I’m playing a wandslinger-themed artificer (with an eye toward the Artillerist subclass) in an urban Eberron campaign. Given the predominantly close-quarters combat environments, it would be useful not to have disadvantage on spell attacks whilst within 5 feet of hostile creatures. Granted, I could avoid this problem by taking a save-based cantrip such as frostbite, but I’d rather not. Attack-based spells feel like a better fit for the “wand as gun” theme, not to mention that they benefit from critical hits. And the class’s limited number of cantrips make it tough to take more than one offensive choice, given the other excellent options available (e.g., guidance).
Two feats published to date provide a means to avoid disadvantage at melee range: Crossbow Expert and Gunner. Both include the following among their benefits:
Being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls.
That would work — but the other benefits granted by these feats are largely irrelevant to me. I don’t plan on using a crossbow, so Crossbow Expert’s crossbow-related benefits likely won’t come into play. Gunner provides a +1 to DEX, which I don’t really need, and other benefits relating to traditional firearms, which do not exist in our Eberron. (Even if they did, the feat’s grant of proficiency in firearms would likely be duplicative of the proficiency optionally granted by the artificer class.)
My table-mates are open to a homebrew option as long as it’s balanced. Using other feats for comparison (e.g., Gunner, Artificer Initiate, Spell Sniper, and Fey Touched), here is what have in mind to propose:
Prerequisite: The ability to cast at least one spell
You have learned to use certain spells more effectively in close quarters, granting you the following benefits:
- Increase your Intelligence score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- Being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls.
- You learn one cantrip that requires an attack roll. Choose the cantrip from the artificer spell list. Your spellcasting ability for this cantrip is Intelligence.
Is this homebrew feat roughly on par with official feats? To be clear, my intention is to approximate the benefits of Gunner, except with a granted cantrip instead of granted proficiency in firearms. I think I’ve done that. But is there some balance problem I’m missing?