D&D 5e: Halfling Artificer Guide
Halflings, before the legal threats by Tolkien’s estate, were perhaps better known as Hobbits by anyone familiar with the Lord of The Rings. It’s because of this association that one need not think too hard about what makes a halfling special, for they remain rather faithful to the material that inspired them – small, practical, and curious creatures that have a taste for the comforts of home, even when they’re on the road. These are natures that, quite surprisingly, make for an excellent artificer.
How to Make a Halfling Artificer
Intelligence is, and I cannot stress this enough, your absolute most important stat as an artificer. It is the one thing that determines how good every single class feature and skill is, as well as being your spellcasting modifier. Try and keep this stat as high as you can, and everything else is a matter of preference.
With proficiency in light and medium armor as well as shields, your dexterity score might see you to a decent armor class, and with a d8 hit die, consider your constitution as well if you want a large hp pool.
You’ll be better off as a Stout halfling rather than Lightfoot, as the constitution score will help keep you alive. Ask your DM about Tasha’s alternate origin for your halfling though, as dex is unlikely to be of much use.
The Artificer Specialists subclasses are themselves fantastic and varied, Alchemist being a lot of fun (while also arguably the weakest), with Artillerist and Battle Smith gaining a walking cannon or a robotic pet respectively.
Finally, there’s the Armorer which allows you to become a fantasy Iron Man. I will take a moment here to point out something else – Armorer gains access to heavy armor and can ignore the strength requirement. Considering that you won’t need your dexterity for armor class, nor your strength for attacks, this lets you play a high intelligence, high armor class character that can really dish out pain while having stats only where you actually want them.
How to Play a Halfling Artificer
So we know how to build an artificer but… what IS an artificer? It’s your combination of a mad scientist, inventive wizard, arcane engineer, and all things in between.
How you play in combat will vary wildly depending on your Artificer Specialist. If you’re an Artillerist, you’re likely to be raining down firepower, whereas an Alchemist might be supporting, or an Armorer or Battle Smith will be somewhere in between that or on the front lines.
It’s worth noting, no matter what your subclass is, that your core class features still include essentially creating magic items and casting spells, so keep that in mind when you’re strategizing how you want to be effective with your party.
How to Roleplay as a Halfling Artificer
Artificers are commonly stereotyped as the classic mad scientist or hyper-focused inventor, likely in no small part thanks to the cultural influence of Gnomes and Goblins in Warcraft, however, you can invent your artificer any way you please.
Consider a background that explains how your character learned their skills, and remember that your spellcasting almost becomes roleplay, given that your spells are explained through the use of gadgets.
Rather than casting a fireball, you might be releasing a charge of your magic into the fireball launcher that you built, and vice versa. This class allows you to get very creative, but ask your DM for ways that you can do this while still respecting whatever setting you’re running in, they might not appreciate you describing your magic weapon as a lightsaber.