Dynamo (5e Subclass)

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Dynamo[edit]

Artificer Subclass

A lightning bolt is perhaps one of the most powerful discharges of energy to occur in nature, magical or otherwise, generating vast quantities of electrical energy. In an attempt to recreate such power, certain Artificers devote their lives and magical craftsmanship towards harnessing and taming the powers of lightning. These individuals, referred to by their namesake gadget, the Dynamo, are living avatars of the storm, channeling otherwise uncontrollable electrical forces to their advantage.

Unlike the other Artificer classes which rely on infusions and magical tools to do their work, Dynamos are purely offensive spell casters who passively generate energy from their surroundings. Specializing in lightning damage output, sustained magic damage and speed-based offense, Dynamos can either be played as a burst DPS class (unusual for an Artificer) or thrive in a protracted engagement using their unique skills, placing buffs onto allies while consistently refreshing their own casting capabilities.

Electrical Affinity[edit]

Starting when you choose this specialisation at 3rd level, you gain a bonus point in two ability scores of your choice.

You also always have certain spells prepared after you reach particular levels in this class, as shown in the Dynamo Spells table below. These spells count as artificer spells for you, but they don’t count against the number of artificer spells you prepare.

At level 20, you also gain one spell slot at 6th level, along with the 6th level spell cascade of thunder as a prepared spell.

Artificer Level Spell Level Spell
3rd Cantrips non-destructive scan, spark shower, static armor
3rd 1st arc bolt, surge
5th 2nd ball lightning, galvanize, Leonardo's pulsing shield
9th 3rd lightning bolt, null bolt
13th 4th Al-Taraj's shockspire, stormstrike
17th 5th accelerate self, lightning spear
20th 6th cascade of thunder

Dynamo[edit]

Starting when you choose this specialisation at 3rd level, you gain the ability to craft and attune a mechanical spell focus (known as a Dynamo) after a long rest (with at least a 1 hour craft time) and 200 gp worth of of metal-based materials. The Dynamo may appear as any object that you can wield or wear on your person, but is most commonly used as a glove or a backpack.

The Dynamo uses up your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier as a spell attack bonus, and your proficiency bonus is increased by a further (max spell level -1).

Static Buildup[edit]

Additionally, the Dynamo builds up Static Points (SP) upon certain actions being made, or done to your character, when your character is in battle. The maximum number of SP you can have is equal to your Artificer level. SP can be used to activate certain special abilities.

The following actions build up SP:

  • Dealing lightning damage to any creature: 1 SP per turn
  • Casting a spell: 1 SP
  • Being hit by any creature: 1 SP
  • Being hit by lightning damage: 1 SP
  • Being hit by a targeted attack towards the Dynamo: 2 SP
  • Moving 60ft: 1 SP

When you are out of combat, you passively discharge SP into the environment around you. Immediately after you exit combat, you discharge 1 SP, and lose an additional 1 SP for every half an hour out of combat.

Overload[edit]

You can continue to gain SP even after your SP maximum, causing all spells or abilities cast with SP after you surpass your SP maximum to deal a bonus (current SP) in damage at the expense of your Intelligence modifier as an spell attack roll penalty.

However once your SP exceeds 50% of your SP maximum, your Dynamo automatically overloads, creating an electrical burst in a 30ft sphere of you dealing (Artificer level/2)d10 lightning damage to all creatures within the area. Once Overloaded, the Dynamo cannot recharge SP until it is repaired over a long rest and with 250 gp of materials.

List of Static Point Abilities[edit]

Static Strike[edit]

Consumes 3 SP per attack

Imbues one of your weapon attacks with lightning damage, dealing a bonus (Max Spell Level)d4 lightning damage when making a melee or ranged attack against a creature with your weapon.

The base attack does not restore any SP, but the lightning damage dealt to the target creature does, provided you use the dynamo as your spellcasting focus.

If used with a wand, the wand fires out a bolt of lightning towards a target creature up to 30/90ft away as a ranged attack, dealing (Max Spell level)d8 + your proficiency bonus in lightning damage on hit.

Static Burst[edit]

Consumes 3 SP per cast

As an action, fire out electrical energy in a 30ft cone in front of you. All targets within the cone must make a Dexterity saving throw, taking (Max Spell Level)d8 + your proficiency bonus in lightning damage on a failed save and half as much damage on a successful one. Consuming 1 additional SP (up to half of your maximum SP) increases the damage output by your proficiency bonus for each SP consumed.

This ability can be used as many times as your Intelligence modifier every short rest.

Additionally, after Artificer Level 9, targets must also make a Strength saving throw or be stunned for 1d4 rounds.

Arc Bolt[edit]

Consumes 4 SP per cast

Casts arc bolt without using up a spell slot, provided you use the dynamo as your spellcasting focus.

This ability can be used as many times as your Intelligence modifier every short rest.

Consumes 2 additional SP per additional spell level above 1st.

Surge[edit]

Consumes 4 SP per cast

Casts surge without using up a spell slot, provided you use the dynamo as your spellcasting focus.

This ability can be used as many times as your Intelligence modifier every short rest.

Consumes 2 additional SP per additional spell level above 1st.

Galvanize[edit]

Consumes 5 SP per cast

Casts galvanize without using up a spell slot, provided you use the dynamo as your spellcasting focus.

This ability can be used as many times as your Intelligence modifier every short rest.

Consumes 2 additional SP per additional spell level above 2nd.

Lightning Rush[edit]

Consumes 5 SP per cast, +1 SP per 10ft travelled

Instantly dashes you up to 30ft away, creating an electric trail in your wake. All creatures within the path take (Max Spell Level)d8 + proficiency bonus in lightning damage, and must make a contest between their Strength or Dexterity saving throw against your Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone.

This ability can be used as many times as your Intelligence modifier -1 (minimum of 1) every short rest, provided you use the dynamo as your spellcasting focus.

Consuming 1 additional SP (up to half of your maximum SP) increases the distance travelled by 10ft.

This spell cannot be casted as a bonus action as a result of surge.

Lightning Conduit[edit]

Consumes 9 SP per cast

When cast, electrical energy surges through you for the next 1 minute. While this surge is active, all spells dealing lightning damage are made at an advantage for the duration, and are treated as being cast at one spell slot level higher (e.g. an arc bolt at a 1st level spell slot will deal the same damage and bounces at a 2nd level spell slot).

The surge is immediately dispelled upon any anti-magic effect being applied, your character being rendered unconscious or incapacitated, or being lifted off the ground.

Faraday Cage[edit]

At 6th level, you can expend 2 SP to gain resistance to any incoming lightning damage as a reaction, provided you use the dynamo as your spellcasting focus and your character is currently standing on solid ground.

Additionally, you are no longer restrained in casting lightning-based targeted spells when underwater, and the spell affects all of its intended targets.

Avatar of Lightning[edit]

At 14th level, you can expend all of your SP (minimum: 10) to transform into a being of pure electrical energy, for a number of turns equal to your expended SP. While in your avatar's form, you cannot gain any further SP, but you gain the following bonuses:

  • Advantage against all saving throws from projectile spell attacks (e.g. dragon's breath)
  • Immunity to lightning damage
    • Any lightning damage received by your character empowers your next Static Point Ability use during your avatar form, as if expending additional SP to increase spell slot level or spell effect potency.
  • Bonus AC equal to your character's Intelligence modifier for the duration
  • All spells cast dealing lightning damage deal a bonus of their base damage die in lightning damage upon initial impact
  • All spells cast dealing lightning damage have your proficiency bonus on a spell attack roll doubled
  • As an action, you can use any of your Static Point abilities without expending any SP, but can only use them at their base level
  • As a bonus action, you can use either a 1st Level Static Strike or Static Burst

At the end of the transformation, you make an Intelligence (Arcana) saving throw to prevent your dynamo from overloading, with a DC equal to the number of SP expended. On a successful save, the dynamo is temporarily disabled until your next short rest; otherwise, Overload is triggered.


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