Dragon 365 - Playtest: Artificer

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Artificer Playtest

Artificers learn to channel magic into items by using complex chains of sigils and diagrams or by using magical materials. With their skills, they can assemble the perfect magical object for any situation.
By Logan Bonner, Mike Mearls and David Noonan
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Artificer impressions (cross-posted on other thread on this topic, and emailed to WotC)

I wanted to give you some general feedback on the class.

First off, no other class has only two important attributes; all other classes have three. This helps prevent uniformity. As such, the Artificer should rely on three attributes as well.

The Restorative Formula power is a totally standard leader power. Unfortunately, I think this is part of the problem; all leaders basically have this exact same power, and there’s nothing particularly unique about it.

Curative Admixture is very cool, but the payment of the healing surge for the HP is a pretty poor trade – while at low levels the temporary HP are about equal to a healing surge worth, at level 30, even assuming you started out with 18 constitution, took the demigod paragon path, and increased your constitution at every opportunity, you’re looking at your allies gaining +15 temporary hit points at the cost of a healing surge per person who does so. At that point, even a wizard gets twice that per healing surge. I already can see the whining of PCs at mid to high levels as the Artificer “wastes” their healing infusion on this power, and I wouldn’t blame them.

What I think might be more interesting is to remove the Restorative Formula power entirely, and give the Artificer JUST the Curative Admixture. I’d make the admixture restore real hit points rather than granting temporary hit points, and have some other side benefit, like, say, getting to make a saving throw against an effect on them which a save could end. This helps distinguish the Artificer from other leaders somewhat.

The problem, of course, is whether or not this is good for the game. After all, the game was designed with the former leader power in mind; will the latter leader power work out alright? I don’t really know. But having all the leaders have a cookie-cutter power seems like a recipe for excessive uniformity.

Another possibility would be to make the Restorative Formula power not heal extra hit points, but instead provide a +2 bonus to all defenses until the end of the artificer’s next turn, +3 at 6th level, +4 at 11th level, +5 at 16th level, +6 at 21st level, and +7 at 26th level, and additionally allow the target to make a saving throw against an ongoing effect, and ditch the Curative Admixture entirely (thus saving the multiheal power for another later leader class).

The idea of Artifices is cute but ultimately I don’t think it’s a good one. Having to keep track of the HP of an extra object (or multiple objects) is an unnecessary level of complication; why not just make them conjurations and not have to add weird special and completely unnecessary rules for them?

Dancing Weapon seems uncomfortably similar to Spiritual Weapon in functionality; I don’t like how similar the two are, and Dancing Weapon seems to be a fair bit better, more on the lines of the power of Mordenkainen’s Sword, a Wizard 9 daily.

Are there specific rules somewhere for how walking across a bridge/up a spiral staircase/ect. works for Phantom Structure? It seems like a kind of cool power, but I can see people getting confused as to how it’d work.

Runic Resistance is too complicated to keep track of. I’d recommend making it so that the Artificer chooses which element all allies in the area gain resistance against; otherwise everyone has to remember their own, but if it is all the same it is easier to remember.

Lightning Motes is confusing; either make it deal 10 lightning damage ongoing or make it deal 5 lightning damage ongoing. Dealing 5 at the beginning of their turn then 5 more every time they fail their saving throw is more complicated than it needs to be and is more work to remember; make it deal all damage upfront, whatever that value is. If you made it deal 10 ongoing, the damage of the power overall increases by +5, so decreasing the damage from the hit itself by two die sizes would make it deal approximately the same damage overall, while being a good bit simpler to deal with and having fewer memory issues.

Earth’s Embrace’s effect should read: “You slide the primary target 3 squares and then make a secondary attack”. It also seems too good at basically stunning groups of foes – crash into a bunch of brutes, and any brute you hit (if they’re medium sized) is effectively stunned. Any creature without reach or a ranged attack is, in essence, stunned, and that’s bad as powers of that level simply don’t do that – not encounter powers at any rate.

Strangling Rope has a lot of unnecessarily complicated text on it. Make it cost +3 squares to move in instead of the slow + difficult terrain effect; its much simpler that way and fairly similar.

Burrowing Projectile is borderline in terms of stuff to keep track of.

Armor of Acid just says “The ally gains resist 15 acid.” The lack of duration will confuse people; make it last until the end of the artificer’s next turn so as to keep the power simple and consistent.

Trio of Biting Blades is somewhat confusing; if the target moves AND attacks in the same turn, do they take 10 or 20 damage? It should be worded like the paladin’s divine challenge power so that it only happens once per turn, and it will be much clearer that way. If it really is supposed to deal 20 damage, then split it up into two sentences so that it is clearer that it is supposed to apply separately to each.

Grave-Cloud Dust, as written, is confusing. Its hit section should read thusly: “2d10 + Intelligence modifier necrotic damage. Each ally in the burst regains hit points equal to half the damage roll and gains a +1 power bonus to attack rolls and all defenses until the end of your next turn.” Saying “half the damage roll” rather than “half the damage” is clearer as to what it is supposed to do.

Bitterfrost Bolt should say “gains vulnerable 10” instead of “takes vulnerable 10” in its hit section. Same for its miss section: “gains vulnerable 5” instead of “takes vulnerable 5”.

Rod of Runic Resistance has a typo; it says level 2+ at the top but should actually say level 8+.

The Ingot Liberatis does something it shouldn’t; namely give away a paladin class ability to wizards, warlocks, and artificers. The power should be made daily, otherwise you’re really cheapening the value of the paladin’s channel divinity class feature, especially given you’re handing it out to wizards and warlocks as well, classes which aren’t really noted for their leader abilities.
Artificer impressions (cross-posted on other thread on this topic, and emailed to WotC)

I wanted to give you some general feedback on the class.

First off, no other class has only two important attributes; all other classes have three. This helps prevent uniformity. As such, the Artificer should rely on three attributes as well.

Keep in mind that the playtest article only gives us a single Artificer build - therfore it only offers uniformity. Because of that two "important" stats is enough for this article.

It would seem the "full" Artificer will have at least one other build, and therefore have a choice of important stats like every other class.

Other than that your review is pretty comprehensive. Have you e-mailed a copy to [email]dndinsider@wizards.com[/email]? Quoting the article:
Because this class isn’t done, though, we’re also asking for your feedback. If you have comments on the artificer, feel free to send them to [email]dndinsider@wizards.com[/email]. Include the subject line “Artificer Playtest Feedback” in the subject line, and be specific! If your comments are of the “I just don’t like it” or “I think it’s great” nature, that won’t help us make this class the best it can be. The more specific you are in the nature of your comments, the better. So dig deep and tap that inner game designer!

I think your feedback qualifies.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Shame with only two At-Will Powers you won't see anyone playtesting it with a human. Still nice to have the opportunity to playtest it at all.
Shame with only two At-Will Powers you won't see anyone playtesting it with a human. Still nice to have the opportunity to playtest it at all.

I was already in the process of creating a human artificer when I also noticed this. Any suggestions on what at-will power could be used as a substitute?

I'm probably going for a variation of a warlord power as the artificer seem to be of the same function as that class.
Artificer impressions (cross-posted on other thread on this topic, and emailed to WotC)

I wanted to give you some general feedback on the class.

First off, no other class has only two important attributes; all other classes have three. This helps prevent uniformity. As such, the Artificer should rely on three attributes as well.

I would hope this is because we are only seeing the powers that suit the Battlesmith Artificer build, who is Constitution and Intelligence. If it really is only two then I think there is a problem. I would imagine the other build is Intelligence and XXXXX, and the other powers we aren't seeing yet favour that other stat.

Rod of Deadly Casting. Exploding 10s, even on crit damage, is very "swingy" and I thought 4th Ed was about removing those sort of factors. That make it hard to balance an encounter. It compares with a Vorpal Sword, but that is ONLY available as a level 30 +6 enhancement item, the exploding isn't available at lower level. I'm not sure introducing exploding dice with a 2nd level item is a good idea. It seems to me exploding dice need to remain in the Epic tier there if a dice explodes it is as big a swing as your base damage is likely to be much higher anyway, at low levels it could dramatically effect the damage.

Does Reparation Apparatus look a little strong? It's a property that is always on, the only similar item is Symbol of Life that does the same sort of thing as a daily as well as adding to attacks and damage for Prayers. Unfortunately until we get the magic item book we haven't got a lot to compare it with. Wouldn't an implement with this ability as a daily be more suitable?
I'm getting a sort of a green arrow vibe (sort of like the Green Lantern vibe you may get from reading Incarnum.. not really 'the same' but there's some similar ideas)

I mean, you can fire a device out of your crossbow which has an effect on - Arcane Springboard may as well be called "Trampoline Arrow".. except.. an Artificier can't use martial or superior ranged weapons with proficiency. You would think that a class so dependent on ranged weapons wouldn't be limited to a hand crossbow or sling.


Hm.. a Reparation Apparatus works if you're a cleric healing a Warforged, or am I reading that wrong?
Hm.. a Reparation Apparatus works if you're a cleric healing a Warforged, or am I reading that wrong?

Yes it does, and so instantly makes Warforged working with any Leader with these gloves a much better combo. It thought they were a little strong just being for the Artificer, I hadn't even thought of Clerics and Warlords using them.

A Warforged Fighter could use them on themselves with Comeback Strike, and even arguably something like Boundless Endurance.

I suppose since anyone can use them (on a Warforged) with any healing power they are at least balanced among the classes, it just means Warforged are now much better at being healed than any other race. To me that makes them unbalanced.

Unless of course there is a similar item coming in the magic item book that allows healing for any character, in which case why have these gauntlets?
Or, you can go the obvious path of Warforged Artificier/Warforged Lifeseeker, wear the gloves, and have super-power healing yourself
I think the point is with these gauntlets the Warforged suddenly has a much greater hit point reserve than any other race. Hence to me it seems very unbalanced.
I think the point is with these gauntlets the Warforged suddenly has a much greater hit point reserve than any other race. Hence to me it seems very unbalanced.

First people complain the Warforged is nerfed, now they complain its imbalanced!
I think the point is with these gauntlets the Warforged suddenly has a much greater hit point reserve than any other race. Hence to me it seems very unbalanced.

Well, considering how much hp monsters have now. Magic items are stronger as well. And if the warforged artificer always healed himself, the party will die. If the warforged is the fighter and taking all the damage then he gets the extra healing boost. It would howeverm be unbalanced if everyone suddenly had this bonus.
First people complain the Warforged is nerfed, now they complain its imbalanced!

I'm not claiming the Warforged is unbalanced just this item on it's own makes a the race much better than others at recovering hit points, hence the item needs fixing.

Now that fix could be an items that gives similar healing to all races, but then it's power creep, or it could be making this a daily ability like the Symbol of Life.

But yeah feel free to complain when people provide feedback after it was requested in the article.
I'm not claiming the Warforged is unbalanced just this item on it's own makes a the race much better than others at recovering hit points, hence the item needs fixing.

Now that fix could be an items that gives similar healing to all races, but then it's power creep, or it could be making this a daily ability like the Symbol of Life.

But yeah feel free to complain when people provide feedback after it was requested in the article.

In fairness, feedback was requested to be sent to [email]dndinsider@waizards.com[/email]. If you post in a place that encourages public discussion (like a forum) expect to meet differing opinions.

Yes, I know this is the second time I've listed the e-mail address, but that's because there are some really good ideas and concerns here, and I'd like to make sure they get to the right people.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

I'm copying my concerns to the email address, but I still like to test to see if they are valid concerns in a public forum.

Here's another I can't claim credit for (Cadfan over on ENWorld mentioned it) does an Artificer lack enough limbs.

Most other classes need only can use either a weapon or an implement to do there business, and rarely need to switch between the two, the classes that need both, like for example the Cleric, can make do with a one handed melee weapon and their holy symbol.

The Artificer however, makes use of a implement for some powers, and a ranged weapon for others, unfortunately he's a hand short since crossbows need two hands (even one handed ranged weapons need a free hand to load).

It's then made worse by the fact other powers the keyword of Artifices if they need to be handled (which admittedly only seem to be implied by flavour text and not rules text) then the Artificer needs another pair of hands.

This might not be such an issue since it is only a minor action to retrieve or stow an item, but I'll be interested to find out peoples play experience.
I'm copying my concerns to the email address, but I still like to test to see if they are valid concerns in a public forum.

Here's another I can't claim credit for (Cadfan over on ENWorld mentioned it) does an Artificer lack enough limbs.

Most other classes need only can use either a weapon or an implement to do there business, and rarely need to switch between the two, the classes that need both, like for example the Cleric, can make do with a one handed melee weapon and their holy symbol.

The Artificer however, makes use of a implement for some powers, and a ranged weapon for others, unfortunately he's a hand short since crossbows need two hands (even one handed ranged weapons need a free hand to load).

It's then made worse by the fact other powers the keyword of Artifices if they need to be handled (which admittedly only seem to be implied by flavour text and not rules text) then the Artificer needs another pair of hands.

This might not be such an issue since it is only a minor action to retrieve or stow an item, but I'll be interested to find out peoples play experience.

Yet another line in the "warforged artificer" column then- an embedded wand or rod doesnt take up the hand.

You know, I wouldnt be surprised if there's a "ranged weapon implement" paragon path feature in the full class, in order to solve this problem.
They want to introduce an under-slung implement holder for the crossbow. It wouldn't be much of a boost to other classes but would certainly help the Artificer.

As it is minor action to load, minor action to draw and put away implement, minor action to sustain a power.... they might be minors but you end up using a lot of them.
I just have to say that I love the artificer as an arcane leader. Love it.
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I find this rendition of the artificer very interesting. For the most part, I like. A lot. Being able to use cool powers in combat is a nice change for the Artificer. Furthermore, most all of the powers are creative and leaderly in a way unique to the artificer (just as the Warlord and Cleric are very different.)

Tough I appriciate the the artificer always challeling spells through equipment and such, I was a little irritated by the sheer number of "magic runes glow on you ally and blastify your enemies" type spells. Perhaps this is where the "Battlesmith" aspect of the class came in, in which case I say kudos on an excellent theme, but if a significant number more of the artificer powers are like that, well, that would bother me quite much.

(For the record, the one "rune on ally's armor" type spell that I LOVE is "Earth’s Embrace." When I make my Gnome Artificer, he will know that spell, and call it "Go Go Gadget Ally!")

I really appriciate the Components class feature. As someone who hates 3.5 spell components, but really likes the Full Metal Alchemist-esque way of transforming objects, the simplicity of assumed preparation makes some spells I could only dream of in 3.5 possible and easy in 4e.
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I can't wait for the other build. I hope it allows for a more melee oriented build. I was really excited about this class until I realized most of the weapon powers need ranged weapons. Ruins my idea for a warhammer wielding dwarf artificer.
Rod of Deadly Casting. Exploding 10s, even on crit damage, is very "swingy" and I thought 4th Ed was about removing those sort of factors. That make it hard to balance an encounter. It compares with a Vorpal Sword, but that is ONLY available as a level 30 +6 enhancement item, the exploding isn't available at lower level. I'm not sure introducing exploding dice with a 2nd level item is a good idea. It seems to me exploding dice need to remain in the Epic tier there if a dice explodes it is as big a swing as your base damage is likely to be much higher anyway, at low levels it could dramatically effect the damage.

Vorpal weapons do the same thing and are much more powerful. This is basically the equivalent of a vicious weapon, and I don't think its out of line with the power of other magic items.

However, I don't see why it ISN'T just vicious (+1d12 die crits), as that's a simpler, less swingy way of accomplishing much the same thing.

Most other classes need only can use either a weapon or an implement to do there business, and rarely need to switch between the two, the classes that need both, like for example the Cleric, can make do with a one handed melee weapon and their holy symbol.

This is simply untrue, though.

The reality is that many other classes require multiple pieces of equipment - the rogue requires a crossbow plus a melee weapon, the fighter a thrown weapon plus a melee weapon, the cleric and paladin a weapon plus a holy symbol, the ranger, TWO weapons plus a third ranged weapon.

They want to introduce an under-slung implement holder for the crossbow. It wouldn't be much of a boost to other classes but would certainly help the Artificer.

That would be stupid.

Making people use hand crossbows and slings is a -good thing-, as is making them want to use thrown weapons. I'd rather let these underused weapons see more play.

If you want to use a better weapon, take a feat.

Its pretty fair. Why should the artificer be able to deal 1d8 as their [W] without penalty, outdamaging the wizard with ranged burst powers, without having to give up something in return?
Vorpal weapons do the same thing and are much more powerful.

That's my point, it's mimicing a much more powerful ability at a lower level. At high levels exploding dice aren't likely to create as big a sing, even if they happen more often.

This is basically the equivalent of a vicious weapon, and I don't think its out of line with the power of other magic items.

It isn't the equivalent as you can know with certainty the maximum possible result of a vicious weapon, you can't know that with this Rod.

The reality is that many other classes require multiple pieces of equipment - the rogue requires a crossbow plus a melee weapon, the fighter a thrown weapon plus a melee weapon, the cleric and paladin a weapon plus a holy symbol, the ranger, TWO weapons plus a third ranged weapon.

That also isn't true, name me one At-Will power of the fighter that uses a ranged weapon, actually name me an encounter power, you can probably count them on one hand. The fighter doesn't require a ranged weapon, for anything but a basic attack.

The Rogue can do all his at-wills with a melee weapon, so once the enemy gets close he doesn't need to switch. The fact he can do some with a ranged weapon is an advantage not a disadvantage. It's the same with most of his other powers.

The cleric can fight with a one handed melee and a holy symbol, as can a Paladin, nothing ties up both hands.

The ranger like the rogue tends to have an option with his powers, it doesn't often require him to change just to use a power.

The Artificer as presented at the moment can't even use both of his at will powers effectively* without spending minor actions to draw or put away items. Even a hand crossbow or sling needs two hands to load.

*You don't have to use an implement of course, but at higher levels you will suffer if you don't.

That would be stupid.

That's your opinion I think it would suit the Artificer rather well.

Making people use hand crossbows and slings is a -good thing-,

It doesn't make them use them it, it makes them spend an additional minor action putting away an implement every time they need to load.

as is making them want to use thrown weapons. I'd rather let these underused weapons see more play.

Actually a thrown weapon is actually the only solution, since it returns as part of the power use, you don't waste actions on it, unless you make a basic attack.

If you want to use a better weapon, take a feat.

You have to take a feat to use even you 1st level at-will abilities effectively? Quick draw only helps with getting you implement out, you still need to spend a minor action to put it away before you can load your crossbow (another minor action) I hope you aren't sustaining any of your effects.

Its pretty fair. Why should the artificer be able to deal 1d8 as their [W] without penalty, outdamaging the wizard with ranged burst powers, without having to give up something in return?

1d8 out damages a wizard? Where which level because I'm missing it? Most of the time 1d8 is about even with a wizard on occasions it's behind. If you are thinking Icy Terrain, the extras that does is well worth the drop to 1d6 compared to spike wire. In a number of cases a wizard is doing better damage than 1d8. And if he isn't using a crossbow is he resigned to daggers or javelins?
It isn't the equivalent as you can know with certainty the maximum possible result of a vicious weapon, you can't know that with this Rod.

This is pretty irrelevant.

The average damage on this is actually lower than that of a vicious weapon (6.1111repeating versus 6.5).

I just think it is more complicated than it needs to be; they should have just made it +1d12 and left it at that.

That also isn't true, name me one At-Will power of the fighter that uses a ranged weapon, actually name me an encounter power, you can probably count them on one hand. The fighter doesn't require a ranged weapon, for anything but a basic attack.

You can count them on no hands.

However, you're wrong that the fighter doesn't require a ranged weapon; they do. They have NO ranged powers at all, so they must have one because otherwise they're worthless at range.

The Rogue can do all his at-wills with a melee weapon, so once the enemy gets close he doesn't need to switch. The fact he can do some with a ranged weapon is an advantage not a disadvantage. It's the same with most of his other powers.

He can't use all of his powers without a ranged weapon though, and while he can use daggers, crossbows are excellent and really, I expect pretty much all rogues to carry a crossbow.

The cleric can fight with a one handed melee and a holy symbol, as can a Paladin, nothing ties up both hands.

Irrelevant.

The ranger like the rogue tends to have an option with his powers, it doesn't often require him to change just to use a power.

It may not require him to do so, but it is often advantageous to do so.

The Artificer as presented at the moment can't even use both of his at will powers effectively* without spending minor actions to draw or put away items. Even a hand crossbow or sling needs two hands to load.

He can just use a throwing weapon, which only uses one hand, and really, WHO CARES if you have to switch. Oh no, you spend a -minor action- as a ranged character. That's not a big deal at all, and the idea that it is is simply erroneous.

It doesn't make them use them it, it makes them spend an additional minor action putting away an implement every time they need to load.

They will never, ever use the hand crossbow if they can use the crossbow equally effectively. Period.

Actually a thrown weapon is actually the only solution, since it returns as part of the power use, you don't waste actions on it, unless you make a basic attack.

Magical ranged weapons always return anyway. And it isn't the "only solution"; you can use a hand crossbow just fine and dandy. Minor actions really aren't a big deal, especially as a ranged character; at worst, you're having to trade your move into a minor action to heal, and generally speaking, you don't even have to do that.

You have to take a feat to use even you 1st level at-will abilities effectively? Quick draw only helps with getting you implement out, you still need to spend a minor action to put it away before you can load your crossbow (another minor action) I hope you aren't sustaining any of your effects.

You can use daggers and javelins without sacrificing anything at all. So don't pretend you have to use a feat to use your first level at will powers effectively.

You can use hand crossbows and slings without sacrificing anything important.

ONLY crossbows require a sacrifice. You are stuck on them, but there's no reason to be stuck on them. It is simply your mind refusing to get over the fact that not every class which uses simple ranged weapons should use crossbows.

You are advocating that Artificers use nothing but crossbows. I'm saying "No, they're supposed to deal 1d6 with their [W] powers unless they spend a feat on it or are willing to make some sacrifices."
I just think it is more complicated than it needs to be; they should have just made it +1d12 and left it at that.

At least there is something we can agree on. :D
you both make valid points but honestly titanium is right. dont use a crossbow if your that upset about a minor action. hand crossbows are only 2 dmg weaker.
The Artificer as presented at the moment can't even use both of his at will powers effectively* without spending minor actions to draw or put away items. Even a hand crossbow or sling needs two hands to load.

*You don't have to use an implement of course, but at higher levels you will suffer if you don't.

If you really are upset about the two minors to put away and then draw out a implement then do this:
Free action = drop implement to the ground
free action= load
minor= pick weapon up
stand or move

viola.

oh and here is another solution, one they probably planned for us to figure out on our own very easily:
Warforged = implements can be attached or embedded. not good enough, ok then the armbow is a crossbow (hand or two-handed) and as a at-will power you can reload it for free magically and with no hands.
I imagine we'll be seeing a lot of artificers with javelins, not that that is a bad thing.

Reloading a sling or a hand crossbow still requires two hands, so they don't offer a significant advantage over the crossbow. Though I don't think we'll be waiting long to see an artificer equivalent of the pact blade, which will probably be an enhancement on a crossbow.

It does bear asking the question: which implements are considered off-hand? All of them? Or do you need your main hand to use say, a rod?

{can or can't artificers use orbs? The short description says they can, but the implement section doesn't mention them}
Reading through the article definitely made me want to play an Artificer. Everyone above also makes very valid points, but I'm willing to playtest it to see which issues actually come up.

Anyway, can anyone explain "after-effects" and how and when they come into play? I couldn't quite find anything with them in the PHB, so I assume it's not a common thing.
Anyway, can anyone explain "after-effects" and how and when they come into play? I couldn't quite find anything with them in the PHB, so I assume it's not a common thing.

They're what apply after you save, and are in the PHB I believe in the section about saving throws.

All they are is what happens after they save the first time; if you save against an effect, the after effect kicks in, and you have to save against that as well to fully shake the effect. I believe Disintegrate works this way.
Don't forget that artificers' non-magical thrown weapons return to them as a magical thrown weapon does when used for a power with the keyword "weapon" (as per the last sentence of the Implements and Weapons section of the article).

This may only apply to daggers and javelins for most artificers, but it still means you have your ranged weapon each turn. And you can have your implement in the other hand, with no need to reload.

I think a Dwarven Artificer with the Dwarven Weapons Training feat could be pretty effective with throwing hammers and hand axes.
in general terms i think this build is okay, but nothing special. nothing is screaming out to me to play this class.

not really sure what the idea behind the artifice concept, seems like it came out of left-field when i read it the first time.

the two at-will powers are too similar to each other. i also dislike that arcane powered classes get heal now, but what can you do. at least they arent as powerful as the divine classes.

i would like the final version to address item creation and how the artificer can leverage whatever he chooses to create, which to me is the real reason i wanted to play the 3.5 artificer. for example i could go for a blaster, conjurer (constructs), or support type role when creating the character and then make cool items (for cheap!) that took advantage of the role i chose. plus, i could create magic items for the rest of the team too.

one other thing i just thought of. in 3.5 the artificer could essentially reuse the essence of a disenchanted magic item to make other items. it was a really cool feature and in line with what an artificer does flavor wise. since this ritual is available to all classes with ritual caster now, i think a class feature of artificers should be to have the disenchant magic item somehow benefit them better. say, they get 1/2 of the value of residuum instead of 1/5th. something like that.
Double post.
one other thing i just thought of. in 3.5 the artificer could essentially reuse the essence of a disenchanted magic item to make other items. it was a really cool feature and in line with what an artificer does flavor wise. since this ritual is available to all classes with ritual caster now, i think a class feature of artificers should be to have the disenchant magic item somehow benefit them better. say, they get 1/2 of the value of residuum instead of 1/5th. something like that.

Broken.

You cannot allow people to violate wealth guidelines. That is simply unacceptable and overpowered.

I know lots of people don't understand that the artificer was hideously broken in previous editions, but the reality is that the wealth guidelines exist in order to keep the game balanced and intact, and working coherently and reasonably. If you violate those guidelines, you're likely to cause problems.
Broken.

You cannot allow people to violate wealth guidelines. That is simply unacceptable and overpowered.

I know lots of people don't understand that the artificer was hideously broken in previous editions, but the reality is that the wealth guidelines exist in order to keep the game balanced and intact, and working coherently and reasonably. If you violate those guidelines, you're likely to cause problems.

I know, the 2nd ed. artificer was WAY overpowered, or was it 3.0. I forget now.
@Titanium Dragon:
We all know by now that you believe giving Artificers a leg up on crafting components to be unbalanced.

What might you suggest to fulfill the call for the Artificer's affinity for magic items?
@Titanium Dragon:
We all know by now that you believe giving Artificers a leg up on crafting components to be unbalanced.

What might you suggest to fulfill the call for the Artificer's affinity for magic items?

I thought the ability to change daily magic items to encounter magic items to be a sweet one. Very powerful.
I thought the ability to change daily magic items to encounter magic items to be a sweet one. Very powerful.

That's not exactly what the ability does. It allows a second use of daily magic item powers, which while not exactly as powerful as making a daily magic power into an encounter one, is still quite powerful and very cool.

The thing is, Artificers are master magic-craftsmen, and we'd just like to see something that reflects that.
@Titanium Dragon:
We all know by now that you believe giving Artificers a leg up on crafting components to be unbalanced.

What might you suggest to fulfill the call for the Artificer's affinity for magic items?

I actually think the solution is already in the article - the temporary pseudo-magical items which take a short rest to create and last until the characters take an extended rest. They act like expendible magic items, which is an interesting and distinctive type of ability.

That said, I don't know how well that ability plays, and I have some concerns that it doesn't play well.
So what about "Sheilding Cube" Which requires an artifice, an impliment, and a ranged weapon? Thats three hand no matter how you look at it right?
Actually, you don't need to worry about the artifice. The time taken to prepare and launch the artifice is factored into the power's attack action.

You don't need to use an implement, it just helps. At low levels, it's difficult to afford a magic implement, at least for a couple levels, or until you acquire one in treasure. Or, by virtue of the enchant magic item ritual, which will of course use the same amount of gold, but won't require you to have to find a nearby city.

Also, in 3.5, I know it was basically a free action to juggle things in your hands, hold something in your teeth for a second, etc; I'm not sure if the same applies in 4E. In any case, you can hold on to a hand crossbow, javelin, dagger, throwing hammer, etc, in one hand and also wield an implement in the other. The rules just tend to frown towards regular Crossbows (or any two-handed weapon) and implements.
I always get the feel that Artificers should be a mix of McGyver and the Green Arrow. So far I see a lot of the Green Arrow but not much McGyver. Sure, they can make makeshift magic items, but only at paragon tier and, even then, just a few. Maybe something in the lines of: "We could sure use a flaming sword tomorrow, but all we got is this regular sword, this ball of twine and a paper clip... I think I can make do with that."

I'd like to see those "short rest" powers get to the Heroic tier, maybe with an improvement when the paragon tier is reached, like most at-wills get. Maybe even give the Artificers the power to craft true magic items but with a short duration (until an extended rest, for instance) of a level lower than theirs. You have to keep in mind that Artificers are thematically bound to House Cannith and, as such, should make sense as the magical engineers of their world, including their economical effect.

Their relation to magic items should be more evident, maybe creating lesser magic items that can be grafted into armors and weapons (something I liked a lot on the 3.5 Magic Item Compendium).

Also, some powers stretch the suspension of disbelief too far, like the exaggerated amount of "magic dust" that gets blown from place to place by artificers. Not to mention the silly power of throwing goo at your friend's feet and making him slide. That's too much Inspector-Gadget-y for me.

I liked how many artificer powers are thematically inclined towards lightning, acid and firing things away with your crossbow (I can easily see a crossbow with a wand/rod attachment dock). This theme could even be expanded, so that one could say: "I'm a Lightning Artificer", while another could be an Acid artificer. One could even focus on moderate damage to a lot of people (acid) while the other deals more damage to single targets (lightning), with the occasional exchange between the two. Of course, none of those would outshine the strikers in damage to single targets or the wizard for multiple targets. It could be a versatile middle-of-the-way. For a third path one could go for temporary gadgets, like traps, focusing more on battlefield control.

The crossbow is thematically linked to artificers, for me, since it is the only mechanical weapon players use, and artificers always had a magic + mechanics feel.

Introducing more healing spells that heal or buff a bit and impose difficult situations to enemies (depending on an attack hit) like Lifetap would make for a good Leader, just as the Warlord leads by manipulating the battlefield.

Finally, there are many inconsistencies between the first page class summary, the other text relating to implements and the powers (both fluff text and mechanics), but I doubt this will be corrected unless they do so on the final version at the end of the month on the complete Dragon Magazine.

Perhaps, just maybe, the Artificer could find a better place as a Controller instead. Then again, it could step a lot on the wizard's toes...
Perhaps, just maybe, the Artificer could find a better place as a Controller instead. Then again, it could step a lot on the wizard's toes...

It already does - sort of. Reading through the artificer, the feel of him is currently more like a scientific wizard - especially the on-the-fly things that feel like spells but in flavour text (I'm looking at you, caustic rampart).

I really hope for more short rest things, that would peg him more into the tinkerer niche, which suits the artificer better, I think - especially in front of the Eberron context, where wizards are having congresses and universities, from Eberron, I rather get the feeling: Wizards = scientists, artificer = engineer.

This artificer is more like tech-wizard and less adventure-happy MacGyver-tinker-engineer. And since the class is, at least partially, aimed at Eberron... it should, IMHO, try to preserve that notion.

Cheers, LT.
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