As the Eberron book slides into the next phase of production, the Artificer is poised to fill a couple of interesting niches around the table.
The Artificer looks like it’s going to be the big shining star of the new Eberron book, coming later this year. With four Subclasses all in all (and at least two with a very specific place in Eberron), the Artificer is a class that specializes in supporting the party, whether with buffs and effects, or devastating combat potential. Whatever specialization you choose, the Artificer feels fun. Here’s Jeremy Crawford, lead rules design for 5th Edition, summing up the Artificer, their role in D&D, and giving you a taste of how your feedback will help shape it.
As a reminder, there’s still time to fill out the Artificer Survey which is up over on Wizards’ D&D Page (and is also linked elsewhere in this article). What I like is seeing the different playstyles of the Artificer laid out–in each of the subclasses, you really get a sense of what the folks at WotC mean when they talk about tying narrative to each of the classes. I don’t know if it’s that Artificer feels more polished or is just a more straightforward version of that since it doesn’t have the baggage of previous editions defining certain aspects of the class… but you get such a strong sense of the stories each of these classes wants to tell.
You have the Alchemist, who is all about mixing reagents and always having the right solution on hand in the form of an alchemical homunculus that healing and damage covered. They’re all about creating beneficial or baneful effects through combining and recombining ingredients. These are the weird experimenters who probably blow themselves up–very classical mad science types.
Then there’s the Artillerist who fits into the Gunslinger archetype. Whether you’re actually shooting a fantasy gun or not. You also get a turret companion, which sounds odd until you realize it can be a remote drone or flavored as another gun that you yourself are shooting. The Artificer classes do seem to rely on it. But if you want to shoot magic explosions, this is the one for you.
Then there’s the Archivist who works on developing consciousnesses out of magic, and is all about creating synaptic feedback and psychic effects reflecting the forbidden lore into which they are certainly delving. If you wanna play the sort that’s going to go around investigating ruins and clues and learning things that were maybe better left forgotten, for science!, this is the subclass you’ll want.
And finally, the Battle Smith who creates magic weapons and armor and yet also manages to be incredibly cool while doing so. This is an unexpected “anchor of a fight” kind of subclass, and I am here for it.
The Artificer–and the Eberron Hardcover will be out in November!