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I'm considering incorporating 2 levels of the Chameleon prestige class into my Artificer build. I'm curious about the potential advantages this multiclassing could offer. From your experience, what do you see as the main benefits of blending these two classes? How could the versatility and adaptability of the Chameleon complement the abilities of an Artificer?

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Two levels of chameleon means you get a feat you can change daily.¹ That means that any item-creation feat you don’t have, you can get. Since you can only really use one item-creation feat in a given day anyway, you have effective access to every item-creation feat you meet the prerequisites for—which combined with the artificer’s innate ability to meet items’ spell requirements, means you can create almost all the items in the game,² once you reach sufficient level.

You can also swap the feat to something more combat-oriented on days you’re crafting with one of the item-creation feats you actually have, which is nice.

The downsides are that you stop taking artificer levels, forcing you to take Practiced Spellcaster to keep your caster level up, delaying important class features like bonus feats, metamagic spell trigger, and skill mastery, and damaging your infusion progression. You could wait until you’re a 14th-level artificer to start taking chameleon levels, at which point you’d have little to lose, but that means not having chameleon’s floating feat until ECL 16th. The Able Learner feat that chameleon requires is also pretty useless without multiclassing—chameleon will “pay you back” for that, but you have to take Able Learner at 1st and so delaying chameleon 2nd until ECL 16th is a long time to wait for that return.

This combination is much more popular for warlocks, who get an ability, imbue item, that is similar to an artificer’s item creation ability. The reasons why it’s more popular for warlocks are pretty simple: warlock is a weaker class, and so has less to lose by multiclassing; a warlock doesn’t get imbue item until 12th, and so has no use for item-creation feats before then and so probably doesn’t have any; and artificers get a ton of bonus item-creation feats anyway, so they definitely have most of the item-creation feats they might want. Being able to swap around Extra Invocation on days not spent crafting—or before imbue item is available—is pretty nice too, more so than most of an artificer’s options there.

Ultimately, as an artificer, you don’t really need the benefits that chameleon provides. There are very few item-creation feats that you don’t get by default, and those feats are near-universally very, very niche. It’s just not worth it.

  1. You also get aptitude focus, which gets you some spellcasting, but without more levels of chameleon it’s nothing you couldn’t do more easily via crafted items.

  2. You still cannot make those that require things beyond feats or spells, which is a small minority of items but still a large number in absolute terms. If you combine the psionic artificer from Magic of Eberron with the ruling in Magic Item Compendium that claims a psionic crafter can substitute appropriate powers for the spells to create psionic versions of all magic items, you cover a huge proportion of items.

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