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Frog Dragon
2009-03-28, 02:49 AM
I often find comments saying that artificers are better than batman wizards. Hell, I actually found a comment that an artificer 20 could stand up to Pun-Pun. I haven't been able to find the cheeseburgers. So what makes the artificer so cheesy?

Zincorium
2009-03-28, 02:59 AM
The problem is that there are entire books of magic items that were intended to appear sparingly and have limited uses.

Artificers, if built well, can walk all over those assumptions. Like Pun-Pun, this is an example of the law of unintended consequences. Candle of invocation? Nightsticks? Belt of Battle? Artificers can toss those around unless the DM puts their foot down, which is always the deciding factor on these things.

Pun-Pun is unbeatable because all of the tricks used to compete with him can be turned around and put to use within a round at most. Artificer just annoys the DM.

Da Beast
2009-03-28, 03:12 AM
There's an artificer build called the omnificer (I think) that can, at level 4 (once, again, I think but I'm not sure. It's been a while since I saw the build) can get an infinite bonus to certain checks. When I say infinite, I don't mean like Pun-Pun who can permanently boost his modifiers and is only limited by how much time he has to work with, but an actually modifier of +infinity.

Beyond that one, very very cheesy build, artificer's break the wealth by level guidelines, can cook up some truly nasty blasting abilities with their ability to apply metamagic to wands, and build whatever utility items they need. They also have decent spellcasting to fall back on should they ever find themselves without items. It's a stretch to say that a lvl 20 artificer could take on Pun-Pun, but it'll certainly be very powerful.

BobVosh
2009-03-28, 05:00 AM
http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1066097
It is a level 4 build that beat pun-pun prior to punpun being a level 1 build. It beat punpun by knowing everything, every combo, and how to stop anything by having an infinite knowledge check due to an infinite damage loop.

Also other than the normal break D&D with > WBL there is break D&D with reduced metamagics. Charges in wands/staves are cheap to the artificier and easier to blow through than increased spell level metamagics.

mostlyharmful
2009-03-28, 05:05 AM
They're the leading casters, they can make scrolls of stuff two levels ahead of full casters, with XP and gold reducers and that quill that writes it for you your character can be casting a spell level ahead of batman..... he's messing around with glitterdust? you've got that and haste, he's on disintergrate and you've got that when it's needed but you can also crank out reverse gravity or any of the cleric spells..... This is one of a number of good features.:smallfrown:

Much like Druids there's no one single thing that puts them over the top but the accumulation of strong, syncronized class features that all work best if thought about intelligently mean that the more work you put into it the more powerful you get. Reading through every suppliment and using basically every spell, item and monster to increase your options is Batmans strength. The Artifacer does it faster, cheaper and better but is likewise even more work to play.

Arcane_Snowman
2009-03-28, 05:39 AM
They're the leading casters; they can make scrolls of stuff two levels ahead of full casters, with XP and gold reducers and that quill that writes it for you your character can be casting a spell level ahead of batman.....
The Artifacer does it faster, cheaper and better but is likewise even more work to play.
Not entirely, they still have the XP costs of items to worry about, and they still have a finite source of income (if the DM isn't a completely spineless git who allows whatever comes his way), that being said after level 6 artificers are completely dependant on gold if they need to be, one of the most easily acquirable resources in D&D if you know what youíre doing. Another issue is custom items, some of which can be quite powerful.

One of the things that really put the icing on the cake is the artificerís ability to add metamagic effects to wands with his infusions can get ridiculous when you start throwing those twinned, empowered, repeated enervations, albeit it costs a lot of gold, but thatís it.

mostlyharmful
2009-03-28, 06:30 AM
Not entirely, they still have the XP costs of items to worry about, and they still have a finite source of income

XP reserve, extra feats to reduce costs, XP stripping from other items.....


(if the DM isn't a completely spineless git who allows whatever comes his way)


Yes, if the DM forbids things then they go down the power chart. This is the case with everything in D&D. If the DM allows it in game an Artifacer can use it though so whatever level your DM allows (so long as they let artifacers pass) it allows artifaces more options than other casters, options pretty much equals power when you apply optimization.



that being said after level 6 artificers are completely dependant on gold if they need to be, one of the most easily acquirable resources in D&D if you know what youíre doing. Another issue is custom items, some of which can be quite powerful.

Gold isn't all that necessary with cost reducers, with an equal level of wealth to another party member an artifacer will always be far far ahead.


One of the things that really put the icing on the cake is the artificerís ability to add metamagic effects to wands with his infusions can get ridiculous when you start throwing those twinned, empowered, repeated enervations, albeit it costs a lot of gold, but thatís it.

Graymayre
2009-03-28, 07:10 AM
Basically, with the feats in the Eberron Campaign setting, an artificer can create things with a gold cost of 37% its selling price and at reduced xp and time.

From there, you find the most cheesy spells and items on Earth, jot them down and make'em.

It helps that the characterization information promotes the idea that you should play him as the frickin' Batman.

Personally, I made a real Batman out my artificer using all magic items. It worked out fantastically, and now the criminals of Sharn swear to me instead of their god.

mikej
2009-03-28, 07:27 AM
Just basically cheap magical gear, the real cheese factor comes from if the DM isn't watchfull. In my opinion its not a class anyone ( especially new players ) can pick up and run with.

I'm more partial towards the blaster type, with the beautiful ability to apply metamagic feats towards wands and while crafting them cheaply.

Example: Wand of Scorching Ray

Empowered Spell
Split Ray
Twin Spell
Energy Sub/Admixture

A lot of damage but you'll burn through resources quickly unless there a constant renewal of gp etc etc

Mobey_Wee
2009-03-28, 07:39 AM
I'm sorry, I've heard it mentioned before, and I think I've seen it before, but I've been awake too long to try and remember. Who/What is Pun Pun?

mikej
2009-03-28, 07:54 AM
I'm sorry, I've heard it mentioned before, and I think I've seen it before, but I've been awake too long to try and remember. Who/What is Pun Pun?

Just a theoritical build using a Kobold to gain infinite power, and also widely qouted in my many jokes. All the info can be read here (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=491801)

tarbrush
2009-03-28, 07:56 AM
It's a startlingly complex character that at 1st level has divine ranks, near-infinite stats, and any ability in the game.

Starscream
2009-03-28, 08:02 AM
I'm sorry, I've heard it mentioned before, and I think I've seen it before, but I've been awake too long to try and remember. Who/What is Pun Pun?

This is. (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=491801)

Edit: Double ninja'd on the Pun Pun post. i need to stop being so long winded.

I think the playability of the artificer class is directly related to how much the DM is willing to regulate. If you limit his abilities to core only items (plus any he has encountered in-game and had time to study, representing his continued education), as well as put in a couple of common sense rules to prevent stuff like the +infinity cheat, he'll do okay.

If his item creation abilities are making the party too rich, simply reduce the treasure they find until they are back within WBL guidelines.

It doesn't really matter that you can basically make a Pun Pun out of the class: I've never met a DM that would allow Pun Pun, and I doubt one would allow anyone with a +infinity either.

So what if the rules technically allow it. To me it's like that Air Bud movie where they point out that the rules don't mention that a dog can't play basketball. Yeah, they also don't mention that you can't use a purple people eater, but no ref is ever going to allow it.

Arcane_Snowman
2009-03-28, 08:07 AM
XP reserve, extra feats to reduce costs, XP stripping from other items..... Stripping XP from items is 5th* level and above, remember that this will be digging into your WBL instead, so you'll be reducing it.

The feats do indeed make it a lot cheaper to make magical items hands down, but it is still in no way comparable to a wizard.


Yes, if the DM forbids things then they go down the power chart. This is the case with everything in D&D. I'm talking about infinite sources of gold, such as the Ten Feet pole trick, what have we.


Gold isn't all that necessary with cost reducers, with an equal level of wealth to another party member an artificer will always be far far ahead. A wand of a custom 1st level spell costs (1*1*750*.75, then *.04) = 562.5 gp and 22.5xp or 1125 gp if he's dismantling magical items, if not the artificer first has a pool big enough to make a wand of this level at 2nd level.

2nd level (2*3*750*.75) = 3375gp and 135xp, or 6770 gp

3rd level 8437.5 gp and 337.5 xp or 16875 gp.

4th level 15750, 630 xp or 31500 gp.

Yes there will be fifty charges, but with metamagic spell trigger the artificer will be chewing up quite a significant amount per casting. Keep in mind that the actual limitation of wands is 4th level; from there it's a matter of Staffs, scrolls and custom items most of which cannot be enhance with metamagic spell trigger, the infusions are only a few times per day, take a significant amount of time to cast and cost money as well.


If the DM allows it in game an Artificer can use it though so whatever level your DM allows (so long as they let artificers pass) it allows artifices more options than other casters, options pretty much equals power when you apply optimization
Artificer's power is one of those that is the most dependant on DM, the more liberal the DM is, the more power the Artificer can attain, more so than any other class.

That being said in any game that follows the WBL to chart and does not go above it, the Artificer cannot exceed the Wizard, because of the simple fact that despite the Artificer has awesome class features, the Wizard is not limited by a finite source, such as her income, but the Artificer is. The Wizard can cast the same spells day after day, without it costing her any money, whereas the Artificerís resources will be deteriorating over time, and they do not have the same amount of versatility either.

Note: I am by no means saying that Artificers are weak; they have a well earned places as one of the big five.

*rectification from the previous post.

HolderofSecrets
2009-03-28, 08:25 AM
I'm sorry, I've heard it mentioned before, and I think I've seen it before, but I've been awake too long to try and remember. Who/What is Pun Pun?

Pun Pun is an example of of what happens when optimization goes to far. Currently the build can be done with almost any race and any class due to feats and a knowledge Religion check which grants a free wish so you can start the wishing loop that gives you everything you need to pull off the boosting to nigh infinite abilities.

Using the applied method above allows you to use some monster abilities that were poorly written to boost your stats and gain class abilities till you can start converting followers and become an over deity.

This is not Pun Puns original build. He started as a level 13 Kobold psion. I had more respect for it then because it worked without wish or magic.

He then became a level 7-8 Wizard if I remember correctly. Which at that point psionics fans actually had a lot of ammo to defend psionics as not as broken as your standard wizard. I miss those days.

They then used some PrC to do the build at level 5. Which was the build that lasted till they found the knowledge loop of the Omnificer. Which is the only build that out did Pun Pun as he had been progressing to lower and lower levels. Then came the level one build which ultimately proved that with enough knowledge of the rules anyone can break the game.

All of this happened do to the Optimizing skills of WotC Forum Optimizers. Even by them he is considered a theoretical build and should never be played by anyone not wanting the DMG thrown at them.

A few traits still remain constant with Pun Pun when he is described by fans of the build. He is an Kobold with Nigh infinite divine ranks with a Horde of Divine rank 1 one awakened squirrels as his followers.

:smalleek: Great after going over all that I just came up with the idea that Squirrel Girl may be a Cleric of Pun Pun. I mean that would explain so much. Sorry for the comic book reference at the end here.

Chronos
2009-03-28, 12:12 PM
I think the playability of the artificer class is directly related to how much the DM is willing to regulate. If you limit his abilities to core only items (plus any he has encountered in-game and had time to study, representing his continued education), as well as put in a couple of common sense rules to prevent stuff like the +infinity cheat, he'll do okay.Even with that, scrolls are a core item. So the Artificer starts off with access to every spell from the core wizard, cleric, and druid spell lists, plus any splatbook spells the DM allows, and earlier than the actual clerics, wizards, and druids get them. Anyone who can do everything a wizard can do is already overpowered, no matter what the allowed sources. Anyone who can do everything a wizard can do, plus most of what a cleric or druid can do, is just over the top.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-03-28, 12:29 PM
First off, if a DM limit's Artificer to WBL, he's being a ****. Their primary class feature is breaking WBL, limiting it is essentially not letting a Sorc find spell components. If he doesn't, though, every party member gets 2.87x WBL if the Artificer builds properly.

Look at each spell list. Any broken spells off those lists, the Artificer can cast. With Metamagic. From their lowest level class, like Ranger or Trapsmith.

Or even worse, he can use Staves. With UMD. Look at his potential Ability score at level 12.

mostlyharmful
2009-03-28, 12:30 PM
Anyone who can do everything a wizard can do is already overpowered, no matter what the allowed sources. Anyone who can do everything a wizard can do, plus most of what a cleric or druid can do
before they can do it themselves

is just over the top.

The Archivist gets it's place because it can do everything other casters can do, the Artifacer does the same but faster and with a whole host of other goodies.

Myou
2009-03-28, 03:05 PM
What sourcebook is the artificier actually from? I did a search but I couldn't find a source. ^^;

Kylarra
2009-03-28, 03:13 PM
What sourcebook is the artificier actually from? I did a search but I couldn't find a source. ^^;
Eberron campaign setting

Arcane_Snowman
2009-03-28, 03:21 PM
First off, if a DM limit's Artificer to WBL, he's being a ****. I said limit them to WBL, not limit the WBL.


Their primary class feature is breaking WBL, limiting it is essentially not letting a Sorc find spell components. If he doesn't, though, every party member gets 2.87x WBL if the Artificer builds properly.

Look at each spell list. Any broken spells off those lists, the Artificer can cast. With Metamagic. From their lowest level class, like Ranger or Trapsmith.

Or even worse, he can use Staves. With UMD. Look at his potential Ability score at level 12.
These are three pretty good reasons as to why, wouldn't you think :smallconfused:

Draz74
2009-03-28, 03:22 PM
Eberron Campaign Setting. (ninja'd!)

I've heard a pretty effective low-level trick for breaking the game with an Artificer is just using Infusions to make the whole party's weapons get the Bane (whatever you're fighting) enhancement.

monty
2009-03-28, 03:27 PM
Eberron Campaign Setting. (ninja'd!)

I've heard a pretty effective low-level trick for breaking the game with an Artificer is just using Infusions to make the whole party's weapons get the Bane (whatever you're fighting) enhancement.

That costs gold, though. But if you're just doing it to your weapon, it's free.

Myou
2009-03-28, 03:28 PM
Eberron campaign setting

Thanks. ^^



As I understand it, the artificer can't replicate spells above 6th level, since infusions don't get any stronger than that, so does that mean than he relies entirely on metamagic feats to out do real casters?

Also, why did several people say that he gets spells before the classes that actually cast them do? I'm guesing I missed some trick there.

monty
2009-03-28, 03:32 PM
As I understand it, the artificer can't replicate spells above 6th level, since infusions don't get any stronger than that, so does that mean than he relies entirely on metamagic feats to out do real casters?

Also, why did several people say that he gets spells before the classes that actually cast them do? I'm guesing I missed some trick there.

He can still put any spell into a magic item with a UMD check, though.

And he gets an ability that gives him +2 effective caster level for determining his maximum spell level, although it doesn't increase his actual CL. For example, at level 3, he could make a scroll of Fireball (which a normal character couldn't do until level 5), but it would only do 3d6 damage.

Eldariel
2009-03-28, 03:34 PM
The Artificer can craft items as if he were two levels higher than he is. Therefore, he can craft scrolls of spells a level higher than a caster of his level could cast.

I wouldn't say Artificer is "cheese" per ce, but it's definitely a Tier 1 class and matches well with the power level of the Wizard, the Cleric, the Druid, the Archivist and the Erudite (with the obvious PrCs/ACFs). So on that level of play, Artificers are merely a welcome addition to every party, but on lower levels of play, Artificers can utterly break things just like Wizards, Druids, Clerics, Archivists & Erudites.

Myou
2009-03-28, 03:45 PM
He can still put any spell into a magic item with a UMD check, though.

And he gets an ability that gives him +2 effective caster level for determining his maximum spell level, although it doesn't increase his actual CL. For example, at level 3, he could make a scroll of Fireball (which a normal character couldn't do until level 5), but it would only do 3d6 damage.


The Artificer can craft items as if he were two levels higher than he is. Therefore, he can craft scrolls of spells a level higher than a caster of his level could cast.

I wouldn't say Artificer is "cheese" per ce, but it's definitely a Tier 1 class and matches well with the power level of the Wizard, the Cleric, the Druid, the Archivist and the Erudite (with the obvious PrCs/ACFs). So on that level of play, Artificers are merely a welcome addition to every party, but on lower levels of play, Artificers can utterly break things just like Wizards, Druids, Clerics, Archivists & Erudites.

Ahhh, I see!

What's the actual downside to the artificier if he can emulate the casting of any class before the class can itself? Is the XP cost meant to be the only drawback?


Sidenote: Is the Big 6 Erudite the Dragon Magazine or WotC version?

Arcane_Snowman
2009-03-28, 03:54 PM
What's the actual downside to the artificier if he can emulate the casting of any class before the class can itself? Is the XP cost meant to be the only drawback? they're limited by gold no matter what.
But even that at the hand of a skilled player or loose DM is no hindrance.

Eldariel
2009-03-28, 03:55 PM
Sidenote: Is the Big 6 Erudite the Dragon Magazine or WotC version?

The WoTC version, but with Convert Spell to Power (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20070629a) ACF. That's why I specified the "or ACFs" in the qualifications to be nuts; standard Erudite is actually rather weak. Spells to Powers ACF gives you access to the most broken thing in 3.5 - Arcane magic, and in turn facilitates a bunch of infinite action/PP/turn/whatever novas and overall nuttiness, and insane power even without abusing the most idiotic oversights.

Myou
2009-03-28, 04:12 PM
The WoTC version, but with Convert Spell to Power (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20070629a) ACF. That's why I specified the "or ACFs" in the qualifications to be nuts; standard Erudite is actually rather weak. Spells to Powers ACF gives you access to the most broken thing in 3.5 - Arcane magic, and in turn facilitates a bunch of infinite action/PP/turn/whatever novas and overall nuttiness, and insane power even without abusing the most idiotic oversights.

Heh heh, good old arcane magic, breaking classes since the year 2000.



they're limited by gold no matter what.
But even that at the hand of a skilled player or loose DM is no hindrance.

These impudent artisans are rapidly earning my ire. I must houserule against them at once!

To the (new)Threadmobile!


I'm silly. ^_^

Philistine
2009-03-28, 05:16 PM
What's up with the whole "Players Must Hew Exactly To The WBL Table" thing? That's not RAW - and it doesn't especially make sense as RAI, either. The WBL table is explicitly nothing more than a guideline for creating new characters of a given level; the figure is derived by calculating the average loot that would have been dropped had the character advanced to that level by surviving an average number of encounters of appropriate CR. Nowhere does it say that the WBL table is supposed to be a straitjacket for DMs (or players!); nowhere does it say, "Players must have X amount of wealth at Y level, otherwise UR DOIN IT RONG."

And here's the thing: by crafting their own gear, casters can already do a number on WBL; the Artificer's whole reason for being is to take that and go it one better, effectively multiplying the value of all the loot the party receives. If you don't want that in your game, then just tell your players up front you're banning the class - allowing the class, but then cutting the rewards you give out because you don't like Artificers... well, "strict" really isn't the most accurate word to describe that sort of behavior.

AslanCross
2009-03-28, 05:23 PM
I think that after all the merits of the class have been mentioned, it's noteworthy that its only real drawback is that building an artificer is like doing accounting homework.

Though some people actually enjoy that.

Anyway, I also totally agree with what Philistine said. WBL is, in all instances of it that I've seen, best used as a guideline for creating new characters of higher level. I think it's extremely hard to implement following the table to the decimal point even if you distribute treasure according to encounter level.

Chronos
2009-03-28, 07:54 PM
The thing is, if the DM doesn't pay careful attention to the loot the party has, things are going to end up getting unbalanced. This is not to say that the WBL guidelines are the be-all and end-all; in fact it's probably a good idea to tailor treasure rewards on the fly (one character lagging behind the others? Give the party an item that especially helps that character's class). But the WBL guidelines are the best guidance you're going to find in a book anywhere as to how much loot the party should have at any given time, and all of the rest of the game is built under the assumption that characters will be at least reasonably close to those levels of wealth.

All that said, Philistine is correct that if you don't like the effect that artificers have on party wealth, the only really sensible response is to prohibit artificers. You can't really take away their wealth-multiplication effect without taking away the class's entire purpose for existing.

Bayar
2009-03-29, 04:28 AM
A simple answer to OP: Alter self at level 1. Polymorph at level 5. Baleful Polymorph at level 7. Polymorph any object at level 13. Shapechange at level 15. Invisibility at level 1.

Plus infusions are really REALLY powerful. So powerful, you put your highest score in INT to get bonus infusions instead of CHA (as the fluff recomends) for UMD.

Waspinator
2009-03-29, 05:02 AM
Well, that's really because all charisma does for artificer is boost UMD which, while useful, is quickly outpaced by all of the skill points you are going to dump into that. Boosting the power of your spellcasting-equivalent through extra uses per day and higher DCs is much better. Also, extra skill points is nice.

h2doh
2009-03-29, 05:04 AM
I am noticing that this thread is becomming another 'how to nerf the artificer thread.' Isn't it easier to ask your players not to break the game and use the wish economy rules(ie, no magic items craftable above 15,000gp or a variation there of)? I mean, if you have a mature group there is less fun in breaking the game. A lot less power creep is required by the DM to keep the players challanged and interested.

This allows a group to dedicate money to something more then your basic class/build based gear and allows more fun magic items. It is the same as not sundering the fighters sword when he ca power attack for 1000+ damage of stealing the wizards spell book because he did not have it proteted against Dieties. A request for a little self control can go along way.

*runs and hides from angry mob*

Zincorium
2009-03-29, 05:13 AM
H2doh:

Touchy-feeliness aside, you just advocated nerfing the artificer in a post about not suggesting ways to neft the artificer (use the wish guidelines? Good nerf!).

Yes, ideally your players won't break the game because they're feeling bored and immature that night, or they feel they're not powerful like the other characters, or any number of other reasons. Talking to your friends is always the #1 thing suggested in any 'my players are being gits' thread.

But sometimes you have to call a spade a spade and keep all the players on a similar playing field. As the DM, you are the referee, always understand what that means.

h2doh
2009-03-29, 06:59 AM
H2doh:

Touchy-feeliness aside, you just advocated nerfing the artificer in a post about not suggesting ways to neft the artificer (use the wish guidelines? Good nerf!).

Yes, ideally your players won't break the game because they're feeling bored and immature that night, or they feel they're not powerful like the other characters, or any number of other reasons. Talking to your friends is always the #1 thing suggested in any 'my players are being gits' thread.

But sometimes you have to call a spade a spade and keep all the players on a similar playing field. As the DM, you are the referee, always understand what that means.


^ points and match......I guess that i wanted to say that Artificers like any full caster and pretty much any build made with enough time spent on the charop boards is cheeze. Basically any ground rules that are set at the table are a nerfbat for any number of builds. I conceed the point about the wish rules though, it does hurt non casters more...must learn to think before i type.

ChaosDefender24
2009-03-29, 08:31 AM
The problem is that you imbue everything with persistent metamagic so that you're like the Incantatrix with divine spells

Talic
2009-03-29, 09:13 AM
To All Players Suggesting that the Artificer isn't OP because the DM can limit it:

This argument applies to everything. By this wording I could create the following two things:

Feat: Death gaze
Prerequisite: Cha 13
Benefit: As a standard action, your gaze can unsettle any foe. The targeted foe must make a Will save (DC 10+your HD+ Cha Modifier) or be shaken for the duration of the encounter. This is a supernatural, mind-affecting, fear ability.

Item: Vatic Mask
Description: When worn by a character with a fear based ability, this item provides a circumstance bonus to the DC of the save equal to the wearer's Charisma modifier. In addition, as a swift action, three times per day, the character may amplify the fear to such a degree that a failed save paralyzes the foe for 1d4+1 rounds.

Now, I could argue that the above abilities aren't overpowered because the DM could introduce a lot of constructs, undead, and paladins as foes... Or simply not allow them in the game.

In other words, just because it can be fixed, doesn't mean it isn't broken. In fact, it kinda implies that it IS broken. After all, if it wasn't broken, it wouldn't need such careful moderation... now would it?

Weezer
2009-03-29, 09:40 AM
While I agree that the artificer is on the same power level as wizard cleric etc. I think that it is a much more party friendly overpoweredness. The times that I've played with a optimized artificer while he did spend a lot of time on items for himself he made alot of magic items for the party that were exactly what each character needed. This increased the power level of the whole party so they easily beat encounters that were a higher CR than they should have.

I dont think that this is necessarily a bad thing because the whole party was involved in defeating the encounters and it avoided a batman wizard crushing encounters before any other pc's had a chance to go. I dont think its a bad thing when PC's have capabilities that allow them to beat more powerful enemies because isn't that one of the points of DND, to defeat the most powerful enemies that you can?

I think it only becomes a problem when one player overshadows all of the others.

monty
2009-03-29, 10:58 AM
The problem is that you imbue everything with persistent metamagic so that you're like the Incantatrix with divine spells

Also, unlike the Incantatrix, if you use the Metamagic Item infusion (which incidentally is also available at an earlier level), you don't have to make a nasty Spellcraft check to do it, so you're only limited by your number of infusions.

Baalthazaq
2009-03-29, 11:17 AM
I like Artificers.

Quick point of note:
Gold.
XP.
Time. Is there a reason we're all neglecting time? Have I missed something?

"Creating an item requires one day per 1,000 gp in the itemís base price, with a minimum of at least one day." Great, I can make a 4th level bard wand... in a month.

If you're in a dungeon setting, which tends to take place over the period of a couple of days, it's all over for the artificer bar starting equipment.

In my campaign where the players played for 2 years ingame, the artificer could not have possibly made above 730'000gp worth of items without using up cost reduction feats on time reduction. To me that is acceptable spread over a party of 5 taken from level 6 to 16.

kyoten
2009-03-29, 12:04 PM
I'm talking about infinite sources of gold, such as the Ten Feet pole trick, what have we.


What is this trick?

Chronos
2009-03-29, 12:14 PM
If you're in a dungeon setting, which tends to take place over the period of a couple of days, it's all over for the artificer bar starting equipment.Then you wait until you're out of the dungeon, and craft then before you go into the next dungeon. Unless you're suggesting that the characters somehow go through the entire campaign in a single dungeon? That only really makes sense for the World's Largest Dungeon, which is so different from most campaigns that it's hardly recognizable as the same game.



What is this trick? Per the mundane item tables in the PHB, a 10-foot pole costs more than a 10-foot ladder. So you buy a ladder, break off the rungs, and sell it as a couple of poles. Obviously no DM would allow this, but if they did, you could in theory use it to generate infinite wealth.

Baalthazaq
2009-03-29, 12:53 PM
Chronos, the problem then becomes, you're not ready for every situation. You cannot pull out what you need on a whim.

If there's a story somewhere in your game (and not just and endless supply of dungeons to pop in and out of) surely you have timeframes that are meaningful? No meaningful goals in the world? Not a single deadline? the princess will remain captive indefinitely? The dragon will terrorize the village for another year because your artificer needs a wand?

When you need to craft a high level item and it takes you 8 months to do it, artificers are not that powerful compared to the warlock who could have emptied out over 30 dungeons in that time.

Hell, Bard, 8 moths of diplomacy checks. Raise an army, start a new religion, raise yourselves to the power of Gods and THEN go on to the next dungeon if you have that much time to waste.

Admittedly DnD does away with alot of time restraints (I go around the mountain takes just as long as I walk across the street), but that doesn't mean your world is static and waiting for the adventurers, nor does it mean you allow any timeframe for any action to be acceptable.

What would your reaction be to: We the party spend the first 5 years of our lives accumulating wealth via the professions we have. 2'500 free GP for starting characters? +1 Baatorian Green Steel Rapiers for all!

Then why allow it for the Artificer who needs materials, equipment, a safe place, rest, etc?

Randel
2009-03-29, 01:02 PM
In all my games playing Dungeons and Dragons, I've almost exclusively played as either wizards or artificers. Though I haven't been able to get into the really good levels to make stuff (I've only played pbp and those tend to start at level one) I think I've got a good grasp of their strengths and weaknesses.

1. Bane your weapon at level 1 - one of the most used infusions an artificer has is Personal Weapon Augmentation. which lets you temporarily enchant your weapon with an ability... usually Bane(whatever it is you expect to fight). This lets you add some good bonuses to your attacks. A little later on you can add abilities to your allies weapons.

2. Make any magic item you want - unlike wizards or clerics who have to take item creation feats to make anything, artificers get pretty much all item creation feats naturally as they level up. Combined with their crafting reserves and the ability to emulate any spell through UMD for the purpose of item creation and you can potentially make anything.

3. Walking Magic Item Shop - As long as you can get the materials you need for item creation, you can basically make whatever the party needs (as long as you are high enough level to have the item creation feat). If you can get past the item creation time, and the UMD checks to emulate the spells you need, and get access to the proper materials... then you can make all the magic items your party uses for a fraction of the cost it would take to buy them. If you feel like making a profit then you can basically have a sizable fraction of the whole parties income flow through your hands... while still giving your allies a better deal then the normal shops (after all, if you give the fighter an awesome weapon, then he will use that weapon to protect you. The wizard may think of the others in the party as his minions that clean up after him after he blows away the competition... but you are the weapons dealer who arms your personal mercenary group).

there are a few things an artificer needs to keep in mind to be effective

1. Long casting time on infusions - aside from a few Infusions that are based on wizard spells (like light and magic weapon) pretty much all your Infusions have a casting time of at least a minute. You can spend an action point to speed up your casting to a single round, but action points are limited. If you want to prepare an awsome combo using your infusions, you will need someplace to sit as you get to work on your infusions while hopefully close enough to battle that you can get there before it runs out... and hidden enough that you don't get ambushed.

2. Crafting time - it takes days to make a high level magic item and you might not always have that time in an adventure. There is a homunculous you can make that crafts things for you while you are away, but keep in mind that it still takes days for it to do its work, it still needs the raw materials, and if it gets ambushed while you are out of town then you can lose quite a bit.

3. Charged items burn gold - As it was said before, an artificers damage usually comes from making wands or other magic items. And once a wand it used then that bit of gold that made it is gone forever. When you attack with magic, you are losing money, when other spellcasters do it they don't. I found the Eternal Wands in the eberron campaign setting to be interesting, along with the Schemas in Magic of Eberron. They are basically wands and scrolls that instead of consuming charges are daily use items (eternal wands can be used twice a day, scemas once a day). They don't give you as many shots per day as a charged item but they last forever.

mostlyharmful
2009-03-29, 02:03 PM
2. Crafting time - it takes days to make a high level magic item and you might not always have that time in an adventure. There is a homunculous you can make that crafts things for you while you are away, but keep in mind that it still takes days for it to do its work, it still needs the raw materials, and if it gets ambushed while you are out of town then you can lose quite a bit.

The portable hole trick is great once you get high enough to afford to build one, you can stuff half a dozen homonuli down it and a dozen of those quills that do the same for scrolls and walk around with a factory down your pants. Until then you're only really supposed to work with Infusions and one shot scrolls for emergencies and scrolls are reasonably cheap and quick with the reducer feats, plus for the first few levels there's that amazing infusion that can mimic any 1-4th spell for a negligable xp cost for anything you've just got to have on hand and can't wait.

sonofzeal
2009-03-29, 03:24 PM
Plus infusions are really REALLY powerful. So powerful, you put your highest score in INT to get bonus infusions instead of CHA (as the fluff recomends) for UMD.
I'm playing an Artificer now, and I really haven't found that. There's a few which I use frequently (mostly Iron Construct, Skill Item, Metamagic Item, and occasionally Personal Weapon Enhancement)... but most of the rest are decidedly mediocre if not practically useless. I can use Wall of Force, but considerably later and considerably less often than a Wizard can. Ditto for Rusting Grasp, Sphere of Lesser Invulnerability, and most of the other Sor/Wiz ones on the list. As for the rest, some are potent (Greater Weapon Enhancement, Spell Storing) but either cost a lot of xp, costs a lot of gp, takes too long to do, or doesn't last long enough to be really useful.... or all of the above at the same time. Frankly, in combat if I have a choice between using an infusion and using one of my lvl 1/2 SorWiz wands, the lvl 1/2 wand is probably going to be the better call. It's sad when a casting class's entire spell list is generally inferior to the sorts of spells a level 3 Wizard will be casting.