Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Making Them Useful: Artificer

Here we go, buddies.
Yesterday, I wrote a bit about tailoring adventures to suit Scholar characters built with the template from Dungeon Fantasy 4. Continuing still in that same vein, today I'll finish things off by addressing its sister template, the Artificer.

So, first off, the surface layer bread and butter of an artificer is the Gizmos and Quick Gadgeteer advantages. And obviously, these are pretty good and great all by themselves without even going beyond that. As an aside, I really like the invention rules introduced on p.4 of Dungeon Fantasy 4, but besides the fact that it makes Artificers pretty fun, it doesn't really fit the point of this post. So what kind of things can a Artificer do? What kind of situations can they apply themselves towards?
Helpful for coming up with
prices for more difficult
jury rigged inventions, which
in turn, inform penalties for
Quick Gadgeteer.

  • An artificer can, in a pinch, be a replacement healer being able to very easily recreate a lot of potions if they know alchemy. In that same vein, creating bombs, poisons, etc. with magical properties is one way to apply them. Note, difficulty of jury rigging an invention has to do with the price of the item being created. A system like Metatronic Generators from Pyramid  3/46 or the crafting system in other books can be really helpful here.
  • Quick Gadgeteer also gears an artificer well for setting traps. The traps skill is literally on the template. Hazardous Materials (Magic) is also an option.
  • An artificer with a lot to work with can be a stand in for a lot of jobs. Building a single use simple lever for lifting very heavy objects could help someone get a bit of a boost for a jump.
  • An artificer in a somewhat more slow burn of a game might be able to get involved in some Civil Engineering tasks.  Take a look at Low-Tech Companion 3 (reviewed here) for some ideas.
  • For people with Mass-Combat (review), Artificers can present themselves as combat engineers and help develop complicated siege engines or help shore fortifications.
Really fun book for being
little more than a catalog.
I have to warn though:
preparation is very much
required to get an artificer
usable for Mass-Combat. At
least one siege weapon type
of skill would be real good.
What type of rewards can an Artificer appreciate? Many of the items on p.12 of Dungeon Fantasy kinda work, but they feel a bit lackluster. The Instant Workshop from Dungeon Fantasy 6 or the Universal Tool from Epic Treasures are nice fancy things. and the "Bottomless Containers" on p.38 of Dungeon Fantasy 8 can also help. A good artificer can make all the things he wants. Perhaps as a more meta-reward, an Artificer would appreciate character points especially devoted to signature gear or equipment bond occasionally hand-waving the "one-and-done" jury rig rules, or fanciful materials to allow them to craft unusual and rare items. 

Other Thoughts and Closing

The artificer, like the scholar is pretty challenging to play as a delver because of how many points are devoted to being good at tricky things, but unlike the Scholar which somewhat feels like a brainy "jack of all trades," doing all the things no one else can do because the right people for the job are missing, the artificer is a horse of an entirely different color.
Sophie in the campaign I am running is working towards creating artificial life as her ultimate goal, so my thoughts are to give her extremely exotic materials that will enable creating a robot friend with her bare hands. Knowing what Sophie wants is pretty easy. She needs character points to buy a really unique ally, and she wants to role play the experience of uncovering that secret and putting it together. She doesn't have trouble making herself useful either no matter what situations come up.

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