View Full Version : A New Take on the Arcanist: The Imaskari Alternative = Please PEACH

2013-10-29, 02:40 AM
The Arcanist of Imaskar
Imaskar have been a great empire in the east during the time Netheril was but a gathering of tribes and I always felt they received much less love and dedication than the other users of High Magic, like the Elven empires and their brother Arcanists from Netheril. This class is an ongoing effort to fix that, at least in part. That's why I am going for it.

As for the how, I found Arcanist's and Dicefreak's version of the old Netherese Arcanist to be very good and flavorful and I wanted to take part in that, at least a little. I am also using another version of the Netherese Arcanist found in a PDF that neither have had previous contact with, according to their own testimony. What had began as a scoobydoo-esque type of mystery has now became one of my most beloved treasures, as it stands like a Nether Scroll inside my hard-drive. If you want to see the PDF in question, send me a PM, I am not as jealous of my own knowledge as the Netherese were. :smallbiggrin:

Note that the class has been severely toned down from the other aforementioned versions in an effort to compensate for a spontaneous variant of a wizard, something that Dicefreak and Arcanist had done, in part, but in my opinion still retained their power levels way over nine thousand. This class is supposed to wage war against gods and build entire planar cities, but out of sheer hard-work and effort, not because they have an edge the size of Soul Edge. That said, it will suffer some alterations as I go and probably receive an Epic Version and two or three prestige classes(!), but this is the core of it.People, PEACH this. PEACH like no one has ever PEACHed before.

Feel free to judge the class as harshly as you want. This is my third attempt at homebrew (the others were just minor development of existing classes) so I am eager to know what the community here in the Playgrounds think of this. But please be gentle...

. Arcanists were the major spellcasters of the old empires of yore who spammed the globe, from the northern tribes of Netheril to the shinning deserts of High Imaskar. Considered one of the most prestigious of professions, the Arcanist was the equivalent to the modern-day wizard or sorcerer. But with this prestige came a price. Their philosophy rendered them incapable of accepting any help from divine magic from any source, to the point they would sooner die than willingly accept healing from a priestly spell.
. One of the largest differences between Imaskari spell-casters and their brethren from more modern times concerned the aspect of spell memorization. Arcanists didn't memorize spells, they simply reached into the weave—the source of all magic—and plucked out the mystical energies they sought. They still recorded the spells that they knew upon spell books for review from time to time, but they didn't need to spend hours studying for spells. They could still cast only the spells they knew, however, and their magical storehouse of knowledge still required a good night’s sleep to replenish itself.
. Adventures:
. Characteristics:
. Alignment:
. Religion:
. Background:

Game Rule Information

. Abilities: Intelligence determines how powerful a spell an Arcanist can cast, how many spells she can cast, and how hard those spells are to resist. To learn or cast a spell, the Arcanist must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell’s level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an Arcanist’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the Arcanist’s Intelligence modifier. High Dexterity is helpful for an Arcanist, because she typically wears little or no armor. A good Constitution is also helpful, as it gives an Arcanist extra hit points, a resource that she is otherwise very low on.
. Alignment: Any.
. Hit Die: d4.

. Class Skills:
The arcanist’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), Spellcraft (Int) and Use Magic Device (Cha).

. Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.
. Skill Points at Higher Levels: 2 + Int modifier.

Table 1-1
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Arks/day|Weave Depth

1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Familiar, Spellbook, Fields of Magic, Divine Aversion|1|1st|




5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Lesser Imaskari Craft|14|3rd|





10th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Greater Imaskari Craft|70|5th|





15th|+7/+2|+5|+5|+9|Imaskari Artisan|174|8th|





20th|+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Epic Spellcasting|324|9th|[/table]

Class Feature
All of the following are class features of the arcanist.
. Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Arcanists are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with an arcanist’s movements, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail.
. Spells: An arcanist casts arcane spells which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. An arcanist need not choose and prepare her spells ahead of time. Instead, she can cast any spell she has recorded in her spell library (see Spellbooks, below) simply by drawing energy from the Weave and shaping it appropriately. The spells an arcanist can cast in this way are limited by her level (see Weave Depth, below).
. Weave Depth: The more complex a spell is, the deeper an arcanist must reach into the fabric of magic to cast it. An arcanist begins play with the ability to cast cantrips and 1st-level spells. As she attains higher levels, the arcanist may gain the ability to cast more complex spells from the list of Wiz/Sorc spells.
. Arks: An Arcanist’s ability to cast spells is limited by the arks she has available. Her base daily allotment of arks is given on Table 1–1. In addition, she receives bonus arcs per day if she has a high Intelligence score (see Table 1–5). Certain feats and items may also provide bonus arcs per day. Each spell costs a certain number of arcs to cast. The higher the level of the spell, the more arcs it costs. Table 1–2 describes each spell’s cost per level. In order to replenish her store of arks, the Arcanist must rest for at least eight hours and then spend fifteen minutes concentrating on the fabric of magic itself. Any arks spent within the last eight hours count against the Arcanist’s daily limit and are not restored.
Table 1–2: Ark Costs per Spell Level
Spell Level|Ark Cost
* 0-level spells (cantrips) typically cost no arks to cast. An Arcanist can cast a number of cantrips per day equal to 3 + her Int modifier. Any additional 0-level spells in a day cost 1 ark each.
. Metamagic: WIP
. Bonus Languages: An arcanist may substitute Draconic for one of the bonus languages available to the character because of her race.
. Familiar: An Arcanist can obtain a Familiar as per the Wizard and Sorcerer Class Feature.
. Spellbook: An arcanist must learn spells before she can cast them, and part of this process is scribing them into her library of spellbooks. The process of scribing a spell is the same for an arcanist as it is for a wizard. If by any chance an Arcanist looses one or more of his spellbooks he can write his spells down again from memory within one week per intelligence modifier (minimum 1) or risk forgetting all his spells. Because this is such a investing task she must spend 100xp per spellbook lost and recovered in this manner. In case an Arcanist looses all her spellbooks at the same time, the lack of reference material and frantic work makes this task even more taxing for her mind, increasing the xp penalty to 200xp.
. An Arcanist begins play with one spellbook containing all 0-level sorcerer/wizard spells, minus spells from her prohibited field, plus three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the Arcanist has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new Arcanist level, she gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that she can cast (based on her new Arcanist level) for her spellbook. At any time, an Arcanist can also attempt to add spells found in other spellbooks to her own.
. Fields of Magic: Arcanists differ from other spellcasters in their division of magic into three fields —invention, mentalism, and variation— rather than the traditional eight schools. Every Arcanist must select at 1st level one field as her major field of specialization, and one as her lesser field. The Arcanist gains a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks to identify and scribe spells from her major field since its spells come naturally to her. Contrarily, spells of the lesser field are harder to master and she receives -2 penalty on spellcraft checks to identify and to scribe spells from that field. Alternatively, she can choose to forbid her lesser field entirely, receiving a Bonus Feat as per the Wizard class feature and bonus Arks as per the table 1-3. The choice of fields is permanent and can't be changed later.
Table 1–3 Bonus Arks from Specialization per Level
{table=head]Class Levels|Bonus Arks
. Divine Aversion: Arcanists were renowned for their haughtiness concerning matters of magical assistance through priestly magic. They believed that to accept a beneficial spells by a priest was bellow their position in many ways. The reason varies constantly and drastically, but the mindset of an arcanist is built to shun all divine magic. As an effect any harmless spell a cleric, or any divine caster, uses on an Arcanist that allows a saving throw must be saved. In the case of a success, the Arcanist resists the spell and it has no further effect. This ability has no effect on harmful divine spells.
. This effect extends to any spell completion or spell trigger itens, such as scrolls and wands. Thus they do rely heavily on potions of healing and similar curatives, believing them to be magically created concoctions and thus free of the meddling hand of the gods.
. Lesser Imaskari Craft: The people of Imaskar were renownmed for their powerful magical artifacts. At 5th level an arcanist must select a bonus Item Creation feat from the following list: Craft Magic Weapons and Armor, Craft Woundrous Items or Craft Wand. He gains that feat even if he doesn't meet the prerequisites for it. She also receives +2 on Craft skill checks made to create the item in relation to her chosen feat.
. Greater Imaskari Crat: At 10th level an arcanist must select a bonus Item Creation feat from the following list: Craft Rod, Craft Staff or Craft Ring. She gains that feat even if she doesn't meet the prerequisites for it. She also receives +2 on Craft skill checks made to create the item in relation to her chosen feat.
. Imaskari Artisan: At 15th level an Arcanist can choose any one Magic Item Creation Feat obtainable either by the Lesser or Greater Imaskari Craft class features. Alternatively, she can choose a Feat she already knows, further expecializing in that feat. She receives +2 to all Use Magic Device to activate items pertaining to the feat of her specialization and receives a +2 caster level when determining the power of said items. Additionally she needs only spend half of the gold needed to craft said item (1/4th of the item's oficial rice). If an Arcanist chooses to specialize this way she receives a -2 caster level whenever creating items ruled by other Feats that are not of her field of specialization outside of the feats obtained by Lesser or Greater Imaskari Craft class features.
. Epic Spellcasting: At 20th level, an arcanist gains the Epic Spellcasting feat as a bonus feat, even if she does not meet the prerequisites.

2013-10-29, 02:45 AM
Fields of Magic
. Fields of magic are treated just like schools where feats such as Spell Focus are concerned. Effects that specifically target a certain school only affect those spells of a field that fall into that school. So, for example, a character can gain Spell Focus (mentalism) as a feat, but an item that specifically blocks enchantment spells and effects would not necessarily block all mentalisms.
. A field is one of three groupings of spells, each defined by a common theme. The three fields are invention, mentalism, and variation.
. Invention: An arcanist who chooses invention is called an inventor. Inventions are spells that create and destroy things, and inventors are often mighty battle-mages.
. Mentalism: An Arcanist who chooses mentalism is called a mentalist. Mentalisms are spells that affect the mind, and this field includes the greatest spell ever cast: Karsus' Avatar.
. Variation: An Arcanist who chooses variation is called a variator. Variations are spells that alter and shape things—even magic itself. Many variators are masters of metamagic.
. A listing of which schools of magic correspond to each field can be found in Table 1–4. Note that Universal spells may be used by Arcanists regardless of their specialization or lack thereof.
Table 1–4: Schools of Magic by Field
Invention|Conjuration, evocation
Mentalism|Divination, enchantment, illusion
Variation|Abjuration, necromancy, transmutation[/table]

Bonus Arks (by Weave Depth)
. Just as common spellcasters receive bonus spells per day due to high ability scores, gifted Arcanists gain bonus arks. To determine the number of bonus arcs gained from a high Intelligence score, first find the row for the Arcanist’s Int on table 1–5. Next, find the column for the highest level of spell the character is capable of casting based on her Arcanist level (even if she doesn't have a high enough Int to cast spells of that level). At the point where the row and column intersect, you find the bonus arks the character gains. This value can change each time her Int score undergoes a permanent change (such as from an acquired template, a wish spell, or due to character level) and each time her level changes.
Table 1–5
{table=head]IntScore|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th |8th|9th
10-11 | - | - | - |- |- |- |- |- |-
12-13 |1 |1 |1 |1 |1 |1 |1 |1 |1
14-15 | 1 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 |4 |4 |4
16-17 |1 |4 |9 |9 |9 | 9 |9 | 9 |9
18-19 |1 |4 |9 | 16 |16 |16 | 16 | 16 |16
20-21 |2 |5 | 10 |17 | 26 | 26 | 26 | 26 | 26
22-23 | 2 |8 | 13 |20 | 29 |40 | 40 | 40 |40
24-25 |2 | 8 | 18 |25 | 34 |45 | 58 | 58 | 58
26-27 |2 | 8 |18 | 32 |41 |52 | 65 | 80 | 80
28-29 | 3 | 9 | 19 | 33 | 51 | 62 | 75 | 90 |107
30-31 |3 | 12 | 22 | 36 | 54 | 76 | 89 | 104 |121
32-33 | 3 | 12 | 24 | 38 | 56 | 78 |104| 119 |136
34-35 |3 | 12 | 27 | 48 | 66 | 88 | 114 | 144 |161[/table]

2013-10-29, 02:46 AM
Men at Work (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeG-hNXXy6I). Space reserved to be used for transmutation megalomaniacs.

2013-10-30, 06:51 PM
OK, several things that catch my eye. You are essentially using spell point system automatically which can be a big benefit. I'd suggest upping the casting cost to a square function of some sort to avert this.

You gain the benefits of any school specialization thing three times over when you get it which can be pretty broken in some ways.

Lastly (ignoring the epic casting bit), is that you spontaneously cast like a wizard. Should probably mention it's spontaneous casting at some point to let people know that it'll take a full round to pop on metamagic to it, but this is one of the two benefits of one of the classes commonly used as an example of a broken class. The beholder mage. I think the cut to spell power may help in this.

2013-10-30, 11:50 PM
Coping this here to keep it easy to find. Will delete/move as I see fit. :smallcool:

CLONE: On that note, I was breaking my head in some mathematical experiments and came up with a more *linear* progression for cost of spells for a spontaneous Ark system. If you guys could take a look. It hurts my heart just to stare at it... :smallfrown: But only through the hurt of the hammer and the fiery passion of labor can iron become steel. :smallfurious::smallcool:

{table=head] Spell Level | Arks Cost

0th | 0*|
1st | 2 |
2nd | 5 |
3rd | 9 |
4th | 14 |
5th | 20 |
6th | 27 |
7th | 35 |
8th | 44 |
9th | 54 |[/table]
I think this plus the Erudite's "different powers per day" should be enough to bring the class to tier 1 or 2. I am thinking of giving it a sort of Arcane Fire too, where it will be able to burn Arks to fuel an eldritch blast type of power as so to give them an even more constrict list of things they can do with Arks, making them value the Arks even more.

In this manner I want to increase the class' demand for magic in the form of items as to reflect the custom of the Imaskari of storing knowledge and power inside their artifacts.

2013-10-31, 12:02 AM
Although I am charmed by the idea of the class and the fact that I was an inspiration for you (however minute), I must confess that certain aspects of this class are beyond strange and cross certain lines that I myself refused to cross. Although you did not request for us to PEACH, I will succumb to my overwhelming desire to display such opinions (sorry for typing like this btw, It's Halloween and I've been reading my favorite Gothic stories and watching Horror movies and writing stories myself)

Epic Spellcasting Pre-Epic: This was a line that I refused to cross myself because, no matter how much I refuse to admit it on this site, Epic Spellcasting is fairly overpowered (If used Irresponsibly). Why the Imaskari are allowed prior to being Epic is beyond me.
Bonus Languages: Please add Roushum (http://www.candlekeep.com/library/articles/imaskar.htm#The%20Imaskari%20Language) as one of the bonus languages since it was the national language for the Imaskari. On a side note: I highly recommend that page, it is a wondrous read if you haven't read it already.
Spellbook is fairly broken: The spellbook class feature appears to have been a direct rip from the Wizard class since it references memorization, however the primary benefit of being an Arcanist is that you do not have to perform spell memorization.
Field Specialization and the Imaskari: While I am unsure if the Imaskari actually were Arcanist (in the Netherese sense), I do not believe they had that capabilities to do so. Having said that, It is often speculated that the reason the Netherese were able to cast spells the way they were was because of the introduction of knowledge from the Nether Scrolls which is why Elven Wizards and Netherese Arcanist were so different. After the fall of Netheril, those that wished to continue practicing the art, were forced to do so the Elven way. Because the Imaskari did not have access to such knowledge, it can be presumed that they did not have Arcanist in the Netherese sense.
Not all Arcanist are Atheist: I could not word this point in any other way so if I offend anyone, I apologize preemptively. The Imaskari did not, I repeat, did NOT detest the Gods. They strictly cut off their slave's from their Gods through the use of their portal magic. There are some Arcanist who willingly accepted the aid of Divine healing and even cases where Arcanist became Priest as well. That text that was included in Netheril: Empire of Magic was strictly created to show how much hubris the majority of Arcanist had. With this in mind, I sincerely recommend that that text me simply converted into fluff text since if an Arcanist truly wishes to hold firm to that belief, they will just try to make the save against the healing effect.
The Imaskari and their Toys: This? This I can get behind. I once tried to experiment with an Imaskari class, but decided against it because it effectively functioned as an overpowered Artificer (the class, aptly named, the Imaskari Artificer). Giving the Imaskari item creation feats and bonuses towards creating items makes a lot of sense actually, however I feel that you give them too little respect towards their craft. They made most of the portals that people see across the plane and it would be insulting to the highest degree to not make note of that. I remember making a class feature that replicated the Artificer's item creation process, however it required them to replicate the item creation feat as well. The entire process used their caster level in place of a use magic device check (the item however was still activated by a Use Magic Device check). If you find this idea interesting, I'd be glad to go into more depth on it.
"MAGIC!? WE BUILD MAGIC!": I also had another idea for the Imaskari which I called "Expansive Magic". My design for the Imaskari Artificer was that they effectively casted spells to build up higher level spells. Effectively a 1st level Imaskari Artificer had 6 0th level spells and no 1st level spells. To cast a higher level spell (in this case, 1st level spells) they needed to sacrifice two lower level spell slots (in this case 2 0th level spells) and this progression would continue with the Artificer gaining 2 1st level spell slots at 3rd level and so on and so forth. This continued up to about 20th where they stopped at 8th level (allowing them to still cast 9th level spells). They were allowed to spontaneously cast all Conjuration spells and had spells known for everything else (similar to the Sorcerer). This combination with the other class feature allowed them to carry around magical items to compensate for any spells they wouldn't know by virtue of the limit. I abandoned the concept due to school (which is why I haven't been able to browse the playground as much as I used to unfortunately).

I hope you enjoyed my commentary and suggestions. On a side note: You offered no formula for calculating bonus Arks beyond 35. It seems you used the spell point system. I used the power point system since it gave us an actually definitive formula for it and not just a game of play it by ear.