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    Default Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    The artificer. Most players of D&D 3.5 know what this monstrosity is: a base class from the Eberron Campaign Setting whose gimmick is item crafting. In theory, the idea was neat, but in practice, it ended up being insane, as a result of the way they could make any item and scrolls/wands/etc of any spell.

    Personally, I really like the artificer as a class. It has a lot of neat things it can do, shenanigans it can pull, and phenomenal cosmic power that can be reined in to sane levels if you try… However, for me, it’s not really a fun class to play. When I roll up an artificer, I generally want to play this:

    Spoiler
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    By an artist called ijul. Here’s a link to his page .

    Or possibly something like this:

    Spoiler
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    Pulled from Ecology of the Adventurer in Dragon #342. Go read it, it’s hilarious.

    But instead, I get this:

    Spoiler
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    Pictured: An actual equipment list from an actual game.


    The idea of a character who uses items as their main ability is really cool to me, so it occurred to me a while back… Why not play an artificer who doesn’t craft? Turns out, it’s not only possible, but actually quite fun! And strong. Still strong. Because of course it is.

    In any case, this handbook is about playing an artificer with minimal use of the artificer’s ability to craft items, focusing on their other class abilities and their infusions. For a normal artificer, people have written up some awesome guides to the playing an artificer normally, findable through the following links. Information in them might be incredibly useful to you when playing a noncrafting artificer, so they’re probably worth the read:


    Before anything else, it should be noted that not crafting as an artificer doesn’t suddenly make the class not ridiculously strong. I would still make sure that the DM is okay with you playing one before ever bringing one to a table. However, at a table that it can work in, then it should probably be quite fun.

    So, without further ado, the guide.


    Spoiler: Ratings
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    Gold – near-mandatory or jaw-droppingly good.
    Green – very good, or at least worth serious consideration.
    Blue – good, though probably not excellent.
    Black – middle-of-the-road, but not bad.
    Purple – mediocre, or build specific.
    Red – terrible or otherwise not recommended.


    Spoiler: Book Abbreviations
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    • An—FR3 Anauroch:The Empire of Shade
    • AE—Arms and Equipment Guide
    • BFK—Barrow of the Forgotten King
    • BB—Bastion of Broken Souls
    • BC—Book of Challenges
    • BE—Book of Exalted Deeds
    • BV—Book of Vile Darkness
    • CR—Champions of Ruin
    • CV—Champions of Valor
    • CiP—City of Peril
    • CoS—City of Splendors:Waterdeep
    • CSQ—City of the Spider Queen
    • Ci—Cityscape
    • CAd—Complete Adventurer
    • CAr—Complete Arcane
    • CC—Complete Champion
    • CD—Complete Divine
    • CM—Complete Mage
    • CP—Complete Psionic
    • CS—Complete Scoundrel
    • CW—Complete Warrior
    • Co—Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave
    • DG—D&D Gazetteer
    • DH—Deep Horizon
    • DF—Defenders of the Faith
    • DD—Deities and Demigods
    • Dr—Draconomicon
    • Dr#—Dragon Magazine
    • DM—Dragon Magic
    • DCS—Dragonlance Campaign Setting
    • Dra—Dragonmarked
    • DE—Dragons of Eberron
    • DrF—Dragons of Faerûn
    • DrU—Drow of the Underdark
    • DMG—Dungeon Master's Guide (3.5)
    • DMG2—Dungeon Master's Guide II
    • Du—Dungeonscape
    • ECS—Eberron Campaign Setting
    • ElE—Elder Evils
    • EA—Enemies and Allies
    • EL—Epic Level Handbook
    • EE—Exemplars of Evil
    • XPH—Expanded Psionics Handbook
    • Rav—Expedition to Castle Ravenloft
    • EDP—Expedition to the Demonweb Pits
    • ERG—Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk
    • EU—Expedition to Undermountain
    • EH—Explorer's Handbook
    • ELQ—Eyes of the Lich Queen
    • FP—Faiths and Pantheons
    • FE—Faiths of Eberron
    • FLFD—Fantastic Locations:Fane of the Drow
    • FLFR—Fantastic Locations:Fields of Ruin
    • FLHP—Fantastic Locations:Hellspike Prison
    • FF—Fiend Folio
    • FCI—Fiendish Codex I
    • FCII—Fiendish Codex II
    • Fo—The Forge of Fury
    • FW—The Forge of War
    • FRCS—Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
    • FY—Fortress of the Yuan-Ti
    • Fr—Frostburn
    • Gh—Ghostwalk
    • GHR—Grand History of the Realms
    • GC—Grasp of the Emerald Claw
    • HN—Heart of Nightfang Spire
    • HBG—Hero Builder's Guidebook
    • HB—Heroes of Battle
    • HH—Heroes of Horror
    • LM—Libris Mortis
    • LG—Living Greyhawk Gazetteer
    • LF—Lord of the Iron Fortress
    • LD—Lords of Darkness
    • LoM—Lords of Madness
    • LE—Lost Empires of Faerûn
    • MIC—Magic Item Compendium
    • MoE—Magic of Eberron
    • Mag—Magic of Faerûn
    • MoI—Magic of Incarnum
    • MP—Manual of the Planes
    • MW—Masters of the Wild
    • MH—Miniatures Handbook
    • Mon—Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn
    • MM—Monster Manual
    • MM2—Monster Manual II
    • MM3—Monster Manual III
    • MM4—Monster Manual IV
    • MM5—Monster Manual V
    • Mys—Mysteries of the Moonsea
    • OA—Oriental Adventures
    • PlH—Planar Handbook
    • PE—Player's Guide to Eberron
    • PG—Player's Guide to Faerûn
    • PH—Player's Handbook
    • PH2—Player's Handbook II
    • PF—Power of Faerûn
    • RD—Races of Destiny
    • RE—Races of Eberron
    • Rac—Races of Faerûn
    • RS—Races of Stone
    • RotD—Races of the Dragon
    • RW—Races of the Wild
    • RH—Red Hand of Doom
    • RT—Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
    • RC—Rules Compendium
    • Sa—Sandstorm
    • SS—Savage Species
    • SoS—Secrets of Sarlona
    • SX—Secrets of Xen’drik
    • SK—Serpent Kingdoms
    • SSL—FR2 Shadowdale:The Scouring of the Land
    • SL—Shadows of the Last War
    • Sh—Sharn:City of Towers
    • ShG—The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
    • ShS—Shining South
    • SM—Silver Marches
    • SiS—The Sinister Spire
    • Sas—Song and Silence: A Guidebook to Bards and Rogues
    • SG—Sons of Gruumsh
    • SD—The Speaker in Dreams
    • StS—The Standing Stone
    • SB—Stronghold Builder's Guidebook
    • SC—Spell Compendium
    • SF—Sword and Fist: A Guidebook to Monks and Fighters
    • TB—Tome and Blood: A Guidebook to Wizards and Sorcerers
    • ToB—Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords
    • TM—Tome of Magic
    • Una—Unapproachable East
    • Und—Underdark
    • UA—Unearthed Arcana
    • VGD—Voyage of the Golden Dragon
    • WB—Whispers of the Vampire's Blade



    Spoiler: The Artificer
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    The Chassis
    A d6 hit die, 4 + Int mod skills, 3/4ths BAB, and a good Will save, simple weapons, light and medium armor, shields. Decent enough, and definitely not bad. As far as classes go, they’re fairly middle of the road in base statistics.

    Class Skills
    • Appraise: Identify does it better, and is otherwise very dependent on how your game plays. It’s mostly a fluff skill.
    • Concentration: You’re a spellcaster; you want this.
    • Craft: You're not crafting, so you don't really need this. At most, a single rank each of Weaponsmithing and Armorsmithing.
    • Disable Device: Useful if you don't have a rogue and your DM likes traps in dungeons.
    • Knowledge (Arcana): Constructs, Dragons, and Magical Beasts are common monsters at all levels, and this is a common prerequisite as well.
    • Knowledge (Architecture and engineering): There is not much mechanical to be done with this skill. It is almost entirely campaign-dependent.
    • Knowledge (The Planes): Identifying Outsiders is incredibly useful, especially at higher levels.
    • Open Lock: Useful if you don't have a rogue, don't want to Disable Device the locks, or don't have access to adamantine things or knock.
    • Profession: It doesn’t make a lot of money, and if it did, many DMs probably wouldn’t allow it to do so often.
    • Search: Useful if you don't have a rogue and your DM likes traps in dungeons.
    • Spellcraft: Identifying spells is useful.
    • Use Magic Device: Max this and never look back. It's your most important skill.


    Class Features

    • 1st – Infusions: Infusions are basically spells. Artificers spontaneously cast infusions like a sorcerer does spells, gets bonus infusions based on his Intelligence score at the same rate a normal mage gets bonus spells, and can cast them like spells. The important things to note about infusions is that they have some very unique abilities that spells don't normally grant, and that they're cast into items, not onto people. An infusion of bull's strength will be targeted on an item someone's carrying, giving them +4 Strength for its duration.

      Another thing to note is that artificers don't get a lot of infusions per day. They cap out at 4 per day per level, and the progression is slow. However, the infusions that matter are quite powerful, so you don't really need a huge amount.

      Artificers have infusions lists in the Eberron Campaign Setting, Dragonmarked, The Forge of War, Faiths of Eberron, Magic of Eberron, and Races of Eberron. There's a list below in its own section of all the infusions and what's good about them.

    • 1st – Craft Reserve: Gives the artificer extra experience points to craft with at each level. Normally amazing, but we really don't care about it. Personally, I would consider asking the DM for a houserule to allow you to spend Craft Reserve on exp costs of infusions, rather than crafting. Overall, it's a step "down" in power, and makes life slightly nicer for you. However, we can function without it.

    • 1st – Artificer Knowledge: Detect magic, but it takes a minute, and doesn't tell you what the aura is. It's extremely situational and generally just really bad compared to the cantrip that someone in the party probably has. A neat fluff ability though.

      If you get your hands on an Artificer's Monocle (MIC p.72), this becomes green because it can then be used to identify items.

    • 1st – Artisan Bonus: Gives you a bonus on Use Magic Device to activate items that you have the item creation feat for. It's a useful bonus since you're getting the feats from the class anyway even if you're not using them.

    • 1st – Disable Trap: Useful if your DM likes dungeons filled with traps. Otherwise generally doesn't come up.

    • 1st – Item Creation: A normal artificer's bread and butter. We don't care that it exists for the purposes of this handbook. However, it is still useful to have if you find yourself needing items, and there are some items that are useful for a noncrafting artificer. Use it if you want, but know that it's not really needed.

    • 1st – Bonus Feats: You get item creation feats (boo), but at 4th level and every four levels thereafter, you can pick a metamagic feat. This lets you get two of your core feats by level 8, which is great. The other artificer-only feats range from useless if not crafting to pretty good (Master Wand, Extra Rings).

    • 4th – Craft Homunculus: You get a pet construct made of you! This ability would normally be gold because it gets an artificer a dedicated wright to craft while he's adventuring, but for us, it's mostly a utility or minion thing. How good this is depends on the homunculus you're making. It is possible to build a bunch of homunculi and have a small army of robots, but that requires a minor amount of crafting, and has been explored rather thoroughly in the Unofficial Artificer Player's Guide 3.0, so I'm not going to fully go through the options here.

      • Arbalester (MoE p.152): This is a robot crossbow that shoots at things you designate. It can be enchanted like a normal weapon, but isn't that great because it's not going to scale super-well. Best used with spell-storing crossbow bolts or other trick shot type things, but since you're not crafting a bunch, it doesn't have that utility.
      • Dedicated Wright (ECS p.285): Little golem that builds items for you. Normally the best of the bunch, but is impressively useless for you.
      • Expeditious Messenger (ECS p.285): A flying artificial lemur with a great fly speed and the ability to deliver messages. It can be used to scout fairly well because of its high speed, but isn't very good in a fight. It's adorable, though, and it has a telepathic link with you like all homunculi, so is a good choice overall.
      • Furtive Filcher (ECS p.286): A little shadow-man that can steal things for you. It's got good hide checks and can steal things off people, so is fairly useful as far as homunculi go.
      • Baseline Homunculus (SRD): Fairly average, and vastly outstripped by the Expeditious Messenger in scouting utility and the Iron Defender and Persistent Harrier in combat ability. It does fly though, so it's useful enough. The poison is situationally good if you need to make something with a bad Fort save sleep.
      • Iron Defender (ECS p.287): A useful enough combat minion, and the basis for a hordeficer as described in the linked guide above. Not super useful to you unless you're planning on doing that, though.
      • Persistent Harrier (MoE p.153): A combat homunculus with sneak attack. It's a useful flanking buddy, but it's fairly squishy, since it can only have a number of hit dice equal to yours minus two.
      • Packmate (MoE p.152): A trunk that carries items around for you (but isn't amazing at storage) and can give potions to downed party members (which is fairly useful as an emergency option). Since you're not crafting a bunch of potions, its utility is limited, but it's not a bad option.

    • 5th – Retain Essence: Normally quite useful, but not good at all for you if you're avoiding crafting. Becomes a good ability if your DM houserules Craft Reserve into being something you can spend for exp costs.

    • 7th – Metamagic Spell Trigger: Really good even if you're not going out of your way to craft wands. You will have metamagic feats if you're playing an artificer based on infusions, and using them on wands is incredibly useful. You're unlikely to be a blastificer with it because of the lack of cheap blasting wands to use, but it's still very good.

    • 11th – Metamagic Spell Completion: On the other hand, this one is amazing. The important thing to note is that minor schemas (MoE p.122) are spell completion items. A minor schema is basically a scroll that can be used once per day, holding any spell or infusion of up to 6th level that doesn't have an expensive material component or exp cost. With this ability, you can get minor schemas of useful buff spells and apply Persistent Spell to them a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier. It's an incredibly strong ability, and one of the only things that you will likely want to use your item crafting abilities for (although it's not strictly necessary to craft, if you can just buy them somewhere).

    • 13th – Skill Mastery: Fairly late for such a majorly important ability, but taking 10 on Spellcraft and Use Magic Device checks is really strong. Becomes gold if you did not take Hardened Criminal as a feat at some point earlier.


    Alternative Class Features

    • Psionic Artificer (MoE p.42): Normally, the psionic artificer is considered even more broken than a normal artificer if you combine their crafting abilities with the existence of Spell-to-Power Erudites, a liberal reading of the ardent's Magic Mantle, and similar things. This alternate class changes several things about the normal artificer:
      • Item Creation cannot be used to emulate spells, and can now be used to emulate powers. This is still amazing (especially if you have an erudite on hand to provide spells as powers), but we're choosing to ignore it.
      • Your infusions list is changed to have all references of "spells" and "magic" to "powers" and "psionics." Spell-storing item becomes power-storing item, metamagic item becomes metapsionic item, and the like. This is not good for a noncrafting artificer, because it means that they cannot apply Persistent Spell to their temporary wands. Persistent Power is a feat that exists in the 3.0 Psionics Handbook, but it was not updated when that book stopped being the most recent psionics rules, so unless your DM updates it for you per the DMG's guidelines regarding 3.0 material, psionic artificer is a terrible ACF to take. If the DM does, then psionic artificer is a decent choice, because there are a lot of useful powers, but it's not nearly as good as the spellcasting one.

        Also, one important thing to note about the psionic artificer's infusions is that they are still infusions. They use metamagic feats still (since the psionic change only applies to the infusions themselves, not the mechanic of casting them), they're arguably still counted as spells, and the psionic artificer can still craft alchemical items.
      • Your bonus feats swap to the psionic version, and you can no longer take metamagic feats as a bonus feat.
      • Metamagic Spell Trigger becomes Metapsionic Power Trigger, which is worse than Metamagic Spell Trigger because there aren't as useful metapsionics as there are metamagics, and the most common use of the ability (blasting) lacks the power of orb spells to carry it.
      • Metamagic Spell Completion becomes Metapsionic Power Completion is similar, except that it now cannot be used on minor schemas, as it only works on power completion items such as power stones, and minor schemas do not have a psionic analogue. In addition, unless the DM allows material from the 3.0 Psionics Handbook, you can't persist anything anyway.

      Overall, psionic artificer is not a good choice for a buff-focused noncrafting artificer in most cases. However, there is a situation where it can be good: a RAW reading of the ardent's Magic Mantle, from Complete Psionic. If your DM allows you to use it as written and ignore the sentences of the ability that don't do anything to the rules, but establish its RAI, then the psionic artificer is a gold choice, as it can now use metamagic feats with powers, metapsionic feats with spells, and otherwise treats magic as psionics and vice-versa. In any other situation, I would not recommend using this alternate class, because it loses too much of the power infusions carry for very little reward unless you're using its crafting abilities.

    • Warforged Artificer Substitution Levels (RE p.129): These levels, attainable only by a warforged (or a changeling with the Racial Emulation feat), are quite good if you're a warforged looking to buff up. At 1st level, they gain +1 CL on any infusion they imbue on themselves, giving you slightly longer durations and better effects at some levels. At 4th level, they lose the Craft Homunculus ability and gain a minor healing ability called Tools of War, which heals any construct or item (including himself) an amount equal to their Charisma modifier, and makes exp costs less when crafting some items. This isn't great for you, but what's most important on the Warforged Artificer is the 5th level ability, Weapon Familiar. Basically, you take a magic weapon and turn it into a familiar, and if it's one of a few types, you can get either +3 on Use Magic Device checks, +2 on Fortitude saves, or +2 on Reflex saves. In exchange, you lose the Retain Essence class feature, which you probably weren't using anyway. If you're crafting often, then this is probably not a good substitution level to take, because Retain Essence is quite useful.



    The artificer has some fairly good class features, although less of them are useful or applicable if you’re choosing to avoid the headache that is item crafting. Most important of these class features is their infusions, which range from fairly underwhelming to unique and powerful abilities that only artificers get. We mostly care about the latter. Of those, we specifically care about the following three infusions, listed here for convenience’s sake:

    Spoiler: Bread, Butter, Knife
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    • 1st – Spell-Storing Item (ECS p. 115): By making a high-DC Use Magic Device check, you create a one-charge wand of a spell whose level is up to half your artificer level (and a max of 4th level period). Any spell, off any list. You have to provide any focuses, expensive material components, or exp costs when infusing the spell into the item. This infusion also has an exp cost equal to the [spell's level * your caster level], which is almost nothing, since you'll get back more than that in a single encounter. Sadly, the fact that it has an exp cost means it can't be put into a minor schema. The wand lasts for 1 hour/level or until you use it.

    • 3rd – Metamagic Item (ECS p.113): You apply a metamagic feat you possess to a spell-trigger item for the duration. The spell-trigger item does not use extra charges as a result or anything; it just applies the metamagic feat to each use of it.

    • 4th – Concurrent Infusions (MoE p.94): Applies the effects of three different 1st-level infusions to an item. The important thing is that it only does the effects, not the whole thing... So you can use spell-storing item without the exp cost, and since concurrent infusions does not have an exp cost, it can be put into a minor schema.

    These three infusions, when combined, allow an 8th level or higher artificer to persist any spell of up to 4th level, off any list, with the only cost being a 4th-level infusion and a 3rd-level infusion. In addition, they can emulate those same spells using their 1st-level infusions and a tiny, tiny exp cost (at level 8, a maxed-out spell-storing item costs 32 exp. That's almost nothing).
    Last edited by Forrestfire; 2016-09-25 at 09:02 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Infusions

    The rest of the infusions are down here. For the purposes of these short descriptions, any time I say "the target," I'm actually referring to "the person wearing the thing you targeted," because infusions target and affect objects, not creatures.

    Spoiler: 1st-Level Infusions
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    You get these at 1st level.

    • Ablative Armor (MoE p.93): Gives the target some DR/– against the next attack that hits them. It lasts 10 minutes/level, but takes a full minute to cast, so it can be situationally useful, but mostly is just underwhelming.

    • Armor Enhancement, Lesser (ECS p.109): Gives an armor or shield a +1 ability or an ability worth up to 5,000gp for 10 minutes/level. Has a 1 minute casting time, so it's good if you know you're about need something. The infusion has a 10gp material component, so it's not super spammable at early levels (although eventually that sort of cost becomes irrelevant). Here's a good list of armor special abilities.

    • Energy Alteration (ECS p.111): Changes the mentions of an energy type in a magic item to any other energy type. Notably, this works on things that grant energy resistance, so if you're expecting to be fighting a specific type of monster that uses an energy, you can hit your ring of energy resistance or whatever with it and be more protected. This one has a 1 round casting time, so it's slightly more usable at the spur of a moment, and lasts 10 minutes/level.

    • Enhancement Alteration (ECS p.111): Alters some of a weapon's enhancement bonus to apply to AC, or some of a shield's enhancement bonus to apply to shield bashes, each instead of their normal applications. Really isn't great unless you suddenly find yourself requiring a fake Defending weapon. This one can also be used as a situational debuff if you're facing someone with an enchanted weapon/shield.

    • Entangling Dragonmark (Dra p. 151): Entangles someone, but allows SR, requires a Fort save, and requires you to have a dragonmark to use it. Just buy a tanglefoot bag if you want to entangle people, or take Hidden Talent (entangling ectoplasm).

    • Identify (SRD): Identifies magic items. Since infusions are not arcane, you don't have a material component, either. Fairly self-explanatory.

    • Indisputable Possession (MoE p.97): For 10 minutes/level, if you lose or drop an item, you can call it back to you as a move action. If someone's holding it, they get a Will save to negate it. This infusion is situationally awesome, but not really something to grab at all times.

    • Inflict Light Damage (ECS p.112): It's inflict light wounds but only hits constructs. Very weak damage, although it’s slightly better than inflict light wounds because it offers no save.

    • Knight Unburdened (FoW p.114): Makes a suit of armor not reduce movement speed for 1 hour/level. Can be a pretty useful buff to put on allies, comparable to things like longstrider.

    • Light (SRD): Sadly, it's a cantrip on a 1st-level list because artificers don't have cantrips. Get other casters to cast it, or buy a torch. It's not worth the slot.

    • Magic Stone (SRD): Useful-ish at low levels if you're facing DR/magic. Stops being good shortly afterwards.

    • Magic Vestment (SRD): One of the more useful buff spells, letting you enchant your armor with abilities rather than +x... And you get it as a 1st-level infusion! Awesome.

    • Magic Weapon (SRD): Situationally useful for the same reason magic stone is, and stops being useful the moment you have magic weapons.

    • Metamagic Scroll (MoE p.97): Apply a metamagic feat with a +2 adjustment or less to a spell completion item, including scrolls and minor schemas. This infusion has amazing utility on many minor schemas, especially for using Extend Spell on buffs that last hours/level or 24 hours, and can be good for various scrolls as well. It's less useful than it would be on a normal crafting artificer, but it's still phenomenally good.

    • Natural Weapon Augmentation, Personal (RE p.189): Applies a +1 weapon special ability or one that costs 10,000gp or less to one of your natural weapons. I really like Bane if you know what you're going to face. Gold if you're mainly fighting with such weapons. This one is hampered by its one minute casting time, but if you're expecting a fight, its 10 minute/level duration should have you covered. Here's a good list of weapon abilities by cost.

    • Pending Potion (MoE p.100): Delays a potion's effect for 10 minutes/level and allows it to be activated as a swift action during the duration. This can be quite good for buffing with potions, since it gets rid of the main drawback of using them, but is more useful to give martial allies the ability to potion up. It's never quite strong, though, because potions are expensive and cap at 3rd-level spells. On a normal artificer, it can be significantly better.

    • Repair Light Damage (ECS p.114): Cure light wounds for constructs. Useful in a pinch, but if you have a warforged party member, you should probably get a wand rather than wasting valuable infusion slots on it.

    • Resistance Item (ECS p.114): Provides +1 resistance on saves (and another +1 per four caster levels) for a decent duration. It can save you money on cloaks of resistance if you can expect going into fights.

    • Shield of Faith (SRD): A decent buff at low levels, although it stops being a good use of your slots and actions fairly quickly (might not ever be a good use, really).

    • Skill Enhancement (ECS p.115): Provides a scaling circumstance bonus on a specific skill check that lasts a while. Put it on a stick at the start of the day and pass it around to buff everyone's UMD, perhaps, or just hold onto it until you need a higher skill bonus.

    • Spell-Storing Item (ECS p. 115): By making a high-DC Use Magic Device check, you create a one-charge wand of a spell whose level is up to half your artificer level (and a max of 4th level period). Any spell, off any list. You have to provide any focuses, expensive material components, or exp costs when infusing the spell into the item. This infusion also has an exp cost equal to the [spell's level * your caster level], which is almost nothing, since you'll get back more than that in a single encounter. Sadly, the fact that it has an exp cost means it can't be put into a minor schema. The wand lasts for 1 hour/level or until you use it.

    • Summon Marked Homunculus (Dra p.154): If you have the Mark of Making, you can summon up a temporary homunculus for 1 hour/level. This is actually really good, and green if you have said mark because it's an amazing scouting tool and utility summon for a 1st-level infusion.

    • Weapon Augmentation, Personal (ECS p.117) It's the same as Personal Natural Weapon Augmentation, but it works on everything. This is probably going to be one of the most useful 1st-level infusions for you if you're planning on fighting at all. Here's a good list of weapon abilities by cost.


    Spoiler: 2nd-Level Infusions
    Show

    You get these at 3rd level.

    • Align Weapon (SRD): Situational for bypassing DR. About as useful to an artificer as any other mage, but at least you're spontaneous.

    • Armor Enhancement (ECS p.108): A better version of Lesser Armor Enhancement; this one gives a +3 thing or 35,000gp value, with a 50gp material component.

    • Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Eagle's Splendor, Fox's Cunning (SRD): Fairly useful for you if you find yourself needing it. They eventually become less relevant, but the fact that you put them on an item that can be handed off to others is a unique plus for artificers.

    • Chill Metal (SRD) and Heat Metal (SRD): Both of these are fairly mediocre as combat spells in most cases, but can in a pinch can be used for minor utility such as boiling or freezing water.

    • Construct Essence, Lesser (FE p.150, RE p.184): Gives an allied warforged 75% fortification and immunity to nonlethal damage. It can be a pretty good situational buff if you need to negate sneak attacks. Becomes red if you don't have a living construct around to hit it with.

    • Elemental Prod (MoE p.96): For a minute per level, you can move willing elementals around as a standard action. Unwilling elementals take minor damage and get shoved 5 feet (no save). This is a situationally useful battlefield control, but becomes blue if you have an ally with the elemental type you can give free off-turn movement.

    • Ignite Dragonmark (Dra p.152): Deals damage to someone with a dragonmark and turns off their mark for a few rounds. Pretty terrible in many campaigns, but becomes blue in a campaign where you're fighting a lot of dragonmarked house members.

    • Inflict Moderate Damage (ECS p.113): Suffers from the same problems as inflict light damage.

    • Lucky Blade (MoE p.98): Imbues a weapon with the ability to reroll an attack once during its decently long duration. Has a one minute cast time, so it needs to be cast when you expect combat to come up. It's especially good if you're preparing an ambush; put it on the Power Attacker's sword or something.

    • Natural Weapon Augmentation, Lesser (RE p.189): As the personal version, except you can put it on other peoples' natural weapons. This one also has a 20gp material component cost. Fairly good for improving your allies' pets attacks in a pinch. Bane continues to be one of the best ones to grab. Here's a good list of weapon abilities by cost.

    • Ray of Retaliation (Dra p.153): Immediate action that negates a ray attack that hit you and shoots a beam of force damage back at the caster. Amazing defensive option, although it requires you to have a dragonmark, becoming red if you do not.

    • Reinforce Construct (MoE p.100): Gives a construct temporary hit points for 1 hour/level. It's not a lot of temp HP though, so you probably have better things to do with your slots.

    • Repair Moderate Damage (ECS p.114): Same as repair light damage. Useful if you really need healing on your warforged or other construct right this second, but otherwise isn't great, since combat healing is generally a poor use of your actions.

    • Suppress Dragonmark (MoE p.103): Reverses the polarity of the dragonmark flow. Using an inversely-charged Siberys shard, you turn off someone's dragonmark for 24 hours. Useful in a game with enemy dragonmark users, red otherwise.

    • Swift Ready (FoW p.117): Marks a suit of armor and set of weapons, and for 24 hours you can summon them to your person as a swift action. You have to have line of sight to the equipment, but it can be worth using with a leftover slot at the end of the day in case of night ambushes.

    • Toughen Construct (ECS p.116): Decently long duration to add an enhancement bonus to a construct's natural armor. Useful if you've got an allied warforged (or are a warforged), red if not.

    • Unseen Crafter (RE p.191): An unseen servant that lasts 1 day per level, and can make craft checks/repair warforged. Even if you're not crafting, it's worth tossing one up every so often just to have around.

    • Weapon Augmentation, Lesser (ECS p.117): As the personal version, except that not only can you enchant other peoples' weapons with it, you can hit up to 50 pieces of ammunition with it. Costs 20gp to cast, but that's worth it to stick a useful situational +1 on everyone's arrows, or on the main damage dealer's weapon. Here's a good list of weapon abilities by cost.

    Spoiler: 3rd-Level Infusions
    Show

    You get these at 5th level.

    • Adamantine Weapon (MoE p.93): Turns a weapon adamantine for a bit. Use it to overcome DR and sequence break dungeons.

    • Armor Enhancement, Greater (ECS p.109): Like the other armor enhancement infusions, except you can get up to +5 or 100,000gp. This grants you access to a ton of useful abilities earlier than you should have them, such as going ethereal, high resistances, or the ability to control 26 HD of undead from Undead Controlling armor. It also has a unique power here, because there are a lot of +5 armor enhancements that are underwhelming when you get them... Except that you get this infusion at level 5. When Spell Resistance 19 (SRD) is actually strong, or the Spell Trapping ability from the DMG II, to trap up to a 5th-level spell in the armor for reuse. Reflecting shields, etc. This is a very, very good infusion, even with the 100gp material component cost.

    • Blast Rod (MoE p.94): Turns a rod into a laser cannon that can shoot 1d8 per CL as a ranged touch attack (max 10d8), metered out how you want. It can be a decent source of damage if you get minor schemas of it or build around it.

    • Construct Energy Ward (ECS p.109): Resist energy but it only works on constructs. Blue if you or your allies are constructs or living constructs.

    • Dragonmarked Weapon (Dra p.151): +1d6 damage against dragonmarked creatures not from your house. Requires you to have a dragonmark. Just use personal weapon enhancement and grab Flaming or something; this one's only real benefit is that it can be cast in the middle of a combat (standard action), but even then it's not great.

    • Humanoid Essence, Lesser (RE p.187) Allows constructs to fully benefit from the Healing subschool. It's situationally useful, but mediocre in most cases. It can be used to allow full constructs to be healed by the same things everyone else is, though. It's also possible that it would allow the to be hit with revivify, raise dead or resurrection, although that's entirely a DM call, and its short duration limits it somewhat.

    • Inflict Serious Damage (ECS p.113): Suffers from the same problem that the other inflict damage infusions do.

    • Lucky Cape (MoE p.98): Makes a cape grant its wearer the ability to reroll a save once during its fairly long duration. This can be incredibly useful if you expect debuffs coming in a fight soon, or in edge cases like saving against an effect each day.

    • Magic Weapon, Greater (SRD): A very good spell; allows your primary melees to pick up a bunch of weapon abilities and not have to waste money on +numbers. One of the cornerstones of a good buff list.

    • Metamagic Item (ECS p.113): You apply a metamagic feat you possess to a spell-trigger item for the duration. The spell-trigger item does not use extra charges as a result or anything; it just applies the metamagic feat to each use of it.

    • Power Surge (ECS p.114): Grants temporary charges to a spell trigger item, costing you 5 exp per level of the highest level stored in the item. You can combine this with spell-storing item and metamagic item to lay down buffs onto each ally, for negligible costs.

    • Repair Serious Damage (ECS p.114): Same deal as the other repair infusions.

    • Spell Snare (MoE p.102): Absorbs the next spell of 3rd-level or lower that targets the holder of the affected 25gp eberron dragonshard. Has a 10 minutes/level duration, so if you're expecting a fight with a spellcaster, it can make for a nasty surprise defense.

    • Stone Construct (ECS p.116): Stoneskin but it only works on constructs. Has an expensive material component, but is a strong defense.

    • Suppress Requirement (ECS p.116): Completely removes a class/race/ability score/alignment requirement of a magic item for the duration of the infusion. You have to roll as if you were emulating it, but while the infusion's up, anyone can use it. Personally, I like using this infusion to weld warforged components to my allies. Don't ask me where their hands go when they're wearing Battlefists, though...


    Spoiler: 4th-Level Infusions
    Show

    You get these at 8th level.

    • Censure Elementals (MoE p.94): Makes a staff that deals really underwhelming damage to elementals within a 20-foot area each round you use a standard action to use it. Not a great use of your time or slots unless you're for some reason fighting lots of really little elementals.

    • Concurrent Infusions (MoE p.94): Applies the effects of three different 1st-level infusions to an item. The important thing is that it only does the effects, not the whole thing... So you can use spell-storing item without the exp cost, and since concurrent infusions does not have an exp cost, it can be put into a minor schema. In addition to this use, it also has a bunch of other utility, since it grabs any three 1st-level infusions you want. One of the artificer's strongest infusions as a result.

    • Construct Energy Ward, Greater (ECS p.109): Protection from energy but it only works on constructs. Blue if you or your allies are constructs or living constructs.

    • Globe of Invulnerability, Lesser (SRD): Shuts down 4th-level or lower spells within the area. Normally this spell is fairly good, but artificers have a special use of it as a result of casting it on an item. Presumably, it now follows the item you cast it into and not you (or possibly whoever's wearing the item).

    • Humanoid Essence (RE p.186): Negates a lot of a construct's immunities unless they succeed at a Will save. Sneak attacks, crits, energy drain, ability damage, death effects... Sadly, it's SR: Yes, which means it's not useful against golems, but if you're fighting other constructs, it's a powerful debuff.

    • Inflict Critical Damage (ECS p.112): Another underwhelming inflict spell that can only be used on constructs. Not much to say.

    • Iron Construct (ECS p.113): Like iron body, except it only works on constructs and the only drawback is a –4 penalty to Dexterity. It can be used on other creatures, so if you or your allies are constructs, this is green because of its decent duration and DR 15/adamantine and halved damage from two common energy types on a 4th-level slot.

    • Item Alteration (ECS p.113): This infusion is so dirty that I can't in good conscience suggest using it. Its effect is to change the bonus type granted by an item to any type other than Profane or Sacred (and it can't give Dodge bonuses to AC. It can give them to other things), allowing stacking of all the items you want. It has a 10 minutes/level duration, so it'll last a while... But the important part is that by RAW in the infusions ability, any item imbued with an infusion is a magic item granting a benefit that can be altered by this if that benefit is a bonus. This infusion can get out of hand incredibly quickly.

    • Minor Creation (SRD): Creates useful items out of vegetable matter if you need them. Poison's the classic use for it, but it's a fairly freeform spell.

    • Natural Weapon Augmentation (RE p.188): As lesser natural weapon augmentation, except it's got a 100gp material component and can grant up to a +3/70,000gp ability. This is gold if you or your allies use natural weapons as a main weapon. Here's a good list of weapon abilities by cost.

    • Repair Critical Damage (ECS p.114): Same issues as all the other repair infusions regarding the situations it's useful in. Most of the time when you need emergency healing, a light should do it to get them their next turn.

    • Rusting Grasp (SRD): Don't get me wrong, it's a powerful spell. It can instantly kill a metal weapon, permanently reduce the armor bonus of enemies with armor, and damage metal monsters... But it destroys the loot, which is a cardinal sin in D&D.

    • Shield of Faith, Legion's (ECS p.115): As shield of faith, but it buffs all allies within a 20-foot burst. This spell can be quite good if you and your allies don't already have deflection bonuses, or it can be amazing if buffing up a group of mooks for mook on mook battles.

    • Weapon Augmentation (ECS p.117): As lesser weapon augmentation, except it's got a 100gp material component and can grant up to a +3/70,000gp ability. If you're buffing up before a fight, this is one of the best medium-duration buffs you could use at this level (if you have the slot). Here's a good list of weapon abilities by cost.


    Spoiler: 5th-Level Infusions
    Show

    You get these at 11th level.

    • Construct Essence (RE p.183): Gives your robot buddy immunity to a bunch of things, including crits, sneak attacks, ability damage, and death effects. Red if you don't have any warforged around to buff.

    • Disrupting Weapon (SRD): Buffs a weapon to instakill undead creatures on a failed save. Situationally powerful if you're fighting undead, and gold if you happen to be in an undead-heavy campaign like Age of Worms.

    • Dominate Living Construct (RE p.184): Dominate person except it only hits living constructs. Red if not playing in Eberron or another setting with living constructs running around in the open.

    • Dragonmarked Weapon, Greater (Dra p.151): As dragonmarked weapon, except it's +2d6 damage. It's still really bad outside of specific campaigns.

    • Fabricate (SRD): Strong utility, possible WBL-breaking, and an all-around useful spell. It is also possible, through action points or the Rapid Infusion feat, to reduce the casting time down to a round and pretend you're Edward Elric.

    • Inflict Light Damage, Mass (RE p.187): See other inflicts. 1d8+CL damage is really weak at the level you get 5th-level infusions. Also, this one, unlike the other inflict damage infusions, is Will half.

    • Major Creation (SRD): Another amazing freeform utility spell which can have its casting time reduced by options available to you. Rapid Infusion or action points turns this into a poor man's wall of stone/iron/adamantine/deadly neurotoxin.

    • Repair Light Damage, Mass (RE p.189): An even more situational repair spell than the others, since it's only good if a bunch of constructs need small amounts of HP back.

    • Slaying Arrow (MoE p.102): Turns an arrow or bolt into a save or die. Can be pretty good if you've got a good Int score and an archer in the party, since it frees up some action economy thanks to pre-casting it.

    • Wall of Force (SRD): Strong battlefield control, letting you cordon off a fight with an unbreakable wall, or block a passage, or something.

    • Wall of Stone (SRD): Also a strong battlefield control effect. Artificers got a lot of those at 5ths. This one's slightly less strong because it only works on the ground.


    Spoiler: 6th-Level Infusions
    Show

    You get these at 14th level.

    • Blade Barrier (SRD): Wall of damage of an unresisted type. It's reduced by Reflex saves, so enemies with evasion can just waltz through it, but it's otherwise a decent soft-battlefield control spell. Becomes much stronger if you or your allies can reliably shove enemies through it.

    • Construct Essence, Mass Lesser (FE p.150): Gives a bunch of living constructs 75% fortification and immuity to nonlethal and stunning. This can be good if you've got a bunch of warforged on hand you want to buff, but at this level, you should probably be looking for more permanent sources of those defenses.

    • Disable Construct (ECS p.111): Harm that only works on constructs. Most constructs have a weak Will save, although sadly this doesn't work on golems.

    • Globe of Invulnerability (SRD): It's a globe of invulnerability, except that it's possible that you could put it on an item and pass it around, like with the lesser globe. A good enough defensive spell if you find yourself needing it, although the most dangerous spells at this level ignore it. A lot of monsters have SLAs that are blocked by it, though, so don't forget it exists.

    • Hardening (ECS p.112): Permanently increases the hardness of an object. If you're playing in a game where sundering is common, this becomes green. Otherwise, it's mostly a utility thing that you can probably find a good use for, but is not immediately applicable in many situations.

    • Humanoid Essence, Greater (RE p.186): Makes a construct humanoid, with all that entails. This can be used as a strong debuff against enemy constructs (except golems, sadly), or it can be used to enable some strange shenanigans with spells that care about type.

    • Inflict Moderate Damage, Mass (RE p.187): Very low damage that's not widely applicable and is halved on a successful Will save. Just find literally any other way of blasting.

    • Move Earth (SRD): Normally, this spell is an okayish way to alter the terrain, except that since artificers get it as an infusion, they can spent an action point or use the Rapid Infusion feat to pull off its full volume casting in a single round. While it can't be used to trap or bury creatures, lowering part of a battlefield someone into a very deep pit or raising massive walls around them is a viable tactic, as is setting up conditions that could be used to trap someone in landslides if you applied other things to the situation.

    • Natural Weapon Augmentation, Greater (RE p.188): As the other ones, except it's a +5/200,000gp enhancement with a 200gp material component. If you or your allies are natural weapon users, this becomes gold. Here's a good list of weapon abilities by cost.

    • Repair Moderate Damage, Mass (RE p.189): Slightly more healing than the light version. Again, repair spells can be situationally good, but are generally a poor use of your time and slots.

    • Spell Snare, Greater (MoE p.102): Like spell snare, except that it absorbs a spell of up to 6th level. This is an amazing surprise defense if you expect a caster fight in the near future.

    • Total Repair (ECS p.116): Heal except it only works on constructs. Becomes green if you have a warforged or are a warforged.

    • Wall of Iron (SRD): Battlefield control that can also fall on people, and be fabricated or otherwise sold for WBL-breaking if you're allowed to.

    • Weapon Augmentation, Greater (ECS p.117): As the other weapon augmentations, except it's up to +5/200,000gp. Flat-out amazing and well worth spending the slot if you expect a fight coming up. There are a lot of overcosted +5s that could be useful for one battle, and this lets you get them. Here's a good list of weapon abilities by cost.
    Last edited by Forrestfire; 2017-12-02 at 10:35 PM.
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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Playing a Noncrafting Artificer

    Spoiler: Ability Scores
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    • Strength: How important this is to you depends entirely on your build. If you're going to self-buffing gishing, then this is probably important unless you've got a finesse build. Otherwise, you can dump it.
    • Dexterity: This helps you dodge and get good initiative rolls. Better if you're going for a finessey gish or archer character.
    • Constitution: Everyone likes hit points. If you want, you can probably do without an incredibly high Con, but don't dump it.
    • Intelligence: This is your main stat, and even more important to you than a normal artficer. You really want at least an 18 in it by 8th level, to get that crucial bonus 4th-level infusion per day.
    • Wisdom: Good if you're focusing on Wisdom-to-hit, otherwise you can probably afford to dump it. If you want perception skills, you can persist a buff that gives senses or skill bonuses.
    • Charisma: Like a normal artificer, you're focused on Use Magic Device. Ideally, you want to be able to consistently meet a DC 32 at least once or twice each day, and possibly more times depending on what infusions you're using. Max it after Int, probably.


    Spoiler: Races
    Show

    For your race, most will work just fine, so I'm just going to list some races that stand out for a noncrafting artificer. Here's a list of all the LA +0 races for your perusal.

    • Human (SRD) and little human Strongheart Halfling (RoF p.78): As with any character, bonus feats are really good. Ideally, you want to have four specific feats by level 8 (Iron Will, Hardened Criminal, Extend Spell, and Persistent Spell), and both human and strongheart halfling make getting those significantly easier. The variant humans like azurin and silverbrow humans are equally good.

    • Changelings (ECS p.12): Would normally not be worth mentioning mechanically, but they're a fairly decent race if you plan on entering the Chameleon PrC later and want the shapeshifting/don't want to be a human. Mechanically, they have nothing to help you artificer at things. This becomes gold if you plan on entering Warshaper and it's working by RAW, or just green if the DM has introduced some sanity to the morphic weapons ability.

    • Dragonmarked Races: If you want to enter into a dragonmark-focused PrC, or want to use the dragonmark component infusions, then you want a dragonmarked race. Human is, of course, the best one (and also one of the best marks), followed by gnomes and halflings for Small size. I'd check out the Player's Guide to Dragonmarks for information on what's good in a dragonmarked race.

    • Grey Elf (SRD): –2 Str, +2 Dex, –2 Con, +2 Int. If you're planning on being an archer artificer or something similar, you can't really go wrong with the grey elf (unless you need the feats, see above). Proficiency in bows saves you a little bit of effort, and you can get the Faerie Mysteries Initiate feat to shore up your HP loss from low Constitution. If your DM, for some unknowable reason, allows the Dark Chaos Shuffle, this shoots straight to gold.

    • Half-Elves (SRD): Would normally not be worth mentioning, except that their racial dragonmark is one of the better ones, and if you plan on entering the Windwright Captain PrC later, it's necessary. Airships are great.

    • Lesser Planetouched (PGtF p.191): Most of these are really, really good for LA +0, and if your DM allows them, they're worth considering. Here are the ones that are probably good to choose. There are others, but for the purposes of mechanics, we don't really care about ones that don't give something especially useful to an artificer. Many of these are inferior to human and strongheart halfling because of how feat-starved you are (even with the artificer bonus feats), but are worth a look and sometimes stronger for specific builds.
      • Aasimar (SRD): +2 Wis, +2 Cha, some energy resistances. It gives you a bonus to one of your main stats, so it's not a bad choice.
      • Air Genasi (FRCS p.19): +2 Dex, +2 Int, –2 Wis, –2 Cha. A slightly worse tiefling, but Int is more important than Cha.
      • Axani (Dr297 p.63): +2 Int, +2 Wis. Has some SLAs that don't really matter; what matters is that they buff your main stat without any downsides.
      • Cansin (Dr297 p.63): +2 Int, +2 Cha. The holy grail of stat bonuses for you. Comparable to human in power if you don't need to worry about the feats as much.
      • Celadrin (Dr350 p.53): +2 Dex, –2 Con, +2 Cha. If you're a ranged or finesse-focused artificer, then this can be a good choice because of its stats.
      • Dust Para-Genasi (Dr297 p.65): +4 Dex, –2 Con, +2 Int, –2 Cha. These are really good stats, and one of the best you could get if going for an archer character.
      • Fire Genasi (FRCS p.19): +2 Int, –2 Cha. Same deal, Int is harder to get. Not a great choice over lesser tiefling if all the lesser planetouched are in play, though.
      • Mechanatrix (FF p.137): –2 Dex, +2 Con, +2 Int, –2 Cha. These stats are good for melee artificers or ones who just don't care about Dex, and they heal from electricity damage, which can be incredibly useful. Still a penalty to Cha, though, which hurts.
      • Smoke Para-Genasi (Dr297 p.65): +2 Dex, +2 Int, –2 Cha. Comparable to lesser tiefling if you don't want to be of fiendish ancestry and like the stat spread.
      • Tiefling (SRD): +2 Dex, +2 Int, –2 Cha. While this does penalize your Charisma, the bonus to Intelligence is much harder to get, so it's a very good choice if you're going for a ranged or finesse artificer.
      • Wispling (FF p.139): –2 Str, +4 Dex, +2 Int, and Small size. I think we have a winner! This race is one of the best you can choose outside of human or strongheart halfling if you're going for any sort of Dexterity focus, and is possibly great even if you're not.

    • Magic-Blooded Template (Dr306 p.64): –2 Wis, +2 Cha, LA +0. Some other small bonuses, and overwrites your race's vision modes. If your DM allows Dragon Magazine, his is amazing for an artificer, since it gives a stat you need in exchange for a stat you don't.

    • Marrulurk (Sa p.170): With three racial hit dice and +1 LA, this race seems like a bit of an oddity to suggest. However, they have Point Blank Shot and Rapid Shot as bonus feats, amazing stats, and native sneak attack and death attack abilities. If your game is starting at ECL 15 or higher (or ECL 14 with LA buyoff allowed in backstory), then this race shoots up to green for a thrower or archer build, because all its racial abilities synergize extremely well with a self-buffing artificer.

    • Promordial Giant (SX p.79) Half-Giant (SRD) or Menta Cyclopean (Dr323 p.95): Primordial giant is a template from Secrets of Xen'drik that buffs a giant's mental stats in exchange for a slight drop in physicals. Many people consider it slightly cheesy, but a primordial giant mental cyclopean has total stat adjustments of –4 Str, –2 Dex, +4 Int, and +4 Cha. They can also get invisibility, invisibility purge, or levitate at-will. It's an absolutely phenomenal race for LA +0. The half-giant version is LA +1 for –2 Str, –2 Dex, +4 Int, +4 Cha, and the same SLAs, and even with the LA that's pretty good. If the template is allowed, then it's definitely worth consideration. If LA buyoff is in play, then the half-giant version is green.

    • Warforged (ECS p.20): You are a robot. However, you get –2 Cha in exchange for being a robot. Artificers have a bunch of infusions that specifically buff constructs, so if you have Flaws in play to get the feats you need, it is possibly worth the loss to your secondary main stat. If you're not, then warforged eat your feats to get decent armor, and the race doesn't give you a whole lot in exchange. If your DM lets you use the dragonborn template with warforged, this becomes blue because you don't need to waste feats on armor anymore.


    Spoiler: Feats
    Show
    For a noncrafting artificer, there are two mandatory feats. If you're playing one and don't have them, something's gone very, very wrong.

    • Extend Spell (SRD): A generally useful metamagic feat for your infusions, and more importantly, a prerequisite for Persistent Spell.

    • Persistent Spell (CAr p.81): Makes a spell with a fixed or personal range last 24 hours. This is the most important feat for you to get, because it's what makes a noncrafting artificer work at all, turning them into the most versatile persistomancer buffer in the game. This feat is gettable through a Metamagic Storm if your game includes magic locations.

    There is also one feat good enough to be near-mandatory, although if your DM doesn't allow refluffing, it has some awkward backstory connotations:

    • Hardened Criminal (City of Stormreach p.95): An obscure feat from an obscure Eberron book, this grants immunity to being intimidated and the ability to always take 10 on a single skill, regardless of local conditions. Pick Use Magic Device for it. Its only prerequisite is Iron Will.

    • Iron Will (SRD): +2 to Will saves, and a prerequisite for Hardened Criminal. We probably wouldn't care about it otherwise. This feat is gettable through the Otyugh Hole if your game allows magic locations.

    These four feats form the core of a noncrafting artificer, letting you reliably put out persisted buffs and utility spells with the spell-storing item infusion. Without them, you're significantly less useful. For the rest of your feats, though, the options mostly depend on your build and character concept. A ranged artificer will be looking into feats like Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, and the like, while a melee gish artificer probably wants Power Attack. Because building an artificer in such a way is about the same as building a character of a more standard class for it, I would look into the handbooks people have already made to find what feats are good or amazing for such builds.

    In any case, some feats that stand out as particularly useful for a noncrafting artificer are these. The Unofficial Artificer Player's Guide 3.0 also has a longer list of general artificer feats.

    • Chain Spell (CAr p.76): Allows you to use a lot of buff infusions on multiple targets at once. Greater magic weapon is the one that comes to mind immediately, but even for touch spells, you can apply the Reach Spell metamagic as well to apply infusions like magic vestment, spell-storing item, metamagic item, and the like to your CL in targets instead of just the one. You should also try to get metamagic rods of chaining if you can.

    • Easy Metamagic (Chain Spell) (Dr325 p.62): Reduces Chain Spell’s metamagic cost to +2, allowing you to apply it more easily, and more importantly, making it valid for use on a minor schema with the metamagic scroll infusion.

    • Dragonmarks (ECS): Most of the dragonmarks are underwhelming, but the Mark of Making in particular grants you access to a very good 1st-level infusion (summon marked homunculus), and several dragonmarks have neat PrCs attached to them.

    • Etch Schema (MoE p.47): The one item creation feat that will make you consider crafting. As stated earlier, a minor schema is basically a 1/day scroll, and can be used to get infusions. The cost of them is 400*CL*spell level, so it's very much worth having a bunch on hand of various infusions and buff spells, especially at later levels when you get the Metamagic Spell Completion ability.

    • Faerie Mysteries Initiate (Dr319 p.58): Several benefits, but we most care about the fact that it gives you Int to HP instead of Con. You need to be an elf, from a specific region, or spend put 2 ranks in Knowledge (Local) to get it, though. Makes grey elf a viable race choice, and helps a lot if you're playing a frontline melee artificer.

    • Heroic Spirit (ECS p.55): This feat is normally only okayish, and often not worth the feat slot. However, if you're not in a game with action points in play, and the DM allows you to take the feat to gain access to them (even if it's just 3, rather than 8+half level), it becomes amazing because it can grant you a few uses of time reduction on infusions, and access to the unfettered heroism spell.

    • Item Familiar (SRD): Good enough to be banned by many DMs. This feat lets you get fairly massive bonuses to your Use Magic Device check, as well as some other benefits such as exp boosts (which are great, because you spend small amounts of it regularly). Make your item familiar an attached or embedded warforged component and use Use Magic Device to emulate the racial prerequisite, and now you can't lose the thing unless you're almost dead already.

    • Rapid Infusion (MoE p.51): 1/day, cast an infusion as if it had a one round casting time. Absolutely amazing for increasing your ability to put on the long-casting-time buffs, and choosable as an artificer bonus feat. This feat also combines with some of the higher-level infusions that emulate spells with high casting times to make them more immediately applicable in a combat situation.

    • Reach Spell (CD p.84): Enables the use of Chain Spell to multi-target your powerful buffs, and also lets you apply buff infusions at range if needed. You should also try to get metamagic rods of reaching if you can.

    • Wand Bonding (City of Stormreach p.95): Another obscure feat from City of Stormreach, this allows you to burn spell or infusion slots instead of wand charges, and on top of that, ups your wand's CL by 1/5 of your CL when you do it! If you're a warforged, this is gold, as it lets you burn slots to get multiple castings of persisted buffs out of one spell-storing item. Use it to stick them on allies.



    Spoiler: Multiclassing and Dips
    Show

    Unlike a normal artificer, a noncrafting artificer has some flexibility with multiclassing. Since we don't care about the class-level-scaling Item Creation ability, we only need to go 8 (to get access to concurrent infusions) or 11 (to get access to Metamagic Spell Completion) levels into the class. Of course, reaching those levels as quickly as possible is important, because those are the major powerspikes after level 2 when spell-storing item becomes usable, so dipping before then is only advised for a few cases. There are still many strong infusions at higher levels, so going all the way to 20 can be a good choice as well.

    • Ardent 1 (CP p.5): This class is in an interesting place for an artificer, thanks to one of its possible mantles, the Magic Mantle (CP p.70). The Magic Mantle basically states that you treat magic and psionics as identical, followed by a reminder text of "Most campaigns already treat them in this manner, so this mantle is most useful in campaigns where they are considered different systems." There are two important, contrasting ways of reading this mantle, that would determine how good it is for you:

      • The Magic Mantle invokes transparency rules in a game that otherwise does not have them, and in games that do, all it does is add Use Magic Device to your class skill list. This is red for an artificer, because it doesn't do anything useful for you.
      • The Magic Mantle makes magic and psionics truly identical, allowing you to apply metamagic feats to psionic items through metamagic item, use spell-storing item to make wands of powers, and the like. If this is your DM's reading of it, the Magic Mantle is gold, and you should be getting your hands on it if at all possible. There are many powerful psionic powers to be had. Personally, I don't suggest this reading of the Magic Mantle, because it can cause issues at many tables. If your group can take it, though, then it makes you even more versatile.

      Even without the Magic Mantle, though, the ardent can be a strong dip choice. They learn their powers based on manifester level, rather than class level, so if you take the class at the same level you gain a feat and grab Practiced Manifester (ardent), then a single level will net you several 3rd-level psionic powers to use.

    • Cleric 1 and Cloistered Cleric 1: Domains are very strong, and the Planning Domain gets you one of the mandatory feats for a noncrafting artificer (Extend Spell). Cloistered Cleric has a lot of skill points and can get you Knowledge Devotion on top of the other benefits, boosting your attacks and damage by +1-2 (or more, if you invest ranks) thanks to your presumably large Int score. For archer artificers, this gets even better, because the Elf domain can give you Point Blank Shot. It's worth considering, although delaying metamagic item and concurrent infusions by a level is painful. There is a great guide for dipping cleric 1, findable here.

    • Factotum 1, 3, 8, or 11: Factotum is a useful class to combine with artificer because of its Intelligence focus, but it's also incredibly feat-intensive thanks to Font of Inspiration's existence. A 3-level dip after hitting artificer 8 is good for applying Int to things like initiative, and going to as far as 8 (for extra actions) or 11 (cunning breach) can make for a strong overall build.

    • Fighter 1: Martial weapon proficiency and a bonus feat. Useful for melee artificers if you need to use a better weapon, but barbarian and warblade do it better.

    • Monk 2: With the Carmendine Monk feat (CV p.28), you can change the key ability from Wisdom to Intelligence. Taking a 2-level dip into monk after artificer 8, or taking a single level early on for the AC bonus, can be quite good. Monk also has a large amount of ACFs to be gained, which can be found in the compiled lists here (WotC 1st-party ACFs) and here (Dragon Magazine ACFs). Of them, the most notable ones are invisible fist (immediate action invisibility, EoE p.21) and martial monk (fighter bonus feats, Dr310 p.45).

      If you're playing a psionic artificer with a RAW reading of the ardent's Magic Mantle, then taking 1-2 levels of monk and the Tashalatora feat might make you a strong unarmed combatant, as you'll get full progression of flurry and unarmed damage on your psionic artificer levels. However, it is arguable that, despite the name, the psionic artificer is not a psionic class. Ask your DM first.

    • Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian 1: If you're a melee artificer, then getting whirling frenzy, pounce, and martial weapon proficiency can be very good, and probably worth delaying your persisted buffs by one level. If not before, then after, at level 9 or level 12.

    • Warblade 1+ (ToB p.20): Warblade 1 makes for a very good dip after artificer 8, thanks to picking up 3rd-level maneuvers and possibly all three Diamond Mind save-replacers, and just taking levels of warblade after your 8-11 levels of artificer can make for a powerful melee character.


    Spoiler: Prestige Classes
    Show
    As noted above, you really don't want to leave artificer for more than a level until level 8 or level 11. However, after that, your options are pretty much wide open. Because specific builds are going to play more like the classes they're pretending to be, I'm not going to go over every possibly-good prestige class (there are many of them for various strategies), and instead will list some prestige classes that are either especially good for a noncrafting artificer or interact with its class features in some way. Anything that you qualify for that progresses spellcasting is also a good choice after level 11 in artificer.

    Alchemist Savant (MoE p.53): 5/5 infusions progression, easy prerequisites, but a focus on crafting, and potion crafting of all things. If you want to make spell grenades, though, it can be fairly neat, and its focus on one type of crafting means you're not dealing with the spreadsheet headache that is a normal optimized artificer.

    Cannith Wand Adept (Sh p.162): Doesn't progress infusions, but the prerequisites are still fairly easy for you, and like with the alchemist savant, if you're focusing on only one type of crafting, it's not as much of a headache. Normal artificer is better unless you take this PrC fairly late, though, because you really want your infusions.

    Chameleon (RD p.111) Chameleon is a great prestige class for an artificer that wants to become even more versatile than the spell-storing item infusion makes you. A floating feat, mimicking of class features, ability boosts, and more spells. Overall, the class is quite good for a noncrafting artificer, although it's hampered by requiring a feat only takable at level 1 (Able Learner), awkward skill prerequisites for an artificer, and requiring human or changeling. If you have flaws in play or magical locations, then the class' prerequisites aren't as hard to deal with.

    Dragon Prophet (MoE p.63): 9/10 infusions and useful class features. If you want to mess around with the draconic prophecy, it might be worth entering, although you'll probably lose Metamagic Spell Completion, which is a shame. The class is good enough to use, though.

    Heir of Siberys (ECS p.80): A class that normally doesn't fit into a lot of builds because of its high level entry requirement and short length, but since you're pretty much "done" with artificer after level 11, this works perfectly for you. If you're a dragonmarked race, I'd consider grabbing it, since it's got a 2/3 spells progression and powerful SLAs. Also, it's fun. Who doesn't like gigantic magic tattoos that bestow massive social standing on you?

    Master Thrower (CW p.58): Heavy prerequisites (that you will want anyway if focusing ranged), but for an artificer focusing on throwing weapons (such as weapon enhancement-boosted shuriken, of which you get 50 of them buffed per casting), there isn't much better. Infuse some Bane weapons and go to town with palm throw.

    Renegade Mastermaker (RE p.81): Easy prerequisites, 8/10 infusions progression, and turns you into a warforged. A very flavorful and neat class, although it's moderately invalidated by the fact that you can use the Emulate Race function of Use Magic Device to use warforged components anyway.

    Spellcarved Soldier (RE p.166): Does not progress infusions, but gives some useful abilities. It requires +6 BAB and warforged, so you're going 8 levels into artificer just to qualify for it anyway. If you're a robot tree, a one-level dip into the class is green, because it gives you the ability to apply a free Extend Spell to a spell or infusion placed on you, doubling the duration of one of your persisted buffs to 2 days and effectively giving you an "extra" buff per day as a result because you can alternate.

    Ur-Priest (CD p.70): Adds cleric casting to your infusions and gishing. If you want to be a full spellcaster in addition to an infusion-using buffer artificer, then this is the way to go. The class is incredibly strong, and doesn't do much special beyond giving you spells. However, it fits nicely into the 9-11 levels you have open after artificer and one of its prerequisites is something you already have, so it's worth a look.

    Windwright Captain (EH p.70): 3/5 infusions progression and gives you an airship and some related abilities. Requires you be a half-elf, but if playing in eberron, this can be a really cool prestige class to have, since you only lose a little bit of stuff for some great campaign and setting-related abilities.

    Spoiler: Oops, we actually do want some artifice (Items)
    Show

    Even if you're not crafting, equipment is still incredibly important. There are many already-compiled lists of useful items to get that are well worth the read, like these:



    For noncrafting artificers, there are some items that are especially useful for them, and should be looked into or bought in addition to the general necessary items or items for your build or character concept. Most of these are based around getting more infusions per day, because they're your most powerful tool.

    • Artificer's Monocle (MIC p.72): 1,500gp. This item lets you turn your Artificer Knowledge class feature into an identify spell, which is amazing for learning what loot does.

    • Circlet of Mages (MIC p.86): 5,000gp. 3 charges each day, and they can be spent to retain a spell slot (or an infusion slot, since infusions are treated as spells) of a level equal to or less than the amount of charges spent. Extra uses of spell-storing item and later metamagic item, or whatever other infusions you find yourself casting, are amazing.

    • Cloak of Charisma (SRD): 4,000gp / 16,000gp / 36,000gp. Your secondary stat is Charisma, you want to boost it.

    • Competence Bonus Item of Use Magic Device (SRD, DM approval needed): +5 for 2,500gp / +10 for 10,000gp. If you can convince your DM to let you get an item to boost your UMD checks, then it's probably worth getting it. It's possible to boost Use Magic Device otherwise, but this definitely helps.

    • Custom Staves (SRD): Per the DMG and SRD, a staff can be created with any spell you want at about the same price as a wand would be, but without the limit to 4th-level spells. At higher levels of play, you can make use of this fact to get useful buff spells to persist, casting power surge and metamagic item before doing so.

    • Headband of Intellect (SRD): 4,000gp / 16,000gp / 36,000gp. This is your most important stat, and should be fairly self-explanatory.

    • Memento Magica (MIC p.164): Although they're expensive (1.5 times the cost of an equivalent pearl of power), these let you retain slots like a pearl of power does for prepared casters. Buying a bunch of 1st-level ones if you get a chance is a good idea, and later in your career, grabbing 3rds for more metamagic item castings is a strong choice.

    • Masterwork Tool of Use Magic Device (SRD): This is your most important skill, and a masterwork tool is a very cheap way to get a small bonus to it. Some possible good fluff explanations might be a cheat sheet full of common magic item command words, a book on magic item theory, glasses that see auras, gloves that give haptic feedback when using items...

    • Metamagic Rods (SRD, MIC): These work fine on infusions, and as such, are phenomenal. Picking up a few to apply useful metamagic feats to your infusions is a very good choice.
      • Extend, Lesser (SRD): 3,000gp. Possibly the best rod you can get. The most important buffs and infusions you have access to are 3rd-level or lower, so having one or more of these is recommended if you can afford it. The lesser version is incredibly cheap for what it does, and the other versions are fairly good as well.
      • Chaining (MIC p.165): 14,400gp / 54,000gp / 121,500gp. When combined with the Reach Spell metamagic feat, this allows you to toss touch-range buffs and infusions onto many targets. It will also work with spell-storing item to create a number of one-charge wands equal to your caster level. If you take Reach Spell, get a lesser rod of chaining as soon as possible to make a bunch of wands out of a 3rd-level slot.
        Reach (MIC p.165): 9,000gp / 32,500gp / 73,000gp. This is basically the inverse of the chaining rod. If you have Chain Spell, get a rod of reach and combine them to toss out lots of buffs.

    • Minor Schemas (MoE p.122): I've talked about these multiple times in this handbook, but when it comes down to it, these are one of, if not the most useful item for a noncrafting artificer. The main use of them is to get additional "castings" of concurrent infusions (12,800gp for a CL 8 one) and metamagic item (6,000gp for a CL 5 one), letting you persist an additional buff spell per day in exchange for 18,800gp. However, minor schemas of other utility infusions and spells are quite amazing. A minor schema of metamagic scroll costs 400gp and can be used to apply Extend Spell to any other minor schemas you have on hand, snowballing the power of your buff spells.

    • Ring of Master Artifice (MoE p.110): 5,000gp / 25,000gp / 61,000gp. More infusions! The least version gives a bonus 1st and 2nd level infusion, the lesser a 3rd and 4th, and the greater a 5th and 6th. The best one for you to have is the lesser (metamagic item and concurrent infusions; effectively 25,000gp for an additional persisted buff), but they are all useful.

    • Spellblade Weapons (PGtF p.120): +6,000gp to a weapon's cost. This weapon enhancement gives you immunity to a single targeted spell, absorbing it and allowing you to shoot it at something else as a free action next turn. Because you're a character who focuses on laying on a bunch of persistent buff spells on yourself, defenses against dispel magic and greater dispel magic are extremely important, so a +1 spellblade gauntlet (8,302gp) should be one of your first major purchases when you can afford it.

    • Wand of Wings of Cover (RotD p.119): 4500gp. This can be used to stop attacks, but more importantly it can be used to break line of effect against an area dispel magic or mordenkainen's disjunction, keeping your buffs safe and sound. Stick it in a wand chamber and never let it go.


    Spoiler: Magic Locations and Legendary Sites
    Show
    There are a lot of useful magic and legendary locations, but the two we most care about are these:

    • Metamagic Storm (CM p.151): 5,000gp equivalent. Meditate under a magic storm to get a bonus metamagic feat for a year. This can be used to free up your feat needs by netting you Persistent Spell, or it could be used to grab others. Just make sure to run back to it every so often. However, it only works on an arcane spellcaster, so you will generally need to spoof it. I like using anyspell (SpC p.14) out of a spell-storing item to get access to a spell cast as a wizard, and thus become an arcane spellcaster.

    • Otyugh Hole (CS p.151): 3,000gp equivalent. Sit in a pit full of nastiness for a week to get Iron Will as a bonus feat permanently. This frees up the feat costs needed to make a noncrafting artificer work by letting you skip ahead to Hardened Criminal.

    There's a partially-completed list of most of the locations here. Most of them are not especially useful to an artificer outside of granting generally neat abilities, but it's worth a look.

    Spoiler: And now, cheese
    Show

    This is an artificer, after all. You have access to a truly astonishing amount of cheese, much of which is being used already (like persistent buffs), but there are a few specific instances of cheese that I want to point out for use/active avoidance of use.

    • Persisted Unfettered Heroism (RE p.190): Unfettered heroism is a 5th-level sorcerer/wizard spell from Races of Eberron with an already good effect that becomes uniquely powerful in the hands of an artificer. It gives you a temporary action point each round for its duration (which then vanishes at the end of the round if not used, and is replaced at the start of the next one). With an artificer, you can use this to reduce the long casting times of many of your infusions to 1 round pretty much at-will, while also using it in combat to get better bonuses on d20 rolls. I personally think it's a very neat use of the spell, but it is very strong, and is something to make absolutely sure is okay with the DM before using it.

      There are two good ways of getting access to this spell and persist it. The first is to have a staff of it (33,750gp) and use power surge along with metamagic item on it each day for a sustainable amount of infinite action points. The second is to get a minor schema of it (18,000gp) and use Metamagic Spell Completion to apply Persistent Spell to it after reaching level 11 in artificer.

      As a final note, this spell combines well with the Unlock Dragonmark feat (Dra p.144) to give you effectively unlimited uses of a dragonmark's abilities (all of them, not just the ones you've chosen). This can be incredibly fun with stuff like the Mark of Making, since componentless fabricate and major creation at-will combine for a sort of freeform versatility that normally doesn't exist in D&D 3.5. The spell also combines extremely well with the Wand Surge feat, giving you effectively infinite uses of wands, including wands created with spell-storing item. That's ridiculous cheese, though.

    • Unguent of Timelessness (SRD): Unlike the above, I do not recommend this one. It's an incredibly abusive use of a vaguely-defined magic item, but it's still a thing that exists and is worth mentioning. Basically, the unguent makes time pass 365 times slower for an item coated with it, letting you put an infusion on it and presumably extend its duration by that number. It's utterly ridiculous, and can make for a massive amount of stored spell-storing item wands.

    • Quintessence (SRD): Quintessence works the same way here, although it's slightly saner because it's harder to get and not as vague. This would allow storage of your temporary wands for use later, getting a large arsenal... Although there aren't many easily-usable, limitless items of quintessence unless your DM allows you to get, say, a minor schema of it. You could hand the wands to a psion in the party for safekeeping, though.

      If you're a psionic artificer at a table where Magic Mantle ardent works by RAW, then this trick becomes immensely more feasible for you to pull off.


    Spoiler: For Other Characters
    Show

    Most of the stuff in this handbook is applicable to any character with a decent Use Magic Device check. As noted in the items section, a minor schema of concurrent infusions and a minor schema of metamagic item together are 18,800gp, and give anyone who has the metamagic feats and can reliably hit a DC 32 Use Magic Device check a single persisted spell each day of up to 4th level off any list.

    Minor schemas of metamagic scroll are also incredibly useful to normal spellcasters, letting them get better use out of their spell completion items. You can also make other items like wands and staves with infusions put into them, so it's entirely possible to get most of these tricks on another character; it just won't be self-sufficient.

    Spoiler: Some Assembly Required
    Show

    Now that all of this has been said, the big question that remains is what exactly to do with all of it? An artificer using his infusions well can get any spell of up to 4th level off any list, and that's a massive amount of spells to sift through. Going through the lists of good persistable buffs in various cleric and incantatrix handbooks is a start, but there's a lot of stuff off lists that might be good, too. One thing to note is that through spell-storing item and metamagic item, you can put Personal-range buff spells on other people if they have the UMD to use the wand, or if they have the spell on their spell list. Want to stick divine power on the rogue? Go ahead, now he has full BAB.

    Here are some good spells for persisting with spell-storing item and metamagic item. This is not by any means exhaustive, but it's a good place to start. Most of the time, a noncasting artificer will have between 2 and 4 buff spells persisted on their person, depending on if they wanted to spend exp that day or give buffs to allies. It's possible to get more if you have a very high Int or good items, though. In any case, through these spells, you can generally become whatever you want. Turn into a pretend rogue by persisting hunter’s eye for sneak attack and greater invisibility for stealthiness. Want to be a fighter today? Divine power and wraithstrike mean you’re going to hit more often than not. Need to fly? Footsteps of the gods is a 40ft (perfect) fly speed.

    Spoiler: 1st-Level Spells
    Show

    • Embrace the Wild (SpC)
    • Improvisation (SpC)
    • Lesser Vigor (CD)
    • Linked Perception (PHB2)
    • Primal Hunter (DM) [does not need to be persisted; extend it instead for 48 hour duration]
    • Shield (SRD)


    Spoiler: 2nd-Level Spells
    Show

    • Alter Self (SRD)
    • Bite of the Wererat (SpC)
    • Blur (SRD)
    • Cloud of Knives (SpC)
    • Fly, Swift (SpC)
    • Haste, Swift (SpC)
    • Hunter's Eye (SpC)
    • Primal Instinct (DM) [does not need to be persisted; extend it instead for 48 hour duration]
    • Wraithstrike (CA)


    Spoiler: 3rd-Level Spells
    Show

    • Bite of the Werewolf (SpC)
    • Blindsight (SpC)
    • Blink (SRD)
    • Displacement (SRD)
    • Primal Senses (DM) [does not need to be persisted; extend it instead for 48 hour duration]
    • That Art Thou (OA)
    • Vigor, Mass Lesser (CD)


    Spoiler: 4th-Level Spells
    Show

    • Bite of the Wereboar (SpC)
    • Consumptive Field (SpC)
    • Divine Power (SRD)
    • Footsteps of the Gods (CC)
    • Freedom of Movement (SRD)
    • Greater Invisibility (SRD)
    • Mirror Image, Greater (PHB2)
    • Permeable Form (LoM)
    • Primal Speed(DM) [does not need to be persisted; extend it instead for 48 hour duration]
    • Ray Deflection (SpC)
    • Recitation (SpC)
    • Sirine’s Grace (SpC)

    Last edited by Forrestfire; 2017-05-02 at 08:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    This is a really handy and helpful handbook! Thanks for writting it!

    After reading it the only thing that I think should be included is a link to the special abilities thread for weapons & armor. Lucky is a really good +1 ability for a weapon (reroll 1 attack roll) for personal weapons, it's basically lucky blade one infusion level lower.
    Thanks a lot Gengy for the awesome... just a sec... avatar. :)

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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Glad you like it! There actually are links to those threads in there already, although I think when I get some time later I might write up a section on weapon and armor abilities specifically for the weapon augmentations.
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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Quote Originally Posted by Forrestfire View Post
    Glad you like it! There actually are links to those threads in there already, although I think when I get some time later I might write up a section on weapon and armor abilities specifically for the weapon augmentations.
    I realized as I posted that I skipped the section on items and stuff. While psionic artificer is quite cheesy on itself it also has easy access to quintessence. You might want to make a note on them, and the ardent for the magic mantle, both add many options to the artificer.
    Thanks a lot Gengy for the awesome... just a sec... avatar. :)

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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Very nice guide .

    If you are dipping monk anyway, you may be able to combine psionic artificer with tashalatora. With 11 levels in a psionic class, tashalatora gives you full flurry - two extra attacks at no penalty.
    Spoiler: Collectible nice things
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    Read ExLibrisMortis' post...

    WHY IS THERE NO LIKE BUTTON?!
    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
    My incarnate/crusader. A self-healing crowd-control melee build (ECL 8).
    My Ruby Knight Vindicator barsader. A party-buffing melee build (ECL 14).

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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Quote Originally Posted by thethird View Post
    I realized as I posted that I skipped the section on items and stuff. While psionic artificer is quite cheesy on itself it also has easy access to quintessence. You might want to make a note on them, and the ardent for the magic mantle, both add many options to the artificer.
    Ah, thanks for mentioning that. I had totally forgotten about psionic artificer

    I've added a section for both the psionic artificer and the warforged artificer substitution levels, as well as mentioning ardent in the multiclassing section.

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    Very nice guide .

    If you are dipping monk anyway, you may be able to combine psionic artificer with tashalatora. With 11 levels in a psionic class, tashalatora gives you full flurry - two extra attacks at no penalty.
    Thanks

    I added in a note in the monk section about tashalatora.
    Last edited by Forrestfire; 2015-07-14 at 07:56 PM.
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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Bookmarking this if I ever start playing an Artificer. Our campaigns generally make crafting pretty difficult with little to no downtime, so I would have to rely on the Artificers other tricks to get the job done. A Warforged MeleeFicier is looking more attractive than before.

    There is another Homonculus called the Clockroach, I believe in Monster Manuel IV. It specifically mentions that Artificers can make a Homonculus version out of and progress its HD. The most fun part is that it gains intelligence that way and thus can take feats, including breath weapon feats because it has one. Entangling Exhalation gives it a very strong supportive role while dealing some decent damage in the early levels. Also a semi at-will acid breath has its uses to destroy mundane items or melt locks.
    Last edited by RoyVG; 2015-07-15 at 04:29 AM.
    Homebrew:
    The inFAMOUS Conduit base class. Wow I actually finished it...
    The Darksiders base class, based on the videogame with the same name.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    I don’t think psionic artificer qualifies for Tashalatora, though my ability to make this statement is hampered by two points:

    • There is no hard-and-fast definition of “psionic class,” unlike “psionic character.”
      • Expanded Psionics Handbook says “The four psionic classes [...are psion, psychic warrior, soulknife, and wilder].”
        • It then goes on to describe manifesters, specifically, rather than psionic classes, generally, discussing the power point reserve and how it reacts to high ability scores and multiclassing. These attributes cannot be required of a psionic class, since soulknife does not have a power point reserve.
      • Complete Psionic says “[the psion, psychic warrior, soulknife, and wilder are] not the only psionic classes the game could feature. This chapter presents three new character classes for psionic characters,” and says nothing else that is relevant.
    • Psionic artificer is a ridiculously-vague variant class, more suited to an Adaptation section than a full variant class.


    Anyway, my argument is this: the psionic artificer is not a psionic class.

    • It is never labeled as such by Magic of Eberron, unlike ardent, divine mind [which shouldn’t be a psionic class itself], lurk, psion, psychic warrior, soulknife, or wilder.
      • Magic of Eberron does say it counts as artificer, you can’t have levels in both, etc.
    • The fluff actually emphasizes that “innate psionic talent” is not necessary to be a psionic artificer – but then, magic ability isn’t necessary for regular artificers.
    • It does not grant power points, thus a psionic artificer would not be a psionic character by virtue of that class.
    • Infusions are still cast, as spells, including references to sorcerer spellcasting mechanics, still apply metamagic feats, still have leveled infusions per day, and so on.


    The lack of any label saying “this is a psionic class,” combined with the lack of power points, granting of the [Psionic] subtype, or manifesting-like ability, indicate to me that despite its ability with psionic items, the psionic artificer is still a spellcasting-like class, not a manifesting-like class, and thus is not actually psionic.

    Which is dumb, but then the variant itself is pretty dumb. Cool idea, lazy execution.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    My 2nd character ever, an artificer i started playing 2 years ago, just picked persist spell at level 15 - i just wanted to add one spell to your list of suggestions:

    Shieldbearer.
    A 1st level spell which, when persisted, gives you an animated shield for 400gp (cost of a minor schema)
    Add it to a Heavy, Extreme or Tower Shield, depending on the cheese-acceptance of your DM - you suffer none of the downsides of the shield, but gain the full AC bonus. Obviously add Magic vestment for even more AC.

    Alternatively get it on a wand, use metamagic spell trigger to get an animated shield for yourself AND an ally. do it twice and you have given it to the entire party.
    In dispel-heavy campaigns I'd advise to cast it off spellstoring instead of a schema, though.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

    This guide was amazing, offering a lot of insight into the artificer that I have not seen before (about time we got some detailed infusion analysis). I will definitely implement the information here into my game for use at some point.

    Also, for races, you may want to add half-giant with the primordial template (secrets of xendrik). It's cheesy, but it does offer a level of raw power that exceeds most anything else if level buyoff is allowed (+4 to Intelligence and Charisma for just -2 to Strength and Dex, plus some hefty bonuses to Spellcraft and UMD).
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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Quote Originally Posted by Thealtruistorc View Post
    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

    This guide was amazing, offering a lot of insight into the artificer that I have not seen before (about time we got some detailed infusion analysis). I will definitely implement the information here into my game for use at some point.

    Also, for races, you may want to add half-giant with the primordial template (secrets of xendrik). It's cheesy, but it does offer a level of raw power that exceeds most anything else if level buyoff is allowed (+4 to Intelligence and Charisma for just -2 to Strength and Dex, plus some hefty bonuses to Spellcraft and UMD).
    If you are ok with primordial half giant the complete psionic has lesser half giant (LA 0) to just skip over the level adjustment.

    ---

    Another trick that might be cheesy is to remember that magical traps are magical items. Just drain them out of xp once you are at 5th level, if you get extra xp for defeating the encounter more power to you. :P
    Thanks a lot Gengy for the awesome... just a sec... avatar. :)

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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    One nice trick is to use the Weapon Augmentation infusions with the Elemental Power enhancements from the DMG2. It allows for very powerful summons earlier than the wizard gets them.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Consider this scenario:

    -You sank all your feats into item creation.
    -You can't make spells last 24+ hours.
    -Everything else works as normal.

    How is an Artificer useful in combat? What about for reasons other than traps and item creation? It's kinda like being a Wizard, but you spend GP (and often also EXP) to cast your spells!
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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Quote Originally Posted by Endarire View Post
    Consider this scenario:

    -You sank all your feats into item creation.
    -You can't make spells last 24+ hours.
    -Everything else works as normal.

    How is an Artificer useful in combat? What about for reasons other than traps and item creation? It's kinda like being a Wizard, but you spend GP (and often also EXP) to cast your spells!
    If you sank all your feats in item creation by that point you are spending 5% of the item's cost in gp and xp. And have the means to negate both.

    So by that point what you are spending is charges, and again there is a way to negate that, not that item charges are much to you either way.

    So you are a wizard that doesn't use spell slots but needs to prepare everything far in advance. Which to me is a fair trade.
    Thanks a lot Gengy for the awesome... just a sec... avatar. :)

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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Quote Originally Posted by GPuzzle View Post
    And I do agree that the right answer to the magic/mundane problem is to make everyone badass.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    If you're of a philosophical bent, the powergamer is a great example of Heidegger's modern technological man, who treats a game's mechanics as a standing reserve of undifferentiated resources that are to be used for his goals.
    My Complete Tome of Battle Maneuver/Stance/Class Overhaul

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    Default Re: Disregard Money, Acquire Buff Spells: Artificers without the Artifice

    Ohey, thanks! Updated the post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPuzzle View Post
    And I do agree that the right answer to the magic/mundane problem is to make everyone badass.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    If you're of a philosophical bent, the powergamer is a great example of Heidegger's modern technological man, who treats a game's mechanics as a standing reserve of undifferentiated resources that are to be used for his goals.
    My Complete Tome of Battle Maneuver/Stance/Class Overhaul

    Arseplomancy = Fanatic Tarrasque!

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