The Arcanist

This is a Basic Class for a game that Sister Acacia is potentially going to run later. Like all Basic Classes, it is taken from levels 1 to 10, after which you have to take a Prestige Class.

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In the world of Artimoi, plenty of people can cast a few minor spells. There are a lot of Talents that let people utilise a small amount of magic, after all. But it is the Arcanist that truly has power over magic. Whilst they are all limited in that they only have access to roughly half the schools of magic, they can still cast a great many spells, and have access to the most powerful ones, as well as methods of making their magic stronger. Arcanists are not mistrusted as "witches" who bring ruin and woe, instead they are welcomed as people who can solve a lot of problems… although it is understood that they tend to be frail, and sometimes need to be carried around when they run out of stamina.

Class Attributes

Hit Points: 2 + Con Bonus per level (x4 at first level)
Skill Points: 2 + Int Bonus per level (x4 at first level)
Class Skills: Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Lore (Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int)
Weapon and Armour Proficiencies: the Arcanist is only proficient with the Quarterstaff, Dagger, Crossbow and Club.

Playing an Arcanist: Intelligence is the single most important Ability Score for an Arcanist. After that, it depends largely on what you want to do, but good Dexterity and Constitution scores would not be amiss. You should probably try not to be the first person enemies attack, because although you have great power at your disposal, if you are caught off-guard you might die before you can even unleash that power.

Remember that although the Arcanist can do a lot of things, they can't do everything. No matter how you specialise, there are four schools of magic that are unavailable to you.

The Arcanist

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Class Features
1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Spellcasting, Focused Specialist
2 +1 +0 +0 +3 -
3 +1 +1 +1 +3 -
4 +2 +1 +1 +4 -
5 +2 +1 +1 +4 -
6 +3 +2 +2 +5 -
7 +3 +2 +2 +5 -
8 +4 +2 +2 +6 -
9 +4 +3 +3 +6 -
10 +5 +3 +3 +7 -

Spells per Day

Level Cantrips 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1 2+3 0+3 - - - -
2 3+3 1+3 - - - -
3 3+3 1+3 0+3 - - -
4 3+3 2+3 1+3 - - -
5 3+3 2+3 1+3 0+3 - -
6 3+3 2+3 2+3 1+3 - -
7 3+3 3+3 2+3 1+3 0+3 -
8 3+3 3+3 2+3 2+3 1+3 -
9 3+3 3+3 3+3 2+3 1+3 0+3
10 3+3 3+3 3+3 2+3 2+3 1+3

In addition to this, the Arcanist gains access to Arcanist Talents when selecting their Bonus Talent each level.

Class Features

Spellcasting

Instead of having a whole bunch of increasingly powerful class features, the Arcanist has one main class feature, that grows a lot each level. She casts Arcane Spells, drawn from the Arcanist Spell List found here: Spell Lists (CotDK). To begin with, she knows all Cantrips that are not banned to her (see below), as well as a number of first-level spells equal to her Intelligence Bonus plus six. At least three of these spells must be drawn from her school of Specialisation (see below). At each level, she automatically learns four new spells, although at least two of them must be from her school of Specialisation. She may spend an hour to learn a new spell from a scroll or book at any time, providing it is a spell she is able to cast.

The Arcanist has to prepare spells ahead of time. After getting eight hours of rest, she must spend fifteen minutes working out which spells to prepare. Use the "Spells per Day" table above to determine how many spells are learned. The number before the plus is affected by Bonus Spells from a high Intelligence score, and can be any spell of the level that she is able to cast. The number after the plus is not affected by a high Intelligence score, and must be drawn from her Specialist school.

The Arcanist suffers Arcane Spell Failure for any spell that has Somatic Components (most spells) when wearing Armour or using a Shield.

The Caster Level for any Spell is equal to her level, and any Save DC is 10 + half her level + her Intelligence Bonus.

Focused Specialist

Every Arcanist has to specialise, and indeed hyper-specialise. Based on the chosen school, four other schools are banned to the Focused Specialist. She cannot learn or cast those spells, and cannot even activate wands, scrolls or staves of those spells (without the Use Magic Device skill).

  • Abjuration: Evocation, Enchantment, Necromancy and Illusion are banned
  • Conjuration: Abjuration, Transmutation, Enchantment and Divination are banned
  • Divination: Illusion, Evocation, Transmutation and Abjuration are banned
  • Enchantment: Illusion, Divination, Conjuration and Necromancy are banned
  • Evocation: Divination, Conjuration, Necromancy and Transmutation are banned
  • Illusion: Enchantment, Conjuration, Abjuration and Necromancy are banned
  • Necromancy: Illusion, Enchantment, Evocation and Transmutation are banned
  • Transmutation: Conjuration, Abjuration, Evocation and Divination are banned

Prestige Classes

Any Prestige Class for the Arcanist should absolutely be one that continues their spellcasting, until they end up casting 9th level Spells. Here are some examples:

Arch Mage

The ideal instructors, these casters unlock three of their Banned schools, get to add some Divine Domains to their casting, can apply meta-magic on the fly to their spells and the spells of others, and have a versatile way of reducing spell slots of some levels so as to get extra spell slots of other levels. Eventually they can once per day cast any single spell from any list ever, without preparation.

Dedicated Master

Taking specialisation to a new level, these mages barely care for any spells outside of their preferred School, and cast them with even greater might. They have to ban a fifth school, but power up their focused one, get to choose a few individual spells that are super-charged, get a certain amount of automatic meta-magic applied to their favourite school, and can overcharge spells during preparation.

Lexicarnum

The Arcanist changes their specialty, focusing on the magic of words and language. They become good at using Power Words, Symbols, Explosive Runes, Language-Dependent effects, and similar magic, and can cast anything from scrolls - even non-Arcanist spells.

Lich

Transformation into an undead, and gaining special undead powers, this is for more than just Necromancers. Anybody can decide they want to be a Lich, and the spooky abilities they gain will in some way depend on and augment their favoured form of casting. This also comes with an array of resistances and immunities and so on.

Wildling Mage

Not a wielder of chaos power, the Wildling Mage is an ally of the world's well-being, learning from the faerie courts. She gets to fly, and throw a variety of tricky spells about. Again, this isn't limited to one school of magic, there are faerie forms of most magical Schools.

Arcanist Talents

The following Talents are only available to the Arcanist (including Arcanists who have advanced beyond 10th level and entered a Prestige Class) and the Adventurer.

Abjurer's Mettle (Su)

Whenever the Arcanist casts an Abjuration Spell, then for a number of rounds equal to the Spell Level, she has the Mettle ability: succeeding on a Fortitude or Willpower Save for Partial effect instead makes her immune to the effect entirely.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Abjuration Spells to take this Talent.

Accursed Necromancy (Su) [Minimum Level 7]

Whenever the Arcanist casts a Necromancy spell on another target, they receive a minor curse - they suffer a -2 Penalty on all Saving Throws against the caster's other Necromancy Spells and [Fear] effects, and attack and damage rolls against the caster, until the next sunrise. Multiple uses of this do not stack on the same target.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Necromancy Spells in order to take this Talent.

Armoured Mage (Ex)

The Arcanist does not suffer Arcane Spell Failure from Light Armour, and becomes Proficient with Light Armour.
She may take this Talent a second time, to extend the benefits (and Proficiency) to Medium Armour and Standard Shields.
She may then take it a third time to extend the benefits (and Proficiency) to Heavy Armour and Great Shields.

Augmented Summon (Su)

Any creature the Arcanist Summons via a Conjuration spell gains extra Hit Points equal to her Caster Level, as well as a +2 Bonus on Attack and Damage rolls and to Armour Class.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Conjuration Spells to take this Talent.

Battle Enchantments (Su)

Targets of the Arcanist's Enchantment spells do not get a Bonus to their Saving Throw due to being in combat, witnessing combat, being threatened by enemies or knowing she is their enemy.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Enchantment Spells to take this Talent.

Cloudy Conjuration (Su)

Whenever the Arcanist casts a Conjuration spell, she can choose to have a 5' radius cloud of sickening smoke manifest. She chooses for it to appear either in her space, a space adjacent to her, or in the target's space. The cloud lasts for one round, providing Concealment just like a very small Fog Cloud, and anyone in the area is Sickened whilst inside it. Creatures summoned or called by the spell are immune to the Sickening effect, however.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Conjuration Spells in order to take this Talent.

Concealing Illusions (Su)

Whenever the Arcanist casts an Illusion Spell, she gains Concealment for a number of rounds equal to the Spell Level.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Illusion Spells to take this Talent.

Corpse Crafter (Su) [Minimum Level 4]

Any Undead creature created by a Spell cast by the Arcanist gains +1 HP per level of the Arcanist, as well as a +2 Bonus to Turn Resistance, Saving THrows, Attack rolls and Armour Class. Furthermore, their natural attacks deal 1d6 extra damage, half of which is Cold and the other half is Negative Energy.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Necromancy Spells to take this Talent.

Craft Wand (Su) [Minimum Level 3]

By spending around eight hours hard at work, you can craft a wand for a spell you are able to cast. The wand holds 10 charges per day, and must be Attuned as a Magic Item. When it casts a spell, it uses the Caster Level of its creator at the time of creation, but the Save DC is 10 + half the wielder's level + their Intelligence Bonus.

Diviner's Evasion (Su)

Whenever the Arcanist casts a Divination Spell, she gains Uncanny Dodge and Evasion for a number of rounds equal to the Spell Level.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Divination Spells in order to take this Talent.

Elemental Spell Mixture (Su)

With a Swift Action, the Arcanist can adjust the energy types of damaging spells she casts for the rest of the round. Any spell can completely change all of its damage to either Cold, Fire, or Electricity.
Any spell of a level lower than the highest she can cast can be changed to deal Acid or Sonic damage, or split to deal one half of its normal type and one half any of the above.
Any spell with a level at least four levels lower than the highest she can cast may be modified to deal both full damage of its original type and also full damage of one of the other types, effectively dealing double damage.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Evocation Spells to take this Talent.

Energy Gestalt (Su)

If the Arcanist casts a spell that deals Acid damage on one round, and then casts a spell that deals Fire damage on the next turn, or casts both in the same turn in that order, the lingering acidic fumes will burn into choking smoke. Any living creature damaged by both spells is Nauseated for 1 round unless they pass a Fortitude Save (DC 10 + half her level + her Intelligence Bonus), in which case they are merely Sickened for one round. This is considered a [Poison] effect.
If the Arcanist casts a spell that deals Cold damage on one round, and then casts a spell that deals Sonic damage on the next turn, or casts both in the same turn in that order, various objects will shatter to greater effect having been made brittle. Objects, Constructs, Oozes, [Water] creatures and Corporeal Undead that are hit by both spells suffer an extra 50% damage from the Sonic damage.
If the Arcanist casts a spell that deals Cold damage on one round, and then casts a spell that deals Electricity damage on the next turn, or casts both in the same turn in that order, the cold conducts the electricity to greater effect. Living creatures affected by both spells are Slowed for one round, unless they pass a Fortitude Save (DC 10 + half her level + her Intelligence Bonus), in which case they are merely Fatigued for one round.

Explosion (Sp) [Minimum Level 5]

As long as the Arcanist has a damaging Evocation Spell of 3rd level or higher available to cast, she can use a fraction of its power to unleash an explosive blast anywhere within Close Range. This requires a Standard Action, and creates a 5' radius Blast that deals 1d6 damage per Spell Level of the highest available damaging Evocation Spell she has available to cast. The damage type is the same as that of the spell in question, and there is no saving throw.
Additionally, the Arcanist gains +1 Caster Level for all Evocation spells that deal Acid, Cold, Fire, Electricity or Sonic damage.
She must be able to cast Evocation Spells in order to take this Talent.

Extend Spell (Su)

With a Swift Action, the Arcanist may increase the Duration of certain spells she casts on that turn.
As long as a Spell is of a level other than the highest level Spells she can cast, she may double the Duration (other than Instantaneous, Concentration or Permanent).
If the Spell is six levels lower than the highest level available, she may set the Duration to "Until the next Sunrise".

Fearsome Grasp (Sp) [Minimum Level 3]

As long as the Arcanist has a Necromancy Spell of 2nd level or higher available to cast, she can use a fraction of its power to attempt a Melee Touch Attack at will. This does not provoke an Attack of Opportunity, and if it hits, the target must attempt a Will Save (DC 10 + half her level + her Intelligence Bonus). On a successful save, they are Shaken for one round. On a failed save, they are Shaken for a number of rounds equal to the highest-level Necromancy spell she has available to cast. If the highest-level Necromancy spell she has available is 4th level or higher, they are instead Frightened for the duration, and if it is 8th level or higher they Panic for the duration.
Additionally, the Arcanist's Caster Level is increased by 1 for all Necromancy spells. She must be able to cast Necromancy Spells in order to take this Talent.

Immediate Magic (Sp)

The Arcanist gains the Immediate Magic option for their Specialisation, from PHB 2.

Lasting Concentration (Ex)

When the Arcanist ceases concentrating on a Spell with a duration of "Concentration", it continues to last for a number of rounds equal to half her level.

Merging Transmogrification (Su) [Minimum Level 7]

When the Arcanist casts a Spell that changes her form to that of another creature, she may retain the use of one Talent or keep one Ability Score (and all derived numbers) from her natural form, or instead select a single Ability Score (and all derived numbers), Natural Armour value, Natural Weapon or Extraordinary Ability from a different form she could take, and apply that to her new form. For instance, if casting Polymorph and turning into a Medusa, she could retain the Great Fortitude Talent if she possessed it, or gain the Spines of a Manticore.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Transmutation Spells in order to take this Talent.

Mystic Backlash (Sp) [Minimum Level 5]
As long as the Arcanist has an Abjuration Spell of 3rd level or higher available to cast, she can use a fraction of its power to strike out at those who cast spells at her. With a Standard Action at will, she may raise a ward without using a Spell Slot. For a number of rounds equal to the level of the highest-level Abjuration Spell she has available, any time somebody else completes the casting of a non-Harmless spell that targets her or includes her in the area of effect, they suffer magic damage equal to the spell level of the highest-level Abjuration Spell she has available. Additionally, she gains a +1 Bonus to the Caster Level of all Abjuration Spells.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Abjuration Spells to take this Talent.

Necromancer's Resilience (Su)

Whenever the Arcanist casts a Necromancy Spell, she becomes Immune to Critical Hits (as though Undead), Ability Damage, Ability Drain, Negative Levels and Energy Drain for a number of rounds equal to the Spell Level.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Necromancy Spells to take this Talent.

Nightmare Phantasm (Su)

Whenever the Arcanist casts a [Figment] or [Glamer] spell, she can choose to weave a thread of nightmare phantasm into it as part of the casting. Any enemy who attempts a Will Save to Disbelieve the effect automatically becomes Shaken for 1 round and suffers 1d6 Non-Lethal Damage, regardless of the results of the Saving Throw.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Illusion Spells to take this Talent.

Overcharge (Ex)

As long as the Arcanist is not Fatigued or Exhausted, she can use a Full Round Action to overcharge a spell. She treats her Caster Level as four higher when casting it, and if she possesses a Talent that lets her cast spells in a better way (such as Powerful Spell or Extend Spell), she can treat her maximum Spell Level as two higher, thus allowing more powerful effects to be applied to a given spell. A side-effect of this is that she then becomes Exhausted from the exertion, takes Non-Lethal damage equal to her level, and instantly falls Prone. The Exhaustion bypasses any immunities she might normally have to that, as it is a drain on her very magical abilities, and lasts until she rests for half an hour - at which point it downgrades to Fatigue until she rests properly.

Powerful Spell (Su) [Minimum Level 3]

With a Swift Action, the Arcanist can empower the strength of her damaging spells for the rest of her turn.
If the spell's level is at least two lower than the highest she can cast, all damage is multiplied by one and a half (after rolling any variable amounts but before applying Resistances).
If the spell's level is at least four lower than the highest she can cast, it deals the maximum damage instead of rolling.

Rapid Casting (Su) [Minimum Level 7]

The Arcanist may cast a spell with just a Swift Action if the spell is at least four levels lower than the highest she can cast. The spell's Caster Level is reduced by 5 in this instance.
She may also cast one spell per round as a Free Action, if its level is at least six lower than the highest she can cast, though this reduces the Caster Level by 10.

Realistic Shadows (Su)

Any time the Arcanist casts a spell that is partially real when Disbelieved, the percentage of "realness" is increased by 10, so a spell that is normally 30% on a successful save becomes 40% real instead.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Illusion Spells to take this Talent.

Spell Lore (Ex)

The Arcanist learns an extra Spell of each level she is able to cast, subject to the usual restrictions on spells she can know. Any time she gains access to a new level of spells, she learns one extra one.

Silent Spell (Su)

The Arcanist casts her spells without needing Verbal Components. She can cast her spells just fine even when Silenced, and does not make noise casting them - although the spells themselves might make noise, as it does not silence the actual effects.

Summon Elemental (Sp) [Minimum Level 7]

As long as the Arcanist has a Conjuration [Summoning] Spell of 4th level or higher Prepared and ready to cast, she can Summon a Small Elemental (Air, Earth, Fire or Water) within a range of 30'. This does not use up a Spell Slot, can be performed at will (though only one creature may be summoned at a time in such a way) and uses a Standard Action. It lasts for one round per level of the highest-level Conjuration [Summoning] Spell she has available to cast. If she has a Conjuration [Summoning] Spell of 6th level or higher Prepared, it can instead be a Medium Elemental. If she has an 8th-level Conjuration [Summoning] Spell available, it may be Large instead. She also casts Conjuration [Summoning] Spells with +1 Spell Level.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Conjuration Spells to take this Talent.

Summon Familiar (Su)

The Arcanist gains a Familiar. If it dies, she is Stunned for one round, and then Sickened for one minute, but takes no other penalties, and another one can be summoned the following Sunrise or Sunset.
An Arcanist of higher levels may take stronger or more magical familiars, as though through the Improved Familiar feat.

Toughening Transmutation (Su)

Any time the Arcanist casts a Transmutation Spell, she can choose for either herself or one target of the spell to gain Damage Reduction 5/magic until the end of her next turn. If the designated recipient already has Damage Reduction, it instead increases their existing DR by 5 for the duration.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Transmutation Spells to take this Talent.

Unsettling Enchantment (Su)

Any time the Arcanist casts an Enchantment Spell on someone and they attempt a Saving Throw against it, they suffer a -2 Penalty on Attack rolls and Armour Class until the end of the Arcanist's next turn, regardless of the results of the Saving Throw.
The Arcanist must be able to cast Enchantment Spells to take this Talent.

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