Artificer: As discussed last episode, artificers are the magical engineers and can create magic items along side their half casting. 13 Int to MC into
Rogue: Cunning, sneaky, opportunists. This martial class fights with a few well placed attacks rather than hacking endlessly. Then always has the moves to get out of the fray as quickly as they got into it. 13 Dex to MC into
Kevin: This is gonna be alright. It won’t be in the MC Hall of Fame, but it will be alright. There will be some bonus action woes as well
Will: Not a fan of MCing with the artificer. Generally though the rogue is just a good dip for the Cunning actions.
Bonus Actions: Rogues Cunning action allows them to dash, disengage, or hide, as a BA without a resource cost. The 2 best artificer subclasses have bonus actions that come up just about every turn. So in a weird way having 2 useful options diminishes the usefulness of both instead of adding to the class.
Battle Smith: Definitely going to be the biggest focus here. Martial Artificer that lets you use your INT mod for attack rolls instead of dex or str. This allows you to mainly focus one stat instead of being split.
The Steel Defender usually uses the bonus action to attack, but you actually get a lot of benefit from it without using the BA. It can move on it’s own, and use it’s reaction to impose disadvantage on an attack. And you can get sneak attack off of it as it is an ally. And if you dont command it the Steel Defender still dodges.
As a rogue you aren’t going to use your BA EVERY single time and maybe you think the damage is more worth it this round. But it’s not necessary.
Artillerist you’re going to hit a few more snags as you get no benefit without using the BA.
Also from Artificer in general you get medium armor, spells, and infusions.
For Battle Smith you really dont need too many spell slots. The Steel Defender won’t go down often between using mending and it’s repair ability.
Infusions will help out the rogue a lot. As they can get you the crossbow with repeating shot or a gun.
Arcane Trickster: Has some obvious overlap as they both need INT. Usually it can be hard to justify but it’s perfectly fitting with the MC. You get the added spells and other neat Arcane trickster thing.
Character idea: Mastermind Rogue/Battle Smith Artificer is Inspector Gadget.
Mastermind: Gives an additional use of your BA, you can take the help action as a BA, from 30 feet away. Might be hard to layer it on top of this class, but it’s still good. Help in general is a little hard to justify. Usually an extra attack is better than advantage on another attack. So it’s hard to justify.
The flavor of an Artificer/Rogue is perfect as they’re both these intelligent classes they just use their intelligence differently.
Back to Arcane Trickster: Some spells you can get, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter is great, if you get up to second level, Blur and Hold Person are good
Other subclasses: A lot of them are frontloaded so a 3 dip into Rogue gets you a lot.
Inquisitive: More bonus action competition. The Inquisitive has a ton of BAs that are really specific or don’t feel worth it when in conjunction with the battle smith.
Discussion on hiding: When can Rogues hide? It seems to get abused in most games but there are no real mechanics that say they cannot hide. A lot of it falls on the DM.
Some things we offer as suggestions
1. Go off of line of sight. If you’re in the open you can’t hide
2. If you get discovered in a spot, you can’t hide there again in the same turn
3. If 1 creature finds the person hiding, they can call it out and say “They are right here”
4. Give enemies molotov cocktails and set their general area on fire. It makes them have to move.
What makes hiding strong? Advantage is pretty good, but the fact that they can’t be targeted is the real issue.
Ambusher Artillerist/Assassin: Good way to get a drop on your enemies as you have the Force Ballista Eldritch Cannon. Let’s the rogue stay far away or in a good position to attack.
This needs to be the right campaign to work. Most don’t have the opportunity to set up ambushes very often.
Does the Eldritch Cannon give the rogue sneak attack? Our answer comes down to no as the Eldritch Cannon does not attack unless specifically instructed and is assumed to be dormant between turns.
We have not found an official ruling so let us know what you think!
Artillerist is probably not worth going to 5th level on. This gives a bonus to your cantrips. That said, you do get 2nd level spells. So there are some benefits. And if you get to 7th, flash of genius is so darn good.
Another character concept!
Survivalist Scout/Alchemist: The Mark Watney character! This makes a character who has a tool for every situation. At least...from a flavor perspective.
It works with a 3 level dip into Alchemist. The base 3 levels from Artificer is pretty good. And at 3rd level you get the fun magical potions. It’s not going to be the best class in combat. But out of combat the idea of a character who can do a lot out of combat is really neat.
We talk about the 2017 Artificer UA: “Whoever wrote that (class) was on seriously hard drugs and in their come down they fucked this class in particular as an apology.”
The below information is incorrect. As corrected by the 11/10 Sage Advice
Thief’s fast hands almost gave the artificer’s alchemist class a boost. But it still takes an action to drink the potion. It’s not a “use an object” ability. Same thing with the Artificers spell storing, though that one is a lot stronger so fast hands would probably be too much.