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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Class - No Items Artificer mk.2

    Replacement for the first try.

    A bedraggled gnome spits out ‘That Does It!’ and pulls a contraption from his belt while his fellows go wild-eyed and step away. A ways off an archer hits enemy reinforcements with an empowered arrow, leaving a cloud to cover their escape. The trap smith grumbles that any Real Dwarf could seal a door better without resorting to five conjoined runes encircling the dead bolt, then pulls out his dispelling picks sighing ‘I can tell you five ways to do this better before I finish…’.

    Artificers are craftsmen who know how to mix magic into craft. They are often well-known experts in their field, though public relations is often lacking. Wizard mishaps occur in the lonely tower outside of town, but artificers do it at 2am in the west wing of the palace and refuse to stop working long enough to explain things.

    Through tinkering, Artificers create portable magical setups called ‘schema’ to produce special effects. With time they create more stable effects on their own equipment. At this point adventuring calls to them both for practical reasons (money and materials) and so they can learn from or about other spellcasters.

    Spoiler: Why: Story Logic
    Show
    Cantrips are simple enough to be ‘safe’, and anyone (with training and confidence) can create potent effects. True spells attain more varied effects by channeling that power through foci. Without the foci to direct the power, the most likely result is somewhere between a gust of wind and sudden planar rifts.
    While there are many foci available, the cheapest and most flexible one is your own soul and will – which is why most practitioners are spell casters. Use of the soul is self-limiting because your soul has a built-in ‘style’, so it is very difficult to cast spells of other classes. It is possible to imitate the effects of a soul via a magical item, but it is fundamentally a different discipline. Most casters only create items from careful formulas which don’t vary far from their area of expertise as a result.
    Artificers rely almost completely on foci, minimizing their direct involvement in the effect. The gain is flexibility and the ability to cross magical styles, the cost is a heavy backpack and having to compensate for the endless number of things can go wrong. Most prospective artificers lose their sense of wonder quickly, but a few prove to have that creative spark that bridges the gap between an artisan’s rigor and rigorous Art.


    Spoiler: Why: Game logic
    Show

    We like artificers. Even if you aren’t in a steampunk or Eberron game, they really are fun and flexible. They have a bad reputation, though. The original 3rd edition artificer breaks some critical unwritten game rules without realizing it:
    • If you are stripped naked except for one item, you must still be effective in the party. You can also recover almost completely with some money and a couple days in town.
    • Your character’s schtick can’t be taken away by other party members – including when you die.
    • PCs can feasibly level up/power up while inside a super-huge dungeon.
    • PCs can’t break fundamental things like the world’s economy unless the DM specifically goes into that realm.

    To this end, the class below is designed to allow a character to be interesting and have that ‘I can do things you can’t’ feel without being overpowered or break a campaign. I call this the no-items artificer because it can capture that artificer feel without any permanent magical items, though it leaves that option open if the DM wants to go there.
    And lastly, there should be more than one class that is based off of intelligence. Despite the behavior of most adventuring parties, it should not be the most common dump stat in the game.

    Game mechanics.
    Hit dice: d6
    Weapon proficiencies: simple weapons and all crossbows
    Armor proficiencies: Light / medium armor and shields
    Save proficiencies: Intelligence and Constitution
    Choose two skills from the following list: Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Religion, Medicine
    Proficient with artisan’s tools or thief’s tools (pick any two)

    Class Features:
    Level Features Cantrips Schema Slots Masteries
    1 Spell list access (Any 1 class), Field Training, Mending 1 1 0
    2 Sequester, Masteries 1 2 1
    3 Specialization Bonus, Bound Item 2 2 2
    4 Ability Score Improvement 2 2 2
    5 Spell List Access (Any 2 classes), Push It 3 2 3
    6 Reset Preparations, Crafter’s eye, Extra Tool proficiency 3 2 3
    7 Specialization Bonus 3 2 4
    8 Ability Score Improvement 3 2 4
    9 Personal Item Discovery 3 2 5
    10 Spell list access (any 3 classes), Improved Sequester 4 2 5
    11 Greater Schema (6), Extra Tool Proficiency 4 3 6
    12 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 6
    13 Greater Schema (7) 4 3 7
    14 Specialization Bonus 4 3 7
    15 Greater Schema (8), Spell List Access (any 4 classes) 4 4 8
    16 Ability Score Improvement 4 4 8
    17 Greater Schema (9) 4 4 9
    18 4 4 9
    19 Ability Score Improvement 4 4 9
    20 Legendary Item Discovery 4 4 9

    Artificer’s pack:
    An artificer carries around a mess of wadding, catalysts, runes, springs, and unsavory materials called an Artificer’s pack. Without this pack, an artificer cannot trigger any schema. It is hard to remove the pack from the artificer without removing everything else, though. A pack can be reconstructed fairly easily – materials can be purchased for 1gp at a general store but require 4 hours to organize properly. In a pinch, an artificer can create their own from raw materials by crafting it.


    Spell list access:
    Artificers can learn schema and trigger magical items tied to certain classes. At first level, the artificer has access to one casting class which contains cantrips. At 5th, 10th, and 15th, the artificer gains access to another spell list they choose. Note a ‘spell list’ doesn’t include spells given only due to class features.


    Cantrips:
    The artificer learns cantrips from their accessed spell lists. These are true spells, but are always tied to the artificer’s Intelligence regardless of what spell list they came from.


    Schema:
    Schemas are notoriously unstable rigs often used in magical study. An example is two opposing holy symbols pressed close to each other while whispering obscenities to both at the same time. Putting a rod in a wire frame focuses the conflicting energy into a ray. The same effect could be created with awakened crystals in a copper tube and some springs or an alchemal combination using spit as a catalyst. If not done right it just doesn’t work… or explodes in your face.

    Schemas are not spells and rely entirely on foci from the Artificer’s pack. Even if the artificer can cast spells, they don’t necessarily have access to that schema effect. That said they function as the spell they mimic including casting time, costly materials, an unoccupied hand, casting as a ritual, etc. Schemas are always based on the artificer’s Intelligence.

    An artificer knows 6 schemas at 1st level from the spell list the artificer has access to 3 more with each level increase. Extra schemas can be researched from accessible spell lists as a wizard does for extra spells. After any short rest, the artificer chooses 2 + 1 for every 2 artificer levels (round up) schema to prepare for use. The artificer can trigger a prepared schema by using a schema slot if one is available.

    Once used, a schema slot is refreshed with any short or long rest but cannot be triggered again until the previous effect ends naturally or by use of an action. For this reason, some effects can be a drain on the Artificer such as Mage Armor, Suggestion, or Animate Dead. As soon as the effect ends, the slot can be used for a schema again so long as a rest occurred.

    Example: Beeble is a first level artificer and casts Mage Armor before a long rest. Four hours later, kobolds attack from a hidden door near their resting area. His slot is refreshed but he can’t use it unless he spends an action to turn ‘off’ the Armor.

    Greater Schema:
    Effects using 6th level slots and above are much trickier. During a long rest choose one effect for a given greater schema slot. It can be any effect you know of that level or lower and does not need to be one of your prepared effects for your normal schema. You can trigger the Greater Schema as you would a normal Schema, but it only works once until your next long rest. Otherwise, they function as normal Schema do.

    Example: Bertra just became an 11th level Artificer and excitedly starts her day by preparing a Hero’s Feast schema for breakfast. This expends the greater schema for the entire day. The next morning she expects combat and creates a Scorching Ray greater schema. In both cases, she is unable to change the effect she chose until after her next long rest.


    Field Training:
    All Artificers supplement their craft with real-world training to survive. At 1st level, the character must choose between the following options. The schema are automatically added to your known schema list and considered readied for free:

    Martial: During a short rest, you can weave enhancements into one suit of armor or weapon plus any item you are bonded with (see that class ability). You can use your intelligence instead of Strength or Dexterity for all purposes when using that specific item.
    Shield of Faith, Healing Word, Magic Weapon

    Caster: You gain 2 extra cantrips from your known spell list.
    Cure Wounds, Magic Missile, Detect Magic, Enhance attribute, Sleep

    Components: With an action, you can produce a pint of oil or a tar-like glob from your Artificer Pack and use it to help or hinder others taking physical actions within a 30’. The intended target gains advantage/disadvantage for either two rounds or two checks of your choice (whichever comes first). Note you can choose to ‘help yourself’ on your following round. You can also create rope with an action that lasts for 8 hours – up to 400 feet per day.
    Guiding Bolt, Bless, Grease, Fog Cloud

    Mending:
    The artificer gains the Mending cantrip at first level for free. If mending an object they could create with their tool proficiency, they can repair any damage in a 1 foot cube with a single casting. This includes complex fractures or simple wear and tear.

    Sequester:
    For a few days, Artificers can focus their efforts and magical tricks on crafting. They can do this only when the artificer meets the following conditions:
    • No distractions or interaction with others is allowed. You work alone for 16 hours a day and sleep for 8.
    • The crafted item requires artisan’s tools that you are proficient in (ex. alchemal items, statues, complex machinery, magical items)
    • Sequester a maximum of 7 days in a row and you cannot sequester for 2 days for every day you were in sequester before doing it again.


    During sequester an artificer crafts 50gp per day instead of the normal 5gp and can make quality items from the most unrefined materials. If the DM allows crafting magical items by PCs, they can be created by crafting the mundane item and incorporating a schema effect that you know.

    For example, Lag is an alchemist smith and needs to make a sword and some healing potions. He breaks out his smithing and alchemy tools next to an exposed an iron vein near a stream (using them as raw materials). The sword is done in the first day and he produces 6 healing potions before he must stop to rest (7 days total). Lag has to wait 14 days to start up again, but could adventure or craft using normal rules in that time. A request for a magical sword could not be done in one sequester, but two might do it.

    At 10th level, sequesters can be 14 days long with only 1 day off per day in sequester. Additionally, you can combine your crafting rate with one or more artificers in your workspace, so long as you are both crafting the same item. No crafter can be involved if they are not also artificers.


    Bound item:
    During a long rest you can mystically bind certain items to yourself, enhancing them in the process. Each gains properties depending on the type of item it is, but only when you are the one using it:
    • Armor or shields can be put on/taken off with a bonus action and weigh nothing when worn
    • Weapons or sets of ammunition (ex. ‘my arrows’) are considered magical and are summoned to your hand with a bonus action.
    • An object with one or more openings (ex. a vest or backpack) gets a 5 inch wide extra dimensional pocket that can carry 100 lbs material. You find any item as a bonus action or draw ammunition/weapons as part of your attack action.

    If the item is destroyed or you bind to another item, any special qualities are immediately lost and any held items spill out.


    Masteries:
    Masteries are skills or schema permanently joined with the Artificer’s body and/or mind (ex. tattoos, memorized techniques, potions in your blood). Each is a constant effect unless otherwise specified and can only be utilized by you.

    Amorphic Homunculi (req min lvl 8, Homunculus master only): Your homunculi can reshape into another object you could otherwise create as an action (ex. changing from a humanoid doll to a toy snake) and squeeze through cracks as small as 2” wide.

    Cantrippery: You gain three cantrips from any spell list(s) that you know.

    Construct Arm: One of your arms is replaced or covered up by an artificial arm. It functions as either a bound weapon or a shield in combat. You can manipulate items in that hand at the same time as using it as a weapon/shield.

    Contingency Planning (min 5th level): You learn and always have prepared the following effects: Absorb Energy, Create Food and Water, Darkvision, Expeditious Retreat, Featherfall, and Waterbreathing. Once per day you can trigger one of them without using a schema slot.

    Dual Wand User (min level 5): You can use a bonus action to activate a permanent magical wand in your off hand.

    Early Spell List Access: Access another spell list that you don’t already know. If you gain access by leveling up, you can switch this mastery for another one.

    Empowered Alchemy: Mundane alchemal items (ex. alchemal fire or a healing potion) deal or heal your intelligence modifier in extra damage and you don’t suffer any disadvantage for long range attacks.

    Extra Bound Item: You can bind an extra item and summon all bound items with one bonus action. Any other mastery that improves bound items affects this extra item as well.

    Illumination Goggles (min lvl 5): You gain darkvision to 60’ or extend it by 60’. You see normally in non-magical darkness or bright light and gain advantage on saves from similar spells (ex. flash bang grenade or planes with intense light)

    Improved Pack: If you are bound to a pack, it can carry up to 300 lbs of materials and the opening can be as big as the object could allow (e.g. a 2 foot diameter sack). If desired, you can close the pocket and prevent access to anyone but yourself.

    Integrated Armor:You can summon/dismiss weightless armor with a bonus action granting AC 13+Dexterity. The armor is considered bound to you and it cannot be destroyed or dispelled.

    Integrated Schema:Your schemas are linked to your body and don’t require hands to use. Any schema you prepare can’t be removed from your body and once per short rest you can trigger an effect without giving away the source. Note the DM may declare some spells cannot be hidden (ex. scorching ray)

    Phased Binding (min lvl 8): With a bonus action, choose what a bound item interacts with - all things, all things except you, all things except creatures, only creatures, or nothing. ‘Creatures’ includes anything living/dead/animated or used by them (ex. orcs and their weapons, trees, but not walls). If interacting with only creatures you must be in contact with it or it reverts to ‘nothing’, where it is considered on your person but unavailable until it changes states.

    Potion splash: You make potions react on contact, including schemas infused into potion form. Applying is a bonus action for willing and an attack action for unwilling creatures. Thrown vials do 1 point of damage before the potion takes effect.

    Quick Rig: If you spend an extra 10 minutes to set it up, you can trigger any schema you know which mimics a ritual (even if not prepared) without using a schema slot.

    Recharge Items (min lvl 8): With an action and spending a schema slot, one wand you are holding regains a charge. Once per day, you can recharge any permanent magical item which is not a wand with an action as though a long rest was taken. In both cases the item can be activated at the same time. Certain items may not be able to be recharged at the DMs discretion.

    Schema Traps:With an action you create a seal on a closed object or a 5’ square containing a cantrip you know. If the seal or area is violated, the cantrip targets the violator and dissipates. The rune is considered the caster using your intelligence modifier and you can have your intelligence modifier of traps active at any time.

    Scholar:Choose two skills from the following list that you have proficiency in. You gain expertise: Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Religion, and Medicine

    Specialized tool set:Choose a skill you don’t have expertise in. You gain proficiency or (if already proficient) expertise in that skill whenever you have your artificer’s pack. You can choose this mastery multiple times.

    Survivalist Gear: You create a personal ward which keeps you comfortable in natural heat/cold and grants advantage against poisons or diseases. Once per day, you can extend this ward to everyone within 10’ of you for eight hours. Lastly, it can produce one Goodberry per point of intelligence per day as the spell.

    Tool Mastery (min lvl 12): Choose a tool you are proficient in. Material costs are halved and you craft at double speed for items primarily made with that tool.

    Translator: You can ‘learn’ a language spoken by another creature by listening to it speak for a full minute. You can store up to three languages this way.

    Weapon Training (min lvl 5, battlemaster only): You gain a second attack when using the attack action. You can also make multiple attacks with a crossbow.


    Crafter’s Eye:
    During a short rest, an artificer proficient in a tool used to create a given item can study it and learn the item’s general function and current number of charges become known (if applicable). If proficient in more than one tool used to create it, they also know the exact trigger to activate it, plus any hidden or unusual functions (if applicable).

    Example: Brash is proficient in weaponsmith and gemcutting tools. She could analyze a sword or wand with a gemstone setting. A sword with several gems in the pommel would be much easier. A powerfully runed wooden club or sequined cloak would intrigue her, but she wouldn’t understand the object any better than any other character.


    Push It:
    You can trigger a prepared schema effect after all your standard slots are expended by dangerously cutting corners. Roll a die. On an even number, it works. On an odd number it backfires, causing 1d8 damage to you per spell level involved and half that to anyone else within 5 feet. This damage cannot be resisted or reduced by any means. In either case, all other readied schema are disrupted until you take a short rest.
    Greater schema cannot be pushed or deactivated with this ability.


    Extra tool proficiency:
    You gain proficiency in another artisan’s tool or thief’s tools.


    Personal Item Discovery:
    The artificer discovers a unique magical item design.

    Choose one permanent magical item of 1000gp or less. After one week’s time of crafting, it is yours at no cost. It is considered an extra bound item. If destroyed or lost completely, it can be re-created in one week for no cost. If the artificer dies, the item becomes nonmagical, but regains all properties if the Artificer is raised.


    Legendary Masterpiece
    At 20th level, the artificer finds out how to create a truly legendary magical item which is their crowning achievement. With one week of work they can create one rare magical item which is bound to them for free and can be summoned from any distance or across planar boundaries. If it is ever destroyed, it can be re-created for 500gp and another week of sequestered work. If the artificer ever dies, this item continues to exist and likely becomes a legend of its own.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Class - No Items Artificer mk.2

    Specializations:
    Starting at 3rd level, the artificer can focus on specialized skills. At 7th and 14th levels, their study of the specialization grants new abilities.

    Infuser:
    You play with the concepts of magical items to create temporarily stable items. You gain proficiency in alchemy and scribing tools for free and crafting any normal alchemal item costs only half the normal cost. Additionally, you can use your Mending cantrip to recover any used alchemy item not consumed by a creature (e.g. alchemist fire or acid).

    During a rest, you create either a potion or scroll holding one specific schema effect you know which lasts until your next rest. If the effect can only target the caster, it must be a potion. You can use it as a magical item normally. You can create more than one, but each one after the first expends a schema slot. Triggering effects from these items allows you to bypass problems with ‘locked’ slots.

    Example: Lod can prepare a free Mage Armor potion and spend a slot to create a scroll of Find Familiar. He has one less slot available until his next rest, but can use both items in that time. Four hours later during a short rest he can create a backup Mage Armor potion (or other effect) and access all his slots even though both his Familiar and Mage Armor are still active.

    7th level – You can prepare a number of schema effects equal to your intelligence modifier plus your artificer level (normal artificers only get half their level). When you create an item (with either a slot or your free item), you can empower any object with a schema effect and it can be triggered by any person who was told how to trigger it. Artificers usually enhance durable items such as clothing, weapons or armor. In all cases, it still requires an action to trigger, can only be used once per rest, and dissipates during your next rest.

    You also add your intelligence modifier to the damage dealt to one target with any cantrip you cast.

    14th level – You can imbue greater schema into an item. If you trigger any infused item yourself it functions as though it used a spell slot one level higher than normal, up to level 9. For example, a 14th level artificer’s fireball schema counts as though using a 6th level slot, or he could use his 7th level greater schema slot to produce an 8th level fireball. That same artificer cannot create an 8th level effect since they only have a 7th level greater schema slot, however.



    Battlesmith:
    You can bind two extra items so long as they are armor, shield, or weapons. In addition to the normal bonuses, you are treated as proficient in any item you bind and once per short rest by spending an action you can infuse any weapon with elemental energy (choose fire, cold, electrical or acid), dealing +1d6 damage for one minute.

    You constantly produce a protective ward which absorbs the first 2 points of damage you take from any source including spells (a monstrous swarm is considered one source). This field even prevents contact with an object that you didn’t specifically touch or get attacked by and you are cleaned off within a round of that contact (ex. immersion in water or necrotic slime on the floor, but not against caltrops or poisoned items you pick up).

    7th level – If you make a single attack with your attack action and hit with that attack, you can also channel a harmful cantrip or a schema effect onto the target by using a bonus action. If the effect requires an attack roll, re-use the attack roll of your weapon attack. If it requires a saving throw, the target has disadvantage.
    During a short rest, you can expend a schema slot to improve your armor or weapon until your next rest. These effects are treated as though properties of the item you carry and cannot be dispelled. The options available to you include the following:
    • Immunity to disease
    • Resistance against one element or poison (armor or shield only, can be chosen multiple times)
    • Automatic advantage on Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution skill checks (choose one)
    • Adaptation to a difficult environment. Includes resistance to any hazard specifically from the environment and the ability to breathe normally (armor only – choose underwater, desert, jungle, arctic, high mountains)
    • +10 movement (armor only)
    • +1 Enhancement (does not stack with other spells or natural enhancements)
    • Spider Climb as the spell at will (armor only)
    • d4 extra damage on any hit (weapon only)
    • Improve your protective ward to block the first 3 points of damage from any source (armor only)


    14th level – During a short rest, choose 3 1st level effects that you know. If you make a single attack with your attack action and hit with that attack you can spend a bonus action to trigger one of these chosen spells as though cast with a 1st level spell slot. If the effect requires an attack roll, re-use the attack roll of your weapon attack. If it requires a saving throw, the target has disadvantage. The effect can be one that targets multiple creatures, but will only affect the one you hit. Magic Missile, Burning Hands, and Bane are common choices but crafty artificers have been known to also use Sleep or Fog Cloud as well.

    During a short rest, you can expend a greater schema slot to improve your armor or weapon until your next long rest. These effects are treated as though properties of the item you carry and cannot be dispelled. The options available to you include the following:
    [list][*] Proficiency in any two saving throws[*] Resist any two energy types and/or poison (armor or shield only, can be taken multiple times)[*] Adaptation to an exotic environment. Includes resistance to any hazard specifically from the environment and ability to breathe (armor only – choose vacuum, buried, extreme deep ocean, one alternate plane)[*] +2 enhancement (does not stack with other spells or natural enhancements)[*] +d8 damage with any attack (weapons only)[*] Improve your protective ward to block the first 4 points of damage from any source (armor only)


    Homunculus Master:
    During a long rest, a small sized or smaller object you created worth at least 1gp becomes animated per the Animated Objects spell called a homunculus. You can animate one of them at 3rd level and an extra one for every 5 artificer levels you have to a maximum of 4. Each uses base statistics per the Animate Objects spell, but don’t require concentration. They can take an action whenever you command them with a bonus action if they are within 100 feet from you. If not given a command or they go outside of this range, they do their best to move within 10 feet of you and take the dodge action.

    Homunculi can access all your skills and feats and if tiny sized they also are proficient in stealth. With an action, you can sense everything one of them does but cannot sense your own surroundings.

    Homunculi are bound to your life force, so whenever you use a hit die during a short rest each of them is healed for 1d10hp plus your constitution bonus. If any homunculus is destroyed, you lose either one hit die or take the same amount of damage yourself. If the body is not completely destroyed (DM judgement), your Mending cantrip can be used to repair a destroyed homunculi and it can be re-animated during your next long rest.

    7th level – In addition to your other homunculi, you can craft a special homunculi which costs at least 5gp and is one size larger than you but can only take the dodge, dash, use an object, and disengage actions. Most Artificers use it as a personal servant or mount when traveling.

    All homunculi become proficient in all saving throws, gain access to your masteries and make attacks using your proficiency bonus plus their best statistic. If you trigger a purely defensive schema on yourself within 10’ of homunculi, they are affected as an additional target. By spending up to 100 gp on a body, you can improve their statistics. 10 gp will grant an extra 1hp, 20 gp grant an extra strength or dexterity skill, and 30 gp allows them to swim or climb at normal movement rates.

    14th level – Your normal homunculi can be up to medium size and gain your proficiency in any weapons, armor, and tools. They become semi-sentient and be given general commands or react to situations as though their intelligence and wisdom were half of yours (answer the door, simple errands), but still require a command to attack. You can also craft up to 200 extra gp into each body and can grant them flight or expertise in a strength / dexterity skill for 50 gp.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Class - No Items Artificer mk.2

    Why did you do X?

    That funny Schema rule: 'A schema slot is locked until the effect is ended'
    The original intent was to prevent issues with giving a ‘reset on a short rest’ class access to any spell list. For instance, Animate Dead or other long duration buff suddenly becomes much more powerful. I’ve backed off of that position with the infuser sub-class. Magical items bypass the limitations built into other classes and that hasn’t broken everyone’s games yet, so it appears the real limitation is the pain in the a$$ it is to keep track of everything like you need to.

    I kept it for the other classes because it limits a lot of overt abuse and gives the feeling that a powerful effect is tied to a ‘thing’ to ‘use’ somehow. You could probably get rid of this restriction as long as you have a gentleman's rule to not really abuse that option. Your table's mindset may vary.


    Why the warlock?
    Re-skinning invocations as inseparable magical items gives us balance with artificer flavor but without requiring the player to slowly craft or ever lose items necessary for the character. Hence, I’m calling this the ‘no items artificer’.

    From there, it also makes sense that artificers can do a couple big booms, but also have to recalibrate a dozen schema every few hours. I also don’t hear anyone complaining about warlocks being too overpowered (outside eldrich blast and an invocation which artificers can’t have). This makes it a relatively safe template to use.


    Sequester
    If your game allows the creation of big items as a PC (magical or otherwise), the biggest limitation is time. This makes sense for all other characters, but an artificer deserves to bypass it in a controlled way. Sequester is my solution to that problem:
    1. Sequester leverages the tropes of ‘the crazy recluse’ and ‘come back tomorrow’.
    2. It works off of core system mechanics. In all probability, this means it is more likely to work with your house rules as a result (whatever they are).
    3. Months of crafting is realistic, but horribly boring for everyone else and abusable to game balance. Short bursts of crafting means the artificer is still better than NPCs but allows them to adventure between the ‘bursts’, making them less boring.
    4. Allowing an artificer to craft on the road also allows them to craft during long adventures if needed - including in the dungeon.
    5. This is just messy enough to keep players from doing it all the time unless the party is into that sort of thing, but handy enough to make it valuable in a pinch.

    Optimized (12th level using a Mastery), you can craft 1400gp value in 14 days for 25% of the final cost. More if you have a bunch of artificers working on a single plan. A civilized society could feasibly have artificers on demand to create big projects like bridges or military posts in a couple weeks… but not overnight.



    Example Characters



    Gurglek (M half-orc, Artificer 3 – Gutter genius)

    Battlesmith, Martial Training
    Masteries (2+1): Extra Bound Items (bonus), Early spell list access, and Construct Arm (shield)

    Gurglek was born to the streets and expected to die on the streets due to a disfigured right arm. He found a niche on the street as a weaponsmith/tailor of sorts – creating clothing from scraps and custom items (reversible darksuits with hidden blades) for paying customers. He discovered the spark of artifice and started adventuring to learn more about magic and how to use it. Eventually, he wants to return to the city and get revenge on all his previous ‘friends’.
    Tricks of his trade:
    • His armor and construct arm are unassuming studded leather covered in rags. He changes weapons regularly, from whips to bandoleers of throwing axes.
    • His fighting style is shoddy but unpredictable and effective. Many describe it like he was poorly trained but somehow keeps divining their next move. They are right.
    • He learned paladin spells as early as possible and revels in smiting enemies.



    Bertra (F Human Artificer 10 – Cranky Old Woman and not an Undead Lord by technicality)

    Homunculus Master, Caster Training
    Masteries (4): Schema Traps, Improved Pack, Illumination Goggles, Specialized tool set (investigation)

    Bertra is an abrasive perfectionist in her late 50’s who learned artifice only after retiring from taxidermy. She started warding her house against ‘those damn kids’ at first but became aware of just how organized crime was in the city. The watch is worthless in her eyes, so she started building servants to defend her home, then her block, and eventually went on the offensive.

    The thieves’ guild knows their enemy is animating animal skeletons and is (probably?) a stocky person in dirty cloth (a fat goblin or dwarven druid/necromancer from the sewers?). A massive ambush against ‘him’ was successful only in killing a couple of their best and having the same problems the next day. The city watch doesn’t have enough information to make sense of things and just think the guild is getting sloppy.

    Tricks of her trade:
    • Homunculi are stuffed animals, skeletons wired together, or woven sculptures from wild vines/plants. She switches them out daily and uses specialized ones for rooftop work, swimming the sewers, etc.
    • The ‘druid’ is actually a wood sculpture covered in plush cloth and padding (a ‘mount’ homunculi) made to look small like a fat humanoid where she is rather thin. It has a heavy fire resistant pocket hidden in the stomach (her bound pack) to hide in and trigger schema if needed. She is effectively in excellent cover and can use the help action on nearby homunculi to make stealth easier.
    • Once the thieves ambushed her and she was forced to immolate the mount with a fireball, taking many of her attackers with the mount. When the thieves were sure any evidence was destroyed and the guard was coming, she slipped out and teleported to safety. She then animated the backup version in her basement and went for revenge the next day.
    • Talented with anticipating someone’s next move and then ‘being everywhere’ by using schema traps, alarms, and well placed homunculi to break up plans. Often, just bringing attention to a trespasser is enough (ex. Light on a probing lockpick or illusory shouting).
    • Personal item is an eyeglass that greatly improves her vision. Combined with goggles mastery, she has incredible eyesight far beyond someone of her age, but she hides this fact well.



    Jorin ‘I’m a lawyer’ Indignaskofski (M Gnome Artificer 19 – High level artisan baker)
    Infuser, Components training
    Masteries (8): Tool Mastery (baking), Dual Wand User, Recharge Items, Incorporated Schema, Phased Binding, Scholar, Contingency Planner

    Jorin has lived several human lives worth of urban adventure, but his ‘happy place’ is being the owner and sole proprietor of the legendary Unseen Tavern. It gets the name because the only access is through one of several dozen strategically placed arcane portals which he activates seemingly at random – patrons usually find it by that day’s gossip and the distinctive scent of his summer-fresh berry pies. As a result, it caters to the city’s intellectuals and other connected members of society.

    He has learned much about local laws and often spouts out legal advice, proudly claiming he ‘adventured in the city for more than 20 years and never paid a fine’. He has proven the tavern itself is technically outside city limits, making it all the more useful to those who can find it when needed… and buy something during their stay.
    Tricks of his trade:
    • His preferred crafting medium is specially baked food (especially bread and pastries). He has been known to imbue them with various schema effects for a fee, which is especially popular for people who want a subtle way to access magic in the city. That said, he has also used harmful or… concerning effects as well. A Glyph of Haste is known to still be at the bottom of one of his espresso cups.
    • He carries several small books that seem to contain an immense amount of historical and legal precedent for their size.
    • Though difficult to anger, Jorin carries a stash of wands. He is not afraid of two-fisting lightning bolt wands to thoroughly remove a threat. Given how you enter the tavern, some people suspect he has more than one backup building just in case of extensive damage.
    • Personal item is an 8 foot reinforced iron cube which provides excellent cover as well as being fire, cold, and electricity resistant. He ‘carries’ it around using his phased binding mastery in the ‘react with nothing’ state. If pressed, he can either summon it around himself for protection (‘react with everything’) or around him and another creature and leave (‘react with everything but me’).

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