Custom built for one of my players who expressed the desire for an archetype that upgrades itself with tech as the adventure went on. So came the modular archetype, the Mechanist. With this subclass, it is highly recommended to slap on the customizable property (which is detailed below) on most firearms. Just don’t do it on high-damage, one-shot things like flare guns or autograpnels.
For a list of technological items I designed to work with the Mechanist, look here!
And before I forget, the chassis of this subclass was shamelessly stolen from The Middle Finger of Vecna’s Magitech Hero! Please go visit them to see a whole bunch more cool shit. I know I do.
Artificer Specialization (Mechanist)
Artificers, whose expertise extends beyond enchantment into technological marvels and mechanical tinkering, are known as Mechanists.
You are proficient with weapons with the prototype tag and gain advantage when identifying alien weaponry. You also learn the mending cantrip.
At 1st level, you forge the foundation and workings of a highly customizable and deadly firearm that only you know how to truly use. The Prototype, as it is called -- you may have a different pet name for it -- is designed to be added on to, though perhaps you are still working on those kinks. You also begin play with 5 batteries.
The starting Prototype may either be two-handed or one-handed, dealing 2d6 piercing or 1d8 piercing damage respectively. It's normal range is 40/120. Each shot takes 1 charge. Once the battery is depleted (10 charges), you must take a standard action to reload. It has the prototype and the customizable weapon tags.
The Prototype, unlike other guns, doesn't require manual tracking of bullets -- it is simple to create bullets for it. Instead, as a technological weapon, the Prototype requires batteries, each one giving the weapon 10 charges.
If you lose your Prototype, you may rebuild it in over the course of 3 days (8 hours each), expending 500 gp in resources.
At 1st level, you may customize your invention. Unlike that of a Thunder Cannon, the Prototype is highly customizable. So customizable, in fact, you may replace the whole foundation of the Prototype with parts from a different technological firearm.
You may switch the foundation of any weapon with the prototype tag with another technological firearm that has the customizable tag. When you do so, you destroy both the weapon with the prototype tag and the technological firearm with the customizable tag to gain a new weapon with the stats of the technological firearm, removing customizable but gaining the prototype tag.
For example, if you had a laser pistol (1d8 damage, prototype tag) and you wanted to switch the foundation with a plasma pistol (2d8 damage, customizable tag), you would create a new weapon (2d8 damage, prototype tag) and destroy the former two.
At 3rd level, you use the scraps you gain from scavenging technological ruins and from dissecting apart tech to further customize your Prototype. You may select any two Tech Upgrades for which you meet the prerequisites. You may not use one of the Upgrades selected at 3rd level as a prerequisite for the other. You may select an additional upgrade at 7th, 9th, 14th, and 17th level.
Tech Upgrades apply only on weapons you wield with the prototype tag. Upgrades that cast a spell require no verbal or somatic components. If an Upgrade calls for a saving throw, the DC is equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier. Your tech level is equal to your artificer level. You may select the following upgrades:
You have developed an auto-reloading mechanism into the Prototype itself. When you run out of charge, you may reload as a free action.
Big Woman, Big Gun
You no longer take disadvantage when firing your Prototype while in the reach of threatening enemies. In addition, you may take Opportunity Attacks with your Prototype.
Prerequisite: Frost Missile, Laser Attachment
As an action and 5 charge, you can channel the energy of your firearm into an explosive electrical attack. Each creature within a 30 feet cone of you must make a Dexterity save. On a failed save a creature takes 3d6 points of lightning damage for each point of your proficiency bonus, or half as much on a successful one. After you use this ability you must spend the next turn cooling down your Prototype. You must complete a long rest before using this feature again.
You can fire a stream of flame at your foes as an action. You may cast Burning Hands as an action for 2 charge. For every 2 extra charges you spend, you increase the spell's level by 1 (to a maximum of 5). You must complete a short or long rest before using this feature again.
Flurry of a Thousand Sprays
Prerequisite: Spray and Pray
When you make multiple attack actions against one target, as a reaction, you may bypass the target's resistances for all of your attacks.
As an action and at the cost of 2 charge, you may fire a Frost Missile. The missile has a range of 5 feet times your tech level. Make a ranged attack. If it hits, the missile deals 2d8 points of Cold damage, and the target is can move only half its maximum speed until the beginning of your next turn. For each 2 extra charge you spend, you may increase the damage by 1d8 (to a maximum of 4d8 extra).
You can cast web as an action, as long as you are wielding your Prototype. You cannot use this feature again until you take a short or long rest.
As a bonus action and 2 charge, you may fire burning hot beams of energy at your target. The energy beams have a range of 5 times your tech level (max 60 feet). Make a ranged attack. If it hits, it deals 2d4 points of Fire damage. After you use this ability you may not use it again for 1d4+1 rounds.
Spray and Pray
As a bonus action and 4 charge, you may make another Attack action against the enemy with your Prototype. At the cost of 8 charge and a bonus action instead, you may make two Attack actions against the enemy.
Your Prototype has a special feature built-in to blow enemies away. As an action, you may make a special attack that spreads in a 15 ft cone. Each creature in the area must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the target takes 2d6 thunder damage and is pushed back 10 feet.
When you deal damage with the Prototype, at the cost of 5 charge, you may force the target to make a Strength saving throw or become stunned until the end of its next turn. Constructs make this save at a disadvantage.
You have developed a special canister that adds a bit of electrical oomph. You add 1d6 electrical damage when you hit a target with the Prototype.
A man of few talents but many words, Pip began his foray into tabletop when he was a wee child and continues even now as a wee adult. He writes primarily for his preferred system: Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition!