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View Full Version : Archmage Fix [3.5 - PEACH]



Kobold-Bard
2010-10-26, 12:33 PM
Inspired by the discussion of Arcane Fire in my thread about Archmage SLAs (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=9634253#post9634253), and the fact that I'm rubbish at actually making new classes, I offer this fix of the Archmage; in my mind the single coolest PrC ever, which was great when it was just core, but fell behind as stuff like IotSV and Incantatrix came into being.

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Archmage

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/dmg35_gallery/DMG35_PG179_WEB.jpg
"I hold within me Power you cannot even imagine. Stand down."


- Elthenien Sar; Grand Mage and General during the Spellfire Wars

Pre-requisites -
Skills: Knowledge (Arcana) 15 ranks, Spellcraft 15 Ranks
Feats: Skill Focus [Spellcraft], any two Spell Focus, Metamagic or Item Creation
Spellcasting: Ability to cast 7th-level arcane spells, knowledge of 5th-level or higher arcane spells from at least five schools.

Hit Dice: d4
{table]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Spellcasting
1|+0|+0|+0|+2|Archmage Destiny, High Arcana|+1 existing spellcasting level
2|+1|+1|+1|+3|Arcane Fire|+1 existing spellcasting level
3|+1|+1|+1|+3|High Arcana, Spell Weaver|+1 existing spellcasting level
4|+2|+1|+1|+4|Greater Arcane Fire|+1 existing spellcasting level
5|+2|+2|+2|+4|Grand Mage, High Arcana|+1 existing spellcasting level[/table]
Class Skills: 2+Int Mod/level - Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (All; taken individually), Search, Speak Language, Spellcraft

Proficiencies: Archmagi gain no new proficiencies.

Class Features:

Spellcasting: When a new archmage level is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in whatever arcane spellcasting class in which he could cast 7th-level spells before he added the prestige class level. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If a character had more than one arcane spellcasting class in which he could cast 7th-level spells before he became an archmage, he must decide to which class he adds each level of archmage for the purpose of determining spells per day.

Archmage Destiny (Ex): Each Archmage is unique, walking different paths to the same destination of magical supremacy. They choose their destiny when they enter the class, picking one of the options below.

Pure Arcanist: Those who chose the Pure Arcanist destiny have chosen to focus all of their energy on mastering magic. The material and XP components & focuses for their arcane spells they cast are reduced by 25%.

Specialist Mage: Many Wizards feel a greater affinity to one school of magic over all others. Those who chose the Specialist Mage destiny must be a specialist Wizard. They gain a +1 bonus to the Save DC of their chosen school and may choose one spell of their chosen school of each spell level (picking a new spell for each new level they learn to cast). From now on they may cast these spells spontaneously as a Cleric does with Cure/Inflict spells.

Theurge: Those who walk the path of the Theurge must usually face the choice between their to natures. By taking this destiny they may treat their Archmage caster level advances as increasing their spells/day, spells known (if applicable) and caster level for the two classes that they advanced with at least one level of a previous dual-casting class. "Theurge" classes that advance other things besides spells (such as Eldritch Theurge or Anima Mage) also receive similar advances as if they had gained a level in their Theurge class, though they don't gain any of the other benefits from the class.

Alternatively (such as if the character took ten levels in my Mystic Theurge fix and already has this ability) the Archmage may sacrifice a spell/spell slot to improve an equal or lower level spell of his other Theurged casting class. The improved spell is treated as being one level higher (as by the Heighten Spell Feat) to a maximum of the highest level you can cast, and your effective caster level is treated as two higher while casting it.

Spell Blade: Those who choose the Spell Blade destiny know the value of studying both the magical & non-magical arts equally. Their Archmage levels instead grant a Base Attack Bonus equal to their class level (as a Fighter) and a Good Fort Save (again as a Fighter) and they may cast spells from the class(es) they advance with Archmage levels in light armour without risking Arcane Spell Failure. If they can already do this from some other method, the level of armour they can cast in unimpeded increases by one.

Alternatively, if the player wishes they may still treat their Archmage levels as having the BAB & Fort of a Fighter, but instead of being able to cast in armour unimpeded, they may instead treat their Archmage levels as fully increasing their Martial Initiator level rather than 1/2 their level as normal for non ToB classes.

High Arcana:An archmage gains the opportunity to select a special ability from among those described below.

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.

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, then it is merely counterspelled.

Mastery of Elements: The archmage can alter an arcane spell when cast so that it utilizes 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 spellís casting time is unaffected. The caster decides whether to alter the spellís energy type and chooses the new energy type when he begins casting.

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 spellís area or effect that are not subject to the spell. The minimum dimension for these spaces is a 5-foot cube. Furthermore, any shapeable spells have a minimum dimension of 5 feet instead of 10 feet.

Spell Power: This ability increases the archmageís effective caster level by +1 (for purposes of determining level-dependent spell variables such as damage dice or range, and caster level checks only).

Spell-Like Ability: An archmage who selects this type of high arcana 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.

The spell-like ability normally uses a spell slot of the spellís 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.

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.

New: Personal Wonder: At their discretion the Archmage may use their own Caster Level when activating a magic item in place of the Caster level of the item's creator.

New: Arcane Mute: All the character's Arcane spells are considered silenced, as per the Silent Spell Feat except their level/casting time is not increased.

New: Arcane Statue: All the character's Arcane spells are considered stilled, as per the Still Spell Feat except their level/casting time is not increased.



Arcane Fire (Su): By taking the second level in this class the Archmage learns to channel arcane energy as a weapon, ensuring that they are armed, even when their spells run dry.

As a standard action they may fire a pulse of magical energy that deals 1d6/class level +Int or Cha Mod (chosen when the second level of the class is taken and can't be changed) damage. By sacrificing a spell slot as part of this action you may deal an additional 1d6/level of the sacrificed slot. Despite it's name Arcane Fire is powered by raw arcane energy, so it is untyped. It has a long range (400ft + 40ft/class level) and requires a ranged touch attack that uses the Caster Level of the class they advance with Archmage instead of their BAB (to a maximum of their character level).

Spell Weaver (Sp): Archmagi that reach third level have by their very nature developed an understanding of how magic works at it's most fundamental level. 1/day they may use Limited Wish as a spell like ability.

Greater Arcane Fire (Su): From now on the Archmage's Arcane Fire ability (despite remaining an (Su) ability) will now function in antimagic areas, meaning they need never again fear being defenceless. 1/day per point of Int or Cha Mod (the same stat as the one that adds damage to Arcane Fire) creatures hit by it are also affected by a targeted Greater Dispel magic effect.

Grand Mage (Ex): At fifth level the Archmage unlocks the full potential of the magic within them, granting them several powerful abilities.

First of all they gain the power to rejuvenate their spent magic. 1/day per class level, by focussing for 1 minute (10 consecutive full round actions) they may regain a spent first level spell slot if they cast spontaneously or a single spent 1st level spell if they prepare spells. For every additional consecutive minute that they focus they can increase the level of the regained slot, to a maximum of the highest level they can cast in the class they have advanced with Archmage levels -1.

If they take any other actions during this focussing time the attempt is wasted for that day. If they are distracted they may make a Concentration check (DC 10+character level+spell level currently focussing on).

Secondly their impressive (and possibly intimidating) skill with magic means they treat any arcane caster as one step friendlier to a maximum of Helpful.

Finally they gain a feat that may be changed each time they recover their spells. This feat must be an Item Creation or Metamagic feat. Also, each day they may pick one item creation or metamagic feat they possess (either from this feature or any other feat slot) and either reduce all item creation costs (gold, time & XP) by 25% (this does not stack with other cost reduction methods) or reduce the spell level increase by 1, to a minimum of 0.

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Thoughts? I may have gone a bit far in the other direction, but I hope not (first Grand Mage ability bugs me).

The Archmage Destiny is because not everyone is a straight class caster when they enter the class.

TheGeckoKing
2010-10-26, 01:07 PM
I like it, but I need you to clarify one thing with me:

About Spell-Like Ability, do you lose a 5th level spellslot and an X level spellslot for good to gain the X level spell as a SLA? Or do you replenish it each day or something (When you regain your spells)?

Also, is it OK if I have a crack at statting up that freaky-eyed robe? I'm sure that's no Robe of the Archmagi.

Kobold-Bard
2010-10-26, 01:12 PM
I like it, but I need you to clarify one thing with me:

About Spell-Like Ability, do you lose a 5th level spellslot and an X level spellslot for good to gain the X level spell as a SLA? Or do you replenish it each day or something (When you regain your spells)?

Also, is it OK if I have a crack at statting up that freaky-eyed robe? I'm sure that's no Robe of the Archmagi.

Thanks.

All the High Arcana are a direct copy/paste from the SRD. You give up the to slots permanently to be allowed to cast the chosen SLA 2/day.

I believe it's a Robe of Eyes (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Robe_of_Eyes), again from the SRD.

TheGeckoKing
2010-10-26, 01:53 PM
Ah, that seems right. Give up a 5th level spellslot and a 9th level spellslot for Timestop twice per day? Delightful! :smallbiggrin:
As for the robe.........yeauch? That horrible thing? It gets shut down by a CANTRIP for 1d3 mins. Methinks I'll stat it out in the Magic Item compedium thread.
Ignoring the Archmage in the pic's awful armor choice, great class!

PersonMan
2010-10-26, 02:11 PM
I like it. It's better than the old Archmage class, definitely, and it makes more sense that some called an "Archmage" would be able to do things like this without having to give up their spell slots.

Kobold-Bard
2010-10-26, 03:23 PM
I like it. It's better than the old Archmage class, definitely, and it makes more sense that some called an "Archmage" would be able to do things like this without having to give up their spell slots.

Thanks much :smallsmile:

TheGeckoKing
2010-10-26, 03:33 PM
Actually, PersonMan's comment has given me an idea....
Maybe as an Archmage Destiny, but maybe the Archmage could give
up something other than spell slots for his High Arcana?
His Familiar? Feats? Unrecoverable WIS Drain? It would be
a path for the most paranoid Batman Wizards, desperate to be always prepaired, or something.

Godskook
2010-10-27, 02:16 AM
Archmage didn't really need this kind of overhaul, imho.

Sure, Arcane Fire needed work, but when a prestige class comes up as a possibility, and in fact, drive people to figure out ways to enter it more easily, I think that average power of the class is just fine.

I mean, consider this, at present, Archmage is:

Considered a +0 prestige class in Zeal's tier list
Treantmonk rates it as a 3/3 prestige choice for the "God" wizard, and rated higher for pairing with the Malconvoker
LogicNinja called a staple of the batman wizard

Point being, its already one of *THE* most frequently mentioned non-cheesy wizard/sorcerer prestige classes out there.

DrWeird
2010-10-27, 12:32 PM
This is pretty excessive...couldn't we have just stuck with the Arcane Fire fix in the other thread?

sreservoir
2010-10-27, 08:26 PM
I don't think it needed this improvement.

that said, would taking out the components and xp bit in SLA be all that unbalancing, considering the power level you seem to be aiming for?

AugustNights
2010-10-28, 12:09 PM
Well I, for one, like the fixes.
More options is always a better thing in my mind.
Yeah it's a bit more powerful, but like you said, it might want to be to compete with some of the other things that came out towards the end.

Southern Cross
2010-10-28, 01:52 PM
I like the fix to the classes myself.
Actually though, what I really think is needed is a new Destiny for theurge characters. (That is characters with the eldritch theurge, mystic theurge or ultimate magus prestige classes.) I'd call it Master Theurge. Essentially,it would allow archmage levels to count as levels for the other class,essentially extending the levels of the mystic or eldritch theurge class. However,the archmage would have to have gotten to level 10 in the prestige class.

Kobold-Bard
2010-10-28, 01:56 PM
I like the fix to the classes myself.
Actually though, what I really think is needed is a new Destiny for theurge characters. (That is characters with the eldritch theurge, mystic theurge or ultimate magus prestige classes.) I'd call it Master Theurge. Essentially,it would allow archmage levels to count as levels for the other class,essentially extending the levels of the mystic or eldritch theurge class. However,the archmage would have to have gotten to level 10 in the prestige class.

Thought of that, but that's actually the capstone in my Mystic Theurge fix. I'll add it though.

Fizban
2010-10-29, 03:28 AM
I agree that this isn't really necessary, but I do like the "destinies." They're a nice ability in exchange for the 3 incredibly bland feats you pay to get in, which is nice because with the default class all they do is pay for the privilege of paying more, and they extend the life of some 5 or 10 level prestige classes, allowing you to actually make your career in theurging or abjurant championing.

Kobold-Bard
2010-11-13, 09:08 AM
Took out a couple of High Arcana, dunno if this changes people's opinions of it. I don't think it's fair that they should have to pay for class features while other classes don't.

AugustNights
2010-11-13, 12:23 PM
... but removing abilities makes me sad :smallsigh:.

I don't suppose you could... maybe have a 'Removed High Arcana' spoiler or post?

Kobold-Bard
2010-11-13, 02:59 PM
... but removing abilities makes me sad :smallsigh:.

I don't suppose you could... maybe have a 'Removed High Arcana' spoiler or post?

1. Well most people didn't like it as it was, and if I have to get rid of something I'd rather get rid of what I dislike (paying for class features, especially after taking two arse pre-req feats) than something I like.

2. Eh?

AugustNights
2010-11-13, 03:09 PM
Never mind, I think I'm confused.

Surgo
2010-11-18, 09:43 AM
To the people saying it didn't need the improvement: yes, yes it did.

The only reason people cared about the Archmage was for Mastery of Shaping, Spell Power, and (when you could get away with it) using Spell-like Ability to get free Wishes.

So this is great. The class is more than a two-trick pony, and in fact loses the frequency of some of those tricks (making it less powerful in some ways). If anything, it needs to step up and compete just a bit better in this modern world of full casting prestige classes by making it so you don't have to pay extra for your class features, something no other PrC makes you do. The frequency you get High Arcana is dropped, so this should be pretty much fine.

Leonardo
2012-07-01, 11:44 AM
Do spell like abilities cost exp. if the spell they duplicate does?

Kobold-Bard
2012-07-01, 12:09 PM
Do spell like abilities cost exp. if the spell they duplicate does?


An archmage who selects this type of high arcana 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.

Emphasis mine.

Hooray for thread necromancy.

nonsi
2012-07-02, 01:27 AM
To the people saying it didn't need the improvement: yes, yes it did.

The only reason people cared about the Archmage was for Mastery of Shaping, Spell Power, and (when you could get away with it) using Spell-like Ability to get free Wishes.

So this is great. The class is more than a two-trick pony, and in fact loses the frequency of some of those tricks (making it less powerful in some ways). If anything, it needs to step up and compete just a bit better in this modern world of full casting prestige classes by making it so you don't have to pay extra for your class features, something no other PrC makes you do. The frequency you get High Arcana is dropped, so this should be pretty much fine.

I second that motion.

Also, the following images much better represent an Archmage than an old man in a poorly fashioned dress and an even more poorly fashioned cape:

http://img.bhs4.com/79/5/795df77f00df3fbf149db973a89f82d81a461423_large.jpg
http://th04.deviantart.net/fs70/PRE/i/2010/326/0/0/archmage_by_michel1977-d33dqe9.jpg
http://cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets/1539/Genasi_Sorcerer.jpg
http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060915022511/uncyclopedia/images/c/c1/Raistlin.jpg
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/excerpt_4E_archmage.jpg


Also, Arcane Fire is quite underwhelming. It needs some more kick.

Zale
2012-07-02, 01:31 AM
I like this one myself.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii50/Aluroon/KatrinaArchmage3-1.jpg

ben-zayb
2012-07-02, 02:49 AM
Personally, I always envisioned an archmage as a grand, majestic authoritative figure, with an stoic (or slightly amused, or maybe condescending) countenance, and a certain air of mystery (glowing energy optional). Just looking at him/her should turn a PC awestruck, wondering just what kind of great arcane secrets this person possesses. The original image works, although Zale's suggestion looks more of what I'd envisioned.

Overall, though, I think this fix is a nice boost to the Archmage. Is it needed to make an Archmage viable? Heck no, the original Archmage is serviceable (though most guys only dip for an ability or two). Does it add flavor and variety? Heck yeah!.

If anything else, my only suggestion would be to rename Arcane Fire, since it really isn't fire at all and many archmages aren't necessarily tied to any element after all. Maybe Arcane Missile/Blast? While at it, maybe it could alternatively reduce damage die (or some other cost) to affect additional targets or just an area entirely...

Leonardo
2012-07-02, 12:02 PM
About the theurge destiny - mystic theurge is an arcane spellcasting class, and therefore could be chosen to be advanced in any prestige class that has +1 existing spellcasting class.

Kobold-Bard
2012-07-02, 12:14 PM
About the theurge destiny - mystic theurge is an arcane spellcasting class, and therefore could be chosen to be advanced in any prestige class that has +1 existing spellcasting class.

Mystic Theurge isn't a casting class of any type, it's a PrC that just advances the spellcasting of other classes.

It's why you can't advance Mystic Theurge with True Necromancer & vice versa, most PrC's (excepting things like Ur-Priest) don't have a spellcasting progression of their own to advance.

Leonardo
2012-07-09, 08:17 AM
Does the spellweaver ability also use xp?

Kobold-Bard
2012-07-09, 09:04 AM
Does the spellweaver ability also use xp?

No, that's a normal SLA, so no XP cost.

Leonardo
2012-07-09, 01:23 PM
What does PEACH mean? (aside from the fruit)

ScIaDrd
2012-07-09, 01:32 PM
What does PEACH mean? (aside from the fruit)

Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. PEACHes, not only a delicious fruit, but also an all-purpose acronym for asking for feedback and generally pestering people into reviewing your creations!:smallsmile:

LordErebus12
2012-07-09, 01:40 PM
i like this a lot, very good idea

Kobold-Bard
2012-07-09, 05:26 PM
Thanks, I appreciate it.

Aluroon
2012-07-19, 08:09 AM
In the interest of an honest critique, you took a very powerful prestige class and removed mitigating factors, then added limited wish as an SLA, gave them a free floating bonus feat, and gave a metamagic reducer.

Oh, you also made it the go to class for any mystic theurge, specialist wizard, or gish. In short, you broke the archmage wide open in a horrifically unbalanced way. Compare this to the vast majority of PRCs (not just the 1-2 best) and you find something that people have absolutely no reason not to take.

When you've created something that is the best option, you've gone too far overboard on the balance scale.

At most I would have revamped arcane fire and maybe removed the spell slot cost for high arcana. Everything else is way overboard, especially the Archmage Destiny abilities (all of them except the first). If you want to leave the abilities (other than Archmage Destiny, which really needs to be scrapped entirely) then it needs to lose a level of spellcasting at minimum (and at 1st level).

Just my opinion though, and I don't think you should take the most broken offerings of 3.5 and use them as your basis for balance, so take of it what you will.