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Gnome Artificer

(Magic of Faerûn variant, p. 23)

Gnome artificers dabble in technology to create fantastic devices, delving into shadow magic when their mundane equipment is insufficient for the task.


Race: Gnome (or human from the Lantan region)

Feats: Lightning Reflexes , Skill Focus (any of the subsequent Craft skills)

Spellcasting: Able to cast 1st-level arcane spells of the Illusion school.
Skills: Alchemy 3 ranks, Craft (armorsmithing, blacksmithing, gemcutting, locksmithing, metalworking, trapmaking, or weaponmaking) 8 ranks, Craft (any other two from the previous list) 4 ranks, Disable Device 2 ranks, Knowledge (architecture) 4 ranks, Knowledge (engineering) 4 ranks, Profession (apothecary, engineer, or siege engineer) 3 ranks

Hit die


Skill points

4 + Int

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Gnome artificers are proficient with all simple weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields. Armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble.

Artificer Item: A gnome artificer has the ability to craft nonmagical devices that duplicate the effects of certain spells. Rather than using magic to accomplish this, he uses his knowledge of pistons, gears, lenses, and other simple mechanical inventions. As a result, an artificer item usually appears unwieldy and complex, with many attachments, lenses, protrusions, wires, and hoses. By default, all artificer devices use two item spaces: any one space plus either the "belt" or "cloak" space. It is possible to build devices that take up only one space, but they cost twice as much.

An artificer can only craft artificer devices that duplicate the effects of the artificer device powers he knows (see below). All artificer devices have charges, representing fuel and other substances needed to provide the effect. After a certain number of uses, the device ceases to function until the artificer expends more time and money to rebuild it. For example, an artificer creates a bracer-like device that gives its wearer the equivalent of a bull's strength spell; the device has 50 charges, and when those charges are used, the device's power no longer functions until an artificer rebuilds it. Rebuilding a device costs half as much as it would cost to make it from scratch.

Making artificer devices requires time and expenditure of resources as if the artificer were creating a magic item (1 day per 1,000 gp of the base price). However, unlike crafting a magic item, the artificer does not spend XP as a part of this process. He merely spends the appropriate time and gold to create the item, using the table below to determine the base price of the device:

Effect Base Price
50 charges*, use-activated Power level** x artificer level*** x 1,000 gp
Uses only one space Multiply entire cost by 2

*An artificer can create a device with as few as 5 charges, with the cost reduced proportionally.
**A 0-level device power is half the value of a 1st-level device power for determining price.
***An artificer can create a device with an effective artificer level lower than his own, as long as it is the minimum artificer level necessary to learn that device power.

For example, a 3rd-level artificer wishes to make a bull's strength device (as described above). Bull's strength is a 2nd-level device power (see below), so creating this device with 50 charges at the minimum level costs 2 × 3 × 1,000 gp, or 6,000 gp, and 6 days of work. Once these charges are used, the device becomes useless.

Artificer devices follow the rules on page 243 of the DUNGEON MASTER's Guide for determining costs of items with multiple abilities. Artificer devices use the same space limitations as magic items (bracer, helmet, cloak, and so on), so a character cannot wear a device that uses a bracer space at the same time she wears a pair of gauntlets of ogre power.

Artificer devices are large and bulky. Multiply the level of the device power (with 0-level device powers counting as 1/2 level) by 1 cubic foot and 5 pounds to get the total volume and weight of the device (add together the weights and volumes of devices with multiple powers). They are large enough to be considered a separate object for the purposes of the strike an object action. A device has 5 hit points per cubic foot of volume and hardness 10. A device can be made out of special materials (such as adamantine or mithral) to increase its hardness or hit points; treat each cubic foot of the device as a longsword for the purpose of determining the modifier to the initial base price (the special materials do not affect the rebuilding price of the item).

Gnome Artificer Device Powers: While mages wield arcane power and clerics manipulate divine energy, the artificer uses mundane tools and strange reagents to produce impressive results. Like a neophyte wizard with a small repertoire of spells, an artificer starts with a few technological tricks that he has mastered. As he gains levels, the artificer learns new device powers automatically as shown on the progression table. The artificer can also purchase information on other device powers from other artificers or find them in books of crafting, with the prices and value of such objects equal to a scroll of the equivalent spell level. For example, Hendark Steelwire is a 1st-level gnome artificer. During his travels he encounters Waywocket Gemcracker, another gnome artificer, and he pays her 25 gp for the secret to one of the 1st-level device powers he doesn't know.

To learn a device power or create an item with it, an artificer must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the power's level. An artificer may research additional device powers as if they were spells. The Difficulty Class for saving throws is 10 + the level of the device power + the ability bonus of the minimum ability score needed to learn that device power.

Activating a device is a standard action that does not draw an attack of opportunity. Most device powers rely upon completely nonmagical methods. Devices that use these powers function normally in an antimagic field and cannot be counter-spelled or disrupted.

A few device powers push the boundaries of mundane technology and actually dip into the powers of the school of Illusion (shadow). Such powers are marked in the list below and are treated as supernatural abilities — they do not function within an antimagic field, but cannot be counterspelled or disrupted: 3rd-levelfly, haste, sleet storm; 4th-levelice storm, wall of fire, wall of ice. The gnome artificer must be at least 9th level to incorporate these powers in one of his devices.

Because the device powers duplicate the abilities of the appropriate spells exactly, their effects overlap (do not stack) with the effects of the spell they duplicate. Therefore, a device that grants cat's grace does not stack with the arcane spell cat's grace.

Bonus Item: At 2nd level, the gnome artificer gains a single-function 50-charge device of any device power he knows. The item functions at his artificer level. The artificer is assumed to have been working on this item in his spare time, and does not need to spend any money or time to acquire the item. The gnome artificer gains another bonus item every even-numbered level thereafter.

Skill Focus: At 3rd level, the gnome artificer gains the Skill Focus (Disable Device) feat.

Salvage: An artificer of at least 5th level can dismantle a device (whether built by him or by another artificer) and use its pieces as parts for another device. This reduces the base price of the new device by 1/2 the market price of the device being dismantled. A device without full charges is worth only a percentage of its original market price equal to the percentage of charges remaining.

Prototype: Beginning at 7th level, an artificer can make a device that has a device power that he doesn't know. These prototype items cost double the normal amount and are unreliable. Every time an artificer uses a prototype ability, he must make an artificer level check (DC = device power's artificer level +1) to activate the device successfully. Any other creature trying to activate the prototype device power has a —5 penalty on this check. Failure indicates a mishap (see Artificer Prototype Mishaps below). If a mishap occurs, the charge for that attempted use is expended, regardless of the mishap's outcome.

The device power used in a prototype must be on the device power list, and the artificer can't build a prototype that incorporates powers requiring the shadow effect ability until he reaches 9th level.

Artificer Prototype Mishaps: A device malfunctions when a mishap occurs, usually in a reversed or harmful manner. The DM determines what sort of mishap occurs, with the malfunction causing 1d6 points of damage per device power level as a default.

  • If the device power is a ranged effect, it strikes the user or an ally instead of the intended target, or a random target nearby if the user was the intended target.
  • If the device power is a ranged effect, it takes effect at some random location within range.
  • Device causes 1d6 points of damage per device power level to the user.
  • Device damages user as above and loses 1d10 additional charges.
  • Device damages user as above and ceases to function until the artificer has rebuilt the device, costing 1/10 the normal base price.
  • Device activates 1d4 rounds later than intended, selecting a random target if a ranged effect.
  • Device activates 1d4 hours later than intended, selecting a random target if a ranged effect.

Shadow Effect (Su): Starting at 9th level, the artificer can make devices that draw upon the power of shadow to produce supernatural effects. He may now incorporate powers listed above.


Device Powers Known
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special 0 1 2 3 4
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Artificer item 4 2
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Bonus item 5 2
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Skill Focus 5 3 1
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Bonus item 6 3 2
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Salvage 6 4 2 1
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Bonus item 7 4 3 2
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Prototype 7 5 3 2 1
8th +6 +2 +6 +2 Bonus item 8 5 4 3 2
9th +6 +3 +6 +3 Shadow effect 8 5 4 3 2
10th +7 +3 +7 +3 Bonus item 9 5 5 4 3

Class skills

Skill name Key ability Trained only Armor check penalty
Alchemy Int yes no
Appraise INT no no
Concentration CON no no
Craft INT no no
Disable Device INT yes no
Knowledge (architecture and engineering) INT yes no
Listen WIS no no
Profession WIS yes no
Search INT no no
Use Rope DEX no no

Spells for Gnome Artificer

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