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ironwizard
2013-02-11, 04:51 PM
This is my first attempt at homebrew for 3.5, so be gentle with the criticisms :P

I present the Arcanist, an arcane spellcaster that gives up versatility for raw power. The Arcanist is similar to the Sorcerer, but has limited school selection and fewer spells per day. In return, he gets the ability to Overcast a spell, applying metamagic feats for free, and the ability to continue casting spells after he has reached his daily allotment, albeit with significant risk.

Abilities: Intelligence is the prime requisite of the Arcanist, powering his spellcasting. A high Dexterity is valuable as the Arcanist doesn't wear armor and a high Constitution will increase his hit points, a low resource for the Arcanist, and makes it easier to pass the Con checks for Eternal Casting.
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d4

Class Skills:
The following skills are considered class skills for the Arcanist: Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Knowledge (All skills taken individually), Profession, Spellcraft
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier

{table=head] Table 1: The Arcanist | Spells Per Day | Spells Known
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special

1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Overcasting (+1), Metamagic Feat
2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Special Overcasting
3rd|+1|+1|+1|+3|Metamagic Feat (+2)
4th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Overcasting (+2)
5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Overcasting (2/Day), Eternal Casting
6th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Special Overcasting
7th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Metamagic Feat (+3)
8th|+4|+2|+2|+6|Overcasting (+3)
9th|+4|+3|+3|+6|Overcasting (3/Day)
10th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Eternal Overcasting
11th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Metamagic Feat (+4)
12th|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Overcasting (+4)
13th|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Overcasting (4/Day)
14th|+7/+2|+4|+4|+9|Special Overcasting
15th|+7/+2|+5|+5|+9|Metamagic Feat (+5)
16th|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|Overcasting (+5)
17th|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|Overcasting (5/Day)
18th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Special Overcasting
19th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Metamagic Feat (+6)
20th|+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Overcasting (+6)

[/table] | {table=head]0|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9

5|3||||||||
6|4||||||||
6|5||||||||
6|6|3|||||||
6|6|4|||||||
6|6|5|3||||||
6|6|6|4||||||
6|6|6|5|3|||||
6|6|6|6|4|||||
6|6|6|6|5|3||||
6|6|6|6|6|4||||
6|6|6|6|6|5|3|||
6|6|6|6|6|6|4|||
6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3||
6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4||
6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3|
6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4|
6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3
6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4
6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6

[/table] | {table=head]0|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9

4|2||||||||
5|2||||||||
5|3||||||||
6|3|1|||||||
6|4|2|||||||
7|4|2|1||||||
7|5|3|2||||||
8|5|3|2|1|||||
8|5|4|3|2|||||
9|5|4|3|2|1||||
9|5|5|4|3|2||||
9|5|5|4|3|2|1|||
9|5|5|4|4|3|2|||
9|5|5|4|4|3|2|1||
9|5|5|4|4|4|3|2||
9|5|5|4|4|4|3|2|1|
9|5|5|4|4|4|3|3|2|
9|5|5|4|4|4|3|3|2|1
9|5|5|4|4|4|3|3|3|2
9|5|5|4|4|4|3|3|3|3

[/table] [/table]

Class Features
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The Arcanist is proficient with all simple weapons. The Arcanist is not proficient with armor of any kind nor with shields, as they incur spell failure.
Spells: Arcanists cast arcane spells. They only know a limited number of spells, but do not have to prepare them ahead of time. Bonus spells for the Arcanist are based on Int. To cast an Arcanist spell, a character needs a Intelligence of 10 + the spell's level (not including Overcast bonuses, see below), and a minimum Intelligence of 10 to cast any spells at all! The Arcanist spells come from those available to Sorcerers and Wizards. Choose 3 schools of magic plus Universal. These 4 schools comprise the Arcanist spell list. An Arcanist may not specialize further and therefore does not get an extra spell per day, but is likewise not affected by the same prohibition regarding magic items as a specialist wizard is. That is, an Arcanist with access to the Invocation, Transmutation, and Illusion schools has not banned enchantment, and may use scrolls and magic items duplicating such effects freely.
Overcasting: Starting at 1st level, the Arcanist may utilize his signature ability, Overcasting, a number of times per day as shown on Table A-1 plus hit Int modifier. When Overcasting, the Arcanist may apply a metamagic feat or feats to one of his spells up to his overcasting limit for free. Overcasting is part of casting the spell, and so does not increase the casting time, though the normal application of metamagic does. The Arcanist's overcasting limit is +1 at 1st level, and increases as shown. Note that since this does not require a spell slot, the Arcanist may overcast a spell into an otherwise unattainable spell level. (For instance, at level 19 he could apply Maximize to a Delayed Blast Fireball, even though a Maximized Delayed Blast Fireball normally would take up a 10th level spell slot, beyond non-epic level casters. Overcasting may be combined with other metamagic as normal (for example, an Arcanist with an overcasting limit of +3 could use a 3rd level spell slot to cast a Silent (+1), Still (+1) Magic Missile, and then Overcast it with Maximize (+3), casting a Maximized, Silent, Still Magic Missile out of a 3rd level spell slot. Overcasting is part of casting the spell, so takes up no additional actions.
Metamagic Feat: At 1st and 3rd level, and every four levels thereafter the Arcanist gains a new metamagic feat, provided he meats the prerequisites. The chosen feat cannot have a spell level adjustment greater than shown on the table. Heighten Spell, which has a variable level adjustment, may be taken at any level.
Eternal Casting: At 5th level, an Arcanist who has used up all of his spell slots from a given level may still attempt to cast spells from those slots, but not without risk. To cast the spell, he must succeed at a Constitution check DC = 10 + Modified Spell Level. Failure means that the additional magical energies have overtaxed the Arcanist's body. He must succeed at a Fort Save (DC = 10 + (the number of spell levels that have been cast with Eternal Casting that day)) For example, suppose a 5th level Arcanist has used up his daily allotment of 3rd level spells. However, his party gets into a tight spot and decides that the risk is justified. He attempts to cast Fireball, a 3rd level spell. The Arcanist must now succeed at a Constitution check with a DC 13. He fails. He now must succeed at a DC13 Fort save to not overtax himself. He does so successfully. Later that day, he decides to cast Fireball again, and again failed the Constitution check. He now must succeed a DC 16 Fort Save. Note that even if the initial Con check succeeds, the attempt is still counted for further Fort saves to avoid Con damage. If the Fort Save against overtaxing fails, the Arcanist suffers a cumulative point of Con damage for each time he has failed this Fort save. (i.e. 1 point for the first time, 2 for the second, 3 for the third, etc...) This Con damage returns at the rate of 1 per day. Should an Arcanist be reduced to 0 or fewer Con by overtaxing, he immediately falls unconscious and the remains so until his Con returns to it's normal value. (This is an exception to the normal rule that states that a character immediately dies if his Con ever hits 0 or lower.) In this case, the Con returns at a rate of 1 point per two days. Note that Con of less that 1 only makes the Arcanist unconscious if the damage that put him at 0 or lower comes from Eternal Casting/Overcasting. Con damage from any other source is lethal as normal, meaning that if an Arcanist with 1 or less Con takes any Con damage, he immediately dies. There is no limit to how many times an Arcanist may attempt Eternal Casting per day, (but the con damage might!). Only Arcanist spells may be overcast, even if a character has spells from other sources.
Eternal Overcasting: At 10h level the Arcanist may attempt to Overcast beyond his daily limit. To do this, he must succeed at a Constitution check equal to 10 + the spell's modified level (from metamagic feats, including those being used in the overcast). If he succeeds, the spell is cast normally. Failure means that the spell is lost. Furthermore, failure indicates negative effects exactly as if the Arcanist had failed his Con check for Eternal Casting. In fact, the increase in save DC increase is shared between the two abilities. So an Arcanist that has cast an additional 3rd level spell beyond his limit attempts to Overcast a spell with a modified spell level of 7. The DC to not overtax himself is 17 (10 + 7 = 17). If he fails that check, the save DC for the subsequent Fort Save is 20. (10 base + 7 from the Eternally Overcast spell + 3 from the previous 3rd level Eternally cast Spell). Clearly, an Arcanist can find himself facing insurmountable Save DCs very quickly.
Special Overcasting: At the listed levels, the Arcanist may select one of the following abilities. Unless otherwise stated, he may not select the same ability twice, and he must have a sufficient Overcasting bonus to select each ability.
Unbound Spell: You channel the dangerous might of Overcasting to expand the effects of your spells. For every 2 Overcasting points spent on this ability, add 50% more dice to a spell cast. (For example, a fireball cast at 10th level with 2 OC points spent would deal 15d6 points of damage). Spells that only roll one die may still be improved, but it costs +4 Overcasting points to double the amount of dice (so you roll 2). Minimum Overcasting Bonus +2.
Penetrating Spell: You channel your Overcasting Power to breach your foes' Spell Resistance. For each Overcasting Point you spend you get +2 to beat the target's SR.
Overpowering Spell: You can convert your Overcasting Points into Overwhelming power. For each Overcasting point you spend, your Save DC increases by 2.
Accurate Spell: Your otherwise unspent Overcasting points grant you a measure of focus. For every Overcasting Point spent, +2 to hit.
Overwhelming Spell: Your Overcasting might manifests in the most basic and destructive way possible, adding raw damage to the spell. For each Overcasting point spent, add 1d8 untyped damage.



Ok, critique away!

bobthe6th
2013-02-11, 05:27 PM
Why not allow flat wilder style over channeling? as in they cast spells at a higer CL, but risk losing the spell based on a d% roll.

Also, the DC for eternal casting is to low. the DC is 10+1/2 level for the casters highest spell, while the skill is 3+level+con mod+any other bonus. Much like casting defensivly it becomes a nearly risk less oh, a flat constitution check... damn, that is harsh. At best I would think you might get somewhere with a circlet of persuasion style item for con.

I have to say the class is to empty, and spells per day are lower the necessary. It needs some class features, and to toss eternal casting for just sorc style casting.

ironwizard
2013-02-11, 06:30 PM
Why not allow flat wilder style over channeling? as in they cast spells at a higer CL, but risk losing the spell based on a d% roll.

I am unfamiliar with this class/style, but I wanted the flavor to be that if you stay within your limits, you're fine, but if you stretch yourself too much, bad things may happen.


Also, the DC for eternal casting is to low. the DC is 10+1/2 level for the casters highest spell, while the skill is 3+level+con mod+any other bonus. Much like casting defensivly it becomes a nearly risk less oh, a flat constitution check... damn, that is harsh. At best I would think you might get somewhere with a circlet of persuasion style item for con.

It's intended to be a difficult check, if it were too easy, it's the same as infinite spells per day, which is just too good. I want to make sure that at no point is the check a given success for higher level spells.


I have to say the class is to empty, and spells per day are lower the necessary. It needs some class features, and to toss eternal casting for just sorc style casting.

I'm ok with the class being a bit empty, it is a caster after all, but I had had the same thought about too few spells per day. Might go up to normal Sorcerer spells per day.

Thanks for the input!

bobthe6th
2013-02-11, 07:01 PM
Wilder is from psionics, which are luckly part of the online SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/classes/wilder.htm). They do what a lot of this class does, but with psionics. The wild surge ability let them boost their caster level for a spell, but risk a 5*CL boos% chance of losing the spell and being stunned for a round.

No, empty casters are badly designed. It means you have nothing to stop you Prestiging out at immediately. Note the difference between a Dread necromancer, and the sorcerer.

Just to Browse
2013-02-11, 10:17 PM
OH MY GOD THREE NESTED TABLES. DON'T DO THIS TO ME.

http://gifs.gifbin.com/1238157980_scanners_-_head_explosion.gif

Grod_The_Giant
2013-02-11, 10:55 PM
First suggestion-- for the love of god, simplify those functions! I can't see any benefit to using "Int mod + 2 + level / 3" as opposed to, say, 1/2 level + Int mod.

Secondly, I'd like to see the class features come in at different levels. Instead of everything coming in one multiples of 5, maybe make overchannel improve at +1/5 levels, grant bonus metamagic feats at 1st and every 4th level thereafter, shift Eternal Casting and Overcasting to 6 and 12, respectively... you get the idea. It fills in those dead levels.

Thirdly, as bobthe6th suggested, a mechanism to boost either your effective CL, or-- perhaps-- the CL cap on spells* would be cool-- maybe even both.



*By which I mean things like fireball being capped at 10d6 damage.

ironwizard
2013-02-12, 12:09 AM
First suggestion-- for the love of god, simplify those functions! I can't see any benefit to using "Int mod + 2 + level / 3" as opposed to, say, 1/2 level + Int mod.

Hehe, I'll take a look at them, the idea was to consolidate a table I'd worked out into a function for conciseness. Also most of the guys in my group are math buffs, so it's not so scary at the table.


Secondly, I'd like to see the class features come in at different levels. Instead of everything coming in one multiples of 5, maybe make overchannel improve at +1/5 levels, grant bonus metamagic feats at 1st and every 4th level thereafter, shift Eternal Casting and Overcasting to 6 and 12, respectively... you get the idea. It fills in those dead levels.

Hmmm... I had kept the Overcasting increases tied to Metamagic feats so that you'd always have a new tool to put in your now bigger mataphoricla toolbox, but with...


Thirdly, as bobthe6th suggested, a mechanism to boost either your effective CL, or-- perhaps-- the CL cap on spells* would be cool-- maybe even both.

...this as an option, maybe that can change a bit. I'll hammer out some options and report back.


*By which I mean things like fireball being capped at 10d6 damage.

Bigger spells are cool, but there's a reason they got capped after Basic. :smallsmile:

Just as a general response to the idea of dead levels and PrC-ing out, the intention is to make the increased bonuses sufficient enough to be worth the dead levels. If you PrC out too early, then your just a sorcerer with a few extra metamagic feats and fewer spells per day.

In an earlier draft, Overcasts per day was not variable per day based on Int, it was a flat number based on level and increased every 3, so 1/day at 1, 2 at 4, etc... to 7/day at level 19. Would that be better?

Grod_The_Giant
2013-02-12, 12:14 AM
Oh, a relevant question here: can you mix-and-match the adjustment from Overcasting and normal metamagic? Like, could a 5th level Arcanist cast a Maximized Magic Missile? (1 base + 3 metamagic - 2 overcasting)

ironwizard
2013-02-12, 12:16 AM
Oh, a relevant question here: can you mix-and-match the adjustment from Overcasting and normal metamagic? Like, could a 5th level Arcanist cast a Maximized Magic Missile? (1 base + 3 metamagic - 2 overcasting)

Yes, it's not explicitly stated, but this is intended to be legal. In the example for Overcasting, a Still, Silent, Maximized Magic Missile is casted with OC +3 out of a 3rd level slot for example.

I'll edit the OP shortly to clarify.

ironwizard
2013-02-22, 12:43 PM
Ok updates are out.

Highlights:
Switched to Sorc Spells per day.
Removed complicated formulas
Graduated class features to fill all levels
Added a new feature: Special Overcasting, allows the Arcanist to use his Overcasting Allowance to add other features to his spells instead of normal metamagic feats. I have a few abilities up, but I'm having a hard time coming up with good ones, so any ideas would be more than welcome.
OC/Day reduced to 6 +Int mod at max level due to new progression
OC bonus increased to +6 at max level due to new progression

OP will be edited shortly.