Artificer (3.5e Class)
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The artificer is an individual that has magic running through his veins due to draconic heritage; much like the sorcerer the artificer is a being born into a position of potentially great magic. Unlike the sorcerer the artificer is someone who forsakes learning how to use spells and instead learns to channel the raw energy through his veins into a permanent permable form through magic items. With his enhanced skills he also receives a supernaturally high level of ability with all the skills that he pursues that deal with his crafting expertise; and can make mundane and magical items of varying qualities with ease. Another key difference between sorcerers and artificers is the artificer also is able to shape divine magic without a connection through a deity, and his abilities are wholely innate without requiring service to a god. Artificers are also able to break down and reclaim components from previously created magical items through a process called rending, and they commonly use this ability to fuel their own creations and projects.
 Making an Artificer
Artificers are not like other individuals that are found throughout the world; they do not gain exceptional martial prowess naturally like the fighter, they do not receive a multitude of different skills like the rogue and while they are able to "mimic" the spell requirements for magical item creation they are unable to cast any spells at all. Instead of the abilities others receive the artificer is primarily defined by what he makes over the course of his life. Since his abilities are defined by the items that come into his possession, unlike the other classes he is not forced into any one position or role. With the significant reductions in what crafting extolls from the artificer it becomes easier for them to pick which specialties the individual will fulfill. Also this allows the artificer to change what he does later in life as long as he is willing to spend the time and resources to arm himself appropriately.
Artificers are not considered strong or weak in any specific area at the beginning of their adventures: their combat abilities are fair, their saves are amongst the best (all magical related as magical mishaps tend to make you good at surviving explosions and such), and their skills are limited but not vastly so; however most of the great abilities artificers will come to possess are gained through magical devices they fashion increasing their capabilities. The artificer can craft items at reduced expense and can with effort modify their abilities to make them similar in power to whatever pursuit they choose or has chosen them. The key for any artificer is to decide what path they wish to be skilled at (or paths if they are willing to take an overall reduction in capability) early in their career and to create items that suit these pursuits as rapidly as possible.
Abilities: The most important attributes for every artificer will be Wisdom for their divine spell requirements and Intelligence for arcane spell requirements. In order to use the craft ability mimic spell the artificer must still meet the attribute level requirement to make the item (i.e. if the item being crafted requires a 9th level arcane spell an Intelligence score of 19 is required and the character level can be no less than 18th level.) Other attributes will be completely dependent on the artificers chosen path and goals as an artificer wanting to be a close combat fighter would do poorly if he possessed only 8 Strength.
Races: Dwarves and gnomes are the most common artificers, as they both have a deeply ingrained love for working with items. Dwarves enjoy turning metals like steel into works of art and gnomes excel at jewel crafting pouring care and love into their work. Humans also make proficient artificers though they are usually motivated by monetary gain or the prospects of power instead of true love for crafting items. Any race is physically capable of becoming an artificer; however the call of the forge tends to affect other races less so they have significantly less artificers on average. NPC artificers will normally travel between major cities or set up in a major city to support their trade.
Alignment: Any alignment is acceptable for artificers though most will gravitate towards law and neutrality. Craftsmen work is highly ordered, and follows a natural law in order to execute a product that is of the highest quality. Artificers generally do not care how their creations are used, instead caring that their works are the pinnacle of their ability and crafted with devoted attention.
Starting Gold: 3d4x10 gp (75 average starting gold.)
|1st||+0||+2||+2||+2||Mimic Spell, Rending, Artificer Power, Forge Master|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+3||Detect Magic, Artificer Power|
|3rd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Craft on the move, Brew Potion, Craft Wonderous Item, Artificer Power|
|4th||+3||+4||+4||+4||Identify, Energy Expansion (1)|
|5th||+3||+4||+4||+4||Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wand, Artificer Power|
|6th||+4||+5||+5||+5||Craftsman, Artificer Power|
|8th||+6/+1||+6||+6||+6||Energy Expansion (2)|
|9th||+6/+1||+6||+6||+6||Craft Rod, Artificer Power, Fabricate 1/day|
|10th||+7/+2||+7||+7||+7||Craft Construct, Artificer Power, Spell Resistance|
|12th||+9/+4||+8||+8||+8||Craft Master, Craft Staff, Forge Ring, Energy Expansion (3)|
|13th||+9/+4||+8||+8||+8||Artificer Power, Fabricate 2/day|
|14th||+10/+5||+9||+9||+9||Analyze Dweomer, Artificer Power|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+10||Energy Expansion (4)|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+10||Artificer Power, Fabricate 3/day|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+12||+12||+12||Energy Expansion (5)|
Class Skills 6+Int modifier per level, x4 at 1st level)
 Class Features
Mimic Spell (Su): The Mimic Spell ability allows the artificer to substitute raw power for knowledge when crafting or using magical items. The artificer is able to produce the required spell effect for any spell that he qualifies for (divine spells work off of Wisdom and arcane work off of Intelligence). The artificer's class level will count as his effective caster level for this ability but it does not give him the ability to use spells in any capacity except for the creation and usage of items. The artificer is still required to meet all other prerequisites of the spell (minimum caster level) in order to create a magical item. The artificer is not required to study any materials in order to produce this effect; he will naturally feel the correct way to proceed and then complete the item. The maximum spell level the artificer is allowed to use during crafting is the same as a sorcerer (i.e. level 4 is required for second level spells and additional levels are gained every two additional levels (3rd level spells at 6th level, 4th level spells at 8th level.))
Further because of their innate ability with all magical forms and items whenever the artificer is required to roll a use magic device check, if the check is less than the artificers class level +10 it is considered to be automatically passed. Whenever an artificer uses an item successfully with the use magic device skill he does not need to attempt the check ever again with that particular item. If a new item of the same type comes into his possession he is still required to attune to it prior to being able to use it from that point on.
Rending (Ex): An artificer is capable of being of breaking down any existing magical item into an experience crystal, which is a small marble sized crystal that gives off a very faint light. This crystal weighs one pound and contains the essence (experience) of the item that is rendered down for parts. Based upon the artificers' skill the crystal will provide 5% of the experience of the original item per level (100% at level 20) which helps to fuel the creation of other magical items. However when tapping a crystal for the experience, regardless of how much is used, it will dissipate and be rendered unusable for further creation unless an additional item is created immediately after the original. If the new enchantment is not begun within 10 rounds (1 turn) after the initial item finishes the rest of the crystal disappears.
Artificer Power(Ex): The artificer is a master craftsman and learns to improve his skills as he gains experience. This is represented by him learning new techniques, creating new alloys and increasing the efficiency of his forge. At first level and at all other levels indicated the artificer gains one of the three following abilities to improve his ability to make objects.
Material Reduction: The artificer reduces the materials used in his creations by 10%, cumulative, every time they select this power. This power can never exceed 90% reduction for materials as this shows efficiency, not the ability to create materials out of thin air. This power only reduces the cost of an object, in the case of magical creations the full experience cost still needs to be expended (minus any adjustments for the Experience Reduction power.) It also does not reduce the required time to create the item, that instead falls under the Quicken Manufacture power.
Experience Reduction: The artificer reduces the experience required in his creations by 10%, cumulative, every time they select this power. This power can never exceed 90% reduction for experience as this shows efficiency but a sacrifice is still required for the creation of magical items. This power only reduces the experience expenditure, it does not reduce the overall price in any way. It also does not reduce the required time to create the item, that instead falls under the Quicken Manufacture power.
Quicken Manufacture: The quicken manufacture power increases the daily rate at which you create magical items by a factor (i.e. the first time this is selected the factor is 2x so you create 2000 gold pieces worth a day.) Normally you create items at the rate of 1000 gp per day. This ability can be taken several times, and stacks with itself. Each time it is chosen, add another factor (i.e. 2x becomes 3x or 3,000 gold per day) to the value of a single magical item that the character can create per day. Thus, items take half the usual time to create with one feat's worth of Fast Item Creation, one-third the usual time with two, and so on. This ability stacks with the other powers but has no other effects.
Forge Master (Ex): The artificer is the undisputed master of the forge. For every crafting skill that the artificer possesses he gets a competence bonus equal to his class level to each creation roll. This ability is added prior to other artificer abilities that multiply the end result.
Detect Magic (Sp): The Detect Magic ability is a spell like ability that can be used at will by the artificer. The only restriction this ability possesses is the artificer must concentrate for one full round prior to activating this ability.
Craft on the move (Ex): The ability Craft on the Move entitles the artificer to be able to continue working on journeys as long as he has the appropriate equipment. The artificer can purchase and outfit a wagon for 5,000 gold that will allow them to continue their work on the road, though nothing beyond the artificers personal belongings can be stored in the wagon without getting in the way. A craftsman with this outfitted wagon can continue to work on items during any periods of travel as long as the terrain they are traveling on is not severely degraded (a dirt road would work, but a rocky mountain pass would be impossible.)
Identify (Sp): As the artificer works with magical items extensively he is able to discern their nature and purpose through study and experimentation. The artificer is able to Identify magic items as the spell but requires no spell components or monetary expenditures to accomplish the act. Time required to properly identify an item remains the same as the spell (1 hour).
Energy Expansion (Su): The Energy Expansion ability allows the artificer to increase his effective caster level (but not the level of spell he can use) when creating a magic item. When an artificer uses this ability he gains a bonus equal to 1/4 of his class level (rounded down) to the effective caster level of the spell being employed.
Craftsman (Ex): The artificer becomes capable of creating great works with ease and can now take 10 on all crafting checks they have skill points in and double the end result if successful on the difficulty check (i.e. The DC for creating a masterwork suit of plate mail is 20 as long as the initial check is 20 or higher the result is doubled for progress.)
Fabricate (Sp)): The artificer starting at ninth level gains the ability to use fabricate once a day to form a single object. The item made will always be of the highest quality due to his craftsman and craft master abilities, but this ability only affects a single creation per day. The artificer gains one additional use of this power every four levels per day with the same restriction of a single item.
Craft Master (Ex): The artificer has reached the extent of his abilities. Everything the artificer makes is now a work of art and this comes to the individual as natural as breathing. The artificer is able to take 20 on all craft checks that they have spent skill points in. The end result is now triple the full score.
Analyze Dweomer (Sp): This ability is similar to the Identify ability the artificer learns at level 4. Through extensive experimentation he is able to discern the exact nature of any magical device. The artificer is able to Analyze Dweomer magic items as the spell but requires no spell components or monetary expenditures to accomplish. Time required to properly identify an item is the same as the Identify spell (1 hour per item).
Important Note: When starting an artificer with levels (i.e. higher than 1) he cannot option to make starting equipment. The expertise and disenchantment class feature make this wildly off balanced as levels increase.
 Epic Artificer
Artificer Power(Ex): The artificer continues to receive Artificer Power enhancements as he gains levels based upon the epic table advancement scheme.
Mimic Spell (Su): The Mimic Spell ability continues to increase for spell level, but the artificer must still meet the minimum spell requirement of the epic item. This ability can even mimic epic spells for the purpose of forging any related items.
Energy Expansion (Su): The Energy Expansion ability allows the artificer to increase his effective caster level (but not the level of spell he can use) when creating a magic item. When an artificer uses this ability he gains a bonus equal to 1/4 of his class level (rounded down) to the effective caster level of the spell being employed. This ability continues to increase after level 20.
Craft Epic Wondrous Item: The artificer learns this as a bonus feat at level 21. An artificer does not need to meet the prerequisites of this feat in order to learn it (i.e. the artificer can get this feat without the skill requirements.)
Efficient Item Creation: The artificer learns this as a bonus feat for every crafting skill at level 21. A artificer does not need to meet the prerequisites of this feat in order to learn it (i.e. the artificer can get this feat without the skill requirements.) The artificers Quicken Manufacturing ability applies the multiplier to these feats.
Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor: The artificer learns this as a bonus feat at level 21. A artificer does not need to meet the prerequisites of this feat in order to learn it (i.e. the artificer can get this feat without the skill requirements.)
Craft Epic Staff:The artificer learns this as a bonus feat at level 25. A artificer does not need to meet the prerequisites of this feat in order to learn it (i.e. the artificer can get this feat without the skill requirements.)
Epic Crafting (Ex): The artificer has reached the pinnacle of his ability. At level 27 the artificer is treated as having every craft related feat (rods, rings, etc) that he does not already possess. The only thing that lies beyond his skill at this level are true artifacts.
Artifact Construction (Ex): The artificer upon reaching 30th level may create artifacts, though the creation process for this type of item is far different from other creations. First no artificer powers are able to be applied to this effect; when creating an artifact what is listed for price and experience is already counting in everything the artificer can bring into play in the way of reductions. If the artifact does not list an experience cost figure it at 1/10th of the total gold cost of the artifact.
Further an artifact is not an item that can be completed out of thin air like most items an artificer creates. In order for the individual to complete an artifact the primal creation recipe needs to be located and deciphered in order to know the highly ritualized steps in order to complete the artifact. In order for the recipe to be considered complete enough to use the character must find at least 80% of the original construction order. If the artificer has sufficient recipes he is able to mix and match them to attempt to create a new artifact but must draw from abilities already listed, and only has a 50% chance of completion (failure results in xp and gp expended but the end result destroys itself as it is unstable.)
DM Note: This allows artifacts to be created but allows the DM to decide which ones are still able to be completed. If the artifact recipe no longer exists (in enough parts or at all) knowledge to create that artifact is lost. With a high enough Knowledge (arcane) skill there might be a chance to reclaim lost knowledge through trial and error, but that is at the choice of the DM.
Epic Artificer Bonus Feat List: Additional Magic Item Space, Armor Skin, Damage Reduction, Efficient Item Creation, Energy Resistance, Epic Endurance, Epic Skill Focus, Fast Healing, Improved Spell Resistance, Polyglot
 Elven Artificer Starting Package
Weapons: Longbow (composite optional)
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.
Feat: Weapon Focus (Longbow)
Gear: Studded leather, Backpack, 2 waterskins, bedroll, tent
Gold: 3d4 gp
 Campaign Information
 Playing an Artificer
Religion: An individual that aspires to be an artificer won't have a preconception of religion. The artificer is a crafter first and foremost, and if they choose to be religious they general will worship deities that deal with blacksmiths and creators. Other deities that are worshiped by the artificers tend to be gods or goddesses dealing with magic, creation or order. If the artificer is not religious it does not negatively impact his abilities so it is completely up to the individual whether the individual has a religion or not.
Combat: The artificers abilities are primarily limited by his imagination, as many spells can duplicate abilities of a class if the artificer desires to fulfill a specific role. An artificer can make a suitable tank (though they will tend to have slightly lower hit points overall), an effective damage dealer, or a caster type (though the amount of flexibility for a caster will be far more limited with the artificer.) The artificer is quite seriously whatever he chooses to make himself into.
Advancement: Due to their varied nature advancement is determined solely on their personality and what they expect to deal with throughout their life. With effort an artificer can qualify for a large number of advancement classes, as well as a few unique classes that the artificer can advance into. Specific Artificer prestige classes are: Master Artificer and Golem Master, both building upon the initial abilities of the Artificer.
 Artificers in the World
Daily Life: Artificers are capable of making unique and powerful items. Furthermore they can make them faster, better and cheaper than any magic users that dabble in the arts of creation. However there is a major drawback that most artificers face: out of all the items they create in any major area only a handful of people can afford them and likely in smaller communities there is less than a handful of wealthy enough patrons to peddle their wares to. However just because the artificer specializes in magical creations this does not mean he cannot create mundane items, and he can turn these things out with speed that suprises most normal individuals. Many blacksmiths despise artificers as they are quite capable of seriously reducing their business while they are nearby.
Notable Artificers: Odim Swifthammer, High Artificer for dwarven kingdoms
Gordas Bulsham, Owns the Lost Bauble, a highly disorganized equipment shop with various magical enchantments. The Lost Bauble has a portal to most major cities and even different planes. Travel can be secured for a small fee.
Organizations: Groups of artificers may organize into guilds for mutual protection if people in certain regions take to threats in an effort to get wares cheaper or for free from them. While there is no requirement for an individual to join one of these organizations, they may find it extremely beneficial as this will allow them to receive the protection such a group would offer (a lord who finds he won't have anyone work for him again might reconsider trumping up false charges against a character to steal his work.)
NPC Reactions: In general NPCs are unlikely to realize their is anything special about the artificer, as mostly they are looking for mundane items to either be repaired or to purchase things they need. In most cases NPCs will simply react to the character like he is a traveling blacksmith, and in most smaller communities the artificer will be hard pressed to find work. The reason the character will have issues in smaller communities is usually they only have a single smith and he might become angered if he is snubbed for a wandering tinkerer. Inhabitants in large cities that have an option between many different smiths may use the artificer if he offers services otherwise unavailable (churning out the same quality item in half the time is very tempting.)
 Artificers Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research artificers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
 Artificers in the Game
For the player character party the artificer class is designed to remove a lot of the issues that prevent parties from making their own magical item by eliminating the barriers of item creation (the barriers being experience expenditure and the long timeframes/downtime that is associated with making your own magical items.) Also the artificer is able to bring versatility to the party and flexibility through a variety of items (most people don't memorize stonewall everyday if an amulet that casts it once a day is available) and frees up other characters to focus on their specific role. Also due to the controversial item creation guidelines this allows characters to produce items tailored to the party instead of hoping for the right combination of found loot.
Artificers are the most likely candidate to run something akin to a "magic item shop" in the world the campaign begins in. Without the artificer many people would view the creation of magical items as a deeply problematic occurrence due to the large expenditures of experience and downtime to create said items. As an NPC this could be a retired individual that has given up on adventuring and instead uses his abilities full time.
Adaptation: Magical enchantments that can be tailored to the players should not be under estimated. With this class not only can you add versatility to the party but at higher levels you are potentially able to fill an additional spot on top of the original class you designed your character to fill the spot of. With being able to continue making items on the move it also removes a lot of downtime that people dislike while you make their items.
Sample encounter: Tryst Farmon was an individual that was apprenticed as a blacksmith at an early age. He dreamed of being a great warrior and learned everything available from the blacksmith with the hope of making great weapons and armor to wear. At the age of ten a traveling artificer came into town did some business and found that Tryst had the power to empower weapons, and took him on as an apprentice. Tryst learned quickly and was well on his way to becoming a capable artificer when his master's traveling forge was attacked. His master was slain and he was bound and sold into slavery to a man that insisted he work day and night to outfit his gladiators, until one night Tryst managed to strangle him after an inspection of his forge. Tryst managed to escape the holding areas and ran to a nearby town to buy passage on a caravan heading west, where he once again apprenticed himself to make money to start forging his own gear. Now with all of his equipment assembled he is trying to find the men that killed his teacher.