Old Spheres Archwizard

Wiki Note: This is an alternate version of the Archwizard Prestige Class previously published in products like Rappan Athuk from Frog God Games. Unlike most prestige classes, this prestige class requires playing into epic levels (level 21+) to reach its cap. If your game doesn't use epic levels, you may want to reduce the requirements of this class so that it can be entered starting from 11th level. This prestige class should never be available before 11th level.

Arcane casters that are smart (or lucky) enough to have long and impressive careers often branch off into different fields of specializations. Some study ancient secrets and haunt long-forgotten libraries, yearning to glean any lost bit of lore. Some combine their arcane talents with martial skills, and become spell-wielding knights or archers or even trickster rogues. Some few of these wizards dabble in alchemy, or even combine their skills with the divine to become masters of both types of magic. And, there are those that follow a pure path of arcane crafting, studying the magic for no purpose other than the magic itself, raw power, the ability to transform, or to charm and beguile, or create objects from nothing more than whim; these are the true arcane masters, these are the wizards and sorcerers that command the mightiest of magical abilities. These are the archwizards.

Role: The archwizard is often in a position to determine whatever role they choose. As a master of spherecasting, an archwizard may fulfill many roles for the party in attack, defense or utility. Archwizards are often traveling the world, on some great quest for a rare or imagined spell component. Archwizards usually have a high opinion of themselves, and tend to look down on other classes, though this is not always the case.

Archwizards In A Setting: Archwizards are among the most powerful spellcasters in the realm for the simple reason that only the greatest casters can become Archwizards - most will never even approach the level of skill needed to enter this prestige class. They are often famous within their nation or even most of the world, particularly because many of them do nothing to hide who they are or what they want to do. At a certain level of power, you simply aren't bothered by most threats.

Many archwizards live in large cities (though some prefer isolated towers instead) and behave as they wish in daily life. Some are reclusive and only seen once in a hundred years while others walk the land like a tempest, leaving the world changed in their wake. Whatever the people's opinion of archwizards, those from peasant to king tend to listen when they speak, for ignoring the greatest of casters invites disaster.

It is appropriate for there to be few or no archwizards in your campaign setting. Archwizard NPCs are almost always notable figures and may include figures like a player character's mentor, the leader of a large and powerful wizard's guild, or an immortal caster who guards a sacred land.

Alignment: Archwizards tend to be polarizing characters, frequently being powerful members of their alignment arch. While they may be of any alignment, most tends to the extremes (lawful good, lawful evil, chaotic good, chaotic evil).

Hit Die: d6.

To qualify to become an archwizard, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

  • Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 15 ranks, Spellcraft 15 ranks, Use Magic Device 15 ranks.
  • Feats: Sphere Focus in two magic spheres, Skill Focus (Knowledge [arcana]), Skill Focus (Spellcraft), Spell Penetration.
  • Spells: Caster Level 15 (only caster levels from class levels count), seven or more base spheres

Becoming An Archwizard: Becoming an Archwizard should be a time-consuming task that requires a caster to research various aspects of magic in pursuit of ultimate mastery of their casting. Characters should not be allowed to enter this class simply because they meet the other requirements - instead, they should work towards this goal for several levels and complete some personal quests to research magical lore, gain training from a similarly-powerful figure (such as an ancient, mighty dragon or another archwizard), or otherwise complete some difficult quest appropriate to your campaign.

Class Skills: The archwizard’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

Table: The Archwizard
Level BAB Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Magic Talents
1 +0 +0 +0 +1 Casting Progression, Forgo Materials, Metamagic Enhancement +1 level of spherecasting class
2 +1 +1 +1 +1 Spellcasting Master, Arcane Servant +1 level of spherecasting class
3 +1 +1 +1 +2 Detect Expertise +1 level of spherecasting class
4 +2 +1 +1 +2 Spell Echo +1 level of spherecasting class
5 +2 +2 +2 +3 Spell-Like Ability, Epic Crafter +1 level of spherecasting class
6 +3 +2 +2 +3 Overcome Drawback +1 level of spherecasting class
7 +3 +2 +2 +4 Shaped Area +1 level of spherecasting class
8 +4 +3 +3 +4 Selective Targets +1 level of spherecasting class
9 +4 +3 +3 +5 Bypass Spell Resistance +1 level of spherecasting class
10 +5 +3 +3 +5 Archwizardry +1 level of spherecasting class

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Archwizards gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Casting Ability Modifier

Archwizards must use Intelligence as their Casting Ability Modifier. If your character has a different Casting Ability Modifier, it becomes Intelligence when you gain your first Archwizard level and cannot be changed later.

Casting Progression

When a new archwizard level is gained, the character gains an increased caster level and casting ability progression (new magic talents, spell point progression, etc.) as if he had also gained a level in any one spherecasting class he added before the prestige class level. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character with that class would have gained (such as non-casting class abilities). If a character had more than one spherecasting class before he became an archwizard, he must decide to which class he adds each level of archwizard for the purpose of determining casting progression.

This Casting Progression cannot be applied to any standard casting class (such as the core Wizard, Sorcerer, or Cleric classes).

Forgo Materials

A first level archwizard no longer needs mundane material components to fuel his talents and rituals, and acts as if he has the Eschew Materials feat. The archwizard may cast any ritual with a material component cost of up to 100 gp per archwizard level without needing the actual component(s).

Metamagic Enhancement (Su)

An archwizard is a master at manipulating magical forces. At first level, he reduces the cost of any metamagic feat known by one level (or one spell point) less than standard i.e. a first level archwizard casts a spell with the Empower feat at one spell slot/spell point higher than the original spell. The metamagic enhancement can only be applied to one enhancement per spell. This ability does not affect the Heighten Spell feat. At 5th level and 10th level, the adjusted level is reduced one additional spell level or spell point. The adjusted enhancement can never reduce the base spell below its original spell point cost, no matter the level of the archwizard casting it. This ability replaces metamagic mastery, if the base creature possesses that ability.

Spellcasting Master

At 2nd level, the archwizard gains a +5 insight bonus to Knowledge (arcana), Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device.

Arcane Servant (Su)

All archwizards of 2nd and higher level are treated as if they have a permanent unseen servant (as the unseen servant spell) near them at all times. The servant can go no further than 100 ft., but otherwise confer to the rules of normal unseen servants. If destroyed, the servant reappears the following round.

Detect Expertise

All of a 3rd level archwizard's (divine) talents are treated as if using the Detect Expertise feat (including (divine) talents that normally wouldn't be affected by this feat). In addition, the archwizard gains information one round earlier than normal, if the detect is round-dependent.

At 6th level, the archwizard gains information 2 rounds earlier.

Spell Echo

A 4th level archwizard holds on to some of the arcane energy in a cast spell. One spell per 2 archwizard levels/day, is treated as if under the Echoing Spell feat, with no increase in casting time or spell point cost.

Echoing Spell: When you cast an echoing spell, its energy does not disappear entirely, and you can cast it one additional time during that day without spending any spell points. No effect that allows you to reprepare or recast a spell can affect the echoed spell. Spell Point Cost: +3

Spell-Like Ability (Sp)

An archwizard can use one or more of his spell points to permanently prepare one of his talents as a spell-like ability that can be used twice per day. The spell point (or points) is permanently removed for the spellcaster’s use i.e. if an archwizard has 20 spell points, and chooses to make a destructive blast with the fire blast (blast type) and explosive orb (blast shape) talents a spell-like ability, he will only have 18 spell points available because that talent combination costs 2 spell points. The archwizard does not apply any general drawbacks when casting the spell-like ability. Note that this ability may only be used with talents that qualify under the Forgo Materials ability, above.

The archwizard can choose to make a sphere talent modified by a metamagic feat into a spell-like ability. This ability may not be combined with the Metamagic Enhancement ability (above).

Epic Crafter

An archwizard of 5th level may craft magic weapons with the Epic descriptor, to bypass DR/Epic.

Overcome Drawback

A 6th level archwizard is no longer affected by their general drawbacks, but still gain the extra spell points or boons for having drawbacks. This does not apply to sphere-specific drawbacks.

Shaped Area (Su)

The 7th level archwizard can alter areas of effect for talent that use one of the following shapes: burst, cone, cylinder, emanation, or spread. The alteration consists of creating spaces within the talent’s area or effect that are not subject to the talent. The minimum dimension for these spaces is a 5 ft. cube. Furthermore, any shapeable talents have a minimum dimension of 5 ft. instead of 10 ft.

Selective Targets (Su)

At 8th level, the archwizard may select up to one target per point of Intelligence bonus to exclude from any area-of-effect talent cast, or double the number of targets affected by a talent. In the first application, the targets are engulfed in the effect, but do not suffer any of the effects. This is a target-based exclusion; other opponents sharing the excluded target’s space are still affected by the talent. In the second case, when a talent description specifies an effect like “one creature/level,” the archwizard may instead affect up to two creatures/level.

Bypass Spell Resistance (Ex)

At 9th level, the archwizard’s command of magic is such that he may unravel a creature’s natural resistance to magic. As a free action, an archwizard may reduce a target’s spell resistance by his archwizard level, once per day per target. In addition, an archwizard ignores energy resistance equal to his total caster level from casting classes.

Archwizardry (Ex)

At 10th level, an archwizard is truly the master of magic and its weavings. An archwizard of this level may cast 2 talents with a casting time of “1 standard action” in a single round. The archwizard may do this 1 time per 6 caster levels per day. This ability does not stack with Quicken Spell or any other ability that increases spells per round. The archwizard must still expend spell points normally. If casting talents that require concentration, the archwizard may concentrate on both talents cast through Archwizardry with the same action.

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