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View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class Achieve the power to make your dreams real! the Arcanist (a wannabe Wizard replacer)



Hipster Dixit
2015-03-11, 09:41 AM
THE ARCANIST



http://i58.tinypic.com/xqbzwx.png
Art by Tyler Jacobson. © 2014 Wizards of the Coast.

Jean de Ymar, an Arcanist



In ancient times, wise men classified the liberal arts, worthy of being taught to the scions of noble families, into seven categories: grammar, dialectic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. Such disciplines embody the concept of geometry, order, and mathematic perfection that permeates the entire universe. Each of those arts show only a fraction of the whole design, being incomplete in itself. But there is another discipline, which teachings are held tightly by the few practitioners. That is the eighth discipline, but the initiates just refer to it as the only Art, the one who can disclose the many secrets of the universe: magic, the art of altering nature to one's command. Magic is extremely difficult to understand and practise, and thus only the finest minds are judged worthy of learning it. Because magic requires a great knowledge on almost any subject to be practiced correctly, Arcanists spend most of their time studying, even on things that apparently have not any connection with the Art. That is also the reason why Arcanists are often found travelling and exploring: making experience of the world, knowing other people and cultures, visiting the remains of the past, these are all things that vastly improve the Arcanist's understanding of nature. And if you know an Arcanist, you will probalby hear it sooner or later: knowledge is power.

Abilities
Since practitioners of the Art value knowledge more than anything else, Intelligence is the key skill for any Arcanist worth of respect. It also increases the save DC of the Arcanist's spells, and give him access to more spells per day. Constitution and Dexterity might be useful to pump the Arcanist's weak defenses a bit, giving him a higher chance to survive in battle. Althgough not seen very often, some Arcanists also invest in Strength to overcome their enemies with a deadly combination of sword and sorcery.

Alignment
Any. Usually Arcanists tend to be on the legal or neutral side of the spectrum, due to the great discipline required to understand the Art, but this is not mandatory.

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
(4 + Int modifier) * 4.

Skill Points at each Additional level
4 + Int modifier.




Table: The Arcanist


Level
BAB
Fort
Ref
Will
Features
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th



1st
+0

+0

+0

+2
Bookworm, Introduction to the Art, Spellcasting

2

-

-

-

-

-



2nd
+1

+0

+0

+3
Advanced Teaching

3

-

-

-

-

-



3rd
+1

+1

+1

+3
Trinket Mage

4

-

-

-

-

-



4th
+2

+1

+1

+4
Careful Study

5

2

-

-

-

-



5th
+2

+1

+1

+4
Advanced Teaching

5

3

-

-

-

-



6th
+3

+2

+2

+5
Arcane Engineer (reduce cost)

5

4

-

-

-

-



7th
+3

+2

+2

+5
Bonus Feat

5

5

-

-

-

-



8th
+4

+2

+2

+6
Advanced Teaching

5

5

2

-

-

-



9th
+4

+3

+3

+6
Theorem of Limit

5

5

3

-

-

-



10th
+5

+3

+3

+7
Bonus Feat

5

5

4

-

-

-



11th
+5

+3

+3

+7
Advanced Teaching

5

5

5

2

-

-



12th
+6/+1

+4

+4

+8
Arcane Engineer (ignore requirements)

5

5

5

3

-

-



13th
+6/+1

+4

+4

+8
Bonus Feat

5

5

5

4

-

-



14th
+7/+2

+4

+4

+9
Advanced Teaching

5

5

5

5

-

-



15th
+7/+2

+5

+5

+9
Perform Ritual

5

5

5

5

2

-



16th
+8/+3

+5

+5

+10
Bonus Feat

5

5

5

5

3

-



17th
+8/+3

+5

+5

+10
Advanced Teaching

5

5

5

5

4

-



18th
+9/+4

+6

+6

+11
Arcane Engineer (make artifact)

5

5

5

5

5

2



19th
+9/+4

+6

+6

+11
Archmage

5

5

5

5

5

3



20th
+10/+5

+6

+6

+12
Enter the Infinite

5

5

5

5

5

4




Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Arcanists are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with an Arcanistís gestures, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Level 1st: Bookworm
Arcanists are avid readers, considering indispensable any information, even (especially) what the majority of people think is useless. This confers them a considerable erudition on many trades. Whenever an Arcanist makes a Knowledge check, he may choose to reroll the dice once. He chooses whether to do this or not after seeing the result of the first roll, but must keep the new result if he chooses to reroll.

Level 1st: Introduction to the Art
Before starting to study the Art, a wanna-be Arcanist must pass many tests in order to verify if his preparation and attitude are enough to let him continue. This grants the disciple a good insight on the basics that will prove very useful during his journey of personal enlightment. An Arcanist can cast the following spells at will: Arcane Mark, Light, Message, and Read Magic. In addition, an Arcanist gains Eschew Materials and Scribe Scrolls as bonus feats.

Level 1st: Spellcasting
An Arcanist casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list. He can cast any spell contained in his spellbook without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, an Arcanist must have a Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell's level. The DC for a saving throw against an Arcanistís spell is 10 + the spell's level + the Arcanistís Intelligence modifier. Like other spellcasters, an Arcanist can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on the table above. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score. The Arcanist's spell selection is limited. He begins knowing two 1st level spells at level 1, and learns two new spells at every level. He can also learn new spells by copying them from other spellbooks, or buying them for 25 gp per the spell's level.
An Arcanist must write his spells in a spellbook. Despite the name, it does not need to be a book; it can be either a scroll, or any similar frame. A spellbook can hold only a certain amount of spells before it runs out of writeable space: a medium sized spellbook usually have room for 60 spell levels. To cast a spell, an Arcanist must hold the spellbook in one hand. He can only cast spells written in that spellbook. The spellbook can be sundered or disarmed as if it was a weapon.




http://i62.tinypic.com/2dugsck.png
Art by Scott Fischer. © 2001 Wizards of the Coast.

An Arcanist researches new spells to improve his repertory



Level 2nd (5th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th): Advanced Teaching
An Arcanist's greatest talent is to learn from the world that surrounds him in the same way he learns from books. Every experience is a treasure, which has a lot to teach to the well-open mind. At level 2nd, and again at levels 5th, 8th, 11th, 14th and 17th, an Arcanist gains an ability from the list below. He cannot choose the same ability twice, unless it is specified in the ability description. Abilities are divided into three categories: Beginner, Intermediate and Expert. Abilities from higher categories usually require a specific ability from a lower category to be taken, as well as a minimum character level. Abilities are described below.

Beginner (level 2nd):

Attune Staff (Ex): What would be an Arcanist without its stick? Practitioners of the Art learn how to use wands and staffs to their fullest potential, and can perform various tricks that the other, more ignorant, magic wielders do not know. An Arcanist may choose to channel a spell he is casting through a wand or a staff. To do that, he must hold the above-mentioned item in one hand. The Arcanist can drain any amount of charges from a staff or wand to recover an amount of expended spell slots which level total is equal to the charges drained. He cannot recover a spell slot which level is greater than the greater spell level among the spells stored in the item. Otherwise, he can sacrifice any amount of spell slots to restore an amount of charges equal to half the total spell levels of the sacrified spell slots. Both the operations require one minute of uninterrupted concentration to be performed. Effective Counteraction (Ex): Arcanists always think proactivley. After all, ruining the opponent's plan before it can even start is far more staisfying than doing it in the middle. An Arcanist may counterspell with any spell of the same school of the spell to counter. The level of the spell used by the Arcanist to counterspell cannot be lower than the level of the spell to counter minus 1. Favourite Spell (Ex): The Arcanist develops his signature spell. He chooses a spell in his spellbook which level must be equal or lower than the higher spell level he can cast, minus one (minimum 1). He gains an additional spell slot which can be used only to cast the chosen spell. In addition, the Arcanist may increase his caster level by 1 when casting the chosen spell. Each time the higher spell level the Arcanist can cast increases by one, he may choose to substitue his favourite spell with another spell. Monster Lore (Ex): Some Arcanists focus their eruditon on beasts and animals. The Arcanist adds half his level to any Knowledge check made to identify monsters and their abilities. Optimize Spellcasting (Ex): Arcanists excel at manipulating magic to attain the best in every situation. When enhancing a spell with a metamagic feat, an Arcanist may choose to sacrifice a number of the spell slots with level equal or greater than the spell cast equal to the metamagic level increment of the feat used. If he does so, he casts the spell without increasing its level. The level of the spell plus the metamagic level increment of the feat used cannot still be greater than the higher spell level the Arcanist is able to cast. An Arcanist can apply this ability only to spells learned through his Arcanist levels. School Application (Ex): Some Arcanists like to specialize in order to maximize knowledge on a single field. The Arcanist chooses a school of magic. He gains a +10 bonus on Spellcraft checks to identify spells, magical auras and effects of the chosen school. Spellfire Burst (Sp): An Arcanist can trasform any spell he knows into a lethal weapon by twisting its properties a bit. As a standard action, an Arcanist may sacrifice a spell slot to emanate a 15 ft. cone of cerulean pure magical energy. Each creature in the area takes 1d4 damage per level of the sacrified spell slot (Reflex halves). Magical auras and effects that meet the cone start glowing for one minute as per the Faerie Fire spell. Wandering Scholar (Ex): For many Arcanists, the whole world is their home. They find themself at ease only when travelling, which gives them knowledge of various places and people. The Arcanists learns a number of bonus languages equal to his Intelligence modifier.
Intermediate (level 8th):

Empower Staff (Ex) (Requires: Attune Staff): The Arcanist can exploit his familiarity with staffs and wands to enhance the power of his spells. When the Arcanist casts a spell, he can apply one or more [Metamagic] feats he knows to that spell without increasing casting time or using a higher level spell slot, burning an amount of charges from a staff or wand equal to twice the spell's level (included the metamagic increment). Otherwise, when the Arcanist casts a spell from a staff or wand, he can apply the feat to that spell, without increasing casting time, sacrificing a spell slot which level is at least equal to the metamagic level increment of the applied feat. In both cases, the level of the spell cast (after the metamagic increment) cannot be higher than the highest spell level stored in the staff or wand used. Rapid Counteraction (Ex) (Requires: Effective Counteraction): For an Arcanist, counter a spell can be as effortless as drinking a glass of water. When readying an action to counterspell, you can ready as a move action. Spell Expertise (Ex) (Requires: Favourite Spell): The Arcanist becomes really skilled at casting his signature spell. He gains an additional spell slot, which can be used only to cast his signature spell. In addition, the DC to dispel the Arcanist's signature spell is increased by the spell's level. Monster Tamer (Ex) (Requires: Monster Lore): The Arcanist knows very well the life and habits of the wildlife. He gains the Track feat. When tracking a creature, he makes the appropriate Knowledge check he would make to identify that creature in place of the usual Survival check. In addition, he may use the Handle Animal skill untrained, and he is treated as having a miminum number of ranks in that skill equal to his level. He can use the Handle Animal skill on every non-Humanoid creature with Intelligence 1. Versatile Spellcasting (Ex) (Requires: Optimized Spellcasting) An Arcanist knows how to squeeze the maximum amount of power into his spells. The metamagic level increment of any [Metamagic] feat the Arcanist applies to his spells is reduced by 1. This effect is not cumulative with similar effects. School Specilization (Ex) (Requires School Application): The Arcanist's knowledge of his favourite school of magic becomes even deeper. The save DC and caster level of any spell of the chosen school cast by the Arcanist are increased by 1. Spellfire Blast (Sp) (Requires: Spellfire Burst): The Arcanist's arcane fire grows in power. The Arcanist's Spellfire Burst now deals 1d8 damage per the level of the spell slot sacrified, and its area of effect is increased by 5 ft. In addition, any creature that takes damage from this ability must succeed on a Will save or have her Spell Resistance reduced by an amount equal to the level of the sacrified slot for 1 round. This does not stack with itself or any other effect that reduces Spell Resistance. Accustomed Traveller (Ex) (Requires: Wandering Scholar): By travelling far and wide, high and low, an Arcanist becomes expert of the things of the world. The Arcanists adds his Intelligence modifier to any Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Sense Motive and Survival check.
Expert (level 14th):

Overcharge Staff (Sp) (Requires: Empower Staff): The Arcanist reaches the final stage of his ability to interact with staffs and wands. As a full-round action, he can sacrifice an amount of spell slots which level is enough to bring the number of charges of a staff to 75, overloading the item and destroying it in the process. The result is a tremendous outburst of magic energy, which deals 20d6 damage in a 100 ft. area around the Arcanist. This ability is affected by Spell Resistance as if it were a spell. The explosion also automatically dispels every Antimagic Field it comes in contact with. Backfiring Counteraction (Ex) (Requires: Rapid Counteraction): The Arcanist's ability in counterspelling makes him able to reflect the enemy spells back to the caster. The Arcanist may choose to ready a counterspell action as a full-round action. If he does, the next time he uses that action to counter a spell, he may immediately cast the same spell as a free action without expending a spell slot, even if it is not his turn and the spell is not on his spellbook. Spell Mastery (Ex) (Requires: Spell Expertise): The Arcanist becomes a true master at casting his signature spell. He gains an additional spell slot that can be used only to cast his signature spell. In addition, the Arcanist can cast his signature spell ignoring any somatic and verbal components the spell requires, as well as any material component worth less than 100 gp. He does not need to hold the spellbook anymore to be able to cast his signature spell. Monster Friend (Ex) (Requires: Monster Tamer): The Arcanist's knowledge of nature and wilds earned him some friends... once per day, as a standard action, the Arcanist can call a number of Animals to help him. The total CR of the called creatures must not exceed the Arcanist's level, divided by two. The creatures arrive in 1d6 minutes and loyally follow the Arcanist's orders for 1 hour per the Arcanist Intelligence modifier, or their own death. Effortless Spellcasting (Ex) (Requires: Versatile Spellcasting): The Arcanist can strengthen his spell further more. Three times per day, the Arcanist may apply a [Metamagic] feat to a spell he casts without increasing the spell's level. The original metamagic level increment of the feat cannot be greater than 2. School Perfection (Ex) (Requires: School Specialization): The Arcanist's understanding of his chosen school of magic becomes unrivaled. As a free action, the Arcanist can sacrifice a spell slot to obtain two special spell slots of the same level minus 1. These slots can be used only to cast spells of his favourite school. Special spell slots cannot be sacrified with this ability. Spellfire Barrage (Sp) (Requires: Spellfire Blast): The Arcanist's spellfire reaches its maximum potential. The Arcanist's Spellfire burst now deals 2d6 damage per the level of the spell slot sacrified, and its area of effect is increased by 5 ft. In addition, any creature damaged from this ability falls under the effect of an area Dispel Magic (greater) spell. Citizen of the Multiverse (Ex) (Requires: Accustomed Traveller): The Arcanist's travel brought him very far. Eventually, he became resilient to any danger that would make the less expert bend on their knees. Whenever the Arcanist travels into another plane, he is immune to that plane's negative planar traits for 1 day per level.

Level 3rd: Trinket Mage (Ex)
Being used to tinker with all sort of magical stuff and tools, an Arcanist has a natural grasp on the working principles of such objects. Beginning at level 3rd, an Arcanist adds his Intelligence modifier to any Use Magic Device check.

Level 4th (7th, 10th, 13th, 16th): Careful Study (Ex)
An Arcanist always seeks to put one more ace up to his sleeve, just in case. It will surely come the time in which he needs it. At level 4th, an Arcanist gains an , [Metamagic] or [Reserve] feat as a bonus feat. He must meet the prerequisites. At level 7th, and again at levels 10th, 13th and 16th, the Arcanist gains another one of those feats as a bonus feat. He must meet the prerequisites.

Level 6th (12th, 18th): Arcane Engineer (Ex)
Arcanists are creatives, beings which shape the most incredible pieces of art, using the very essence of the world as raw material. By performing a complex procedure, unintelligible by the non-initiates, an Arcanist can instill magic into an inanimate object, transforming it into a marvelous creation. At level 6th, an Arcanist gains Craft Wondrous Item as a bonus feat. He does not need to meet the prerequisites. Also, the Arcanist's craftsmanship allow him to create magic items with much less effort than usual: when the Arcanist crafts a magic item, the item's creation cost (both in gp and XP) is reduced by 10%, plus an additional 2% for every character level.

At level 12th, the Arcanist achieves a so deep understanding of magic and its rules that can manipulate it to a great extent. The Arcanist can craft a magic item even if he does not know the spells required to make it. He can use any spell in place of a required spell, provided they are of the same school, but must pay an additional 100 XP for each spell level the chosen spell is lower than the required spell. This additional cost is not reduced by this ability.

At level 18th, the Arcanist's incredible mastery allows him to make truly legendary creations. When the Arcanist begins crafting a magic item, he may choose to pay three times the gp and XP cost required to make that item, and to lengthen the creation time to three times the normal, as well. If he does, the item becomes a minor artifact. Artifacts cannot be dispelled by effects short than Mage's Disjunction and have a 50% chance to not lose their magical properties when entering in an Antimagic Field. Artifacts can never be destroyed, except by very unconvential methods.

Level 9th: Theorem of Limit (Ex)
The first thing an Arcanist learns, is that everything has a beginning and an end, and is contained within precise limits. The second thing he learns, is how to break those limits to acheive his best creations. Beginning at level 9th, the Arcanist's spells does not have a caster level cap on effect anymore. For example, a 10th level Arcanist can cast a Burning Hands which deals 10d4 damage.

Level 15th: Perform Ritual (Ex)
Arcanists are born to accomplish great results. Alone, they can create amazing thigs. Together, they have the power to change the world. Starting at level 15th, an Arcanist may choose to cooperate with other Arcane casters to considerably increase the power of a spell he casts. A spell enhanced this way is called ritual. To perform a ritual, an Arcanist need the help of other arcane casters, which caster level must be at least 5th. Those casters must be able to cast the spell included in the ritual. The number of casters that help the Arcanist in the ritual can not be greater than the Arcanist's Intelligence modifier. A ritual needs 2 hours for each creature performing it (except the Arcanist) to complete, and requires 1500 gp in materials for every hour. For every other creature that is performing the ritual, the Arcanist may choose to apply one of the following effects to the spell. These effects are cumulative.

Increase the caster level of the spell by 2. The total increase cannot exceed the Arcanist's Intelligence modifier. Increase the spell's duration by one step (rounds -> minutes -> hours). If the spell's duration is measured in hours, the duration is multiplied by the number of other participants who are not already taken into account to determine the spell's duration.
Level 19th: Archmage (Ex)
There is nothing about magic that a true Arcanist does not know. A life of study and dedication reward them with the perfect knowledge of the Art. Starting at 19th level, an Arcanist automatically succeed on any Concentration check made to cast a spell.

Level 20th: Enter the Infinite
An Arcanist's journey is an astonishing experience, full of events that common people, with their limited understanding, can't even dream of. The destination, a state in which the universe becomes crystal clear before one's eyes, is considered, by the practitioners of the Art, the highest goal a being can aspire to. The ones who reached that goal can be counted on a hand's toes. But the greatest of all revelations is so overwhelming in its simplicity that only the true master of the Art can stand before it: the journey of a man is neverending, and what was once considered the terminus is only the tip of an iceberg that no one has already dug up. At 20th level, an Arcanist gains the Epic Spellcasting feat as a bonus feat, even if that would not normally be allowed to non-epic characters. He does not need to meet the prerequisites.




http://i62.tinypic.com/105z4pi.png
Art by Jason Chan. © 2012 Wizards of the Coast.

[I]The end of the journey is just the beginning of a thousand more

Hipster Dixit
2015-03-11, 09:46 AM
Reserved #1

Hipster Dixit
2015-03-11, 09:47 AM
Reserved #2

ezkajii
2015-03-13, 10:37 AM
Two questions: Did you want PEACH for this? And, does 'wannabe wizard replacer' mean you would intend for this class to be in a campaign which does not use the wizard class, or is that mostly intended as just a quick description of the class?

Hipster Dixit
2015-03-14, 03:13 AM
Hello! Thans for posting. To your questions:

1) PEACHing is much appreciated of course! Also I would need some help to correct my bad english...

2) Well, Arcanists and Wizards are on different power levels so I don't think they would work very well in the same campaign. The Arcanist is intended to replace the Wizard in lower power level (aka more balanced) campaigns, but of course players and DMs can do whatever they want.

ezkajii
2015-03-15, 04:05 PM
It is a good thing you didn't give this class full casting. These are some of the best class features I've seen for a spellcaster. That said, I'm a little worried about the power of some of these features.

The first thing I noticed is that a two-level dip into this class would be fantastic with a wizard. At 1st level you're getting 12 at-will spells, plus Eschew Materials and Scribe Scroll for free. Now this might just be personal preference but I almost always throw on eschew materials, particularly for its prerequisite status for the epic Ignore Materials. Now, granted, the at-will spells are all/mostly cantrips, but having them completely free, with an inventive player is going to lead to a lot of problems, I think.
You do a second level in the class and you get Advanced Teaching, which is interesting because with the beginner teachings, some of them are absolutely amazing, while others are a lot more balanced for a 2nd level character. Among the stronger options, we've got: Attune Staff - as long as you have a wand, you get Still Spell for free on all spells with no level adjustment; Optimize spellcasting - free metamagic at the cost of low-level slots. Sacrifice six 1st-level spells (which with a high Int modifier you'll have plenty of) for a free persist on a 9th-level spell? Yes please. Now, if these abilities only applied to spells known by virtue of Arcanist class levels (like Warmage Edge), this is not a problem at all, but either of these on an 18th-level wizard is amazing.

Going on with the Advanced Teachings, again these are awesome abilities if you could tack them onto a wizard. Not actually a problem, necessarily, since you get them at higher levels, but I'm just drooling over a gestalt arcanist/wizard. The remainder of the beginner advanced teachings seem solid, and the intermediate ones, while none of them are overpowered themselves, I feel like there are definitely some choices that are just better than others. Essentially getting Improved Metamagic (without the [minimum of +1 level adjustment] caveat) seems strictly better than adding Int bonus to 5 skills. On that note, I think some wording gets you down here; I would recommend imposing that minimum level adjustment clause on Versatile Spellcasting, and specifying that the SR redcution from Spellfire Blast does not stack with additional uses *by the same character*. (Right now, RAW, it only specifies uses by *other* characters).
Overcharge Staff: I'm just having a hard time figuring out why someone would make use of this ability. It's nice to get rid of antimagic in a 100ft radius but destroying the staff, sacrificing a bunch of spell levels, and suffering 20d6 damage seems like a high price to pay. Backfiring Counteraction - I might just copy the wording from the Archmage Mastery of Counterspelling High Arcana, due to certain spell interactions and so forth. Effortless Spellcasting - I like the ability, but I don't think it should be limited to only metamagics with a +1 level adjustment; a Sudden Metamagic feat exists even for metamagics with +3 adjustments. I recommend increasing the limit there. Spellfire Barrage: Would be fine, but seeing as the dispel magic part of the effect doesn't scale at all based on the spell level, you've essentially dropped dispel magic into a limited-range 1st-level version with added damage and SR reduction imposition. Maybe limited the caster level bonus on the dispel check to twice the spell level sacrificed?
School Perfection: You basically double your spells per day if you stick to your specialization. I think there should definitely be a higher cost for this ability, or limited uses per day. Maybe sacrifice a spell level two gain two special slots of one or two levels lower?

I think level four might be a bit early to get another bonus feat, considering you start with two bonus feats and one of the options for advanced teaching is essentially a bonus feat. (improved counterspell) Maybe just bump it up to 6th level? Actually, that's where you get another bonus feat (Craft Wondrous Item), so maybe that one would have to be bumped up too. I don't have a lot of experience with item crafting but it looks like the 12th and especially 18th level benefits of Arcane Engineer are fantastic; hopefully someone else will weigh in here.

Theorem of Limit: Bears a strong resemblance to the epic metamagic feat Enhance Spell, except rather than increasing the limit it removes it entirely. Combine with some high-CL tricks and this can be devastating. Personally I've always felt Enhance Spell was pretty underpowered for what it is, so just mimicking that would probably be fine, but overall I think this is a feature that has dangerous potential, particularly at a (relatively) low-level.
Perform Ritual: The 'ritual' component of Epic spellcasting is, I think, why most people view it as so extremely broken. That being said, given the limited spellcasting a 15th-level arcanist possesses and the likelihood of having any spells that can really make use of the possibility of becoming permanent, I think it's probably fine.
Archmage: Seems fine.
Enter the Infinite: Epic Spellcasting causes enough problems in epic-level games; I would definitively advise keeping it out of sub-epic, especially with a class who can modify its own spellcasting so powerfully. I don't know what I would do instead, though; it definitely fits the theme really well.

-----------

Overall, I really really like the flavor of this class and even with the 6/10 spellcasting I'd play the crap out of it. I think it has a few power issues as noted above, but everything that I didn't mention I think is good! (So, most of it!) I'm also really curious to see what other people think about it.

Zaydos
2015-03-15, 06:19 PM
My reading of Optimized Spellcasting was that you could sacrifice 4 nth level spells to quicken an nth level spell, but that the sacrificed spells had to have the same (or higher) unmodified level as the spell being cast (i.e. to persist a 9th level spell you need to sacrifice 6 9th level spell slots). Als it specifies that you must be able to cast spells of the level that the metamagic would normally make it (so you'd need 15th level spells to persist a 9th level spell). Of course the language there is bad.

As for a PEACH...

Effective Countermagic is probably too strong with its improvements. I spend a move action to steal any spell an opponent casts by saccing a 1st level slot.

The staff and metamagic ones need word tweaking. For example


Optimize Spellcasting (Ex): Arcanists excel at manipulating magic to attain the best in every situation. When enhancing a spell with a metamagic feat, an Arcanist may choose to sacrifice a number of the spell slots with level equal or greater than the spell cast equal to the metamagic level increment of the feat used. If he does so, he casts the spell without increasing its level. The level of the spell plus the metamagic level increment of the feat used cannot still be greater than the higher spell level the Arcanist is able to cast.

I think you mean
Optimize Spellcasting (Ex): Arcanists excel at manipulating magic to attain the best in every situation. When enhancing a spell with a metamagic feat, an Arcanist may choose to sacrifice a number of spell slots with level no lower than the spell being cast equal to the increase in effective level from the metamagic feat. If he does so, he casts the spell without increasing its level. The level of the spell plus the increase from the metamagic feat used still cannot be greater than the highest spell level the Arcanist is able to cast.

With Arcane Engineer I must note that artifacts normally are sometimes affected by antimagic, and Mage's Disjunction specifically can destroy them. Instead of making them completely unaffected, I'd make them 50% chance in antimagic and unable to be dispelled by an effect less than Disjunction.

Perform Ritual: Remove the permanent option. In the name of Boccob remove the permanent option. I'd actually advise removing the weeks option as well. This is actually really really powerful. This might cost gold, but permanency on any spell you want is crazy, even "lasts day/level on any spell you want is.

Enter the Infinite: Epic Spellcasting is a no-no especially sub-epic.

Hipster Dixit
2015-03-16, 08:24 AM
First of all, thank you both for sharing your opinion. It has been very helpful to me. I am aware this still needs a lot of tweaking, beacuse even if i like brewing I don't play D&D very much so I have not a good grasp on balance.


The first thing I noticed is that a two-level dip into this class would be fantastic with a wizard. At 1st level you're getting 12 at-will spells, plus Eschew Materials and Scribe Scroll for free. Now this might just be personal preference but I almost always throw on eschew materials, particularly for its prerequisite status for the epic Ignore Materials. Now, granted, the at-will spells are all/mostly cantrips, but having them completely free, with an inventive player is going to lead to a lot of problems, I think.

Eschew Materials is in there because I personally hate keeping track of a lot of small, almost wieghtless and really cheap ingriedients which clutter the character sheet. Albeit flavorful, it is so annoying that I always end up ignoring that part when casting spells. Personal preference. You may be right about at-will cantrips, but it bugs me that a 20th level Arcanist has a limitation on how many times he can cast Read Magic per day... maybe I could limit the cantrip selection?


Attune Staff - as long as you have a wand, you get Still Spell for free on all spells with no level adjustment

You're right, the "ignore somatic components" part was a legacy of a previous version, I'll remove it.


Optimize spellcasting - free metamagic at the cost of low-level slots. Sacrifice six 1st-level spells (which with a high Int modifier you'll have plenty of) for a free persist on a 9th-level spell? Yes please. Now, if these abilities only applied to spells known by virtue of Arcanist class levels (like Warmage Edge), this is not a problem at all, but either of these on an 18th-level wizard is amazing.

Good idea, I'll do as you suggest.


I feel like there are definitely some choices that are just better than others.

This is true. Honestly, I am not sure how to do about this. It just feels natural that options that enhance spellcasting are more powerful than "mundane" ones, like "you get better at travelling"... on the other hand, this is not good design. I must admit I am clueless here.


I would recommend imposing that minimum level adjustment clause on Versatile Spellcasting, and specifying that the SR redcution from Spellfire Blast does not stack with additional uses *by the same character*. (Right now, RAW, it only specifies uses by *other* characters).

Yeah, will do.


Overcharge Staff: I'm just having a hard time figuring out why someone would make use of this ability. It's nice to get rid of antimagic in a 100ft radius but destroying the staff, sacrificing a bunch of spell levels, and suffering 20d6 damage seems like a high price to pay.

Would more damage fix this? I thought a 100 ft. burst was very powerful, but maybe I am wrong.


Effortless Spellcasting - I like the ability, but I don't think it should be limited to only metamagics with a +1 level adjustment; a Sudden Metamagic feat exists even for metamagics with +3 adjustments. I recommend increasing the limit there

Ok.


Spellfire Barrage: Would be fine, but seeing as the dispel magic part of the effect doesn't scale at all based on the spell level, you've essentially dropped dispel magic into a limited-range 1st-level version with added damage and SR reduction imposition. Maybe limited the caster level bonus on the dispel check to twice the spell level sacrificed

Originally it was Greater Dispel Magic, but I toned it down since it felt too much powerful to me. I'll restore the previous version then.


School Perfection: You basically double your spells per day if you stick to your specialization. I think there should definitely be a higher cost for this ability, or limited uses per day. Maybe sacrifice a spell level two gain two special slots of one or two levels lower?

This is totally doable.


Theorem of Limit: Bears a strong resemblance to the epic metamagic feat Enhance Spell, except rather than increasing the limit it removes it entirely. Combine with some high-CL tricks and this can be devastating. Personally I've always felt Enhance Spell was pretty underpowered for what it is, so just mimicking that would probably be fine, but overall I think this is a feature that has dangerous potential, particularly at a (relatively) low-level.

I was not aware that feat existed. Maybe I should add that the spells level cap still cannot exceed the character's caster level?


My reading of Optimized Spellcasting was that you could sacrifice 4 nth level spells to quicken an nth level spell, but that the sacrificed spells had to have the same (or higher) unmodified level as the spell being cast (i.e. to persist a 9th level spell you need to sacrifice 6 9th level spell slots). Als it specifies that you must be able to cast spells of the level that the metamagic would normally make it (so you'd need 15th level spells to persist a 9th level spell). Of course the language there is bad.

That is exactly what I meant. I'll fix the wording, thank you.


Effective Countermagic is probably too strong with its improvements. I spend a move action to steal any spell an opponent casts by saccing a 1st level slot.

That was my concern as well. Should I specify that you need to sacrifice a spell slot of the same level or higher than the countered spell to use that ability?


With Arcane Engineer I must note that artifacts normally are sometimes affected by antimagic, and Mage's Disjunction specifically can destroy them. Instead of making them completely unaffected, I'd make them 50% chance in antimagic and unable to be dispelled by an effect less than Disjunction.

Is the total immunity to dispel and antimagic so powerful (taking into account the increased creation cost)? If so, I'd have no problems doing what you suggest.


Perform Ritual: Remove the permanent option. In the name of Boccob remove the permanent option. I'd actually advise removing the weeks option as well. This is actually really really powerful. This might cost gold, but permanency on any spell you want is crazy, even "lasts day/level on any spell you want is.

Permanency exsist in D&D... is it so broken? Now that I look at it, it has an XP cost... would adding an XP cost to the ritual balance it in some way?


Enter the Infinite: Epic Spellcasting is a no-no especially sub-epic.

Epic Spellcasting is available to 21st level character, is taking it a level eralier too much? I should probably mention that when I make a class I assume characters never go beyond 20th level (sorry but I hate epic levels), so that would be the last thing they get. I am very reluctant to give this away beacuse, even if you are probably right, this capstone fits the Arcanist so well that I'm afraid I could not be able to find a suitable replacement for it.


Overall, I really really like the flavor of this class and even with the 6/10 spellcasting I'd play the crap out of it. I think it has a few power issues as noted above, but everything that I didn't mention I think is good! (So, most of it!).

Much appreciated!

Zaydos
2015-03-16, 10:26 AM
That was my concern as well. Should I specify that you need to sacrifice a spell slot of the same level or higher than the countered spell to use that ability?

I probably would, but that makes the first step largely just a bonus feat (since there's one that lets you use any spell of the same school of the same level or higher).


Is the total immunity to dispel and antimagic so powerful (taking into account the increased creation cost)? If so, I'd have no problems doing what you suggest.

Not sure about power, it just felt off with how minor artifacts already worked, and with stuff such as Antimagic actually coming online at higher levels than this ability in this version.


Permanency exsist in D&D... is it so broken? Now that I look at it, it has an XP cost... would adding an XP cost to the ritual balance it in some way?

Permanency is also extremely limited in what spells it can affect for just this reason.


Epic Spellcasting is available to 21st level character, is taking it a level eralier too much? I should probably mention that when I make a class I assume characters never go beyond 20th level (sorry but I hate epic levels), so that would be the last thing they get. I am very reluctant to give this away beacuse, even if you are probably right, this capstone fits the Arcanist so well that I'm afraid I could not be able to find a suitable replacement for it.

Epic Spellcasting is about the most banned thing in Epic Levels and known as probably the most problematic aspect. It is also known for being either uselessly weak, or being leagues stronger than anything Wizards already get. So the problem isn't so much that getting it a level earlier is that bad, as Epic Spellcasting just being notorious for its own bad design regardless of level. It would be much better to design a flavorful capstone which worked, than crib Epic Spellcasting.


Much appreciated!

You're welcome.

Hipster Dixit
2015-03-16, 11:58 AM
I probably would, but that makes the first step largely just a bonus feat (since there's one that lets you use any spell of the same school of the same level or higher).

I made that you need the spell's level to be not lower than the level of the spell to counter - 1. Hopefully it is better now.


Not sure about power, it just felt off with how minor artifacts already worked, and with stuff such as Antimagic actually coming online at higher levels than this ability in this version.

Makes sense, did it.


Permanency is also extremely limited in what spells it can affect for just this reason.

Ok. So maybe I could just multiply the ritual's duration based on the number of participating? That would leave out permanency.


Epic Spellcasting is about the most banned thing in Epic Levels and known as probably the most problematic aspect. It is also known for being either uselessly weak, or being leagues stronger than anything Wizards already get. So the problem isn't so much that getting it a level earlier is that bad, as Epic Spellcasting just being notorious for its own bad design regardless of level. It would be much better to design a flavorful capstone which worked, than crib Epic Spellcasting.

Got it. Never played epic so I trust you on this one. I'll make up with something nice for the capstone.

Zaydos
2015-03-16, 12:03 PM
I made that you need the spell's level to be not lower than the level of the spell to counter - 1. Hopefully it is better now.

I think that's a good compromise. Does mean that two arcanists one with and one without the counterspelling ability the one with will have a huge advantage, but a counterspelling specialist should have a huge advantage in a wizard duel.


Ok. So maybe I could just multiply the ritual's duration based on the number of participating? That would leave out permanency.

That works quite well, I might even still make it go rounds -> minutes -> hours then multiply. The ability is cool, it's just when it starts getting to where you walk around with Permanent Greater Invisibility and Polymorph that things get dangerous.


Got it. Never played epic so I trust you on this one. I'll make up with something nice for the capstone.

I've actually never played epic with it allowed, but it's in the basic math of the ability. The Spellcraft checks and costs are such that you're better off without it, unless you apply a ton of mitigation factors but you can use those to lower the DCs effectively infinitely. It's just a really poorly designed system. Even as a middle schooler I was shocked that it made it through the design process.

ezkajii
2015-03-16, 12:35 PM
Perhaps for an alternate capstone instead of the epic spellcasting, the class suddenly gains access to 7th, 8th, and 9th-level spells - number known of each equal to intelligence modifier, total useable times per day equal to IntMod - so if your Int is 16 you'd know three of each level, and could cast these higher-tier spells a total of 3 times per day. Maybe twice IntMod times per day, and these spells cannot be cast in conjunction with other arcanist class features. Still represents that dramatic jump in power but not so broken as epic spellcasting itself.