View Full Version : [Pathfinder, PEACH] Craftmage specialty

2010-10-05, 08:01 AM
During a conversation with a friend, the subject of Pathfinder ports of the Artificer came up. He mentioned that it seemed to him that with Pathfinder's crafting system removing the need for a craft reserve, it could be handled well enough as a wizard specialty without introducing extensive new mechanics. I'm not a big fan of any of the Pathfinder artificer ports I've seen, so I decided to take a swing at homebrewing a wizard specialty focused around crafting magical items, called the craftmage.

The special abilities of this specialty may be a little stronger than those of true specialty wizards. Mainly, that's because I felt that bonus crafting feats and Reclaim Essence were necessary to the image of an artificer-type, and Pathfinder wizard specialties all have an Int+3/day special ability as well. On one hand, the craftmage doesn't get bonus spell slots; on the other, magic items can more than make up for it. I'm just not sure I'm aggressive enough about magic items in my playing to have a good sense of how well-balanced it is.

So here's the craftmage, along with stats for a companion construct and a few relevant feats. My thoughts on each chunk are in a spoiler block to conserve space.

The Craftmage

The Craftmage is a themed wizard, similar to a specialist. Where a specialist focuses on a particular school of magic, a Craftmage chooses to devote that attention to the creation of magical items. As such, a Craftmage does not receive bonus spells from specialization, but neither does he face the penalties of specialization.

Craftsmanship (Ex): You easily master the techniques of crafting. Whenever you take an item creation feat, you gain another item creation feat as a bonus feat. You may select an item creation feat for which you do not meet the prerequisites as your bonus feat, but cannot use such a feat until you meet the prerequisites for it.

Designer's note: I waffled a little on this. On the one hand, bonus item creation feats are sort of the essential element of an item creation specialist, but on the other hand it would be a lot of bonus feats if he just got them all as soon as he qualified. This way the Craftmage gets half his item creation feats as bonus feats, on whatever schedule he sees fit.

Instant Enchantment (Sp): As a standard action, you can touch a weapon or piece of armor and increase its enhancement bonus by 1. The bonus increases by +1 for every five wizard levels you possess, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level. The enchantment lasts a number of rounds equal to 1/2 your wizard level (minimum 1 round). You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.

Designer's note: Nearly identical to the Augment ability of the Enhancement sub-specialty in the APG. Slightly more effective when applied to weapons, but can't be applied to mental stats for increased DCs.

Reclaim Essence (Su): You may reclaim the magical energies used to enchant any item for which you possess the appropriate magic item creation feat. The ritual of reclamation takes one hour, during which time you may not move the item, leave its immediate presence, or engage in any other strenuous activity. At the end of the hour, the magical energy is drawn out of the item, forming an essence which takes the form of a grainy powder or crystals and leaving the item as if it had never been enchanted. You receive a GP value of essence equal to the amount required to create the item. Essence may be used to replace the other substances normally required to enchant magic items at a 1:1 ratio of value (thus, 100 GP worth of essence is sufficient to create an item that normally costs 100 GP to create.) If an item which is reclaimed has less than its full number of charges, a percentage of its value is reclaimed as essence equal to the percentage of its maximum charge which remained.

Designer's note: I am not entirely sure about the appropriate ratio of returned essence here. On the one hand, this essentially means there's no loss in creating an item, reclaiming it, and then enchanting another item with the essence, and in theory a given sum of essence could be recycled into a variety of items over the course of a craftmage's career. On the other hand, if you're presuming the common DM shorthand of "items sell for half their market value", all Reclaim Essence does is look cool and cut out the middleman stage of selling old items to buy new ones.

Arcane Bond: A craftmage does not take a normal familiar as most wizards do. Instead, he may either have a bonded item as normal or bond with a construct known as a craftling. The craftling grants the normal benefits of a familiar; its Special Ability grants its master a +2 to all Craft checks. Building a bonded craftling is easier than most craftlings, since the creature is largely powered by the arcane bond; the process takes 8 hours and costs 200 GP per wizard level. In addition, if the owner has the Improved Craftling feat, upgrading a bonded craftling costs half the usual amount. At the DM's discretion, other wizards may also choose to bond with a craftling in lieu of the usual Arcane Bond options. If the craftling is lost or destroyed, a new one may be created after a week. If a bonded craftling is lost and later regained after a new one has been created, it is inoperative unless the wizard chooses to shift his arcane bond back to it.

Designer's note: If you don't take the Improved Craftling feat, craftlings are basically another kind of familiar. With the feat, the craftling can be upgraded and works much like an artificer's homunculus.


Any alignment, Tiny construct
Init +1; Senses: Darkvision 60ft, low-light vision
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 size)
HP 5 (1d10)
Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +0
Special: construct traits
Speed 20ft
Melee 1 bite or slam +3 (1d4-1)
Space 2-1/2 ft, Reach 0 ft.
Str 8, Dex 12, Con -, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 6
BAB +1, CMB 0, CMD 9
Skills: Craft (any two) +4
Languages: Common (cannot speak), mental link

Mental Link (Su): Although they cannot speak, craftlings can communicate mentally with their creator if the creator is within 30 feet.

Craftlings are about the most basic constructs it is possible to build. Few wizards bother with them, as a homunculus is in most respects superior. However, the simplicity of the craftling makes it much easier to customize for a wizard who chooses to explore that route.

The physical appearance of craftlings varies widely, even before they are customized for particular tasks. A craftling can be given essentially any appearance its creator chooses, although it will always be clearly artificial. Mechanical or carved humanoids are the most popular form, but some wizards prefer to make craftlings with a more animalistic appearance.

Building a craftling costs 50 GP for the body and 250 GP to initially enchant, as well as a DC 14 Craft check appropriate to the craftling's body structure. Like homunculi, craftlings may be built with additional hit dice; they may also be upgraded with them after creation. The first hit die added costs 1000 GP; each subsequent hit die added costs 2000. A bonded craftling gain hit dice automatically and for free as its master does, like a normal familiar would. Building a craftling requires the Craft Construct feat or a craftlng Arcane Bond.

Designer's note:The craftling is essentially a crappier homunculus, invented pretty much entirely because the homunculus requires CL 7 to get as an improved familiar. Ideally a basic craftling will be a reasonable level 1 familiar with combat ability approximately on par with the hawk (i.e. tough for a basic familiar, but that's not saying much.) A basic craftling is cheaper than a homunculus, but also kind of sucks.


Exemplary Craftsmanship (Item Creation)
Prerequisites: 4 ranks each in two Craft skills or three item creation feats
Items you create using Craft skills and magic items you create each cost 25% less in raw materials.

Designer's note: This is essentially cribbed straight from the Artisan feats.

Improved Craftling (Item Creation)
Prerequisites: Arcane caster level 5; Craft Construct or Craftling Arcane Bond
Craftlings you create are more powerful than usual. At creation and every four HD thereafter, craftlings you create gain a special ability from the following list. Additional abilities may be added at a cost of 1000 GP each, but a craftling may not have more special abilities than its hit dice plus one. Special abilities may not be taken more than once unless specifically noted otherwise.
-Laborer: The craftling gains +2 Strength and is considered two size categories larger for purposes of carrying capacity and other manual labor. Its untiring and ceaseless labor allows it to get twice as much work done per day as a human laborer.
-Warrior: The craftling gains +2 Strength. The damage die of its natural weapon increases by one size. This special ability may be taken once per 2 HD the craftling has, rounding up.
-Crafter: The craftling gains +3 to all Craft checks. Its untiring labor allows it to get twice as much work done per day as a human craftsman.
-Guardian: The craftling gains +2 natural armor and +2 Dexterity. This special ability may be taken once per 2 HD the craftling has, rounding up.
-Armsman: The craftling has a weapon constructed into its body. The weapon may be any simple weapon or any weapon in which its creator is proficient, and may be one size category larger than would normally be appropriate for the craftling. The craftling is automatically proficient with this weapon and takes no special penalty for the weapon's size. It gains +2 Dexterity if the weapon is ranged or +2 Strength if the weapon is melee. The craftling's weapon may be enchanted, following the normal rules for enchanting a weapon.
-Enlarged: The craftling increases its size category to Small and gains +2 Strength.
-Shrunk: The craftling decreases its size category to Diminutive and gains +2 Dexterity.
-Messenger: The craftling gains the ability to speak, and the range of its mental link increases to one mile. This link may be used to carry on two-way conversations through the craftling.
-Spy: The craftling gains +2 Dexterity and +2 to Stealth checks. It gains Stealth and Spot as class skills.
-Assassin: The craftling gains 1d6 sneak attack. This ability may be taken once per 2 HD the craftling has, rounding up.
-Flight: The craftling gains a 30' fly speed with good maneuverability and gains Fly as a class skill. This ability may be taken a second time to increase its speed to 50' and maneuverability to perfect.
-Augmentation: The craftling gains +2 to two ability scores or +3 to one ability score. This ability may be taken multiple times and stacks with itself.
-Mobility: The craftling gains a burrow speed of 20', or a climb speed of 20', or a swim speed of 20', or increases the speed of one of its existing movement modes by 20'. This ability may be taken multiple times.

Designer's note: This feat is intended to allow for the customization of homunculi to approximate the types available to Eberron artificers, among other possibilities. It is not possible to exactly duplicate Eberron homunculi with these abilities and I'm okay with that. I'm not sure about the balance, though.

Wand Efficiency (Item Creation)
Prerequisites: Craft Wand
You can recharge your wands much as if they were staves. When preparing your spells for the day, you may forgo one prepared spell or spell slot of a level equal to the level of the spell stored in the wand and restore one charge to the wand. You can only recharge a wand with a caster level lower than or equal to your own, and you may only restore up to three wand charges per day, although they may be split between multiple wands. You may not increase a wand's charges above 50.

Designer's note: I'm allowing the recharging of multiple wands per day because, well, wands are weaker than staves. I have no idea if this is too powerful or not. I lean towards "not" simply because it seems kind of rare that players actually run their wands dry (despite this, I still get paranoid about running out even when it has forty charges left.) On the other hand, if they can be easily and cheaply recharged, I could see players just going hog wild with the dang things for a ton of spells-per-day banking or sorcerer slot laundering. Maybe 1/day would be better after all? I'm not sure.