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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Entering a Brave New World... (Artificers!)

    ...That everyone has seriously been in forever.

    So, I might be playing Eberron (in a PBP game here on the forums) for the first time (with the exception of DDO) and I'm thinking of diving headfirst into the deep-end with a Warforged Artificer. However, I know next to nothing about Artificers, and after reading over them, I'm seriously wondering if they're as great as I've heard. I am not an optimizer or an uber-builder (I have my moments) so I thought I'd throw it up to you cats to make some suggestions on how to build my character. A few things worth noting:

    Starting Level: Halfway through L3, so ...4500XP?
    32 Point buy (or I can roll, which I am a little skeptical about given recent luck)
    Starting gold: 1200gp
    The following Books are allowed (others on request):
    Player's Handbooks 1&2
    DMG 1&2
    Complete Warrior
    Complete Adventure
    Eberron Campaign Setting
    Heroes of Battle
    Lord's of Madness
    Tome of Magic
    Arms and Equipment Guide

    Oh, and we must take 1 trait and 1 flaw. More Traits and Flaws are allowed, but we must have an equal number of both.

    Now, the Fluff that I've devised (which I'd like to stay near in the crunching) is that this particular Warforged kind of resents human(oid)s for the enslavement of his 'people' and believes that the only way to overcome their oppression is to take 'the power' out of their hands. The power being the ability to make more Warforged. In a nutshell, his goal is to popularize and spearhead the Warforged people's ability to reproduce (with magic and machinery, not bumping mithril uglies) so that they can use their obvious superiority to make better warforged and eventually either live in peace as equals or mash the other races into subservient paste (these two outcomes are possible directions based on character development, how people treat him, etc etc.) Obviously an Artificer is his class as he wants to be able to use his 'magic' and mechanical abilities to make and improve himself and other warforged.

    thoughts?
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Entering a Brave New World... (Artificers!)

    Well, the artificier gets every creation feat, can create magic items as if his artificier class level was +2 higher, he has EVERY spell ever printed available to them (book and edition limitations apply), they get a +2 to UMD for items he can create. And his best asset is his infusions.

    Since you are a warforged artificier, you can infuse yourself (neat trick).

    Main stats should be: INT (for infusions), CON (for HP) and CHA (for UMD).


    Yeah, they are complicated at first, but the kicks you get when you play one, it is worth the effort to study them.


    Edit: also, talk to your DM to let you use Races of Eberron/Secrets of Xen'drik, there might be some goodies inside there somewhere.

    Edit2: Wait...I know you...
    Last edited by Bayar; 2008-09-11 at 02:07 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Entering a Brave New World... (Artificers!)

    It looks like a fun game, good luck to both of us making characters and getting in!
    Last edited by ocato; 2008-09-11 at 02:29 AM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Entering a Brave New World... (Artificers!)

    There are several warforged artificer racial substitution levels in Races of Eberron, so you may want to request that, some of the levels are interesting.

    Also, this is a bit far off, (~level 15) but an interesting spell to make a scroll of is Awaken Construct (Level 9 Spell) which gives constructs intelligence, although it loses most(or all, I can't remember) construct traits. It's in Savage Species, IIRC.
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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Entering a Brave New World... (Artificers!)

    As an artificer, your primary role is still to make stuff. You should also choose your combat focus - you can do a billion different things, but it's worth it to pick up something to be really good at.

    Warforged Artificer
    Anyways, first of all, pick up Races of Eberron and look at the Warforged Artificer Substitution Levels. There are three of them. The first one (level 1) is a nobrainer:
    -You get +1 CL to Infusions targeting yourself. No drawbacks!

    The second one (level 4) is quite painless too:
    -Whenever you infuse a Tool of War (Construct, Living Construct or Magic Weapon, a Magic Shield or a Magic Armor), you can repair it for Charisma points of damage (minimum 1).
    -Whenever you craft a Tool of War, every spent XP point is worth two XP points! In effect, halve the cost of making Tools of War (and you'll make a lot of them). Awesome!
    -Replaces "Craft Homunculus"-bonus feat. This would be bad, except you can pick up the "Craft Construct"-feat as a bonus feat, which not only allows you to make Homunculi, but also Golems.

    The third one (level 5) is interesting:
    -Gain the ability to create a Weapon Familiar (much like a Wizard's/Sorcerer's Familiar, except an actual combatant). This basically gives you a second character (and it's also a construct, so you can infuse it, repair it and so on) for combat.
    -The drawback is what makes it interesting - normal Artificer gets "Retain Essence" on this level. Now, while the other two losses are no real losses, Retain Essence is actually a powerful ability. It allows you to effectively convert any Magic Items/Traps/whatever you find into XP for crafting new stuff.

    Weapon Familiar is very powerful, but Retain Essence really makes life easier crafting-wise to avoid actually having to pay XP. It's a close call. I personally like the offensive punch Weapon Familiar offers, but I could see Retain Essence coming into play too.


    Feats
    Anyways, beyond the racial ACFs, one thing you should be aware of are the feats. Artificers get a ton of Item Creation-feats in addition to a few bonus feats, but you aren't high enough to get that many of those yet. Since you focus on item creation, I strongly suggest the "Artisan"-line from Eberron Campaign Settings. As your first feat, I'd take Legendary Artisan. The secondary would be Extraordinary Artisan. With those two feats, you'll get a very real discount for every item you make (and you'll make a lot). You may want to skip one of them until level 4, taking the other at level 1 (most likely the XP one).

    Other than the artisan-line, you'll want metamagic (you've got many abilities that allow you to use them for relatively little price). Extend Spell, Persistent Spell (Complete Arcana) and eventually Quicken Spell are all no-brainers for buffing yourself for longer durations. After that, look at Twin Spell/Split Ray if you look towards fighting with Wands/other spells. If you instead plan on melee or archery, the aforementioned are enough as you'll mostly be casting buffs (although you'll probably want Chain Spell to buff the party).

    Non-Artisan/Metamagic feats of interest:
    -Item Familiar (Unearthed Arcana): Allows you to double your Use Magic Device (and other skills). There's more to the feat than that though - check it out.
    -Wand Mastery (Eberron Campaign Settings): Once you can get it, you'll take it. Wands are very much your primary tool and getting extra punch out of them kicks ass.
    -Extra Rings (Eberron Campaign Settings): Epic feat on level 12? Nice.
    -Point Blank Shot/Precise Shot: If going ranged (Wand or Archery), duh.
    -Rapid Shot: If going Archery, duh.
    -Power Attack: If going Melee, duh.
    -Craft Construct (Monster Manual I): As I said before, you really should take the 4th ACF and pick up this to build Homunculi, and Golems too if you feel like it (Effigies (Complete Arcana) really kick ass, especially with template stacks).

    Homunculi are important so you can build a Dedicated Wright (Eberron Campaign Settings) to ensure that you can keep building stuff while adventuring (stack it into a Bag of Holding and have it get to work), and an Expeditious Messenger for a solid scout. Then you can build some Effigy Monsters or real, cold hard Golems for combat. Heck, you could even build an Effigy "Mech" for yourself and abandon your old body for something so much more impressive.


    Items
    For items, stuff you want:
    -Wand Sheathe (Warforged Component, Eberron Campaign Settings): Really, you'll be using Wands a lot. This is awesome.
    -Battle Fist (Warforged Component, Eberron Campaign Settings): If you plan on melee, this is the way to go. Couple with an Eternal Wand of Stone Fist and Monk's Belt for solid beats.
    -Monk's Belt: If you plan on melee, the improved Unarmed Strikes combined with Slam-attacks are very welcome (you can use Unarmed Strikes with any part of the body, so you get to do full Unarmed Strikes and full Slams every turn).
    -Eternal Wands (Magic Item Compendium) of buff-spells: Not having to make new Wands all the time is awesome. With your ability to use metamagic with Wands on level 7, the charges run out very fast of normals.
    -Standard Wands: These go up to level 4, so you can get stuff like Divine Power in normal Wands. Definitely worth it. As a bonus, get a Wand of Knock to truly make Rogues trivial. Since you effectively never need to metamagic it, you'll be fine with a normal Wand instead of an Eternal one.
    -Scrolls: Early on, make some midlevel combat spells as scrolls (you can make 3rd level Arcane scrolls as a level 3 Artificer). Mostly just Wizard Save or Sucks to get by early on - few for each save so you can target whichever weakness the target has.


    Skills
    As far as skills go, you really should max:
    -Use Magic Device
    -Search/Disable Device (if you're the trapfinder)
    -Use Psionic Device (if the campaign has Psionics - tons of awesome options on that side of the road)
    -Spellcraft/Concentration (you're a caster)
    -Knowledges (duh, especially if your party doesn't have a know-it-all Wizard, but even then, complementary insight never hurts)

    Consider some points in Crafts (you're starting at an early level); Alchemy is handy, but just Weaponsmithing, Armorsmithing and such could save you a ton of money if you've been with the party before and built their equipment. Since you're short on money on these levels, every penny counts. Also go for Appraise (since nobody else will) if your game actually uses the skill. It's very much something you need to be good at if the skill is relevant, and Int is your primary attribute.

    Finally, consider crossclass points in Tumble (always useful, especially if you don't go for melee, but even then), Spot/Listen (likewise, always useful especially with the easily available Warforged Components - Essence Guard - that boost these in Races of Eberron) and possibly interaction-skills, if you end up with a huge Charisma.


    Stats
    You should focus your stats in Int, Con, Dex and Cha in that order. Yes, Use Magic Device is Charisma-derived and yes, it's the key ability to your class, but you can find ways to boost it beyond just stats, and that's pretty much the only thing Cha gives you (you've also got a racial penalty). Int gives you Infusions, Con HP and Dex AC and To Hit if you go ranged. If you go melee, consider swapping Str and Dex straight-up. Note that since you're proficient with medium armors, you don't need that much Dex; Mithril Full Plate has +3 Dex limit, and is something you can wear once you an afford it (and Adamantine Body has +1 Dex limit).


    Role in a Party
    As an Artificer, you can do anything. That said, you'll want to probably spend the early game buffing your allies and yourself, wading into combat if necessary (depending on the way you go - Archery, Melee or Wand Blasting), but mostly just acting as a substitute Wizard on those levels. You can also handle a wide variety of skill-related tasks with 4+Int skills per level (in an Int-focused class) and a solid list, so you can take the role of the party Rogue if need be.

    One thing you should probably do is build the items your allies are using. This will be much cheaper than buying them, leaving you more money to work with and they can probably sponsor some good stuff for you in their gratitude. Basically, you'll easily be the most needed character in the party simply because without you, the others will have much worse stuff and you can buff them up too. So you're the perfect team player, although your fluff may clash with that. Regardless, the potential is there.


    Synopsis
    Flaws? Heck yes, you love Flaws. Few extra feats never hurt and there're a few flaws that are of little relevance to you (skill-related ones, melee/ranged attack ones, depending on which you're specializing, the -1 AC (so little penalty), etc.).

    Books?
    -Beg, cry, scream, do whatever, but get Races of Eberron on that list. Like half of the Warforged-stuff is in that book. All other not-listed books offer few things of interest, but this offers a ton of things of interest.
    -Also, nothing else in the book matters, but try to get Persistent Spell from Complete Arcane. It really makes buffing less expensive for you as you can make do with one copy of each buff-spell per day. Oh yeah, Effigies from here would kick ass too (golem-versions of other creatures).
    -You'd really love the spells from Spell Compendium, but can make do without them (since you have every class's spells at your fingertips).
    -Item Familiar is the one thing of interest for you from Unearthed Arcana. That said, it's a level 6 feat so it's not relevant at the present.
    -Magic Item Compendium has Eternal Wands that really would make your life easier. Otherwise you'll have to keep track of the charges of a thousand Wands. That said, you'll be just fine with normals too, just more bookkeeping.

    Out of the books listed, you really can't make use of much - Core + Eberron Campaign Settings has pretty much everything that's of use to you with PHBII having some handy spells. The rest you can't really use simply because you're a caster who really wants to go Artificer 20 (the class is that awesome - the craft reserve is the dealmaker). The only Prestige Class of interest is Cannith Wand Adept from Sharn: City of Towers, but it's something you'd take really late anyways and it's not on the list of allowed books, so I'd just go Artificer 20.

    Also, you're up for an awesome ride. Artificers are an immense amount of fun. Good Luck!

    EDIT: Check this. It's poorly structured, but has a lot of good stuff, especially items and at the end of the third post, a list of Constructs you could build along with the requirements! Really handy.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2008-09-11 at 09:48 AM.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Entering a Brave New World... (Artificers!)

    Thank you very, very much for that detailed and interesting post. I'd read some FAQs but I hadn't gotten very much out of some of them. You were nice enough to even cite where you got some of the stuff from, which really made a difference. I was expected a few links and a snarky comment about Learn2google or something. You sir, have my thanks.
    Last edited by ocato; 2008-09-11 at 12:01 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: Entering a Brave New World... (Artificers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by ocato View Post
    Now, the Fluff that I've devised (which I'd like to stay near in the crunching) is that this particular Warforged kind of resents human(oid)s for the enslavement of his 'people' and believes that the only way to overcome their oppression is to take 'the power' out of their hands. The power being the ability to make more Warforged. In a nutshell, his goal is to popularize and spearhead the Warforged people's ability to reproduce (with magic and machinery, not bumping mithril uglies) so that they can use their obvious superiority to make better warforged and eventually either live in peace as equals or mash the other races into subservient paste (these two outcomes are possible directions based on character development, how people treat him, etc etc.) Obviously an Artificer is his class as he wants to be able to use his 'magic' and mechanical abilities to make and improve himself and other warforged.

    thoughts?
    There is a whole organization of warforged supremacists operating out of the Mournland. They have their own secret creation forge operated by a high-level messianic leader known as the Lord of Blades, who prophesies and preaches glorious conquest. There are actual clerics of this guy. Well, you can be a cleric of anything in Eberron, really, but still, he has actual listed domains and stuff.

    So that's definitely a setting element to consider for this character's backstory. From your description, I would expect him to have joined up with the LoB some time after the war, or to actually have been made by other warforged in the Mournland.

    It's none too surprising that such a movement exists. The end of the Last War left a lot of warforged fairly directionless in life, searching for... clarity of purpose. And fanatical chauvinism is, if nothing else, a fairly straightforward ideology. You just do what you can to advance the standing of your own people without regard for anthing or anyone else. Any Inferior people who stand in your way are your racial enemies, obstacles who must be CRUSHED. Any of your own people who object to your goals or actions are traitors to their kind and must also be CRUSHED.

    Law and Evil: Two great tastes that taste great together!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Entering a Brave New World... (Artificers!)

    Yeah, but most normal warforged are against creation forges...
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Entering a Brave New World... (Artificers!)

    As for your backstory, coming from the Mournlands could be useful. A few thoughts for you: maybe the LoB or another Warforged high up in the structure has given you a task to wander around the world to find out more about the process. Maybe they are seeking more knowledge about other forges. Maybe they need something, or are looking for something to make the new breed stronger. Maybe "Your task, if you choose to accept it" is to use your new abilities (read Artificer abilities) to find the key to those new improvements. These are just ideas, though, and from your suggested backstory they seem to fit to a degree. I would recommend talking to the DM about this, though. Maybe you have a secret allegiance to the LoB or someone that the rest of the group won't know about. Maybe you have your own objectives you are working towards (that you can't do on your own), and you will have to try to get the group to (unknowingly?) help you with this task. Again, fun ideas to toss around, but I have always found that having a good backstory and understanding about your character makes it easier to stay "in character" and to know how your character would behave in certain situations. As I said, these are just suggestions, do with them as you will.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Entering a Brave New World... (Artificers!)

    There is also amongst the warforged "worship" of the Becoming God.

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x...060804b&page=1

    It seems that you desire for warforged design/creation/improvement/"transcendence" would fit in nicely here.

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