Tinkering Artificer (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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Already have a party that covers everything from bashing to traps and the such? Well here’s a build that will hopefully make you the center of gravity between them, making them stronger through your invocations and crafting skills, you’ll not only be able to make the whole team stronger, but also cast spells from a wide variety, from healing to stopping enemies in their track, to disarming traps. This is not much of an optimization of an already overwhelming class, more of a guide to help you get to cover the most areas as possible, or simply how to do your job best.


Pretty much all the SRD stuff along with these books:

Player’s guide to Eberron (for the Artificer class along with most of our feats)

Magic of Eberron

Forgotten realms campaign setting

Other books will be mentioned when needed

Game Rule Components[edit]

Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, Feats, etc...[edit]

Alright, here's a list of feats that could you could give some considering to, some are funny some outright abusive and make you even better than you could ever dream, should you know how to use these that is:

Mark of making from The eberron campaign setting, though I believe this is mostly for flashy uses as I still don't quite know how it works (useless, I know, sorry)

Item Familiar from Unearthed Arcana is simply great if you don't want to use the trick mentionned in the site below, it boosts your exp gain by 10% along with other buffs, though if it breaks, you're screwed, really.

More to come, also it seems cull wand is useless, but you're the one that decides wether it is or not, afterall, you're the one that plays no?


<- items used in this build ->


Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): <-Str: 8, Dex: 12,Con: 11, Int: 16, Wis: 14, Cha: 10 ->

Race (Templates): Many deal of choices here. Humans are a good choice for the extra feat if you need it, gnomes are good too, but I personally prefer the strongheart Halfling (FRCS 18).

Warforged (ECS 20) is said to be great, since you can simply buff yourself up and rush in to kill everything while you still can. With the racial substitution levels from Races of Eberron, you can effectivly make a warforger artificer that receives one nifty bonus when crafting constructs, living constructs and armor/weapons that allows each point from used from his craft reserve to count as 2 xp for the making of these, effectivly boosting your pool. Though I believe this bonus is pretty much useless if you use the Infinite Ambrosia trick which is found on the link below. Be that as it may, if you want to play a warforged, the substitution is really worth it. (Thanks to Ghostwheel again for this)

Small races are preferred since they get a bonus to AC in exchange for less powerful equipment, they also, technically, can wear more stuff at the same time (25% or so)

ECL Class/HD/LA Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Fort Ref Will
1st Artificer 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Apprentice (Craftsmen) (DMG II 176), Extraordinary Artisan (ECS 53), Exceptional artisan (ECS52) or Cull Wand Essence (MoE 46) Artificer knowledge, artisan bonus, disable trap, item creation, Scribe scroll Crafting items at 33,75% GP cost. 21,27% if you make it for a said class and if usable only by certain with a certain skill.
2nd Artificer 2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Brew potion <- other stuff ->
3rd Artificer 3 +2 +1 +1 +3 Rapid infusion (MoE 51) Craft wondrous item <- other stuff ->
4th Artificer 4 +3 +1 +1 +4 Bonus feat: Legendary Artisan (ECS 56) Craft homunculus, bonus feat <- other stuff ->
5th Artificer 5 +3 +1 +1 +4 Craft magic arms and armor, retain essence <- other stuff ->
6th Artificer 6 +4 +2 +2 +5 Attune magic weapon (ECS 50) Metamagic spell trigger <- other stuff ->
7th Artificer 7 +5 +2 +2 +5 Craft wand <- other stuff ->
8th Artificer 8 +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Bonus feat: Maximize spell (PH 97) Bonus feat <- other stuff ->
9th Artificer 9 +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Bind elemental (ECS 51) Craft rod <- other stuff ->
10th Artificer 10 +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 <- other stuff ->
11th Artificer 11 +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Metamagic spell completion <- other stuff ->
12th Artificer 12 +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Wand mastery (ECS 62) , Bonus feat: Craft Contruct (MM 303) Craft staff, bonus feat <- other stuff ->
13th Artificer 13 +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Skill mastery <- other stuff ->
14th Artificer 14 +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 Forge ring <- other stuff ->
15th Artificer 15 +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Magical Artisan (PGtF 41) <- other stuff ->
16th Artificer 16 +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Bonus feat: Extra rings (ECS 53) Bonus feat <- other stuff ->
17th Artificer 17 +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 <- other stuff ->
18th Artificer 18 +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 Undecided <- other stuff ->
19th Artificer 19 +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Bonus feat : Empower spell (PH 93) <- other stuff ->
20th Artificer 20 +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 <- feat(s) -> Bonus feat <- other stuff ->

Other Components[edit]

I would personally suggest getting the landlord feat with your party members, it gives you a stronghold (make it a flying boat) away from prying people to let you work in peace.

Crafting items at a little more than 20% of the original buying cost straight from level 1, good for adventuring. Artificer allows you to make all kinds of items as soon as the feat becomes available (at least almost)

Craft homunculus allows you to make a Dedicated wrights, which works for you (I’ve had trouble confirming, since say making an items in 9 days considers you work 8 hours but you can’t force yourself more than that, is it possible to have 3 dedicated wrights alternating crafting it for you)

The time reduction is one of the least hard things to do, send your wright to a plane with augmented speed; he doesn’t age and can just make it for you while you adventure. Binding a colossal elemental whale to an item before giving it other powers reduces the time by another 20%, rounding it to 17% GP cost for item creation.

Also, should you feel you want more power instead afterwards, other useful feats you could use to power up your already abusive wands, you could pick metamagic feats such as Split ray (CArc 83) or Twin spell (CArc 84) (Thanks to Ghostwheel for the tip)


This build works like none other, you don’t help your friends right away on the fight (with infusions, yes, but that’s not our dedication), you help them make them stronger, since with the same amount with which he would’ve bought a +10 longsword, you can make him 4, or other items if you prefer

Munchkin-Size Me[edit]

Feats like cull wand are unnecessary, but useful if you plan on using wands to fight instead of simply watching (and getting no EXP). Maximize spell, other metamagic feats or attune magic weapon are there simply in case you find yourself in a pinch, thought it shouldn’t happen often since though you aren’t a fighter, you can still wear a mithral full plate without the arcane spell failure. Don’t push it though, you aren’t a tank (unless you twink yourself with powers that is)

Side Notes[edit]

It would be a good idea to sub as a team healer if there is none. ALWAYS pick UMD when you level up to make it as high as possible and boost it even further with items, otherwise you simply can’t use wands and the like (which is imperative to this class)


This build sucks at start since the craft reserve is so small and there is no way to replenish it until you level more. Do note that there is a way to Here

DM Counters[edit]

The amount of buffs a simple artificer can make is astounding (being able to emulate spells for virtually any class sooner than they can), it is imperative to have ideas to stop him. Sneaking on them while he casts the said buffs is the simplest thing along with zones of anti-magic or dispel. Preparation is needed along with knowledge of the monsters he’s hunting to make him pull out all his strength before combat, as such, send the enemies reinforcement of another type (dragon with zombies and constructs ought to stop them for a moment if they only thought they were going to fight the said dragon)


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