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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Phoenixian's Avatar

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    Dec 2013

    Default Archmage (Revisited) PEACH

    After reviewing some of the prestige classes for an upcoming campaign, I was struck by the fact that the ones available in the Dungeon Master's Guide seem....underpowered in comparison to the more recent works in such places like the Complete Mage. In particular, the Archmage caught my eye...and more precisely, the High Arcana. Intended to be the 'secret lore unknown to lesser wizards and sorcerers', I was brought up short by many of them being easily replicated by the selection of feats...and the fact that in spite of the steep entrance requirements for Archmage, there's an additional cost of spell slots to actually attain any benefits from High Arcana.

    So here is my attempt to 'update' the Archmage...by replacing it's High Arcana with something that feels more on the power level of other prestige classes, and maybe a step higher given the steep entrance requirements. Some of these new Arcana are merely updated versions of the old, some are inspired from other attempts I have seen to update the Archmage, and some are more powerful versions of abilities other prestige classes can bestow.

    High Arcana - Limit Break (Ex)
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    Spells that are dependent on caster level, cast by an archmage using this High Arcana, no longer have any level caps. Example: A wizard 15/archmage 4 who casts `magic missile` would create 8 missiles instead of 5.


    High Arcana - Magic Mastery (Ex)
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    An archmage is a master of magic, adding a +1 bonus per archmage level to the DC of all saving throws for spells that he casts that permit a saving throw. Any attempts by a non-archmage or an archmage of lesser level to dispel or counter the archmage's spells automatically fail. Any effect the archmage personally produces with magic is irreversible, except by the archmage himself. This prevents spells like break enchantment, disjunction, remove blindness, or remove curse from working.


    High Arcana - High Magefire (Su)
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    Any prepared spell or spell slot can be drained of it's arcane energy to create a bolt of raw destructive energy. The damage caused by this bolt is equal to a number of d4 equal to the level of the spell consumed in this way plus your archmage class level. This bolt's range is long ranged, equal to 400 feet plus 40 feet per archmage class level. Metamagic abilities may be applied to High Magefire as if it was still a spell, extending it's range, widening it's effect, or enhancing it's damage. If taken more than once, this ability's damage dice increases by one step.


    High Arcana - Metamastery (Su)
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    Once per day per archmage level, the archmage may apply a single metamagic feat he knows to one of his spells without increasing it's casting time or it's level. This ability cannot apply to the following feats: Heighten Spell, Fortify Spell, or any other similar metamagic feat with a variable spell slot modifier.


    High Arcana - Spell-like Ability (Sp)
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    Select a spell known to you and lose the ability to cast it normally. Instead, for a number of times per day equal to your primary casting stat's bonus, gain the ability to use that spell as a spell-like ability. No components are required for a spell converted in this fashion, though any costly components now cost 10 times their original amount in XP in addition to any XP cost the spell would normally exact from it's caster. If taken more than once, this ability stacks with itself, providing an additional spell-like ability to use or double the normal number of uses for an existing ability granted by this High Arcana.
    Last edited by Phoenixian; 2013-12-28 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Altering title

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Darkweave31's Avatar

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    May 2011
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    Default Re: Archmage (Revisited) PEACH

    Overall I think you may have overshot power-wise...

    Limit Break
    Awesome idea, helps shore up some of those lower level spells for the blasters. Nothing wrong with it, though you may want to think about capping the increase at your archmage level.

    High Arcana - Magic Mastery (Ex)
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    An archmage is a master of magic, adding a +1 bonus per archmage level to the DC of all saving throws for spells that he casts that permit a saving throw. Any attempts by a non-archmage or an archmage of lesser level to dispel or counter the archmage's spells automatically fail. Any effect the archmage personally produces with magic is irreversible, except by the archmage himself. This prevents spells like break enchantment, disjunction, remove blindness, or remove curse from working.
    This ability is doing way too much. +class level to DC is a little over the top as is. Adding to that the inability to counter, dispel, reverse, etc any of the archmage's spells makes it even more difficult for the DM to challenge the mage because there is no defense short of another archmage of equal or higher level.

    Perhaps you could try making it 2 abilities, something like this:

    Magic Mastery
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    An archmage is a master of magic, adding a +1 bonus per archmage level to their caster level for the purpose of penetrating spell resistance, dispel checks made by them, and to the DC of any caster level check made to dispel or otherwise end any spell effect of the archmage. If the effect does not normally require a caster level check, it does when trying to break an archmage's spells. The DC for this check is 5+the archmage's caster level.
    This way the archmage's effects are much tougher to break and can even give disjunction a hard time, BUT it isn't absolute. The DM can still check and challenge the mage.


    Magecraft
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    An archmage is exceptional at weaving more potency into their spells. The archmage may increase the spell level of any spell they cast by 1/2 their archmage level (rounded up) to a maximum of the highest level of spell they could normally cast. This effect is similar to heighten spell, but does not use a higher level spell slot.
    So now the mage can up the power of most of their lower level spells without pushing beyond their normal highest DC and overpowering their strongest effects. It increases the potency and variety of effects they can bring against stronger opponents.


    Anyway on to...
    High magefire
    Probably the most tame ability here. First you may want to clarify how metamagic is applied to it. Second clarify the damage type it deals (I'm assuming raw arcane damage and thus not subject to any resistances). Third, clarify if ranged touch, saving throw, auto-hit, etc.

    Metamastery
    Very powerful ability. Imagine the persist spells. I would recommend allowing it to be taken multiple times for 1 use each rather than scale with level.

    Spell-like ability
    Definitely too much. I would suggest reducing the number of uses to the archmage level at the very least and even that seems quite powerful when applied to the highest spell level.

    So anyway yeah, good job with the update of the archmage. You came up with some great ideas for useful abilities, now just refine them and you'll be golden.
    "I require a reminder as to why raining arcane destruction is not an appropriate response to all of life's indignities... Quickly please, before they are out of range."

    "Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!!"

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