PDA

View Full Version : [3.5e] PRC Heart of Arcana (Redux) (PEACH)



A.J.Gibson
2010-08-30, 09:24 PM
I posted this once before a few months back, but now that I have more sorcerer experience under my belt, I think I'm able to do a better job balancing the class. I intend to be using it soon, so I'd like to get some final opinions before bothering my DM with it.

Heart of Arcana

"I learn about magic, so I can learn about myself."

While the wizards and their kind study formuli to understand magic, sorcerers are naturally gifted. Although many take their gift at face value, some sorcerers become deeply interested in the arcane arts; enough that they wish to study magic in the way a wizard would. For the Heart of Arcana, learning magic is a journey to understanding their own nature, and better harnessing their own powers.

BECOMING A HEART OF ARCANA
The Heart of Arcana begins by studying the basic skills of magic, such as Spellcraft. The most important step for them, however, is to learn to stop relying exclusively on their feelings, and to intellectualize the process of magic use.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Class:Sorcerer Level 5
Skills:Knowledge (Arcana) 8, Spellcraft 8, Concentration 8

Class Skills
The Heart of Arcana's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int)

Skills Points at Each Level: 2 + int

Hit Dice: d4

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spellcasting

1st|
+0|
+0|
+0|
+2|Arcane Science|+1 Level of Existing Arcane Spellcasting Class

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3|Arcane Tradition|+1 Level of Existing Arcane Spellcasting Class

3rd|
+1|
+1|
+1|
+3|Arcane Beauty|+1 Level of Existing Arcane Spellcasting Class

4th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4|Arcane Body|+1 Level of Existing Arcane Spellcasting Class

5th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4|Arcane Mind|+1 Level of Existing Arcane Spellcasting Class

6th|
+3|
+2|
+2|
+5|Arcane Soul|+1 Level of Existing Arcane Spellcasting Class[/table]

Weapon Proficiencies: The Heart of Arcana gains no additional proficiencies.

Arcane Science (Su)
The first step in the study of magic for the Heart of Arcana is to learn to use magic without relying on their natural instincts, but to instead learn the rational principles of the wizard. The Heart of Arcana can cast spells in a way similar to wizard, using their Intelligence to manipulate magic. The only difference is that the magic they are drawing upon is from their self. The Deep Ritual draws upon reserves of magic the Heart of Arcana did not know they had, and can be used to cast any spell up to a maximum level equal to the Intelligence of the caster minus 10. The Deep Ritual can not be used to cast a spell the sorcerer would not normally be able to cast using their Charisma.

The Deep Ritual can be performed on any spell the sorcerer could normally cast and requires no special components beyond what the spell normally requires, except time. The minimum casting time for any spell cast this way is 1 minute. The caster must have a spell slot of the required level available to them. The ritual requires absolute concentration from the caster; any interruption that would prompt a concentration check automatically causes the ritual to fail. Being attacked also causes the ritual to fail if the sorcerer tries to dodge in any way, even if the attack misses. If the ritual is completed, then the spell is cast, and they make a Spellcraft check with a DC equal to 10 + twice the level of the spell slot the spell would use if it were being cast normally. If successful, they cast the spell without using up any of their daily spell slot allowance. If they fail, then the spell slot is expended, but the spell is cast. If the spell uses multiple spell slots, each is rolled for individually.

Any effects that occur when a sorcerer expends a spell slot still work if the spell slot is expended (even if the sorcerer was trying to avoid spending it), but do not occur if the spell slot is not expended.

Spell slots must be available or else the ritual can not be performed. Meta-magic feats may be applied freely to spells if they are possessed or if the caster possesses a magic item that grants them. In the former case, using the meta-magic feat would cause the level of the spell slot to rise, and therefore cause the DC of the Spellcraft check to rise, but in the latter case, the DC of the check is unaffected, because the level of the slow is unaffected. The Heart of Arcana can also use the ritual to cast spells that come from other sources (such as a runestaff or knowstone), as long as the spell draws upon their own spell slots, and not charges from the item (such as with a scroll or wand).

The Heart of Arcana must have a high enough intelligence to cast the spell (Intelligence must at least 10 points higher than spell level), however the character's Charisma is still used as the spellcasting attribute for everything dealing with the spell, including DC. The caster is still considered a sorcerer when casting the spell.

Arcane Tradition (Su)
The second step in studying magic for the Heart of Arcana is to begin learning the beliefs and traditions of wizards. The way wizards think reveal an entirely new world-view and idea about how magic works. By learning the imperfect formuli by which normal wizards manipulate the forces of creation, a Heart of Arcana becomes more able to cast spells as a wizard would. A Heart of Arcana's spell diary works similarly to a wizard's spellbook, but is magically enchanted and very personal to the sorcerer, as the process of writing in it requires them to mix small amounts of their own blood into the ink. The prices involved in keeping a spell diary are the same as those for keeping a spellbook.

Upon getting their first spell diary, the sorcerer may add all the spells they know to it. They may also copy spells into it from scrolls and other spellbooks, and wizards and others spellbook users may copy spells from them. They do not gain spells for free when advancing in level as a wizard does, but when they first gain this ability they can copy a number of new spells to their diary equal to their Intelligence bonus.

Unlike a typical spellbook, a sorcerer can cast a spell directly from their spell diary, but only by using the Deep Ritual. In this way, a sorcerer can cast many spells they do not know in the traditional sense, though they still must appear on their spell list. A spell may be added to the diary even if the Heart of Arcana is not intelligent enough to be able to use the ritual to cast it. The Heart of Arcana can keep multiple diaries if they have the necessary funds.

The Heart of Arcana may also use their spell diary to replaces the spells known to them with other spells normally available to a sorcerer hat are in their book. They may change one spell each time they prepare spells by making a successful Knowledge(Arcana) check against a DC of 10 + twice the level of the spell replaced. Failure simply means the attempt does not succeed that day. Once the swap occurs, it is permanent until swapped again.

Arcane Beauty (Su)
The next step in the learning process for the Heart of Arcana is to learn about all forms of magic, and become more adept in the skill of using it. Here they start applying their knowledge of magic to focus their feelings about magic. The result is a rational feeling of magic, and an intuitive sense of the flow of magic even when they don't understand it fully.

The Heart of Arcana learns to sense magic more easily. They continuously detect magical auras at will as if using the Arcane Sight spell, but with the limitation that their range can not be greater than their normal range of vision (maximum 120'). In addition, by concentrating and examining a magic item in their possession for 1 minute, they may learn about it as per the Identify spell by making a successful Knowledge(Arcana) check at DC 25. Failure means the Heart of Arcana can not try again via this method until they gain a character level.

Arcane Body (Su)
At the half-way point in the Heart of Arcana's journey, they begin to turn the attention inward to the magic potential within their body. This begins with them tapping into new reserves of magical energy in their flesh and blood. They may get bonus spells from both their Charisma and their Intelligence, acquired separately. In addition, they may now use level 0 spells at will.

Arcane Mind (Su)
The Heart of Arcana soon turns their attention to their mind, and sharpens their understanding of the powers within. They may now prepare spells as a wizard would using any spell in their diary, provided they have an Intelligence equal to at least the level of the spell + 10. Spell slots used for prepared spells can now be used for spontaneous spells, and any number of spontaneous slots may be used for prepared spells. The Heart of Arcana can prepare a number of cantrips equal to the number of spell slots they would have if they didn't have unlimited cantrip casting.

The Heart of Arcana now qualifies as a spontaneous and a prepared caster for all purposes, including prestige class requirements. When a spell is prepared, it uses the spellcasters Charisma for determination of DC. Spells can be prepared with meta-magic effects, but at casting time they still require the sorcerer to take a full-round action to cast, unless they have an ability that allows them to cast normal spells with meta-magic effects without extending casting time. They can also prepare spells that were previously limited to wizards, including those spells that influence prepared spells such as Mage's Lucubration, or any other spell that was limited to wizards. Those spells must be prepared, and can not be among their known sorcerer spells.

Arcane Soul (Su)
As the Heart of Arcana unlocks more power within their self, they realize that they have no real limitations to their magic, just limitations to what they know. The Heart of Arcana can now perform the High Ritual. With their spell diary in hand, the Heart of Arcana can cast any spell listed in their book as a full-round action (or longer, if the spell normally takes longer). The High Ritual requires a successful Spellcraft check against a DC of 10 + twice the level of the spell, and failure means the spell slot is expended without the spell being cast. They use their Charisma to cast the spell, but their Intelligence must be high enough to allow them to cast it as well. Any additional affects that would normally occur when the sorcerer casts a spell only occur if the casting succeeds.

PLAYING A HEART OF ARCANA
The Heart of Arcana is interested in learning about magic, which is often a good reason to go adventuring. Self-discovery is vitally important to them, but they learn to use magic for many purposes, not simply those involved in adventuring and combat.

Because the journey of a Heart of Arcana is a journey of self-discovery, where they are on their journey tends to influence who they are. The journey is divided in two triumvirates, the Triumvirate of Magic and the Triumvirate of Self, which make up the 6 levels of this class.

During the Arcane Science part of their journey, the Heart of Arcana is busy trying to figure out how magic works. They will also spend every spare coin they have on equipment and strange ingredients.

While learning the Arcane Tradition, Hearts of Arcana become greatly interested in meeting normal wizards so that they can ask them long, involved questions. They will begin hording books and information, more than they will actually get the chance to actually read. They will often spend long hours experimenting with magic, and it is not uncommon for them to start screwing up very common magical tasks and very simple spells, as they try to use new methods to do very simple things.

As the Heart of Arcana learns to perceive Arcane Beauty, they become extremely distracted with all the magic in the world. They tend to act aloof and slightly crazed as they study seemingly random objects. Mirrors, in particular, fascinate them, as they see the magic coming from their own body.

Halfway through their development, the Heart of Arcana embarks on the Triumvirate of Self, and learns more about who they are.

As they proceed through the trials of the Arcane Body, the Heart of Arcana begins spending long periods of time fasting and sometimes also blood letting. A fascination with body modification, such as piercings and tattoos, is also common.

As the Heart of Arcana begins to study the power of the Arcane Mind, they spend long periods of time thinking about things. Meditation is common, as is extreme curiosity. The Heart of Arcana has a sudden urge to try and organize everything in a way they can understand it, meticulous cleanliness is common. Their desire - and inability - to understand everything is overwhelming, the Heart of Arcana is prone to bouts of depression when they can't understand everything that's going on around them.

In the final stage of the Heart of Arcana, they realize they know enough, and that it's time to start using their powers for something more than figuring their selves out. In the final stage, the Arcane Soul is finally calm, and they become their new self which is actually a whole lot like their old self, if not a little wiser.

Combat: Hearts of Arcana fight in the same way sorcerers and wizards do, often staying at range and using magic to buff allies or blast enemies.
Advancement: With the ability to cast prepared and spontaneous spells, the Heart of Arcana can effectively choose any other arcane prestige class to advance into. As their powers maximize flexibility, a good next step for such a character is to choose a class that will focus their powers on a specific task, as the burden of specialization will be greatly reduced by their powers gain in this class.
Resources: The best resources for a Heart of Arcana would be wizards. Another wizard in their immediate circle of allies can be an invaluable asset to them, and once they can record their spells in their diary, they can share those spells with those allies.

HEARTS OF ARCANA IN THE WORLD
"I saw a sorcerer casting a spell from a book once. Unbelievable! A sorcerer that can read." -unknown elven wizard

Few can tell the difference between a Heart of Arcana and a typical mage, and many don't even understand after the difference is explained to them.
Daily Life: The Heart of Arcana spends a great deal of time researching. Some of this may be in a laboratory, but often it involves personal discovery. Meditation is a common practice, but it is also common for the Heart of Arcana to explore a variety of activities, simply to find out more about their selves. Travel is also a common activity for Hearts of Arcana.
Notables: Some of the greatest sorcerers known have actually been members of this class, but never felt the need to advertise. They know who they are, and that is enough for them.
Organizations: When a Heart of Arcana reaches a level of mastery in their class, they begin to feel the desire to help others and join guilds to help support those making the same journey. These guilds are often hidden to prevent any interference by normal wizards, so sometimes object to their presence, mostly out of prejudice. It is assumed a decent student will find the guild without them advertising. For the teachers of a such a guild, the act of teaching helps solidify their own learning, and students often teacher newer students but once they have mastered the secret of the Arcane Soul, they no longer benefit from being in the guild, and most move on.

NPC Reaction
To most NPC's, the Heart of Arcana is just another spellcaster, but more traditional sorcerers and wizards have more varied reactions. While some sorcerers might be curious, many will wonder why they are bothering with all their studying. Wizards tend to go to extremes; either they embrace the sorcerer as a kindred spirit (though not necessarily an equal) or see them as pathetic imitators.

HEARTS OF ARCANA IN THE GAME
Hearts of Arcana combine the flexibility of casting that goes with the sorcerer with flexibility of choice that goes with the wizard. The result if a character who could be ready for anything, and has a good chance of having the exact spell on hand to solve any problem encountered.
Adaptation: The Heart of Arcana requires little adaptation, although how they are viewed by local mage guilds may become an important point.
Encounters: Hearts of Arcana are not often distinguished from typical wizards or sorcerers, and can be found in situations similar to what you would expect to find those classes in.

Milskidasith
2010-08-30, 09:32 PM
First off: Entry requirements that say "X class" don't exist. It should probably be "casts third level spells spontaneously."

Anyway, this class is broken. You can cast any spell you want as a full round action by using a trivial spellcraft check, you get more bonus spells, you can ignore spell per day limitations... you're basically a sorcerer/wizard gestalt, for free, but with more goodies on top.

A.J.Gibson
2010-08-30, 10:05 PM
First off: Entry requirements that say "X class" don't exist. It should probably be "casts third level spells spontaneously."

Anyway, this class is broken. You can cast any spell you want as a full round action by using a trivial spellcraft check, you get more bonus spells, you can ignore spell per day limitations... you're basically a sorcerer/wizard gestalt, for free, but with more goodies on top.

If I raised the DC's, would that fix the problem?

Milskidasith
2010-08-30, 10:35 PM
If I raised the DC's, would that fix the problem?

No... you still get a straight upgrade over the sorcerer for no cost, including being able to (without a check) ignore spells known limitations.

EdroGrimshell
2010-08-30, 11:14 PM
I did something similar to this once. It was a pair of PrCs that allowed the wizard to act as a sorcerer and vice versa. I gave the sorcerer a small selection of spells he can memorize (not prepare) and use as spells known. I did something similar for the wizard version that gained a number of "open" spell slots to use any spell they had the Spell Mastery feat (which they gained multiple times as they leveled)

It was playtested, it worked, and it was a good role-play experience because of the requirements.

Jane_Smith
2010-08-31, 07:55 AM
I still perfere ultimate magus from complete mage. :P Its mystic theurge for sorcerer/wizards... You can sacrifice spell slots from class to apply free metamagic feats to the other classes spells. Very nifty flavor/theme. And more spells per day then you know what to do with.

A.J.Gibson
2010-08-31, 06:50 PM
No... you still get a straight upgrade over the sorcerer for no cost, including being able to (without a check) ignore spells known limitations.

I should point out that every arcane prestige class is an upgrade over the sorcerer - the sorcerer gets nothing but familiar upgrades. Worst saves, worst attack, worst hit die, no meta-magic feats...the first rule of sorcerer optimization is don't be a sorcerer.

The Deep Ritual doesn't strike me as being too powerful: it's practically impossible to use during combat, and non-combat spellcasting isn't really that huge a deal. I'll probably bump all the DC's to 20 + twice spell level anyways, now that I've sat down and done the math.

The High Ritual is trickier to balance. Sorcerers are supposed to be more versatile then wizards, but their very limited number of spells known prevents this from occurring. Worse, they can only retrain a handful of spells as they level, so spells that are vital at low levels continue to occupy spell slots well after they cease being useful. Frankly, I'm tempted to just take the number of spells known and just double it. So I'm still trying to figure out how to balance it. A few options occur to me:
-limit the number of time per day, maybe 5 + Int Bonus, instead of the DC check
-cause spells cast this way to cost 2 slots instead of 1

Milskidasith
2010-08-31, 07:07 PM
Caster PrCs generally require something to enter, though. This class is entirely free to enter.

Glimbur
2010-08-31, 07:44 PM
For example, Mage of the Arcane Order(from complete arcane) helps sorcerers pretend to have more spells known. It requires a questionable feat (Arcane Preparation), a terrible feat (Co-operative Spell), and another metamagic feat. It also only is certain to give access to spells from the PHB.

A.J.Gibson
2010-08-31, 08:03 PM
Caster PrCs generally require something to enter, though. This class is entirely free to enter.

I thought about that; maybe a feat requirement? How about Arcane Preparation then (since that's what they gain at level 5 anyways)? Originally I had Scribe Scroll (makes sense thematically). I also thought about making the class human only, which sort of makes sense to me. Any suggestions?

Milskidasith
2010-08-31, 08:27 PM
For example, Mage of the Arcane Order(from complete arcane) helps sorcerers pretend to have more spells known. It requires a questionable feat (Arcane Preparation), a terrible feat (Co-operative Spell), and another metamagic feat. It also only is certain to give access to spells from the PHB.

But it's also REALLY worth it because, damn, the flexibility is nice, even if it's only essentially one/day. Plus it gives back the feats you take in bonus MM feats, I suppose.

A.J.Gibson
2010-08-31, 08:32 PM
But it's also REALLY worth it because, damn, the flexibility is nice, even if it's only essentially one/day. Plus it gives back the feats you take in bonus MM feats, I suppose.

There's a spell in Complete Mage, I forget the name (Rary's something?) and it's a level 6 spell that lets you swap a level 5 or lower spell for another spell in your spellbook, so being able to swap a spell is not really that big a deal.

Milskidasith
2010-08-31, 08:34 PM
There's a spell in Complete Mage, I forget the name (Rary's something?) and it's a level 6 spell that lets you swap a level 5 or lower spell for another spell in your spellbook, so being able to swap a spell is not really that big a deal.

That's not a spell known. Sorcerers don't have spellbooks.

A.J.Gibson
2010-08-31, 08:37 PM
That's not a spell known. Sorcerers don't have spellbooks.

I was talking Mage of the Arcane Order.

And Ultimate Magus' can have spellbooks ;)

Milskidasith
2010-08-31, 09:06 PM
I was talking Mage of the Arcane Order.

And Ultimate Magus' can have spellbooks ;)

MotAO lets you get any spell ever (from core by RAW, outside sources applicable). As a sorcerer, that is insanely useful. Reprepping spells into spellbooks is rather useless for that entry.

Ultimate Magus's don't learn sorcerer spells in spellbooks.

I have no clue what point you are trying to make. Sorcerer's neither have need or want for the ability to change spells in their spellbooks.