View Full Version : [D&D 3.5, Faerun] Gnome Artificer Prestige Class, Rebuild

2012-08-08, 02:14 PM
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Gnome Artificer is a prestige class from Magic of Faerun, and this post is a rebuild of that class. It is in no way related to the Artificer base class from Eberron.

Also, credit for some of the ability descriptions (namely, most of the Artificer Device and Device Powers entries) goes to the original authors of Magic of Faerun.

The Gnome Artificer is a prestige class focused on item creation. Specifically, the artificer makes non-magical, use-activated, limited charge devices that mimic spells; in effect, the artificer makes magic staffs sans the actual magic. The theme of the class is the use of mundane, steampunkish technology to mimic magical effects.

The class as originally published in Magic of Faerun was thematically awesome, but lacking crunchwise. The items produced by the artificer are usable by anyone, but the original class didn't provide any way that the artificer could use the items better than anyone else, and thus meant the class was better as a cohort than a PC. Furthermore, the cost of the items was greater than the staves they mimicked (though they don't require XP to make) and the only spells that could be used were drawn from a limited list that capped out at fourth level. The better powers actually counted as supernatural rather than mundane effects, negating one of the few benefits of artificer items (the ability to work in an anti-magic field).

The worst offenses of the original version of the class were the requirements. It required race: Gnome (or Human from the Lantan region), the feats Skill Focus (craft) and Lightning Reflexes, a grand total of 32 skill points minimum spent on a number of potentially useless skills (including 16 points spent across 3 craft skills!), and the ability to cast 1st level illusion spells. All of this in a class that does not, in anyway, use the above skills nor does it advance or modify spellcasting in any way whatsoever.

The modifications:

I dropped most of the requirements, but kept the race/region requirement for thematic reasons and kept one of the craft requirements both for theme and to ensure the class can't be taken before 6th level. The abilities have been modified to give more flexibility to the items, and to give the artificer ways of boosting their items' effects. Furthermore, the class can be taken as a dip to gain a few useful crafting abilities, and will afterward continue to scale up slightly, so that a character who doesn't want to focus on crafting artificer items can gain a few abilities to give their character flavor without feeling like they've wasted a few levels. I also slightly lowered the cost of items, and presented more options to reduce both the initial cost and the cost to rebuild the item.

Gnome Artificer

Gnome artificers are skilled artisans and craftsmen who dabble in technology to produce devices capable of rivalling common magic in effect. Utilizing complex mechanisms, chemistry, and great ingenuity, a gnome artificer can produce devices that allow the wielder to spew fire, breath underwater, fly, and other extraordinary effects. While these devices often require constant maintenance, their effectiveness is undeniable.

Rogues are the most common Gnome Artificers, as their abundance of skills and trend toward a respectable Intelligence allow them to take full advantage of the class. Other mundane classes, such as fighters and rangers, can gain quite a bit from artificer training even if they don't go on to master the profession.

While the majority of the members of this profession are gnomes due to the race's proclivity for ingenuity, artificers of this sort are also common in the island nation of Lantan. Humans from this island are also capable of taking this class, though they are usually referred to as Lantanese Artificers.

(NOTE: This requirement is mostly for thematic reasons. DMs should obviously feel free to drop this requirement, especially if playing in a setting other than the Forgotten Realms)

Hit Die

To qualify to become a gnome artificer, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Gnome (or human from the Lantan region)

Craft (alchemy, armorsmithing, blacksmithing, locksmithing, metalworking, trapmaking, or weaponmaking) 8 ranks, Disable Device 3 ranks, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 4 ranks

{table=head]The Gnome Artificer|Device Powers Known


1st|+0|+0|+2|+0| Craft Artificer Device, Trapfinding, Previous Experience, Power Modification

2nd|+1|+0|+3|+0| Bonus Item, Lessons in Design, Power Modification

3rd|+2|+1|+3|+1| Device Modification, Skill Focus, Spontaneous Innovation

4th|+3|+1|+4|+1| Bonus Item, Power Modification

5th|+3|+1|+4|+1| Device, Modification, Salvage

6th|+4|+2|+5|+2| Bonus Item, Lessons in Design, Power Modification

7th|+5|+2|+5|+2| Device Modification

8th|+6|+2|+6|+2| Bonus Item, Power Modification

9th|+6|+3|+6|+3| Device Modification

10th|+7|+3|+7|+3| Bonus Item, Lessons in Design, Power Modification

[/table] | {table=head]0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
4 | 2 | - | - | - | - |
5 | 2 | - | - | - | - |
5 | 3 | 1 | - | - | - |
6 | 3 | 2 | - | - | - |
6 | 4 | 2 | 1 | - | - |
7 | 4 | 3 | 2 | - | - |
7 | 5 | 3 | 2 | 1 | - |
8 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | - |
8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |
9 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 |


Class Skills
The gnome artificerís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level
4 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are Class Features of the gnome artificer prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Gnome artificers are proficient with all simple weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).

Craft Artificer Device
A gnome artificer has the ability to craft nonmagical devices that duplicate the effects of certain spells. Rather than using magic to accomplish this, he uses his knowledge of chemistry, pistons, gears, and other mechanical inventions. As a result, an artificer item usually appears unwieldy and complex, with many attachments, lenses, protrusions, wires, and hoses. By default, all artificer items use two item spaces; these spaces may not be ring slots, but can include one or both hands (meaning a device can be held, rather than worn, if the designer prefers it). It is possible to build a device that only takes up one space, but doing so doubles the device's cost. Note that, should it ever need to be determined, a device that takes up one 'held' slot and one worn slot or two worn slots counts as a one-handed weapon, while a device that takes up two held slots counts as a two-handed weapon.

An artificer can only craft artificer devices that duplicate powers he knows (see below). All artificer devices have charges, representing fuel and other substances needed to provide the effect, as well as how much wear and tear the device can handle before it needs maintenance. After a certain number of uses, the device ceases to function until the artificer expends more time and money to rebuild it. For example, an artificer creates a gauntlet-like device that allows its wearer to use the equivelant of a shocking grasp spell; the device has 50 charges, and when those charges are used, the device's power no longer functions until an artificer rebuilds it. Rebuilding a device costs half as much as it would cost to make from scratch.

Making artificer devices requires time and expenditure of resources as if the artificer were creating a magic item (1 day per 1,000 gp of the base price and half the base price in materials costs). However, unlike crafting a magic item, an artificer does not spend XP as part of this process. He merely spends the appropriate time and gold to create the item, using the table below to determine the price.

{table]Effect | Base Price
50 charges*, use-activated | Power Level ** x artificer level *** x 500 gp
Uses only one space | Multiply entire cost by 2[/table]
*An artificer can create a device with as few as 5 charges, with the cost reduced proportionally.
**A 0-level device power is half the value of a 1st-level power for determining price.
***An artificer can create a device with an effective artificer level lower than his own, as long as it is the minimum artificer level necessary to learn that device power.

For example, a 3rd-level artificer wishes to make a shocking grasp device. Shocking grasp is a 1st level device power, so creating this device with 50 charges at the minimum level has a base cost of 1 x 1 x 500 gp, or 500 gp total, and 1 day of work. If the artificer wanted to boost the item's power, she could make it artificer level 3, boosting the cost to 1 (the PL) x 3 (the AL) x 500 gp, or 1500 gp total and 2 days to craft.

A device can have multiple powers. The second most costly power in a device adds 75% of the normal cost to the device's base price (.75 x device level x artificer level x 500), while every power after that adds 50% of the normal cost (.50 x device level x artificer level x 500). A power can added for half its cost if the power uses up 2 charges per activation or have its cost cut by 75% if it uses up 3 charges per activation. All powers in a device must have the same artificer level. Artificer devices use the same space limitations as magic items (bracer, helmet, cloak, etc.), so a character cannot wear a device that uses a gauntlet slot at the same time she wears a pair of gauntlets of ogre power.

Artificer devices are large and bulky. Multiply the level of the device power (0-level powers count as 1st level) by 1 cubic foot and 5 pounds to get the volume and weight of the device (add together the weights and volumes of multiple powers, with the same 75% and 50% modifiers as used in their cost above); a device that takes up only one slot has half the weight and volume. They are large enough to be counted as separate objects for the purposes of sundering. A device has 5 hit points per cubic foot of material and hardness 10. A device can be made out of special materials (such as mythral or adamantine) to increase its hardness, hit points, and/or modify its weight. If a material does not have a per pound cost listed (such as adamantine), treat each cubic foot of the device as a longsword to determine the material cost. Note that the extra cost of special materials does not affect the base price for the purpose of rebuilding a device.

Craft Artificer Device counts as a magic item creation feat for the purpose of feats or abilities that reduce time/gold costs for making items. A gnome artificer may thus take feats like those in the Eberron Campaign Setting (with DM permission, of course), ignoring any spellcasting prerequisites for such feats.

Gnome Artificer Device Powers
While wizards wield arcane power and clerics manipulate divine energy, the artificer uses mundane tools and strange reagents to produce impressive results. Like a neophyte wizard with a small repertoire of spells, an artificer starts with a few technological tricks she has mastered. As she gains levels, the artificer learns new device powers automatically as shown on the Gnome Artificer class table. The artificer can also purchase information on other device powers from other artificers or find them in books of crafting, with the prices and value of such objects equal to a scroll of equivelant level. For example, if an artificer was looking to purchase the designs for a 1st level device power, she would spend 25 gp.

To learn a device power or create an item with it, an artificer must have an Intelligence of at least 10 + the power's level. The Difficulty Class for saving throws is 10 + the level of the device power + the ability bonus of the minimum ability score needed to learn that device power. Note that, in the hands of an artificer, the DC uses the artificer's current Intelligence or the minimum Intelligence to learn the power, whichever is greater, and the device is treated as either the artificer's level or the artificer level it was created at, whichever is greater. An artificer is much more skilled at using an artificer device than someone who isn't an artificer, and thus sees greater effects when using a device.

Activating a device is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Device powers rely upon completely nonmagical methods, and thus function normally in an antimagic field and cannot be counter-spelled or disrupted. Because the device powers duplicate the abilities of the appropriate spells exactly, their effects overlap (do not stack) with the effects of the spells they duplicate. Therefore, a device that contains cat's grace does not stack with the cat's grace spell.

As someone experienced in working with various mechanical devices, a gnome artificer is better able to deal with traps. A gnome artificer gains the trapfinding ability (see the Rogue entry in the Player's Handbook).

Previous Experience
A gnome artificer's previous experiences in adventuring often provide knowledge applicable to the crafting of their devices. For the purposes of crafting and using devices, an artificer adds half their non-artificer levels to their artificer class levels to determine overall artificer level. This means that a Rogue 5/Gnome Artificer 1 counts as a 3rd level artificer for the purposes of crafting or using devices, but not for any other purpose.

Power Modifications
As a gnome artificer becomes more experienced in her craft, she learns a number of technical tricks that she can build into her devices to modify their effects. At 1st level, and every even level thereafter, the artificer may choose one power modification from the following list; once made, this decision cannot be changed. Each power modification selection has multiple options for modifying powers.

Power modifications modify specific device powers, increasing the Power Level (and thus the cost for that power) in a similar manner to a Metamagic effect. The maximum level a power can be boosted to is based on the effective artificer level of the creater (including the boost from the Previous Experience ability). See the table following this section for the minimum effective artificer level required for a modified device's Power Level.

A device power cannot go above power level 9 before a character reaches Epic levels, no matter how many modifications an artificer may be able to make. In addition, the effective power level determines the weight and volume of a device, not the base power level.

If a modification option is available 'on the fly', the artificer can choose to spend extra charges to apply the modification to a single activation of an item. The extra charge cost is equal to the number of power levels the modification could cost. For example, if an artificer with the Reshaped modification activated an unmodified shocking grasp item, she could choose to spend 2 extra charges to apply the Reach option for one activation, one charge for each power level the Reach option would increase the power by. Thus, she would spend her a standard action to activate the item, spending 3 charges total, to make a shocking grasp effect as a ranged touch attack.

Unless otherwise stated, an item or power can only benefit from each modification once; a burning hands device cannot be widened twice, for instance.

EDIT: I'm filling in the descriptions as I go. These mods are all metamagic feats turned into Gnome Artificer specific things. For now, I've merely listed which metamagic effects fall under each Modification selection, along with the power level (PL) increase for each option and whether or each mod type can be applied on the fly. I'll fill in full descriptions as time permits.

Extended Range: The artificer has learned how to design her devices for increased the range and/or area of effect.

Widen (+2 PL)
Enlarge (+1 PL)
These options are applicable on the fly

Rapid Cycling: The artificer has learned how to design her devices for quick activation and cycling, allowing them to activated faster than normal.

Quicken (+4 PL)
Rapid (activate device power as a move action) (+2 PL)
Assault (activate device power as an attack action; only available for powers that create a single target attack, such as launch bolt) (+2 PL)
These options are applicable on the fly

Overcharged: The artificer has learned how to overcharge her devices safely, increasing their power output.

Maximize (+3 PL)
Empower (+2 PL)
These options are applicable on the fly

Durable: The artificer has learned to design devices that can remain activate for much longer periods of time.

Extend (+1 PL)
Persistent (+6 PL)
These options are applicable on the fly

Pyromaniac: The artificer's love for fire effects has manifested in the knowledge of how to produce flame devices even hotter and more potent that other artificers' devices.

Blistering (+1 PL)
Fiery (+1 PL)
Searing (+1 PL)
These options are not applicable on the fly

Cryogenic: The artificer's affinity for cryogenic alchemy has led her to learn techniques that enhance the effects of her freezing devices.

Flash Frost (+1 PL)
Piercing Cold (+1 PL)
These options are not applicable on the fly

Reshaped: The artificer has learned to modify her devices to reshape the areas affected.

Chain (+3 PL)
Reach (+2 PL)
Sculpt (+1 PL)
These options are applicable on the fly

Powerful: The artificer has learned how to greatly increase the power of her devices. The effects are made potent in more ways than just damage output.

Heighten (+PL chosen by creator)
Enhanced (+4 PL, power must already be at damage cap based on artificer level)
These options are applicable on the fly

Chemistry: The artificer's knowledge of alchemy and mechanics has allowed her to modify common device types to utilize a different form of energy. A flamethrowing design might be modified to spew a freezing mist, or be mixed to be simultaneously throw flame and caustic chemicals.

Energy Substituion (any) (+0 PL)
Energy Admixture (any) (+4 PL)
These options are not applicable on the fly

Exploding: The artificer has learned how to make her devices' effects more explosive, potentially hurling enemies around or deafening them.
Thundering (Born of Three Thunders effect) (+0 PL)

Deafening (+1 PL)
Explosive (+2 PL)
These options are applicable on the fly

Doubled: The artificer has learned how to design devices that either activate twice in rapid succession or have two scaled down mechanisms for activation.

Split Ray (+2 PL)
Twin (+4 PL)
These options are applicable on the fly

Damage Modification: The artificer has learned a few design techniques focused on modifying the ways that her devices do damage, such as adding shrapnel or jagged edges to some devices and blunt surfaces or nonlethal shock mechanisms to others.

Nonlethal substitution (+1 PL)
Wounding (+2 PL)
Lingering (+1 PL)
These effects are not applicable on the fly

{table=head]Minimum effective Artificer Level by Device power Level
{table]Power Level | Min. Artificer Level
1 | 1
2 | 3
3 | 5
4 | 7
5 | 9
6 | 11
7 | 13
8 | 15
9 | 17 [/table][/table]
*Note: The highest possible device Power Level is 9. No power, not even with power modifications, can go above Power Level 9 before Epic levels.

Device Modifications

As she becomes more experienced in her craft, an artificer learns how to modify her device designs to be more efficient or overall more effective. Device modifications differ from power modifications in that they affect the entire device rather than the powers it contains. Device modifications increase the overall base cost of a device.

At levels 3, 5, 7, and 9, the artificer learns a new device modification from the list below. Each modification can only be applied to a device once.

Efficient Design: By using higher quality parts and a tighter design, the device can be used more often before it requires maintenance. Efficient items have 100 charges base instead of 50. An item can have fewer charges than this, with a proportional reduction in cost (i.e. 1% lower cost per charge), to a minimum of 5 charges. The final base cost of the device is increased by 50%.

In the hands of an artificer with this ability, an efficient item spends 1 less charge per activation, so long as the artificer spends an hour each day to clean and maintain his devices.

Streamlined Design: By using lighter, less bulky materials and more concentrated fuels, the artificer can build devices that are much lighter and take up less space. Streamlined devices have one quarter the weight and half the volume of normal items and only require one item slot. The final base price of the device is increased by 50%. Treat a streamlined device that is held as a light weapon, should it ever come up (two-weapon fighting using the Rapid Cycling modification, etc). An artificer with this ability basically ignores the standard option to double a device's price to reduce it to one item space.

Integrated Equipment: Adventuring artificers often find that they want to wield or wear various magic items in addition to their devices, but lack the room. This type of modification was designed in response to this issue: by combining a device with an item, an artificer could wear and use both at the same time.

When building a device with this modification, an artificer chooses one or two items to combine with the device. Each item must either take up an item slot (like a helmet or suit of armor) or be held (such as a weapon). A device can only have as many items integrated into it as the number of slots it requires; thus, a device that takes up one slot can only have one integrated item. The weight, volume, and hp of the device and item(s) are combined, and the resulting item has the highest hardness value of its constituent parts. For all purposes, the combined device and item(s) count as a single item. If a device has two integrated items, both must be worn/wielded for the item to be used. If a device has a weapon integrated into it, and the device produces an effect that affects a target other than the artificer, then the device may be activated as a swift action when a target is struck with the weapon, affecting that target with the power (or centering the effect on the target if the power has an area of effect).

For instance, a rogue/gnome artificer builds a shocking grasp device and decides to integrate her rapier and gloves of dexterity into it. The gloves, rapier, and device are now one item that takes up two slots, the gloves slot and one 'held' slot. The shocking grasp effect can only be used if the rapier is carried and gloves are worn; if either of the pieces is not worn/wielded, the rogue cannot use her device. If she strikes an orc with her rapier, she can spend her swift action to activate the device and apply the shocking grasp effect to the orc.

Each item integrated into a device increases the final base price of the device by 25%. If sold on the market, the cost of the items integrated is added to the market price.

Synergistic Device: Artificers that utilize a large number of powers often find that activating each function of a device individually takes too long and can be dangerous in combat. In response, the synergistic modification was created.

By modifying a device to activate multiple functions at once, an artificer can gain all of the effects she needs in on press of a button or pull of a trigger. However, such devices break down faster than normal due to the additional stress of multiple mechanisms activating at once.

A synergistic device must be designed with at least two powers. By spending the activation costs of each power at the same time, the wielder can activate both powers with a single action. The action type used is equivelant to the slower of the two powers. For instance, if a device has two unmodified powers, then activating both powers at once requires a standard action. If the device had one power modified by the Quicken modification and the other unmodified, activating both at once would still take a standard action.

If any of the powers activated have a target other than the artificer, then each targeted power must strike the same target. For instance, a device using both the launch bolt and fireball powers must target both effects on the same target.

If a device has more powers than it can activate at one time, the user may choose which powers are activated during each synergistic activation. A synergistic device may also have its powers activated individually, at their normal cost and activation actions, if the user so desires.

The modification increases the device's cost by 25% if two powers can be activated at once, or by 50% if three can be activated at once.

Lessons in Design
Over time, an artificer will learn several principals of mechanical design. Rather than modifications to specific devices, these are general concepts that affect all of an artificers' later designs. Each time an artificer gains the Lessons in Design ability, she chooses one ability from the following list.

Design for Maintenance: The artificer has learned to design devices for ease of maintenance, as well as a number of tricks for rebuilding devices faster and cheaper than normal. Rebuilding a device costs only 1/4 of its base price, and takes only 8 hours, regardless of the base price of the item.

Design for Cost: The artificer has learned how to design a device using common parts and materials, reducing the overall cost to build a device. The cost for materials to build an item is reduced by 25%. This effect stacks with similar abilites and feats.

Design for Manufacture: The artificer has learned how to design a device for easier production, reducing the overall time needed to put the device together. The time needed to build a device is reduced by 25%. This effect stacks with similar abilities and feats.

Bonus item:
At 2nd level, and every other level thereafter, the artificer gains a free device. The device can have any one power the artificer can make, set at the artificer's current effective artificer level (taking Previous Experience into account). The device has base 50 charges and takes up two slots. The device can either be reduced to 1 slot, or have up to +100% cost worth of device modifications added to it, and the power in the device can have any power modifications added to it so long as its power level does not exceed the maximum the artificer can create. The modifications must be ones that the artificer personally knows. The artificer was assumed to be working on this device in her spare time, and does not need to spend any money or time to acquire the device.

Skill Focus:
At 3rd level, the artificer gains the feat Skill Focus (Disable Device) as a bonus feat.

Spontaneous Innovation:

Artificers in the field often find that they don't have on hand the devices they need for certain situations. Experienced artificers learn to work around this by getting creative, building temporary devices on the fly.

Several times per day, an artificer with this ability can make a one slot, single power device. It takes one minute to create the device. At the end of that minute, the artificer makes a craft check using one of the pre-requisite craft skills for the class, with a DC of 10 + 3 x the level of the device's power. The power may have power modifications that the artificer knows. The maximum power level of the device is the same as that of a crafted evice.

If the craft check fails, the device is a dud. If the check succeeds, the device is successfully created and has 1 charge. For every 5 points the DC is succeeded by, the device gains 1 more charge to a maximum of 5. Whether or not the device's charges are used up, the device falls apart after one hour.

The artificer can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + her intelligence modifier, minimum 1 time per day. The artificer must have access to some supplies (an alchemy workshop, spare parts, etc) to use this ability. If the player wishes, she can spend 100g to build a kit of spare parts (weight 20 lbs) to carry around with her to fulfill this requirement. Assume that, similar to a spellcaster's components pouch, this kit is effectively endless unless the DM decides otherwise (for story reasons, balance, etc).

Salvage: An artificer of at least 5th level can dismantle a device (whether built by herself or another artificer) and use its parts for another device. This reduces the base price of the new device by 1/2 the market price of the device being dismantled. A device without full charges is worth only a percentage of its original market price equal to the percentage of charges remaining.

Device Power list:

0-level: acid splash, caltrops, detect poison, electric jolt, flare, Horizikaul's cough, launch bolt, light, mage hand, ray of frost.

1st-level: burning hands, detect undead, corrosive grasp, endure elements, expeditious retreat, feather fall, grease, Horizikaul's boom, jump, Kaupaer's skittish nerves, launch item, low-light vision, obscuring mist, ray of flame, shocking grasp, spider climb.

2nd-level: battering ram, bull's strength, cat's grace, darkvision, daylight, flame dagger, fog cloud, glitterdust, levitate, Melf's acid arrow, scorching ray, see invisibility, shatter, speed swim.

3rd-level: fireball, flame arrow, fly, gust of wind, haste, lightning bolt, shatterfloor, sleet storm, stinking cloud, water breathing.

4th-level: ice storm, quench, rusting grasp, shout, solid fog, wall of fire, wall of ice.


Crafting Example #1:

NOTE: Currently putting together an example that fits with the changes made to the class.

The power list is currently a copy/paste from the original list. I'm still digging through various splats and the Spell Compendium to both find new powers for the list, and to update some of the old ones (the SpC changed the names, and in same cases levels, of many of the above powers). If anyone has any suggestions for new powers, feel free to post them. Anything that is not a purely magical effect (things like mind affecting or purely necromantic effects are right out) is a candidate.

So, let me know what you all think. And if anyone knows what I'm doing wrong to make the tables not format correctly, please let me know. Still not used to formatting those things. :smallredface:

EDIT: In the process of editing. Lots of changes abounding.

2012-08-08, 08:32 PM
Made a few slight additions/modifications to the OP. Dropped the 'device mods are additive', since that seems to go against the norm for crafting modifiers. Also added rules for how to determine if a device counts as a one-handed, two-handed, or light weapon, since this will come up if anyone makes a device that activates as an attack action. I also modified the weight and volume modifiers from both the base 'build a device to use one slot' option and the Streamlined Design ability.

And I added an example crafting for a single use ability. I'll add an example for a multiple power item soon.

2012-08-09, 01:17 AM
I'm a fan of the original gnome artificer (despite its faults), and this class tightens the concept enough to be a truly viable prestige class. The only major problem I see is with the efficient design ability. As it is right now, there's nothing stopping a artificer from building an efficient device with only 5 charges, cutting the cost to 7.5% of the original item's cost. This would not be a problem, if the same power didn't effectively grant the artificer unlimited charges. I suggest splitting the power into two, or requiring the item to be made with full charges.

Otherwise, this looks great, and is a definite improvement over the original.

2012-08-09, 12:42 PM
Yeah, it occurred to me that the efficient ability might be a bit crazy, especially after I worked out the first crafting example, but I was drawing a blank on how to fix it. I like your second suggestion, though.

I'm thinking something like, "As long as an efficient item has 50 or more charges available and the artificer has an hour each day to perform minor maintenance, an artificer with this ability can activate said device without depleting any charges." It still means that the artificer has to spend most of the cost of building the item, as 50 charges minimum would mean a maximum discount of 50% which combines with the 50% increase from efficient to make a final modifier of 75% of the base cost. If the artificer has any intention of using some of the other abilities (extend, empower, etc) on the fly, or intends to let party members use a device once in a while, he'll want to add more charges than that. Otherwise, it means the artificer can get a slight discount on items he only intends to use personally.

What do you think?

2012-08-09, 11:01 PM
That works quite well, actually. It's a pretty versatile ability, either reducing the cost of the item, or making it last significantly longer. It doesn't directly increase the artificer's power, but it does lower the amount of downtime required, and the cost of playing an artificer. I think it provides an interesting choice, and is balanced against the other modifications.

Gamer Girl
2012-08-10, 12:35 AM
Ohhh...FR Homebrew looks nice.


1.Craft (alchemy, armorsmithing, blacksmithing, gemcutting, locksmithing, metalworking, trapmaking, or weaponmaking) 8 ranks

This type of prerequisite bugs me. The idea that you can have a gnome artificer with 10 ranks in gemcutting making mechanical devices is just weird. How does are gnome with 10 ranks in gemcutting 'suddenly' know how to make a 'mechanical crossbow device'?

I think this might be better with something like ''At least 4 ranks in 5 Craft skills and at least one craft skill of 8 ranks.''

It just the way it's written now a lock smith gnome can suddenly create mecha. At least with the requirement of 'lots of skills' it gives you more of a base. A gnome that knows armorsmithing for a couple ranks can make a gauntlet at least, for example.

2.How about a quick ability? I kinda like the idea of a gnome just 'reaching into her pocket' for junk and quickly putting together an item. Maybe let the artificer make a temporary item with 3-5 charges?

3.Device Power list. :( Why so many combat ones? Why ignore all the great spells that would really make great 'crazy mechanical devices'? Levitate for example, or ones from the Spell Compendium like Buzzing Bee, Shock and Awe, or Repair Damage? And how about animate object for 5th level? And how about adding some type of advanced learning like 'can add one 'spell/power' from another list to know powers...especially druid ones. Gnomes do have just that light sprinkle of 'nature' to them....so the idea that they would make a device that say burrows, or makes a cloudburst, or even makes a phantom plow.

2012-08-10, 10:09 AM
Ohhh...FR Homebrew looks nice.


1.Craft (alchemy, armorsmithing, blacksmithing, gemcutting, locksmithing, metalworking, trapmaking, or weaponmaking) 8 ranks

This type of prerequisite bugs me. The idea that you can have a gnome artificer with 10 ranks in gemcutting making mechanical devices is just weird. How does are gnome with 10 ranks in gemcutting 'suddenly' know how to make a 'mechanical crossbow device'?

I think this might be better with something like ''At least 4 ranks in 5 Craft skills and at least one craft skill of 8 ranks.''

It just the way it's written now a lock smith gnome can suddenly create mecha. At least with the requirement of 'lots of skills' it gives you more of a base. A gnome that knows armorsmithing for a couple ranks can make a gauntlet at least, for example.

I can see where you're coming from on this one, but I'm a bit wary about adding too many more skill requirements since the high skill requirements of the original version meant you basically had to be a rogue/wiz or bard to even think of taking the class. I'd like it to be more widely available, so that even a fighter with a 13ish intelligence could dedicate a chunk of his skill points and get access to a useful/fun class. The Disable Device and Knowledge (Engineering) requirements are supposed to cover most of the sort of background knowledge the character needs to start making mechanical devices. Though I agree, I should have tightened up the list a bit from the original.

I'll think a bit more on adding one or two more craft requirements, but I'm iffy on that. I will drop the locksmithing/gemcutting options though; you're right in that they don't really present a good fluff setup for the class.

2.How about a quick ability? I kinda like the idea of a gnome just 'reaching into her pocket' for junk and quickly putting together an item. Maybe let the artificer make a temporary item with 3-5 charges?

Oooooh, I really like this idea. Very McGuyver-esque. Hmmm...

Maybe an ability that an artificer can make a 1 charge single power device with a minute of effort and a successful craft check, with the DC based on the power level and artificer level of the chosen power. For every, say, 3-5 points the craft check beats the DC the device gets another charge. Whether or not the charges get used up, the device falls apart after an hour or so. I'd probably put an 'x/day' limit based on gnome artificer class levels.

What do you all think?

3.Device Power list. :( Why so many combat ones? Why ignore all the great spells that would really make great 'crazy mechanical devices'? Levitate for example, or ones from the Spell Compendium like Buzzing Bee, Shock and Awe, or Repair Damage? And how about animate object for 5th level? And how about adding some type of advanced learning like 'can add one 'spell/power' from another list to know powers...especially druid ones. Gnomes do have just that light sprinkle of 'nature' to them....so the idea that they would make a device that say burrows, or makes a cloudburst, or even makes a phantom plow.

Like I said above, I haven't had much of a chance to run through the various splats (and especially the sheer depth of the Spell Compendium :smalltongue:) to pluck out new device powers. I am all for fun, non-combat abilities to add in. Buzzing Bee and Shock and Awe are both flavorful and fun and I could easily see ways to make fun devices to mimic them. Repair spells I'm not so sure about, but I'll think on that more. Animate object seems a bit out there, though; a device that turns other items into moving, animate creatures seems almost over the top, even for this class.

Are there any spells that grant a burrow speed or ability to make tunnels? Because I'd love to add one to the list. There are already a number of fog/cloud type spells, though I'll certainly add anymore that I find since such spells can be really useful.

2012-08-10, 09:58 PM
I went through Frostburn, and picked out some spells I think should be suitable, if you want to include them. A decent list for a themed artificer, at least.

Ease of Breath - +20 bonus on saving throws against altitude sickness.
Glaze Lock - Jams a lock with snow and ice.
Ice Skate - While on ice, your speed increases by 60ft.
Ice Slick - Creates 20ft square of slippery ice.
Snowsight - Normal vision in winter weather conditions.

Bone Chill - Corporeal undead are held by a thick layer of frost.
Brumal Stiffening - Brittle weapon's hardness reduced by 5.
Flash Freeze - Earth, stone and water become frozen.
Obscuring Snow - Obscures sight around caster.
Snow Walk - Walk on snow without penalty or leaving tracks.

Control Temperature - Raises or lowers the temperature around the caster.
Crack Ice - Shatters ice structures and creatures.
Winter's Embrace - Subject takes 1d8 damage per round, may cause fatigue.

Boreal Wind - Gust of cold wind deals 1d4 cold damage/level and knocks creatures back.
Freeze Armor - Locks up suits of metal armor and equipment, dealing damage and impeding movement.

Blizzard - Temperature drops, and powerful blizzard reduces visibility to zero.
Gelid Blood - Freezes subject to the core, causing penalties.

With sleet storm and other cold spells on the list, I figured these would fit.

2012-09-15, 06:11 PM
Alrighty, I've found the time to go back over the redesign of the class and make some changes, so I'm reviving this thread.

Current change log:

Added the Spontaneous Innovation ability
Split device and power modifications into two different abilities
Restructured when the artificer gains certain abilities
Lowered the base cost of items to Artificer level x Power level x 500gp, down from x750 gp.
Dropped the Craft(gemcutting) option, added another rank to Disable Device pre-requisite.
Added levitate and scorching ray to the power list.


Potentially rebalance some of the item and modification costs.
Add more powers to the list.

Let me know what you all think.

Zomg Zombies
2013-09-07, 03:20 AM
How about a lvl 10 capstone power that will allow the character to craft a non-magic Apparatus of Kwalish? :smallbiggrin: Ok, I kid; but this is a fine example of an update to a very unique PrC.

2015-12-11, 05:48 PM
Time for some thread-necromancy!

I have recently begun a new campaign and have been gunning for a steampunky build. I've always loved Artificers, especially the ones from FR. Now that I play pathfinder, I find that I'm returning back to this theme once again and would like to see this PrC fully completed. This is the perfect fit for what I've been researching.

Is it possible to finish this off?? Is there any way I can help?