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Artificer in Pathfinder


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I'm starting a short campaign using Pathfinder rules, and none of my players are using standard classes (artificer, spirit shaman, and warlock). Specifically, I'd like feedback on my 3.P version of the artificer:

Replace artificer knowledge with detect magic and read magic as at-will spell-like abilities.

Replace craft reserve with magical artisan (crafting costs are 75% normal).

20th-level captstone ability: Master Crafter: crafting costs are only 50%, and the artificer can take 20 on checks to make items in half the normal time.

What to people think?


Jim Callaghan wrote:

I'm starting a short campaign using Pathfinder rules, and none of my players are using standard classes (artificer, spirit shaman, and warlock). Specifically, I'd like feedback on my 3.P version of the artificer:

Replace artificer knowledge with detect magic and read magic as at-will spell-like abilities.

Replace craft reserve with magical artisan (crafting costs are 75% normal).

20th-level captstone ability: Master Crafter: crafting costs are only 50%, and the artificer can take 20 on checks to make items in half the normal time.

What to people think?

So, let's build this artificer to see how he functions in comparison to his 3.5 version and in comparison to the PF wizard and the 3.5 Wizard:

Let's use the standard hero array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8. The only stats we care about are Charisma and Intelligence. According to the Eberron Campaign Setting, Artificers don't rely on their Intelligence much, so that will be our third highest stat.

Cha: 15
Int: 13

With racial modifiers (let's take Human), we have Cha: 17, Int: 13

Putting a rank into Spellcraft and a rank into Use Magic Device, and taking the feat Skill Focus: Use Magic Device, we have a UMD skill of +10. If we take Magical Aptitude, we get a +2 to Spellcraft and Use Magic Device, which seems optimal. So, we have a UMD of +12 and a Spellcraft of +7. We can automatically succeed on the Spellcraft check with a roll of 1, so we have no worries there. The UMD requires a 9 on the die, and we get to roll twice per scroll. So, there is a near 80% chance of success on the scroll. Not bad. Assuming the artificer continues trying until he succeeds, here is the average total cost: 1.25 days, 11.76gp (I used the infinite geometric progression where each time he fails, he tries again, which converges fairly easily).

In 3.5, he would only have a +11 to UMD (because he wouldn't get the +2 bonus to Charisma that PF offers). Now, he only needs to succeed on the UMD DC 21 to create the scroll. We won't even worry about the spellcraft check. His odds for success are now only about 75% (still not bad). Once again, this converges easily. His average cost now is 1.33 days, 16.67gp, 1.33 XP (comes from his craft pool). That is an increase from PF to 3.5 of time and gold.

Now, the PF wizard would likely have the 17 in Int. This would give him +7 to Spellcraft without any feats to boost it. He automatically succeeds on his creation of the scroll, and it costs him 12.5gp.

The 3.5 wizard also requires 12.5gp and 1 XP, and automatically succeeds.

Seems to me than you have given the PF artificer a great way of making items far less expensively than ever before, albeit taking a little longer. I'm thinking the gp reduction is a bad idea, unless you really want your players to have 4/3 the amount of items they otherwise would have (as that is approximately what the math is showing).

For a variant idea of how to balance the artificer, what about increasing his HD, BAB, saves, or anything else that you might increase. His crafting ability seems secure as it is, even without the Craft Reserve and Retain Essence. After all, he is already better at it than his 3.5 counterpart just from the stat boost alone.

Other options for balancing the artificer might be to expand the concept. For example: Why should an artificer be limited only to magical items? The term artifice actually refers to a far more sinister concept of trickery and deception. Why not include that into the artificer to balance him out? Grant him abilities to infuse lies with magic? Make Bluff and Disguise class skills for him. Now, grant him the ability to spend gp to create webs of magical lies for political intrigue or mercantile prospects. These webs of magical lies grant him bonuses on Diplomacy, Intimidate, or any other skills that you deem appropriate. In fact, you could create an entire array of magical lies that could be crafted, each one granting different bonuses to the artificer in different situations, much like different magical items provide different effects in different situations. This benefit should not only balance the artificer nicely, but also provide additional depth to an otherwise nonsensical concept--why is a character with so much personality who uses Int as a secondary stat spending so much time toiling away studying his craft? This changes that. Instead, he is an incredibly social character, creating items and building massive webs of lies to aid in his magical endeavors.


Oh, an interesting side-note, a 3rd level cleric who has taken Craft Wondrous Item can now make Sovereign Glue... I wonder if it has any diminished effect...

Anyway, according to the rules, the 3rd level cleric must succeed on a DC 30 Spellcraft check (Base 5, +20 from caster level, +5 from not meeting the caster level requirement). So, in general, the 3rd level cleric can make cursed sovereign glue... what does that do?

Our artificer doesn't stand a chance, as he must succeed on a DC 40 UMD check first, then a DC 30 Spellcraft check, so he doesn't even have the chance to make cursed sovereign glue.

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