Spheres Archwizard (Prestige Class)
Mythic Champions of the Spheres

Wiki Note: This is an updated and official version of the original, unofficial Spheres Archwizard prestige class, which was a conversion of the Archwizard by Frog God Games.

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 mageknights or archers or even trickster rogues. Some few of these casters 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 casters that command the mightiest of magical abilities. These are the archwizards.

Role: The archwizard is often in a position to determine whatever role they desire. 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, and may find allies to help them along their journeys.

Archwizards In A Setting: Archwizards are among the most powerful spellcasters in the realm for the simple reason that only the greatest casters even have the potential to become archwizards - most will never even approach the level of skill needed to enter this prestige class, much less master it. Archwizards 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 are not 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 and influential members of their alignment arch. While they may be of any alignment, most tend to the extremes (lawful good, lawful evil, chaotic good, or 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
  • Special: Unlike most prestige classes, this prestige class requires playing into epic levels (level 21+) to reach its cap. If your game does not 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. If you do not change its prerequisites, it is functionally capped at its 5th level.

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 at least several levels and complete several 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 difficult challenges 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: 4 + 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 Sphere-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 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 which class he adds each level of archwizard to for the purpose of determining casting progression.

This ability cannot be applied to any non-spherecasting class (such as the core wizard, sorcerer, or cleric classes), although it does work if the character has an archetype to change that standard casting to spherecasting.

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 (except Echoing Spell) by one spell point, to a minimum of one (except for metamagic that costs one spell point to begin with, which can be reduced to zero). At 5th level and 10th level, the adjusted level is reduced one additional spell level or spell point, subject to the minimums described above. This only applies to spherecasting effects. Metamagic enhancement can only be applied to one use of metamagic per spell and does not affect the Heighten Spell feat. These changes to spell point costs do not change the normal casting times for adding metamagic to spherecasting.

This ability replaces metamagic mastery if the archwizard 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 level and higher have a permanent unseen servant (as the unseen servantCRB spell) near them at all times. The servant can go no further than 100 feet, 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 ExpertiseUM feat (including (divine) talents that normally would not be affected by this feat), even if the archwizard does not meet the prerequisites for the feat. In addition, the archwizard gains information one round earlier than normal if the detection is round-dependent, and can gain information about bestial traits, mystic combats, paths, and other character details as determined by the GM. All of the archwizard’s (divine) talents also gain the effects of the Detect Spellcaster (divine) ability of the Divination sphere.

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

Detect Expertise: When you use any of the spells listed in this feat’s prerequisites to detect a creature’s alignment or its magic, you have a chance of detecting what spellcasting expertise it has. After you observe a creature with the detect spell for 3 rounds, it must attempt a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your caster level + your Intelligence modifier). If it fails the saving throw, you learn what bloodlines, domains, hexes, schools, or mysteries (if any) the creature possesses. If the creature succeeds at its save, it is immune to the effects of this feat for 24 hours.

Spell Echo

A 4th-level archwizard holds on to some of the arcane energy in a cast spell. Once per day for every two archwizard levels, the archwizard can treat a spell as if it were cast with the Echoing Spell metamagic, 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 other effect that allows you to reprepare or recast a spell can affect the echoed spell. Spell Point Cost: +3

Sphere-Like Ability (Sp)

At 5th level, an archwizard can use one or more of his spell points to prepare one talent (or a compatible group of talents) as a sphere-like ability that can be used three times per day. The spell point (or points) is permanently removed from the spellcaster’s spell pool for as long as the talent is prepared. For example, 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 sphere-like ability, he will only have 18 spell points available because that talent combination costs 2 spell points. A sphere-like ability always reserves at least one point from the archwizard’s spell pool. The archwizard does not apply any general drawbacks when casting their sphere-like ability. Once per day, as long as they have not used their sphere-like ability that day, an archwizard may change their sphere-like ability by spending eight hours to modify their casting techniques. This does not restore any spell points previously invested (although they will return the next time the caster regains spell points normally), and does require investing additional spell points for the new ability. At 7th and 9th levels, the archwizard may designate one additional sphere-like ability.

The archwizard can choose to make a sphere talent modified by metamagic into a sphere-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, which bypass DR/epic. There is no additional cost for applying this descriptor while crafting a magic weapon. A 5th-level archwizard may also craft spell engines, marvelous items, or implements with this descriptor. In these cases, the items allow any talents they create or affect to bypass DR/epic if it would apply to them.

Overcome Drawbacks

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

Shaped Area (Su)

A 7th-level archwizard can alter areas of effect for talents 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-foot cube. Furthermore, any shapeable talents have a minimum dimension of 5 feet instead of 10 feet.

Selective Targets (Su)

At 8th level, the archwizard may select up to one target per point of CAM to exclude from any area-of-effect talent cast, or double the number of targets affected by a talent (except talents that are limited to personal use). 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. This reduction lasts for one round per archwizard level. 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. As a full-round action, an archwizard of this level may cast two sphere effects with a casting time of 1 standard action (or faster). The archwizard may do this one time per six caster levels per day. This ability does not stack with Quicken Spell or any other ability that increases spells cast per round. The archwizard must still expend spell points normally. If using talents that require concentration, the archwizard may concentrate on all talents cast through archwizardry with the same action.

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