Author's note: This is designed for a specific homebrew campaign setting, but it can easily be ported to another by dropping the racial requirement.
Let me see... mage armor, no... identify, no... heroism, no... Ah! Here it is! Fireball! Boom!
Dwarves developed the art of creating magic items without spells, but their artificers have limited movement to protect their secrets. To provide magical support to their armies, the Silver Patriarchy trains wandwrights. With limited training in artifice, they are unlikely to divulge state secrets, but they have the flexibility and power to turn their wands into effective tools. Most wandwrights were rogues before training as wandwrights and use their wands to deliver devastating sneak attacks and enhance their scouting abilities, but factotums and bards enter the class as well.
To qualify to become a dwarven wandwright, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.
Spellcraft 5, Use Magic Device 10
Magic Device Attunement
Table: The Dwarven Wandwright
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level):
|Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Craft Reserve|
|Craft wand, item creation, wand specialist||150|
|Bonus feat, alter wand||180|
|Metamagic spell trigger||210|
|Bonus feat, boost wand||240|
|Bonus feat, retain essence, skill mastery||300|
Appraise, Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (Arcana), Profession, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device
All of the following are Class Features of the dwarven wandwright prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Dwarven Wandwrights gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Dwarven Wandwrights gain the Craft Wand feat at 1st level, even if they do not meet the prerequisites.
An dwarven wandwright can create a wand even if he does not have access to the spells that areprerequisites for the item. The dwarven wandwright must make a successful Use Magic Device check (DC 20 + caster level) to emulate each spell normally required to create the wand. Thus, to make a 1st-level wand of magic missile, an dwarven wandwright would need a Use Magic Device check result of 21 or higher. If he fails a check, he can try again each day until the item is complete (see Creating Magic Items, page 282 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide). If he comes to the end of the crafting time and he has still not successfully emulated one of the powers, he can make one ﬁnal check—his last-ditch effort, even if he has already made a check that day. If that check also fails, then the creation process fails and the time, money, and XP expended to craft the item are lost.
For purposes of meeting wand prerequisites, a dwarven wandwright’s effective caster level equals twice his dwarven wandwright level + 2. The wand itself, however, uses twice the dwarven wandwright’s actual level as its caster level. Costs are always determined using the item’s minimum caster level or twice the dwarven wandwright’s actual level (if it is higher). Thus, a 1st-level dwarven wandwright can make a wand of ﬁreball, since the minimum caster level for ﬁreball is 5th. He pays the normal cost formaking such a wand with a caster level of 5th: 5 × 3 × 12.5= 187 gp and 5 sp, plus 15 XP. But the wand’s actual caster level is only 2nd, and it produces a weak ﬁreball that deals only 2d6 points of damage.
For the purposes of qualifying for feats and prestige classes, a dwarven wandwright has a caster level equal to his class level.
A dwarven wandwright receives a pool of point he can spend instead of experience points when crafting a wand. Each time the dwarven wandwright gains a new level, he receives a new craft reserve; leftover points from the previous level do not carry over. If the points are not spent, they are lost. A dwarven wandwright can also use his craft reserve to supplement the XP cost of the wand he is making, taking a portion of the cost from his craft reserve and a portion from his own XP.
A dwarven wandwright focuses on using wands to the exclusion of other magic items. He gains a +2 bonus to Use Magic Device Checks to use or create wands, but takes a -1 penalty to all other uses of Use Magic Device. He also adds his class level to the DCs of any wand he uses.
At 2nd level, and again at 4th and 6th level, the dwarven wandwright gains a bonus feat chosen from the following list: Cull Wand Essence, Double Wandwielder, Exceptional Artisan, Extraordinary Artisan, Legendary Artisan, Reckless Wandwielder, Wand Mastery, or any metamagic feat.
A 2nd level dwarven wandwright gains the ability to alter the magical energies in a wand and change the spell stored in it. By making a Use Magic Device check against a DC of 15 + twice the wand's spell level, he can cause the wand to cast a different spell. The new spell must be of a lower level than the original spell. This effect lasts 24 hours, and each use of the wand expends two charges. If he fails the Use Magic Device check he cannot use this ability with that wand for 24 hours.A dwarven wandwright can't use this ability to change a wand's spell to one with a costly material component or focus or with an XP component, even if the original spell has a similar component or focus.
Metamagic Spell Trigger
At 3rd level, a dwarven wandwright gains the ability to apply a metamagic feat he knows to a wand. Using this ability expends additional chargesfrom the item equal to the number of effective spell levelsthe metamagic feat would add to a spell.
For example, a dwarven wandwright can quicken a spell cast from a wand by spending 5 charges (4 additional charges), empower the spell by spending 3 charges, or trigger itsilently by spending 2 charges. The Still Spell feat confers no beneﬁt when applied to a wand. An artificer cannot use this ability when using a spell trigger item other than a wand.
At 4th level, a dwarven wandwright gains the ability to increase the power of the wands he uses by voluntarily increasing the Use Magic Device DC to activate the wand. For every 5 he increases the activation DC, he can increase the wand's caster level by 1. He can never increase a wand's caster level beyond 20 in this way.
Upon reaching 5th level, a dwarven wandwright can restore charges to wands he has crafted. So long as he crafted it and it has at least one charge remaining, he can add charges to a wand (up to a maximum of 50 charges) by spending its caster level × the spell level × 10 gp per charge to be added and 1/25 of that price in EXP. If the wand stores a spell with a costly material component or an XP cost he must expend a copy of the material component or the XP cost for each charge he restores to the wand.
At 6th level, a dwarven wandwright gains the ability to salvage the XP from a wand and use those points to create another wand. The dwarven wandwright must spend a day with the item. After one day, the wand is destroyed and the dwarven wandwright adds the XP it took to create the item to his craft reserve. These points are lost if the artificer does not use them before
gaining his next level.
For example, an artificer wants to retain the essence of a wand of summon monster IV that has 20 charges. Originally created (like all wands) with 50 charges, it required 840 XP when initially made, or 16.8 XP (840 ÷ 50) per charge. The artificer is able to recover the XP from the remaining charges. He puts 336 XP (16.8 × 20) into his craft reserve.
At 6th level, a dwarven wandwright can take 10 when making a Use Magic Device check, even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so. This ability circumvents the normal rule that a character may not take 10 on a Use Magic Device check.