Arcane Duelist Academy (3.5e Other)
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The arcane duelist is trained to fight other spellcasters. The academy willingly teaches any arcane spellcaster that is willing to pay the 10 gp entry fee, though if the applicant currently is a wanted criminal in the area they will be refused any further lessons at that academy. However, they can go to an affiliate in another region, were they is not wanted by the officials and continue their lessons. There is one more footnote on the contract: for every 3 lessons, the student will owe the academy a small favor. Many of these favors are initially used to send 2-10 mages against one mage that refuses to pay the favor owed. The 5th and 10th lesson costs a big favor, this is the reason that the academy is both feared and respected. These favors are sometimes for rent, as a mercenary force, though the academy wants full disclosure to make sure its current and former students aren’t used for suicide missions and to make sure that the mages will make a difference. For example, a warlord has an army and could easily subdue the revolting commoners by force, but to drive the point home, he decides to hire some mages. The arcane duelist academy would never take that job not because they have a problem with killing commoners, but because they would not make a difference in the outcome. In addition, they never take a job were they aren’t opposed by other mages. Each of the big favors are supported by a quest spell, and each quest spell is tracked so if the target should disappear for any reason, the academy will know. There are some ways to repay the favors other than them being called in. 1 favor: 20 spell levels of new spells, some interesting magical items, about 35000 gp, some very interesting magical knowledge, or gaining a new ally of some power, such as a Noble of note or above. 1 big favor: 350000 gp, an artifact or unique magical item, Getting a POWERFUL ally for the academy, such as ruler/s of a country, or 2 new epic spells.
Description: These lessons must be taken in sequence so you cannot start lesson 5 until you have completed lessons 1 through 4. The level cap is the optimal level to take the lesson. It is possible to take the lesson earlier but the XP cost goes up by 20%. In addition, you have to convince the teacher that you are ready. The time spent is the minimum uninterrupted time that you need to complete the lesson.
Lesson 1 – Spell Study.
Level cap: 1
Time: 1 week
(10 GP / 100 XP)
The first lesson deals with the knowledge of spells, and how to quickly and easily identify them. This lesson gives a +2 to modifier to all Spellcraft checks.
Lesson 2 – Soft Magic
Level cap: 2
Time: 1 day
(20 GP / 300 XP)
The second lesson is focused on taking an opponent down without killing him. These lessons are mainly a precursor to the following lessons, since they can’t be done without a simulated spell battle. Without the Subdual spell Metamagic feat, the list of dead students would grow too quickly. Basically they can prepare any spell with an energy or force descriptor so that it does subdual damage instead. A subdual spell takes up a spell slot of the same level as normal.
Lesson 3 – Spell Confusion
Level cap: 4
Time: 2 days
(40 GP / 600 XP / Favour)
This is lesson is the first lesson that sets academy students apart from the common arcane spellcasters: expanding on the knowledge gained from the first lesson and are able to make a spell seem like another spell. This is done by an opposed Spellcraft check. If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, you get a +2 to this Spellcraft check. When you cast a spell you make a Spellcraft check to make it seem like another spell to mislead any other caster into believing that you are actually casting another spell. The opposed Spellcraft check is modified according to how big a difference there is between the actual spell and the Bluff. The modifiers are as follows
Bluff Modifier 5 or more ranks in sense motive. +2 For every spell level +3 Different school +2 Every level above your actual ability +5 Different intent +10
If you try as a 13th level wizard to make it seem like you are casting foresight, but are actually casting a fireball, any opposed spellcraft check would have the following modifiers: For the spell being 6 levels above the actual spell level: +18 For the spell being 2 levels above what he can actually cast: +10 For the spell being a different school: +2 Finally, for casting a harmful spell while making it seem like he is casting a helpful spell: +10 So anyone with at least one rank in Spellcraft will get a total of +40 (18+10+2+10) So only the absolute most knowledgeable of wizards would have a chance of pulling that bluff off, and even then, the opponent would have to be really dumb. Also in the above case he would have to make a normal bluff check to make people believe that he actually wants to help and that he is a far more powerful spellcaster than he actually is.
Lesson 4 – Unravel
Level cap: 6
Time: 3 days
(80 GP / 1000 XP)
Now that they start to learn the real tricks of the academy, this lesson is all about dispelling. Normally, one tries to dispel the whole spell or effect by using the brute force of your own arcane power. The academy's studies are so extensive that students instinctively know what parts of a spell to focus on to make the spell unravel itself. The end result is the same, but the success rate is higher. All students who have completed this lesson get a +2 on all dispel checks.
Lesson 5 – Always Prepared
Level cap: 8
Time: 4 days
(160 GP / 1500 XP / Big Favour)
This Lesson focuses to such an extreme degree on countering spells that students can now convert any known spell into a dispel magic spell, exactly like how a good cleric can spontaneously cast cure spells. Sorcerers add this spell to their known spells, if they are high enough level to cast them. The spells that can be spontaneously cast are:
2nd Dispelling Touch (PH2) 3rd Dispel Magic (PH) 6th Dispel Magic, Greater (PH) 9th Mordenkainen’s Disjunction (PH)
Lesson 6 – Highest Potential
Level cap: 10
Time: 1 week
(320 GP / 2100 XP / Favor)
The focus on unraveling hostile magic and their experience in what holds spells and enchantments together has resulted in a much higher dispelling potential than the same spell would have in the hands of any other arcane or divine caster. With these teachings in mind, the normal max level of effect for all dispelling spells is raised by 5. For example: Dispel Magic normally reaches it’s maximum effectiveness at caster level 10th. Now, it reaches it’s max at 15th.
Lesson 7 – Lasting Protection
Level cap: 12
Time: 10 days
(640 GP / 2800 XP)
Having focused the last lessons on only one aspect of the abjuration school, students now expand their research to the rest of the abjuration school. All abjuration spells are now cast at +1 caster level.
Lesson 8 – Practical Dispelling
Level cap: 15
Time: 2 weeks
(1280 GP / 3600 XP)
Students now learn how to stabilize the effectiveness of their dispelling spells. They can always take 10 on any dispelling attempt. In addition, students may add the effects of Maximize Spell on any of thier dispelling spells. Students still must prepare the spell using a spell slot 3 levels higher.
Lesson 9 – Fast Unravel
Level cap: 18
Time: 3 weeks
(2560 GP / 4500 XP / Favour)
Now is the time where an arcane duelist really proves their worth. This lesson is the main reason that the masters of the academy never lose an arcane duel. They are now able to cast dispel magic as a free action. If the duelist uses a spontaneous dispel, it costs a spell slot 2 levels higher. All prepared dispels now have a casting time of an immediate action instead of one standard action.
Lesson 10 – Total Defence
Level cap: 20
Time: 1 month
(5120 GP / 5500 XP / Big Favour)
This ability is the one reason people are willing to pay so much for an academy mage over any else. A master of the academy has the ability to enter a highly focused state of mind. While in this state he can only cast dispelling spells, but can cast them as a free action, and as many times as there are valid targets within a long range, and he still has spells available. All spells from 0th – 9th level can effectively converted into the 3rd level spell Dispel Magic, (but only if he normally has access to 3rd level spells). All spells of 4th – 9th level can effectively be converted into Greater Dispel Magic. (but only if he normally has access to 6th level spells). And all spells of 7th – 9th level can effectively be converted into Mordenkainen’s Disjunction. (but only if he normally has access to 9th level spells).
The Drawbacks to enter this state are:
- Only moves at half movement rate,
- Cant take any other actions than dispelling
- Is considered flat footed.
- Gets no reflex saves.
- Needs to make concentration checks DC 15+damage done every time he takes damage or his focus.
- When he exit’s his focus (willing or not) he is stunned a number of rounds equal to the number of rounds he was focused.