I'm going to run a 4th Tier One-Shot very soon, I have told all my players to build a 20th level character. One player built a powerful artificer (armorer subclass) that outshines every other PC, I will provide his saves, AC and so on:


  • Strength: +13
  • Dexterity: +7
  • Constitution: +17
  • Intellogence: +19
  • Wisdom: +16
  • Charisma: +6

AC: 26

HP: 183

Temporary HP: 20

Spell DC save: 20

Spell attack bonus: +12

I am perplexed and, to be frank, a little frightened by those saves, the AC too. I have also double checked his character sheet and nothing is wrong or miscalculated.

Should I nerf this build? If Yes, how?

I did not know well this class, I think I made an error allowing it, didn't I?

How would you balance this situation?

PS: I'd like to specify that I am NOT a long experienced DM, I have run other epic level one-shots before and those went fine, but I clearly lack of experience.

PPS: if necessary I'll post the complete character sheet.

EDIT: the one-shot has gone pretty crazy but, despite what I initially thought, the Artificer was pretty underpowered. He was certainly tough, but his output damage was totally fine.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Why do you think this player will outclass others? Artificers have high defenses, but don't have 4 attacks like Fighters, don't resist all damage like Barbarians, don't have 9th level spells like many casters, unlimited WildShapes like Druids, etc. Are you sure this will be a problem? \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Apr 14, 2020 at 21:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would suggest posting the full sheet, or at least a link to it \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Apr 14, 2020 at 21:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ How exactly does this outclass the other 20th level characters? \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    Apr 14, 2020 at 21:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BlueMoon93 I absolutely don't know, I have never seen this class in action and I am practically new as a DM, so I don't know what to expect. \$\endgroup\$
    – Verdict00
    Apr 14, 2020 at 22:08
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri I will post the character's full sheet. \$\endgroup\$
    – Verdict00
    Apr 14, 2020 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


This doesn't seem like it will obviously cause a problem.

This character's AC is 26; most CR20 creatures seem to have around a +14 to hit, which means they will hit on a 12 or greater, so this character can avoid 55% of attacks due to AC. That's reasonable, and it's actually a bit low for a tanky character.

Many of this character's saves are very high, but the most common save is Dex and that is this character's weakest save.

I recommend you look at the encounters in your scenario in more detail, and think about which of the encounters this character could trivially be immune to based on their saves and AC. Probably there aren't any encounters like that. If there's just one encounter like that, consider leaving the encounter in, and letting the player be happy about having a good character. If there's more than one encounter which this character will be immune to, you should either change the encounters or ban the artificer class and ask the player to build a new character.

(Players don't like having their class banned. The one time I did this, the player subsequently dropped out of my game. I recommend saving that for a last resort!)


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