and they’ve published, but I wouldn’t really know where to start!
It's not as bad as you might think (actually, it's really straightforward), but it's also beyond the scope of a thread reply. I really should stand a blog up somewhere and write a post about it.
 


xiphumor

Adventurer
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Updated!
 


kerleth

Explorer
Hmm. So, everyone: what sort of archetypes do Savants and Artificers need?
Artificer:
  • "Splicer" creates biological symbiotes that can be attached to other people. Somewhat like the stitcher, but instead of a minion you are improving your fellow adventurers. Could instead have a more cybernetic aesthetic. Main focus is applying buffs to allies in a vaguely unnatural way.
  • "Mad Doctor" has healing abilities, but others that evoke of plagues and parasites. Focuses on creating "serums" that can heal or harm somewhat like the Bombardier creates explosives. Can analyze afflictions to be able to cure or inflict them. Eventually not limited to just poison and disease, but also petrification, polymorphs, curses and similar conditions.
  • "Aetherlink" creates a magical connection that allows thoughts and various abilities to be passed from one party member to another. Somewhat like an advanced familiar bond for everyone. Potentially allow characters to loan abilities to each other.
  • "Minimalist/Macguyver" focuses on scrounging and quickly throwing together devices using common materials. Abilities make them surprisingly at home in the wilderness, and better than normal in the exploration pillar.
  • "Lexicon" focuses on the transformative power of the written word in culture. Uses scrolls, tattoos, runes, heiroglyphs, and similar to store effects for later, and usable by other people.
  • "Dreamforge/Soulforge" is seemingly able to instantly craft temporary items from nothing. But nothing is free, and the costs might disturb those who discovered the truth.
  • "Canvas" Like any artist they put their blood, sweat, and tears into their work. Few are quite so literal. Devices are built from their own flesh and maintain a link to their creator.
  • "Promethean" The signature of the divine is the act of creation. Holy powers reminiscent of a cleric or paladin. Abilities perhaps take the form of reliquaries blessed by their deity.
  • "Machinae" There is a soul in all things. Augments conventional craftsmanship by communing with the spirits within objects. Can gain knowledge from them similar to psychometry, as well as entreating the objects to get them to help, or hinder, their use.
  • "Yliaster" Focuses not on external craftsmanship, but on internal alchemy, purifying themselves to become a philosopher's stone. Jekyll and Hyde meets Wuxia.

Savant
  • "Lorekeeper" Abilities focused on knowledge and creating memetic affects. Perhaps can exchange and store memories directly. Perhaps can create triggered effects in people that take effect, or move to another, at a later point. Focuses on oral history as opposed to writing.
  • "Untouchable" A focus on forbidden lore and inherently corruptive knowledge. Invoking disturbing effects through the use of alien symbols and language. Suggested flavor of someone needing to both study and hide this knowledge so that the forces involved can be guarded against.
  • "Natural Philosopher" focused on analyzing the features of creatures and environments. Has access to a number of niche specialized abilities and party tactics that can be used once the situation has been sufficiently analyzed.
  • "Archaeologist" gains a number of abilities that help them to clandestinely explore ancient ruins with hidden passages and liberate their forgotten treasures. Coincidentally also useful at breaking and entering. Take the Savant and pushes them in a bit more of the dungeon delving rogue direction. I believe that the two are mechanically distinct enough that this wouldn't be a problem, and would in fact be a good alternative for a different take on that character type.
  • "Fysiker" A mix of healing abilities and combat tricks based on manipulating a network of life energy in people's bodies. Hollywood combat doctor that uses "pressure points" and scalpel cuts in fights to.
  • "Prognosticator" Analyzes situations to such an extent that they can gain insights similar to divinations and manipulate the results of die rolls. Abilities similar to fate/luck manipulation through sheer predictive power.
  • "Inheritor" can pull on a collective memory / shared soul to gain skills and knowledge they should not possess. Perhaps flavored by becoming a medium for the echos of their ancestors.
  • Several of the Artificer ideas above could with minimal tweaking fit a Savant. Artifice and knowledge have a lot of inherent overlap.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
@kerleth, great ideas! I would combine some of them, though. It would give each archetype a wider reach and make them less niche.

For Artificer: Splicer and Mad Doctor. Someone who can both cure diseases and create plagues by sculpting flesh.

Aetherlink and Dream/Soulforge. Artificers who can create objects out of thoughts and dreams.

Lexicon and Canvas. Those who create wonders out of symbols.

Promethean and Machinae. A "shaman" type who can imbue objects with minds that they create.

For Savant: Lorekeeper, Untouchable, and Inheritor: One focused on knowledge (and I love the idea of using hostile memes!), but some of that is What Man Is Not Meant To Know, and some can be taken from other people's minds.

And even Archaeologist and Inheritor, who not only is good at exploring ruins but can employ or even trap the ghosts within.

I'm not saying they have to be combined, of course, but some could benefit from such a thing.
 

This idea comes with all the disclaimers. It's probably not something I could get legal permission to do, and it'd likely be unbalanced if I did.

However, when the Savant got released, the first idea I had was a subclass that could use the level-less (and risky-to-cast) spells in The Book of Gaub, Wonder and Wickedness, and Marvels and Malisons.

The OSR scene has a number of collection of system-neutral, unleveled spells like that. A character that could use them in Level Up would be pretty cool!
 

xiphumor

Adventurer
Question I’ve been mulling over: is a Savant 1/3 caster a bad idea? Specifically, I’ve been taking a look at my Arcana-focused Savant idea and wondering whether it should have some spellcasting.

If it does have spellcasting, my notion is that such Savants usually consider themselves Wizards, but spend more time with each spell and have a narrower focus, allowing them to rapidly create rare spells, making them mildly Sorcerer-like in the process. (Adjacent question: would such Savants have spellbooks or be known casters?)

If it shouldn’t, then the design focuses on someone who knows as much as a wizard does but keeps a distance from spellcasting, perhaps because they’re magically impotent, a fanatical mage hunter with moral reservations about magic, or just doesn’t like getting their hands dirty.

The problem is that if Savants are going to be a 1/3 caster, they’re going to be INT-based, which is already their primary ability score. In addition, they would have to get spellcasting at level 1 or 2, as they have no third-level archetype feature. I’m worried that such an archetype would be too strong, and potentially even introduce a dangerous multiclass dip for wizards.

Thoughts?
 

Pedantic

Adventurer
If it shouldn’t, then the design focuses on someone who knows as much as a wizard does but keeps a distance from spellcasting, perhaps because they’re magically impotent, a fanatical mage hunter with moral reservations about magic, or just doesn’t like getting their hands dirty.

This angle sounds really interesting. I like the idea of some kind of "third party metamagic" as the basis for these abilities, especially in a negative sense. No intrinsic ability to cast spells, but some combination of ability to enhance, improve spells cast by allies and probably a heavier emphasis on weakening/altering enemy spells. Disempower spell, maybe a dissonant humming that increases casting times, maybe a way to copy enemy buffs, probably some kind of nonmagical dispel magic effect.
 

xiphumor

Adventurer
This angle sounds really interesting. I like the idea of some kind of "third party metamagic" as the basis for these abilities, especially in a negative sense. No intrinsic ability to cast spells, but some combination of ability to enhance, improve spells cast by allies and probably a heavier emphasis on weakening/altering enemy spells. Disempower spell, maybe a dissonant humming that increases casting times, maybe a way to copy enemy buffs, probably some kind of nonmagical dispel magic effect.
e.g.

Sabotage Magic​

At 11th level, you can mimic the effects of the counterspell or dispel magic spells through non-magical means such as well-timed interruptions, the precise effacement of glyphs, critical distractions, etc. You may use this ability a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, with both “spells” drawing from the same pool, regaining all spent uses after completing a long rest. If you expend multiple uses of this ability, you can mimic the effects of casting the spell at one level higher for each use you expend. Intelligence acts as your “spellcasting ability” for these effects.
 

Pedantic

Adventurer
Oh, the ability to attune to spellcaster specific magic items and use scrolls feels very on brand. Maybe that's a good spellcasting replacement ability, allow the savant to scribe personal scrolls only they can use per long rest?
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Question I’ve been mulling over: is a Savant 1/3 caster a bad idea? Specifically, I’ve been taking a look at my Arcana-focused Savant idea and wondering whether it should have some spellcasting.
I would say it's fine. Fighters and rogues are traditionally non-magical, but they had 1/3-casters in o5e. But...

If it does have spellcasting, my notion is that such Savants usually consider themselves Wizards, but spend more time with each spell and have a narrower focus, allowing them to rapidly create rare spells, making them mildly Sorcerer-like in the process. (Adjacent question: would such Savants have spellbooks or be known casters?)
I wouldn't focus on rare spells, since that's still a downtime activity. It could be a ribbon ability, but not a main draw of the archetype. What I would do is actually give them some sorcerer metamagics. They learn a few spells (far less than a wizard would), and have to prepare their spells via books, like wizards do, and can only learn spells from the wizard's spell list (such a restriction, I know), but their intense focus gives them the ability to modify those spells in a sorcerer-like way.

Another possibility is that they have the ability to tweak other people's spells by using metamagic. For instance, they see someone cast fireball, they could spend a point or two to use the Subdual metamagic so that the targets aren't killed but dropped to 0 hp, or more points to create a "Lessened" spell that acts like the reverse of a Heightened spell--a target has advantage on the save, not disad. (Or vice versa--they could help out an ally's casting this way) This could be limited to spells that are on the wizard spell list, to represent only their field of knowledge.

(Of course, now that I think about it, this function might work well as a Martial archetype instead.)

If it shouldn’t, then the design focuses on someone who knows as much as a wizard does but keeps a distance from spellcasting, perhaps because they’re magically impotent, a fanatical mage hunter with moral reservations about magic, or just doesn’t like getting their hands dirty.

The problem is that if Savants are going to be a 1/3 caster, they’re going to be INT-based, which is already their primary ability score. In addition, they would have to get spellcasting at level 1 or 2, as they have no third-level archetype feature. I’m worried that such an archetype would be too strong, and potentially even introduce a dangerous multiclass dip for wizards.

Thoughts?
In this case, you could say that instead of spell slots, they get spell points like warlocks. This would only be a problem with multiclassing into an Int-based warlock, but you could also say that the points don't stack. Savant spell points (call them something else) only work with savant spells.)
 


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