Base Requirements

  • Races: Dwarf or Gnome
  • Sub-Classes: Any
  • Ability Requirements: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 11, Int 13
  • Alignments: Any
  • Starting Cash: By class

Weapon Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: -1 slot
  • Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: By class
  • Required Weapon Proficiencies: Hammer (any one), Arquebus
  • Allowed Weapons: By class
  • Allowed Armors: By class, no shields

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:

  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class
  • Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Engineering, Reading/Writing, plus two from (Clockwork Creation, Lens Crafting, Lock Smithing, or Weaponsmithing)
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Alchemy, Alertness, Appraising, Armorer, Artistic Ability, Blacksmithing, Boatwright, Brewing, Carpentry, Cobbling, Clockwork Creation, Disguise, Dwarf Runes, Etiquette, Fire-building, Gem Cutting, Glassblowing, Leatherworking, Lens Crafting, Local History, Locksmithing, Metalworking, Navigation, Pottery, Rope Use, Rope Making, Smelting, Stonemasonry, Waterproofing, Weaponsmithing
  • Forbidden Proficiencies:

Thief Skills:

  • Pick Pockets: -5%
  • Open Locks: +10%
  • Find/Remove Traps: +10%
  • Move Silently:
  • Hide in Shadows:
  • Hear Noise:
  • Climb Walls: -10%
  • Read Languages:

Overview: An artificer is an adventuring craftsman and inventor who uses mechanics, engineering, and other applied sciences and technologies to solve problems in combat and adventuring. Humans build mechanical devices too, but dwarves and gnomes can perform very fine, precise tool-working over long periods of time that would try the patience of any other being. The vast majority of artificers are gnomish Tinkers or clerics of Gond, with a few fighters, thieves, and dwarven runecasters also taking up the craft. Many artificers hail from Lantan, but scattered communities of them are known across the Realms. Adventuring as a sideline is always attractive to an artificer of any race or background, for the money it brings.

Every civilized community in the Realms has a need for a general handyman, forge-worker, and toolmaker, and many artificers follow this call, earning money and seeing the world. Artificers are famed for their use of firearms and often tinker with such devices and are able to improve the power of their tools and inventions, including their weapons. Artificers are renowned makers of toys, clocks, alarm systems, locks, traps, pumps, navigational and surveying instruments, microscopes, telescopes, eyeglasses, writing implements, and anything else up to the size of the average desk. A few artificers go in for larger devices, such as printing presses, complex looms, adding machines, pedal- or wind-powered vehicles, windmills, watermills, steam engines, gliders, and big siege weapons but only as a hobby. They generally leave such devices to true Tinkers.

Description: An artificer wears any sort of armor but is easily recognized for the profusion of tools he carries with him on hooks and belts or in his pockets. Scraps of paper and writing implements are also present, and the artificer may have reading glasses, a pocket watch with an alarm, a padlock with key, a small abacus, a magnetic compass, a telescope, a pistol firearm, or other advanced non-magical devices.

Role-Playing: Many people in the Realms believe magic governs all affairs. Artificers have faith that technology (with a little magic on the side) can do the same. Faerûn does not lack for technological development of a medieval nature, but unusual advances are mostly one-of-a-kind and regarded as curios rather than useful projects. Except for toys and mundane practical items, most complex gadgets never see use. This does not stop an artificer from making them, of course.

Artificers are often found with blacksmiths and scholars, who aid them on their projects. It is tempting to play an artificer like a gnomish Tinker (and indeed, many are), but artificers are more sensible, speak more clearly, and create projects on a much smaller scope. They are inordinately proud of their achievements, which do indeed work much of the time and even have many practical benefits (such as killing monsters and protecting treasures). Artificers love to show off their devices to anyone willing to see. The comic element here is strong, but it is worth adding a bit of seriousness to the playing of an artificer.

Special Abilities:

  • An artificer gains a +2 reaction bonus when dealing with other dwarves or gnomes engaged in the same craft (any dwarf or gnome with whom he has a shared craft-related proficiency).
  • Unless an artificer has injured members of a community, he will gladly be given basic food and shelter in an effort to keep him around as a handyman.
  • The hammer is a an extremely useful tool for a wide variety of crafts (blacksmithing, carpentry, cobbling, and many others) in addition to being a viable weapon, and all artificers must be proficient in its use. When wielding a hammer the artificer is also able to add half his level (round fractions down) as a bonus to either his attack roll or damage roll. The bonus may be divided between either attack or damage, and points may be redistributed from round to round in a melee.
  • Regardless of class, an artificer may specialize in the use of the arquebus or warhammer. The artificer begins the game with a small supply of smoke powder, enough for 4d6 uses of an arquebus. Obtaining more of it is the artificer’s problem, though some alchemists and temples of Gond sell it or trade it for about 25 gp per charge. Even then, only 2d4 charges are available per source. Smoke powder, if sold, always comes in its two component forms, which must be mixed to be effective (see the description in the DUNGEON MASTER Guide).
  • An artificer proficient in Weaponsmithing can construct Firearms. At 1st level he can construct matchlock weapons (including the arquebus), at 5th level he can make wheellocks and snaplocks, and at 9th level he can make flintlocks. It takes about 60 days to make a pistol and 90 days to make a musket; the total cost is one-fifth the sale price. Bullets can be made 100 per day for only 1 sp. Repair times and prices should fit within these limits.
  • An artificer with the Lock Smithing proficiency can use the Open Locks thief ability, regardless of class. An artificer that is not a rogue has a base chance of 30% to open a lock (this includes the bonus from the Lock Smithing proficiency and this kit, but is subject to all other modifiers for race, dexterity, or homeland). An artificer that is a rogue gains the normal bonuses for this kit and the Lock Smithing proficiency. This ability improves by +5% for each level of the artificer.
  • An artificer is capable of creating many technological devices thanks to his interests in many areas of applied science and engineering. He gains additional benefits when using certain proficiencies:
    • Clockwork Creation: Artificers are skilled at chronometry and can build functional clocks. Any mechanical clock (spring-wound, water-powered, or weights-and-pendulum type) made at 1st level either gains (1-3 on 1d6) or loses (4-6 on 1d6) 6d10 minutes per day. For every level of the artificer beyond 1st, reduce the error in minutes by 1d10, and reduce the weight by half. At 7th level, the clock has an error of 1d8 minutes per day, then 1d6 minutes at 8th level, 1d4 minutes at 9th level, 1d2 minutes at 10th level, and 1 minute at 11th level (best possible accuracy). Error direction, gaining time or losing it, is re-rolled at each level. Each clock’s weight is 10d4 lbs., reduced by 1 lb. per level. A bell, chime, or other alarm can be added.
    • Locksmithing: Any lock made becomes more complex, defeating attempts to pick it. For each level of the artificer making a lock, the lock applies a -5 penalty to a thief’s chances of picking it (for example, -25% penalty at 5th level).
    • Lens Crafting: Artificers can construct telescopes and mocroscopes. Any optical telescope or microscope starts off at 10x magnification. The device can be made at an additional 10x for every level afterward (for example, 50x at 5th level). A simple telescope weighs 1d4+3 lbs. and is 1d3 feet long (possibly collapsible).

Special Disadvantages:

  • An artificer, regardless of class, does not use a shield, thinking that a technologically sophisticated offense is the best defense. He also likes to keep one hand free at all times in case he has to grab a tool, and so cannot use the two-weapon fighting style. He refuses to use poisons because he constantly cuts his fingers when messing with mechanical items and would risk death merely by handling venomous substances.
  • Artificers are by nature fascinated by mechanical devices and objects that can be employed to make mechanical devices. They tend to forget everything else to study and contemplate the possible uses of most things they find. Therefore, a -2 penalty is added to an artificer’s surprise checks in the presence of unfamiliar devices or any object that might constitute a working part of a larger machine.

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