Talk:Artificer (3.5e Class)

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Comments[edit]

If anyone has any suggestions to make this better please let me know. Tivanir 13:06, 7 March 2012 (MST)

Have you taken a look at the Eberron Campaign Setting artificer base class?-- Irykyl 10:11, 20 March 2012 (MDT)
I have but that one uses crafting points and other weird stuff. I wanted to make something a little more player friendly. Tivanir 11:18, 20 March 2012 (MDT)
Also I find most of the Eberron stuff way overpowered compared to core DnD (like the feat that allows you to double up on magic items) so instead of trying to tone down that class for me it was easier to build it from scratch. Tivanir 11:24, 20 March 2012 (MDT)
Interesting points.-- Irykyl 11:27, 20 March 2012 (MDT)
Put in a bunch of extra links and formatted it going to eventually submit this for FA but only after the review is done. Tivanir 15:39, 20 March 2012 (MDT)
This Artificer is very different from the Eberron Artificer. This is good; otherwise there would be no point. That said, this homebrew version seems significantly more powerful to me. As I see it, this gives up Infusions, Metamagic Spell Trigger, and bonus feats in exchange for massive reductions in crafting costs. It's definitely a tradeoff, and I haven't playtested either class yet, but 60% GP reduction (before counting feats) by level 7 is crazy-good. -- ancientcampus 14:00, 3 June 2014 (EST)
In theory yes it is very good, but I find most people are more loathe to give up xp instead of GP. Unless XP is plentiful and GP is scarce levels almost always trump magic for versatility. Even in theory on the 7th level 60% reduction you will still drop more than a level (as xp isn't changed with the gold dropped, as outlined in the ability) for anything that you might try to break the game with. Example a +5 weapon is 50k gold which still costs you 1k xp, a significant chunk of your levels to that point. I don't know a whole lot of people that will take money reduction (especially early) over xp reduction as xp is the far harder thing to catch up on in groups. I could put in max percentages per 5 level increments to enforce people to even things out more if that meets the intent of not having overly min maxed into certain areas. Tivanir (talk) 13:01, 3 June 2014 (MDT)
Wow, a fast response, thanks! I actually like how flexible it is, including the possibility for min-maxing various traits; it lets players tweak the class to fit their playstyle. Some want a wagonload of magic items, some want a character who can make magic items without falling behind the party xp, and some want to make a magic item overnight to fit a situation. Rather, I was showing concern whether the class as a whole is simply better than its brother in Eberron. For context, this popular tier list ranks eberron's Artificer in the top tier of classes, so the homebrew version should attempt to not overshoot it. (I wouldn't normally cite someone's forum post, but every link I can find in Google points me to that very list, though it is aimed at highly experienced players who will be levering every rulebook they can and prepare for every eventuality, which is where the flexible Artificers shine.) Thanks for the class, it looks like a lot of fun; I just need to make sure it's balanced before I can convince my DM to allow it.

Here is an in-depth comparison of the Artificer from the Eberron Campaign Setting to this class. (If this belongs elsewhere, feel free to move it.) --Ancientcampus (talk) 16:34, 3 June 2014 (MDT)

Here, I will compare the Eberron artificer vs the Homebrew artificer. First, comparing class features other than Craft Reserve and Artificer Power:

Eberron:
Infusions (this is a big one)
can apply metamagic to items it makes
Bonus Feats
Disable Trap
Retain Essence strictly beats out homebrew's Rending by a long shot.

Homebrew:
Better Fort save
Spell resistance
Homebrew's Identify 5/day is leagues better than eberron's Artificer Knowledge
Mimic Spell is crazy-good, allowing you to “master” any magic item without much trouble. It alone might be enough to merit a 1-level dip into this class.
Detect Magic at-will
Craft on the Move
Analyze Dweomer

Ties:
Homebrew's Energy Expansion is roughly balanced with Eberron's “Caster level +2” feature of Item Creation)

Now, I will compare two example characters to assess the difference between homebrew's Artificer Power and eberron's Craft Reserve. Both example characters are level 10 
with an extra 9000 XP spare-change, which they will use in item crafting.
character wealth at level 10: (source: DMG)
49,000 gp
For simplicity, I'm assuming they have spent all their gold on magic items. (In reality it's probably ~2K less than that)


Eberron lvl 10:
spent 49K GP on items, to create items with a base value of 98K GP.
He has gotten 1600 EXP free from his Craft Reserve over the course of the campaign.

Homebrew lvl 10:

Homebrew full EXP build:
spent 49K GP on items, to create items with a base value of 98K GP. This would normally cost him 3,920 XP. With a 70% exp reduction, he would spend 1,176 XP if he hoarded 
his money until level 10. More practically, he's probably spent closer to 2,000 xp and saved 1,920 XP.

So, full EXP home-brew brings you 300 XP ahead of the eberron, but you gave up a lot to save that small amount.

Homebrew full GP build:
49K GP for this character could make him nearly 326K gp worth of items if he waited until level 8 before making anything. More realistically, he'll still have at least 200K 
gp worth of items. Thus, he spent 8,000 xp.

The verdict:
A homebrew Artificer who invests purely into xp reduction is somewhat weaker than the eberron Artificer. He saves ~300 xp, or 1/30 of a level, and misses out eberron's 
superior class features. 

A homebrew Artificer who invests in gp reduction, however, has 2x the wealth-by-level, and this gap will grow to 3x wealth-by-level as he draws further away from level 9, 
when he capped out the GP reduction. In exchange, he is about 5,000 xp behind the other two, or half a level. (This is due to the lack of xp-helpers, combined with the fact 
he is making more magic items due to the cheaper gold cost.)
--Ancientcampus (talk) 16:34, 3 June 2014 (MDT)
As a note homebrew characters for artificer aren't suppose to be able to start off with crafted gear, as that becomes far to unweildly and that only increases as levels progress. Mimic spell doesn't grant spells or anything, it simply allows the artificer to meet the crafting prerequisite spells for his creations. Spell resistance I wound up adding because the character is lackluster for straight abilities, and I also figure that he will have survived various mishaps throughout his career (accidents happen). Detect magic is actually pretty common post core with at least 3 different classes I know receiving it as a bonus ability, so it isn't too powerful. Identify might be a bit over the top granted, and perhaps moving it down to three times per day might be wise. However, on that same note, identify doesn't tell you if an item is cursed; cursed items are always good to cause a little additional play on the players part. Craft on the move was mainly to address the second biggest problem with a PC making an item which is you are tied to a single spot while the rest of the party decides to go adventuring since the item will take you a month or more.
In short I do agree it is a bit more powerful than the eberron artificer base class, but I still put it under PHB II or most of the complete player classes. The dragon shaman for example is insanely good without any magic items at all (and one of the closest to single character game breaking in practice) while still being considered normal "ish" by 3.5 standards. Power creep has always been a problem for WotC, but that is an entirely different discussion. Even if the artificer is fairly powerful there are also ways to completely shut him down, such as an anti-magic field, disjunction, and a variety of other options for the clever adventurer. Tivanir (talk) 21:40, 3 June 2014 (MDT)
Ok I am not sure why it was changed to a blanket 5 uses per day. Someone changed the identify greatly and I will be changing it back to the correct version. Tivanir (talk) 08:45, 4 June 2014 (MDT)
I would like to dissect Mimic Spell some, by rewording it: "You can make magic items using spells from any spell list, divine or arcane, limited only by your caster level. <some caveats for domain spells.> You do not need to 'learn' any spell or 'add them to your spell book'." So far so good. Very powerful, but that this is kind of what the class is based around. "Making items does not require Use Magic Device checks as with an Eberron Artificer." Acceptable; those could get annoying. "Furthermore, you can auto-succeed any Use Magic Device check once per day, thereby letting you cast any scroll you find." (4 ranks in UMD, +2 INT, x3 will work with any scroll or device a level 1 character could get their hands on, short of rolling a critical failure.) Here I start drooling. "Finally, you can use that ability to 'attune' a magic device permanently." Here I decide to take a 1-level dip into this class no matter what character I'm playing. --184.14.169.127 15:39, 4 June 2014 (MDT)
Those last two abilities are *very* nice. They're fun, too. It might do to split them off into two separate abilities granted at later levels. As an added bonus, it fits the bill for "fun new abilities gained at later levels". --184.14.169.127 15:39, 4 June 2014 (MDT)
The last part is actually a really important part I didn't think about. I am thinking a change to 1 item per two class levels rounded up would for permanent attunement. That way a one level dip might still be appealing but far less so than infinite items. Also the multi class xp reduction is a bit of a hinderance for most characters. Tivanir (talk) 06:26, 5 June 2014 (MDT)
Ok the single level dip into the class is still very useful to some (x3 on one check a day) but if a character wishes to have permanent attunement additional levels are required, and the number of items attuned have been limited. Tivanir (talk) 07:17, 5 June 2014 (MDT)

Changes to the Article[edit]

Throwing in a lot of extra feats and the huge changes to how the class works didn't even try to make this balanced. There is no reason this class should gain as many bonus feats as a fighter, and the increase to the skill points is unnecessary due to int being a primary stat. This wasn't extremely balanced to begin with and now the class would be extremely overpowered in the higher levels since 99% reduction means essentially free infinite magic items. Tivanir 07:08, 1 April 2012 (MDT)

Featured Article Nomination Discussion[edit]

Yes check.svg.png — This article became a featured article! --Green Dragon (talk) 18:39, 11 June 2013 (MDT)

Let the Harrowing commence! Tivanir (talk) 09:39, 3 April 2013 (MDT)

  • Support — Like the class. I especialy like the wagon. --Salasay Δ 16:35, 19 April 2013 (MDT)
  • Comment — I like this class as well.
    • Should Mimic Spell treat divine spells differently since they should not have to invest in two spellcasting ability scores too? Since divine magic is appropriated by deities, and a class that specializes in item creation does not necessarily have anything to do with divine discrepancies, maybe this class should treat divine spells differently. I would change the check to involve overcoming the divine spell's saving throw by d20 + their Int mod + their Disable Device modifier or something.
    • Why does Mimic Spell have a low-roll cap? Instead a game mechanic where the artificer is able to use a pre-Knowledge study check on the item that modifies the DCs by time or something would be more appropriate.
    • Should rending instead be able to store the xp in a unique xp pool, so it is more useful in item creation and their management to him? I would create an Artificer Crystal equipment page that explains the crystal's costs, storage abilities, etc.
    • I wonder if Craft on the Move would be more meaningful if the wagon could also be upgraded to perform other useful functions to its artificers, such as possibilities to fulfill mundane functions for subterfuge possibilities, the ability to incorporate other wagons into the artificer's "safe" wagon situation so that artificers may pursue additional agendas, etc.
    • Energy Expansion does not explain its game mechanics.
    • An inherent 20 with Craft Master is unbalanced. Maybe if a failed crafting attempt led instead to the artificer recovering some of his expenditures (but not his time), so that it is more in-line with gameplay would make more sense.
    • What are Analyze Dweomer's limits?
    • Efficient Item Creation is confusing and does not make sense. I would only incorporate it into the bonus feats.
    • The Lore table is mis-formatted.
    • The NPC needs <noinclude>'s added so the breadcrumbs are correctly formatted.

--Green Dragon (talk) 13:59, 25 May 2013 (MDT)

Ok to address a few of the concerns (the rest will come when I have a little more time.) I changed the craft master bonus to one quarter (at 20 +5) to crafting skills. I feel that adding the crafting speed is important as this character is suppose to be part super smith/part magic item creator. Analyze Dweomer functions as the spell but only affects one item and takes an hour (unlike the normal spell that is 1 item per level, takes a round to cast and has a material component.) The rending ability was to create a small mana crystal from each item that is destroyed (the reason I went with a 1lb crystal and not just a single crystal was to put more potential DM stops in such as a rogue stealing all your mana crystals.) I am open to the divine change but I was trying to force more limitations in the stat department (trying to give people less incentive to min max basically) to truly flesh out the clas. I will be changing up efficient item creation, the lore table is in shambles (I will make it decent on my next edit) and I will work on the NPC since he will need updated with the changes. As a side note I thought the low roll cap since he can make everything makes a bit more sense but if we have a general it should be the high advancement pace I will shift it to that.
Thanks for the input. Tivanir (Speak to me) (talk) 10:49, 29 May 2013 (MDT)
Ok next round of thoughts when people have time. A lot of things have changed and looking for a bit more input. Still working with the Craft on the Move wagon and seeing what I can give it that won't be too over the top. Tivanir (Speak to me) (talk) 13:51, 30 May 2013 (MDT)
I made a few changes, let me know if those work with the artificer's flavor. It looks a lot better, and there are just a few things that I found.
  • The bonus feats needs to be explained in the class features.
  • Each of the class features needs a sentence explaining at which level the artificer gets it.
--Green Dragon (talk) 23:18, 8 June 2013 (MDT)
all of the changes look good. Sorry that I haven't been available to do them myself but my time has been constricted in recent weeks. I should be back to normal editing and changes within a week or so. Tivanir (Speak to me) (talk) 18:00, 11 June 2013 (MDT)
It looks good. --Green Dragon (talk) 18:39, 11 June 2013 (MDT)

Rating[edit]

Balance - 1/5 I give this class a 1 out of 5 because: The sense of balance regarding this class has more in common with Pathfinder than D&D 3.5, An ability at each level, an all-good save stat line, and the sheer amount of class related special abilities and free feats is brilliantly conducive to this class' flavor but not to actual game balance. It's excessive.>>> --Viathon (talk) 03:51, 15 July 2013 (MDT)

The reason it seems to receive so much is because I broke down time reduction, xp reduction and cost reduction into three separate categories. Originally I just used a blanket reduction at first and every three levels after, but I figured that was a little excessive for 70% reduction at level 18. This way figures out to a little less than 70% across the board at 18. Also unlike other classes everything an artificer works off a long timeframe, so it doesn't balance well to begin with since it has no innate abilities.
The balance of this class is largely determined by his crafts. Seeing as how this is the case, this classes balance is hard to relate to another class but by looking at how it may perform throughout the game helps determine that this class is balanced. It does not exceed in combat and cannot cast spells, but its support roles bring it up to the balance of a complete class. --Green Dragon (talk) 18:23, 15 July 2013 (MDT)
Please discuss the FA status, not re-rate a FA. --Green Dragon (talk) 07:35, 29 August 2013 (MDT)

Wording - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because <<<The wording is eloquent, tasteful and fun to read.>>> --Viathon (talk) 03:51, 15 July 2013 (MDT)

Formatting - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because <<<It is well set out.>>> --Viathon (talk) 03:51, 15 July 2013 (MDT)

Flavor - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because <<<See Above>>> --Viathon (talk) 03:51, 15 July 2013 (MDT)

Hmm, yes, why do they have three good saves? I can't see any justification for good Fortitude. Marasmusine (talk) 06:03, 15 July 2013 (MDT)
I based it off of magical energies gone wrong. Also being a smith requires extensive amounts of endurance hence fortitude. Tivanir (Speak to me) (talk) 06:48, 15 July 2013 (MDT)
What about reflex? Marasmusine (talk) 02:48, 24 July 2013 (MDT)
I tied pretty much all of them to magical energies gone wrong but if the consensus says we should lower a save reflex would be my first choice. Since he doesn't gain any clear combat bonuses is another of the main reasons I gave him all good saves (yes he could potentially make himself into anything, but that also takes levels time money and experience creating a gap.) Tivanir (Speak to me) (talk) 11:25, 25 July 2013 (MDT)
I press the issue because to me a full-house of good saves represents a rare unity of mind and body that is well justified with the Monk, but here it's just "well, magic." You could use similar rationales for any class. Marasmusine (talk) 10:25, 30 July 2013 (MDT)
To a point. This class is different in my opinion because with magical energies and resulting explosions you would either be good at getting out of the way, good at resisting it or very very dead. I could see a reduction to reflex if necessary but I was also trying to give him something that was base combat related since it gets nothing. Tivanir (Speak to me) (talk) 18:34, 4 August 2013 (MDT)
My fellow players pointed out that this class currently has saves on par with a monk. It deserves nothing. Bumping these doooown. --Darkond2100 (talk) 23:27, 15 February 2014 (MST)
See my comment below, but they are a reflection of this classes inability in combat. --Green Dragon (talk) 03:31, 16 February 2014 (MST)
With the class' natural inability in combat, it makes up for it still with its skill in creating augments. --Darkond2100 (talk) 23:48, 19 February 2014 (MST)

Rating[edit]

Balance - 3/5 I give this class a 3 out of 5 because though my edits have balanced it to be less tanky, it's still a pretty powerful class with all its abilities. Requires lots of foresight to play, but even without, it's tough. I feel bad about taking more than one level in it. --Darkond2100 (talk) 00:09, 16 February 2014 (MST)

Well it has few if any at all combat options– that's why it has a medium BAB. Saves can be discussed, but they are a reflection of this classes inability in combat so that he may survive longer. Is your argument that their augmentations to the party enable this "tanking" anyway? --Green Dragon (talk) 03:30, 16 February 2014 (MST)
The artificer is not supposed to have such powerful combat options. Look at the other core classes for balance comparison, this class is way unbalanced with all Saving bonuses capping at 12 like a monk, when the class, as stated in Eberron, is supposed to be more like a Sorcerer/Wizard. A BAB cap of +15/+10/+5 is not "medium." There are no core classes with a BAB that goes any higher. It's ridiculous. --Darkond2100 (talk) 23:48, 19 February 2014 (MST)
Let me make it clear that this isn't just my opinion. I want this class fixed because I've had four different campaigns look at this page and say that it was way overpowered and I couldn't play it as-is. And they're right. Starting a campaign as a level 10 artificer makes you more powerful than a barbarian, and able to create items "like a chinese assembly line." --Darkond2100 (talk) 00:08, 20 February 2014 (MST)
First if they are level 10 and breaking your game they are trying to min max, and since the XP crystals become worthless when removed from the artificer someone could always hire a thief to steal them. Second did you even read the note about not letting them craft gear from starting gold since that effectively allows them to create an infinity exchange something I already addressed? Third 3/4 BAB is "medium", Full BAB is 1:1 - fighters, rangers, paladins, barbarians all possess this; monks and other damage classes possess medium, and 1:2 is half reserved for spellcasters. Even the damn cleric gets 3/4 BAB and I would put a smith a lot more capable when it comes to striking potential. I am willing to drop a save down to low but Fort would not be it, again look at the actual description - this is a smith that can create magical items, not a spell caster that makes things for a living. As for trying to say eberron isn't more powerful than this anyone bothering to use that book and the absorb the magic item feat will quickly and HUGELY outclass the artificer in every category. Tivanir (talk) 08:31, 20 February 2014 (MST)

Wording - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because I really do love the class and everything that people have contributed to it. --Darkond2100 (talk) 00:09, 16 February 2014 (MST)

Formatting - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because there are still some confusingly formatted things, like the at-will two-round twice-a-day detect magic --Darkond2100 (talk) 00:09, 16 February 2014 (MST)

Flavor - 4/5 I give this class a 4 out of 5 because YOU CAN ALWAYS HAVE MORE FLAVOR TEXT --Darkond2100 (talk) 00:09, 16 February 2014 (MST)

Add more of course! The flavor comes from Artificer's history in the D&D universe (I could not find much more to say about them really, and all the areas are well fleshed out). --Green Dragon (talk) 03:30, 16 February 2014 (MST)
If you'd actually taken a look at the artificer's history in the D&D universe, you'd know that they are a support class and not a combat class, more like a sorcerer than a monk. --Darkond2100 (talk) 23:48, 19 February 2014 (MST)
This isn't the DnD universes artificer. Its my artificer based on a character I ran in first and second edition DnD from more than 15 years ago. Just because eberron came out with something that was named similar to my creation doesn't mean its suppose to be me trying to create a random varient to somehow get it on this site. Tivanir (talk) 08:31, 20 February 2014 (MST)

Slight issue[edit]

My comp side information went crazy when I tried to fix a couple of things on the table. Weren't the identify and analyze dweomer spells suppose to be level dependant? Or was that changed and I wasn't paying attention? The reason I ask is scaling helped it for two reasons: one at higher levels you get more magic items, this allowed you to gain the ability to determine things more as time moved on; two the non resource expenditure was a balance point on keeping the total number of times per day you could use these abilities on the lower side, especially since analzye dweomer is about 1,000 gp per cast.

On a side note I fully acknowledge that the comp was manipulating tables and such, which is weird since I didn't do anything in that area except for adding in the times per day. Tivanir (talk) 09:18, 4 June 2014 (MDT)

Another thing to address that I hadn't balanced well. Maximum amount of attuned items should be no more than 1 item per 2 levels. If no one has objections I will correct that as well, since the class isn't suppose to be a one level dip for a majority of characters. Tivanir (talk) 06:54, 5 June 2014 (MDT)
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