Arcanopulser
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The Initiate's Handbook
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Elementalists have always channeled the raw power of the elements, but hardly have they done so in a way that united their skill with their martial prowess. Those few known as arcanopulsers take an even more primal approach, learning to manipulate the raw power of magic itself, and forming it into a deadly weapon. While they may lose some diversity from this choice, their confrontations with those who rely on magic often show that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Wiki Note: The Pulsemage's weapons are particularly compatible with this archetype.

Blended Training

Whenever an arcanopulser would gain a magic talent from his class levels (not the 2 bonus talents gained when first gaining the casting class feature), he may instead choose to gain a combat talent.

An arcanopulser uses his casting ability modifier as his practitioner modifier.

This alters magic talents. This archetype may be combined with other archetypes that replace magic talents; you cannot gain a combat talent in place of a magic talent the other archetype loses.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

An arcanopulser is only proficient with all simple weapons and light armor. In addition, if this is this character’s first level in any class, they may select a martial tradition of their choice.

Weave Magic

An arcanopulser gains the Mana sphere as a bonus magic talent and uses his class level as his caster level with the Mana sphere. This stacks normally with caster levels gained from other sources.

This replaces weave energy.

Pulse Shot (Su)

At 1st level, an arcanopulser develops a weapon uniquely crafted from his own mastery over magic. He can create orbs of magical energy that can be slung at an enemy, or used to strike an enemy to deal damage. A pulse shot can be a melee or ranged weapon, requiring the target to either be in reach, or can be made as a ranged attack with a range increment of 30 feet. A pulse shot deals 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage, +1 additional damage per four arcanopulser levels, and uses the arcanopulser’s casting ability modifier in place of his Strength modifier determining damage made with melee pulse shots. Pulse shots only materialize when making attacks, if the arcanopulser is not making an attack with a pulse shot, his hands are considered free unless he is otherwise holding an item.

Pulse shots are considered to be a light weapon and they can be used for two-weapon fighting (with each hand creating one shot) as well as feats and abilities that apply to weapon attacks (such as Deadly Aim, Power Attack, and Weapon Focus). The arcanopulser may also choose to combine both of his pulse shots into one weapon, treating it as a two-handed weapon and increasing its damage dice to 1d10, although this decision must be made at the start of his turn and lasts until the start of his next turn.

When a feat or ability is used to add a bonus to a weapon type, such as Weapon Focus (pulse shot), it applies to both melee and ranged pulse shots, as long as they otherwise qualify for the feat. The arcanopulser threatens within reach of his melee pulse shot, but only if he has a hand free.

Beginning at 4th level, the arcanopulser can spend a spell point as a swift action to empower all pulse shots (of any element) he makes for 2 rounds, +1 additional round at 6th level and every two levels thereafter. As long as they are empowered, the arcanopulser’s melee pulse shots become touch attacks, and he may add his casting ability modifier to the damage dealt by his ranged pulse shots.

At 10th level, his ranged pulse shots become ranged touch attacks while empowered. Empowered pulse shots gain additional benefits from the pathways of the pulse mage class feature.

Note: Pulse shots and pulse shields can be enhanced further through the Pulsemage’s Glove of Channeling and the Pulsemage’s Glove of Protection. (See the Weapons page.)

This replaces the combat feats gained at 2nd and 6th level.

Pulse Shield (Su)

At 3rd level, the arcanopulser learns to utilize his pulse magic in a defensive way. He can conjure a shield of magic in an open hand as a free action during his turn by spending a spell point, and may dismiss it as a free action. This shield can be treated as either a steel buckler, a steel light shield or a steel heavy shield, chosen at the time of creation. The ability grants a shield bonus as normal, but instantly disappears as soon as it is no longer within the arcanopulser’s hands, including when disarmed. The shield lasts for 1 hour per arcanopulser level at a time.

If the arcanopulser empowers his pulse shots, the shield grants the arcanopulser DR/piercing or slashing equal to the shield’s armor class bonus. This does not function if the arcanopulser uses an alternative shield granted to him by the pathways of pulse magic feature.

This replaces elemental defense.

Pulse Bond (Su)

Beginning at 4th level, once per turn as a swift action made after hitting a creature with a pulse shot, the arcanopulser may attempt a magic skill check against that creature (against 11 for creatures without levels in casting classes). On success, he may create a manabond from the Mana sphere between himself and his target.

Additionally, the arcanopulser gains a +1 bonus to all attack rolls made with pulse shots against any creature with which he has an active manabond, and may treat any such creatures as if they were adjacent to the arcanopulser for the purpose of making melee attacks with pulse shots, ignoring any cover (but not concealment) that would apply. The bonus to attack rolls increases by an additional +1 at 8th level and every four levels thereafter.

This replaces dodge bonus.

Pathways of the Pulse Mage (Su)

At 5th level, the arcanopulser may begin following a new path that allows him to further improve his pulse shot, including mastering new energy types as well as increasing the power of his original pulse shot. He selects a single path, and gains the powers from its first selection. At 10th level and every five levels thereafter, the arcanopulser may choose to either further follow a path he has selected and gain the next powers listed in each entry, or select a new path and gain the initial powers from it, with the further option of following it further at later levels.

Each time a path is selected, the pulse shot related to that pathway, and the basic, neutral pulse shot increases its damage dice by one step (1d6 to 1d8 to 1d10 to 2d6 to 2d8 to 3d6). Pulse shots unique to other paths do not benefit from investing into a path that is not their own. An arcanopulser may invest further into a path even when it does not grant additional abilities for doing so. Each time he does, he increases the damage dice step of the pulse shot related to that pathway as normal. The various pathways are listed at the end of this archetype. Any ability that calls for a saving throw uses the arcanopulser’s Mana sphere DC for its DC.

This replaces favored element.

Pulsemage’s Form (Su)

At 7th level, the arcanopulser learns to utilize his prowess to briefly enter a new state of being. He can spend 3 spell points as a full-round action to begin his ascension, granting himself additional abilities. When he begins his ascension, the arcanopulser gains a +4 dodge bonus to his armor class until the beginning of his next turn, but cannot make attacks of opportunity until his next turn.

At the start of his next turn, the arcanopulser becomes ascended for 1 minute. While ascended, all of his pulse shots are considered to be empowered, and he gains certain benefits based off which pathways he has taken, as listed under each path. Additionally, he may reform his pulse shield at any time as a free action that can be taken outside of his turn without paying its spell point cost. After his ascension is over, he becomes exhausted for 1 minute and may not ascend again for 1 hour.

At 13th level, his ascension reaches a higher limit. The arcanopulser may become ascended as a standard action, but does not gain a dodge bonus and is not prevented from making attacks of opportunity. The arcanopulser no longer becomes exhausted when he ends his ascension, regardless of how he began it, and may begin another ascension at any time.

This replaces elemental movement.

Final Form (Su)

The arcanopulser reaches the peak efficacy of his training. He must make a decision, and choose one of the following abilities:

Zenith Form

The arcanopulser masters his ascended form. He can enter his ascended form at any time as a free action that can be taken outside of his turn without spending spell points, and it lasts indefinitely. He may exit his ascended state as a free action.

Ultracognition

The arcanopulser learns every possible way to utilize his pulse magic. He is treated as if he has learned all the various pathways and their secondary abilities, and may benefit from them all when entering his ascended form.

This replaces energy body.


Pathways

The following pathways are available to an arcanopulser.

Path of the Arcane

The first time this path is selected, the arcanopulser masters his pulse shot’s intrinsic magical qualities. He learns to make arcane pulse shots which deal force damage. When an arcanopulser creates a pulse shield, he can cause it to become a force shield. A force shield applies its shield bonus against incorporeal creatures, and negates any force effects that target him, although it only negates portions that affect him.

Once per turn when using empowered arcane pulse shots, the arcanopulser may activate an (expunge) talent from the Mana sphere he knows as a free action on any target he successfully strikes, although they must still be within range of his expunge’s normal range. He must still pay the spell point cost that he may incur from using an expunge.

The second time this path is selected, the arcanopulser’s vibrant arcane forces interfere with other magical auras. Any creature struck by an empowered arcane pulse shot must attempt a Fortitude save. On failure, all harmless magical effects that are on the creature are suppressed for 1 round. A creature struck by multiple attacks in the same round only needs to attempt one saving throw.

Ascension Benefit: As long as the arcanopulser is ascended, he becomes resistant to magic. He gains spell resistance equal to 11 + his class level (which he can lower as a free action during his turn, or raise it as a free action that can be taken outside of his turn), and additionally he transcends the border between the Material world and the Ethereal world. He treats his pulse shots (even non-force pulse shots) and all of his equipment as if they possess the ghost touch special ability, and becomes capable of seeing invisible creatures as if they were visible normally.

At 13th level, while ascended, the arcanopulser gains the effects of the True Seeing advanced Divination talent.

Path of the Caustic

The first time this path is selected, the arcanopulser learns to coat his magical energy in corrosive elements to erode his enemies. He learns to make acidic pulse shots, which deal acid damage. Acidic pulse shots always deal full damage to objects, rather than half for being energy attacks (or ranged attacks). An acidic pulse shot may also be shot at a 5-foot square (against an armor class of 5), doing so causes that square to be considered difficult terrain for 24 hours. A mending spell or the Repair ability from the Creation sphere can restore it to normal before this time.

When an arcanopulser creates a pulse shield, he can cause it to become an acidic shield. Acidic shields grant the arcanopulser 10 resistance against acid damage. When using empowered acidic pulse shots, their potent chemical erosion wears away at the enemy he strikes.

When striking a creature that has an armor bonus or natural armor bonus to their armor class, he may apply a -2 penalty to that creature’s armor class for 1 round. Each extra hit with an empowered acidic pulse shot increases the penalty by another -1, up to a maximum of half the arcanopulser’s class level (minimum -3) and refreshes the duration.

The second time this path is selected, the arcanopulser becomes an expert at destroying material. He ignores all hardness when attacking unattended objects with empowered acidic pulse shots, and always deals maximum damage. When making a sunder attack with an empowered pulse shot, he adds his casting ability modifier as a bonus to the attack roll.

Ascension Benefit: As long as the arcanopulser is ascended, his body becomes coated with a thick acid. He becomes immune to all acid damage, and any creature that strikes him with an unarmed attack, natural attack or melee weapon that does not possess reach suffers damage equal to his acidic pulse shot. A Reflex save halves this damage.

At 13th level, while ascended, the arcanopulser gains a burrow speed equal to his base land speed.

Path of the Corrupt

The first time this path is selected, the arcanopulser learns to make unholy pulse shots that deal negative energy damage. These pulse shots are capable of healing creatures healed by negative energy, and damaging those vulnerable to negative energy, but they may only heal creatures up to half of their maximum hit points. Willing creatures may be touched without an attack roll, but ranged attacks must still make an attack against an effective armor class of 5 to strike willing creatures.

A creature is only healed by the full amount of healing by the first unholy pulse shot they are hit by each round, and any additional pulse shots only heal half as much. When using empowered unholy pulse shots, he may heal a creature up to their maximum health.

When an arcanopulser creates a pulse shield, he can cause it to become an unholy shield. Unholy shields grant the arcanopulser a +2 deflection bonus to his armor class against good creatures, and prevent any creature summoned by a good creature from attacking him or targeting him with abilities. If the arcanopulser attacks the summoned creature, the creature may attack and target him normally.

The second time this path is selected, the arcanopulser learns to apply a catastrophic decay in a creature’s life force with his pulse shots. As a special attack action, he can make a single unholy pulse shot, and apply a single (ghost strike) talent from the Death sphere he knows to the attack. He must still pay any spell point costs from the Death sphere talent. Alternatively, he can increase the attack’s base damage dice to 3d8. Targets struck by this special attack action, whichever method is used, suffer a -2 penalty on all saves against any Death sphere abilities used by the arcanopulser for a number of rounds equal to his casting ability modifier.

Ascension Benefit: As long as the arcanopulser is ascended, his body becomes blackened by undeath. The arcanopulser becomes immune to all effects from the Life sphere, and heals from negative energy (as well as positive energy, if they normally do). He becomes immune to energy drain, poisons and diseases. This does not affect poisons and diseases that he already suffers from, although if he is suffering from any, they are suppressed until he is no longer ascended.

At 13th level, while ascended, he gains a 30-foot aura that bestows a -2 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks and ability checks on nearby enemies. If a creature in this aura dies from negative energy, he may spend an immediate action to drain their life force, healing the arcanopulser for 2 hit points per Hit Dice of the dying creature. If multiple creatures die at the same time, he drains all of their life forces, pooling their Hit Dice together when calculating his healing.

Path of the Eruption

The first time this path is selected, the arcanopulser learns to utilize the inner flames buried within all spellcasters to empower his attacks. He learns to make flaming pulse shots, which deal fire damage. Flaming pulse shots increase their dice step by an additional step upon taking this path, and may set fire to objects.

When an arcanopulser creates a pulse shield, he can cause it to become a fire shield. Fire shields grant the arcanopulser 10 resistance against fire damage.

When using empowered flaming pulse shots, any creatures struck by him must succeed at a Reflex save or catch on fire. A creature struck by multiple attacks must attempt multiple saving throws, although a creature cannot catch on fire if they are already on fire. A creature on fire takes damage equal to the flaming pulse shot’s damage dice at the start of their turn, and they remain on fire until they extinguish the flame by taking a full-round action to attempt another Reflex save. The creature may drop prone and roll on the ground as part of this action to grant themselves a +5 bonus on this save. Failure indicates they remain on fire.

The second time this path is selected, the arcanopulser learns to utilize a creature’s flaming body to cause them to explode with flames, and his flaming pulse shots increase in damage by an additional step. When the arcanopulser strikes a creature who is on fire with an empowered flaming pulse shot, that creature bursts fire from their skin, dealing damage equal to the arcanopulser’s flaming pulse shot to that creature and any creatures other than the arcanopulser within 10 feet of the struck creature. Creatures that are damaged by this explosion which are not on fire also catch on fire. A creature can only explode in this way once per turn, but may suffer damage multiple times from nearby explosions of other creatures.

Ascension Benefit: As long as the arcanopulser is ascended, his body is coated in deadly lava. He becomes immune to all fire damage, and creatures struck by his flaming pulse shot are coated in lava, filling all squares they occupy with lava. Any creature that begins their turn on lava suffer 2d6 fire damage per round of exposure. The lava disappears when the ascension ends.

At 13th level, while ascended, the arcanopulser’s flaming pulse shots erode a creature’s resistance against fire. When he strikes a creature that has fire resistance, he reduces their fire resistance by an amount equal to his class level. This reduction can only be applied once per creature at a time and lasts for 24 hours. Additionally, fire immunity only reduces his damage by half, rather than completely negating it.

Path of the Frostborn

The first time this path is selected, the arcanopulser learns to sap the heat away from his projectiles, creating frosty orbs of magic. He learns to make frozen pulse shots, which deal cold damage. Frozen pulse shots are capable of freezing up to a 5-foot cube of liquid with each attack, which melts back to normal over the course of an hour in average temperature conditions.

When an arcanopulser creates a pulse shield, he can cause it to become an ice shield. Ice shields grant the arcanopulser 10 resistance against cold damage.

When using empowered frozen pulse shots, the arcanopulser freezes deeply into the target creature’s body, inhibiting their capability to react properly, or resist further cold effects. A creature struck by an empowered frozen pulse shot suffers a -2 penalty to all Reflex saves and all saves against cold effects for 1 round. Each extra hit with an empowered frozen pulse shot increases the penalty by another -1, up to a maximum of half the arcanopulser’s class level (minimum -3) and refreshes the duration.

The second time this path is selected, the arcanopulser becomes capable of fully freezing even living creatures. While he is empowering his pulse shots, he can spend a spell point to make a special attack action with his frozen pulse shot to attempt to freeze an enemy. If the attack hits, the target must attempt a successful Fortitude save. On failure, the target suffers an additional 3d8 points of cold damage, and the target is frozen in a cube of ice.

Being frozen causes the target to become paralyzed and unconscious, but it does not need to eat or breathe while the ice lasts. The ice has hit points equal to the arcanopulser’s level, and remains for 1 minute per class level in average temperature conditions. The creature can be freed from the ice by destroying it, although the creature is staggered for 1d4 rounds if freed using this method.

Using this ability ends the arcanopulser’s current empowerment (this cannot end the arcanopulser’s ascension, however).

Ascension Benefit: As long as the arcanopulser is ascended, his body is surrounded by an absolute frost. The arcanopulser can choose to freeze any square that he moves over as of part moving over it, as well as spaces filled with thick gases such as fog or smoke, freezing the squares in slippery ice as he moves. He can walk over all slippery surfaces (such as ice or grease) without attempting an Acrobatics check, and becomes immune to all cold damage.

At 13th level, while ascended, the arcanopulser gains the amphibious monster quality, and gains a swim speed equal to his base land speed. Additionally, he may now freeze the air he walks over, allowing him to leave a trail of slippery ice as he flies or jumps through the air.

Path of the Pure

The first time this path is selected, the arcanopulser learns to make holy pulse shots that deal positive energy damage. These pulse shots are capable of healing creatures healed by positive energy and damaging those vulnerable to positive energy, but they may only heal creatures up to half of their maximum hit points. Willing creatures may be touched without an attack roll, but ranged attacks must still make an attack against an effective armor class of 5 to strike willing creatures.

A creature is only healed by the full amount of healing from a holy pulse shot by the first pulse shot they are hit by each round, and any additional pulse shots only heal half as much. When using empowered holy pulse shots, he may heal a creature up to their maximum health.

When an arcanopulser creates a pulse shield, he can cause it to become a holy shield. Holy shields grant the arcanopulser a +2 deflection bonus to his armor class against evil creatures, and prevent any creature summoned by an evil creature from attacking him or targeting him with abilities. If the arcanopulser attacks the summoned creature, the creature may attack and target him normally.

The second time this path is selected, the arcanopulser learns to utilize his holy energy with that of proper magic. As a special attack action, he can make a single holy pulse shot, and apply a cure, invigorate or restore effect that targets a single creature from the Life sphere to the attack. He must still pay any spell point costs needed for the sphere effect. Alternatively, he can increase the attack’s base damage dice to 3d8. Targets struck by this special attack action, whichever method is used, suffer a -2 penalty on all saves against any Life sphere abilities used by the arcanopulser for a number of rounds equal to his casting ability modifier.

Ascension Benefit: As long as the arcanopulser is ascended, his body glows of pure vitality. He becomes immune to all effects from the Death sphere, death effects, poisons and diseases. This does not affect poisons and diseases that he already suffers from, although if he is suffering from any, they are suppressed until he is no longer ascended.

At 13th level, the arcanopulser emits a 30-foot aura that grants all allies within range fast healing equal to his casting ability modifier, and a +2 sacred bonus on all attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks and ability checks.

Path of the Storm

The first time this path is selected, the arcanopulser learns to utilize electric energies to mix with his own magic. He learns to make electric pulse shots, which deal electricity damage.

When an arcanopulser creates a pulse shield, he can cause it to become an electric shield. Electric shields grant the arcanopulser 10 resistance against electric damage.

When using empowered electric pulse shots, the potent kinetic energies allow the attack to instantly reach its destination rather than be flung as a projectile. Attacks made with empowered electric pulse shots have a range of medium (100 feet + 10 feet per class level) and can only be made within that range. Additionally, attacking targets primarily made of metal, or that are wearing metal armor, grants the arcanopulser a +3 bonus on attack rolls made against them.

The second time this path is selected, the arcanopulser’s inner electric powers begin to disperse in deadly ways on his target. Any creature struck by an empowered electric pulse shot must succeed at a Fortitude save or become staggered for 1 round. A creature struck by multiple attacks in the same round only needs to attempt one saving throw.

Ascension Benefit: As long as the arcanopulser is ascended, his body becomes as fast as lightning. He constantly benefits from the effects of the Time sphere’s Improved Haste ability, and becomes immune to all electricity damage.

At 13th level, while ascended, the arcanopulser gains a flight speed equal to his base land speed with perfect maneuverability.


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