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Unearthed Arcana: The Artificer Class (5e)
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Unearthed Arcana: The Artificer Class (5e)

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Unearthed Arcana Update

Over the past few months, we’ve delivered a stream of new content via the Unearthed Arcana column. Some of that content will show up in future products. Other pieces, having been found lacking by the open playtest process, will drop from our development plans. A few things will follow a third path.

The subclasses we’ve created have fallen into two categories. Some have proven to have mechanics or story concepts that players have embraced. These subclasses have moved on to deeper design and editing passes and further playtesting. We’ll have news soon about where they might turn up next.

Other subclasses were not embraced. Some had mechanics that were dull or confusing. Others’ concepts were too niche, stepped on the toes of other classes, or just didn’t resonate. Our plan is to either redesign these subclasses from the ground up in a future design cycle or push them aside in favor of new concepts.

We have already rereleased a few subclasses for further comment. You’ll see a few more revised subclasses in the June installment of Unearthed Arcana.

We feel confident that the Unearthed Arcana process gives us the feedback needed to develop a subclass into something worthy of publication and official status. Complete new character classes are a different story.

We debuted two new classes via Unearthed Arcana, the mystic and the artificer. Both have received positive feedback, to the point that we are going to commit more time and energy to refining them for official publication. However, the process for completing a new class requires more resources than a subclass. Here is our plan for completing these classes.

Starting today, we are adding both the mystic and artificer to the DM’s Guild. They are both resources you can use to create your own material to share and sell on the Guild. We are also going to release additional surveys to delve deeper into the classes and identify headaches. Between watching the design work done on the DM’s Guild and monitoring feedback data, we’ll continue to revise these two classes.

Once the classes have robust sets of features and options that are hitting the approval levels we aim for, we will make those classes available for playtesting in the D&D Adventurers League. This step indicates that the new class is slated for official release as part of a D&D product. This step’s goal is to put the classes through the same rigorous testing and DM feedback that the core fifth edition classes received during their open playtests.

Once that step is complete, we’ll add these classes to a future D&D product. We can’t predict how long each step will take, so we don’t have dates to share. We remain committed to releasing material only when it is ready.

Thanks for taking part in the Unearthed Arcana playtests and helping us to make 5e the best game it can be. Your efforts have helped D&D reach heights of popularity and success it has not seen in decades. We’re committed to building on that success by including you in the game’s evolution. Thanks for coming along on this journey with us!

Unearthed Arcana: The Artificer Class

This version of the artificer character class was originally released as part of the Unearthed Arcana web series. This download is the latest version of the character class. The artificer is in playtest. It has been made available so that you can use it in your games and provide feedback on its design.

The artificer masters the ability to create magical trinkets and objects to deliver powerful effects. This class can also wield a limited selection of spells and produce an impressive masterwork, such as a powerful firearm or a satchel that can create alchemical items in the blink of an eye.

 
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Reviews (17)
Discussions (37)
Customer avatar
Adnan R October 11, 2017 4:40 am UTC
PURCHASER
Here is my breakdown of the basic class:

Magic Item Analysis - the ritual caster feat is stronger. You can gain the same two spells, but also have the option to add more to your book. The only way this is better is that you aren't required to read from said book.

Tool Expertise - seems just as strong as the rogue's expertise feature, yet is extremely subjective in its use, since the use of tools in general is ill defined.

Wondrous Invention (2nd) - compared to the second level features of other classes, the glory of getting a magic item does little to distract from the fact that the options are weak. The cap of water breathing and goggles of night are basically racial features. The driftglobe is only slightly better than the light cantrip. Sending Stones let one send 25 words 1/day. And though the Bag of Holding is one of the most iconic magic items, at the end of the day, its a cool way to increase carrying capacity. While other classes gain Action Surge, Wild Shape, Ki/Sorcery...See more
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Joseph C October 04, 2017 7:31 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Can't open PDF? Is this file broken? I could open Mystic just fine.
Customer avatar
Jake W September 29, 2017 5:45 pm UTC
I love the idea of an artificier in my campaign as I quite like magic items. However, I feel like it needs some work, for starters, the nearly unlimited ammo/vials would be way too overpowered, I think they should have to spend so much time and money per day to make their ammo, and that the alchemist should have a certain number of potions that they can prepare per day, but that it can be any mix. I also think Gunsmith should get an extra attack but that firearms should have the reload property of Matthew Mercer's Gunslinger subclass. The last note I have is just something I thought should be dealt with, that being that the artificier, as it is, would not be able to create a golem using the golem manuel. I thought that would be a missed opportunity as an artificier creating a golem just seems right to me.
Customer avatar
Robert M September 14, 2017 2:56 am UTC
PURCHASER
File wont work on windows or google drive :/ Please fix
Customer avatar
John B September 12, 2017 7:44 am UTC
PURCHASER
Cannot open the pdf file!
Customer avatar
Brian S September 08, 2017 8:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I can't open the PDF with Acrobat, the included windows reader, or on Apple's included reader either. Could you update the file please?
Customer avatar
Mitchel J August 18, 2017 3:52 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I find that at low levels the alchemists abilities are lackluster as they aren't likely to hit, midgame they come into there own and become fairly useful, but late game they become lackluster again as while your likely to hit the items themselves just don't do a lot.
Customer avatar
Adam F October 12, 2017 12:23 am UTC
PURCHASER
"into there own"

*their

"while your likely"

*you're
Customer avatar
Joe M August 17, 2017 3:13 pm UTC
I played a short campaign with the Artificer Alchemist, and have spent a good time thinking about it in the context of 5e (which I am in love with, and an avid consumer of).

Frankly, I think there are just too many independent archetypes for "the person that plays with chemicals and potions" in the world of fantasy to limit it to a subclass. There is the classic poisoner, dealing in damage and debuffs, the healer/apothecary, who could replace a cleric for greater variety, the (plague knight-esque) mad bomber, dishing out various forms of AOE, and the lead-to-gold transmutationist, with many roleplaying and support options, just to name a few that come to mind immediately. The tradition of the Alchemist is an interesting one on Western and Eastern fantasy, and it has evolved in many fun ways over time. Sadly, when I played the Artificer Alchemist, I didn't feel like I was a part of any of these traditions. I felt more like a subpar Felix the Cat, reaching into my limited bag of tricks to...See more
Customer avatar
Nate S August 17, 2017 3:31 am UTC
PURCHASER
Any updates to this thing?
Customer avatar
Daniel S August 16, 2017 9:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Whenever I attempt to download this document it is "not a PDF or corrupted" somehow?
Customer avatar
Mitchell J August 03, 2017 8:16 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I think the Gunsmith's Thunder Cannon needs to be nerfed and replaced with more options as I feel that that path has very little options for combat
Customer avatar
Tyler B August 10, 2017 6:46 pm UTC
Why? Would you nerf the he rogues sneak attack? It has 4 different attacks for combat plus spells and a mechanical creature. That's more then a fighter.
Customer avatar
Adnan R October 10, 2017 11:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
All of the options for the gunsmith are already very lackluster to begin with. For one, all the damage it deals is of the elemental type, yet is not through a spell, so the Elemental Adept feat does not apply. The specific types are thunder, force, lightning, and fire, with lightning and fire being acquired at level 14 and 17 respectively. At that level, many opponents will either have resistance to those rather common damage types innately, or could easily get it through spells, or even magic items. This hamartia frankly makes the gunsmith unplayable at higher levels. In fact, all of the 'options' are really just damage, damage, or more damage, with the exception of a weak knockback. There are very few of the interesting choices that other classes seem to have. Every turn, the action is used to fire, the bonus to reload, and the reaction to have the mechanical servant punish attackers. It's kind of ironic to find that the artificer is the 5e class that lacks variety.
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Nicholas B July 26, 2017 8:32 pm UTC
PURCHASER
One thing that seems to be missing from both the Artificer and Mystic are calculations for starting wealth. It's a small detail but it would help make the classes feel more flesh out.
Customer avatar
Tyler B August 10, 2017 6:48 pm UTC
If you don't roll for it, it doesn't matter. Your background gives you gold. But if they do a official release it will be there.
Customer avatar
Rhynn H July 25, 2017 3:51 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I feel that Artificer would be better as a wizard tradition than its own class because the ability to create magical items falls into that domain.
Customer avatar
Tyler B August 10, 2017 6:50 pm UTC
The already did an artificer tradition for wizard.
Customer avatar
Rhynn H August 10, 2017 7:00 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Yeah but neither of them particularly stand out as a class/archetype i want to play
Customer avatar
Nate S July 08, 2017 11:22 am UTC
PURCHASER
(Note: Why Can't it build traps or modify weapons or players gear etc??)

The class is a great start with a few exceptions. The alchemy track specifically seems to be lack luster (only can choose from 5 total items) with the items themselves being rather
nerfed, Are they spells? Cantrips? Ranged spell attacks? Its not really clear. In addition they are lackluster they have limited range of effect, and although intended to replace a melee weapon (like a wizard) are ineffective in combat leaving you better off to multi-class in something else. Increase the range of effect and make them more splash damage /aoe style (like an exploding bottle of liquid would be) and it will be far more interesting, also they should still have some efficacy if a save is thrown. Tanglefoot bag is stupid, (why would I only want to slow 1 mob? It doesn't even snare or hold them in place?) Thunderstone is meh as its really just an escape mechanism. Even further there are no ways to craft other potions or recipies?...See more
Customer avatar
Jon J June 19, 2017 2:36 am UTC
PURCHASER
My only input so far after reading and playing the alchemist subclass a small amount is this: the spell list could use some expansion. I don't think it would affect the balance of the class against other classes, and there are other control, enhancement, and healing spells in the core book that would still fit the core concept of the artificer, like Create or Destroy Water, Mage Armor, or Sleep, just to pick a few 1st-level spells.
Customer avatar
Corey O June 11, 2017 10:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I posted a free revised version of the class here: http://www.dmsguild.com/product/214015/Unearthed-Arcana-Artificer-Revised?src=newest_community&filters=0_0_45397_0_0_0_0_0

Because of the amount of dead levels compared to the similar class templates of Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster, I changed the class to 1/2 caster progression. I also added in 3 more subclasses, expanded the spell list and gave them a feature that will allow them to craft all items in the game cheaper and faster than any other class. Please check it out and give me your feedback so we can hopefully create a good representation of the Artificer in 5e for Wizards of the Coast to see and take inspiration from!
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Product Information
Rules Edition(s)
Pages
7
File Size:
0.19 MB
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File Last Updated:
October 25, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on May 31, 2017.