Alchemist Artificer did damage 1 last night, help!

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Hey guys, so last night one of the players at my table, an artificer, found himself feeling less than efficant, pointed out so clearly when his clockwork bomb did only 1 damage.
The world supports gun (that are reflavored crossbows) and he is a Goblin (a reflavored Githzeri)
The character concept is a gun slinging alchemist that infuses alchemicals into his ammo. Using the Alchemist Theme.

Are there known pitfalls for the alchmist, and are there must haves, he doesn't have to have damage like the ranger in the group, but we'ed like him to feel affective.

Oh and we are chrop newbs so if you use the pet names for builds or short form much of anything Ill just have to ask what it means, so keep that in mind!

Thanks guys!
In the Nentir Vale, all injured creatures are required to wear a name tag!
The known pitfall for alchemy is existing.  It's a trap.

He should be giving the rest of the party big bonuses to attack and damage with powers like Magic Weapon or Punishing Eye, not wasting his time with clockwork bombs.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Alchemy is pretty bad for combat, even with all the trimmings.  It's got some nice out of combat utility though.

Ranger's do the most damage in the game.  No one's gunna catch them.  Artificer's heal though, and can "deal" a fair bit of damage by using "magic weapon" on the ranger.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Does the striker in your group feel less than efficient because he didn't heal anyone or grant anyone else any bonuses?

If your player is going to judge his character based on damage output, he's playing the wrong role.

EDIT: That sounded snooty on re-read. :-) Not trying to troll, but based on what you've said, my suggestion is to see if you can rework the idea to be a striker, instead - or to help him judge his characters "usefulness" by his roles *actual* contributions.
yeah we are not looking to make him a striker, but a ranger is good at his role in a way the artificer seems not to be good at being a leader... we need the artificer to feel effective in his role...

So has anyone seen a atrificer build they found be be done Very well?
In the Nentir Vale, all injured creatures are required to wear a name tag!
yeah we are not looking to make him a striker, but a ranger is good at his role in a way the artificer seems not to be good at being a leader... we need the artificer to feel effective in his role...

So has anyone seen a atrificer build they found be be done Very well?



Well maybe it would help if you explain why you think he isn't very good as a leader, because the only example you provide is doing poor damage with an alchemical item and that has very little to do with being a leader.
yeah we are not looking to make him a striker, but a ranger is good at his role in a way the artificer seems not to be good at being a leader... we need the artificer to feel effective in his role...

So has anyone seen a atrificer build they found be be done Very well?

Artificer's do just fine.  Again, use magic weapon on the ranger to see instant results.

It's alchemy that fails (in combat, again, there's some good utility).

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I'm going to assume that you're still in Heroic tier. If so, the answer is really to play intelligently. There isn't any reason why any Artificer1 run by a competent player can't effectively lead during heroic tier.

1 excluding the case of the trap of Alchemy. Sorry, you found the exception.
as a leader we have found two problems, one the party doesn't need assistance with attack rolls, the ranger is build to hit, and seems to do so most of the time, and the other striker the warlock who needs a bit more help, is never near the artificer, infact no one is near the artificer, because ranger and warlock are running around in cover or concealment... the Warlord in the fray is getting some magic weapon but thats useless when he gives his attack away (and outshines the artificer as a leader)
In the Nentir Vale, all injured creatures are required to wear a name tag!
Are there known pitfalls for the alchmist, and are there must haves, he doesn't have to have damage like the ranger in the group, but we'ed like him to feel affective.


Well, trying to use alchemical items consistently in combat is expensive. That's a big one. The Alchemist theme helps somewhat by giving you a free one each encounter but it's only one.

Depending on your level and investment, your attack rolls with alchemical items may fall behind your base attack rolls, which is not good considering that most alchemical item effects are sub-par compared to your own class powers. Again, the theme helps here if you're high enough level. Alchemy Gloves from the Gadgeteer's Garb item set in Adventurer's Vault 2 also helps, as well as the Alchemist Savant paragon path in the Eberron Player's Guide.

Similar to the last one, the damage on alchemical items is fixed, and the effects are usually not worth the standard action. Anyone with an area burst power is better off using that power over a clockwork bomb. Your accuracy and damage would be better, and the power will probably have rider effects on it. Also, it won't cost you money to use.

In the Paragon Tier, you can use the Alchemist theme with the Alchemist Savant paragon path to make alchemy items for free. The theme and the path will cover the expense issue of using alchemy items and the accuracy issue. But that's at later levels.

Your player would be better off using his own powers and envisioning them as the results of his alchemical formulas. If he's going to use alchemy, he should probably focus on out-of-combat utility items.

Teamwork is important. I can't say that it is the Artificer or the party's fault; but the party needs to be aware that there are buffs to be had, and the giving can be good if they allow it to be. For instance:

The Warlord grants attacks: Why isn't he granting attacks to whoever has the magic weapon buff? The buffs should stack. Is the party clustering up or spreading out? You're going to want a bit of clustering. Is the Ranger ranged or melee? Either way, the Artificer should be job shadowing the Ranger. It doesn't matter that the ranger can hit. It matters that the Ranger can hit better and can hit more often: those damage bonuses add up.

The problem is that you're comparing (what I expect) are early level Warlords and early level Artificers. Warlords are going to be stronger. It's an unideal fact. At higher levels, you'll see the Artificer start to make a bigger difference because #1: Warlords going to grant even more attacks and those attacks should be buffed by the Artificer, #2: Artificer gains some strong control powers, #3 Artificer gains stronger buffs.
If he really likes the alchemy flavour, just houserule a bit and let him craft magical ammunition as though they were alchemical items. Some of that stuff can be pretty decent in combat.
You just need more party cooperation.  The artificer needs to try to keep up with at least one striker, and it's worth the strikers' while to let him.

Magic weapon adds damage as well as a bonus to attack. That damage adds to both shots of Twin Strike, as well as the extra attack handed out by the warlord.

If he's a goblin though, he may not have much in his secondary stat (CON or WIS).  That's going to hurt him in the long run because your secondary is pretty important for an Artificer.  Come to think of it, goblin is probably one of the worst choices period for an artificer.

Honestly, since you already have a leader, I'd suggest he just try a different class if he wants to stick with the goblin alchemist concept.  A fun alternative could be a wild magic sorcerer, with the chaotic powers described as different contraptions he's firing off.  Oftentimes the best solution to fitting a character concept is to "refluff" an existing class into what you want, rather than just playing an artificer because they seem like the class that best fits an alchemist.
The character concept is a gun slinging alchemist that infuses alchemicals into his ammo. Using the Alchemist Theme.

Thanks guys!

Alchemy is pointless in combat without Alchemist Savant.

With it, there's some fun things worth doing. Look at the Thunder Lizards in my .sig.
@Scatterbrained: I think his actual race choice is githzerai, but in-game he's playing it as a goblin.
If he really likes the alchemy flavour, just houserule a bit and let him craft magical ammunition as though they were alchemical items. Some of that stuff can be pretty decent in combat.



This is a really great suggestion, the artificer using his crossbow with 'Alchemical Ammunition" (reflavored magical ammunition) would do wonders for his ability to hit, deal interesting effects with decent damage and help support his team mates.  Powers like Punishing Eye, Magic Weapon and Spike Wire (assuming Heroic Tier) will do amazing things.  Feats like Mark of Healing can help save allys from nasty effects.
Yeah, focus on the Artificer powers and call them alchemy. If you're using your standard action for alchemy, you're not using it on leader powers. That said, there are some worthwhile alchemy options, just not (generally) in the attack formulae (maybe Clinging Essence, Woundpatches, Tension Wheels, Kinetic Oil, etc.). Furthermore, the Alchemy can make you quite versatile if you know what you're about to encounter next (to prep items to deal with resistances, particular energy types, terrain problems, etc.).
If the Ranger and Warlock are running around finding concealment/cover, they are the problem.  Delaying combat by actively making one character less effective is poor teamwork. Of course, the Artificer could just run after them (or stand next to the Defender and make the strikers jealous). Warlords have a huge advantage in the lazy department, they require all of 1 ally with a good basic attack to function well, Artificers are a bit more picky in terms of positioning; but the Artificer is always going to pale in comparison to the Warlord as a leader just like the Warlock is always going to pale in comparison to the Ranger as a striker.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
but the Artificer is always going to pale in comparison to the Warlord as a leader just like the Warlock is always going to pale in comparison to the Ranger as a striker.

I disagree with this.  Play a Superior Crossbow wielding Battle Engineer handing out +5 to +7 to hit to the whole party every fight (Greater Magic Weapon), you won't pale in comparison to any leader.  (Not to mention surgeless healing, recharing items, and loads of free temps).  Sure, a good Warlord might still be better, but its pretty close and the Artificer/Battle Engineer doesn't "pale in comparison."  IMO, the bigger difference is that there are many more paths for Warlords, Artificers have a few well-worn ones.

For the original poster, I would recommend going ranged weapon (or a weapon that can be both) and buffing with magic weapon in heroic.  Take punishing eye too -- that is a great level 1 daily; and look at some of the immediate action attacks -- very nice, especially since you might be spamming magic weapon anyway.  Also, don't neglect the daily recharge feature -- get 2 uses out of the party's best magic weapons and make sure the party remembers it gets temps with daily magic item uses.  Another nice feature.

Artificers, despite a limited number of powers and feats, are still quite strong and fun too.


Daren       

I didn't say Artificer's weren't good, nor did I say that about Warlocks. They just will never be as good as another class (Warlord and Ranger, respectively) given equal optimization, without additional relevant content.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
yeah we are not looking to make him a striker, but a ranger is good at his role in a way the artificer seems not to be good at being a leader... we need the artificer to feel effective in his role...

So has anyone seen a atrificer build they found be be done Very well?



Try a different class. If you're the DM, rule that alchemical items used as ammo count as RBAs (unless they already do) and then use a weapon RBA using class. Hunter Ranger or Skald Bard are examples.

And with the theme, alchemy isn't as much a trap as it used to be.

Also, for ammo, you coulde also have the player look into magical ammo, reflavoured as alchemical ammo.


The Skald option, btw, allows the character to be an alchemical ammo using strong leader powers. And, IIRC, it's possible to get an even higher attack bonus with alchemical attacks than with normal attacks.

Also consider making the "make a free alchemical item in each short rest" feature from the theme better. That is, increase the number of items he can make for free. I'd suggest two at level one, three at level 5 and four at level 10. And then reducing their cost by half. Maybe let him use his int mod and stuff to add to damage with alchemical items. maybe as a feat.

And definately let him make magic ammo with the alchemist feat.
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Do you have the Alchemist theme?  You can use it, and various feats and things, to boost alchemy to the point where it's not totally awful - but generally you would have done better to use the resources you invested boosting something which is better to start off with.
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Okay, so we went with the solution many suggested of magical ammo flavored as alchemicals. This not only allows us to make more sense of resources, but keeps in line with the flavor of a gun slinging alchemical artificer.
Secondly we refocused the powers to mostly buff the warlord to deal damage through defence as he is the only one in melee combat. We focused on powers that create busts from the Warlords armor, up his AC, and deal damage when he is hit.(AW:ethereal chill, thundering armor E: drain speed D: flameburst armor)

Alchemical items will be used mostly out of combat, and feats were given to allow a crossbow (reflavored to guns) as his impliment, and master mixer so that we have access to higher lvl formulas.

Thanks for your help everyone!
In the Nentir Vale, all injured creatures are required to wear a name tag!