Character Creation Guide – Artificer

Amidst the bustling streets of a busy metropolis, a lone figure stands in a workshop illuminated by glowing crystals. Arcane blueprints spread across the workbench, next to an array of mechanical contraptions.

Human female artificer at the workbench.

With deft hands and a sharp mind, this individual, known as Varik, melds magic with machinery, creating wonders never before seen in the world.

His name carries weight as an Artificer – a master of arcane engineering. His inventions, from mechanical servants to wondrous weapons, are sought after by adventurers and kings alike. Yet for Varik, the thrill lies not in the fame or fortune but in the pure joy of creation.


In Dungeons & Dragons, the Artificer class represents a unique blend of magic and mechanics. With a keen intellect and an inventive spirit, an Artificer sees endless possibilities in the melding of arcana and artisanship.

This guide delves into the depths of this innovative class, exploring its subclasses, the synergy of races with the Artificer’s craft, and the feats that can further refine their inventiveness.

Introduction To Artificers

Artificers are the pioneers at the crossroads of magic and mechanics. They imbue objects with arcane energy, crafting gadgets and tools infused with magical power.

Warforged artificer firing a weapon.

Whether developing firearms, building mechanical allies, or enhancing armor with arcane energy, the Artificer’s ingenuity knows no bounds.

Role in a Party

Artificers can adapt to multiple roles within a party, serving as frontline combatants, ranged attackers, or support casters. Their ability to craft and modify equipment makes them invaluable assets, ensuring the party is always well-equipped.

Key Abilities And Stats

An Artificer’s prowess lies in their intellectual acumen and technical know-how. As such, the following abilities are paramount:

Intelligence: This is the primary stat for Artificers. It dictates their spellcasting ability, the power of many of their class features, and their overall crafting expertise. A higher intelligence allows an Artificer to create more potent magical items and cast spells with greater efficacy.

Dexterity: Many of the Artificer’s tools and potential weapons, especially if focusing on firearms or other ranged devices, rely on dexterity for precision and accuracy. It also contributes to their Armor Class, helping them avoid incoming attacks.

Constitution: With some Artificer builds potentially being frontline or mid-range combatants, a good constitution helps bolster their hit points and improves their chances of maintaining concentration on spells amidst the chaos of battle.

Class Features

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Artificer level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per Artificer level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, hand crossbows, heavy crossbows
Tools: Thieves’ tools, tinker’s tools, one type of artisan’s tools of your choice
Saving Throws: Constitution, Intelligence
Skills: Choose two from Arcana, History, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Sleight of Hand

Equipment


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a hand crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) scale mail or (b) studded leather armor
  • thieves’ tools and a dungeoneer’s pack

Core Class Features

Magical Tinkering (1st Level): At 1st level, you learn how to invest a spark of magic in objects that would otherwise be mundane.

Spellcasting (1st Level): Starting at 1st level, you’ve developed the ability to cast spells.

Infuse Item (2nd Level): At 2nd level, you gain the ability to imbue mundane items with certain magical infusions.

Artificer Specialist (3rd Level): At 3rd level, you choose the type of specialist you are: Alchemist, Armorer, Artillerist, or Battle Smith. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 5th, 9th, 15th, and 20th level.

The Right Tool for the Job (3rd Level): At 3rd level, you learn how to produce exactly the tool you need.

Ability Score Improvement (4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th Level): You can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1.

Tool Expertise (6th Level): Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses your proficiency with a tool.

Flash of Genius (7th Level): You gain the ability to come up with solutions under pressure.

Magic Item Adept (10th Level): Your skill with crafting and using magical devices grows as you become more experienced.

Spell-Storing Item (11th Level): You can now store a spell in an object.

Magic Item Savant (14th Level): Your expertise grows beyond magic items to encompass all kinds of devices.

Magic Item Master (18th Level): Your mastery of artifice now allows you to produce nearly any magic item.

Soul of Artifice (20th Level): Your understanding of magic items allows you to mingle your soul with items linked to you.

Subclasses

Alchemist (Eberron: Rising from the Last War): Masters of potions and alchemical concoctions, they can create healing draughts, explosive vials, or transformative elixirs.

Artillerist (Eberron: Rising from the Last War): Specialists in arcane firearms and magical artillery, they can summon eldritch cannons to decimate foes.

Battlesmith (Eberron: Rising from the Last War): Combining martial prowess with artifice, they craft weapons and armor and can create a steel defender, a loyal mechanical companion.

Armorer (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything): Focusing on suits of powered armor, they transform their armor into a second skin, granting them extraordinary abilities.

Race Recommendations

Gnome: Naturally inquisitive and mechanically inclined, gnomes get a boost to Intelligence, making them excellent Artificers.

Warforged (Eberron: Rising from the Last War): As living constructs, their natural affinity for machinery and a bonus to Constitution make them sturdy and adept Artificers.

Human: Their versatility and adaptability can be a boon for Artificers, especially with the Variant Human’s ability to increase Intelligence and choose a relevant feat.

Feat Recommendations

Warcaster: Given the Artificer’s frontline potential, maintaining concentration on spells can be vital.

Sharpshooter: For Artillerists or those focusing on ranged combat.

Tough: Enhancing the Artificer’s survivability on the front lines.

Equipment And Gear

Being inventors, Artificers often craft their own equipment. Depending on their specialization, they might prioritize tools for alchemical experiments, weapon crafting, or armor modifications.

Roleplaying Tips

Artificers are driven by curiosity and innovation.

When roleplaying, consider what drives your Artificer’s desire to invent. Do they strive to improve society, seek personal gain, or simply love the thrill of invention?

Their creations are a reflection of their personality, be it meticulous, chaotic, or purely functional. Interactions with magic items or mysterious devices can be particularly intriguing for them, always seeking to understand and improve.

Combat Tactics

Artificers can adapt to the flow of battle. Alchemists might hang back, throwing explosive vials, while an Armorer could be on the front lines, enhancing their capabilities with their suit.

Artillerists can set up strategic points with their eldritch cannons, providing cover fire or bolstering defenses. In any role, an Artificer’s versatility shines, always having a gadget or spell for the situation.

Conclusion

Gnome male artificer crafting.

This guide provides a comprehensive look into the Artificer’s world, blending magic and mechanics in the rich tapestry of Dungeons & Dragons.

Whether you’re crafting wonders or deciphering ancient blueprints, the Artificer offers a unique path of creativity and invention.

Dungeons & Dragons, its logo, and its respective trademarks and copyrights are the property of Wizards of the Coast. This article is not endorsed by, affiliated with, sponsored by, or specifically approved by Wizards of the Coast.

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