Arcane Craftsman (5e Subclass)

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Arcane Craftsman

When I heard about the Artificer class I was excited, then I read what it actually was and i became disappointed. Here is my effort to fix that.

Artificers are still kind of new to the worlds at large. Unlike greedy wizards, Artificers are more than happy to share their designs, ideas, and spells with each other. Each artificer is in love with magic and how it works in the world, and how the world works on it. An Artificer may not be humble, but they do consider themselves to be a step above Wizards when it comes to understanding magic, they know it isn't all set in stone formula's. Magic is alive, and testing the limits of magic is what Artificer's do best. Having said that, being an Artificer isn't easy. Adventuring in search of knowledge, hoping to find something you can bring back to the community, and fighting off hordes of dangerous creatures along the way. It isn't all sunshine and daisies. No Artificer should travel alone, the road is lonely enough as it is.

Note book

Artificers began by studying magic, that means you are more than likely training under a wizard. Wizards write down everything, and old habits die hard. Unlike wizards, your notebook isn't technically necessary. It just makes things easier. Instead of wasting time by memorizing from a book, or using your tools like some spur of the moment unprepared fool, you purchase components to build real magic artifacts. By inscribing your notes onto these objects and working magic of the proper level into the object you produce the desired effect. It takes 1 hour and 20 gp per spell level (minimum 20 minutes and 5sp for cantrips, level 1 spells are 20gp and 1 hour, level 2 is 40gp and 2 hours, and so on). You can subtract 2gp for any tool used that you are proficient with or double that if you have expertise. But doing this doubles time spent crafting. If there is a consumed component them that will need to be implemented. You can also build objects without your notebook if you have seen the spell recently (within a number of hours equal to your artificer level-spell level) by making a dc 12+spell level arcana check. If you make this check you can write notes down in your notebook about this spell you just

Examples: the cantrip 'toll the dead' has no spell components and you can't write it into your spellbook if you are a wizard. So a cheap bell, maybe get a deal for 5sp if you're thrifty otherwise 1gp is fine, would suffice for this spell. You would use your tinker's tools to engrave the appropriate runes or markings on the bell so that when you ring it and feed some magic into it, the spell effect takes place. The magic might even cause the bell to be silent for all except those effected by the spell.

For the level 1 spell 'catapult' you would need to spend 20 gold worth of materials to craft the tool. If you are proficient with wood carvers tools and you make a wooden spoon you can subtract 2gp. If you are proficient with jewelers tools and you carve runes into the gem, then subtract 2 gp. New total 16gp required. It would also require 1 hour of inscribing runes, or double the time to do it yourself. All of this is after you have copied down what you need to from your notes. You could get a spoon, and a gemstone worth about 50gp you would embed into the handle or even bowl. Then, after doing everything else that needs done, you can cast catapult by drawing the spoon back and unleashing, causing the target object to receive the desired effect.

For the level 7 spell 'ressurection' you could use a veil. You would need to spend 7 hours sewing runes or patterns into the veil. 140 gold worth of materials whoch would be sewn into the veil, either golden thread or even some herbs used for potions. If you are proficient with weavers tools then subtract 2gp. When it comes time to use it, you would place the diamond worth 1k gp under the veil with the person to be resurrected and then let the magic of 7th level come out of you through the veil and complete the spell.

For non consumed material components, like mistletoe and goodberry, you could have a bowl inlaid with 20gp, or if you have expertise with wood carver's tools then subtract 4gp, of materials as the spell artifact and when it comes time to cast the spell you would wave your sprig of mistletoe over the bowl and conjure the 10 berries from within the bowl. Alternatively, you could crush the mistletoe into a form of paste, and by mixing that paste with ink or something to maintain the magic effect of the goodberry without needing to keep the component. Perhaps you need to carve a symbol that looks like mistletoe into the bowl. Also, some DM's prefer to have the mistletoe consumed so the party doesn't have a ‘nah, we ate and drank for today, and we'll have eaten and drank every day because of goodberry and the fact that our party is 10 people or less.’ It takes a little fun out of roleplaying at the inn when you ask anyone who is getting supper or drunk and everyone goes to bed.

You can cast magic without your artifacts at a dc 18+(spell level) arcana check. Where you remember what you need to cast it like a wizard. You can only do this 4 times per long rest. You need to have the components available if materials are required, otherwise verbal and somantic are kind of available when you need them.

Tools of the Trade

In addition to your base class proficiency with tinker's tools, thieves tools, and 1 set of Artisans tools, you now gain proficiency in 2 more sets of artisans tools. You should pick your tools based on how you want your artifacts to be. If you want wooden artifacts then woodcarver's tools would be advised. Metal then Smith's tools. And so on. You cannot gain expertise with tools this way, you must select unique tools. (Alchemists and cooks are their own subclass. We make artifacts, not potions. Go find professor snape and have him deduct 100 points.)

Study Time

Given 10*rarity minutes (common is 10 minutes, legendary takes an hour. Common 1, uncommon 2, rare 3, very rare 4, artifact 5, legendary 6) you can determine the basic effects of whatever magic items you come across, although intricacies and secondary effects might slip your attention at first viewing. And to the DM’s who might be reading this, joke legendary magic items would be a great way to get your artificer to waste an hour of game time. Like a legendary longsword of slime, where every time you attack a monster with it, the sword leaves a corrosive slime blob on the enemy for 1d10+10 rounds, which deals 1d6 corrosive damage a round and every 5 stacks of slime reduces the AC by 2. Sure it isn’t balanced, and it would make a boss fight that takes a long time less of a long time. But this doesn’t really have much to do with artificer so i’ll stop with that.


You can spend 20gp per spell level in materials and a spell slot of equal level to store a charge in the artifact to be used at a later time without consuming a spell slot. This requires a ritual that takes 1/2 hour per spell level. So you can’t just dump all your unused spells into artifacts at the end of the day. Charges still cost 1 action to expend. If you are some wort of wet blanket who says 'I'm gonna spend all my down time shoving all my spell slots into my artifacts' then a DM rule of 'for every charge you put into your artifact then make a DC (number of charges -1)*(spell level+3) arcana check. So if you are shoving a bunch of low level spells it is low risk. Like you can have 3 level 1 spell charges and it's only a DC 8 arcana check. You can safely store one charge in each artifact. But on a failed save your artifact explodes and is damaged beyond repair. You take 1d4 nonlethal force damage as well if you fail.


Your expertise with magic allows you to pull off some extra crazy stuff. When you go to cast a spell, you can cast 2 spells at level 3, 3 at level 7, 4 at level 11, 5 at 15, and 6 at 20. The catch is that you have to have separate tools for each instance of the spell you wish to cast, even if you use multiple instances of the same spell, and you have to divide up the spell slot you are using to all of your spells. For example, you can expend a 9th level spell slot at level 20 to cast 1 4th level spell, 1 3rd level spell, 1 2nd level spell, and 3 cantrips as part of the same action. But you have to be holding all 6 artifacts and you have to make an arcana check at 12 - (your proficiency bonus) - (your intelligence modifier) + (the number of artifacts you wish to use(minimum 2)) + (spell slot level (1st level spell slot, even if you plan to use 6 cantrips at level 20 or 2 cantrips at level 3 you still have to expend at least a first level spell slot to multicast)). This could be a little strong at 20th level, as you could use a first level spell slot to cast 6 instances of toll the dead. If the enemy has already taken damage, that makes this a d12 damage dice. And since 17th level you were rolling 4 per casting. So… you can roll 24 d12’s and they have to make a wisdom saving throw, and all you spend is 1 first level spell slot. There is also eldritch blast, firebolt, and so on. Granted, at level 20 you need to be able to do that much damage, so maybe it isn't as broken as i think it is. You could add on stipulations, like you can only multicast spells of the same school of magic. I thought making it so you had to have a separate artifact for each spell cast was a decent limiter though. But 6 Toll the Dead... i don't envy that man.


All of your artifacts count as prepared spells. So long as you have spell slots and artifacts, you can cast them. If you do not have an artifact then you can try to make a rudimentary artifact which will take 1d3 rounds to make and you need to succeed on at least 2 dc 12+spell level arcana checks if you have your notebook or 2 dc 17+spell level arcana checks without your spell book. You can only do this a number of times equal to your proficiency modifier per long rest and it only has 1 use before it becomes useless junk. You can only do this as many times as you have spare crafting materials.


The forces of magic are not as stable as some would like you to think. Artifacts can be destroyed, no matter what it was made of before, all artifacts have 1+spell level HP and 5+spell level AC. So a cantrip has 1 hp, a level 9 spell has 10 hp. A cantrip has 5 ac and a level 9 spell has 14 AC. these artifacts cannot be repaired with mending, but they are salvageable with 1 hour and half their original cost in materials.


What kind of unimaginative disgrace would put a spell in a stupid stick. I mean, unless it makes sense, like sheleighleigh. You cannot use wands, as per your pride as an artificer, however you can extract the spell and any charges from the wand and put it in a proper vessel over the course of 2 hours and 20gp of materials, 1 hour to craft the new vessel, and 1 hour as a ritual to transfer the charges and spell. Be imaginative, like a lantern of fireball. Use your imagination at least, have some pride. You can tell what spell is in a wand and how many charges are left inside it by studying the magic item for at least 2 minutes (DC17 arcana check) or you can take 5 minutes if you have time (DC12 arcana check).

Artificer Extended Spell List

You have studied with gusto, even traveling into the forest to try and get a snag at some of that druid stuff. And you had a kind of success. You found some magic sitting on the ground and couldn’t decipher it, so you concluded it was druidic. It was not druidic, you actually were high on fumes from a weird plant. Druid magic escapes you, but you have had experience with every other form of magic. Bard, cleric (not including domains), paladin (not including domains), ranger, sorcerer, warlock, and Wizard. No school of magic is beyond your reach either, and you have come to notice the subtle differences between them. You can’t examine every kind of magic the same way, and you know it. Bardic magic has to be observed in how it is performed to determine how it works, but wizards are pretty good about writing things down. Sorcerer’s usually have to feel it, but a hair or two is usually enough testing equipment to decipher a few spells that relate to their parent. Clerics and paladins pray, so going to visit a church gives you some insight. Rangers draw their power from nature, so you must also go there, at least they aren’t as stingy as the druids. Warlocks are ass holes about it, but if you give them enough drink they’ll spill some eldritch knowledge. (starting spells you can pick whatever your DM will allow. But when learning spells you’ll have to do a bit more leg work than ‘sweet, i remember a bard doing this and that about 10 years ago when i was in a bar while going to artificer school. You need details from the present or some godly history rolls alongside your arcana checks made with disadvantage. DM discretion of course).

Infusion Deficient

You cannot just make magic items, at least not without a lot of study. After you have spent your study time to determine the effects of a magic item, you can then work on analyzing and attempting replication. You will require the proper tool sets, so if you want to replicate a bag of holding then you would require the materials, weaver's tools, and about 6 days per rarity (common 1, uncommon 2, rare 3, very rare 4, artifact 5, legendary 6) so a bag of holding would take 12 days, but a legendary sword would take 36 days and you would need to craft it in a smithy. The first 1/6th of this time is spent studying the item you plan to replicate. If you attempt to craft a magic item without being proficient in the tool type, then you take your intelligence modifier -6 and add that value to your arcana check for crafting. If you have notes on the spell used then you can subract 3 from the arcana check. The arcana check for crafting a magic item is 14+(rarity modifier)-(tool profiency or expertise or if you lack this then your int modifier -6 and subtracting a negative number adds to the difficulty)-(intelligence modifier)+(spell level-3 if you have notes). You can still try and make your own magic items based on what spells you know, like enchanting a pair of boots with misty step, but without a studied source to replicate from the arcana check increases by 4. You can still imbue mundane items with simple magic effects, cantrips. So long as you know the cantrip, you can imbue that item with a simple version of it. Like a lighter of firebolt as a touch spell. The light thing but with 10ft bright and 10ft dim. You don't have to use an artifact for this, but if you want then you could use your tools to make the effect permanent until you end it.

Looking this over, this could also be a wizard variant.

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