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borg286

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Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« on: March 26, 2011, 03:57:19 PM »
Zeroficers
A guide to making tier 0 Artificers

Artificer in a nut-shell[spoiler]
   Base class from the Eberron Campaign setting themed around magical gadgets, wands and scrolls, and infusing items with magical effects.  Able to enhance and build constructs.  Throughout his progression he gains most of the core magic item creation feats and can meet any spell requirement for items by making a use magic device check.  He does not cast spells but has infussions spontaniously picked from a small list, many of which mimmic spells.  The ability to craft wands and scrolls from any spell list, then cast them gives the artificer ultimate versatility, then apply metamagic feats gives him ultimate power.
   Medium Base Attack Bonus
   Good will save
   Medium armor and shields and the ability to cast in them
   Fast progression to 3th level infusions, then slow to 6th.  
   Intelegence based spontanious casting from a list of spells that, like shape-change, simply open doors to other possibilities(any armor, any magic weapon ability, any spell).  Most of his infussions are overshadowed by a few shining stars, and often have the drawback of needing minutes to cast, almost requiring preperation, without the eberron specific mechanic of Action points[/spoiler]

Is an Artificer right for me?[spoiler]
   Tiers
      [spoiler]If you've played Dungeons and dragons, you'll realize that creativity, versatility, and hard control are what win battles, not who has the most HP and biggest sword, or who has the most d6's and attacks, though they help.  
      Because of the power of spells, their quick rise to hard control, mass effect, and versatility, spellcasters quickly become the king of the mountain.  
      Those that are more versatile, not jack of all trades versatile, but able to change the tides of encounters with as few resources (gold,time,HP, rule breaking) as possible are more useful in any given scenario.  
      Some classes have ingrained versatility(Wizard, Factotum, Artificer to name a few) while others focus hard on one thing and must stretch to accomplish things outside thier expertise(rogue, bard, beguiller) and even others that are almost incompetant outside their 1 thing(big-sword fighter, barbarian, Walking cure light wounds)
      Most classes, not builds, based on general ingrained capability have been placed in tiers based on thier capability to change the tides of encounters.
      Teir 1 classes include
         
  • Wizard: largest spell list, Metamagic options galore, his familiar able to make beguilers envious, and the most alternate class features this side of the moon
  • Cleric: Complete access to entire spell list save those that contradict his alignment, divine metamagic(spend turning attempts in place of level adjustments on metamagic feats), and direct access to the best buff spells in the game.  
  • Druid: Medium BAB, full casting, Shape change into an ever growing list of monsters.  Whenever developers come out with a new list of monsters that DMs can use to challange his players, the druid cherry picks and turns their power against them.  Being able to spontaniously call on this list can solve encounters with just this class feature.
  • Erudite with spell to power: An online variant to the Erudite(psionic caster that has unique casting/manefesting mechanic) that is able to learn arcane spells and translate them to psionic powers.  As a psionic caster he can pick from any power he knows w/o needing to prepare it.  This gives him the possibility to learn all arcane spells, albiet at a cost.  Versatility at it's finest
  • Archevist: The ability to learn any arcane or divine spell is the core class feature.  I think you're getting the idea of what makes Tier 1.  Versatility
  • Artificer: The ability to spontaniously cast any 0-4th level spell(up to 1/2 level) with 1 infussion, spell storing item, combined with scribing a scroll of any spell at a full level faster than the wizard, cleric, and druid.  Metamagic shenanigans with the ability to freely apply them to wands/staffs at no additional cost in resources, and the best item creation feats for free.  The artificer can be build to be better than most classes, and can often replace them given some preperation.
      Teir 2 classes include
         
  • Sorcerer:  While he has spontanious access to spells he learned, the wizard has no limit to the number of spells he can call upon given an hour of memorization.  Fewer alternative class features means this guy is powerful, but not as game breaking as his smart brother
      Tier 3 classes include
         
  • Beguiler: Spontanious access to an intelegence based spell list, progressing as a sorcerer, with some dang good spells there too.  Creativity is greatly awarded with clever usage of silent image and the like.
  • Martial Adepts: While they may seem like the sword and board type only with a few clever effects, they can easily bestow hard control on the battlefield and maintain this power throughout the day, whereas his squishy spellcaster brothers have spent thier resources on the BBEG and are resorting to grease in the face of mobs
      Tier 4 classes include
         
  • Rogue: Being able to use magic device and 8+int skills/level make the rogue quite capable in many encounters, but must spend resources just to "fake" being a caster when she wants to impose hard control instead of d6's.  Often a glass cannon and 1-hit wonder.
  • Barbarian:
  • Warlock: Baster and very limited spell list.  Learnes how to do 1 thing over and over again.  If it can't be solved with a 5d6 ranged touch attack, a bestow curse, or a mean intimidate, then he's like a fish out of water.  Blasting is a very narrow and ineffective way of solving encounters
  • Warmage: Blaster 2.0 with a small list focused on blasting.  Encounters are solved with blast spells and more big blasts.  "I hit it with a big ball of fire, right?  What do you mean this diplomat must survive?"

      Tier 5 classes include
         
  • Fighter:  "He gets tons of feats.  That must say something for his versatility" you say.  Once those feats are chosen he's locked in his 1 thing.  No skill points to speak of, and not much to do past "I run up and hit it".
[/spoiler]


      
   Why do tiers matter to me?[spoiler]
      Because power divergence is difficult for a DM to deal with.  If one player can solve every encounter single handedly, and has no valid threats among all the foes the DM puts on the board, then the DM will want to do something to make a challange.
      The DM might make meaner monsters with higher saves, meaner spells, higher spell resistance, and more impenetrable defences so his druid and wizard have to pause to sit and think before casting baleful transposition.  This new threat may pose too much for the rest of the party and could kill them without any hope should the monster make the save on the save-or-die spell cast at them.
      If the entire party is reletivly close in power then the DM can simply go from normal to nightmare, or hell as the case might be.
      An artificer is the most capable of evening out this difference in power by providing resources to his team mates through crafting wondrous items, magic weapons, persisted party buffs, and golems that take the brunt of the pain
      An artificer is at least tier 1 from the sheer possibilities of all spells and magic items at his finger tips.  How he uses these resources determines if he will make a power divergence or close the gap.[/spoiler]
   
   What do I do when I have low tier players in my group or others don't play optimistically?[spoiler]
      An artificer, especially this build, can be a buffificer of the best kind.  Other players aren't going to spend hours, as you've done, pouring over spell lists, magic items, and combos so they can have just the right spell for any given scenario.  All you can do is leave in their hands what they do and fill in the gaps so you don't step on their shoes.  Let them shine in their chosen area of expertise.  You have their spell list and can show them up (blast, gish, sneak, bewilder) but you should be a team player and praise them on what they've done, offering things that may boost thier capability(Metamagic Item(twin) the blaster's wand, provide the rogue with nice spells for infiltration, crafting for the fighter some mountain plate armor...)
      While you can purchase warbeast animals which can easily be more effective in combat than the sword and board fighter, instead focus on Armor Enhancement(healing armor) and persisting bless and prayer for yourself.  It's those little boosts that people like and don't realize you've just doubled the expected damage output of the team singlehandedly.[/spoiler]
      
   Do I really need to know all these spells and metamagic crap to be an artificer?[spoiler]
      Not really, you simply read this guide, pick the feats I told you, prepare/persist the spells I recommend and you'll do great, but be warned that one of the whole reasons of playing a zeroficer is versatility.  This requires you to know what's at your fingertips.
      There are plenty of spell lists out there for the wizard, cleric, and druid.  The books that are key are PHB, the Complete Series, and spell comendium with a splattering of the Races of X series.  There are a few jems in other books, but this list should serve you just fine.  Check the class' handbook's spell section and read over the best spells what they do so.  Write down the utility ones (I've done the majority of that work for you in the spell section) that can be used outside of combat.  Remember that you can make scrolls and spell storing items of the rest of the combat spells.  Use them well.
      Metamagic feats are one of the things that makes the artificer so powerful.  Most of the feats I've picked are metamagic feats.  At 7th level you get metamagic Spell Trigger(see errata) letting you apply metamagic feats on the fly, giving you huge versitility and spammability of powerful spells.  [/spoiler]
   
   Why to play an artificer[spoiler]
      If you want all spells at your fingertips and access to spells faster than the full casters themselves,
      Never need to visit the store and see if they have that really cool thing you heard about, you just make it,
      If you want to get 2-3 times more stuff that the Wealth By Level would dictate,
      If you want the feel of the geeky gadgety MacGyver that has magic items clicking whizzing and otherwise humming about his person,
      If you want to be able to claim any tier from the lowely tier 5 to the godly tier 0 where wizards and codzilla sit envious of your power,
      If you want to be able to be a buffificer, meleeficer, golemficer... all in 1 build
      Then the Zeroficer is the build for you.[/spoiler][/spoiler]

The build[spoiler]
   Warforged Artificer 20
   Feats: 1: Extend, F: Reach, F: Fell Drain or Fell Frighten, 3:Item Familiar, 4: Persist, 6: Leadership, 8: Twin, 9: Extraordinary Artisan, 12:Chain Spell, 12: Craft Construct, 15: Quicken, 16: Fell Frighten
   Human Artificer 20
   Feats: H: Extraordinary Artisan 1: Extend, F: Reach, F: Fell Drain or Fell Frighten, 3:Item Familiar, 4: Persist, 6: Leadership, 8: Twin, 9: Quicken, 12:Chain Spell, 12: Craft Construct, 15: Fell Frighten, 16: Etch Schema

   Items: See level by level analysis[/spoiler]

Major Highlights of the class[spoiler]
   The best Item creation feats(1st): makes you the go-to man for making the party's stuff, Get stuff earlier than usual
   Scrolls(1st): a whole spell level faster than the wizard, druid, and cleric and access to PrC spell lists along with any spell in the game.  Definition of Tier 1 classes: Versatility.  I think this qualifies
   Spell Storing item(1st): 1 class level behind other casters, but you get practically spontanious access to all spells up to 4th level on the fly, given a little prep time.  Even then they last hours/level so you can use them in combat.  Sad you only have a few daily castings of them.  Still any spell on demand qualifies for tier 1 versatility again.
   Best healing in the game(3rd): Crafting Healing belts, and giving the BSF a fresh +3 Healing armor enhancement each encounter equates to the best healing and action economy in the game.  You can even cheese out with persisted lesser vigor at level 5.
   Metamagic Item(5th): Freely apply metamagic feats to wands and spell storing item, purchase Minor Schema to further break the game
   Metamagic Spell Completion(11th): Take scrolls to new level never before seen[/spoiler]

Major Drawbacks of the class[spoiler]
   Heavy dependancy on income and easily run out of XP necessetating either XP regeneration cheese or riding the river of experience pulling your advanced spell list down a class level
   Infusion spell list has 5 infusions you'll use throughout your career and you'll almost never touch the rest.
   Your spell slots are not per day but per gp.  Thankfully you make good usage of coins.  You can break the WBL guidelines, but you also spend money like there's a hole in your pocket.
   Early levels you need prep-time before combat for proper buffing, later levels it'll take you months to finish that +4 sword of awesomeness the fighter paid you to make when he needed it 3 weeks ago.
   Sad thing about all these drawbacks is that you get them all at level 1, but you get 3/5 of your best infusions at level 1.
   DM will easily and reasonably veto this class
   A well placed dragonhead arrow could catch all your lovely scrolls on fire.[/spoiler]

Questions for your DM before making an artificer[spoiler]
   Is there going to be enough downtime?
      [spoiler]No?  Is he willing to accept a crafting compentancy that increases with level?  Have 1000 gp / day( = 100 gp/hr @ 10 hours crafting / day) be the standard at level 10, 100gp*CL^2 /day, minimum 1 hour .  
      This means that making a hand of the mage at level 3 takes 3 days, but boots of springing and striding takes a week.  
      Crafting a 0th level spell at level 1 takes 1 hour and 30 mins, a first level spell takes 3 hours.  When you get to level 2 it takes half as much time.  
      Crafting a Clay Golem(40000 gp) at level 11 takes 3.3 days but at level 15 takes 2 days.  
      This method results in most things taking around a day to 3 days to make a level appropiate item.  
      Instead of getting a UMD check for each 1000 gp in the base price(meaning the more expensive it is the more likely you are to make it with the same bonus), you get 3 checks.  Period.  [/spoiler]
   Is this a low magic/low gold game?
   Can you make custom Skill boosting items?  Cloak of the elvenkind is core.  Cloak of Charismatic Fervor(+2 to Use Magic Device)
   Do I need to make arcana checks to know of obscure spells?  How do we determine spell obscurity(15+Spell level vs. 20+CL vs. 20+2*CL)?
   Is Psionics = magic?  Can I use UMD in place of UPD?  Can I make scrolls of powers?
   What level am I starting at?  What level am I probably ending at?
      See what level to start at under the Use Magic Device section
   Does he allow Metamagic Item at all?
      Is he willing to compensate, say only up to +2 metamagic feats?  If this limitation is in place then reach, empower, and double rays are going to be important.  Extend with persist would only be used with creeping cold and metamagic spell completion[/spoiler]

Being God[spoiler]
   See http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=394.0 for definitions on the roles.  I'll go over how you can accomplish the roles w/o losing your godhood
   Face(The Fop) - Charm Person, Suggestion
   Sneak(The Corpse) - Invisibilty, Summon Dead Celestial Monkey, Fly(move silently), Divination(scout), expeditious messenger
   Healbot - Armor Enhancement, Healing Belt
   Leader - Buff through armor enhancement, crafting cheap weapons, Metamagic item-ing persist on buff wands
   Utility Caster - Spell Storing Item
   BSF - Purchased animals, Barbarian Cohort, Summon monster, Iron Defender, Golem
   Glass Cannon - Metamagic spell trigger + metamagic item
   Waste of Space - Spend your money on cool stuff and too many utility scrolls and not invest in a good BSF you'll lose yourself
   Diety - Spell Storing Item then Metamagic item(persist)+wands then metamagic Spell Completion(quicken/persist/heighten)+scrolls[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 06:31:06 PM by borg286 »

borg286

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 03:57:40 PM »
Links
Class description
Artificer handbook(Rough draft)  really one of the best ones
Unofficial Artificer Handbook 3.0

Races[spoiler]
   Human **** - Extra feat, 1 extra skill / level.  The extra feat is welcome in a feat-starved class
   Azurin ** - Extra feat, 1 point of Essentia, access to Shape Soulmeld(Mage Spectacles) for a startling +6 to UMD and spellcraft at level 1.  Feats are rare, but if you're doing low level the +6 is quite nice
   Strongheart Halfling **** - Extra feat, small size, +2 dex make for a great blaster
   Warforged ***** - The penalty to Cha only hurts at level 1-2, our UMD boosting doesn't care about a few points.  The real benefits come with infuse self(bane), the ability to claim your armor as your item familiar thus almost impossible for your DM to remove, the wand sheathe, Immunity to a bunch of debilitating effects, no eating, wizard can "cure" you, not dying when from -1 to -9, construct-only infusions apply to self[spoiler]
      At level 3 you can consistently cast alter self with the following options.  They're mostly helpful at low level when you don't have the gold to persist 5ish spells
      Warforged charger (MM3) at low levels gives powerful charge(+1d8 on charges) and adamantine body(+8 AC, DR 2/adamantine)
      25% chance to ignore Sneak attacks and crits
      Natural Weapon for the meleeficers - Good with
      Artificer Racial Sub. Level[spoiler]
         1: Gain Infuse Self: Infusions you cast on yourself are at +1 CL
         4: Lose Craft Homunculus, gain Tools of war: Infusions on constructs heal Cha (Again they think Cha is the main stat), Adding magical properties to constructs, weapons, armors using your Craft reserve get a 2 for 1 on XP points.
         5: Lose Retain Essence, gain Weapon Familiar, Alertness: Spend an extra 1000 XP on weapon
            Weapon familiar(Construct): [spoiler]
               14 Int, 10 Wis, 10 Cha
               HP=weapon HP+1/2 your HP
               saves: max(2+1/2 CL,your base saves)
               Darkvision 60' and counts as an ally for Linked Perception
               Improved Evasion taking no damage on those nasty fireballs
               +3 UMD
               Your choice of +2 Fort or Reflex
               Share Infusions(iron Construct for example)
               He can aid you in
               11th: Spell resistance = CL+5[/spoiler][/spoiler]
      Item Familiar and Warforged Components: "Any character capable of creating a magic item can make the same magic item as a warforged component, and any warforged character capable of using a magic item can use the same item as a warforged component." and "If a warforged character has at least 1 hit point, embedded or attached components cannot be removed unless the warforged wants them to be."  Thus you can craft a wondrous item and have it be an attached component and not removable
      Warforged repair: This is an 8 hour craft check, using one of several craft skills including armorsmithing. Upon completion the 'forged heals (Craft check result - 15) hp. For a Warforged with max ranks in their chosen craft, a +3 Int bonus, and a Warforged Repair Kit, who takes 10, this results in healing 3+1 hp per character level per 8 hours of repairing.
      Noxious Smokestick - You are immune to nausea.  10' cube lasts of nauseating(DC 15 fort), Concealing(Obscure all sight, including darkvision, beyond 5'.  Within 5' creatures have concealment(20% miss chance), and outside 5' have total concealment(50% miss chance, can't use sight to target)) requiring moderate wind to dispell this.
      Aboleth Mucus is no problem for you, but would be for those that touch your mucus covered arm.
      Poisoned traps (gas, poisoned needle, Ghoul Touch Trap, Energy Drain Trap)
      Grapple with the vampire, play patty cake with the weight
      Cover self with contact poison for fun.
      Life-Drinker (CL 13, 40,320 gp): Bestows 2 negative levels on each hit.  It specifically states, "This +1 greataxe is favored by undead and constructs, who DO NOT SUFFER it's drawback."  The rules do not state that any negative level gained is an energy draining effect(which you're immune to).  Constructs are immune to energy draining not negative levels.  But since the weapon entry says that constructs do not suffer the drawback you don't gain a negative level.[/spoiler][/spoiler]

Builds[spoiler]
   There are quite a few types of artificers out there.  They include
  • Bufficer- An artificer focused on buff or support spells for himself or comrades.
  • Archeficer- An artificer, focuses on ranged attacks with bows and persisting self buffs.
  • Blastificer- An artificer focused on blasting and dealing damage.
  • Golemficer- An artificer focused on golems or other constructs and yelling, "Off with his head!".
  • Meleeficer- An artificer focused on melee, usually a bufficer variant.
  • Ninjaficer- An artificer focused on Sneak attack, and being a silent killer in the night
  • Zeroficer- An artificer focused on competing with the big guys wizard/cleric/druid because the artificer is tier 0
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 06:14:56 PM by borg286 »

borg286

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 03:57:56 PM »
Highlights at each level[spoiler]
   1:
      Trapfinding: You're the only tier 1 class that can fulfill this role from level 1 on(Cleric can take the Kobold Domain, but would he really?).  Sure the wizard can cast knock but does he really want to expend his 2nd level slot in the early game?  He's too busy dreaming of Glitterdust and god-hood while you secretly peek at your scroll of alter self.
      Masterwork crafter for the team: Masterwork is a bit expensive, but possible.  Armorsmithing is the easiest and gives the most returns on your skill points spent.
      2nd level scrolls: alter self, for example, but very expensive
      No ASF + Medium armor and shield prof: cast in medium armor+shield.  Gishes have to wait and PrC to get this.
      Bane(whatever you're facing): given some foreknowledge you can break an enhancement in a way it wasn't meant to be used.
      Warforged: No need to eat/sleep, Tons of immunities, Alter Self(Warforged Charger) when you can manage the UMD check,
   2:
      On demand 1st level spells: Any 1st level spell in the game on demand.  If you've optimized for UMD you can consistently pull these off.  If your DM allows PrC spell lists the cheese rating goes even higher.
      If you've focused on UMD (recommended for low level games only) you can call on a wide range of spells to cast.  You only have one chance to make the check, so have the bard cast guidance, and see if someone can aid you.  There aren't too many encounter ending level 1 spells out there, but you do have access to all of them.
      Spellcraft synergy, Decipher Script synergy(Convince your DM it's a class skill): +4 to UMD checks involving scrolls   
   3:
      Healer: Combine the cheapest most versatile form of purchased daily healing around(crafted healing belt) with the best in combat healing around(Armor Enhancement: Healer's armor) and you have the best healer in the game.
      Item Familiar: My recommended feat at this level.  You can concentrate on your UMD or you can spread the +1 bonuses around
      Craft Wondrous Item: This feat covers most magic items in the game.  The party turns to you for thier power.
      3rd level scrolls: You can easily have a UMD check to auto-suceed any check you need to make. Sleet Storm, fireball, Manyjaws, Venomfire, Scry, Animate dead.  When your wizard friend just figured out how to turn himself into a skulk.  Need I say more?
   4:
      Warbeast riding dogs or fleshrakers: You finally have the cash to afford a couple of these welcome companions
      Scroll of Mass Snake's swiftness: Frontloading damage > sustained DPR(damage per round).  Your party will be happier than if you cast fireball
      On demand 2nd level spells: "I need to fly" Alter self. "This door is locked" Knock. "I wonder which way we should go?" Omen of Peril... The possibilities are endless
   5:
      Metamagic Item infusion: Broken, I know, but really useful.  First 2 persistant party buffs for free.
      Craft Magic Arms and armor: Now you're a real team player.
      4th level scrolls: Evard's Black Tentacles, oh yeah.  Careful with polymorph though.
      Persistant party wands of buffs: Minor Schema(Metamagic Item(Persist)) + Eternal wand of Guidance of the Avatar + Wand of ZOMG!!11!!elevel(1-3rd level spells) = purchasable 24-hour buffs
      Warforged: Persist Alter self(Warforged Charger)
   6:
      Wand Crafting(see errata): Now that you can craft wands at level 6 (see errata) you can afford eternal wands, combined with Metamagic Item and you have refreshing day-long buffs.  Also you can spam spells like your wizard friend
      On demand 3rd level spells: "I wish I could scry on X" "Dang, we just killed the BBEG, and we needed him to tell us how to get out of here" "I wish we knew how to best defeat that dragon?" All those spells the other tier 1 players like but just couldn't justify getting and preparing, you've got it for "When you need it you need it" times.
      Leadership: I know that Leadership is broken, but the artificer gets particular use from this guy.  Handle Animal focused Followers lead to more cheese
      Persistant Party cheap Wands of party buffs: You have an extra free persistant wand
   7:
      5th level spells: Baleful/Draconic Polymorph, Magic jar, Firebrand, Refusal, teleport, Lesser Planar Binding a Nightmare and Bearded Devils, Cloudkill
      Metamagic Spell Trigger(see errata): Fell drain for 1, Twin for 4.  Extend a persistant self-buff for only 1 charge
      Weapon Augmentation:Paralizing(MIC 39): can we say coup-de-grace, Banishing: say no to outsiders
   8:
      Metamagic Feat: Take your pick.  I like fell drain for blaster types and chain spell for buffificers
      On demand 4th level spells: The pleateau of your Spontanious upgrading 1st level infusion into 4th level spell godhood.  Still having 4th level spells at your minute-fingertips at your true caster level is simply amazing
   9:
      6th level spells: Contingency, True Seeing, Greater Dispel, Flesh to stone, Antimagic field, Freezing fog
      Metamagic rods: Don't know if these work with scrolls and wands.
   10:
      Nothing, just the calm before the storm at level 11   :bigeye :shakefist
   11:
      Metamagic Spell Completion: Either it's awesome to the point of broken, even compared with the artificer, or it's crap.  Persistant level 9 spells is crazy.  Right now you can only make 7th level, but that'll still break your game
      7th level spells: greater teleport, spell turning, simulacrum, and resurrection.
      5th level infussions: Wall of Stone and Wall of Force are quite powerful
   12:
      Metamagic feat: Quicken.  Works on wands as well as scrolls.  We picked twin first as quicken would cost charges to cast it again being a seperate casting
      Etch Schema: You can either spend 6000 or 2250 gp and some XP to get Metamagic Item infusion over and over again.  Sadly you only have a limited amount of Spell Storing item castings because they cost XP and Etch Schema can't contain infusions that cost XP
      Craft Staff: Now you can persist high level spells.  Now aren't you glad you got Etch Schema?  You need the money for more staves
   13:
      8th level spells: Polymorph Any Object, Greater Planar Binding
      Take 10 on UMD: Metamagic Spell Completion just got crazy.  Did you want to quicken 8th level spells?
   14:
      Forge Ring: Let's make some counterspell rings for the party
      6th level infusions:Greater Weapon Augmentation and Greater Spell Snare offer some power and protection, respectivly.  I'd rather be holding a wand in my hand instead of a dragonshard, but my saves would prefer the 6th level spell cancelation.
   15:
      9th level spells: Metamagic spell completion and these makes me a happy camper.
      Progress chosen Artificer occupation with a new feat
   16:
      Extra metamagic feat: Let's cause more havoc with Metamagic spell completion and metamagic item
   17+:
      Don't take Cannith Wand Adept.  You lose too much(CL, craft reserve, BAB, feat slot) for +3 CL and +3 DC on wands.  Not worth it[/spoiler]

Interpretations, Fixes and Houserules[spoiler]
   Note to DMs: [spoiler]
      It may be easy to veto the artificer based on some builds you may have seen(blastificer dealing 400+ damage in 1 round, Ninjaficer with 6 melee touch attacks each at 18d6+15) ask players that want to play an artificer what kind of artificer he wants to build, and what kind of cheese he wants to employ.  Here I list some compromises I feel are acceptable on both ends.
      If he's wanting to play a blastificer realize that he's either spending all his gold in charges and will soon run out, then he'll get more conservative.
      If he's wanting to play a golemficer his horde is going to cost him everything and it will take you lots of care not to destroy his entire life's work.  He will have taken improved Homunculus which gives his homunculii bonuses based on the gold he's spent in upgrading thier HD.  Consider making the HD cost cheaper, change the 'durable' option to give more HP so that they are around 75% of that of the fighter.  The artificer won't have enough infusions to spread around to keep them alive, nor do the rules allow the craft skill to handle that kind of army.  And if he goes for quantity instead of quality then his turn may take a while.  Urge him to make a spreadsheet where it takes in an AC and calculates the damage he dealt.  Urge him to consolidate.  Be careful with your fireballs.
      If he's wanting to play a meleeficer or ninjaficer, this is basically taking a tier 1 class and putting him in the middle of battle.  He'll be reliant on Metamagic item(persist) to keep all his buffs up and running.  Check over these buffs.  Don't be scared of a +6 to Strength and 4 natural attacks.  Check his expected damage to a monster of equivilant level/CR and see how many turns it takes to down him in a fist fight.  Is this acceptable?  If not identify spells that are the main killers and ask him to pick lesser versions.  Beware of WraithStrike(all melee attacks are resolved as melee touch attacks).  It was meant to be on a wizard and used only 1 round.  On an artificer with his spell access he can easily penetrate defences.  Tell him how many turns you would like a monster to survive and ask him to trade Damage per round for diversity
      If he's wanting to play a god be sure that the others in the team are either tier 1 in class and mind, or that they're ok with him taking the spotlight.  Ask him to focus on buffing and limiting his "what does that spell do?" stuff to 2/encounter.  Challange him, for that's what he's wanting, with the task of ultimate debuff for the others to kill, so as to encourage team work.  Check over his spell list and his proposed build.  Often he's planning on doing something you may consider broken which will change his feat selection now.
      If he's wanting to play a ninjaficer keep in mind that it doesn't ripen till level 12 when he can polymorph into a kelvezu for that critical +8d6 SA.  Before then he might be sneaky(persisted invisibility) or accurate(persisted wraithstrike) but he's slow with getting sneak attack(Level 5 to persist Hunter's eye(+1d6 SA/3 CL), Persisted Heroics(Martial Stance(Assassin's stance(+2d6 SA)))) but he's spending so much and progressing too slow.  If you're starting at level 12 then you probably have other tier 1 and appropiate challanges.  They'll be pulling out equivilant cheese.  If you don't have tier 1's at level 12 simply give the monsters blindsense and truesight to make the artificer focus on other tactics to deal with his problems.
      If he's wanting to play an archeficer just let him.  I'd even go to the extent of giving him free proficency in a repeating crossbow and letting him use arrows and bolts interchangably.  We don't have enough good archers out there.  The fact that he took a tier 0 class and now wants to shoot arrows with it shows that he wants to have options, while fulfilling a niche concept.
      Doesn't the Artificer need Action Points to use his infusions in combat?  No.  While they're nice, but not necessary.  A good artificer will prepare the right spells in scroll form, and have figured out a way of getting to his spells when surprised.  Just make sure that the artificer in your group has some choice spells for when you do surprise him.
      Try to give the artificer a couple encounters where he had ample opportunity to prepare for the battle.  Let him shine in the area he prepared for (Bane his crossbow, cast spell storing item with an awesome spell, shoot a thunderhead arrow) and watch him turn a tough encounter into a walk in the park.  Other tier 1 casters are going to have spontanious access to all the spells they prepared for the day.  Let the artificer "prepare"
[/spoiler]
   Metamagic spell trigger: Use charges instead of increasing the spell level.  The rules are clearly do not state that you can't do this more than once.  This ability itself goes against typical prices of metamagic.  A metamagic spell boosts the slot, and thus the minimum caster level needed to cast the spell.  Metamagic spell trigger only expends charges.  When you augment the spell by preparing the spell with the metamagic in it already you increase both the spell level and the caster level.  A wand magic missile with 2 extra charges spent to empower it costs 45 gp per casting.  A wand of Empowered magic missile costs 225 gp per casting.  [spoiler]
      Solution 1: limit it once per round.  
         What it solves: Twined maximized empowered megadamage of death
         Problems remaining: Persisted purchasable 24-hour buffs for the party
      Solution 2: Increase the cost to be <difference in caster level*difference in spell level> instead.  The wand in the sample scenario would spend 15 charges instead of 3 thus being the same as if he prepared it.
         What it solves: Can't deal 400+ damage by blowing a wand in 2 rounds, Max is
         Problems remaining:
   Metamagic Item: The ability to freely apply metamagic feats to wands and spell storing items x/day is powerful to say the least.  Nothing says you can't apply more metamagic feats to the same wand.  Purchasing Schema that let him do this more times / day breaks the game
      Solution 1: Limit it to +2 metamagic feats only as metamagic Scroll does, as well as a wand can only have 1 metamagic feat applied in this way
         What it solves: Persist, twin, empower are no longer candidates for cheese
         Problems Remaining: Fell drain, Fell frighten, Reach spell, Split spell are still powerful for debuffers[/spoiler]
   Craft items as CL+2: The artificer can emulate any spell for item creation requirements as if he were 2 levels higher, thus allowing him to scribe scrolls 2 full character levels faster than the wizard/druid/cleric.[spoiler]
      Solution 1: Require an exponentially growing Knowledge(Arcana) check for new spells as well as the UMD check that grows like 20+2*CL instead of the current 20+spell level.  the DCs become 1: 22, 2:26, 3:30, 4:34 , 5:38, 6:42, 7:46, 8:50, 9: 54
         What it solves: The UMD check becomming trivial past level 3-6.  Letting the DM make obscure spells have a greater knowledge(arcana) check.
         Problems remaining: It is still possible to get sky high UMD checks, but that's only if you focus on it.  These DCs make the artificer stretch and are more sensable than just coming up with any spell the player's read
      Solution 2: Have only core, or only core+complete+spell compendium avaliable
         What it solves: You're only facing spells you would have faced if you had have let a wizard/cleric/druid into your party.  No PrC spell lists for extreemly early access to spells.
         Problems remaining: There are a ton of powerful spells in those books.
   Spell Storing Item: Being able to call upon any 1-4th level spell on the fly with a minute preperation is quite powerful.  Imagine a wizard delayed by a level but getting cantrips at 1st but he can't make the UMD check
      Solution 1: See knowledge(Arcana) chack in craft items for the solution[/spoiler]
   Crafting custom items: According to the DMG one can craft things with class restrictions to reduce the price to 70% of what it was before, 10% for skill requirements[spoiler]
      Solution 1: Don't allow it
         What it solves: Being able to craft things at 1/2 market price means you have effectivly just doubled the expected wealth.  Taking that 50% down to 35% means they have 2.8 times the wealth instead of just 2.  
         Problems remaining: Being able to get twice as much stuff bends the game quite a bit.  The artificer might need the extra gold, as his main casting method(scrolls) cost gold to function and he'll be using his wealth to win encounters.  The wizard gets to keep what he spends his gold on.  Just make sure he's spending in consumables instead of persistant things and you'll be find[/spoiler]
   Item Familiar: Acquirable at level 3 only by having an item worth 2000 gp is quite a price to pay, gives a 3:1 return on skills invested in the form of untyped stackable +1 bonuses with max of Ranks, @6th Invest experience to get a 10% feedback (Mostly used as XP buffer for item creation)[spoiler]
      Solution 1: Take his item familiar away from him(in game) for a couple days so he goes without the benefits(matching UMD ranks and the base benefit of his chosen item) to humble him thus he'll spend more resources on protection instead of breaking the game.
         What it solves: It makes the player appreciate his item familiar, rely on it less as there will be times he won't have it, and he'll realize how you can break his build
         Problems Remaining: The item familiar can still match his ranks, effecivly doubleing his UMD check.  Warforged can have attached components which can only be removed by being willing or disabling the warforged.  The integrated armor is harder to remove, but armor has fewer optimal choices[/spoiler]
   Metamagic Spell Completion: Being able to apply a metamagic feat to a scroll with the only cap being a 20+3*effective spell level UMD check can easily break the game[spoiler]
      Solution 1: Don't allow Item familiar and spells that boost a skill check as they're the bigest culprit
         What it solves: Being able to make DC 50 UMD checks is about has high as a sane player is going to go.
         Problems Remaining: You can still quicken scrolls that weren't meant to be quickened
      Solution 2: Don't allow any spell to go above effective level 9
         What it solves: Only spells that were previously quickenable are quickenable, etc
         Problems Remaining: This still alows for persisted 3rd level spells, but that may not be so bad[/spoiler]
   Fell Drain: "You can alter a spell that deals damage to foes so that any living creature that is dealt damage also gains a negative level."  Depending on your interpretation 5 magic missiles on 1 foe can bestow either 5 negative levels or 1.[spoiler]
      Solution 1: For a given casting of a spell a creature can only be drained once.
         What it solves: a wand of magic missile(CL 9) with metamagic item(twin) and fell drain won't give 10 negative levels to your BBEG.
         Problems remaining: metamagic item(twin spell) + automagic hit means it is applied twice.
      Solution 2: This feat is only usable with spells that have a save to negate the damage.
         What it solves: Rays are effecivly auto-hit, as is Sonic Snap and magic missile.  penalties to saves with no save itself if very powerful.
         Problems Remaining: None that I can see[/spoiler]
   Persist: Having 24-hour buffs are quite powerful.  The trick is getting to them[spoiler]
      Solution 1: See Metamagic Item as this is the main way of cutting the tree at the root
      Solution 2: See Metamagic Spell Completion.  This is only achievable at level 11, but may be too soon for the cheese you allow in your game
      Solution 3: You must attune yourself to the wand/staff for a minute
         What it solves: can no longer pass a wand around.
         Problems remaining: Artificer can still buff himself.  Party members can still pay him, they just don't get to split the costs[/spoiler][/spoiler]

Use Magic Device[spoiler]
   Things that call for UMD
      
  • Item Creation: 20 + spell level = 20-29
  • Spell Storing item: 20 + 3*spell level(0-4) = 20-32
  • Using Scrolls: 20 + caster level = 21-30
  • Using Wands: 20 flat
  • Metamagic Spell Completion: 20+3*effective spell level = 23+, probably around 60
   
Ways to boost UMD, pick whatever you feel you need for the level you're at[spoiler]
      1-2 Charisma modifier
      2 Masterwork item
      1-5 Skill boosting custom magic item
      2 Spellcraft Synergy when related to scrolls (I don't know if this means when reading as well as trying to craft it.  YMMV)
      2 Decipher Script synergy when related to scrolls(While Decipher Script isn't on the Artificer's skill list any sane DM would allow you to have it)
      3 Circlet of Persuasion
      5-6 Marshal's Motivate Charisma minor aura.  This will be had by your Cohort
      6 Shape Soulmeld(Mage Spectacles) being Azurin
      2 Nymph Kiss
      3 Skill Focus
      N ranks(max = 3+level)
      N Item Familiar matching ranks by letting the item familiar claim ownership of the skill points you invest and it giving you a free untyped +1 to put wherever you like for every 3 points invested this way, max bonus per skill = ranks.
      2 Having the item creation feat related when activating the item (Scribe Scroll, craft wand, craft rod) (Artificer only)
      2 if you've activated the item before(you can put up to 6(I don't have a reference for this) spells on the same scroll, perhaps throw a cantrip on for easy entry)
      1 Bless cast from follower adepts
      10 Take 10 when you get to 13th level
      20 Competance Avatar of the guardian Clr 2 spell, 1 time skill boost
      10 Competance WeildSkill
      14 Persisted Magic Savant - +4 Insight to Use Magic Device, with 10 ranks can take 10 in Use Magic Device in all situations (Bard 2)
      2 Persisted Sirine's Grace - +4 Enh to Charisma and Dexterity, Deflection Bonus to AC = Charisma(Bard 4)[/spoiler]
   
      
   What level are you starting and ending at?[spoiler]
      If you plan on spend a large portion of your career at level 11+ and your DM allows metamagic Spell Completion to augment scrolls to an effective level above 10th level spells then you'll want to max out UMD, otherwise get UMD to a bonus where you suceed by rolling 1's and forget about it.
      Low level games(UMD checks are tough)
         1-6(Magic of Incarnum allowed): Azurin + Shape soulmeld(Mage spectacles) to get +6 UMD
         1-6(core): Skill Focus(UMD)
      High Level games(11+)
         If you are allowed Metamagic Spell Completion and plan on being able to use it(high level games) take Item familiar.  It results in +14 to your UMD by level 12, which equates to 7 more metamatic levels you can throw onto your scrolls.
         Otherwise don't take a UMD boosting feat.  The highest you'll need is 20+3*4 = 32 for 4th level spell storing items, and 29 for item creation's UMD check of 9th level spells[/spoiler]
   Metamagic spell completion[spoiler]
      3+Int/day you can apply a metamagic feat to a scroll by making a UMD check of 10+3*effective spell level.  Meaning if you persist an 8th level spell the effective spell level is 8+6 = 14 meaning you must make a 20+3*14 UMD check.
      To achieve UMD bonuses like this we must plan on doing it from level 1, or at least 3 for item familiar.
      While this only comes online at 11th level, you can certanly blow expectations of spell power out of the water
      Wouldn't the scroll be beyond my reach if I boost it too much?
         There are 3 types of applying metamagic: Boosting the slot the spell takes, consuming appearantly scarce resources, and applying the metamagic feat a limited number of times per day.  For increasing the spell slot you're limited on slots and you must have the avaliable slot.  For using resources like turn attempts and charges the designers thought those resources would be viewed as scarce and thus justified theselves in not augmenting the spell level.  Limit the times it can be performed per day like with metamagic rods you still don't change the effective spell level.  Scarce resources and times/day never increase the spell level.[/spoiler][/spoiler]

Item crafting
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 07:27:04 PM by borg286 »

borg286

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 03:58:15 PM »
Spells
   Scroll, potion, Spell storing item or wand?[spoiler]
      Potions(50*CL*spell level): can be placed in potion belts and given to allies.  They then pick which buff they want.
      Spell Storing item(XP=your CL*spell level): Spontanious ANY spell up to 1/2 level, limited(4-5 / day), and a PC level behind the wizard/cleric/druid.  High UMD check to make.  Works with Metamagic item(persist).  While it says it is effectivly a wand, unlike a wand, this spell does not state an activatio action change.  Either it defaults to the spell or a wand(standard).
      Scroll(25*CL*spell level): a full spell level ahead of wizard/cleric/druid, access to obscure spell lists(assassin), same casting time as spell, 6 spells / scroll.  Can scribe metamagiced spells, but must wait till 11th level to apply them freely on the fly.
      Wand(15*CL*spell level*50 charges): up to 4th level spells, 7th level metamagic spell trigger class feature allows for blowing wads of cash in a big boom. metamagic item gives you free metamagic for 7+ rounds.  Takes the same amount of time as the spell itself to cast
      Eternal wands(CL*spell level*720+100): up to 3rd level spells. while craftable are unusable with either metamagic scroll or metamagic item as an eternal wand is more of a "use activated magic item" than a charged spell trigger wand. YMMV.  If your DM does not allow spell storing item to be used in conjunction with metamagic item, then he might allow this as this is much more expensive.
      Note: You can craft things with a lower caster level, down to the minimum for the spell, up to yours.  This doesn't work for Spell Storing Item[/spoiler]

   Spell Storing Item(Utility)[spoiler]
      Rules Compendium page 85 states that casting a spell from a wand takes the same amount of time as the spell itself.  A spell storing item says it's effectivly a wand with 1 charge
      While you can use this in battle geven you have the prep time, and usage in this manner is prefered to making a scroll, I am going to focus on usage out of combat.  
      Here is a list of utility spells that are handy to know about, but don't need to be prepared on a scroll that you would use in battle.
      With all these spells you're only a level behind a normal caster. Unlike him you don't need 8 hours of sleep to solve the problem at hand.
      These spells shouldn't be prepared as scrolls as either you're preparing for battle, or you're presented with a problem and you have a minute to cast this infusion.
      1
         Power work Pain(empower):1d6/rnd for 2d4 rnds~35 dam
         Silent Image: use after foe knows your a threat
         True Strike: +20 to hit on next attack.
         Protection from X: anti-dominate person
         Omen of peril: Poor man's augurgry.
         Unseen servant: Traps, 1 hr, add noxious smokestick
         Scholar's touch: Read books at an incredible rate
         Enlarge Person:+2 str -2 dex, Reach doubles
         Fist of Stone:+6 str, +Nat. Attack
         Horde Gullet: Bag of holding @ level 1.
         Improvisation:2*CL pts,spend 1-CL/2 to skill/attack
      2
         Knock: Open door if Disable Device failed
         Arcane lock: Magically lock a chest or portal
         Detect Thoughts: "I know what you've been hiding"
         Lesser Restoration: cure 1d4 of temp. abil. dam.
         Invisibility: Just don't attack someone
         Rope Trick: I need my beauty sleep
         Darkway: shadow bridge, 200 lbs/lvl
         Whispering wind: message @ miles
         Stolen Breath: no save no SR, out of breath
         Alter Self:small-large, 5HD or less
         Chain of Eyes:Pass it along, I see what you see
      3
         Scrying(brd3): Where are my keys?
         Explosive Runes: I prepared explosive runes
         Invisibility Sphere: "I rolled a 4!" 10' rad.
         Speak with the Dead: Where is your master? x3
         Animate dead: You work for me now 100 gp/HD
         Circle dance: Where is that guy I saw last thursday?
         Amorphous Form: touched => puddlelike
         Anticipate Teleport.: You know he's gonna.
         Magic Circle against X: +Planar Binding
         Disobedience: You only think you're controling me
         Skull Watch: Perm Alarm
         Understand Device: +10 DD or do as if trained
      4
         Greater Invis: Who hit me?  Why does it hurt?
         Locate creature: Where did he go?
         Polymorph: You just turned into what?
         Dispel Magic: You know who's behind that door
         Resist Energy, Mass: A red dragon you saw?
         Tree Stride: Poor man's teleport.
         Restoration: Item creation cutting into your XP?
         Globe of Invuln., lesser:
         Mage Armor, greater: +8 AC[/spoiler]

   Spell Storing Item + Metamagic item(persist)[spoiler]
      See level 6 for more nice combos
      1
         Sign: a 20 Init isn't bad
         Instant locksmith/accelerated movement/instant search: good if you're the skill guy
         Jaws of the morray: Extra bite attack(1d8) @ usual -5,  Bite = grappled
         Fist of stone(+6 str, +Nat attack), then persist this on the BSF and the Druid/cleric/rogue.  
         Bless: +1 to attack, +1 saves vs. fear(a large chunk of truely harmful spells) to all within 30' all day long.
         Spontaneous Search: The duration is not Instantaneous thus is persistable.  If your DM disagrees, and rightfully so as this would break the traps, then ignore this.
      2
         Expeditious Retreat, swift:+30'
         Wraithstrike: Melee attacks become touch attacks
         Haste, Swift: Sadly you cannot pass this to other people, but casting a persistant haste is powerful
         Alter Self: There's tons of cheese to be had with this like: Tons of SA, Flying, Skulks, the list goes on and on.
      3
         Ice axe(SpC): Creates a 2d12 +1/2 levels ice axe that uses melee touch attacks.
         Recitation(SpC): +2 or +3 luck to AC, saves, and attack rolls
      4
         Mage Armor, greater: +8 AC[/spoiler]

   Scrolls[spoiler]
      While other spellcasters try to optimize what spells they prepare in certian slots to handle every situation, you can relegate utility spells to spell storing item.
      While other spellcasters have replenishing slots each day, your slots(scrolls) are used up permantly.
      While other spellcasters have to make due with the spell list they have, you have all spell lists.
      While other spellcasters have all their prepared spells to pick at any given time from you must have special ways of getting the to the right scroll(scroll organizer/heward's handy haversack...).
      While other spellcasters' 1st level spells increase in power as they level, your scrolls are stagnant with a set caster level.  You can craft them at higher, but are never higher than your CL.
      While other spellcasters are casting magic missile you can cast alter self.  When they've figured out how to turn into a skulk you're casting venomfire on on your warbeast fleshraker.  When the wizard just learned Ray of exaustion and the druid can finally turn into a fleshraker, you're polymorphing.  They're just playing catch-up and you're leadig the pack in Tier 1.
      All these make the artificer complicated to say the least.
      Here is a list of spells that are good to have at hand when you got caught unawares, or you just plain need to do X.
      0
         Daze: a 4- HD creature loses next turn
         Stick: Perm. stick tiny to anything. Trivial to remove
         Launch Item(5): fine obj. up2 100' w/o range penalty
      12
         Creeping Cold(blast):extend deal 1/2/...6d6/round
         Levitate(util): move 20'/rnd, ranged attacks@ += -1
         Web(BC): 20' conn., entangl(no sav)StrDC20 no mov
         Glitterdust(debuff):10' rad. Will save or blind
         Cloud of Bewild.(BC,debuff)fort neg, 10'cone naus
         Baleful Transposition(debuff):Both ground, swap
         Mirror Image(buff): Me's everywhere, 1d4+1
         Ray of Stupidity(debuff)(empower): 1d6 Int,Cha,Wis
         Spike Growth(rng2):
         Arcane Turmoil(debuff): Targeted dispel
         Earthbind(debuff): no fly 4 u
         Entice Gift(util): Give me your sword use poison
         Pyrotechnics(fun): torch=>kaboom(blind/debuff)
         Shatter(util,debuff): Shatter something. Yay!
      34
         Evard's Black Tent.(BC)20' rad. lrg+4str,bab=8+lvl
         Solid Fog(BC):mov->5' -2 att./dam, strng wind disp.
         Enervation(debuff) 1d4 Neg lev(no save) close range
         Burning Blood(debuff): Fort or 1d8 + only move act.
         Dimension Anchor(debuff): No teleporty for you
         Dispelling Screen(debuff): pass through = Dispell
         Assay Spell Resistance(buff):+10 4me2 overcome SR
      Concerning writing metamagiced spells on scrolls[spoiler]
         DMG, page 241, Creating Magic Items...
         "Using metamagic feats, a caster can place spells in items at a higher level than normal. For example, a caster could heighten a spell's level to increase its effectiveness, or quicken a spell to allow it to be used as a free action, placing it within an item at the higher metamagic level."
         Remember that wands can only hold up to 4th level spells.  You can empower Scorching Ray, maximize kelgore's firebolt, but they then count as 4th level spells, ie. not worth it in the end.[/spoiler]
      Concerning Action required to use the item[spoiler]
         DMG, page 175, Using Items, 2nd paragraph, "Activating a magic item is a standard action unless the items indicates otherwise. However, the casting time of a spell is the time required to activate the same power in an item, wether it's a scroll, a wand, or a pair of boots, unless the item descriptions specifically states otherwise."
         Thus a scroll, which does not state otherwise, takes the same amount of time as the original spell, the second sentance.
         A wand, on the other hand, states that it usually takes a standard action, then goes on to say that if the spell takes longer then the wand takes longer.  Thus you take the maximum of standard action and casting time of the spell.  Quickened wands? Don't they take a standard action to use? Pinky's Brain and Elderich said, "The DMG says quicken shortens activation times for items to a free action. DMG pg 283, right at the start. ECS pg 32 in the description of metamagic spell trigger also supports this."[/spoiler]
      Getting to your scrolls[spoiler]
         Keep in mind that the casting time for scrolls is the same time as the spell itself, and you can put up to 6 spells on a scroll at a time.
         Scroll Organizer: (from FRCS) overlapping series of 15 pockets, each holds single scroll of one spell, only tops of scrolls show "allowing you to scan the scrolls' titles."  No description on the "draw" time, but suffice it to say it should be free(Pick the tab and swipe hand down).  Compare to Potion belt which is a free action to draw too.
         Heward's handy Haversack: Move action to retrieve whatever it is you're thinking of that you put in there.  No sharp objects though.[/spoiler][/spoiler]

   Potions[spoiler]
      I know that everyone thinks they suck.  They cost twice as much as scrolls do, but you can hand them to your allies thus you don't need to spend charges and a feat on reach spell and your actions in combat
      Potion Belt takes up no slot, and you can pull a potion out as a free action.  Still a standard to drink and it provokes, yuck, but it's worth considering.
      Here's a small list of spells you might consider putting in potions.  
         1
            Bless
         2
         3
            Haste
         4
         5[/spoiler]

   Buffs (persistable purchasable power)[spoiler]
      Starting from level 5 an artificer can enable the party to purchase 24-hour buffs for themselves by buying for him and splitting the cost of a Minor Schema of Metamagic Item and a wand with the spell thye've agreed on, which the artificer will craft for them, and an if necessary an eternal wand of Guidance of the Avatar, or any skill boosting item to bring them up to +19 UMD, or +14 if the marshal cohort is around.
      At later levels(12) he can craft the minor schema himself, but from levels 5-10th the party must buy them from the market.  The artificer then casts metamagic item and puts persist in the wand.  Each person then casts it on himself and passes the wand to the next person.
      The Minor Schema(Metamagic Item) costs 6000 gp
      Wands can go up to 4th level and will have a crafting cost of {281,1688,4219,7875} gp/N for a 1,2,3,4th level wand where N is the number of team member that are willing to pay for the buff
      An eternal wand costs 830 gp(crafted) per 2 castings max/day and can be used by anyone regardless of class.  If you can make the UMD yourself then don't pay for your eternal wand half.  See UMD section if you want alternative ways of boosting UMD.  Remember you can't pass a circlet of persuasion(+3 charisma based checks) with the wand, so items aren't transferable for this trick
      Staffs are avaliable at 12th, the same level where he can make schema himself
      See level 6 for pricing you offer the party for day buffs for spells up to 4th level
      See level 12 for pricing you offer the party for day buffs for spells up to 6th level
      Consider a Lens of Ray Widening(Lords of Madness, pg.46, 16,000 gp) so that the effective ray shoots through the lens, and is widened to a 15 ft. Cone; everyone within the cone benefits from the Persisted Spell.  Unfortunately, a Lens of Ray Widening can only be used 9 times before breaking.
      I don't have any link to spells that would want to be persisted for spells past 6th
      If you want to persist touch spells(polymorph...) you'll have to first metamagic item(reach) then metamagic item(persist) which ups the price quite a bit and takes a round off the usable duration
      
      Chameleon Handbook has consolidated persistant spells
      Nice list
      Another List
      Level 1:
         1.Bless - Each ally gains +1 morale to attack +1 morale to Fear saves (Cleric 1, Paladin 1) (PHB)
         2.Divine Favor - +1 Luck to attack and damage/3 CL (max +3) for non-spells (Cleric 1, Paladin 1) (PHB)
         3.Blessed Aim - All allies gain +2 morale to ranged (Blackguard 1, Cleric 1, Paladin 1) (Spell Compendium)
         4.Divine Sacrifice - Suffer 10 damage for First attack of each round it inflicts 5d6 extra damage, (Blackguard 1, Paladin 1) (Spell Compendium)
         5.Critical Strike - Gain 1d6 Melee Sneak Attack Effectively, during sneak attack weapon is Keen, +4 Insight to Confirm Critical Threats (Bard 1) (Spell Compendium)
         6.Focusing Chant - +1 Circumstance to Attacks, Skill Checks, Ability Checks (Bard 1) (Spell Compendium)
         7.Improvisation - Gain 2 Luck Points/CL which can be spent to improve attack, skill, or ability check rolls, no check can spend more than 0.5 CL (Bard 1) (Spell Compendium)
         8.Silverbeard - Gain +2 Sacred to AC, +2 Circumstance to Diplomacy with Dwarves
         9.Linked Perception - Each ally (including caster) in 20 ft radius gain +2 Listen and +2 Spot per ally (Druid 2, Ranger 1) (Player's Handbook II)
         10.Embrace the Wild - +2 Listen, Spot and gain either Low Light Vision, 30 ft. Blindsense or Scent (Druid 2, Ranger 1) (Spell Compendium)

      Level 2:
         1.Cloud of Knives- As free action attack target with flying magic knife within 30 ft, Attack =CL+Ability mod; Damage= 1d6+1/3CL (Max +5) 19-20 Crit; (Cleric 2) (Player's Handbook II)
         2.Interfaith Blessing - Gain Attack, Damage, AC, Skill Checks or Saving Throw Bonuses depending on Deity Worshipped (Adept 2, Cleric 2, Druid 2, Shugenja 2) (Complete Champion)
         3.Primal Instinct (Pointless) - +5 Competence to Initiative, Survival. +5 Competence to one knowledge skill with Dragonblood subtype.  Gain Uncanny dodge if other Primal spell active (Druid 3, Ranger 2) (Dragon Magic)
         4.Haste, Swift - Gain Extra attack on Full attack, +1 Attack, +1 Dodge to AC, +1 Reflex Saves, +30 Enhancement to Speed (Ranger 2) (Spell Compendium)
         5.Bite of the Wererat - +6 enh. to Dex, +2 En. to Con, +3 En. to Natural Armor, Bite attack for 1d4*1.5 Str, Weapon Finesse feat (Druid 2) (Spell Compendium)
         6. Alter Self - Assume form of creature of your type with Hitdice=CL (max 5), gain Physical benefits of creature, +10 to Disguise (Bard 2) (PHB)
         7.Battle Hymm - All allies may reroll a will save/round before success or failure is known (Bard 2) (Spell Compendium)
         8.Balor Nimbus - Any creature in a grapple with you take 6d6 Fire Damage (Cleric 2) (Spell Compendium)
         9.Strength of Stone - +8 Enh. to Str as long as 1 foot touches the ground (no jump, tumble, charge, or run) (Paladin 2) (Spell Compendium)
         10.Elation - Allies gain +2 Morale to Str and Dex, +5 Speed (Bard 2, Cleric 2) (Book of Exalted Deeds)
         11. Hunter's Eye - Gain 1d6 Sneak Attack/3 CL Stacks with current sneak attack (Ranger 2) (Player's Handbook II)
         12. Master Air - Gain Wings and fly Speed 90 (60 with medium or heavy armor) (Druid 2) (Spell Compendium)
         13. Wraithstrike - All melee attacks are melee touch attacks
         
      Level 3:
         1. Soul of the Waste - Body melds into sand, dust, or loose earth that accomodates all dimensions.  Can cast spells on self and hear the surrounding area but cannot communicate.  Hard to damage (Cleric 3, Druid 3) (Sandstorm)
         2. Masochism - Every 10 points of damage taken gives +1 Luck to Attack, Saves, Skill Checks (Blackguard 3, Cleric 3) (Book of Vile Darkness)
         3. Sadism - Every 10 points of damage dealt grants +1 Luck to Attack, Saves, Skill Checks (Blackguard 3, Cleric 3) (Book of Vile Darkness)
         4. Hymm of Praise - +2 Caster level to each Good Divine Spellcaster in 50ft, +4 Sacred bonus to Turn undead for good divine spellcasters and -4 for Evil Divine Spellcasters (Bard 3) (Spell Compendium)
         5. Infernal Threnody - +2 Caster level to each Evil Divine Spellcaster in 50ft, +4 Profane bonus to Turn undead for evil divine spellcasters and -4 for good Divine Spellcasters (Bard 3) (Spell Compendium)
         6. Evard's Menacing Tentacles - Gain 2 10 ft. Reach Tentacle attacks/round  for free action that deal 1d8+Str Tentacles threaten area and can make 1 attack of opportunity/round (Druid 3) (Player's Handbook II)
         7. Blink - 50% miss chance, 20% chance for your attacks/spells to fail, 1/2 damage from area attacks, attack as invisible creature, move through solid walls (Bard 3) (PHB)
         8. Cone of Euphoria - As standard action breathe a cone that causes euphoria, make Will Save or become dazed for 1d6 rounds (wait 1d4 rounds between uses) (Bard 3, Druid 4) (Dragons of Faerun)
         9. True Prayer of the Chosen - +3 Insight to Saving Throws and AC, must recite Truename(Cleric 4, Paladin 3) (Tome of Magic)
         10. Find the Gap - First Melee or Ranged Attack each round is a touch attack (Paladin 3, Ranger 3) (Spell Compendium)
         11. Wreath of Flames - At end of turn, adjacent enemies take 1d6 Fire Damage, Melee attacks deal 1d6 extra damage (Druid 3) (Dragon Magic)  Gain Blind Fight Feat (Druid 3) (Spell Compendium)
         12. Inspired Aim - All allies within 40 foot emanation get +2 Insight to Ranged Attacks (Bard 4, Cleric 3, Ranger 3) (Book of Exalted Deeds)
         13. Prayer - Allies gain a +1 luck bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saves, and skill checks, foes takes a -1 penalty on such rolls. (Cleric 3, Paladin 3) (PHB)
         14. Mystic Lash - Whip makes ranged touch attack for 1d6 electric/3 CL (max 4d6), make fort or be stunned, no Str to Damage but Cha to damage (Initiate of Bane 3) (Player's Guide to Faerun)
         15. Ice axe(SpC): Creates a 2d12 +1/2 levels ice axe that uses melee touch attacks.

      Level 4:Best spells to persist for melee are:
         1) lesser holy/Infernal transformation(Clr4,spc) +2str +2con +2saves (all sacred), fly speed of 60ft, darkvision 60ft and creature type becomes good outsider.
         2) divine power(Clr4,phb) +6str (enhancement), +1 temp hp/caster level and bab=character level.
         2) Wraithstrike(Wiz2) all melee attacks are touch attacks
         3) righteous might(phb) +4 str +2con (both size) +2 natural armor (enhancement), you double in size also your weapon scales to your size as well and you gain damage reduction 3/good or evil based on energy channeled also scales with caster level.

      Useful spells for persisting:
         1) mass lesser vigor(Drd1,spc) everyone gains fast healing 1.
         2) divine retaliation(Clr3,phb2) every time you are struck in melee a force weapon that your diety favors strikes back for damage equal to a weapon appropriate for your current size category (to hit=caster level+str/wis and damage=weapon damage+1.5str/wis).
         3) recitation(Clr4,spc) +2/3(if worship same diety) attack, armor and saves (all luck).
      
      Uber Broken
         1) Polymorph(wiz 4, PHB) - Look up a polymorph handbook for how to make your DM cry as he realizes that the fighter/rogue... can now be like that all day long.  Combine with wand of lesser Holy/Infernal Transformation for outsider access[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 10:23:07 PM by borg286 »

borg286

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 03:58:51 PM »
Level 1
[spoiler]
   Feats
      Extraordinary artisan: While not necessary, it sure helps with making more stuff.  You just went from getting twice as much stuff(crafting it yourself cuts the price down to 50%) to getting almost 3 times as much stuff(crafting and this feat cut the price down to 37.5%)  If your DM allows restricting items to classes to reduce the price even further(70% of what it was before => 26.25%) you can get 3.8 times as much stuff
      Reach Spell: You need this for heroics and Metamagic Item(persist).  It also helps with touch attacks
      Extend: You need this for persist, and it's a good blasting metamagic coupled with creeping cold(Drd 2).  
      If your DM has put a wrench in the Metamagic item(persist) then I recommend twin if you're a blaster/debuffer or Dragon Prophesier -> Prophecy's artifex if you plan on spending time past level 6.
      Fell drain: The best metamagic feat to spam on wands of Sonic Snap(Wiz0), Magic Missile(Wiz1) both auto-hit.
      Low Level: be Azurin and take Shape Soulmeld(Mage Spectacles) for you'll need the +6 UMD for casting spells from your scrolls
   Highlights
      Trapfinding: You're the only tier 1 class that can fulfill this role from level 1 on(Cleric can take the Kobold Domain, but would he really?).  Sure the wizard can cast knock but does he really want to expend his 2nd level slot in the early game?  He's too busy dreaming of Glitterdust and god-hood while you secretly peek at your scroll of alter self.
      Masterwork crafter for the team: Masterwork is a bit expensive, but possible.  Armorsmithing is the easiest and gives the most returns on your skill points spent.
      2nd level scrolls: alter self, for example, but very expensive
      No ASF + Medium armor and shield prof: cast in medium armor+shield.  Gishes have to wait and PrC to get this.
      Bane(whatever you're facing): given some foreknowledge you can break an enhancement in a way it wasn't meant to be used.
      Warforged: No need to eat/sleep, Tons of immunities, Alter Self(Warforged Charger) when you can manage the UMD check,
   Combat
      If you have preperation[spoiler]
         Personal weapon augmentation
            Bane: +2 to attack and +2d6 damage if you know what type of creature you'll be facing
         Spell Storing Item
            You can only make cantrips.  Quick and dirty is Bane your crossbow, but XP might be given for creative uses of cantrips to circumvent combat.
            Keep in mind the DC is 20 to pull these things off, and you only have 1 chance of making this UMD check.  Thankfully they last for an hour
            MacGyverisms are mostly distractions.
            Prestodigitation: Changing the color of a cleric's cloak to the color of the opposite god might cause disention
            Mage hand: Torches light stuff,
            Dancing lights: Who's in the tower?
            Ghost Sound: Who's over there? RUN!!
            Message: "Boccob Here. I want you to..."
            Stick: Can you think of something?
            Launch item: If it's tiny it can fly, long
         Thunderhead arrows: Even you don't have proficency in bows, all you have to do is hit a 5 AC, and even if you miss it'll land only 1 square from where you intended.  Applied the thunderstone where you shot(Fort DC 15 or deafened: -5 Init, 20% spells with verbal components fail)
         Flour covering your body might give you enough of a bonus to bluff to fake a ghost.[/spoiler]
      If you're surprised[spoiler]
         Carry around a longspear so chargers provoke an attack of opportunity and you get an extra attack.  If you get ambushed by archers it'll either be accompanied on round 1 by chargers or not.  If not then it's a free action to drop the spear, move to get out the crossbow and then fire.
         Action Point
            Eberron has a campign specific game element called Action Points.  At each level gained you gain a number of action points which can be used to reduce the casting time of infussions by 1 step(1 min-1 round).
            You won't be able to abuse action points(spell that generates them) at this level, but suffice it to say that such abuse is considered cheese.
         Scrolls
            0: Launch Item: sleep smoke those goblin archers in the trees
            0: Daze: 5 gp+ your standard action to give your party another round of clearing mooks isn't bad
            0: Sonic Snap (see Fell Drain): Automatically removing a spellcasters highest level spell and dealing 6 hp is nothing to scoff at.  Add on top of that the possibility of deafening them(20% chance to fail spells that have a verbal component) is just icing
            1: Grease: BC control.  Doesn't work if you're grappled, but could help the wizard or druid out.
            1: Wall of Smoke: Nauseates means only a move action
            1: Silent Image: Creativity at it's best[/spoiler]
   Infusions
      This is probably the only level where you'll actually be reading the infusions and see if any applies.  It's really sad that the entire spell list for the artificer is junk save a few broken ones.  Casting these precious few as many times / day is why we have the high Int.
      Your UMD isn't good enough for you to consistantly pull off Spell Storing item, and besides, you're limited to cantrips anyways
      Use Skill Enhancement on craft checks for that lovely +1 you need for alchemy.
      Magic Vestment on the BSF.  each point of AC increase costs exponentially more.  Getting a free +2 to AC is worth quite a bit of gold.
   General Equipment
Quote
      See if you can arrange with your DM that the other party members knew you as the town crafter.  You always gave people a bargain provided they help advance your knowledge of better spells (simply telling them of stories you heard of spells and spellcasters)
      Since you'll be spending the entire day crafting you can use your infusions to aid your progress, granted your DM allows temporary skill boosters to apply to checks that represent a week of work.  You have Skill Enhancement, and hopefully there's a cleric/druid in the party that can cast guidance.  The Wizard is probably better at it as he can cast Magecraft(+5 to a craft check).
      Simple weapons only take a craft(weaponsmithing) DC of 12, martial a DC 15.  Armor DCs are 10+AC boost.  You can take 10 on crafting, so with a single point in Craft(Armorsmithing) and an 18 Int(recommeded) you can auto-suceed on +5 armor.  Dastanas are like bracers but state that they add to the armor bonus you already have.  Seeing the exponential prices for each additional +1 AC these are a steal.
      If you can somehow get the Craft(Alchemy) up to +10 then there is a plethora of alchemical items you can craft, but alas they're still too expensive.  You'll have to wait till level 2.
      Crossbow with Bayonet sword: threaten adjacent
      String and some bells: traps don't always cost 50gp
      Flour and a flour pouch: food, spray on ghost
      Rations: You eat right?
      Marbles: Std to drop, Balance check=FF
      Inside Pocket: tiny stuff DC 25 search @ 2 gp!!
      Dagger: Hidden in Inside Pocket.
      Sleep-Smoke: easily craftable poison (remember that poisons are crafted at 1/6th the price instead of 1/3rd)
      Longspear: 10' Reach = extra attack
      Heavy Sickle: 1-hand 1d8 simple
      Scale Mail: +5 AC on the cheap
      Dastana: +1 AC for medium armor users
      Flint & Steel: Cheap fire starter
      Bedroll: You wanted to regain your infusions, didn't you?
      Rope Hemp: Like pringles, one is never enough.
      Waterskin: Floation device too
      Scrolls: You can't make them well and you can't cast them reliably.  Just hold your horses.  Level 3 is when the good stuff starts comming in, you can afford them, and you can reliably make the UMD checks
      Arrow, Thunderhead: hit DC 5, 10' burst deafened DC 14
      Arrow, Dragonsbreath:+1 fire, Hit=catch on fire(Immediatly make a Reflex save DC 15 or take 1d6. Pending on DM fiat his equipment catches too.  Hopefully his spell component pouch, which should contain a bunch of bizare twigs, furs, strings, and stuff he needs to cast spells.  On his turn he can take a full round action to roll on the floor to get a +4 to the reflex save.  if he ignores it he must still make a concentration check DC 10+damage or his spell fails.  Thats a pretty mean arrow)
   P-Arty Store
      Craft Armor and weapons for your party.
      Armor only needs a +X where X is the armor bonus
      Weapons only need a +5 to make martial weapons, the same for crossbows.
      Boost Craft with 4 ranks, Taking 10, using Skill Enhancement infusion, and your 4 Int allowing you to make DC 19 skill checks.
      If there's a wizard have him learn Magecraft so he gets a +5 and you aid him, thus allowing you to craft poisons, alchemical items
      Make your sleep-smokes for fun.
   Magic item creation
Quote
      You can use Use Magic Device(UMD) to emulate having any spell as though you were at your level+2 and count as such for caster level requirements.  This is one reason thou shalt not lose artificer levels.
      For each day you spend in item creation you can make a UMD check (DC = 20+caster lvl) to see if you were able to emulate the spell and thus fulfill the requirements.  You make this check for every spell required.  At the end of the creation period you get one last check for each spell again.
      It is very easy to get a sky high bonus to guarantee success, but at these early levels it's not guaranteed. Let's say you have a +10 and need to make a scroll of Wall of Smoke which requires a DC 21.  You have 2 attempts(1 because it took 1 day to make it and another because of your last chance check)
      The chances of failure = chance of failing 2 times in a row.  You have to roll an 11 twice or 50% * 50% = 25%.  You have a 75% of being sucessful.  
      Instead of the actual caster level of the spell you're trying to make a scroll of, you use your own caster level when scribing it, but that doesn't reduce the price at all.  
      At 3rd level you count as a 5th level caster, thus capable of casting fireball, a 3rd level spell.  The market price of this scroll is 3*5*25 = 375 gp.  You get 2 rolls to make a UMD DC 25.  If you succeed you've made the scroll.
      The scroll is neither arcane nor divine, doesn't suffer from arcane spell failure, and can't just be cast by the town's wizard.  Both you and him must make another UMD check just to cast it.  You've made it before, you can make it again.  We'll talk later on how to keep ahead of the curve and trivialize these checks even in combat
      Because guaranteeing these high DCs at low levels is nearly impossible the best thing is to simply as the party wizard/druid/bard/cleric... to provide the spell for you.  This defeats much of the advantage of an artificer for if you can't make the check when you made the scroll, you probably won't be reliable in combat and are just wasting party gold on attempting a utility spell instead of just shooting the enemy, which still offers some great power.
   Direction
Quote
      Summary of the common roles and the feats that pertain to it in order of preference
      Party buffing(Extraordinary Artisan, persist, Leadership, Reach Spell, Etch Schema, Chain spell)
      Debuffing(fell drain, twin, Fell Frighten)
      Blasting(twin, Wand mastery, Dragon Prophesier -> Prophecy's artifex)
      Army(Leadership, Craft Construct, Imp. Hom., Reach Spell, Chain spell)
      
      Exceptional Artisan: multiply magical crafting costs by .75
         You're going to be crafting stuff.  Take this and don't ask questions
      Fell drain: foes damaged by fell draining spells gain a negative level
         If your DM allows you to take this "Evil" feat it is a +2 metamagic feat which qualifies it for Metamagic Scroll.
         This ends up being a serious debuff on the right spells (auto-damaging).  You don't really care about the damage, although it's nice, the negative level is what we're interested in.
         -1 to attack, -1 to saves, -5 HP, lose highest castable spell, -1 skill checks (balance anyone?) and last, but certainly not least, if your HD = negative levels gained, you die (no save).  Keep in mind that your DM might hold to the DMG which says that they "might" raise as a weight the next day.  Either do this with a plan on how your party of level 1 adventurers are going to take care of a weight, or find a way to dispose of the body.
         It is up to DM fiat if he allows this feat to be applied on recurring spells like magic missile and power word: pain
      Empower: multiply all random numerical effects by 1.5
         +2 metamagic item qualifies for Metamagic Scroll.  
         Great spells to Empower are:
            Power word Pain: It increases not only the damage but the duration as it's a random numeric value too.  Going from 35 expected damage to 78 is quite the boost.  Best used outside of combat because the monster is going to want to get after whoever is giving him this migrane and being in battle when his fury is highest is not the best place to be.  Certianly a death sentance.
      Reach: Change a touch spell into a ray.
         Touch of Idiocy and Touch of Fatigue are good ones to spam
      Extend: Double the duration of boosted spells
         Prerequisite for Persist.  Note: Check with your DM before taking this feat if he allows the cheese of persist and metamagic item.  If he doesn't then skip this feat
         Spells to Extend
            Creeping Cold: Base:1d6 for the first round, 2d6 the next, and finally 3d6 for the third and last round.  Extended version: 4d6 on the 4th round, 5d6 on the next and finally 6d6 on the final extended round.  That's an increase of 3.5 times as much damage.  It went from an average damage per round of 7 damage/round to 12.25 damage/round
         Hideous Laughter extended is pretty mean.
      Shape Soulmeld(mage spectacles): +6 UMD, Decipher Script, and Spellcraft
         Azurin Only:  If you're willing to sacrafice the extra skill point and a feat you can boost your UMD for these early levels.  While it's easy to have a UMD check in the stratosphere by level 8 oft-times we are trying to pull off casting spells from scrolls at level 1.  
         Azurins trade in the extra skill point / level for an essentia point.  Taking the Shape Soulmeld(mage spectacles) and putting your 1 point of essentia into it gives you a +6 to UMD.  Far better than skill focus, or nymph kiss.  If you end up taking item familiar and want to optimize for later levels, drop azurin, take nymph kiss and favor the skill points as they have greater returns by level 9.
         In other words, from level 1-8 take Azurin + shape Soulmeld, from levels 9+ take Human and Nymph Kiss
      Nymph Kiss: +2 to cha skill checks, +1 skill point/level
         While this doesn't give as an immediate boost as mage spectacles, they do make you more of a skill monkey.  You are going to have your UMD ranks maxed out, thus the only benefit this feat gives you is the +2 to cha checks(UMD is a cha check) and the extra skill points which can be sunk into an item familiar.  This can only go so far, as you can saturate the item familiar bonuses fairly early on (around level 6)
   Crafting
      Mundane items
         Complete MacGyver[/spoiler]

Level 2
[spoiler]
   Feats:
      Brew Potion: Don't!  maybe later when you want to give a 1-time buff to the rogue or fighter at their disposal.  But in general, it's a waste of money and actions.  Get a Glyph Seal instead at 3rd for it's reusable and you can define custom triggers instead of "take a standard to provoke death and get a fleeting buff as you drink your party resources"
   Highlights
      On demand 1st level spells: Any 1st level spell in the game on demand.  If you've optimized for UMD you can consistently pull these off.  If your DM allows PrC spell lists the cheese rating goes even higher.
      If you've focused on UMD (recommended for low level games only) you can call on a wide range of spells to cast.  You only have one chance to make the check, so have the bard cast guidance, and see if someone can aid you.  There aren't too many encounter ending level 1 spells out there, but you do have access to all of them.
      Spellcraft synergy, Decipher Script synergy(Convince your DM it's a class skill): +4 to UMD checks involving scrolls   
   Infusions
      You might have a good enough UMD to pull off spell storing item and you can cast any first level spell.  Keep the list at hand, but you may not be able to reliably pull it off DC 23 is still pretty hard
   Combat
      See level 1 as this buids off that level
      If you have preperation
         Spell Storing: Now you've got 1st level spells at your disposal.  See the section on spells to know what you have at your disposal to ruin an enemy's day.
      If you're surprised
         You can afford a warbeast riding dog at this level and should act as a sufficent bodyguard, but you don't have much more in terms of protection.
         You can however afford some nice scrolls and if you're playing at this level you're trying to optimize for low level and have probabbly taken a feat to boost your UMD check.  You can probabbly make some 1st or 2nd level scrolls, but they cut into your WBL a bit too much.
         Also get yourself a masterwork crossbow.  You'll need the +1 when you're caught unawares and don't have time to throw on bane
   Equipment
      Magic Items
Quote
         While you can brew potions, the cost-benefit is poor.
         If you're optimizing for low level I reccomend azurin with Shape Soulmeld(mage spectacles)
         If you've optimized your UMD enough and have enough gold to have a ton of gold you could go about wasting it on scrolls of Scorching Ray, then Metamagic scroll them with split spell.  8d6 for 56 gp a scroll with a UMD DC of 23  Ouch I say.
      Mundane Items
Quote
         Tobin's Guide to Common magics (Tool, masterwork from PHB 128, 50 gp) This gives a +2 bonus to UMD checks and can be crafted quite easily with 2 or 3 ranks in bookbinding.  (or if you can convince your DM to do it with another craft check).
         Masterwork crossbow
         Warbeast riding dog or a fleshraker if your DM allows it.  Be sure to slap on lamelar, which costs twice as much because it's for a strange body shape
         If you focused on Craft(Alchemy) you might have up to a +20 by now.  If you focused on UMD you can argue that you can guarantee casting Magecraft(+5 to a craft check) each day, thus you can afford the glorious
         Instead of getting the thieves tools spend 2 skill points on Clever Improviser instead of 50 gp.  Instead spend it on a masterwork tool for DD for an extra +2.  And accomplish your task of trapfinder better
         Masterwork Crossbow
         Ironhorn Extract: Should you prioritize Craft(Alchemy) you can craft this stuff on the cheap for the party for that extra free +1 AC.
         Liquid Sunlight: If your Craft(Alchemy) high enough (30 I think) you can craft this stuff @ 6.7 gp.  This is your permanent torch replacement.  Even cheaper than paying a cleric to cast light on a stone.
         Aboleth Mucus: Death sentance outside of combat.  Whomever you throw it on can't breath air.  They can thus hold their breath for longer than combat is going to last, so it doesn't help there, but it will be guaranteed death outside of combat.
      P-Arty Store
         Masterwork weapons need a craft DC 20, so you have 4 int, 5 ranks, and skill enhancement infusion and taking 10.  Done.
         You can focus more on alchemical items, but an alchemy kit is expensive(150 gp) and has a hard time on the road.  See Complete MacGyver for good alchemical items with low craft DCs
         Shapesand(jug):  This beauty, while it does require a DC 16 wisdom check, you can simply sit there till you suceed.  As long as someone doesn't will it's control away from you and you stay within 100' it will be whatever mundane thing you like.  Now that's real versatility.  Need a rope? Some plate mail? Here's the volumetric limitations: Wisdom 12-15: 5' cube, 16-19: 7.5' cube
         Iron Horn Extract: +1 free AC isn't that bad?
[/spoiler]

Level 3
[spoiler]
   Feats
      Item Familiar: see highlights
      Craft Wonderous Item: see highlights
   Highlights
      Healer: Combine the cheapest most versatile form of purchased daily healing around(crafted healing belt) with the best in combat healing around(Armor Enhancement: Healer's armor) and you have the best healer in the game.
      Item Familiar: My recommended feat at this level.  You can concentrate on your UMD or you can spread the +1 bonuses around.  Save taking this feat till you've crafted an item with market price of 2000 gp.  Work in plot immunity too
      Craft Wondrous Item: This feat covers most magic items in the game.  The party turns to you for thier power.
      3rd level scrolls: You can easily have a UMD check to auto-suceed any check you need to make. Sleet Storm, fireball, Manyjaws, Venomfire, Scry, Animate dead.  When your wizard friend just figured out how to turn himself into a skulk.  Need I say more?
   Combat
      If you have preparation: Spell Storing item: See this list of spells and pick the one that best suits the occasion
      If you're surprised
         See list of spells:scrolls and pick a few out that would be good encounter turning effects.  You can't afford much, so make your choices wisely.  Remember to save enough for the item familiar that you crafted
   Healing
      Outside of combat
         Healer's belt: You want replenishing means of healing.  You can craft these guys in a day, but you're spending your money on more important things(item familiar), so just make 1 for now.  If your party wants more healing ask them to pay the price.
      Inside combat
         Armor Enhancement(Healer's armor)(50 gp/casting): This infusion lets you slap on any +3 or lower armor enhancement on the BSF.  The best is the Healing armor from the MIC which lets you 2/day do a swift action heal for 3d8+15.  On top of that if the BSF goes down it automatically activates.  At leves 3 a 16 con barbarian(34 HP max) can go from 0 to 30 HP.  The best thing about this method of healing is that you didn't need to get into melee and waste your precious standard healing him a pitiful amount just to see him go down again and you in danger of dying.
   Infusions
      Armor Enhancement outshines everything else at this level.  The cost/benefit of this infusion is so great that you'll want to be the healer and let the druid/cleric focus on doing what they do best, winning combats with their spells.  If you can relegate healing to a few hundred spent in healing belts and the occasional Armor Enhancement infusion, which out-performs("action economy"-wise) the Cure X wounds any day.
      Spell Storing Item: Your UMD should be high enough to pull off level 1 spells by rolling a 1.  They last 3 hours also, so prepare 1 generally useful spell to use in combat, and keep 1 in reserve for the "I wish I prepared X spell today"
   Equipment
Quote
      Magic Items
         Craft Wonderous Item:
            Healing belts: Crafted you can heal 5d8/day a piece.
            Skill boosting items: Start off small like a +2 version, then work your way up.
            Talisman of Transference: have party members pay XP for thier own stuff.
            Ring of the Diamond Mind: Craft Wondrous item is all that's needed for the Novice level items in Tome of Battle.  They'll cost you 3000/2 gp.  Diamond mind and Shadow Hand have some good maneuvers w/o prerequisites
            If you're taking item familiar at this level you need to find something you can craft(wonderous item obviously).
            If you're not taking item familiar you'll end up being able to spend more gold.  Look at level 3 for items that you can get now.
         Scroll of Mass Snake's swiftness: While wands are more cost effective when spamming spells, you cannot afford a 2nd level wand, and you can't craft them yet.  Make some scrolls of this spell and your party will love you.  Most people advocate haste, but how long does combat usually take?  3-4 rounds?  How often does the person you just hasted get a full attack of those 3-4 rounds?  Maybe 2.  2 extra attacks < +1 attack from every member of the party minus you.  Frontloading your damage is better than higher sustained DPR as a dead monster deals no damage.
         
      Mundane Items
         Crossbow Sight, Gnome: There's no craft DC for this thing, but most DMs should be fine with figuring out how to make one of these, even if it be a DC 25
         Weapon Capsule Retainer and Tripple Weapon Capsule Retainer: If you're going for poisons this is an easy way to add on some extra umph.  Best to slap these on the BSF's masterwork weapon you're making for him, right?
         Warbeast riding dog or fleshraker: Being surprised is no fun, and these guys should give you a way to handle such situations.  I like to get Mass Snake's swiftness, and by this level you should be able to scoff at the DC.  While a wand is much more cost effective (half the price for the same number of castings) you can't afford a wand, nor can you craft wands yet.  Making 10 or so Scrolls of Mass Snake's swiftness will not only give you an answer for surprise attacks, but make the party love you.
   P-Arty Store
      Craft Wondrous Item: There are way too many to cite, so I'll only outline a few on showcase here
      Healing Belt
      Ring of the Diamond mind: Did you want to make concentration checks instead of reflex saves?
      Gloves of the Shadow Hand: Mr Rogue, would you like a melee attack that makes the foe Flat footed for the attack each encounter?
      Glyph seal: You can create some really creative triggers for 1st and 2nd level spells
      Anklets of Translocation: The charging barbarian wants to pounce again didn't he?  The Conjurer is envious of the Abjurer's teleports?
      Heward's handy Haversack: Your party will need one of these anyways.  
      Stone Dragon Belt, Novice: Crushing that wall with your bare hands is pretty impressive[/spoiler]

Level 4
[spoiler]
   Feats
      Craft Homonculus: Becoming a hordificer is a horrible waste of money, and very riskey.  One well placed fireball and your entire life's work just went to pieces, literally.  Only use for a Dedicated Weight and a expeditious messenger, protect them and forget this feat.
      Persist.  You need this for level 5 and 6.  If your DM has put a wrench in the Metamagic item(persist) then I recommend twin if you're a blaster/debuffer or Dragon Prophesier -> Prophecy's artifex
   Highlights
      Warbeast riding dogs or fleshrakers: You finally have the cash to afford a couple of these welcome companions
      Scroll of Mass Snake's swiftness: Frontloading damage > sustained DPR(damage per round).  Your party will be happier than if you cast fireball
      On demand 2nd level spells: "I need to fly" Alter self. "This door is locked" Knock. "I wonder which way we should go?" Omen of Peril.  Huge versatility, the core of Tier 1.
   Infusions
      You can cast 2nd level spells on demand, Since you can cast 1 and it will last you 4 hours prepare a generally useful spell, keep 1 in reserve for utility, have another be used for bane to last you the rest of the encounter
   Combat
      If you have preperation
         Spell Storing Item: You can reliably pull off Spell Storing Item of 2nd level spells at the begnning of combat(spend a minute prepping the item, then cast it on round 1), the round where everything is decided.  The nice thing about this tactic is that you have 4 castings/day and they can all be 2nd level spells that can turn the encounter quite effectivly.  Consult the list of spells that you'd typically have in scroll form, and go crazy.
         
      If you're surprised
         You have enough money to seriously invest in a nice repetoire of scrolls that you can whip out at any level
   Equipment
Quote
      Magic Items
         Glyph Seal: Poor man's contingency.  The wording necessitates you have the buff spell have you as the intruder performing some act "touch the glyph", while you can have other harmful spells be cast on those "attacking creatures within 1 foot of the glyph"
         Scroll of Mass Snake's swiftness: See level 3's Magic item section.
         Goggles of Minute Seeing: +5 to search helps you find those pesky traps
         Expeditious Messenger(1237 gp+ with extraordinary artisan.  Fly 100'(perfect), darkvision 60', up to a mile telepathic 2-way communication, speaks your language.  Should convert a few surprise attacks into prepared ones.
      Mundane Items
         Tanglefoot bag: While the range sucks, there's something to be said about non-magical entangling.  Even if they save they move at 1/2 speed.
         Warbeast Riding dog or fleshraker: You have enough money to afford a few of these pups.
[/spoiler]

Level 5
[spoiler]
   Feats
      Craft magic Arms and Armor
   Highlights
      Metamagic Item infusion: Broken, I know, but really useful.  First 2 persistant party buffs for free.
      Craft Magic Arms and armor: Now you're a real team player.
      4th level scrolls: Evard's Black Tentacles, oh yeah.  Careful with polymorph though.
      Persistant party wands of buffs: Minor Schema(Metamagic Item(Persist)) + Eternal wand of Guidance of the Avatar + Wand of ZOMG!!11!!elevel(1-3rd level spells) = purchasable 24-hour buffs
      Warforged: Persist Alter self(Warforged Charger)
   Combat
      You can afford a wand, but it's better to just wait a level so you can craft them yourself.
      You're still going to have to rely on low level tactics(bane, Mass snake's swiftness+fleshrakers/BSF), using your scrolls sparingly as once you've cast it that spell doesn't replenish itself at the beginning of the day
      I recommend using Metamagic Item infusion on a few key spells, permancying any wand your party has or empowering it as the case may be, and generally buff through that route.
   Infusions
      Metamagic Item: I'm going to expound on this infusion here instead of at level 6 where you are crafting your own wands and this can be seriously abused.  I see 2 uses to this infusion: 1) Persist a Spell Storing item with a buff(Master Air(fly(good) 60',Prayer(upgrade to Recitation at level 8): see spell section-self buffs, and Elation: allies get +2 morale bonus to Str,Dex ). 2) Twin/Energy Admixture/double rays/Maximize(in order of preference), a wand of Lesser acid orb(typical blasty stuff with no charge expendature).
   Equipment
      Dedicated Weight: He'll do the crafting for you.  If your DM allows items to be crafted in a heward's handy haversack, then by all means, throw your buddy in there with the stuff you want crafted.  If he's stingy on that point then wait till you can afford an enveloping pit(portable hold for LE, LN, NE PCs for only 3600 (sorry you can't craft it yet))
      Quiver of Ehlonna: If you're blasting you can start now, though I can't see how you can afford them and this
   P-Arty Store
      Smoking Weapon:  The wizard and rogue want some protection don't they?
      Sudden Stunning weapon: It's charisma based for the stun, but he'd like to get in on the action of hard control, wouldn't he?
      Whirling Weapon: Whirlwind attack w/o the feat prerequisites, albiet 3/day.
      
      While you can start the shenigans of paid persistant buffs, they're not cheap.  See next level when you can craft wands
      In the mean time you have 2 castings of metmagic Item, which you will use to buff your party or fly or senses.  Pick 2 from {Master Air, Elation, and Linked Perception}[/spoiler]

Level 6
[spoiler]
   Feats
      Leadership - See Stoik at the end for details.  This is honestly the best usage of a feat
   Highlights
      Wand Crafting(see errata): Now that you can craft wands at level 6 (see errata) you can afford eternal wands, combined with Metamagic Item and you have refreshing day-long buffs.  Also you can spam spells like your wizard friend
      On demand 3rd level spells: "I wish I could scry on X" "Dang, we just killed the BBEG, and we needed him to tell us how to get out of here" "I wish we knew how to best defeat that dragon?" All those spells the other tier 1 players like but just couldn't justify getting and preparing, you've got it for "When you need it you need it" times.
      Leadership: I know that Leadership is broken, but the artificer gets particular use from this guy.  Handle Animal focused Followers lead to more cheese
      Persistant Party cheap Wands of party buffs: You have an extra free persistant wand
   Combat
      Now that you can afford to craft some wands you can spam them.  If you have a bit of prep time use Metamagic Item, but it'll be best put to use for daily buffs.  More on the wands in the equipment section
   Infusions
      Spell Storing Item for 3rd level spells now:
         "I wish I could scry on X" Well that's a 3rd level spell I can pull out of my butt.  
         "Dang, we just killed the BBEG, and we needed him to tell us how to get out of here" Let me speak with the dead here.  
         "Hey. Hello in there.  Hey! What's so important? Whatcha got here that's worth loving for?"  
         "I wish we knew how to best defeat that dragon?"
         All those spells the other tier 1 players like but just couldn't justify getting and preparing, you've got it for "When you need it you need it" times.  
         Keep in mind that you can prepare an item and it'll last for 6 hours.
         If you're going into a scarry part of the forest/dungeon/city prep a generally useful combat spell.  Have glyph seal trigger too.
   Equipment
Quote
      Magic items
         A little note about Metamagic item and eternal wands:  While you would assume eternal wands are a subclass of wands, there is a clear distinction.  Wands have charges and are spell trigger items(necessary for Metamagic item).  Eternal wands require both craft wand and craft wonderous item, but end up being more like Use activated items than spell trigger items.  Thus you cannot use Metamagic Item on an eternal wand.  
         There is no question as to weather Spell Storing item is a spell trigger item.  While it does say that you draw the spell forth at your command(thus implying a 'command word' type item) it immediatly, and quite explicitly, says, "the item becomes, in effect, a wand with a single charge, which only you can use."  No ambiguity.  Spell store any of the following spells, then Metamagic item(persist) the thing.  It does say that only you can use it, but it did not say that you can be the only benefactor, ie. target.  Cast 24-hour buffs on the BSF.  Sadly this does cost some XP every day.
         Wand Sheaths, Wand bracers, Quiver of Ehelona
         Spell storing item:
            See spell section on good buffs to persist
         Caster's shield: Can scribe scroll of up to 3rd level at 1/2 normal cost.
         Wands
            Mass Snake's swiftness(2nd):  I guess you could tell I'm rather fond of this spell.  Frontloading your damage ends combat quickly.
            Scorching Ray: 4d6 ray.  Good times.  If you're making one of these you've probabbly picked blasty spells.  For more blasty goodness See level 7's [/spoiler]
   best of persist spells for party - P-Arty Store[spoiler]
      Now you're in business.  You can craft up to 4th level wands and get persist on them.  So many self-buffs, so few Metamagic item infusions/day.
      Thankfull you can purchase wands, and you can purchase more uses of metamagic item(minor schema(MoE) of 3rd level infusion costs 6000 gp)
      The infusion lasts 6 rounds so you use it, and pass it along.  As many as can make the UMD check they get all day buffs
      Making a 20 UMD check for the wand
         1-9 ranks  They'll have to spend at least 2 skill points cross classing but it's worth it
         +2 Me aiding you
         +5 Marshal cohort
         +X Charisma
         +X Competence skill boosting(37.5*X*X gp) Arty will make it for you.  There's no time to pass a circlet and a wand around
         See UMD section for general help on making UMD checks
      Price
         6000 gp/N for a Minor Schema of Metamagic Item
         {281,1688,4219,7875} gp/N for a 1,2,3,4th level wand
         every 50 uses we have to buy another one.  For N people that's every 50/N days
         XP - I'll let you decide how much XP is spent, and if you feel they can dip into your reserve created from your Item Familiar
      See Self-buff spells in the spells section
      Total = 830gp(making the UMD check) + (6000+{281,1688,4219,7875} gp)/N
      Haste, Swift all day on 4 people
         830gp(making the UMD check) + (6000+1688 gp)/N = 2752 gp per person for an extra attack, +1 to attack, +30' speed, +1 dodge AC, +1 reflex
      Alter Self all day on 4 people
         830gp(making the UMD check) + (6000+1688 gp)/N = 2752 gp per person for your choice of fun for the day.  See Holy Transformation, Lesser for more fun
      Blink all day on 4 people
         830gp(making the UMD check) + (6000+4219 gp)/N = 3384 gp per person for 50% miss chance, attack as though you were invisible(+2 to attack, Foes don't get dex bonus(hello Sneak attack)), nearly walk through walls, 1/2 damage from area attacks and falling
      Primal Instinct all day on 4 people
         830gp(making the UMD check) + (6000+4219 gp)/N = 3384 gp per person for +5 Init + junk.
      Strength of Stone on 4 Big stupid fighters/melee rogues
         830gp(making the UMD check) + (6000+1688 gp)/N = 2752 gp per person for +8 to Strength.  'Nuff said
      Ice Axe all day on 4 melee frontliners
         830gp(making the UMD check) + (6000+4219 gp)/N = 3384 gp per person for 2d12+3(No strength) arm-ice-axe-hand with melee touch attacks.  High BAB leads to multiple attacks
      Divine Power all day on 4 people
         830gp(making the UMD check) + (6000+7875 gp)/N = 4300 gp per person for +6 Strength, BAB = max(CL, BAB)
      Invisibility, Greater all day on 4 people
         830gp(making the UMD check) + (6000+7875 gp)/N = 4300 gp per person for real invisibility.  It'll just be hard coordinating attacks.  Monsters will never know they're provoking though
      Heroics(Reach spell) all day on 4 people
         830gp(making the UMD check) + (6000+7875 gp)/N = 4300 gp per person for A fighter feat(Improved Init, Two weapon fighting, Improved Two weapon fighting, Martial Study, Martial Stance, ...)  Oh, buy I broke the game
      Polymorph(alter self cheaper,limited) + Holy/Infernal Transformation, Lesser all day on 4 people
         830gp(making the UMD check) + (6000+7875 gp+7875 gp)/N = 5438 gp per person for changing into an outsider, then polymorphing into a kelvezu for example.  +2 Sacred to Str and Con and Saving throws; Fly 60 feet, Darkvision 60[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 06:29:31 PM by borg286 »

borg286

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 03:59:32 PM »
Level 7
[spoiler]
   Highlights
      5th level spells: Baleful/Draconic Polymorph, Magic jar, Firebrand, Refusal, teleport, Lesser Planar Binding a Nightmare and Bearded Devils, Cloudkill
      Metamagic Spell Trigger(see errata): Fell drain for 1, Twin for 4.  Extend a persistant self-buff for only 1 charge
   Feats
      none
   Combat
      Either blast, Mass Snake's swiftness, or be God with scrolls having fun with your new 5th level spells.
      You should have enough scrolls to handle any situation that jumps on you.
      Should you have some prep time use Spell Storing item and prepare a 3rd level spell that will wait for you for 7 hours.
   Infusions
      None
   Equipment
      +4 cloak of charisma for your cohort, for it pours over to your Initiative, UMD check, his Intimidate checks, and your party will love you for it.
      Efficient quiver: Cheaper than a haversack.  Since pulling out an arrow is a free action, so should be pulling out a wand.
   P-Arty Store
      [/spoiler]

Level 8
[spoiler]
   Highlights
      Metamagic Feat: Take your pick.  I like fell drain for blaster types and chain spell for buffificers
      On demand 4th level spells: The pleateau of your Spontanious upgrading 1st level infusion into 4th level spell godhood.  Still having 4th level spells at your minute-fingertips at your true caster level is simply amazing
      Weapon Augmentation:Doomwarding(PGF): 7 free attacks for 100 gp.  :o Paralizing(MIC 39): can we say coup-de-grace, Banishing: say no to outsiders
   Feats
      Twin: Now your blasting/debuffing is doubly potent.  Best used with Metamagic Item
   Infusions
      Just use these slots for Metamagic Item.  Nothing really all that useful here, unless you're a warforged.  Iron Construct is nice.
      Sadly you cannot use Concurrent Infusions to put 3 spells into 1 item, as the Spell Storing infusion specifically states that a spell can only contain 1 spell at a time.  Best combo I've found is Spell storing item and bane and skill enhancement on crossbow
   Combat
      no advice
   Equipment[/spoiler]

Level 9
[spoiler]
   Highlights
      6th level spells: Contingency, True Seeing, Greater Dispel, Flesh to stone, Antimagic field, Freezing fog
      Metamagic rods: Don't know if these work with scrolls and wands.
   Feats
      Party buffing(persist, Extraordinary Artisan,Etch Schema, Elemental binding(Colassal), Reach Spell, Chain spell)
      Debuffing(fell drain, twin, Fell Frighten)
      Blasting(extend,twin, Wand mastery, Dragon Prophesier -> Prophecy's artifex)
      Army(Craft Construct, Improved Homunc., Reach Spell, Chain spell)
   Infusions
      none new
   Combat
      no advice
   Equipment
      Golems Avaliable at this level:
         See Constructs and Homunculii section
         Flesh Golem: CL 8, Heals with Electricity damage, slows with fire/cold damage, might go bezerk(Recover with DC 19 Cha check and a quick rest)
         Clay Golem: CL 11, Heals with Acid damage, Might go bezerk(unrecoverable), Damage caused by the clay golem can't be healed practically in combat.  The healer must suceed on a DC 26 caster level check to have any heal spell work. He casts haste on himself once per day and it lasts for 3 rounds, about how long any given battle is going to last.
         Gloom Golem: CL 11, spiked chain +9(2d6+6+(1d6 cha)) @ 20' reach, 30' radius aura(-2 attack, saves, checks, weapon damage) DC 16 will save(failure canceled only by good hope spell).  Not that party friendly.  I'd go with clay over this
[/spoiler]

Level 10
   Nothing useful gained at this level other than gold

      
Level 11
[spoiler]
   Highlights
      Metamagic Spell Completion: Either it's awesome to the point of broken, even compared with the artificer, or it's crap.  Persistant level 9 spells is crazy.  Right now you can only make 7th level, but that'll still break your game
      7th level spells: greater teleport, spell turning, simulacrum, and resurrection.
      5th level infussions: Wall of Stone and Wall of Force are quite powerful
   Feats
      none
   Infusions
      Wall of Stone: What else are you going to do with these slots?  I guess you could do more metamagic item or spell storing item.  Sad isn't it?
      Wall of Force: It's nice but you have better scrolls
   Combat
      Get a dragonbone golem and use Metamagic Item(Twin) on a CL 9 wand of magic missile, then spend 2 more charges to apply Fell Frighten.  Foes that start near dragonbone golem are probably going to be shaken.  You then make them panicked(no save).  That's some pretty hard control.  Foes that you didn't hit with your Frightening MM but are shaken from the sight of your golem, are easy targets to pick off.  Brownie Points if you wear a skull mask and ride your dragon
   Equipment
      Soulfire(+4 armor)
         Book of Exalted Deeds pg. 112 : The wearer of this armor is immune to all death spell magical effects, and energy drain, and any negative energy effects (such as from chill touch or inflict spells).

      Golems Avaliable at this level:
         See Constructs and Homunculii section
         Dragonbone Golem:CL 13  At the beginning of the day your team must sit in fear of the dragon until they suceed on a DC 20 will save, afterwhich they're fine being around the big lumbering mass.  To foes that first encounter it when they fail their DC 20 will save they are shaken(-2 attack,saves, checks) for as long as they stay within 60' and 2d6 rounds thereafter.  This only affects monsters of 20 HD or less.
         Shredstorm: CL 13, Fine?? golem, fly 90 perfect, End in foe's square deals 4d6 + 2d6 electrical, begin turn in shredstorm nauseated fort DC 17, spellcasting requires concentration 20+spell level, ignores hardness < 20
[/spoiler]

Level 12
[spoiler]
   Highlights
      Metamagic feat: Quicken.  Works on wands as well as scrolls.  We picked twin first as quicken would cost charges to cast it again being a seperate casting
      Etch Schema: You can either spend 6000 or 2250 gp and some XP to get Metamagic Item infusion over and over again.  Sadly you only have a limited amount of Spell Storing item castings because they cost XP and Etch Schema can't contain infusions that cost XP
      Craft Staff: Now you can persist high level spells.  Now aren't you glad you got Etch Schema?  You need the money for more staves
   Feats
      Free Metamagic Feat: Better ones are{fell drain, twin, Fell Frighten, Reach Spell, Chain spell}
      Party buffing(persist, Extraordinary Artisan,Etch Schema, Elemental binding(Colassal), Reach Spell, Chain spell)
      Debuffing(fell drain, twin, Fell Frighten)
      Blasting(extend,twin, Wand mastery, Dragon Prophesier -> Prophecy's artifex)
      Army(Craft Construct, Improved Homunc., Reach Spell, Chain spell)
   Infusions
      none new
   Combat
      no advice
   Equipment
      P-Arty store
         You can craft both Schemas of Metamagic Item as well as staves of any spell level.
         Etch minor Schema(Metamagic Item): 2250 gp
         Craft Staff with 1/2 charges cost 1/2 as much.  That's fine cause we're only using it to persist. Thus 187.5*CL*spell level with 25 charges
         Righteous Wrath of the Faithful @ 8437.5 gp for self only as this affects whole party
         Blink, Greater on 4 people = 2110 gp: No chance to miss, ready action to be missed
         Bite of the Weretiger on 2 BSFs = 4220 gp: +12 str, +4 dex, +6 con, +5 Nat
         Unfettered Heroism on 4 people = 2110 gp: gain temporary Action Points each round.  Very cheesy, very abusive, even more so with persist
         Spiritual Guardian on 4 people = 2110 gp: +6 Deflection to AC
      Golems Avaliable at this level:
         See Constructs and Homunculii section
         Dragonbone Golem:CL 13  At the beginning of the day your team must sit in fear of the dragon until they suceed on a DC 20 will save, afterwhich they're fine being around the big lumbering mass.  To foes that first encounter it when they fail their DC 20 will save they are shaken for as long as they stay within 60' and 2d6 rounds thereafter.  This only affects monsters of 20 HD or less.
         Shredstorm: CL 13, Fine?? golem, fly 90 perfect, End in foe's square deals 4d6 + 2d6 electrical, begin turn in shredstorm nauseated fort DC 17, spellcasting requires concentration 20+spell level, ignores hardness < 20
         Stone Golem: CL 14, He can cast slow on people once every 2 rounds.  Slowed people can only take either a standard action or move action.  They also take a penalty to attacks and reflex saves.[/spoiler]

Level 13
[spoiler]
   Highlights
      8th level spells: Polymorph Any Object, Greater Planar Binding
      Take 10 on UMD: Metamagic Spell Completion just got crazy.  Did you want to quicken 8th level spells?
   Feats
      Extra rings: Rings are very powerful at this level.  Get this after you can start making them yourself
      Party buffing(persist, Extraordinary Artisan,Etch Schema, Elemental binding(Colassal), Reach Spell, Chain spell)
      Debuffing(fell drain, twin, Fell Frighten)
      Blasting(extend,twin, Wand mastery, Dragon Prophesier -> Prophecy's artifex)
      Army(Craft Construct, Imp. Hom., Reach Spell, Chain spell)
   Infusions
      6th level infusions:Greater Weapon Augmentation and Greater Spell Snare offer some power and protection, respectivly.  I'd rather be holding a wand in my hand instead of a dragonshard, but my saves would prefer the 6th level spell cancelation.
   Combat
   Equipment[/spoiler]

Level 15
[spoiler]
   Highlights
      14: Forge Ring: Let's make some counterspell rings for the party
      14: 6th level infusions:Greater Weapon Augmentation and Greater Spell Snare offer some power and protection, respectivly.  I'd rather be holding a wand in my hand instead of a dragonshard, but my saves would prefer the 6th level spell cancelation.
      15: 9th level spells: Metamagic spell completion and these makes me a happy camper.
      16: Extra bonus metamagic feat
   Feats
      Extra rings: Rings are very powerful at this level.  Get this after you can start making them yourself
      Party buffing(persist, Extraordinary Artisan,Etch Schema, Elemental binding(Colassal), Reach Spell, Chain spell)
      Debuffing(fell drain, twin, Fell Frighten)
      Blasting(extend,twin, Wand mastery, Dragon Prophesier -> Prophecy's artifex)
      Army(Craft Construct, Imp. Hom., Reach Spell, Chain spell)
   Infusions
      6th level infusions:Greater Weapon Augmentation and Greater Spell Snare offer some power and protection, respectivly.  I'd rather be holding a wand in my hand instead of a dragonshard, but my saves would prefer the 6th level spell cancelation.
   Combat
      You have reached the climax of the power of the artificer.  He can now cast 9th level spells, persist the legal ones, and otherwise challange the dieties
   Equipment
      Golems Avaliable at this level:
         See Constructs and Homunculii section
         Iron Golem: CL 16, heals with fire damage, slows with electricity, Breath attack(Fort DC 19 or take 1d4 con once per 1d4+1 rounds)
         Hangman Golem(MM3 69): CL 16: Animate rope hastens him for 5 rounds, colapse for fast healing 10, Grapple @+25 can strangle foe DC 19 fort or be dazed for a round
         Drakestone Golem: CL 16 transmute mud to rock heals to full, opposite slows 2d6 rounds, 1/1d4 rounds 30' cone breath attack (DC 27 fort negates petrification)
         Prismatic Golem(MM3 71): CL 17, Prismatic ray heals 3d8+15, fly 50'(perfect), Random colored tendrils touch attack(~5d6, 1/8 chance to hit with insanity Will DC 20)
         IronWyrm Golem: CL 18(alright not quite, but almost), Cold effect slows, Fire damage heals, 1/1d4 rounds 60' cone breath attack(20d10 fire DC 30 half)
[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 06:14:59 PM by borg286 »

borg286

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2011, 03:59:47 PM »
Constructs and Homunculii[spoiler]
   Borg286's thoughts on construct Big stupid fighters[spoiler]
      If your DM allows purchasable warbeasts I'd go that route as they're cheaper, don't take XP to get, and have much greater variaty.
      If your DM doesn't allow purchasable animals then I recommend undead.
      If you don't want that necromancer feel, or there will be prejudice from your world, dress them up in pink dresses and pour perfume over them and see if they change their mind.
      If they don't change their mind or you don't like hearing requests for their brain comming from the peanut galary, then I guess constructs are the best way to get an army
      A few Iron Defenders with enough HD to compete with the fighter (remember to get the toughness(+ 10 HP) as the extra special ability as many times as you have room)
      Prioritize his special abilities as follows: Spell Storing weapon, Durable, Flight, Spell Storing weapon, Durable+[/spoiler]
   Craft Homonculus(free at level 4)[spoiler]
      Dedicated Wright: CL 1, Makes magic items in your stead
      Expeditious Messenger: CL 1, Scout, 1 mile range on telepathy
      Packmate: CL 1 Throws alchemical items/tanglefoot bags,
      Iron Defender: CL 4, The mini-tank/Spell storing weapon(Touch attack) administrator[/spoiler]
   Craft Construct(best taken at level 9+)[spoiler]
      Some golems have Berserk: Cumulative 1% chance to lose control of golem, reset at the beginning of combat.  Some are recoverable, some aren't.
      Many golems have the additional requirement that looks like "CL 18" but are worded "Creator must be 18th level"  which does not work with an artificer getting that +2 caster level for meeting requirements.  See item creation for more information.
      Flesh Golem: CL 8, Heals with Electricity damage, slows with fire/cold damage, might go bezerk(Recover with DC 19 Cha check and a quick rest)
      Clay Golem: CL 11, Heals with Acid damage, Might go bezerk(unrecoverable), Damage caused by the clay golem can't be healed practically in combat.  The healer must suceed on a DC 26 caster level check to have any heal spell work. He casts haste on himself once per day and it lasts for 3 rounds, about how long any given battle is going to last.
      Gloom Golem: CL 11, spiked chain +9(2d6+6+(1d6 cha)) @ 20' reach, 30' radius aura(-2 attack, saves, checks, weapon damage) DC 16 will save(failure canceled only by good hope spell).
      Dragonbone Golem:CL 13  At the beginning of the day your team must sit in fear of the dragon until they suceed on a DC 20 will save, afterwhich they're fine being around the big lumbering mass.  To foes that first encounter it when they fail their DC 20 will save they are shaken for as long as they stay within 60' and 2d6 rounds thereafter.  This only affects monsters of 20 HD or less.
      Shredstorm: CL 13, Fine?? golem, fly 90 perfect, End in foe's square deals 4d6 + 2d6 electrical, begin turn in shredstorm nauseated fort DC 17, spellcasting requires concentration 20+spell level, ignores hardness < 20
      Stone Golem: CL 14, He can cast slow on people once every 2 rounds.  Slowed people can only take either a standard action or move action.  They also take a penalty to attacks and reflex saves.
      Shield Guardian (MM1 223): CL 15
      Iron Golem: CL 16, heals with fire damage, slows with electricity, Breath attack(Fort DC 19 or take 1d4 con once per 1d4+1 rounds)
      Runic Guardian(MM2 182): CL 16
      Hangman Golem(MM3 69): CL 16: Animate rope hastens him for 5 rounds, colapse for fast healing 10, Grapple @+25 can strangle foe DC 19 fort or be dazed for a round
      Drakestone Golem: CL 16 transmute mud to rock heals to full, opposite slows 2d6 rounds, 1/1d4 rounds 30' cone breath attack (DC 27 fort negates petrification)
      Prismatic Golem(MM3 71): CL 17, Prismatic ray heals 3d8+15, fly 50'(perfect), Random colored tendrils touch attack(~5d6, 1/8 chance to hit with insanity Will DC 20)
      IronWyrm Golem: CL 18, Cold effect slows, Fire damage heals, 1/1d4 rounds 60' cone breath attack(20d10 fire DC 30 half)[/spoiler]
   Improved Homonculus and which abilities should I pick?[spoiler]
      You should know that spending money on upgrading and upkeepig a horde is too expensive and very risky.  A well placed fireball and your entire army is gone.
      A golem can withstand some blows to the head but they are really expensive.
      Weapon ability: Pick a weapon special ability with a base price modifier of a "+1 bonus".  The homunculus's natural weapons are treated as if they had this special ability.[spoiler]
         Earthbound weapon: +2 attack and damage as long as the little guy and his foe is touching the ground
         Shocking weapon: Heal your Flesh golem.  Put this on something that has low base damage and make your golem prone
         Spell Storing weapon: "A spellcaster can cast any other targeted spell of up to 3rd level into it."  This doesn't count as a spell trigger, spell completion, use activiation, or command word.  It's a special case thus not augmentable by your infusions
            Fell Drain/Frighten Sonic Snap/Magic Missile: negative level is nice to bestow
            Shivering Touch(Frost): 3d6 dex damage
            Touch of Idiocy: 1d6 Cha,Int,Wis can hurt a spellcaster.  Consider Bestow Curse
            Touch of Fatigue(wiz 0): Fatigue stacks to exaustion
            Scorching Ray(Wiz 2): 4d6 as a 2nd level spell.  Just nice cheap damage
            Hold Person: Duh
            Bestow Curse(Clr 3):Will negates, Pick 1:
               -6 to an ability score(min 1)  Caster can no longer cast his top 3 spells
               -4 attack, saves, checks
               50% chance for foe take no action each round[/spoiler]
      Flyer: Fly 20'(good).  Simple and effective
      Durable: +10 HP
      Store infusion: At the beninning of each day the artificer can store one infusion up to 3rd level in the homunculus.  Must be an infusion that you could cast on the construct.  There doesn't seem to be an expiration date, like spell storing item.  Nice way to save actions and infusions[/spoiler]
[/spoiler]

Wands and staves[spoiler]
   Borg286's recommendation: Take Twin and your choice of Fell drain or frighten depending on if you want the foe to try an run away
   Concerning Action required to use the itemWhat's the DC and Caster level?  Wands are different than staves[spoiler]
      Wands use the caster level as set by the crafter when they were crafted.  the DC is 10+1.5*spell level rounded down as usual
      Staves use the higher of the crafter when crafted and the user, thus staves will upgrade themselves with the user.  The same goes for the DC and you can use spell penetration[/spoiler]
   Places to put wands[spoiler]
      Wand Bracer(300gp, Dungeonscape): Shoots a wand into your hand as a free action.  
      Wand Chambers(+350 gp) + Least crystal of Return(300 gp) + Masterwork component on weapon(150): Draw weapon as a free action, cast wand with weapon, drop weapon if you need another wand.  Always get light or 1-handed weapons.
      Rod of Many wands(CM): up to 3 wands. Each time you fire the rod each wand fires, using up charges equal to the number of wands you put in there.  2 wands doubles your damage but halves your effeciency, 3 wands tripples your damage but thirds your efficency
      Wand Sheath(Warforged only)
      Efficient quiver: (CL 9, 1800 gp, 2lbs)  This item lets you store wands, scrolls, etc, and is the cheapest besides going to the standard heward's handy haversack.[/spoiler]
   Thoughts on blasting[spoiler]
      While you can do an energy Sub, born of 3 thunders, maximized, quickened, twinned Scorching ray of death you'll blow all your gp doing it.
      Let's find the cheapest way to pull out great damage yet still conserving our charges
      At level 7 you can use Metamagic spell trigger and load on the metamagic feats for uber damage at the cost of charges, charges that you spent your hard earned gold on.
      This link(http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19872330/Artificer_Handbook_(rough_draft)) shows how you can run in with gun's a blazin and blow your wads of cash on a few well placed rays, but I feel you can achieve reasonable damage while still being conservative
      Let's look at a few spells and see the damage return per gp spent on each charge.  Then we'll order the feats for each spell.  If your DM allows you to use Metamagic item on the same item multiple times with different feats then by all means go crazy.  I'll assume you only pick the feat with the most damage increase
      
      Best combo for either blasting or debuffing are Fell drain + Metamagic item(twin spell)
      Blaster: Wand of Kelgore's firebolt(CL 5): 0.467 damage / gp @ 35 damage / round then move to Wand of Scorching ray(CL 9+2(=11):
      Debuffer(single target): Wand of Sonic Snap(CL 1): auto-hit stacking negative level with cheap charges to spend
      Debuffer(multi-target):  Wand of Magic Missile(CL 9): Consider adding Fell Frighten(stacking shaken->frightened->panicked->cowering for a minute) for hard control
      
      Fell Drain(+2):***** target damaged gains a negative level(-1 attack, checks, saves, highest spell if spellcaster, -5 HP).  If your DM allows each ray/missile to bestow a negative level then magic missle is the clear winner and will subsequently get quickly nerfed
      Empower(+2): add 1/2  Better than maximize when look at the damage/gp spent
      Maximize(+3): If you're going all out, but has been shown to be inferior to empower
      Split spell(+2): Split the damage between two targets, debuff spells are at full potency
      Energy Admixture(+4): Double damage with another energy type
      Quicken(+4): Doube damage. Costs charges to cast again, but you get the luxury of choosing a new target, but it costs you a swift action.
      Twin Spell(+4):***** double damage.  Best for blasting and debuffing(negative levels stack, shaken stacks, fatigue stacks)
      
      Wand of Magic Missile(CL 1)
         750 gp @ 50 charges  = 10 gp/charge.
         Base Effeciency
            1d4+1/1 charge * 1 charge/10 gp = 0.35 damage / gp @ 3.5 damage / round
         Empower & Metamagic item(Twin)(triple damage @ same effeciency)
            1.5*2*(1d4+1)/3 charges * 1 charge/10 gp = 0.35 damage / gp @ 10.5 damage / round
         Empower & Metamagic item(Twin)*energy Admixture(Hextuple damage @ same effeciency)
            1.5*2*(1d4+1)/7 charges * 1 charge/10 gp = 0.35 damage / gp @ 10.5 damage / round
         Metamagic item(Twin)(triple damage @ same effeciency)
            2*(1d4+1)/1 charges * 1 charge/10 gp = 0.7 damage / gp @ 7 damage / round
         Pros: Most efficent, automatically hit
         Cons: Crappy damage
         
      Wand of Kelgore's firebolt(CL 5)
         3750 gp @ 50 charges  = 75 gp/charge.
         Base Effeciency
            5d6/1 charge * 1 charge/75 gp = 0.233 damage / gp @ 17.5 damage / round
         Empower & Metamagic item(Twin)(triple damage @ same effeciency)
            1.5*2*5d6/3 charges * 1 charge/75 gp = 0.233 damage / gp @ 52.5 damage / round
         Metamagic item(Twin)(triple damage @ same effeciency)
            2*5d6/1 charges * 1 charge/75 gp = 0.467 damage / gp @ 35 damage / round
         Pros: very efficent
         Cons: Saturated Reflex save DC
      
      Wand of Magic Missile(CL 3) vs. 2 targets
         750*3 gp @ 50 charges  = 30 gp/charge.
         Base Effeciency
            2(1d4+1)/1 charge * 1 charge/30 gp = 0.2333 damage / gp @ 7 damage / round
         Fell drain(Negative level(lose 5 HP, -1 saves, -1 attack, -1 highest spell...))
            2(1d4+1+5)/3 charges * 1 charge/30 gp = 0.188 damage / gp @ 17 damage / round
         Fell Drain & Metamagic item(Twin)
            4*(1d4+1+5)/3 charges * 1 charge/30 gp = 0.377 damage / gp @ 34 damage / round
         Pros: Highly efficent, automatically hit, major debuff
         Cons: Need to take evil-ish feat
      
      Wand of Magic Missile(CL 5) vs. 3 targets
         750*5 gp @ 50 charges  = 50 gp/charge.
         Base Effeciency
            3(1d4+1)/1 charge * 1 charge/50 gp = 0.21 damage / gp @ 10.5 damage / round
         Fell drain(Negative level(lose 5 HP, -1 saves, -1 attack, -1 highest spell...))
            3(1d4+1+5)/3 charges * 1 charge/50 gp = 0.17 damage / gp @ 25.5 damage / round
         Fell Drain & Metamagic item(Twin)
            6*(1d4+1+5)/3 charges * 1 charge/50 gp = 0.34 damage / gp @ 51 damage / round
         Pros: Highly efficent, automatically hit, major debuff
         Cons: Need to take evil-ish feat
         
      Wand of Magic Missile(CL 7) vs. 4 targets
         750*7 gp @ 50 charges  = 70 gp/charge.
         Base Effeciency
            4(1d4+1)/1 charge * 1 charge/70 gp = 0.2 damage / gp @ 14 damage / round
         Fell drain(Negative level(lose 5 HP, -1 saves, -1 attack, -1 highest spell...))
            4(1d4+1+5)/3 charges * 1 charge/70 gp = 0.162 damage / gp @ 34 damage / round
         Fell Drain & Metamagic item(Twin)
            8*(1d4+1+5)/3 charges * 1 charge/70 gp = 0.32 damage / gp @ 68 damage / round
         Pros: Highly efficent, automatically hit, major debuff
         Cons: Need to take evil-ish feat
         
      Wand of Magic Missile(CL 9) vs. 5 targets
         750*9 gp @ 50 charges  = 90 gp/charge.
         Base Effeciency
            5(1d4+1)/1 charge * 1 charge/90 gp = 0.194 damage / gp @ 17.5 damage / round
         Fell drain(Negative level(lose 5 HP, -1 saves, -1 attack, -1 highest spell...))
            5(1d4+1+5)/3 charges * 1 charge/90 gp = 0.157 damage / gp @ 42.5 damage / round
         Fell Drain & Metamagic item(Twin)
            10*(1d4+1+5)/3 charges * 1 charge/90 gp = 0.315 damage / gp @ 85 damage / round
         Pros: Highly efficent, automatically hit, major debuff
         Cons: Need to take evil-ish feat
               
      Wand of Lesser Acid Orb(CL 7)
         5250 gp @ 50 charges  = 105 gp/charge.
         Base Effeciency
            4d8/1 charge * 1 charge/105 gp = 0.17 damage / gp @ 18 damage / round
         Empower & Metamagic item(Twin)(triple damage @ same effeciency)
            1.5*2*4d8/3 charges * 1 charge/105 gp = 0.17 damage / gp @ 54 damage / round
         Metamagic item(Twin)(triple damage @ same effeciency)
            2*4d6/1 charges * 1 charge/105 gp = .311 damage / gp @ 36 damage / round
         Pros: Better fine grained upgrading
         Cons: Saturated Reflex save DC
      
      Wand of Scorching ray(CL 3)
         4500 gp @ 50 charges  = 90 gp/charge.
         Base Effeciency
            4d6/1 charge * 1 charge/90 gp = .155 damage / gp @ 14 damage / round
         Empower & Metamagic item(Twin)(triple damage @ same effeciency)
            1.5*2*4d6/3 charges * 1 charge/90 gp = .155 damage / gp @ 42 damage / round
         Metamagic item(Twin)(triple damage @ same effeciency)
            2*4d6/1 charges * 1 charge/90 gp = .311 damage / gp @ 28 damage / round
         Pros:
         Cons: Saturated Reflex save DC
      
      
      Using Wand Master(+2 DC, +2 CL)
      Wand of Magic Missile(CL 7+2=9) vs. 5 targets
         750*7 gp @ 50 charges  = 70 gp/charge.
         Base Effeciency
            5(1d4+1)/1 charge * 1 charge/70 gp = 0.25 damage / gp @ 17.5 damage / round
         Fell drain(Negative level(lose 5 HP, -1 saves, -1 attack...))
            5(1d4+1+5)/3 charges * 1 charge/70 gp = 0.2 damage / gp @ 42.5 damage / round
         Fell Drain & Metamagic item(Twin)
            10*(1d4+1+5)/3 charges * 1 charge/70 gp = 0.4 damage / gp @ 85 damage / round
         Pros: Most efficent, automatically hit
         Cons: need lots of metamagic feats to get high damage
         
      Wand of Chain Missile(CL 7+2=9) vs. 1 primary and 5 secondary targets
         5 missiles hit primary target, then recochet off and hit 1 of 5 unique secondary targets within 30' of primary
         750*7*3 gp @ 50 charges  = 225 gp/charge.
         Base Effeciency
            10(1d4+1)/1 charge * 1 charge/225 gp = 0.155 damage / gp @ 35 damage / round
         Fell drain(Negative level(lose 5 HP, -1 saves, -1 attack...))
            (5(1d4+1)+5)+5(1d4+1+5))/3 charges * 1 charge/225 gp = 0.096 damage / gp @ 65 damage / round
         Fell Drain & Metamagic item(Twin)
            2*(5(1d4+1)+5)+5(1d4+1+5))/3 charges * 1 charge/225 gp = 0.193 damage / gp @ 130 damage / round
         Pros: More damage on primary target, automatically hit.
         Cons: not very efficent
         
      Wand of Scorching ray(CL 9+2=11)
         11250 gp @ 50 charges  = 270 gp/charge.
         3 rays @ 4d6/ray = 12d6
         Base Effeciency
            12d6/1 charge * 1 charge/270 gp = .155 damage / gp @ 42 damage / round
         Empower & Metamagic item(Twin)(triple damage @ same effeciency)
            1.5*2*12d6/3 charges * 1 charge/270 gp = .155 damage / gp @ 126 damage / round
         Metamagic item(Twin)(double damage)
            2*12d6/1 charges * 1 charge/270 gp = .311 damage / gp @ 85 damage / round
         
         
      Wand of Scorching ray(CL 5+2=7)
         7500 gp @ 50 charges  = 150 gp/charge.
         2 rays @ 4d8/ray = 8d6
         Base Effeciency
            8d6/1 charge * 1 charge/150 gp = 0.1866 damage / gp @ 28 damage / round
         Empower & Metamagic item(Twin)(triple damage @ same effeciency)
            1.5*2*8d6/3 charges * 1 charge/150 gp = 0.1866 damage / gp @ 108 damage / round
         Metamagic item(Twin)(double damage)
            2*8d6/1 charges * 1 charge/150 gp = .37333 damage / gp @ 56 damage / round
            
      Wand of Orb of Fire(CL 7+2=9)
         21000 gp @ 50 charges  = 420 gp/charge.
         2 rays @ 4d8/ray = 8d6
         Base Effeciency
            9d6/1 charge * 1 charge/420 gp = 0.075 damage / gp @ 31.5 damage / round
         Empower & Metamagic item(Twin)(must suceed on 2 saves or be Dazed = no action)
            1.5*2*9d6/3 charges * 1 charge/420 gp = 0.075 damage / gp @ 94.5 damage / round
         Metamagic item(Twin)(double damage)
            2*9d6/1 charges * 1 charge/420 gp = 0.15 damage / gp @ 63 damage / round
            [/spoiler]
   Thoughts on Debuffing[spoiler]
      Wand of Sonic Snap(CL 1) @ 375 gp
         Base (DC 14 will save or be deafened(20% to lose spell with verbal component))
         Fell drain(Negative level((no save) lose 5 HP, -1 saves, -1 attack, -1 highest spell...))(DC 14 will save(after their reflex dropped by 1) or be deafened(20% to lose spell with verbal component))
         Fell Drain & Metamagic item(Twin)(2 Negative levels(lose 10 HP, -2 saves, -2 attack, -2 highest spell...))
         Pros: Cheap, Automatically hit, MAJOR!!! debuff (Stacking! -2 saves, attack, spells, harder to resist being deafened(20% lose spells cast))
         Cons: Living creatues, SR, might have to deal with wights the next morning if used on commoners
         
      Wand of Sonic Snap(CL 1) @ 375 gp
         Base (DC 14 will save or be deafened(20% to lose spell with verbal component))
         Fell Frighten(Shaken for a minute(no save), stacks with next attack)
         Fell Frighten & Metamagic item(Twin)(Automatically go to frighten(fleeing with penalties))
         Pros: Cheap, Automatically hit, Foe is fleeing.  Nice backup when you don't have Metamagic Item usages
         Cons: Mind effecting and fear effect, SR
         
      Ray of Exhaustion(CL 5) @ 11250 gp
         Pros: Keeps the foe put(1/2 speed), fail the save administers exausted, make the save administers fatigued.  Twinned version administers exausted(no save)
         Cons: Mind effecting and fear effect, SR
      
      Wand of Magic Missile(CL 9) vs. 5 targets
         Fell drain & Metamagic item(Twin): hit up to 5 guys with 2 negative levels
         Fell Frighten & Metamagic item(Twin):Hit up to 5 guys and they all try and flee.  A second administration of shaken while foe is cornered makes them cower
         Pros: Highly efficent with good damage, Automatically hit, Versatile if you have both Fell drain and Fell frighten
         Cons: Need to take evil-ish feat
         
      Fell Drain(+2):: Foe damaged by spell gains a negative level
      Fell Frighten(+2): foes damaged by spell are shaken
      Fear:
         1) Shaken + nothing => Shaken(-2 attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks)
         2) Shaken + Shaken => Frightened(Shaken penalties + Uses all resources to flee else fights)
         3) Shaken + Frightened => Panicked(Frightened penalties + Drops all held items and runs at random path, no other actions except cast spells if they allow him to escape)
         4) Frightened + Cornered => Cowering(No actions!!! -2 AC, no dex)
      Applying fatigue(-2 str,dex, no run/charge) to a fatigued character results in exaustion(-6 str,dex,1/2 speed)
      Escalating Enfeeblement, twin and split this sucker.
      Enervation: 1d4 negative levels(no save).  Consider the Fell Drained Magic Missile[/spoiler][/spoiler]
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 10:19:02 PM by borg286 »

borg286

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2011, 04:00:08 PM »
Cohort - Stoik the Vast[spoiler]
   RAW says you must pick 1 class when the follower starts off.  If held to this rule pick Marshal as the boost to Initiative and UMD is invaluable.  Otherwise craft a wonderful story why a charismatic Barbarian/Marshal was your dad and you're taking care of him.

   Lion totem whirling Frenzy Barbarian 1 / Marshal 3
   Ability scores - 14 Str, 8 dex, 16 con, 10 int, 8 wis, 18(17+1) Cha
   Feats
      1: Intimidating Rage, Extra Rage, Imperious Command
      3: Draconic Presence(vigor)
   Items
      Fearsome Armor: +5 to intimidates, intimidate as a move action
      Valerous Greatsword: 2x 2d6 is a mean smack on the noggin
   Class Features and abilities
      Pounce - charge(+2 to hit) and full attack at end
      Rage 3/day - Whirling Frenzy gives him +4 str and an extra attack.  The first time he rages he gets a -2 to all his attacks
      Intimidating rage - Intimidate as a free action when you rage.  Foe stays intimidated as long as you rage
      Imperious Command - Foes you intimidate are cowering instead of shaken.
      Fearsome Armor: intimidate as a move action
      Intimidate: make an intimidate check(+27) vs. foe(He rolls 1d20+HD+wis+saves vs. fear).  Fail => cowering(no dex or actions, -2 to saves)
      Draconic Presence(vigor): heal allies 1 HP / round up to 1/2.
      Marshal minor aura(Use charisma modifier as value for bonus):
         Motivate Dexterity: Initiative is a dexterity check
         Motivate Charisma: Intimidate is a charisma check, UMD is also
      Marshal Major Aura: +1 morale bonus to melee attacks.  The only time the artificer will be giving out morale bonuses to attack is with bless[/spoiler]
   
Followers[spoiler]
   There is a range of things your DM will do regarding your followers.  I order them from worst to broken
   DM rolls up random commoners and says, "Here, don't kill them":  Ignore them
   DM rolls uo random warriors or experts depending on your play style as "you've attracted them": Ignore them
   DM allows you to pick race and feats for warrior and expert: Make Handle Animal experts and get an army
Quote from: Tohron
Make Handle Animal one of their available skills, take Skill Focus for each, pick a race with a +2 wis, bonus and make them venerable, for a +4 or +5 attribute bonus depending on if they have elite array.  With max ranks, and a masterwork tool, this comes out to a +13 or +14 bonus - on a 10, this will let them rear an 8-9 HD animal.

These include:  A Giant Crocodile (CR 4), Rhinoceros (CR 4), Giant Octopus (CR 8!!), Dire Boar (CR 4), Dire Lion (CR 5), Dire Wolverine (CR 4).  And all that's just in the SRD - the setting-specific books probably have even more goodies.

With each Expert having at least one of these critters, and the potential to buff every single one of them, you ignore them to your significant loss.

   DM allows you to pick race and feats for adept and lesser: Make some human adepts, max out Handle Animal as above,build massive armor yourself and have them sit at the side lines till you need healing.
   DM allows you to pick race and feats for PC class levels - We really only have level 1 dudes and we want them to contribute in some way.  Make Warlocks with the invocation Eldritch spear and have them snipe.  
   [/spoiler]
   
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 05:56:55 PM by borg286 »

borg286

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2011, 04:00:22 PM »
9/10

borg286

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2011, 04:00:49 PM »
10/10
OK you can post now

awaken DM golem

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2011, 05:47:02 PM »
Hey go for it !
There'll be some minor (or major) quibbles.

Like the Cohort ... technically because Arty doesn't really need the help ...
has to be "class" non-plural when it initially shows up.
So it's a level 3 or 4 Marshal, and gets
the Barb 1 level after showing up, with maybe a 1st level something retrain.
Not a big deal - and usually ignored.

bearsarebrown

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2011, 09:13:53 PM »
@Wand Actions: Rules Compendium updates all of this. Wands take the action the spell requires, flat out.

Tshern

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2011, 04:31:05 PM »
I think Eternal wands can only be made of arcane spells, so the Guidance of the avatar thing doesn't really work.

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snow_white

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2011, 05:23:55 PM »
I think Metamagic spell completion works on all spell completion items.. aka Minor Schemas also?

Bastian

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2011, 05:37:04 PM »
Why did you call this a tier 0 Artificer handbook? This is a guide to making a fairly standard Artificer build that is solidly tier 1.

sir_argenon

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2011, 11:38:56 PM »
Quote from: borg286
Spell Storing item(1st): 1 class level behind other casters, but you get practically spontanious access to all spells up to 4th level on the fly, given a little prep time.  Even then they last hours/level so you can use them in combat.  Sad you only have a few daily castings of them.  Still any spell on demand qualifies for tier 1 versatility again.


im not seeing how this is considered spontaneous, or "on the fly" casting, when that infusion takes a minute to cast.

10 rounds is far from spontaneous... am i missing something?

Jopustopin

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2011, 12:22:28 AM »
Why did you call this a tier 0 Artificer handbook? This is a guide to making a fairly standard Artificer build that is solidly tier 1.


Ooooooooh.... Sick burn!

Littha

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2011, 04:31:09 AM »
Quote from: borg286
Spell Storing item(1st): 1 class level behind other casters, but you get practically spontanious access to all spells up to 4th level on the fly, given a little prep time.  Even then they last hours/level so you can use them in combat.  Sad you only have a few daily castings of them.  Still any spell on demand qualifies for tier 1 versatility again.


im not seeing how this is considered spontaneous, or "on the fly" casting, when that infusion takes a minute to cast.

10 rounds is far from spontaneous... am i missing something?

action points probably, artificer eats them.

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2011, 04:55:26 AM »
You're a little heavy on the spoiler tags there.

I also don't see any reference to doomwarding, which is one of the best enchants to temporarily stick onto a weapon.
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borg286

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Re: Zeroficers - A guide to making tier 0 Artificers
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2011, 05:49:54 PM »
@Tshern: Thanks for the eternal wand fix.  What method of helping other team members make a 20 UMD check?
@snow_white: What would you use metamagic Item on a Minor Schema for?
@Bastian: Thank you for your comments.  I'll outline why I feel the artificer is a significant cut above the rest, and then would you point out my faulty thoughts.  We often get caught up in our excited finds that we often forget scope.
@ sir_argenon: Spontanious as in, "no need to prepare the spell at the beginning of the day" spontaneity .  I may have written this before having learned that other spellcasters only need 8 hours of rest, but only 1 hour of memorization, thus allowing them to leave a few slots open for whatever problem needs a utility spell.  Is this true?  The spontaneity that sorcerers have is battle spontaneity.  I'm talking about Encounter spontaneity, Find a problem, within a minute I have just the spell.
@Endarire: Thank you for those wonderful tips.  I'll be fixing my stuff today.
@Tohron: I'll put that tid-bit in the followers section.  I wish followers had more well defined rules

I'm working now on the formatting.  I mainly wanted to get comments going and errors on my understanding found.