Tinkerer, Variant (5e Class)

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A gnome sits at his table, sparks flying everywhere as he welds together the pieces of his latest weapon. An elf sings at her forge, the words of her melodies moving the metals impossibly easily under her hammer. A dwarf woman grins as she hits her target, over eight hundred feet away, dead in the bullseye. Only the crossbows she makes can do that. A tinkerer's trade at home is their tool at war, crafting and upgrading mighty weapons and armour. They are able to improve the capabilities of both themselves and their team mates with better gear. Some dabble in advanced technology or even magic, while others are gritty, determined, and well-equipped fighters.

Weaponcraft Masters[edit]

Tinkerers are masters in the ways of crafting and improving pieces of equipment. A welcome addition to most any adventuring party, they can always be ready for anything, as their weapons are the sharpest and their contraptions the craftiest. They tend to be wealthy as a result of their trade, and only really crop up in large cities that can afford their services. Many end up employed by military forces, looking to create elite units out of small groups of highly-trained, well-equipped soldiers. Frequently enough, tinkerers are parts of these groups.

Creating a Tinkerer[edit]

When building a Tinkerer, you must consider how they are able to perform their job. Namely, how do they get their materials? A master craftsman buying the most expensive materials from around the world, or a fringe crafter stealing scrap and making do? How did they learn their skills? Is there a university or similar institution they could use, or were they apprenticed? Perhaps they were self-taught, experimenting with metals and forging until they discovered the best methods themselves.

Quick Build

You can make a Tinkerer quickly by following these suggestions. First, Intelligence should be your highest ability score, as this will influence your crafting capabilities, followed by Dexterity or Strength. Second, choose the Guild Artisan background.

Class Features

As a Tinkerer you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Tinkerer level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Tinkerer level after 1st


Armor: Light armour, medium armour, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons
Tools: Smith's tools, tinker's tools
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Dexterity
Skills: Pick 2 from Athletics, Arcana, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, and Stealth


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) Studded leather armour and a dagger or (b) a chain shirt
  • (a) A light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) a mace and a shield
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4 x 10gp in funds.

Table: The Tinkerer

Level Proficiency
1st +2 Modules, Special Design
2nd +2 Contraptions
3rd +2 Tinkerer Specialisation
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement
5th +3 Rapid Exchange
6th +3 Tier 2 Modules
7th +3 Tier 2 Contraptions
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 Tinkerer Specialisation Feature
10th +4
11th +4 Tier 3 Modules
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement, Tier 3 Contraptions
13th +5 Tinkerer Specialisation Feature
14th +5
15th +5
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement, Tier 4 Modules
17th +6 Tier 4 Contraptions
18th +6 Tinkerer Specialisation Feature
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 Magnum Opus


You can design and build devices that act as replacements for a weapon or piece of armour's various components, changing its capabilities or properties. At 1st level, you are only able to build tier 1 modules, but gain the ability to design more complex and powerful ones as you level up. Each module takes up one "slot" of a weapon or piece of armour, and a weapon may not have multiple modules in the same slot (for example, one crossbow can't have both a short barrel and an extended barrel). You may use any modules you make, but other people who aren't also Tinkerers can only use modules one tier lower than the highest you can build, since you must design them to be intuitive and easy to use for people who aren't experts.

Tier 1 modules are not upgrades, per se, just changes. They provide an advantage, but also a disadvantage. Clever fighters will still gain an overall advantage out of them by manipulating elements such as range and cover to their advantage. Tier 1 modules cost 50gp and take 1 hour to build.

See Modules and Contraptions

Tier 2 modules either only provide a small benefit, with no penalty, or a large benefit with a smaller penalty. Tier 2 modules cost 400gp and take 1 day's work (8 hours) to build.

See Modules and Contraptions

Tier 3 modules provide a powerful and often unique addition to combat. Certain experimental or highly technical designs will still have drawbacks, but they benefits are well worth it. Tier 3 modules cost 2000gp and take 3 days' work to build.

See Modules and Contraptions

Tier 4 modules are extremely powerful, and can dramatically affect the battlefield they are applied in. Many work flawlessly, and those that don't have good reasons to be taken anyway. Tier 4 modules cost 10,000gp and take a week's work to build.

See Modules and Contraptions

Tier 5 modules are very complex and powerful, taking a small fortune, a huge amount of time, and a genius to develop them. Only true masters of craft can even hope to design any. Tier 5 modules cost 50,000gp and take four weeks' work to build.

See Modules and Contraptions

Special Design[edit]

You have made your first step in the journey of upgrading weapons and armour. At 1st level, select one weapon or piece of armour you own. You may apply one tier 1 module of your choice to it for free. Alternatively, you may wait until you have a different weapon or piece of armour you would like to apply a module to, then apply any tier 1 module to it then. However you use this ability, you may end up with only one upgraded weapon or piece of armour.


Once you reach 2nd level, you take an interest in designing entirely new items and equipment. These "contraptions" are single-use items that provide an immediate tactical advantage. Like modules, time and money must be spent on their development, and they come in four tiers. Again, creatures that aren't Tinkerers may only use contraptions one tier lower than the highest you can currently produce. Due to their temporary nature, contraptions cost half what a module of the same tier would, but take the same amount of time to produce.

Tinkerer Specialisation[edit]

Once you reach 3rd level, you are able to specialise in one of the disciplines of weapons and armour design: the Crossbow Sniper, the Bladesinger, or the Grenadier. Each has its own unique abilities, detailed later. Your specialisation grants you features now and at 9th, 13th, and 18th level.

Ability Score Increase[edit]

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Rapid Exchange[edit]

Once you reach 5th level, you can achieve superior versatility by changing modules mid-combat. You may now expend a bonus to action to apply or remove a module from a weapon you have drawn, or an action to do both in succession.

Tier 2 Modules[edit]

Starting with 6th level, you may design and build tier 2 modules for weapons and armour.

Tier 2 Contraptions[edit]

Starting with 7th level, you may design and build tier 2 contraptions.

Tier 3 Modules[edit]

Starting with 11th level, you may design and build tier 3 modules for weapons and armour.

Tier 3 Contraptions[edit]

Starting with 12th level, you may design and build tier 3 contraptions.

Tier 4 Modules[edit]

Starting with 16th level, you may design and build tier 4 modules for weapons and armour.

Tier 4 Contraptions[edit]

Starting with 17th level, you may design and build tier 4 contraptions.

Magnum Opus[edit]

When you reach 20th level, you are struck with inspiration for a weapon of incredible capacity. Select one weapon you own. For that weapon, and no other, you may produce tier 5 modules. If it is ever destroyed, or otherwise lost irrevocably, a god of craft, creation, or similar portfolio takes pity on you and gifts you new inspiration, and you may pick a new weapon to upgrade in this manner. Additionally, you may now make tier 4 modules and contraptions for other people.

Crossbow Sniper[edit]

You direct your attention towards the development and mastery of crossbows. The combination of the modules you design and the skill you possess allow you to make accurate shots from huge distances. This does not favour the kind of battles that take place in enclosed corridors, inside dungeons and other buildings. However, in an open field or atop a tower, you will be hurting and killing your enemies long before they can reach you.

Crossbow Proficiency

You have chosen the path you are on, now you must aquire the skills to walk it. When you select this subclass at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in heavy and hand crossbows.

Masterful Sniping

Starting with when you select this subclass at 3rd level, whenever you make an attack with a crossbow, and have surplus sources of advantage (you have advantage from multiple sources, and at least two of these are not cancelled out by disadvantage), the long range value of your crossbow is multiplied by the number of surplus sources of advantage you have plus 1 (the normal range is not changed so as to avoid changing the number of sources of disadvantage and therefore the size of the surplus). For example, if you were using a crossbow with a tripod and scope (both give advantage on attack rolls), and an ally was helping you (advantage again), but the target was prone (disadvantage), one source would be cancelled out by disadvantage, and one would be used providing advantage, leaving one source of advantage surplus. One source plus one is two, so the long range of the crossbow is doubled for this shot. Since the target is not in long range in this example, this will not affect the shot, but in some cases it would make otherwise impossible shots possible.

Keep Up the Pressure

Coup de Grace

Starting with 17th level, you may spend an action to instantly kill any target within your crossbows range, if it has less than one tenth, rounded down, of its maximum hit points remaining. The target must succeed a Consitution saving throw contested by your attack roll or die immediately. If the target is above one tenth of its maximum hit points, rounded down, or it succeeds its saving throw, nothing happens, and the action is wasted. Note that the Dungeon Master is not obligated to tell you whether or not a given creature is below the required number of hit points; you must work this out for yourself.


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