Artificer Help (3.5)

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hey, I'm looking for some help for my artificer, I have been pretty good at finding what I need to get the most out of this class but I've found sites that contradict each other and my DM's books. I'll try to ask everything at once, sorry for being so helpless, I'm new to D&D.

1) Question about Scrolls:

-Ok, so I am a level 2 artificer, I made a couple Cure Moderate Wounds scrolls & Ray of Scorching scrolls (lvl.2 spells)... can I use them? I've read somewhere that you can only use scrolls of a level half of your level but the books (3.5 players handbook and DM Guide book) do not specify that I can find anyway. What is the max spell level scroll I can use at the following levels: 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th.

2) Question about Potions/Oils:

-Do potions have a similar problem like scrolls? Any level restrictions on creating and/or using potions?

-I know that the limits on potions and oils are they cannot have a range of personal and they must be used (meaning no potion of fireball kind of BS) but are there any others?

-I also have contradictory costs on making potions, the book says that the calculation is 12.5gp x caster level x spell level but then the table right under it shows different costs for different kinds of spells. Can someone tell me what the costs are for making potions at any given level? Also if I make a Cure Light Wounds potion at level 2 (it is a level 1 spell) is there an advantage to being a higher level when making it?

Finally I know at level 3 I get to Craft Wonderous Items, do I have to put a rank or more in Craft (Wonderous Item) to be able to make items? Also if I don't what would my bonus be on DC checks? (my INT mod. is 4, and I have 4 extra from bonuses on all crafts)

Thanks in advance for your help.

1.  I REALLY need to read up on how an artificer would use scrolls he creates.  Excluding any class feature allowing him to use scrolls I'd assume he does it use the Use Magical Device skill which has its own set of rules.  Note a few recent threads have done scrolls at some point but you don't really want any part of them.

2.  Potions and Oils can only contain up to 3rd-level spells although they could be made with higher caster levels.  A scroll can have a spell of any level on it.  For a given spell scrolls are cheaper and can contain a much wider range of effects BUT the advantage to potions and oils is that almost anyone can use them while scroll take some special care.

Again, I need to look at the artificer to be specific to that class but a reason you may see multiple cost calculations is because one may figure the construction cost and another the market value cost which should be about twice the construction cost.  An artificer may even get a price break which could be where the 12.5gp x CL x spell level comes in for a potion which I believe should cost twice that much to make.

I thought the "normal" price to brew a potion was 25gp x CL x spell level plus some XP based on that.

Making a potion at a higher CL is just like casting it at that higher CL.  I certain do NOT recommend you brew a potion of CLW a level higher because it doubles the cost for just a single point more in healing.  The times you may want to use a higher CL then the minimum is when it will significantly increase the duration of an effect or if you'll get a lot bigger BANG for those added levels.  The oils of greater magic weapon and shield of faith are two examples where using a higher CL can provide big gains as then not only increase how long they last but they also increase the bonus the oil provides which otherwise wouldn't stack.

There is no "Craft (Wonderous Item)" skill.  Most of the things you'd turn into Wonderous Magic Items are just masterwork items created through the normal craft skills.  I don't even think you need to make them yourself.
 
thanks for the help StevenO, it makes sense about the cost of the item versus the cost for the materials.

The only thing I need to know is what is the minimum level I need to be to use a Level 2 Scroll. Just to remind everyone I am an Artificer at level 2.

Also about potions/oils: I know that I can choose to lower my level in cost calculations to make items cheaper but if I don't then what are the benefits?

For example I am a level 2 artificer making a Cure Light Wounds Scroll (level 1 cure spell that restores 1d8 + 1/level (max 5)). If I keep myself considered level 2 for the cost of making the scroll the price would be doubled, if I do that does the amount it heals go up? Are there any advantages to doubling my cost?
You have to be high enough level to make the Use Magic Device checks for scrolls. You have no spell list, so you have to use UMD for staves, wands, scrolls, etc.
The only advantage to CLW with caster level 2 instead of 1 is that it heals an average of 6.5hp (1d8+2) instead of 5.5 (1d8+1). It's not worth the cost.
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Artificer scrolls are a mess!
Normally:
www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/scrolls.ht...

Activate the Spell

Activating a scroll requires reading the spell from the scroll. The character must be able to see and read the writing on the scroll. Activating a scroll spell requires no material components or focus. (The creator of the scroll provided these when scribing the scroll.) Note that some spells are effective only when cast on an item or items. In such a case, the scroll user must provide the item when activating the spell. Activating a scroll spell is subject to disruption just as casting a normally prepared spell would be. Using a scroll is like casting a spell for purposes of arcane spell failure chance.


To have any chance of activating a scroll spell, the scroll user must meet the following requirements.



  • The spell must be of the correct type (arcane or divine). Arcane spellcasters (wizards, sorcerers, and bards) can only use scrolls containing arcane spells, and divine spellcasters (clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers) can only use scrolls containing divine spells. (The type of scroll a character creates is also determined by his or her class.)

  • The user must have the spell on his or her class list.

  • The user must have the requisite ability score.


If the user meets all the requirements noted above, and her caster level is at least equal to the spell’s caster level, she can automatically activate the spell without a check. If she meets all three requirements but her own caster level is lower than the scroll spell’s caster level, then she has to make a caster level check (DC = scroll’s caster level + 1) to cast the spell successfully. If she fails, she must make a DC 5 Wisdom check to avoid a mishap (see Scroll Mishaps, below). A natural roll of 1 always fails, whatever the modifiers.


So you can cast spells with a higher level than yours, if you feel lucky punk ;p


If you don't meet these requirement you have to use Use Magic Device skill:


www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/useMagicDevice...


BTW Artificers don't cast arcane nor divine spells. They cast infusions. So you better get really aquainted with the UMD rules. (also activate blindly is for unidentified items)


So you want to craft (scribe) scrolls now? You're screwed again. Artificer created scrolls are neither divine nor arcane. Your cleric or wizard can't use them, only with UMD skill (artificers get +2 to UMD checks with items they have a craft feat for making). Some "harsh" DMs would have the Artificer roll UMD checks to use his own scrolls that he created. This was done to prevent abuse by wizards scribing their Artificer buddy's scrolls into their spellbook and gaining any spell they wanted. My group houseruled otherwise. Instead of Artificer scrolls being not arcane nor divine, we decided that they contained a flaw that made them unscribable (to spellbooks as new spells). They still retained proper arcane or divine status in other ways and sell value too ;p


But let's get back to creating them. You get a +2 level bonus as Artificer when you craft (any) magic items. This means you can craft a Fireball scroll when you're 3rd level instead of 5th (for wizards). But you create a weak fireball with only 3d6 damage. Also you have to roll a UMD check to make the scroll. You can't use infusions to scribe scrolls, you can't make a scroll of Light even though you have a Light infusion in your spell list. Supposedly it's not the same(:/), so you have to fake it with UMD. You can fake all spells, and create any item that requires any spells. You just fake it. You only get 1 roll though per 1000gp of base value plus one last ditch attempt roll. If you fail... congrats you just wasted half the base value in gold (that's the total material cost) and some XP too for good measure. The only safe way early on is to get other casters, PC or NPC, to help you craft items. They cast the spells needed and you do the rest. Cooperation is nice. Some DMs even allow XP cost sharing.


www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/creatingMa...


Base Price of Potions is 50 × level of spell × level of caster (in gold pieces). Crafting a potion costs half that in gp and a character creating an item pays 1/25 the base price in experience points. Maybe you got confused with scrolls which are half that.


StevenO is right about the rest.


Craft Wondrous Item is a feat you get at 3rd level free as artificer. It's not a skill. It allows you to create any wondrous item. Crafting the mundane item (like bracers) is usually easy and subsumed in the gold pieces cost of the enchantment process (Magic Supplies Cost). These items are not always considered masterwork (usually most aren't), only weapons and armor and shields have to be masterwork quality. Most wondrous items require a low DC skill check as appropriate (crafts and professions usually), sculpting, sewing, jewlery, carpentry, etc. You can take 10 in craft skills so they're easy to make, or you can just have them made by a professional artisan. Most DMs subsume this cost into the Magic Supplies Cost.



PS: google for DnD3.5Index-Infusions-Artificer.pdf it made my life simple as a new artificer, currently lvl 3 >.<

Thanks Simanos for your help, I do have one more question about crafts this time.

In what ways are there to improve my craft checks? I know of Wieldskill (+10 competence bonus to any skill [lvl.1 cleric spell]) and of Divine Insight (5+caster level insight bonus to any skill [lvl.2 cleric spell]) and of course the Masterwork Artisan Tools (+2 circumstance bonus to crafts) but are there any others that would help? I would prefer not to waste a feat or whatever on a small boost but any help at all (even a feat) would be appriciated.

Thanks.
You can opt to take a 10 or even a 20 on a skill check provided time isn't a giant issue and you are not under pressure. Another way to boost it (although slightly cheesy) is an intelligent item familiar that's how you see artificers with checks well over 50 before the roll (generally you would do it for UMD)
There's an arcane effect from the Castle BUilder's Guide. Basically, a permanent Haste spell in a room for doubling the speed at which you work.


Don't forget apprentices (+2 per meaningful help, usually limited to 3), skill synergies (+2 or higher, depending on ranks) and racial bonuses (dwarves with stone, dwarf paragon levels, etc).

And of course various feats, esp Skill Focus, give bonuses to multiple Crafts.

And a purchased Competence item to a craft check can get as high as +20 pre-Epic 

=+Aelryinth     
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
You can opt to take a 10 or even a 20 on a skill check provided time isn't a giant issue and you are not under pressure. Another way to boost it (although slightly cheesy) is an intelligent item familiar that's how you see artificers with checks well over 50 before the roll (generally you would do it for UMD)

You may need to check twice about using "take 20" with a craft skill.  I thought that if you rolled poorly enough you lose progress on the item and may even need to start over.  Now even if "take 20" IS allowed on a craft check you wll need to pay x20 more to use it.

Now "take 10" on a skill check should be a no-brainer assuming that is going to be enough to make most rolls and after just a few levels it probably should be.  What is there that is over DC 20 to craft?

 
You can opt to take a 10 or even a 20 on a skill check provided time isn't a giant issue and you are not under pressure. Another way to boost it (although slightly cheesy) is an intelligent item familiar that's how you see artificers with checks well over 50 before the roll (generally you would do it for UMD)

You may need to check twice about using "take 20" with a craft skill.  I thought that if you rolled poorly enough you lose progress on the item and may even need to start over.  Now even if "take 20" IS allowed on a craft check you wll need to pay x20 more to use it.

Now "take 10" on a skill check should be a no-brainer assuming that is going to be enough to make most rolls and after just a few levels it probably should be.  What is there that is over DC 20 to craft?

 



yeah I thought that you could only take a 20 if there was ample time and no consequences for failing (like searching the house of a man you just killed) in crafting I believe that since there is the possibility of screwing up and that you have to concentrate and whatnot you could only take a 10.

I found a spell online which raises my competence bonus to +20 (Guidence of the Avatar - Level 2 Cleric) so in total I get these boosts:

10 (skill modifier)
+10 (taking a 10)
+2 (masterwork tools)
+20 (Guidence of the Avatar)
+5+Caster Level (Divine Insight)

=47+ caster level + (2*number of helpers)

so basically I can make any 250gp item is a week. (1000gp worth of an item a month)

Right now I'm still looking for spells or items that will increase any bonuses that are not Competence or Insight (since they are really high anyway)

to StevenO (great name btw) : I raise the DC to craft stuff by 10 as much as I can without rolling the d20 to hasten the process. So using a Masterwork Full Plate Armor as an example (+8 AC, 1500gp + 150gp for masterwork) the DC is 18 but now I can increase it all the way to 48 (or even 58 if I want to risk it) to get more sp done and finish the item MUCH faster. With 2 helpers at level 2 I get a check of 53... multiply by 48 and I complete 2544sp in one week (that is over 15% of the item a week).

oh and aelryinth, what is the haste spell thing your talking about? I couldn't find it on google. lol.

thanks to everyone for their posts.
Happy Holidays.
...
yeah I thought that you could only take a 20 if there was ample time and no consequences for failing (like searching the house of a man you just killed) in crafting I believe that since there is the possibility of screwing up and that you have to concentrate and whatnot you could only take a 10.

...snip...

to StevenO (great name btw) : I raise the DC to craft stuff by 10 as much as I can without rolling the d20 to hasten the process. So using a Masterwork Full Plate Armor as an example (+8 AC, 1500gp + 150gp for masterwork) the DC is 18 but now I can increase it all the way to 48 (or even 58 if I want to risk it) to get more sp done and finish the item MUCH faster. With 2 helpers at level 2 I get a check of 53... multiply by 48 and I complete 2544sp in one week (that is over 15% of the item a week).


Some people do forget about the conditions needed for take 20 and take 10.  I mean take 10 can be used just about anytime although during combat is the pretty obvious exception (although there are ways to take 10 then in some things) but take 20 has a lot more exclusions.  Besides the time and cost there is that little "bad failure" issue that some people like to use with take 10 as well.  While I support using "take 20" when time allow I often avoid it when financial considerations are made.  On the other hand I often advise people to take twice as long doing something so that can "take 10" and roll once; this gets the security of using "take 10" but the possiblity of a good roll.

That name is my own so it had better be good.

I guess I didn't consider that you can speed up a character's work by increasing the DC.  It makes sense for someone who makes a living using the skills but I don't think about it for PCs because they often have all the time they need or they don't have enough time at all.
 
I would like to add that if you craft something over a day+ (8 hours of work or more) you can't use a spell or something that lasts like 10 minutes. You can't just buff up before you make the roll. The roll signifies your entire work. So make sure all those spells you listed work, I don't know.
Also there's a 1st level infusion called Skill Enhancement that gives a nice Circumstance bonus to any skill you want, but only for 10 minutes/lvl.
As I said, it's in the Castle builder's Guide, one of the fantastic Architecture peices. Don't remember the cost, but it doubles your crafting speed, i.e. twice as much gold/day.

==Aelryinth
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you