Gnome Artificer Guide (DND 5E)

The Gnome Artificer is a powerful character build in Dungeons and Dragons 5E. In this guide, we will explore how the Gnome race and the Artificer class can be combined to create an intelligent and awe-inspiring character. We will cover the optimal ability scores, armor and weapons choices, and discuss the different Artificer subclasses that work well with the Gnome race.

Gnome Artificer Guide (DND 5E)

Key Takeaways

  • Gnome Artificers are a formidable combination of the Gnome race and the Artificer class in DND 5E.
  • Prioritize intelligence as the primary ability score for your Gnome Artificer to maximize their spellcasting and creation abilities.
  • Consider the Armorer, Battle Smith, Artillerist, or Alchemist subclasses for your Gnome Artificer build.
  • Utilize Gnome racial features like Darkvision and Gnome Cunning to gain an advantage in various situations.
  • Create magical items and enhance weapons and armor using the unique Artificer Infusions.

Quick-Start Guide: Gnomish Artificer

Are you ready to dive into the world of Gnome Artificers? This quick-start guide will help you get your Gnomish Artificer character up and running in no time. With their ingenious abilities and access to magical creations, Gnome Artificers are a force to be reckoned with in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.

When creating your Gnomish Artificer, it’s essential to prioritize Intelligence as your primary ability score. This will maximize your spellcasting and crafting abilities, allowing you to create incredible magic-infused items and weapons.

Equipment: To equip your Gnomish Artificer character, consider choosing a light hammer, a handaxe, a light crossbow, and medium armor. This equipment setup will provide you with a versatile and balanced approach to combat.

Artificer Infusions: As a Gnomish Artificer, you have the unique ability to infuse your creations with magical energy. Utilize Artificer Infusions to imbue your weapons and armor with powerful enchantments that enhance their effectiveness in battle. Experiment with different infusions and find the ones that suit your playstyle and complement your abilities.

In combat, your Gnomish Artificer can utilize a combination of infusions and spells to increase the efficiency of your weapons. Strategically choose spells that allow you to control the battlefield or deal significant damage to your enemies.

Gnomish Artificer Subclasses: When selecting a subclass for your Gnomish Artificer, consider the unique benefits each one offers:

Armorer: This subclass focuses on protecting yourself and your allies with powerful magical armor. Channel your inner inventor and create formidable suits of armor that grant you enhanced durability and offensive capabilities.

Battle Smith: The Battle Smith subclass combines the art of war with the craft of creation. Forge a bond with a magical companion and infuse your weapons with eldritch power, allowing you to excel both in combat and supporting your allies.

Artillerist: If you prefer explosive firepower, the Artillerist subclass is for you. Master the art of creating destructive magical cannons and turrets that rain devastation upon your foes.

Alchemist: As an Alchemist, you excel in crafting potions and elixirs to support your allies and heal their wounds. Combine your alchemical knowledge with your magical abilities to become a master of restorative magic.

Remember, this guide is just the beginning of your journey as a Gnomish Artificer. Experiment with different builds, spells, and infusions to find the playstyle that suits you best. Embrace your Gnomish ingenuity and creativity as you embark on epic adventures in the world of Dungeons and Dragons with your Gnomish Artificer character.

Creating a Gnomish Artificer

Gnomes are well-suited for the Artificer class, thanks to their inherent intelligence. When crafting your Gnomish Artificer, prioritize intelligence as your highest ability score. This will enhance your capabilities as an inventor, tinkerer, and magical craftsman.

Consider choosing the Forest Gnome or Rock Gnome subrace, as they provide additional benefits that align perfectly with the Artificer class. The Forest Gnome subrace offers natural illusion-related abilities, while the Rock Gnome subrace enhances your tinkering skills and knack for inventing.

When creating your Gnomish Artificer, it’s important to take advantage of the racial features that gnomes possess. Darkvision allows you to see in dim light and darkness, providing a clear advantage in various situations. Gnome Cunning grants you advantage on saving throws against magic, making you a formidable force to be reckoned with in battle.

Remember, your choice of subrace can also impact your character’s personality and backstory. Explore how each subrace’s traits and abilities can shape your Gnomish Artificer’s role in the world and provide depth to their narrative.

Quick Stats: Gnomish Artificer

Ability Score Increase Darkvision Gnome Cunning Subrace Benefits
Intelligence +2 Yes Advantage on saving throws against magic Additional benefits depending on subrace choice

Ability Scores and Skills

As an Artificer, Intelligence is the most important ability score for your character. This attribute enhances your spellcasting abilities and the effectiveness of your Artificer features. Therefore, prioritize Intelligence when assigning your ability scores.

The Rock Gnome subrace is an excellent choice for a Gnome Artificer, as it further boosts your intelligence. Their natural affinity for tinkering and technological knowledge complements the Artificer class perfectly.

In addition to Intelligence, consider allocating points to other abilities based on your desired playstyle. Constitution can enhance your survivability, providing more hit points and better defenses. Strength or Dexterity can improve your combat prowess, depending on whether you prefer melee or ranged attacks.

As for skills, Gnome Artificers have a wide range of options. When selecting your skills, choose two from the following list:

  • Arcana: Enhances your knowledge of magic and spellcasting.
  • History: Offers insights into the lore and past events.
  • Investigation: Helps you uncover hidden clues and discover secrets.
  • Medicine: Allows you to provide healing and medical aid.
  • Nature: Provides expertise in the natural world and its creatures.
  • Perception: Heightens your awareness and ability to spot details.
  • Sleight of Hand: Provides dexterity and nimbleness for certain tasks.

Consider selecting skills that align with your character’s backstory and playstyle. For example, if your Gnome Artificer has a fascination with ancient tomes and magical artifacts, choosing Arcana and History would be beneficial.

“Intelligence is the key to unlocking the full potential of a Gnome Artificer. Combine your technological know-how with your magical aptitude, and you’ll become an unstoppable force in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.”

Gnome Racial Features

Gnomes, with their unique racial features, bring a distinct flavor to the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Let’s explore the traits that set them apart and how they synergize with the Gnome Artificer class.

Ability Score Increase: Gnomes receive a +2 bonus to their Intelligence, making them naturally gifted when it comes to knowledge and problem-solving. This bonus greatly benefits Gnome Artificers, enhancing their spellcasting and crafting abilities.

Darkvision: Gnomes possess Darkvision, allowing them to see in dim light and darkness. This ability is especially useful in exploring dungeons and navigating hazardous environments, giving Gnome Artificers an advantage in low-light situations.

Gnome Cunning: One of the most notable features of Gnomes is their innate Gnome Cunning. This trait provides them with advantage on saving throws against magic, making them exceptionally resilient when facing spellcasting foes. Gnome Artificers can use their intellect and agility to outmaneuver magical threats and protect themselves and their allies.

The different Gnome subraces, such as Forest Gnome, Rock Gnome, and Svirfneblin, offer additional bonuses and abilities that further enhance the Gnome Artificer’s capabilities. Let’s take a closer look:

Gnome Subrace Bonus or Ability
Forest Gnome Cantrip: Minor Illusion
+1 bonus to Dexterity saves
Rock Gnome Artificer’s Lore (proficiency with Artisan’s tools)
Tinker (ability to create small mechanical objects)
Svirfneblin Superior Darkvision (120 feet)
Gnomish Magic (ability to cast Nondetection and Blindness/Deafness)

These subraces grant Gnome Artificers unique abilities and bonuses that can be tailored to fit different playstyles. Consider the specific advantages each subrace offers when creating your Gnome Artificer character.

Skills and Backgrounds

As a Gnome Artificer, you have the opportunity to choose two skills from a diverse list that includes Arcana, History, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, and Sleight of Hand. These skills represent different areas of expertise that can greatly contribute to your character’s abilities and role within the party. Consider the relevance of these skills to the tinkering nature of an Artificer and the unique problem-solving challenges you may face during your adventures.

When selecting a background for your Gnome Artificer, the Guild Artisan background is an excellent choice. This background provides proficiency in artisan’s tools, allowing you to showcase your mastery in crafting and tinkering. The Guild Artisan background aligns perfectly with the ingenuity and resourcefulness inherent in the Artificer class, and it can open up various roleplaying opportunities and plot hooks related to guilds and crafters.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the skills available to Gnome Artificers:

Skill Description
Arcana Gaining knowledge about magic, spells, and magical phenomena.
History Recalling information about past events, ancient civilizations, and historical figures.
Investigation Examining and probing objects, locations, and mysteries to uncover hidden information.
Medicine Providing first aid, diagnosing illnesses, and administering remedies.
Nature Understanding and interacting with the natural world, creatures, and environments.
Perception Noticing details, spotting hidden creatures or objects, and sensing danger.
Sleight of Hand Performing acts of manual dexterity, such as picking locks or palming small objects.

Choosing Skills

When deciding which skills to prioritize, consider your character’s strengths, weaknesses, and the needs of your party. For example, if your party lacks someone with strong magical knowledge, choosing Arcana could be beneficial. On the other hand, if you want your character to excel at detecting traps or hidden enemies, Perception may be the skill to focus on.

Remember, your character’s skills are an essential toolset that can significantly impact your effectiveness in various situations. Think about your preferred playstyle and the type of challenges your DM sets before making a final decision.

“With my keen perception and knowledge of arcane arts, I can unravel the mysteries that hide in every corner of this world.” – [Character Name], Gnome Artificer

By carefully selecting skills that complement your character’s abilities and roleplaying possibilities, you can enhance your Gnome Artificer’s versatility and impact on your Dungeons and Dragons adventures. With the Guild Artisan background and a mastery of skills relevant to your character’s interests, you are well on your way to becoming a truly remarkable Gnome Artificer.

Starting Gear and Infusions

As a Gnome Artificer, your starting gear is essential for your adventuring journey. Make sure to equip yourself with the right tools and weapons to maximize your effectiveness. Here is a breakdown of the starting gear for a Gnome Artificer:

Simple weapons

Light crossbow with bolts

Armor (studded leather or scale mail)

Thieves’ tools

In addition to the standard starting gear, you have the flexibility to add a personal touch to your arsenal. Consider incorporating a light hammer or reskinning a great club to suit your character’s style and thematic preferences.

As an Artificer, one of your core features is the ability to infuse items with magical properties. Infusions allow you to create powerful magical items and enhance the efficiency of your weapons and armor. Here are a few examples of Artificer infusions:

  • Enhanced Weapon – imbue your weapon with magical properties for increased damage or special effects.
  • Replicate Magic Item – create a copy of a magical item, granting you its benefits.
  • Enhanced Defense – reinforce your armor to provide additional protection in combat.
  • Returning Weapon – modify a thrown weapon to return to your hand after being thrown.

Choose infusions that align with your character’s playstyle and the needs of your party. By carefully selecting and utilizing infusions, you can become a versatile and indispensable member of your adventuring group.

Gnomish Artificer Infusion Example

Infusion Description
Enhanced Weapon Infuse a weapon with magical energy, granting a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with it.
Replicate Magic Item Choose a common or uncommon magic item and create a nonmagical replica, gaining its benefits until the infusion ends.
Enhanced Defense Reinforce a suit of armor, granting a +1 bonus to AC while wearing it.
Returning Weapon Modify a thrown weapon to return to your hand after being thrown, eliminating the need to retrieve it.

Customize your character’s gear and infusions to suit your unique playstyle and enhance your effectiveness in combat and exploration.

Subclasses and Feats

The choice of subclass greatly impacts the abilities and playstyle of your Gnome Artificer character. There are four subclasses available for the Gnome Artificer:

  1. Alchemist: This subclass focuses on healing and support abilities, allowing you to create potent potions and elixirs to aid your allies in battle.
  2. Armorer: With the Armorer subclass, you gain the ability to transform your own body into a suit of magical armor, granting you both defensive and offensive capabilities.
  3. Artillerist: Choose the Artillerist subclass if you prefer explosive firepower. You can summon a magical turret and unleash powerful spells to rain destruction upon your foes.
  4. Battle Smith: The Battle Smith subclass combines defense and combat prowess. You’ll have a loyal steel defender companion and gain the ability to enhance weapons and armor.

To further enhance your character’s capabilities, consider choosing feats that complement your desired playstyle and abilities. Here are some feats that work well for Gnome Artificers:

  1. Keen Mind: Improve your Intelligence score and gain the ability to remember everything you’ve experienced with precision.
  2. Resilient: Increase your Constitution score and gain proficiency in Constitution saving throws, improving your durability in combat.
  3. Elemental Adept: Choose a damage type associated with your spells, and when you cast spells of that type, you can bypass resistance to that damage.

These feats can add a unique flavor to your Gnome Artificer character and give you additional abilities to use in and out of combat.

Gnome Artificer Subclasses and Feats

Subclass Description
Alchemist Focuses on healing and support abilities, creating beneficial potions and elixirs.
Armorer Transforms your body into magical armor, providing both defense and offense.
Artillerist Summons a magical turret and specializes in explosive firepower.
Battle Smith Combines combat prowess with the ability to enhance weapons and armor.
Feats Description
Keen Mind Improved Intelligence and perfect recall of information.
Resilient Increased Constitution and proficiency in Constitution saving throws.
Elemental Adept Bypass resistance to a chosen spell damage type.

Roleplaying as a Gnome Artificer

Gnomes are known for their endless curiosity, creativity, and enjoyment of life. Embrace these traits when roleplaying your Gnome Artificer character. Use their spells, infusions, and other features in creative and inventive ways. Consider how their background, subrace, and class abilities shape their personality, backstory, and motivations. Engage with your fellow party members, NPCs, and the world around you to bring your Gnome Artificer to life.

Embracing Curiosity and Creativity

As a Gnome Artificer, your character is driven by an insatiable desire to explore, discover, and invent. Approach situations with a sense of wonder and the determination to find innovative solutions. Use your Artificer spells, such as Create or Destroy Water, to creatively overcome obstacles. Experiment with different infusions and magical items to demonstrate your character’s inventive nature.

Shaping Personality and Backstory

Consider how your Gnome Artificer’s background and subrace influence their personality and backstory. For example, a Forest Gnome Artificer may have a close bond with nature and be more in touch with the natural world, while a Rock Gnome Artificer may have a deep affinity for tinkering and invention. Let these aspects inform your character’s quirks, motivations, and unique approach to problem-solving.

“Curiosity is what drives me to uncover the secrets of the arcane, to create wonders that have never been seen before.” – Marigold Copperthistle, Gnome Artificer

Collaborating and Networking

As a Gnome Artificer, your character thrives in social interactions and collaboration. Engage with your fellow party members during downtime, offering to repair or enhance their equipment with your Artificer abilities. Forge relationships with NPCs who are interested in artifice, magic, or intellectual pursuits, expanding your network of contacts and resources. Use your natural charm and wit to diffuse tense situations and build rapport with others.

The Balance of Art and Science

While your Gnome Artificer excels in the realms of magic and invention, remember to strike a balance between creativity and practicality. Consider the consequences of your actions and the potential risks involved. Maintain a disciplined approach to your craft, ensuring that your creations are both aesthetically pleasing and functionally effective.

Suggested Personality Traits

Here are some personality traits that you may consider for your Gnome Artificer character:

  • Inquisitive: Always curious and eager to learn, your character constantly seeks new knowledge and experiences.
  • Resourceful: Your character excels at finding innovative solutions to problems, using whatever materials are at hand.
  • Enthusiastic: Your character approaches life with a contagious enthusiasm, bringing joy and energy to those around them.
  • Persistent: No obstacle is too difficult to overcome. Your character perseveres through challenges with unwavering determination.

In Summary

When roleplaying as a Gnome Artificer, embrace curiosity, creativity, and a desire for discovery. Use your character’s spells and infusions in inventive ways, and let their background and subrace shape their personality and motivations. Collaborate with others, both in your party and in the world, and strive for a balanced approach between art and science. By embracing these traits, you can bring your Gnome Artificer to life and create a memorable character in your Dungeons and Dragons adventures.


The combination of the Gnome race and the Artificer class in Dungeons and Dragons 5E offers a unique and powerful character build. Gnome Artificers excel in intelligence-based abilities, infusing their gear with magic, and creating awe-inspiring inventions. By prioritizing intelligence as the primary ability score and making strategic choices in skills, gear, and subclasses, Gnome Artificers can become versatile and impactful characters within their party.

Whether you choose the Armorer subclass for enhanced defense, the Alchemist subclass for potent healing abilities, the Artillerist subclass for lethal explosive firepower, or the Battle Smith subclass for a blend of combat and support capabilities, your Gnome Artificer can be tailored to suit your preferred playstyle. Additionally, selecting feats that complement your character’s abilities can further enhance their effectiveness in combat and in roleplaying scenarios.

When playing a Gnome Artificer, harness your character’s natural curiosity, inventiveness, and love for life. Embrace their role as creators and tinkers, using their spells, infusions, and inventions in imaginative and resourceful ways. Engage with your fellow party members, NPCs, and the world around you, allowing your Gnome Artificer’s personality to shine. By fully embracing the spirit of this character build, you can become a true force to be reckoned with in the world of Dungeons and Dragons 5E.


What is a Gnome Artificer?

A Gnome Artificer is a character build in Dungeons and Dragons 5E that combines the Gnome race with the Artificer class. It is an intelligent and inventive character that excels in creating magical items and enhancing weapons and armor.

How should I build a Gnomish Artificer?

Prioritize Intelligence as your primary ability score and choose light hammer, handaxe, light crossbow, and medium armor as your starting equipment. Utilize Artificer Infusions to create magical items and enhance your weapons. Consider different Gnomish Artificer subclasses like Armorer, Battle Smith, Artillerist, and Alchemist.

Why are Gnomes a good fit for the Artificer class?

Gnomes have racial bonuses to Intelligence, making them a natural choice for an Artificer. Their racial features like Darkvision and Gnome Cunning also provide advantages in certain situations. The choice of subrace can further enhance your Gnome Artificer’s abilities and backstory.

Which ability scores and skills should I focus on when creating a Gnomish Artificer?

Prioritize Intelligence as your highest ability score. Consider Constitution, Strength, or Dexterity to enhance your survivability or combat prowess. Select two skills from Arcana, History, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, and Sleight of Hand that align with your character’s abilities and backstory.

What are the racial features of Gnomes?

Gnomes have a +2 bonus to Intelligence from their Ability Score Increase. They also possess Darkvision, which allows them to see in dim light and darkness. Gnome Cunning provides advantage on saves against magic. The Forest Gnome, Rock Gnome, and Svirfneblin subraces offer additional bonuses and abilities.

What skills and background are recommended for a Gnome Artificer?

Gnome Artificers can choose two skills from a list that includes Arcana, History, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, and Sleight of Hand. The Guild Artisan background is a great choice as it provides proficiency in artisan’s tools and complements the tinkering nature of the Artificer class.

What starting gear and infusions should I choose for my Gnome Artificer?

The starting gear for a Gnome Artificer includes simple weapons, a light crossbow with bolts, and a choice of studded leather or scale mail armor. Consider adding a light hammer or reskinning a great club as a thematic weapon choice. Choose infusions that align with your character’s playstyle and the needs of your party.

Which subclasses and feats work well with a Gnome Artificer?

Consider the Alchemist subclass for healing and support, the Armorer subclass for defensive and offensive capabilities, the Artillerist subclass for explosive firepower, or the Battle Smith subclass for a combination of defense and combat prowess. Feats can further enhance your character’s abilities, so choose ones that complement your desired playstyle.

How should I roleplay a Gnome Artificer?

Embrace the curiosity, creativity, and enjoyment of life that are characteristic of Gnomes. Use your spells, infusions, and other features in creative and inventive ways. Consider how your character’s background, subrace, and class abilities shape their personality, backstory, and motivations.

What makes the combination of Gnome and Artificer powerful?

The Gnome race’s bonuses to Intelligence and the Artificer class’s focus on magical item creation and enhancement make for a versatile and impactful character build. By prioritizing intelligence and utilizing the abilities, skills, and gear options available to Gnome Artificers, you can create a unique and powerful character.

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