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    Default Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class)

    Author's Note:
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    The request for this class was to make an arcane caster whose power equaled or exceeded the wizard, one who was even more powerful than a gestalted incantatrix. To be honest, I have no idea how I could make something like that, but I've decided to toss all balance out the window here for the sake of meeting a request. This class is supposed to be superior to the wizard in every way.

    As for the spells per day, if this class is supposed to replace the wizard, then this class should be replacing the sorcerer (DMs, never allow this one unless you have the other). That way, the sorcerer still has his all-day-every-day casting advantage over a wizard.



    The Archmage


    Alignment: Any

    HD: d4
    Class Skills: The archmage's class skills are Appraise, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Knowledge (All skills, taken individually), Profession, and Spellcraft.
    Skill Points: 2+Int per level, x4 at first level

    The Archmage
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bonus Feat, Cantrips, Summon Familiar|5|3

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Mental Mastery (Saving Throws)|6|4|-

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Focused Scholar|7|5|3|-

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bonus Feat|7|6|4|-|-

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Mental Mastery (Initiative)|7|7|5|3|-|-

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Broken Limit (1st)|7|7|6|4|-|-|-

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Practiced Metamagic (Silent Spell)|7|7|7|5|3|-|-|-

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Bonus Feat, Mental Mastery (Attack Rolls)|7|7|7|6|4|-|-|-|-|

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Broken Limit (2nd)|7|7|7|7|5|3|-|-|-|-

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Practiced Metamagic (Still Spell)|7|7|7|7|6|4|-|-|-|-

    11th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Mental Mastery (Spell Resistance)|7|7|7|7|7|5|3|-|-|-

    12th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Broken Limit (3rd)|7|7|7|7|7|6|4|-|-|-

    13th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Practiced Metamagic (Extend Spell)|7|7|7|7|7|7|5|3|-|-

    14th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Mental Mastery (Hit Points)|7|7|7|7|7|7|6|4|-|-

    15th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Broken Limit (4th)|7|7|7|7|7|7|7|5|3|-

    16th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bonus Feat, Practiced Metamagic (Maximize Spell)|7|7|7|7|7|7|7|6|4|-

    17th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Mental Mastery (Caster Level)|7|7|7|7|7|7|7|7|5|3

    18th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Broken Limit (5th)|7|7|7|7|7|7|7|7|6|4

    19th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Practiced Metamagic (Quicken Spell)|7|7|7|7|7|7|7|7|7|5

    20th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Bonus Feat, Mental Mastery (DC)|7|7|7|7|7|7|7|7|7|5[/table]

    Class Features: All of the following are class features of the archmage:

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An archmage is proficient with all simple weapons, and with one martial weapon of her choice. An archmage is also proficient with all natural weapons she gains through her spellcasting.

    Spells: An archmage is able to cast arcane spells, drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. She must have an Intelligence score of at least 10+spell level to learn, prepare, or cast a spell. She receives bonus spells per day for a high Intelligence score. The DC for the saving throws of any spell she casts, if it allows a saving throw, is 10+spell level+the archmage's Intelligence modifier.

    Unlike a sorcerer or a bard, an archmage must prepare his spells from a spellbook (see below). The archmage must spend an hour reading her spellbook and choosing spells that he will cast that day, and applying metamagic feats to them (if she chooses to do so). The archmage must rest for 8 hours before she is able to prepare spells for the day again.

    Unlike a bard or sorcerer, an archmage may know any number of spells. She must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting a good night’s sleep and spending 1 hour studying her spellbook. While studying, the archmage decides which spells to prepare.

    The archmage's arcane spells suffer from an arcane spell failure chance if she wears armor or carries a shield, if they have somatic components (most do).

    Spellbook: Unlike a sorcerer, an archmage does not receive her daily spell complement from natural talents or arcane bloodlines. Rather, she must seek out and collect new spells much as a wizard does. She cannot prepare any spell not recorded in her spellbook except for read magic, which archmages can prepare from memory.

    An archmage begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level sorcerer/wizard spells plus three 1st-level sorcerer/wizard spells of the player’s choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the archmage has, the spellbook has an additional 1st-level sorcerer/wizard spell. At each new class level, the archmage gains two new sorcerer/wizard spells for her spellbook; these can be of any spell level or levels that she can cast (based on her new archmage level).

    At any time, an archmage can also add spells found on scrolls containing arcane spells to her spellbook, but she must make any rolls and spend the time required (see Adding Spells to a Wizard’s Spellbook on page 178 of the Player’s Handbook). The archmage can learn and thus prepare non-sorcerer/wizard arcane spells in this fashion, but the two free spells she gains for advancing in class level must be selected from the sorcerer/wizard spell list.

    Bonus Feat (Ex): At 1st level, 4th level, and every 4 levels after that, an archmage receives a bonus feat. She must meet all prerequisites for this bonus feat. The bonus feat may be chosen from the following list:

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    Spell Focus, Greater Spell Focus, Spell Mastery, Arcane Thesis, Arcane Disciple, Improved Familiar, Combat Familiar, Obtain Familiar, Improved Counterspell or any Item Creation, Metamagic, Reserve, or Sudden Metamagic feat


    Cantrips: Archmages can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on the table above under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.

    Summon Familiar: This ability works just like the SRD wizard ability.

    Mental Mastery (Ex): An archmage trains herself in the use of her mind over all else. She is able to utilize her Intelligence to help her magic and her defenses, similarly to a warblade utilizing it to aid his offense.

    Starting at 2nd level, an archmage's innate understanding of spellcasting grants her a bonus equal to her Intelligence modifier (minimum +0) on all her saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities. This stacks with similar bonuses, such as the dwarf's racial bonus and the hexblade's Arcane Resistance ability.

    Starting at 5th level, an archmage adds her Intelligence modifier (in addition to her Dexterity modifier) to her initiative checks.

    Starting at 8th level, the archmage adds her Intelligence modifier (in addition to her Strength/Dexterity modifier) to her attack rolls with weaponlike spells.

    Starting at 11th level, the archmage may add her Intelligence modifier to all caster level checks she makes to overcome spell resistance.

    Starting at 14th level, an archmage is able to use her brain rather than her brawn to weather powerful blows. She may add her Intelligence modifier to her hit points gained at each level, rather than her Constitution modifier. She must choose whether to use this ability once she gains it at 14th level, and she can't change her mind later. This ability retroactively recalculates her hit points gained from all previous HD, even non-archmage class levels and racial hit dice, and applies to all future hit dice the archmage gains, from any source.

    Starting at 17th level, the archmage adds her Intelligence modifier to her archmage caster level for all purposes except caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance.

    Starting at 20th level, the archmage adds her Intelligence modifier to the DC allowed by all spells she casts (including spells from other classes she might have, even divine spellcasting classes). This stacks with her normal spellcasting ability score modifier being added to her DC, even if that ability score is Intelligence.

    Focused Scholar (Ex): An archmage is a brilliant scholar who pushes her body to the limit, studying texts day after day. She receives a bonus equal to 1/3 of her class level to all Knowledge and Spellcraft checks.

    Broken Limit (Ex): Starting at 6th level, an archmage uses her full archmage caster level to determine all caster-level based variables when casting 1st level arcane spells, even when those caster-level based variables are capped by the spell description (such as the burning hands spell).

    At 9th level, and every 3 levels after that, this ability applies to arcane spells one level higher, to a maximum of 5th level spells at 18th level.

    Practiced Metamagic (Ex): Starting at 7th level, an archmage may prepare a spell she knows with a metamagic feat at no cost. She must have the feat in question in order to prepare a spell with it, and she may only prepare spells with no cost in this way a number of times per day equal to 3+her Intelligence modifier (minimum of 3).

    At 7th level, she may only use this class feature to apply the Silent Spell feat. At 10th level, she may also use it to apply either the Silent Spell or Still Spell feats. At 13th level, she may use it to apply either the Silent, Still, or Extend Spell feats. At 16th level, she may use it to apply either the Silent, Still, Extend, or Maximize Spell feats. At 19th level, she may use it to apply either the Silent, Still, Extend, Maximize, or Quicken Spell feats.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-02-19 at 04:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    I don't regret making this request. Thank you, no longer do people have to over optimise. They can just take a base class.
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wavelab View Post
    I don't regret making this request. Thank you, no longer do people have to over optimise. They can just take a base class.
    You are very welcome, though I'm pretty sure any other PEACH I get (if any) is going to be filled with hate.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    I don't find anything particularly unbalancing except for the SADness. But that can be achieved by optimising anyway.
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Seems pretty reasonable to me. The magic abilities (especially free metamagic and the mental mastery ability) are all fairly strong but it's more than made up for by the low hit die (a d4?!) and lack of most weapon proficiencies. I can't see this guy lasting more than a few rounds in combat with a well-equipped melee-type.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    Seems pretty reasonable to me. The magic abilities (especially free metamagic and the mental mastery ability) are all fairly strong but it's more than made up for by the low hit die (a d4?!) and lack of most weapon proficiencies. I can't see this guy lasting more than a few rounds in combat with a well-equipped melee-type.
    Keeping in mind I requested this class for a epic Mage, at which point melee becomes a minor threat at least
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    I know. I was just pointing out that while the class's special abilities and spell list might make it seem overpowered, it's balanced out by its low hit points and mediocre weapon proficiencies.

    Just like the wiz--

    oh.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Yeah its powerful but still acceptable so I like it
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    I would actually complain about the spell slots and proficiencies being a little too much, this seems like a wizard on steroids, but if it is all about Epic, I find it awesome.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    I didn't actually notice the martial weapon. I just assumed it was simple weapons and that's it
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wavelab View Post
    I didn't actually notice the martial weapon. I just assumed it was simple weapons and that's it
    Eh, a single martial weapon is just nice to help you flavor your character correctly. If you want to play an archmage who wields a scythe or rides a horse and fights with a lance, you should be able to. It's not like having a martial weapon over a simple weapon is particularly empowering to someone with save-or-dies and uncapped blasting.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    True. And I've always liked scythes...
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Why ask for PEACH at all? You said you don't intend the archmage to be compatible with game balance- it's there in the opening- so why would you need feedback for a class that's never going to be used in a (fair) game?

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by katarl View Post
    Why ask for PEACH at all? You said you don't intend the archmage to be compatible with game balance- it's there in the opening- so why would you need feedback for a class that's never going to be used in a (fair) game?
    The game is as fair as the DM makes it. A good DM can find a way to challenge this character in a creative way. I mean honestly, even the most powerful character(besides pun-pun) can die if it's played by a moron.
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    You don't actually define how the class prepares spells. Perhaps you should define how the class prepares spells?
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    You don't actually define how the class prepares spells. Perhaps you should define how the class prepares spells?
    I don't understand. Here's the exact wording:

    Quote Originally Posted by Spells
    Unlike a sorcerer or a bard, an archmage must prepare his spells from a spellbook (see below).
    How can I make that any clearer? Oh, right, okay, an hour reading the spellbook after an 8 hour rest, right. Sorry, updating now.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    I don't understand. Here's the exact wording:



    How can I make that any clearer? Oh, right, okay, an hour reading the spellbook after an 8 hour rest, right. Sorry, updating now.
    No, you never defined how they cast spells. It may say that they prepare spells from a spellbook, but as written it doesn't define what that actually means.
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    No, you never defined how they cast spells. It may say that they prepare spells from a spellbook, but as written it doesn't define what that actually means.
    Okay...I'll copy and paste from the wizard SRD then.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Now I kind of want to know what a Psion boosted in a similar way would look like...

    This looks crazy broken. So, by default, I love it. I would never ever allow it in gestalt, though I don't see it as too much more broken than a well optimized Wizard.

    Just a quick question: do they get bonus spells? As written, it doesn't. Should it?

    EDIT: nevermind, found it.
    Last edited by Noctis Vigil; 2012-02-18 at 02:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Noctis Vigil View Post
    This looks crazy broken. So, by default, I love it. I would never ever allow it in gestalt, though I don't see it as too much more broken than a well optimized Wizard.
    The ability to learn and cast any arcane spell actually adds quite a bit of options to the archmage's repetoire that a wizard doesn't normally get, even with optimization. For example, the archmage could learn irresistible dance as a 6th level spell, even though it is normally an 8th level spell on the Sor/Wiz spell list (The DC would be reduced as usual, however, irresistible dance doesn't allow a saving throw, so that's not an issue).

    Also, you get glibness, giant size, cure light wounds, cure moderate wounds, cure serious wounds, cure critical wounds, mass cure light wounds, body outside body, freedom of movement, modify memory, song of discord, zone of silence, summon nature's ally (savage bard, UA), and a whole host of others.

    You also get spells available at lower levels, such as legend lore, greater shout, suggestion, mass suggestion, dominate person, and tongues.

    Basically, every reason that an archivist is unfair, but for wizards.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    If you want to make the power distinction even more extreme, you could either allow spontaneous casting of any spell in their spellbook, or use the spirit shaman casting mechanics and ditch the idea of spellbook altogether.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    If you want to make the power distinction even more extreme, you could either allow spontaneous casting of any spell in their spellbook, or use the spirit shaman casting mechanics and ditch the idea of spellbook altogether.
    Nah, that just ruins the sorcerer's last big attraction: spontaneous casting. I know that people consider the wizard to still be better, but for people like me, who just hate the bookwork involved with prepared casting, sorcerer will always be king.

    Wizards are supposed to be masters of versatility, and I increased that for the archmage, so I'm happy about that.

    Though to be honest, an arcane spirit shaman would be interesting to see.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class)

    Psionics will always be the kings of spontaneous in my book. It's all the spontaneity of the Sorcerer with more flexibility. I've been contemplating how a arcane magic system working much like Psionics would work for a while now; I have the system almost done, although schoolwork has delayed it for a while now.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class)

    I think you should make a chain of the redone and "overpowered" classes. That way, its more balanced xD.


    And this makes a better boss, since it can ignore action economy easier. Fun.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Nah, that just ruins the sorcerer's last big attraction: spontaneous casting. I know that people consider the wizard to still be better, but for people like me, who just hate the bookwork involved with prepared casting, sorcerer will always be king.

    Wizards are supposed to be masters of versatility, and I increased that for the archmage, so I'm happy about that.

    Though to be honest, an arcane spirit shaman would be interesting to see.
    I myself have always been a fan of the spontaneous caster since it lessens bookwork, and also psionics since it does so even more, but in epic games I find it useful to have most spells at your disposal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noctis Vigil View Post
    Psionics will always be the kings of spontaneous in my book. It's all the spontaneity of the Sorcerer with more flexibility. I've been contemplating how a arcane magic system working much like Psionics would work for a while now; I have the system almost done, although schoolwork has delayed it for a while now.
    Let me make that easier for you.
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class)

    I take the Necropolitan template. All of my HD are now d12s.

    And I add my casting stat to HP.
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    I take the Necropolitan template. All of my HD are now d12s.

    And I add my casting stat to HP.
    You're lazy. Dry Lich + Living Arcanum(Hombrew sorcerer class). Charisma added to hp twice.

    Optimization is really easy if you try, this class can be even more powerful if it's optimized.
    Last edited by Wavelab; 2012-02-18 at 09:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Nah, that just ruins the sorcerer's last big attraction: spontaneous casting. I know that people consider the wizard to still be better, but for people like me, who just hate the bookwork involved with prepared casting, sorcerer will always be king.

    Wizards are supposed to be masters of versatility, and I increased that for the archmage, so I'm happy about that.

    Though to be honest, an arcane spirit shaman would be interesting to see.
    For what it's worth, I agree with you on the whole preparing-spells-is-no-fun thing. You may have noticed that I've not turned out a single homebrew class with prepared casting, even with my wizard and cleric revisions.

    It has more day-to-day versatility than the normal wizard, thanks to being able to access all arcane spell lists, but during any individual day it's not all that much more versatile.

    I tried an arcane spirit shaman class years ago; I found it and posted it here, and the basic mechanic was judged 'irredeemably broken.' You might be able to do spirit-shaman-casting from a spellbook, though.

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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class)

    If only there was a alternate class feature for this class to make it spontaneous. You know, for all you guys who don't like preparing(I don't either actually).

    *Hint Hint*
    Last edited by Wavelab; 2012-02-19 at 03:11 AM.
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    Default Re: Request: The Best Arcane Caster Ever (3.5 Base Class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wavelab View Post
    If only there was a alternate class feature for this class to make it spontaneous. You know, for all you guys who don't like preparing(I don't either actually).

    *Hint Hint*
    There is. It's called 'The Sorcerer'

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