Unearthed Arcana: Artificer (Variant)

Makers of magic-infused objects, artificers are defined by their inventive nature. Like wizards, they see magic as a complex system waiting to be decoded and controlled through a combination of thorough study and investigation. Artificers, though, focus on creating marvelous new magical objects. Spells are often too ephemeral and temporary for their tastes. Instead, they seek to craft durable, useful items.

Creating an artificer

When creating an artificer character, think about your character’s background and drive for adventure. Does the character have a rival? What is the character’s relationship with the artisan or artificer who taught the basics of the craft? Talk to your DM about the role played by artificers in the campaign, and what sort of organizations and NPCs you might have ties to.

Quick Build You can make an artificer quickly by following these suggestions. First, put your highest ability score in Intelligence, followed by Constitution or Dexterity. Second, choose the guild artisan background.

Class Features

As an artificer, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points


  • Hit Dice: 1d8 per artificer level
  • Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
  • Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier artificer level after 1st

Proficiencies


  • Armor: Light and medium armor
  • Weapons: Simple weapons
  • Tools: Thieves' tools, two other tools of your choice
  • Saving Throws: Constitution, Intelligence
  • Skills: Choose three from Arcana, Deception, History, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Religion, Sleight of Hand

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a handaxe and a light hammer or (b) any two simple weapons
  • (a) scale mail or (b) studded leather armor
  • thieves’ tools and a dungeoneer’s pack

Artificer Specialist

At 1st level, you choose the type of Artificer Specialist you are: Alchemist or Gunsmith, both of which are detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 1st level and again at 3rd, 9th, 14th, and 17th level.

Magic Item Analysis

Starting at 1st level, your understanding of magic items allows you to analyze and understand their secrets. You know the artificer spells detect magic and identify, and you can cast them as rituals. You don’t need to provide a material component when casting identify with this class feature

Tool Expertise

Starting at 2nd level, your proficiency bonus is
doubled for any ability check you make that uses
any of the tool proficiencies you gain from this
class.

Wondrous Invention

At 2nd level, you gain the use of a magic item that you have crafted. Choose the item from the list of 2nd-level items below. Crafting an item is a difficult task. When you gain a magic item from this feature, it reflects long hours of study, tinkering, and experimentation that allowed you to finally complete the item. You are assumed to work on this item in your leisure time and to finish it when you level up. You complete another item of your choice when you reach certain levels in this class: 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level. The item you choose must be on the list for your current artificer level or a lower level. These magic items are detailed in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

2nd Level: bag of holding, cap of water breathing, driftglobe, eversmoking bottle, immovable rod, goggles of night, sending stones

5th Level: alchemy jug, broom of flying, circlet of blasting, helm of comprehending languages, lantern of revealing, robe of useful items, wand of magic detection, wand of magic missiles, wand of secrets

10th Level: bag of beans, chime of opening, decanter of endless water, eyes of minute seeing, folding boat, gem of brightness, gem of seeing, Heward’s handy haversack, instant fortress

15th level boots of striding and springing, bracers of archery, brooch of shielding, broom of flying, hat of disguise, slippers of spider climbing

20th Level: Artifact

Spellcasting

As part of your study of magic, you gain the ability to cast spells at 3rd level. The spells you learn are limited in scope, primarily concerned with modifying creatures and objects or creating items.

Cantrips

At level three you learn three cantrips from the following list: blade ward, control flame, light, guidance, magic stone, mold earth, produce flame, resistance, shape water, spare the dying, virtue

You can never learn new cantrips, though you can replace a known cantrip any time you gain a new spell slot.

The Artificer
Level Proficiency Bonus Features Cantrips Known Spells Known 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st +2 Artificer Specialist, Magic Item Analysis
2nd +2 Tool Expertise
3rd +2 Artificer Specialist feature, Spellcasting 3 3 2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Infuse Magic 3 4 3
5th +3 Superior Attunement, Wondrous Invention 3 4 3
6th +3 Major Artifice 3 4 3
7th +3 Use Magic Device 3 4 4 2
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 3 4 4 2
9th +4 Artificer Specialist feature 3 4 4 2
10th +4 Wondrous Invention 3 7 4 3
11th +4 3 8 4 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 3 8 4 3
13th +5 3 9 4 3 2
14th +5 Artificer Specialist feature 3 10 4 3 2
15th +5 Superior Attunement, Wondrous Invention 3 10 4 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 3 10 4 3 3
17th +6 Artificer Specialist feature 3 11 4 3 3
18th +6 Ability Score Improvement 3 11 4 3 3
19th +6 3 12 4 3 3 1
20th +6 Soul of Artifice, Wondrous Invention 3 13 4 3 3 1

Spell slots

The Artificer table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

Spells Known

You know three 1st-level spells of your choice from the artificer spell list (which appears at the end of this document). The Spells Known column of the Artificer table shows when you learn more artificer spells of your choice from this feature. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots on the Artificer table. Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the artificer spells you know from this feature and replace it with another spell from the artificer spell list. The new spell must also be of a level for which you have spell slots on the Artificer table.

Spellcasting Ability

Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your artificer spells; your understanding of the theory behind magic allows you to wield these spells with superior skill. You use your Intelligence whenever an artificer spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for an artificer spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Infuse Magic

Starting at 4th level, you gain the ability to channel your artificer spells into objects for later use. When you cast an artificer spell with a casting time of 1 action, you can increase its casting time to 1 minute. If you do so and hold a nonmagical item throughout the casting, you expend a spell slot, but none of the spell’s effects occur. Instead, the spell transfers into that item for later use if the item doesn’t already contain a spell from this feature.

Any creature holding the item thereafter can use an action to activate the spell if the creature has an Intelligence score of at least 6. The spell is cast using your spellcasting ability, targeting the creature that activates the item. If the spell targets more than one creature, the creature that activates the item selects the additional targets. If the spell has an area of effect, it is centered on the item. If the spell’s range is self, it targets the creature that activates the item.

When you infuse a spell in this way, it must be used within 8 hours. After that time, its magic fades and is wasted.

You can have a limited number of infused spells at the same time. The number equals your Intelligence modifier.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 18th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Superior Attunement

At 5th level, your superior understanding of magic items allows you to master their use. You can now attune to up to four, rather than three, magic items at a time. At 15th level, this limit increases to five magic items.

Use Magic Device

By 7th level, you have learned enough about the workings of magic that you can improvise the use of items even when they are not intended for you. You ignore all class, race, and level requirements on the use of Magic Items.

Major Artifice

At 6th level, your research and mastery of your craft allow you to produce a powerful magical item, which can take one of three forms:

  • Infused armor
  • Focusing crystal
  • Mechanical servant

Infused armor:

An Artificer can create a suit of infused armor that grants protection as plate mail, but does not inflict disadvantage on stealth checks. The artificer is assumed to have been working on their infused armor for some time, and it becomes operational after reaching 6th level and taking a long rest.

Once per long rest the artificer can “charge” the armor with an infusion, sacrificing a spell slot to make it function as +1 full plate (+2 at level 10, +3 at level 13, +4 at level 17). Upon resting, they can also choose to make the armor resistant to one damage type of their choosing.

Focusing Crystal:

The artificer can choose to create a magical crystal that focuses and empowers their infusions. Your crystal generates 2*INT focus points every time you take a long rest. These focus points can be used to apply Metamagic Abilities (as per a sorcerer) to your spells and infusions (as if they were sorcery points). As long as you have at least one focus point remaining in your crystal, you also gain advantage on all INT checks.

Mechanical Servant:

At 6th level, your research and mastery of your craft allow you to produce a mechanical servant. The servant is a construct that obeys your commands without hesitation and functions in combat to protect you. Though magic fuels its creation, the servant is not magical itself. You are assumed to have been working on the servant for quite some time, finally finishing it during a short or long rest after you reach 6th level. Select a Large beast with a challenge rating of 2 or less. The servant uses that beast’s game statistics, but it can look however you like, as long as its form is appropriate for its statistics. It has the following modifications:

  • It is a construct instead of a beast.
  • It can’t be charmed.
  • It is immune to poison damage and the poisoned condition.
  • It gains darkvision with a range of 60 feet if it doesn’t have it already.
  • It understands the languages you can speak when you create it, but it can’t speak.
  • If you are the target of a melee attack and the servant is within 5 feet of the attacker, you can use your reaction to command the servant to respond, using its reaction to make a melee attack against the attacker.

The servant obeys your orders to the best of its ability. In combat, it rolls its own initiative and acts on its own. If the servant is killed, it can be returned to life via normal means, such as with the revivify spell. In addition, over the course of a long rest, you can repair a slain servant if you have access to its body. It returns to life with 1 hit point at the end of the rest. If the servant is beyond recovery, you can build a new one with one week of work (eight hours each day) and 1,000 gp of raw materials.

Alchemist

An alchemist is an expert at combining exotic reagents to produce a variety of materials, from healing draughts that can mend a wound in moments to clinging goo that slows creatures down.

Alchemist's Satchel

At 1st level, you craft an Alchemist’s Satchel, a bag of reagents that you use to create a variety of concoctions. The bag and its contents are both magical, and this magic allows you to pull out exactly the right materials you need for your Alchemical Formula options, described below. After you use one of those options, the bag reclaims the materials. If you lose this satchel, you can create a new one over the course of three days of work (eight hours each day) by expending 100 gp worth of leather, glass, and other raw materials.

Alchemical Formula

At 1st level, you learn three Alchemical Formula options: Alchemical Fire, Alchemical Acid, and one other option of your choice. You learn an additional formula of your choice at 3rd, 9th, 14th, and 17th levels. To use any of these options, your Alchemist’s Satchel must be within reach. If an Alchemical Formula option requires a saving throw, the DC is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.

Alchemical Fire As an action, you can reach into your Alchemist’s Satchel, pull out a vial of volatile liquid, and hurl the vial at a creature, object, or surface within 30 feet of you (the vial and its contents disappear if you don’t hurl the vial by the end of the current turn). On impact, the vial detonates in a 5-foot radius. Any creature in that area must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 fire damage. This formula’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach certain levels in this class: 4th level (2d6), 7th level (3d6), 10th level (4d6), 13th level (5d6), 16th level (6d6), and 19th level (7d6).

Alchemical Acid As an action, you can reach into your Alchemist’s Satchel, pull out a vial of acid, and hurl the vial at a creature or object within 30 feet of you (the vial and its contents disappear if you don’t hurl the vial by the end of the current turn). The vial shatters on impact. A creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 acid damage. An object automatically takes that damage, and the damage is maximized. This formula’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach certain levels in this class: 3rd level (2d6), 5th level (3d6), 7th level (4d6), 9th level (5d6), 11th level (6d6), 13th level (7d6), 15th level (8d6), 17th level (9d6), and 19th level (10d6).

Healing DraughtAs an action, you can reach into your Alchemist’s Satchel and pull out a vial of healing liquid. A creature can drink it as an action to regain 1d8 hit points. The vial then disappears. Once a creature regains hit points from this alchemical formula, the creature can’t do so again until it finishes a short rest. If not used, the vial and its contents disappear after 1 hour. While the vial exists, you can’t use this formula. This formula’s healing increases by 1d8 when you reach certain levels in this class: 3rd level (2d8), 5th level (3d8), 7th level (4d8), 9th level (5d8), 11th level (6d8), 13th level (7d8), 15th level (8d8), 17th level (9d8), and 19th level (10d8).

Smoke Stick As an action, you can reach into your Alchemist’s Satchel and pull out a stick that produces a thick plume of smoke. You can hold on to the stick or throw it to a point up to 30 feet away as part of the action used to produce it. The area in a 10-foot radius around the stick is filled with thick smoke that blocks vision, including darkvision. The stick and smoke persist for 1 minute and then disappear. After using this formula, you can’t do so again for 1 minute.

Tanglefoot Bag As an action, you can reach into your Alchemist’s Satchel and pull out a bag filled with writhing, sticky black tar and hurl it at a point on the ground within 30 feet of you (the bag and its contents disappear if you don’t hurl the bag by the end of the current turn). The bag bursts on impact and covers the ground in a 5- foot radius with sticky goo. That area becomes difficult terrain for 1 minute, and any creature that starts its turn on the ground in that area has its speed halved for that turn. After using this formula, you can’t do so again for 1 minute.

Thunderstone As an action, you can reach into your Alchemist’s Satchel and pull out a crystalline shard and hurl it at a creature, object, or surface within 30 feet of you (the shard disappears if you don’t hurl it by the end of the current turn). The shard shatters on impact with a blast of concussive energy. Each creature within 10 feet of the point of impact must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be knocked prone and pushed 10 feet away from that point.

Combat Engineer

A master of engineering, you forge a weapon powered by a combination of science and magic.

Master Smith

When you choose this specialization at 1st level, you gain proficiency with smith’s tools, and you learn the mending cantrip.

Force Rod

At 1st level, you forge a deadly weapon using a combination of arcane magic and your knowledge of engineering and metallurgy. This weapon is called a Force Rod. It is a ferocious weapon that fires blasts of force that can punch through armor with ease.

You are proficient with the Force Rod. The firearm is a two-handed ranged weapon that deals 2d6 piercing damage. Its normal range is 150 feet, and its maximum range is 500 feet. Once fired, it must be recharged as a bonus action.

If you lose your Thunder Cannon, you can create a new one over the course of three days of work (eight hours each day) by expending 100 gp worth of metal and other raw materials.

Arcane Magazine

At 1st level, you craft an electrum magazine used to carry your tools and reagents for your Force Rod. Your Arcane Magazine includes the etching tools, arcane components, and other materials needed to keep that weapon functioning.

You can use the Arcane Magazine to produce charges for your rod. At the end of each long rest, you can magically produce 40 charges with this magazine. After each short rest, you can produce 10 rounds.

If you lose your Arcane Magazine, you can create a new one as part of a long rest, using 25 gp of electrum and other raw materials.

Force Master

At 3rd level, you learn to better channel force energy into your Force Rod. As an action, you can make a special attack with your Force Rod that deals an extra 1d6 force damage on a hit.

This extra damage increases by 1d6 when you reach certain levels in this class: 5th level (2d6), 7th level (3d6), 9th level (4d6), 11th level (5d6), 13th level (6d6), 15th level (7d6), 17th level (8d6), and 19th level (9d6).

Warcrafter

A combat engineer is a master of their weapon, and can select from one combat engineer ability at level 5 and again at levels 7, 10, and 15.

Quickfire charge:

During a short or long rest, you create a quickfire charge that can be rapidly loaded into your Force Rod as a free action. This charge is complicated and highly volatile, so you cannot create or carry more than one.

Blast Wave:

You channel force energy into your Force Rod. As an action, you can make a special attack with it. Rather than making an attack roll, you unleash force energy in a 15-foot cone from the gun. Each creature in that area must make a Strength saving throw with a DC of 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier. On a failed saving throw, a target takes 1d6 force damage and is pushed 10 feet away from you.

This damage increases by 1d6 when you reach certain levels in this class: 9th (2d6), 13th level (3d6) and 17th level (4d6).

Explosive Round:

You channel fiery energy into your Force Rod. As an action, you can make a special attack with it. Rather than making an attack roll, you launch an explosive round from the gun. The round detonates in a 30-foot radius sphere at a point within range. Each creature in that area must make a Dexterity saving throw with a DC of 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier. On a failed saving throw, a target takes 1d8 fire damage.

This damage increases by 1d8 when you reach certain levels in this class: 9th (2d8), 13th level (3d8) and 17th level (4d8).

Piercing Round:

You can shoot lightning energy through your Force Rod. As an action, you can make a special attack with it. Rather than making an attack roll, you cause the gun to unleash a bolt of lightning, 5-feet wide and 30-feet long. Each creature in that area must make Dexterity saving throws with a DC of 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier. On a failed saving throw, a target takes 2d6 lightning damage.

This damage increases by 1d6 when you reach certain levels in this class: 9th (3d6), 13th level (4d6), 17th level (5d6), and 19th(6d6).

Overload:

As bonus action you can load a special charge and fire your Force Rod, even if you have already fired it this turn. It takes a full-round action to clear your thunder cannon before it can be fired again.

Artificer Spell List

1st Level

Absorb elements

alarm

catapult

cure wounds

disguise self

expeditious retreat

false life

jump

longstrider

sanctuary

snare

shield of faith

2nd Level

aid

alter self

arcane lock

blur

continual flame

darkvision

dispel magic

enhance ability

enlarge/reduce

flame arrows

knock

invisibility

lesser restoration

levitate

magic weapon

protection from poison

rope trick

shatter

see invisibility

spider climb

Tiny servant*

3rd Level

blink

fly

gaseous form

glyph of warding

haste

protection from energy

revivify

water breathing

water walk

4th Level

arcane eye

create homunculus

creation

death ward

fabricate

freedom of movement

investiture of flame

investiture of ice

investiture of stone

investiture of wind

Leomund’s secret chest

Mordenkainen’s faithful hound

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