Artificer (3.5e Class)
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The artificer has magic running through his veins due to draconic heritage; much like the sorcerer the artificer is in a position of potentially great magic combined with extraordinary crafting abilities. Unlike the sorcerer, the artificer forsakes learning to use spells and instead learns to channel raw arcane magic through his veins into a permanent permeable form through magic items. With his enhanced skills he also receives a supernaturally high level of ability with all the skills that he pursues that deal with his crafting expertise; and can make mundane and magical items of varying qualities with ease. Another key difference between sorcerers and artificers is that artificers also are able to shape divine magic by establishing a connection to the magic's deity, but his abilities are wholly innate without requiring the service of the god. Artificers are also able to break down and reclaim components from previously created magical items through a process called rending, and they commonly use this ability to fuel their own creations and projects.
Making an Artificer
Artificers are not like other individuals that are found throughout worlds; they do not gain exceptional martial prowess naturally like the fighter, they do not receive a multitude of different skills like the rogue and while they are able to mimic the spell requirements for magical item creation they are unable to cast any spells at all. Instead of the abilities others receive, an artificer is greatly defined by what he makes over the course of his life. His abilities are defined by the items that come into his possession, so unlike other classes he is not forced into any one position or role. With the significant reductions in what the artificer's crafting extolls it becomes easier for them to pick which specialties to fulfill. In addition, this allows the artificer to more easily change what he does later in life as long as he is willing to spend the time and resources to arm himself appropriately.
Artificers learn their craft in the manner of wizards and sorcerers, that is, through years of study. Their saves are not amongst the worst due to their experience with avoiding accidents from their dabblings with magic, and their skills are partly limited seeing how most of artificer's great abilities are gained through magical devices they fashion that increase their capabilities. An artificer can craft items at reduced expense which, with some effort, modify their abilities to make them similar in power to whatever pursuit they choose or has chosen them. The key for any artificer is to decide what path they wish to be skilled at or decide which paths they can augment by shifting their foci early in their career, and to create items that suit these pursuits as economically as possible.
Abilities: The most important attribute for every artificer is Intelligence for their spell requirements. In order to use Mimic Spell the artificer must meet the attribute level requirement to make the item (i.e., if the item being crafted requires a 9th level arcane spell an Intelligence score of 19 is required and the character level can be no less than 18th level). Other attributes are dependent on the artificers chosen path and goals, as an artificer wanting to be a melee combatant would do poorly if he possessed only 8 Strength.
Races: Dwarves and gnomes are the most common artificers, as they both have a deeply ingrained love for working with items. Dwarves enjoy turning metals like steel into works of art and gnomes excel at jewel crafting: pouring care and love into their work. Humans also make proficient artificers though they are usually motivated by monetary gain or the prospects of power instead of true love for crafting items. Any race is physically capable of becoming an artificer; however, races which do not answer the call of the forge tend to have significantly less artificers on average. NPC artificers will normally travel between major cities or set up in a major city to support their profession.
Alignment: Any alignment is acceptable for artificers, though most will gravitate towards law and neutrality. Craftsman work is highly ordered, and follows a natural law in order to execute a product that is of the highest quality. Artificers generally do not care how their creations are used, instead caring that their works are the pinnacle of their ability and crafted with devoted attention.
Starting Gold: 3d4x10 gp (75 average starting gold).
Artificer Power (Ex): The artificer is a master craftsman and upon 1st level he learns to improve his crafting ability as he gains experience. By learning new techniques, creating new alloys and increasing the efficiency of his forge the artificer gains one of the three following powers to improve his ability to make objects, as indicated on Table: The Artificer.
Material Reduction: The artificer may choose this power to reduce the materials used in his crafts by a cumulative 10%. This power can never exceed 70% reduction for materials as this shows efficiency, not the ability to create materials out of thin air. This power only reduces the cost of an object, in the case of magical creations the full experience cost still needs to be expended (minus any adjustments by the Experience Reduction power). It also does not reduce the required time to create the item, that instead falls under the Quicken Manufacture power.
Experience Reduction: The artificer may choose this power to reduce the experience required in his crafts by a cumulative 10%. This power can never exceed 70% reduction for experience as this shows efficiency, but a sacrifice is still required for the creation of magical items. This power only reduces the experience expenditure, it does not reduce the overall price in any way. It also does not reduce the required time to create the item, that instead falls under the Quicken Manufacture power.
Quicken Manufacture: The artificer may choose this power to increases the daily rate at which he crafts magical items by a factor (i.e., the first time this is selected the factor is x2 so you create 2000 gold pieces worth a day). Normally you create items at the rate of 1000 gp per day. This ability can be taken several times, and stacks with itself. Each time it is chosen, add another real factor (i.e., x2 becomes x3: 3,000 gold per day) to the value of a single magical item that the character can create per day. As this is an extraordinary ability, it stacks with other crafting bonuses, such as the Fast Item Creation feat.
Forge Master (Ex): Artificers are the undisputed masters of the forge. For each profession Crafting Skill the artificer has placed skill points into, he receives a bonus to equal to ¼ of his artificer level on each related crafting check. Crafting Skills that he has no skill ranks in do not gain the forge master bonus.
Mimic Spell (Su): At 1st level an artificer can substitute raw power for knowledge when crafting or using magical items. The artificer is able to produce the required spell effect for any spell that he qualifies for. To use divine magic, he must access the deities domain with a check of his class level, but any Wisdom requirements are instead replaced by ¼ of his class level; all arcane crafting requirements work off of his Intelligence score. The artificer's class level counts as his effective caster level for this ability but it does not give him the ability to use spells in any capacity except in the creation and usage of items. The artificer is still required to meet all other prerequisites of the spell (i.e., minimum caster level) in order to create a magical item, but the artificer is not required to study any materials in order to produce this effect; he will naturally feel the correct way to proceed and then can complete the item. The maximum spell level the artificer is allowed to use during crafting is the same as a sorcerer (i.e., level 4 is required for second level spells and it follows the sorcerer's progression).
Further because of their innate ability with all magical forms and items, whenever the artificer is required to roll a Use Magic Device check he may choose to multiply the result x3 once a day before making the roll. In addition, whenever an artificer uses an item successfully with Use Magic Device, he does not need to attempt the check ever again with that particular item. However, if a new item of the same type comes into his possession, he is still required to attune himself to it prior to being able to use it from then on. However, the artificer can only permanently attune one item per 2 artificer levels to himself, and this attunement ratio always rounds down (i.e., 0 items attuned at level 1).
Rending (Ex): A 1st level artificer is capable of breaking down any existing magical item into an experience crystal, which is a small quarter foot sized crystal cube that gives off a very faint light. These crystals weigh one pound and contain the essence (experience) of the item that is rendered down for parts. Based upon the artificers' skill the crystal will provide 5% of the spell component costs associated with the item per artificer level (thus, 100% at level 20) which helps to fuel the creation of other magical items. If the crystal leaves the artificer's possession, it becomes nothing more than a glass shard. An artificer may choose to use any of the crystals in his possession in any way, and their bonuses' stack together when he is crafting. After tapping a crystal for its stored spell component costs, they dissipate and their magic leaves the crystals.
Craft on the Move (Ex): Upon reaching 3rd level, an artificer is able to continue working on journeys as long as he has the appropriate equipment. The artificer can purchase and outfit a wagon for 5,000 gold pieces that will allow one to continue his work on the road, though nothing beyond the artificer's personal belongings can be stored in the base wagon without getting in the way. In addition with this outfitted wagon the artificer can continue to work on items during periods of travel as long as the situation remains peaceful and the terrain he is traveling on is not severely degraded, where the artificer does not need to constantly drive the wagon, at 50% of his crafting rate. Since this is a specialty wagon, its construction takes one month after it is paid for until it is complete. An artificer may only have one wagon at a time that enables him to Craft on the Move.
Wagon Options: Once the wagon is purchased and fully equipped an individual artificer can purchase certain improvements over the course of his career for it. The costs of the wagon's improvements are expensive since they include everything that is modified. For example, if you add more weight to an overburdened cart, you will split the wheels unless they are reinforced.
Secret Panel: A wagon with a secret panel allows an artificer to store up to two cubic feet or 100 lbs of items that require a DC 25 Search check to be found. The secret panel costs 5,000 gold pieces to be installed into the cart with a DC of 25. For every two additional points the artificer decides to increase the DC the price rises by another 3,000 gold pieces. The DC cannot be changed after the panel is installed, unless it is removed which costs 2,500 gold pieces. A single wagon can possess no more than two secret panel compartments. If the artificer no longer uses a wagon with a secret panel with Craft on the Move, then the apartment becomes nothing more than ordinary extra storage space for the wagon.
Materials Bin: A wagon with a materials bin grants an artificer access to a large locked area where he can store raw materials used in crafting. The materials bin costs 2,500 gold pieces to put into his cart and is large enough to accommodate four cubic feet of material and up to 300 lbs. A material bin can be increased to double the normal size (8 cubic feet and 600 lbs) for an additional 5,000 gold. If the artificer puts a lock on the bin it is created through normal lock procedures. If the artificer no longer uses a wagon with a materials bin with Craft on the Move, then the apartment becomes nothing more than ordinary extra storage space for the wagon.
Energy Expansion (Su): Upon reaching 4th level, an artificer temporarily increases his effective caster level when crafting by 1. Every 4 levels thereafter the artificer gains an additional effective caster level when crafting (2 at 8th, 3 at 12th, 4 at 16th, and 5 at 20th level). The bonus an artificer gets to his effective caster level, however, does not affect the level of spells that he can use.
Identify (Sp): At 4th level the artificer is able to determine an item's magical properties due to his expertise in crafting. He can cast Identify 5 times a day as the spell, except that he does not need to have any of its material components.
Craft Magic Arms and Armor: At 5th level, an artificer gains Craft Magic Arms and Armor as a bonus feat. An artificer need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for Craft Magic Arms and Armor.
Fabricate (Sp): Upon reaching 9th level the artificer is able to materialize crafting materials due to his heightened arcane senses. He can cast fabricate at will with Target: None and determine the end crafting product. Every 4 levels thereafter the artificer gains an additional usage of fabricate each day (2/day at 13th level, 3/day at 17th level).
Spell Resistance (Ex): Upon reaching 10th level, an artificer becomes very resistant to magical energies due to his interactions with magic. The artificer gains spell resistance 10 + his artificer level.
Craft Master (Ex): At 12th level the artificer has reached an extent of his abilities. Any unsuccessful roll for the artificer regarding a Craft Skill enables him to recover half of the item's magic item creation costs. In addition, the craft master gains 5% of the initial magic item creation costs back in the form of an experience crystal.
Analyze Dweomer (Sp): At 14th level, an artificer discerns the nature of magical properties. He can cast analyze dweomer 5 times a day as the spell, except that he does not need to have any of its material components.
|Artificer Power, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Fabricate 4/day
|Artificer Power, Scribe Epic Scroll, Bonus Feats
|Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor
|Artificer Power, Craft Epic Rod, Energy Expansion 6
|Artificer Power, Craft Epic Staff, Fabricate 5/day
|Bonus Feats, Forge Epic Ring
|Artificer Power, Crafting
|Artificer Power, Bonus Feats, Energy Expansion 7
|Artificer Power, Bonus Feats
6 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Epic Mimic Spell (Su): The artificer's class level continues to count as his effective caster level for Mimic Spell and for purposes of epic spells, but it does not give him the ability to use spells in any capacity except in the creation and usage of items.
Epic Artificer Power (Ex): The artificer continues to receive Artificer Power enhancements, as indicated on Table: The Epic Artificer. In addition to the base abilities provided by the Artificer Power options after 20th level the artificer is allowed to substitute the Efficient Item Creation feat for an Artificer Power selection.
Craft Epic Wondrous Item: At 21st level, an artificer gains Craft Epic Wondrous Item as a bonus feat. An artificer need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for Craft Epic Wondrous Item.
Epic Fabricate (Sp): At 21st level, an artificer is able to cast fabricate at will with Target: None and determine the end crafting product 4/day. Every 4 levels thereafter the artificer gains an additional usage of fabricate each day (5/day at 25th level, 6/day at 29th level).
Bonus Feats: The epic artificer gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic artificer bonus feats) at 22nd level and every four levels thereafter.
Epic Artificer Bonus Feat List: Additional Magic Item Space, Armor Skin, Damage Reduction, Efficient Item Creation, Energy Resistance, Epic Endurance, Epic Skill Focus, Fast Healing, Improved Spell Resistance, Polyglot
Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor: At 23rd level, an artificer gains Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor as a bonus feat. An artificer need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor.
Epic Energy Expansion (Su): At 24th level, an artificer continues to increases his effective caster level when crafting to 6 at 24th level, and 7 at 28th level. The bonus an artificer gets to his effective caster level, however, does not effect the level of spells that he can use.
Elven Artificer Starting Package
Weapons: Longbow (composite optional)
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.
|Craft (gem cutting)
|Use Magic Device
Feat: Weapon Focus (Longbow)
Gear: Studded leather, backpack, 2 waterskins, bedroll, tent
Gold: 3d4 gp
Playing an Artificer
Religion: An individual that aspires to be an artificer won't have a preconception of religion. The artificer is a crafter first and foremost, and if they choose to be religious they generally will worship deities for blacksmiths and creators. Other deities that are worshiped by artificers tend to be gods or goddesses dealing with magic, creation, or order. If the artificer is not religious it does not negatively impact his abilities, so it is completely up to the individual whether he adheres to a religion or not.
Combat: An artificer's abilities are primarily limited by his crafting skill, as many enchantments can duplicate abilities of a class. This can help an artificer if he desires to fulfill a specific role, and artificers are quite adept at fulfilling various functions. An artificer can make a suitable ranged and melee combatant, and his treatment of a party's equipment is a welcome support function for all sorts of parties.
Advancement: An artificer's advancements vary greatly depending on their decisions, on their personality, and what they expect to deal with throughout their life. With effort an artificer can qualify for a large number of prestige classes. Consult with your DM about starting an artificer higher than 1st level, since the expertise and disenchantment class features can vary greatly from the standard starting package.
Artificers in the World
|Magic aids me but it does not consume me. The forge is my trusted companion and that is where I offer my prayers and devotions.
|—Gordas Bulsham, Human Artificer
Daily Life: Artificers are masters of crafting unique and powerful items. They make them faster, better, and cheaper than any magic users that dabble in the arts of creation do. However, there is a major drawback that most artificers face; out of all the items they create in any major area only a handful of people can afford them, and likely in smaller communities there is less than a handful of wealthy enough patrons to peddle their wares to. However, just because the artificer specializes in magical creations, this does not mean that he cannot create mundane items and he can craft them with speed and rates of success that surprise most normal individuals. Many blacksmiths despise artificers as they are quite capable of seriously reducing their business while they are nearby. Many armies, however, seek out artificers to join their ranks because of their crafting abilities.
Notable Artificers: Odim Swifthammer, High Artificer for Dwarven Kingdoms
Gordas Bulsham, owns the Lost Bauble, a highly disorganized equipment shop with various magical enchantments. The Lost Bauble has a portal to most major cities and even different planes. Travel can be secured for a small fee.
Organizations: Groups of artificers may organize into guilds for mutual protection if people insist that they are affecting their markets, and then take threats in an effort to get wares cheaper or for free from the artificers. While there is no requirement for an individual to join one of these organizations, they may find it extremely beneficial as this will allow them to receive the protection such a group would offer (a lord who finds he won't have anyone to craft for him, and can't do anything about it, might reconsider trumping up false charges against the character to steal his works).
NPC Reactions: In general NPCs are unlikely to realize that there is anything special about an artificer, as mostly they are looking for mundane items to either be repaired or to purchase things they need when they interface with artificers. In most cases NPCs will simply react to the character like he is a traveling blacksmith, and in most smaller communities an artificer will be hard pressed to find work without alerting NPCs of his broader crafting expertise. In addition, artificers have issues in smaller communities as they may have only a single smith and he might become angered if he is snubbed for a wandering tinkerer. Inhabitants in large cities that have an option between many different smiths may use the artificer if he offers appealing crafting amenities (i.e., churning out the same quality item in half the time is very tempting).
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research artificers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|Artificers are highly skilled craftsmen, and can create items rapidly.
|An artificer can create magical items in a superior fashion to other classes, but does not possess the ability to conjure magic.
|Artificers are able to break down magical items and use the materials remaining to create new magic items.
Artificers in the Game
Artificers are designed to remove a lot of the issues that prevent parties from making their own magical items by improving the barriers of crafting; i.e., their experience expenditures are improved, the long downtime that is associated with crafting for most classes is not as long for artificers. Also, artificers bring versatility and flexibility to a party through a plethora of items, and free up other characters to focus on their specific roles.
As NPCs, artificers are the most likely candidate to run something akin to a "magic item shop" in the world where their campaign began in. Without artificers dealing in the magic item trades, many people view the creation of magical items as a deeply problematic occurrence due to the large expenditures of experience and downtime to create the items. Typical artificer NPCs include retired individuals that have given up on adventuring, and instead uses his crafting abilities full time.
Adaptation: Magical enchantments that can be tailored to the characters should not be underestimated. With this class you can not only add versatility to the party, but at higher levels you are potentially able to fill an additional spot, on top of your initial roles with superior weaponry and moderate expertise. In addition, being able to continue making items on the move removes a lot of downtime that people dislike while you make their items and adds another element of versatility to your party.
Sample encounter: Tryst Farmon was apprenticed as a blacksmith at an early age. He dreamed of being a great warrior and learned everything available from the blacksmith with the hope of making great weapons and armor to wear. At the age of ten a traveling artificer came into town to do some business and found that Tryst had the power to empower weapons and took him on as an apprentice. To the great dislike of the blacksmith, Tryst left his town to adventure with the artificer. He learned quickly and Tryst was well on his way to becoming a capable artificer, when his master's traveling forge was attacked. His master was slain, and he was bound and sold into slavery to a man that insisted he work day and night to outfit his gladiators, until one night Tryst managed to strangle him after an inspection of his forge. Tryst managed to escape the holding areas and ran to a nearby town to buy passage on a caravan heading west, where he once again apprenticed himself to make money to start forging his own gear. Now with all of his equipment assembled he is trying to find the men that killed his master artificer teacher.
|Male Human Artificer 8
|N Medium humanoid (human)
|+4/Listen +2, Spot +2
|19, touch 11, flat-footed 18
(+6 armor, +2 natural armor, +1 Dodge)
|42 (8d6 HD)
|30 ft. (6 squares)
|+1 Longsword +10/+5 (1d8+4/19–20)
|Detect magic at will, identify 5/day, Mimic Spell
|amulet of natural armor +2, belt of giant strength +4, +2 chain shirt, +1 longsword
|Str 12 (16), Dex 10, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 15, Cha 10
|Artificer Power: Material Reduction 20% Experience Reduction 30% Quicken Manufacture x2, Craft on the Move, Energy Expansion 2, Forge Master, Mimic Spell, Rending
|Armor Proficiency (medium), Brew Potion, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, Improved Initiative, Jack of All Trades, Martial Weapon Proficiency (longsword) Simple Weapon Proficiency, Scribe Scroll, Weapon Focus (longsword)
|Appraise +14, Craft (alchemy) +18, Craft (armorsmithing) +18, Craft (weaponsmithing) +18, Craft (varies) +18, Concentration +12, Diplomacy +11, Knowledge (arcane) +12, Sense Motive +13, Use Magic Device +11
|combat gear plus 250gp, bedroll, backpack, Craft on the Move wagon with a base secret panel, grappling hook, rope, tent