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Old 03-19-2009, 05:15 PM
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Artificer Question

I've been wondering this for a while now, and I hope some people here can shed some light on the ruling for the Artificer's Craft Homunculus ability.

The wording for the ability is clear about the amount of HD a homunculus can have - the artificer's HD - 2. this means, at level 7, my homunculus can have a HD of 5, as long as I have the time and resources to improve it that high. What the ruling is *not* clear about is the limitations - the wording is vague as to how many homunculi I can have, and it's sort of vague as to the type. The Artificer is from the Eberron Campaign Setting (I'm playing in a homebrew campaign that uses just about any book) and also included in the Eberron setting are four new homonculi: Iron Defender, Expeditious Messenger, Dedicated Wright, and Furtive Filcher. The description in the Artificer ability for crafting a homunculus makes reference to the Monster Manual, in regards to the progression of the homunculus.

tl;dr: Which homunculus (MM or Eberron) can an artificer use, and, can an artificer have more than one?
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:47 PM
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The rules don't state a limit to the number, so I'd guess that like any other construct you can craft as many as you feel like paying for. As for type, you can craft any of them. So, yeah, you can have a small army of homunculi, but it would get pretty expensive.

Hmm, I hope you don't mind, but I have an additional artificer question that this reminded me of. When creating an artificer above 1st level, how do you handle their craft reserve? The rules state it resets at each level, but one could assume you have been using it from 1st. So, do you get to make extra magic items at character creation, experience free? One can assume that you used some of these up (like scrolls, potions, and wands) getting to your current level, but not everything runs out of charges.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:43 PM
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well, you don't get craft wand until much later... but any other items, chances are you've used about 75% of them... I'd say one-shots like scrolls are all gone, but even so, you get craft wondrous items at level... 3, was it? if you're an artificer worth your HD, you'd have a few trinkets by now.

in regards my question, here is the description from the Eberron book:

"Craft Homunculus (Ex): At 4th level, an artificer can create a homunculus as if he had the Craft Construct feat. He must emulate the spell requirements (arcane eye, mending, and mirror image) as normal for making a magic item, and he must pay all the usual gold and XP costs (though he can spend points from his craft reserve). An artificer can also upgrade an existing homunculus that he owns, adding 1 Hit Die at a cost of 2,000 gp and 160 XP.

If an artificer gives his homunculus more than 6 Hit Dice, it becomes a Small creature and advances as described in the Monster Manual (+4 Str, -2 Dex, damage increases to 1d6). The homunculus also gains 10 extra hit points for being a Small construct.

An artificer's homunculus can have as many Hit Dice as its master's Hit Dice minus 2. No matter how man Hit Dice it has, a homunculus never grows larger than Small."

to elaborate, an Iron Defender starts off as a Small creature, and a Expeditious Messenger starts off as diminutive. This doesn't match up with the description of advancing a homunculus, but the homunculus in the Monster Manual starts off as Tiny. reading this over again, I can see that the reference to the Monster Manual is not referencing the homunculus, but referencing the stat changes that a Tiny creature gets when advancing to a Small creature. Still, it can still imply that the artificer can make only a regular homunculus, as described in the Craft Construct feat.

All of that (long) stuff being said, Philosopher's point makes sense, the rules don't state number, and that means I can have an army of 5 HD Iron Defenders running around me as I take on ECL 7 creatures. 8D
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philosopher
When creating an artificer above 1st level, how do you handle their craft reserve? The rules state it resets at each level, but one could assume you have been using it from 1st. So, do you get to make extra magic items at character creation, experience free? One can assume that you used some of these up (like scrolls, potions, and wands) getting to your current level, but not everything runs out of charges.
That's something that would vary by DM - as written, you can assume that you made something each level, and you don't have to assume that you used any of it - but you probably would need a good RP reason to be piling up massive amounts of scrolls and the like without using any of them.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:30 AM
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just as a little bit of closure, I have taken this info to my DM that is running the campaign that this character exists in, as he was also unsure of the ruling... and we've come to the conclusion that neither the Artificer ability nor the Craft Construct feat limit how many homunculi or constructs you can have running around, but this also comes down to DM discresion. A fair limitation we have established is that I can have as many homunculi with a total HD equal to my HD active at one time - that is, if I have an Iron Defender at HD 5, I can also have a Filcher and Wright active as well, both at HD 1, but can not have two Iron Defenders at HD 5 active unless I have 10 HD total. This doesn't bypass the original limitation of any one homunculus having a max HD of the owner (me) - 2.

one last thing to consider (even though my DM and I have come to a conclusion about this) is having a Dedicated Wright in bag of holding / portable hole. Since these are technically Extra Dimensional Spaces, that would be way over the distance that a homunculus is willing to travel away from its owner. (something like 1500 feet/meters or something). this means that you cannot have it work on items in the bag of holding while travelling, and cannot be farther than 1500 feet from wherever your wright is working on items. My DM and I ruled it that, since we're in a non-centralized campaign, that the bag of holding/portable hole is a sub-extradimensional space, and that as long as I have the bag / hole with me, it can work on items. just some food for thought. 8D
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:58 AM
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My best argument for having any homunculi you want is this: if you can craft magic arms and armor, does this limit you to swords and shields only, or can you make axes and helmets, too? If the artificer can craft a homonculus, and these are homunculi, then there is no reason he can't craft them. Otherwise, why even have the crafting rules for them? The Monster Manual reference is likely a lack of communication. Different authors write different sections of books. Likely, the person who wrote the Artificer section didn't know someone else was going to be expanding on the available homunculi, and so assumed just the one in the MM. He felt it would be helpful to remind players of size changes with hit dice increases, so he mentioned it.

Personally, I don't think you need an artificial limit on numer of homunculi. It costs money and time to make, and to upgrade, so to get a small army of homunculi you are going to need some heavy resources. If the DM doesn't want you to have the army, he just needs to make sure he doesn't give you too much gold. The other limiting factor is that you take damage if a homunculi is destroyed. Bring a bunch of 5HD creatures against an ECL 7, it'll be cool... until the opponent(s) kills, say, three of them and you take 6d10 damage (average is 33), which could quite possibly kill you; after all, the maximum hp of an artificer at 7th level is 42, assuming 10 or 11 Con. The average hp of such an artificer would be 27.
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Last edited by Philosopher; 03-20-2009 at 03:02 AM.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:02 AM
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I dabbled 3 levels into swashbuckler, so I have more HP than the average Artificer. That aside, my DM runs a fairly high-treasure campaign, because we have a group of like, 7 or 8 PCs. in addition to that, I'm responsible for making the party items. Since I technically have only 5 levels in Artificer (I recently leveled to 8, but the situation in which I was wondering about the limit occurred last level) I only *just* got magical arms and armor, so now I've got a lot of requests from party members for weapon and armor buffs. even after doing a few of those, I still have like, 32000 - 38000 GP to spend on items. this gold is also the party gold, so that can be a bit limiting in itself, but regardless, the party size warrants having a limit of how many creatures I get to fight for me to prevent battle from being all that much slower.

I agree with your argument, and it would totally work in a regular group (of about 4 player characters) with an average wealth for the entire party, but our campaigns have always been unique. 8D
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