Master of Arcana

This expands the regular archmage to a 10-level prestige class. The changes are lower prerequisites, and more high arcana abilities to choose from. I'm not a fan of 5-level classes.

The art of magic is perhaps the highest art of all, so much so that it is sometimes called the Art. Masters of arcana are practitioners of magic who seek to bend and twist the raw stuff of magic to their will, in ways unavailable to lesser spellcasters. A master of arcana gains many strange powers, but mastering such powers requires them to sacrifice some of their spell capability. Such are the vagaries of the Art.

There are some bards who become masters of arcana, but because they stand to gain relatively little, their numbers are few. Most spellcasters who take this prestige class are wizards and sorcerers; such characters are usually called archmages.


Requirements

Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 12 ranks, Spellcraft 12 ranks.

Feats: Skill Focus (Spellcraft), Spell Focus in at least two schools.

Other: Ability to cast 5th level arcane spells.

Class Statistics

Hit Die: d4.

Class Skills: Concentration (Con), Craft (alchemy) (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points/Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Level

Base Attack Bonus

Fort
Save

Ref
Save

Will
Save

Special

Spells per Day

1

+0

+0

+0

+2

High arcana

+1 level of existing arcane spellcaster class

2

+1

+0

+0

+3

High arcana

+1 level of existing arcane spellcaster class

3

+1

+1

+1

+3

High arcana

+1 level of existing arcane spellcaster class

4

+2

+1

+1

+4

High arcana

+1 level of existing arcane spellcaster class

5

+2

+1

+1

+4

High arcana

+1 level of existing arcane spellcaster class

6

+3

+2

+2

+5

High arcana

+1 level of existing arcane spellcaster class

7

+3

+2

+2

+5

High arcana

+1 level of existing arcane spellcaster class

8

+4

+2

+2

+6

High arcana

+1 level of existing arcane spellcaster class

9

+4

+3

+3

+6

High arcana

+1 level of existing arcane spellcaster class

10

+5

+3

+3

+7

High arcana

+1 level of existing arcane spellcaster class

Class Features

All the following are class features of the archmage.

Weapon and armour proficiency: The archmage gains no additional proficiencies beyond what she already has.

Spells: At every level, the archmage gains new spells per day and spells known as if she had gained a level in a previous arcane spellcasting class. She does not, however, gain any other benefits of the other spellcasting class. This essentially means that she adds her archmage levels to the level of whatever other arcane spellcasting class she has, then determines spells known (if applicable), spells per day, and caster level accordingly.

High Arcana: The archmage learns secret lore unknown to lesser arcane spellcasters. She gains the opportunity to select a special ability from among those described below by permanently eliminating one existing spell slot (she cannot eliminate a spell slot of higher level than the highest-level spell she can cast). Each special ability has a minimum required spell slot level, as specified in its description.

An archmage may choose to eliminate a spell slot of a higher level than that required to gain a type of high arcana. Unless stated otherwise, each high arcana type can only be selected once.

New or modified types of high arcana beyond those in the DMG are indicated with an asterisk in front of the ability name.

*Arcane Fire (Su): The archmage gains the ability to channel arcane spell energy into arcane fire, manifesting it as a bolt of raw magical energy. The bolt is a ranged touch attack with long range (400 feet + 40 feet/level of archmage) that deals 1d6 points of damage per two class levels of the archmage plus 1d6 points of damage per level of the spell used to create the effect. For instance, a 9th level archmage who channels a 7th level spell into arcane fire deals 9/2 + 7 = 11d6 points of damage to the target if it hits. This ability costs one 9th level spell slot.

Arcane Reach (Su): The archmage can use spells with a range of touch on a target up to 30 feet away. The archmage must make a ranged touch attack. Arcane reach can be selected a second time as a special ability, in which case the range increases to 60 feet. This ability costs one 7th level spell slot.

*Bonus Feat: The archmage gains a new metamagic or item creation feat. The feat must be one that she already has the prerequisites for, if any. This ability costs two 5th level spell slots. The archmage can select this high arcana twice, paying two 5th level spell slots each time.

Mastery of Counterspelling: When the archmage counterspells a spell, it is turned back upon the caster as if it were fully affected by a spell turning spell. If the spell cannot be affected by spell turning (for example, if it is an area-effect spell), then it is merely counterspelled. This ability costs one 7th level spell slot.

*Mastery of Dispelling: The archmage gains a +2 bonus on dispel checks. (This stacks with the bonus to caster level gained from spell power.) This ability costs one 6th level spell slot.

Mastery of Elements: The archmage can alter an arcane spell when cast so that it utilises a different element from the one it normally uses. For example, an archmage could cast a fireball that deals sonic damage instead of fire damage.

This ability can only alter a spell with the acid, cold, fire, electricity, or sonic descriptor. The spell's casting time is unaffected. The archmage decides whether to alter the spell's energy type and chooses the new energy type when she begins casting. This ability costs one 8th level spell slot.

Mastery of Shaping: The archmage can alter area and effect spells that use one of the following shapes: burst, cone, cylinder, emanation, or spread. The alteration consists of creating spaces within the spell's area or effect that are not subject to the spell. The minimum dimension for these spaces is a 5-foot cube. For example, the archmage could cast a fireball and leave a hole where her ally stands, preventing any fire damage. Furthermore, any shapeable spells have a minimum dimension of 5 feet instead of 10 feet. This ability costs one 6th level spell slot.

*Paths of Fate (Su): The archmage gains knowledge of the twisted, myriad pathways of fate. Once per day, she can add her archmage level as a luck bonus to one attack roll, ability or skill check, or saving throw; alternatively, she can add her archmage level as a luck bonus to her AC against one attack. Activating this power doesn't take an action; the archmage can even use it even on somebody else's turn if needed. However, she must choose to use this power before the roll is made. This ability costs one 7th level spell slot.

*Resilient Magery: This ability makes the archmage's spells more difficult to dispel. Any dispel checks made against her spells are made with a 2 penalty. This ability costs one 6th level spell slot.

*Spell-Infused Body (Su): Selecting this ability grants the archmage DR 5/magic. This ability costs one 6th level spell slot.

The archmage can select spell-infused body a second time, in which case she gains DR 5/magic and adamantine. This ability costs one 7th level spell slot the second time it is selected.

Spell Power: This ability increases the archmage's effective caster level by +1 (for the purposes of determining level-dependent spell variables such as damage dice or range, and caster level checks, only). This ability costs one 5th level spell slot.

Spell-Like Ability: The archmage can use one of her arcane spell slots (other than a slot expended to learn this or any other type of high arcana) to permanently prepare one of her arcane spells as a spell-like ability that can be used twice per day. The archmage does not use any components when casting the spell, although a spell that costs XP to cast still does so and a spell with a costly material component instead costs her 10 times that amount in XP. This ability costs one 5th level spell slot.

The spell-like ability normally uses a spell slot of the spell's level, although the archmage can choose to make a spell modified by a metamagic feat into a spell-like ability at the appropriate spell level. For example, an archmage can make lightning bolt into a spell-like ability by using a 3rd level spell slot to do so, or into a maximised lightning bolt by using a 6th level spell slot.

The archmage may use an available higher-level spell slot in order to use the spell-like ability more often. Using a slot three levels higher than the chosen spell allows her to use the spell-like ability four times per day, and a slot six levels higher lets her use it six times per day.

If spell-like ability is selected more than one time as a high arcana choice, this ability can apply to the same spell chosen the first time (increasing the number of times per day it can be used) or to a different spell.

*Transcendent Fortitude (Su): Once per day, the archmage can substitute a Will save for a Fortitude save. This ability costs one 5th level spell slot.

*Transcendent Reflexes (Su): Once per day, the archmage can substitute a Will save for a Reflex save. This ability costs one 5th level spell slot.


Sample Master of Arcana

A petite young woman with a shock of loud red hair, Calitha is somewhat of an oddball. An alumnus of the Circle of High Arcana at the Learned Order of the Lycaeum, she's an archmage of no small renown. Her fame as a wielder of magic, however, is minor compared to her reputation for two other things: her overbearing personality, and her mercenary approach to everything.

Calitha is already one of the most powerful spellcasters in the land, but all she wants is to become even more powerful. Most of her schemes and ventures are directed towards the acquisition of magic items, new spells, and other such things. She isn't actively evil; for example, she refuses to do deals with demons or contemplate becoming a lich. However, she also has little time for any proposal that doesn't enrich or benefit her directly.

Calitha the Firebrand, Archmage: human female wiz10/master of arcana 7; CR 17; Medium Humanoid (human); HD 17d4+85 (135 hp); Init +9; Spd; AC 27 (touch 19, flat-footed 22); BAB +8; Grap +8; Atk +8/+3 melee (1d6, staff of evocation); SA Spells, high arcana; SQ DR 5/magic and adamantine, high arcana; AL N; SV Fort +17, Ref +15, Will +19; Str 10, Dex 20, Con 20, Int 25, Wis 15, Cha 12.

Skills and Feats: Concentration +25, Craft (alchemy) +21, Decipher Script +20, Knowledge (arcana) +27, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +11, Knowledge (geography) +14, Knowledge (history) +17, Knowledge (planes) +27, Knowledge (religion) +13, Search +19, Spellcraft +30, Craft Staff, Craft Wondrous Item, Empower Spell, Great Fortitude, Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Initiative, Quicken Spell, Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Spellcraft), Spell Focus (Enchantment), Spell Focus (Evocation), Spell Penetration.

Spells Prepared (4/6/6/6/5/3/2/2/1/1, save DC = 17 + spell level, or 18 + spell level for Evocation and Enchantment spells): 0 arcane mark, detect magic (x2), read magic; 1st charm person, color spray, floating disk, protection from evil, shield (x2); 2nd hideous laughter, invisibility, resist energy, rope trick, scorching ray (x2); 3rd blink, displacement, hold person (x2), empowered magic missile (x2); 4th confusion, dimension door (x2), remove curse, stoneskin; 5th dominate person, empowered fireball, quickened magic missile; 6th greater dispel magic, quickened scorching ray; 7th limited wish, greater teleport; 8th power word stun; 9th meteor swarm.

Spells in Spellbook: Calitha's spellbook contains all the spells prepared above, plus the following: 0 acid splash, daze, mending, open/close, prestidigitation, resistance; 1st alarm, comprehend languages, disguise self, expeditious retreat, hold portal, hypnotism, identify, jump, mage armour, obscuring mist, true strike, unseen servant; 2nd alter self, bear's endurance, blur, cat's grace, continual flame, fox's cunning, knock, mirror image, see invisibility, shatter, web; 3rd arcane sight, dispel magic, fly, magic circle against evil, wind wall; 4th charm monster, dimensional anchor, greater invisibility, ice storm, phantasmal killer, polymorph, scrying, shout; 5th cloudkill, feeblemind, secret chest, teleport, wall of force; 6th analyze dweomer, disintegrate, legend lore, planar binding, mass suggestion, true seeing; 7th delayed blast fireball, mage's sword, mass hold person, plane shift, spell turning; 8th antipathy, discern location, horrid wilting, summon monster VIII, sunburst; 9th power word kill, wish.

High Arcana: Calitha has the following high arcana abilities.

Mastery of Elements: Calitha can alter an arcane spell when cast so that it utilises a different element from the one it normally uses. This ability can only alter a spell with the acid, cold, fire, electricity, or sonic descriptor. The spell's casting time is unaffected. She decides whether to alter the spell's energy type and chooses the new energy type when she begins casting.

Paths of Fate (Su): Calitha gains knowledge of the twisted, myriad pathways of fate. Once per day, she can add her archmage level as a luck bonus to one attack roll, ability or skill check, or saving throw; alternatively, she can add her archmage level as a luck bonus to her AC against one attack. Activating this power doesn't take an action; the archmage can even use it even on somebody else's turn if needed. However, she must choose to use this power before the roll is made.

Resilient Magery: Any dispel checks made against Calitha's spells are made with a 2 penalty.

Spell-Infused Body (Su): Calitha has DR 5/magic and adamantine.

Spell-Like Ability: 2/day true seeing.

Transcendent Fortitude (Su): Once per day, Calitha can substitute a Will save for a Fortitude save.

Equipment: staff of evocation (30 charges), +6 bracers of armour, ring of protection +3, tunic of natural armour +3, ring of evasion, headband of Intelligence +6, amulet of Constitution +6, gloves of Dexterity +6, lens of detection, winged boots, robe of resistance +5, cloak of displacement (minor), portable hole, dusty rose ioun stone, incandescent blue ioun stone, scroll of limited wish, scroll of power word kill, wand of invisibility (20 charges), 4 pearls of power (1st4th level).


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