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Artificer - Alternate Unearthed Arcana class
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Artificer - Alternate Unearthed Arcana class

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Individuals who mix the forces of magic with the powers of science, Artificers are inventors first and foremost.  Their craft can take varied forms, from arcane chemistry to clockwork engineering.  To be an Artificer is to stretch the limits of magic and creativity.

This PDF contains a modification of the 5th edition Artificer released in Wizards of the Coast's Unearthed Arcana series in early January, 2017.  Many of the base concepts and features remain intact, with alterations made in order to better express the creativity that all Artificers have.  The Alchemist specialization was reworked to offer more options, while the Gunsmith specialization was revamped almost entirely into a tinkering Engineer.  And finally, a third subclass was recently introduced called the Armorer, an Artificer who constructs her own magical armor, empowering it with abilities like weapons and flight to take the fight up close and personal.

The class is in serious need of playtesting.  If you enjoy it, or even if you hate it, please give me all the feedback you can.  

Changelog:

12/14/2017 - Version 2.7

Overall

  • Added the following spells from Xanathar's Guide to Everythingsnare, catnap, and tiny servant.  As an aside, I wish there were some way to introduce create homunculus for the class, but as it stands the spell is just too high a level to be on the spell list and even too high a level for use with the Wondrous Invention feature.  Damn shame, WotC.  All you needed to do was make it a 5th level spell.
  • Big thanks to Jared C. for pointing out that I had completely omitted the spellcasting focus feature.  Artificers were not intended to be unable to use an arcane focus, so that has been added.
  • Minor text fixes throughout the document.

Armorer

  • Added the Cloaked upgrade, giving the armor a pass without trace-like ability.  Originally, I was going to make this straight up invisibility, which I thought would be fun.  However, the class already gets access to invisibility in its spell list, not to mention you can choose invisibility for a Wondrous Item if you want, so I reasoned that a different kind of ability would be more interesting.
  • Introduced the concept behind armor-type-specific upgrades.  Both the Expanded and Heavy upgrades now require the power armor in question to be built from heavy armor, since neither would make any logical sense with light or medium armor.  For now these are the only two upgrades that have a specific armor requirement.
  • The Heavy upgrade now specifically makes your armor weigh 4x as much as normal.  However, this does *not* apply to the Artificer while being worn; your armor is designed to sit comfortably and is, remember, powered by magic or pistons or whatever you want.  Thus, you don't feel the extra weight.  But for everyone and everything else, it's heavier.  Though it is not directly referenced in the feature, this could likely come into play when being grappled, or in situations where you are standing on an unstable surface.
  • Similarly, the Expanded upgrade has been reworded, and specifies that the armor is 8x as heavy.  However, you do *not* consider the armor's weight against your carrying capacity, as you are not "wearing" it in a conventional sense.  Since your size category is considered one size up while in your armor, your carrying capacity changes as defined in the normal rules (so yes, you are "stronger" in your Hulkbuster suit and can can carry more).  If someone decides to cast Enlarge on you while inside your Expanded armor, well that'll be up to your DM to decide what happens; either you and the armor both increase in size, or you remain Medium within the armor and the armor gets bigger and becomes Huge (and let's be honest; this is the most awesome idea).  I wouldn't recommend being Enlarged outside of your armor, though.
  • Changed the speed granted by the Flight upgrade to 30 feet, down from 40.  Every other class-based flight in the game is either walking speed or 30 feet, so this falls more in line with others.  You can still increase this to higher speeds with the Speed upgrade, as normal.
  • Increased the duration for the Unmanned upgrade to 1 hour, up from 10 minutes.  Decided that 10 minutes really isn't enough time to do anything interesting.  You can still use this feature multiple times; you just get more exhausted from the strain of doing so.  As well, added a line to establish that the DM gets final say on which of your various upgrades and features can be used while using your armor like a drone.  Spellcasting, for example, I wouldn't allow the armor to do.  Fire a Force Blast, though, or use any integrated abilities like flight or cloaking, I absolutely would.  I would even allow the armor to use your Wondrous Items, since in a way it is still *you* activating them.

11/13/2017 - Version 2.6

Overall

  • Slightly altered the last paragraph of Wondrous Invention, establishing that the material components for the item only have to be payed for once while repairing/making a new item, at any point during its creation.
Armorer
  • Changed the cost to create a new suit of power armor to be 2x the base cost of the armor type, rather than .5 the cost.  It wouldn't really make sense to be able to build an advanced suit of magic armor for half the cost of regular armor.
  • Altered the way the Self-Destruct feature functions.  It's still essentially the same, but now instead of a "explode in a turn OR concentrate up to 10 minutes" it's just the concentration option (which you can, of course, just have explode at the end of your next turn anyway).  Also added the ability to cancel the self-destruct, but only if you can successfully save vs your own spell save DC.  This is a volatile ability; it's a risk to stop it.
  • Reworded the the Unmanned feature's "psychic backlash" just to make it a bit more clear.  If your armor gets destroyed while you're wearing it you roll your total number of hit dice as if you were rolling to regenerate HP after a short rest (so you add your Con modifier to the die rolls as well).  You don't actually spend any hit dice when you do this, but that is the amount of damage you suffer.  This could easily knock out a character, but that's intended; there needs to be some risk if you are going to be able to pilot your suit around a battle while in the safety of your party's home base.

9/30/2017 - Version 2.5

Overall

  • Updated the wording to the Alchemical Formulae, Upgrades, and Modifications to specify that only one of each type is gained at certain levels.  
  • Added references in the class table to the levels where additional upgrades/formulae/modifications are acquired.
  • Altered some art.

9/11/2017 - Version 2.4

Overall

  • Added additional rules for multiclassing related to determining spell slots.

Armorer

  • Added a line to the Collapsible upgrade, making the resulting package significantly lighter (remember; it’s magic!).
  • Changed the Force Blast upgrade damage to a d8. This makes its damage comparable to a crossbow but it’s range remains comparable to a hand crossbow.
  • Changed the Sealed upgrade to give the wearer greater environmental sealing; you are now considered adapted to hot and cold climates, and high altitudes, while wearing the armor. The oxygen supply is also now switched off with a bonus action instead of no action at all.

Engineer

  • Changed how Masterwork Metallurgist affects the mechanical servant. Now, all mechanical servants get a boost to their proficiency and a boost to their hit dice (which amounts to 50% additional HP), making them slightly better all around. The options that Engineers have to upgrade their servant are now also pulled directly from the Armorer subclass; Engineers can pick two of the Armorer’s Upgrades and apply them to their servant. This allows for an increase in AC, speed, flight, Strength or Dex, or other utility-based options such as being able to convert your servant into an inconspicuous carrying form. The options available are limited to anything at prerequisite level 6 or less; no making your servant explode or making it larger and wearable.

8/23/2017 - Version 2.3

Overall

  • Fixed typos and misspellings throughout the document.

Alchemist

  • Changed Flash Ice, making it work more like a weaker version of Otiluke’s Freezing Sphere. It’s primary purpose is still to freeze bodies of water.
  • Included references to certain formulae disappearing if not immediately used, falling more in line with UA formulae.

Armorer

  • Armorer’s Proficiency feature now also provides proficiency with smith’s tools, falling in line with the idea of an Armorer literally forging their own armor.
  • Changed the name of the Unbreakable Armor feature to Reinforced Armor, and gave it the additional ability to allow the artificer to use their reaction to mitigate the damage from a single attack. I felt the features available to Armorers were very lacking, and this addition helps to make them more durable, front-line combatants (as is the focus of the specialization).
  • Added the Climbing upgrade, essentially giving the wearer Spider Climb.
  • Changed the Flight upgrade, making it only able to be taken once.
  • In return, added a new upgrade called Speed, allowing the artificer to increase any single speed they have by 10 feet.
  • Added the Sealed upgrade, making your suit environmentally sealed.
  • Removed the Reinforced upgrade; the temporary hit points didn’t feel fluffy, and the idea of reinforcing your armor makes more sense as a damage reduction/resistance mechanic. Since this is put into the (renamed) Reinforced Armor feature I felt that this upgrade was unnecessary.

Engineer

  • Changed the name of the Master Smith feature to the Master Tinker, and changed its smith’s tools proficiency to tinker’s tools. I think this properly separates the concept of the engineer into a tinkerer who works with fine, highly complex machines and the armorer into a more hardened smith (since they would be forging their armor). Despite this change, Engineer artificers can still gain proficiency with smith’s tools through the base class (and armorers can always take tinker’s tools for the same reason), meaning nothing is really lost and character concepts are not altered in any way.
  • Removed the Empowered modification, since first and foremost the Thunder Monger attack was already an empowered attack which would be utilized more often, and because this helps balance out some of the other abilities (Empowered + Repeating, for example, would have the potential to give an extra 30 damage in addition to the rest of the damage). Basically, Empowered seemed to be imbalanced after looking at it again, and considering the average action economy of an artificer also seemed unnecessary.

8/22/2017 - Version 2.2

  • Changed the Productive Craftsman feature. Instead of a flat GP for magic item creation, it doubles/triples/quadruples the amount of gold you can use for creation at certain levels. This makes the class a bit more DM-agnostic, so almost any magic item creation system can fall under the feature now.

8/14/2017 - Version 2.1

  • Artwork updated

8/11/2017 - Version 2.0

  • Uploaded to DMsGuild
 
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Reviews (2)
Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
Jared C December 05, 2017 5:28 am UTC
PURCHASER
Overall, love what you've done with the class! Was the omission of the spellcasting focus, that was in the original UA, intentional?
Customer avatar
Jeff V December 14, 2017 6:02 pm UTC
CREATOR
Oh by the gods, no that is not at all intentional. I can't believe I missed that, or that it took almost a year for someone to point it out. Thank you so much. I'll get an edit out soon.
Customer avatar
Tyrell H October 27, 2017 12:55 am UTC
PURCHASER
the issue that this class has is that it's way over powered in regards to the alchemist and engineer(gunsmith). the damage potential for both is tremendous and would require the DM to tailor almost all fights after lvl 7 to counter the alchemist fire flask or acid, and the thunder monger damage. if you think of it in comparison to the basic classes potential for damage they would out damage even a 20th lvl fighter who gets 4 attacks. i do like the additional subclass, it's fucking dope and overall the most balanced because it has a lot of damage but its limited by the possible weapons you find and use while the other two are basically given the weapons they will use the entire game and they out damage anything i've ever seen and i've been through a lot of homebrew classes and really that is the main if not the main issue the class has. i love the added utility you put in it gives players the opportunity to create a unique and custom artificer each time. like i said in the review its a great improvement over what...See more
Customer avatar
Jeff V October 27, 2017 1:22 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey, thanks for the critique!

I don't agree with your math, however. At lvl 7, an alchemist is putting out an average of 14 damage with their normal alchemical acid. If they use their Volatile Concoction, that becomes an average of 18 damage.

By comparison, a fighter with a great sword and two attacks puts out an average of 20 damage a round (2d6 + 3, 3 being from the minimum Str mod I'd expect a fighter to have at lvl 7, is 10. Multiply that by two for the extra attack and you have 20). So at lvl 7 the fighter is actually out-competing the alchemist, and that's not even considering the chance to crit or things like Great Weapon Fighting.

At max level, the alchemist is doing 10d6 with their acid, which averages to 35 damage per round. With Volatile Concoction, that's 45 damage per round. The fighter, meanwhile, is doing 4 attacks a round at 2d6 + 5 per attack; that's an average of 12 damage a strike, so x4 makes that 48 damage a round. Still out-competing the alchemist....See more
Customer avatar
Tyrell H November 21, 2017 3:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
you are correct. still love what you did with the class and hope WoTC can take some inspiration from it.
Customer avatar
Sam M October 17, 2017 9:14 pm UTC
PURCHASER
By "You don't need to provide a material component when casting identify with this class feature" do you mean "when you cast it as a ritual" or "whenever you cast it"?
Customer avatar
Jeff V October 19, 2017 6:16 pm UTC
CREATOR
Since it's only provided through the use of the feature, I would say that you don't need material components for it whether you are casting it as a ritual or using a spell slot. That's actually copied verbatim from the Unearthed Arcana material, but I would interpret it in that way.
Customer avatar
Jeff V September 12, 2017 4:26 pm UTC
CREATOR
Unfortunately it appears that there's no way to respond to reviews!

To Roman S.; Yes, the Armorer gets 1 additional upgrade at higher levels, not two at each. At lvl 20, an Armorer will have 6 upgrades total applied to their power armor. Version 2.5 will include a clearer wording on that feature so there's no confusion in the future.
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