Top 10 5E D&D Homebrew Artificer Specialists by a Factor of Three
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted enjoy looking at fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons homebrew content contributed to D&D Beyond. While they explore homebrew magic items on the DDB website — including one from Matt Mercer — I’m taking a look at another 5E D&D class and the homebrew subclasses folks created there. (There’s lots of these posts whether for homebrew subclasses, magic items, spells, feats and more floating around for the curious.) This time I’m looking at a D&D class beyond the core classes found in the Player’s Handbook. Artificer made its official 5E D&D debut in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. An artificer creates inventions and magic items of peace and war and the gears are turning as to what I might expect to see from the Top 10 homebrew Artificer Specialists. There’s currently over 350 homebrew of them so let’s get into it.
Artificer Specialists at D&D Beyond
Dave and Ted also put up the video above where they discuss the most popular homebrew magic items at DDB. I’ve dabbled in related homebrew material for these sorts of videos but if I’m honest magic items are such a subjective topic particularly since there’s no mechanical hooks to latch onto for any particular 5E D&D class. (There’s attunement requirements but that’s too narrow in scope.)
Before getting started it’s important to note you can create homebrew content for private use and share your homebrew content publicly at DDB at no cost — there’s no subscription required to access these services. However if you want to add any of the homebrew Artificer Specialists mentioned below or any other homebrew content you come across to your 5E D&D collection you must subscribe at the Hero Tier or above. There’s a lot you can do at DDB for free. Check out what you can do here.
The DDB homebrew collection uses several statistics to track entries. Views shows how many eyeballs any particular homebrew creation received, Adds shows the number of times a creation was added to someone’s collection and Rating is an upvote/downvote system. Since there are over 350 Artificer Specialists in the collection I’m going to share the top 10 highest rated, most viewed and most added selections and to see what’s out there along with any crossover between these three lists.
Top 10 highest rating Artificer Specialists
- Archanomechanist. While every Artificer tinkers with merging arcane magic and mechanical devices, an Archanomechanist specializes in using their knowledge of the arcane and the mechanical arts to assemble a device that can augment their own physical capabilities. At a glance this appears to be a deeply complex subclass similar to the Armorer.
- Doofenschmirtz. An artificer on the edge of society you have dedicated your life to total world domination through your superior intellect. This one stands out to me particularly after looking at so much homebrew content at DDB for messy formatting and kludgy features. Am I missing something?
- Archivist. Archivists are masters of knowledge, relying not on books or tomes or scrolls, but first hand accounts from those involved. Sort of a psychic artificer specializing in object reading. Very cool!
- Doctor. After extreme practice and study in medicine you have become a Doctor in your own right. A wonderful concept for an artificer focused entirely on healing. I dig it.
- Plague Doctor. Plague Doctors are artificers specialized in the creation, use, analysis, and treatment of poisons and diseases. People just can’t resist that distinctive mask.
- Arcane Gunsmith. A Gunsmith is an Artificer who has crafted a spectacular and terrible device: a Thunder Cannon. I don’t remember the specifics but I think this one is a recreation of the Unearthed Arcana version. If you’re into the idea then no need to recreate it yourself in DDB — someone already did the work.
- Enchanter. Unlike most artificers, enchanters are not only arcane engineers who have learned how to turn mundane items into wondrous magical tools, but rather they are artists who simply weave their essence and magical power into their creations. This one leans into the magical item creation concept to squeeze more juice from what the artificer creates.
- Grenadier. The first idea of Grenadiers were original created as a specialized soldier in order to sap enemy fortifications and engage in sieges or raids. A great concept tons of players love and distinct enough from existing Artificer Specialists this one might be my favorite I’ve come across.
- Monster Trainer. You have learned to how to build a device that contains within it an extradimensional space that allows you to trap and store the essences of up to 6 monsters that you can later summon to do your bidding. An artificer take on a Pokemon trainer.
- Alchemical Bombardier. An alchemical bombardier is an expert at combining exotic reagents to produce a variety of materials, from healing draughts that can mend a wound in moments to clinging goo that slows creatures down. Somewhere between the Unearthed Arcana version and the Grenadier.
Top 10 most viewed Artificer Specialists
- Arcane Gunsmith.
- Alchemical Bombardier.
- Gunsmith. Gunsmith artificers specialize in creating firearms, whether through magic or through a special mixture chemical substances similar to gunpowder. There’s so many variations on this concept from so many classes I can’t rightly discriminate between them anymore. If you’re into magical guns it’s worth checking out to see if it meets your expectations.
- Monster Trainer.
- Amalgamologist. An Amalgamologist specializes in using magic to combine, mix, and meld items together to create new and improved effects. One of the more intriguing options I’ve come across from any class and it includes a nifty d100 table too!
- Biomancer (Simic). Biomancers are artificers who have turned their skills to self-improvement in the most literal sense, reshaping their allies and their own bodies for combat. A fantastic idea! The Simic Combine is a personal fave from Magic: The Gathering and I loved seeing it come to 5E D&D in Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica.
- Plague Doctor.
Top 10 most added Artificer Specialists
- Arcane Gunsmith.
- Monster Trainer.
- Plague Doctor.
- Alchemical Bombardier.
- Maverick. In the world of artifice, the Maverick is a jack of all trades and master of none. Gaining mastery over cantrips and spell selection versatility makes for a fun take on an Artificer Specialist.
Artificer Specialists rising to the top
Archanomechanist out artifices all 350+ Artificer Specialists for the top spot across the board. It’s not my cup of tea but I can definitely see how it satisfies the desire for this concept and supplies the crunchy mechanics so many players love. I’ve never been a huge fan of the artificer concept whether from its 3.5 D&D origins, Unearthed Arcana for 5E D&D or the official version in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. My closest experience with the class is from Dungeons & Dragons Online when it immediately became my favorite when it was released because I’m primarily a solo player and it could do everything. From the homebrew options I explored today my favorites are the Amalgamologist for sheer creativity in the design concept and approach and the Grenadier because it’s a terrific character concept not really represented at all in 5E D&D officially. Special shout out to the Biomancer (Simic) for representing the Combine too!
5E D&D artificer resources
Artificer represents a special scenario when it comes to 5E D&D content creation. Thanks to Wizards of the Coast’s Fan Content Policy we can discuss the artificer class and create our own content for it as long as it remains here at Nerdarchy the Website or another freely accessible source. But since it’s not in the Standard Reference Document it’s off limits for further custom creation like our monthly Patreon rewards. Another place we frequently create new content for Dungeon Masters and players to drop right into games is Nerdarchy the Newsletter and you’ll also get several gifts including $9.99 in store credit so you can add whatever you like there to your own collection when you sign up. As it stands we’ve explored the artificer class several times already, which isn’t surprising given the thousands of posts here on the site.
- Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything Artificer Brings Arcanapunk to 5E D&D
- Exploring Eberron through Artificer Specialists for 5E D&D
- D&D Party Composition — Playing an All Artificer Party
- Mythology of a 5E D&D Dwarven Artificer Specialist
- Turn Up the Heat in 5E D&D with a Go To Artificer Spell
- Lord of Blades is the Ultimate Artificer — But He Needs Your Help!
- D&D Ideas — Artificer
*Featured image — The secrets of life are revealed in the laboratories of the Simic Combine, and their research notes plumb and catalog nature’s wonders. The Simic are one of the amazing guilds featured in Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica for 5E D&D. [Illustration by Willian Murai]