As a follow up to last week’s Artificer teardown, we’re taking a dive into the Artificer subclasses: Artillerist and Alchemist. We’ll analyze the subclasses and develop a template for brewing your own subclasses.
The subclass features unlock at 3rd, 6th, and 14th levels. This mirrors the Bard progression, which is notoriously difficult to design for, since there’s only three levels. The Artificer overcomes this by pushing multiple abilities into each level.
Tools of the Trade
The Artificer gains proficiency and a set of two different tools.
This drives the flavor of the subclass, since tools are used as a spellcasting focus to reflavor the spells. If you haven’t read Eberron creator Keith Baker’s Artificer article on how it works, go give it a read.
Outside of combat, it takes a quarter of the normal time and half the gold to craft items from those categories. Go check out the tool tables in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything to get some ideas of how you can use your tools.
Expanded Spell List
The Artificer gets access to additional spells via an expanded spell list. This progression unlocks two spells of increasing spell levels at levels 3, 5, 9, 13, and 17. These spells are always available to the Artificer and do not need to be prepared.
6th Level Feature
The 6th level feature for both subclasses works in conjunction with the Artificer’s spellcasting.
The Artillerist gets to load cantrip(s) into a wand and gets to add their Intelligence mod to the damage of those spells.
The Alchemist gets to add their Intelligence modifier to certain spell rolls. They can use this to boost acid or poison damage. Alternatively, they can use it to boost a healing roll. The Alchemist also gets free uses of lesser restoration.
14th Level Feature
At level 14, you get a free cast of greater restoration once per long rest.
The Artillerists’ 14th level ability is mostly focused on the turret. However, the 6th level feature also scales up and you can now load two cantrips into your wands.
While not necessarily essential to the design, both of the playtest subclasses are built around a pet. The Artillerist gets a turret, and the Alchemist gets a homunculus.
You get a free summon once per long rest and can resummon the pet by burning a spell slot. You can activate the pet’s abilities using your bonus action. The pet can be healed (2d6) using the mending cantrip.
The Artillerist’s pet gets a boost from the 14th level ability that makes it a more formidable ally. You can summon a second turret. In addition, your turrets provide cover to you and your allies.
The capstones are a mixed bag. They don’t necessarily follow a pattern. However, this is where you really round out the flavor of the class. The sample subclasses accomplish this with a combination of scaling and new features.
The Alchemist gains resistance to acid damage and poison damage and immunity to the poisoned condition.
In terms of scaling, its fair game to throw out more powerful versions of existing class features and boost the number of uses, whether they lean more on spellcasting or the pet aspect of the subclass.
I’ve boiled down the standardized parts of the class which you can find here. The language you need to replace is contained in brackets. If you do a “find & replace” it will swap out all instances across the document.
# Artificer Subclass Template ## Artificer Specialists Artificers pursue a variety of disciplines. Here is a specialist option you can choose from at 3rd level: the [Subclass]. ### [Subclass] A[(n) Subclass] is an expert at [subclass description]. Among artificers, members of this subclass are the greatest [skillsets enabled by subclass]. #### Tools of the Trade By the time you adopt this specialty at 3rd level, you’re deeply familiar with employing its tools. **Proficiencies.** You gain proficiency with [Tool 1] and the [Tool 2], assuming you don’t already have them. You also gain [Tool 1] and an [Tool 2] for free—the result of tinkering you’ve done as you’ve prepared for this specialization. **Crafting.** If you craft a magic item in the [Craftable Item Category] category, it takes you a quarter of the normal time, and it costs you half as much of the usual gold. #### [Subclass] Spells Starting at 3rd level, you always have certain spells prepared after you reach particular levels in this class, as shown in the [Subclass] Spells table. These spells count as artificer spells for you, but they don’t count against the number of artificer spells you prepare. ##### [Subclass] Spells | Artificer Level | Spell | |:---:|:-----------:| | 3rd | [1st level Spell 1], [1st level Spell 2] | | 5th | [2nd level Spell 1], [2nd level Spell 2] | | 9th | [3rd level Spell 1], [3rd level Spell 2] | | 13th | [4th level Spell 1], [4th level Spell 2] | | 17th | [5th level Spell 1], [5th level Spell 2] | #### [Pet] At 3rd level, you learn ancient methods for magically creating a special [pet] that is formed by Whenever you finish a long rest and your [Tool 1] are with you, you can form this [pet] in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of you. If you already have a [pet] from this feature, the first one immediately [dies]. The [pet] is friendly to you and your companions, and it obeys your commands. See this creature’s game statistics in the [Pet] stat block. You determine the [pet]’s appearance, which includes [description]. [Examples.] In combat, the [pet] shares your initiative count, but it takes its turn immediately after yours. The only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take one of the actions in its stat block or to take the Dash, Disengage, or Help action. If the mending spell is cast on it, it regains 2d6 hit points. If it has died within the last hour, you can use your [Tool 1] as an action to revive it, provided you are within 5 feet of it and you expend a spell slot of 1st level or higher. The [pet] returns to life with all its hit points restored. ___ > ## [Pet] >*Size construct, unaligned* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 13-18 (natural armor) > - **Hit Points** equal to five times your level in this class (+ your Intelligence modifier) > - **Speed** Speed >___ >|STR|DEX|CON|INT|WIS|CHA| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|Str (Mod)|Dex (Mod)|Con (Mod)|Int (Mod)|Wis (Mod)|Cha (Mod)| >___ > - **Saving Throws** saving throws > - **Skills** skills > - **Damage Vulnerabilities** damage vulnerabilities > - **Damage Resistances** resistances > - **Damage Immunities** damage immunities > - **Condition Immunities** condition immunities > - **Senses** senses > - **Languages** understands the languages you speak > ___ > > ### Actions > ***Multiattack.*** The Creature Name makes Number and type of attacks > > ***Ability Description.*** *Attack Style:* Attack Bonus to hit, Reach/Range, one target. *Hit:* Damage Damage Type damage > > ***General Ability Description.*** General Attack Description #### 6th Level Feature At 6th level, * Whenever you finish a long rest and your [Tool 1] are with you, you can touch a nonmagical, [item] and turn it into a magic item. When you do so, you invest it with one artificer cantrip of your choice—even one you don’t know—that has a casting time of 1 action. As an action, you can cause the magic [item] to produce the cantrip, using your spellcasting ability modifier (other creatures are unable to use the wand’s magic). The wand loses this magic when you finish your next long rest. Any damage roll you make for a cantrip in the wand gains a bonus equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +1). When you reach 14th level in this class, you can invest the [item] with two cantrips at the end of a long rest. * When you cast a spell using your [Tool 1] as the spellcasting focus, you gain a bonus to one roll of the spell. That roll must restore hit points or be a damage roll that deals [damage types] damage, and the bonus equals your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +1). * You can cast *[2nd-level spell]* without expending a spell slot, provided you use [Tool 1] as the spellcasting focus. You can do so a number of times per day equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of once). #### 14th Level Feature By 14th level, * You can also now summon a second [pet] for free and must finish a long rest before doing so again. If you summon the second [pet] while the first is still present, the first one doesn’t disappear (if you summon a third [pet], the first turret vanishes). Moreover, you can use one bonus action to activate both [pet]s. * You can cast *[5th-level spell]* once without expending a spell slot and without providing the material component, provided you use [Tool 1] as the spellcasting focus. You regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. * You gain resistance to [damage types], and you are now immune to the [condition] condition.