Steel Defender – Upgrades

Steel Defender – Upgrades

 

Level

Upgrades Slots

New Upgrades Available

3

1

Arcane Link, Arcane Sensors, Charge Attack, Defensive Array, Flexible Plates, Grapple, High Tension Springs, Improved Repertoire, Larger Chassis, Locomotive Adaptation, Longer Reach, Powerful Build, Precision Instruments, Reserve Power, Riding Harness, Runic Engravings, Smoke Screen

4

1

5

1

Extra Attack

6

2

Clockwork Brain, Greater Runic Engravings, Hair Trigger Springs, Overload, Relentless, Slight Frame, Upgraded Build

7

2

Flame Spout

8

2

9

2

Cloaking Mechanism, Upgraded Sensor Array

10

3

11

3

12

3

13

3

Advanced Materials, Magically Warded, Nimble Flight Control

14

4

15

4

16

4

17

4

Arcane Shielding, Overdrive, Spark of Intellect

18

5

19

5

20

5

 

→ Each time you level in the Artificer class, you may replace any upgrade you have given your Steel Defender with any other that you meet the requirements for.

→ The available slots are limited by your intelligence modifier. Your Steel Defender cannot have more slots than your modifier.

 

Advanced Materials

Prerequisite: 13th level Artificer

By utilizing rare ore in upgrading the steel defender’s armor, it gains resistance against bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

 

Arcane Link

You develop an arcane link with your steel defender’s sensors. As an action, you can don or doff a special mechanism which allows you to see through your defender’s eyes and hear what it hears while it is within 100 feet of you. During this time, you gain the benefits of any special senses the defender has, and you are blind and deaf with regard to your own senses.

This mechanism is uniquely calibrated to you. If another creature uses the mechanism, they receive no information.

 

Arcane Shielding

Prerequisite: 17th level Artificer

You install a device which can generate a bubble of arcane energy. As a reaction the steel defender can activate the shield. While the shield is active the defender gains resistance to all damage for 1 minute.

Once your defender uses this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before it can use it again.

 

Arcane Sensors

Utilizing an array of magical sensors of your own design, you enable your steel defender to detect threats with greater ease. The defender gains advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks.

 

Charge Attack

By upgrading the steel defender to be more nimble at high speeds, it gains the ability to attack while dashing. When the defender uses its action to dash, it can make a single Force-Empowered Rend attack or shove a creature as part of that dash.

If the defender moves at least 10 feet in a straight line immediately before taking this action, either its proficiency bonus to its Force-Empowered Rend damage is doubled, (if it makes an attack and hits) or it pushes the target up to 10 feet away from it (if it succeeds on the shove).

 

Cloaking Mechanism

Prerequisite: 9th level Artificer

Through a series of enhancements, magical and mechanical, you create an advanced stealth system. As an action, the steel defender can become invisible. The invisibility ends after one hour, or if the defender attacks or casts a spell.

Once your defender uses this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before it can use it again.

 

Clockwork Brain

Prerequisite: 6th level Artificer

You design a clockwork brain and install it into your steel defender. The defender gains an intelligence score of 6, and allows it to utilize items imbued with your infusion with the exception of weapons and arcane foci. It gains the ability to speak the languages that you know.

 

Defensive Array

By upgrading the steel defender's protective plates and shielding, you allow it to defend itself more effectively. The defender can now use shields and always has a shield available.

 

Extra Attack

Prerequisite: 5th level Artificer

Faster moving appendages allow the steel defender to attack rapidly. The defender can make two Force-Empowered Rend attacks whenever it takes that action on its turn.

 

Flame Spout

Prerequisite: 7th level Artificer

The steel defender is upgraded with a flame weapon. As an action, the defender can send out a blast of fire. Each creature in a 5 ft wide 60 ft line starting from the defender extending in a direction of your choice must make a Dexterity saving throw against you spell save DC. A target takes 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

This damage increases to 10d6 at 13th level and 12d6 at 17th level.

Once your defender uses this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before it can use it again.

 

Flexible Plates

You reinforce the steel defender's joints and exposed areas. The defender’s AC becomes 16 (natural armor).

 

Grapple

You upgrade the body of your steel defender, outfitting them with hooks, clamps, or another appropriate addition. When the defender attacks a target with their Force-Empowered Rend, the defender can use its reaction to attempt to grapple the target.

 

Greater Runic Engravings

Prerequisite: 6th level Artificer, Runic Engravings upgrade

By inscribing more powerful arcane runes onto your steel defender, it is able to utilize more spellcasting abilities. The defender learns a cantrip of your choice. It uses your spellcasting ability.

Hair Trigger Springs

Prerequisite: 6th level Artificer

By honing your steel defender’s reaction times, it becomes able to avoid damage with lightning reflexes. When forced to make a dexterity saving throw to avoid taking damage, the defender takes half damage on a failed save, and no damage on a success.

 

High Tension Springs

Utilizing springs made of a superior alloy, you increase the steel defender’s movement speed. Your defender's base land speed increases by 10 ft. If the defender has other movement types, their speed also increases by 10 ft.

 

Improved Repertoire

You make modifications to the steel defender that allow it to perform certain tasks more effectively. The defender gains proficiency in a skill of your choice. You can select this upgrade multiple times.

 

Larger Chassis

You upgrade the chassis of your steel defender to create a larger, more powerful frame. The size of your defender increases to large.

Additionally, the defender’s hit die becomes d10 and its constitution score increases to 16. Hit points are recalculated when this upgrade is taken as follows: 4 + your intelligence modifier + five times your artificer level.

As an action, the defender can temporarily reduce to the size of medium as its internal parts and multiple joints compress on itself. It can then return to its large size without any action, or after 10 minutes. Remaining compressed for more than 10 minutes causes the defender to suffer 1d6 fire damage at the start of each of its turns, as its internal energy begin to overheat due to the lack of space.

 

Locomotive Adaptation

You attach fins, webbing, grappling hooks, burrowing claws, or other appropriate locomotive aids. The steel defender gains a swim speed equal to its highest speed, a climb speed equal to its highest speed, or a burrowing speed equal to half its highest speed. You can select this upgrade multiple times.

 

Longer Reach

Prerequisite: Large size

You increase the reach of your steel defender’s melee attack, by adding tentacles, lengthening arms, or another appropriate modification. The defender's range for Force-Empowered Rend increases by 5 feet.

 

Magically Warded

Prerequisite: 13th level Artificer

You provide strong antimagic enchantments for your steel defender. The defender has advantage on saving throws against spells.

 

Nimble Flight Control

Prerequisite: 13th level Artificer

You attach wings, propellers, or propulsion to your steel defender, enabling it to fly. It gains a fly speed equal to 20 feet. Additionally, it does not provoke opportunity attacks while flying.

 

Overdrive

Prerequisite: 17th level Artificer

You develop a system which allows your steel defender to generate a surge of energy for a short flurry of activity. As an action, the defender may double its speed until the end of its turn. The defender may then make a single Force-Empowered Rend attack against each creature it can reach during its turn. It has advantage on attack rolls, and opportunity attacks have disadvantage against it.

Once your defender uses this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before it can use it again.

 

Overload

Prerequisite: 6th level Artificer

The steel defender is upgraded with an energy discharge weapon. As an action, the defender can release a blast of acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, or thunder energy from its body. Each creature within a 20 ft cone must make a Dexterity saving throw against your spell save DC. A target takes 5d10 damage of the given element on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

This damage increases to 6d10 at 13th level and 7d10 at 17th level.

Once your defender uses this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before it can use it again.

 

Powerful Build

You strengthen the lifting and pulling capabilities of your steel defender. The defender counts as one size larger when determining its carrying capacity and the weight it can push, drag, or lift.

 

Precision Instruments

You graft fine tools onto your steel defender allowing it to adeptly perform specific tasks. The defender gains three tool proficiencies of your choice, and it always has those tools available. You can select this upgrade multiple times.

 

Relentless

Prerequisite: 6th level Artificer

A variety of backup systems are installed into your steel defender. If the defender takes damage that would reduce it to 0 hit points, it instead is reduced to 1.

Once your defender uses this feature, you must finish a long rest before it can use it again.

 

Reserve Power

You install a node for conducting magical energy, enchanted to spontaneously repair your steel defender. Whenever the defender uses its Repair ability, you can expend a spell slot to restore an additional 2d8 hit points to it.

When you expend a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the healing increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 1st.

 

Riding Harness

You design and craft a special saddle or harness to aid in using the steel defender as a mount. When an attack targets a creature that is using the defender as a mount, your defender can force the attack to target itself instead. This saddle or harness functions as an exotic saddle.

 

Runic Engravings

By inscribing arcane runes onto your steel defender, it is able to utilize some spellcasting abilities. The defender learns a cantrip that requires a ranged spell attack. It uses your spell attack modifier to hit. The defender can cast this cantrip without any verbal, somatic, or material components. You can select this upgrade multiple times.

 

Slight Frame

Prerequisite: 6th level Artificer

You remove excess and redundant parts from your steel defender, giving it a leaner design. The steel defender can fit through a space that is large enough for a creature one size smaller than it without being subjected to Squeezing.

 

Smoke Screen

You attach a mechanism capable of creating a 20-foot-radius sphere of thick grey smoke centered on a point within 120 feet. The sphere spreads around corners, and its area is heavily obscured. It lasts for 1 minute or until a wind of moderate or greater speed (at least 10 miles per hour) disperses it.

Once your defender uses this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before it can use it again.

 

Spark of Intellect

Prerequisite: 17th level Artificer, Clockwork Brain Upgrade

Through an inexplicable breakthrough in the design of the clockwork brain, your steel defender gains an Intelligence score of 13.

Choose two level 1 spells and a single level 2 spell from the artificer spell list. The defender can spontaneously cast each of those spells once per short rest, without providing material components. It uses your spellcasting ability.

 

Upgraded Build

Prerequisite: 6th level Artificer

You improve upon the foundation of your steel defender's build. Choose one ability score from Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or Wisdom. The defender's score for the chosen ability becomes 16, if the score was already 16 or higher, you add 2 to the score, up to a maximum of 20.

 

Upgraded Sensor Array

Prerequisite: 9th level Artificer, Arcane Sensors upgrade

You work to advance the sensor modules on your steel defender. The defender gains blindsight out to a range of 30 feet.

In addition, the defender can make a perception check to search for hidden enemies as a reaction instead of an action.

 

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