Arcane Scholar (3.5e Class)
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Arcane Scholars are Wizards who study the inner workings of magic, the nature of the Weave, in search of knowledge and power. The Weave is a fabric covering all time and space, separating the raw Magic from the world in order to protect it. Arcane Scholars devote their lives trying to reach beyond the Weave to grasp the true essence of Magic. The practice of handling raw Magic is very dangerous, but also very rewarding if used correctly. Many Arcane Scholars die early because of failed spells, but the ones who live long enough attain unrivaled magical power. An Arcane Scholar's life is nearly completely spent studying Arcane tomes and experimenting with magic. Many resort to adventuring in order to find lost tomes and libraries. Arcane Scholars are usually willing to pass on their knowledge, especially to other magic users. This has led to the founding of a few schools. Finally, an Arcane Scholar does not specialize in any school of magic. They value each and every school equally, and respect other magic wielders.
Making an Arcane Scholar
Arcane Scholars are strong spellcasters and masters of arcane knowledge. They tend to relate with other magic wielders of any kind, excluding Warlocks, in order to learn more about Magic. The adventurous ones stick around strong fighters in order to stay safe while they are casting.
Abilities: The most important attribute for an Arcane Scholar is intelligence.
Races: Most of the Arcane Scholars are Elves or Half-Elves, and a minority of them is Humans. Other races rarely feel an urge to explore Magic so deeply.
Starting Gold: 3d4x10 gp (75 gold pieces).
Starting Age: Complex
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Scribe Scroll, Raw Magic||3||0||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+4||+2||+2||+6||Closed Mind, Area||5||3||2||2||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|12th||+6/+1||+4||+4||+8||Improved Raw Magic||6||3||3||3||2||2||1||—||—||—|
|20th||+10/+5||+6||+6||+12||Superior Raw Magic||8||3||3||3||3||3||3||3||3||3|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
The Arcane Scholar's advancement in the Arcane gives her slight control over the Weave around her, gifting her with handy abilities. All of the following are class features of the Arcane Scholar.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Arcane Scholars are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with an Arcane Scholar’s movements, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail.
Spells: An Arcane Scholar casts arcane spells which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. An Arcane Scholar must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time (see below), with the exception of her Raw Magic spells. Except where noted, the Arcane Scholar's spellcasting rules are identical to the Wizard's, meaning that a spellbook is required and is used in the same way. An important distinction between the two is that the Arcane Scholar does not specialize in any School of Magic like a Wizard does.
To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the Arcane Scholar must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Arcane Scholar's spell is 10 + the spell level + the Arcane Scholar's Intelligence modifier.
Like other spellcasters, an Arcane Scholar can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Intelligence score.
Unlike a bard or sorcerer, an Arcane Scholar 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 Arcane Scholar decides which spells to prepare.
Scribe Scroll: At 1st level, an Arcane Scholar gains Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat.
Raw Magic (Sp): The Arcane Scholar's extensive research into the workings of the Weave, the fabric of Magic, allows her to tap into the power behind it and cast a limited number of spells per day without preparing them. Those spells must belong to the Arcane Scholar's Arcane Spell List, and they must be Spells that she can normally prepare and cast. Her knowledge allows her to enhance those spells.
At 1st level, the Arcane Scholar gains the ability to cast unprepared spells up to two spell levels lower than the highest spell level that she can cast. These are called Raw Spells, because of their direct affinity to the Raw Magic behind the Weave. The Arcane Scholar is limited to 1 Raw Spell of each spell level that she can cast, plus 1 Raw Spell of each spell level that she can cast for every 10 permanent modifiers she adds to her Knowledge (Arcana) checks. Interacting with raw magical energy can be incredibly dangerous; every time the Arcane Scholar casts a Raw Spell, she needs to make a Concentration check. The DC is equal to 15 + the Raw Spell's spell level. If she succeeds, the spell is a success. If she fails, the magical energy causes a great magical mishap. The effect is the DM's choice. It is recommended either to simply cause damage to the caster (1d10 x Spell Level) or to decide from a random table (suggestion: https://rpggeek.com/thread/505946/dd-4th-edition-totally-random-magic-effects-table)
At 10th level, her understanding of the reality behind the Weave deepens. The Arcane Scholar's Raw Spell spell limit is increased to one spell level lower than the highest spell level that she can cast. Any and all XP spent to cast a Raw Spell from now on is halved.
At 20th level, the Arcane Scholar's understanding reaches even deeper. Her Raw Spell spell limit is increased to the highest spell level that she can cast. Finally, any and all XP spent to cast a Raw Spell is reduced to 1/4th the original cost. This replaces the previous XP reduction rule.
Raw Spells require no material components and skip the gold cost. XP tolls are still paid accordingly; see description above.
Arcane Knowledge (Ex): The Arcane Scholar spends most of her time researching and amassing arcanic knowledge. She may add half her Arcane Scholar level to any Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft check she makes.
Closed Mind (See Description): The Arcane Scholar gains the Closed Mind feat, even if she does not meet the prerequisites. This is considered an Extraordinary ability. Starting at level 8, a 15-feet radius magical aura emanates from the Arcane Scholar, granting her and all allies in range a +2 bonus on Will Saving Throws (this stacks with the bonus from the Closed Mind feat). This is considered a Supernatural ability.
Improved Counterspell: The Arcane Scholar gains the Improved Counterspell feat, even if she does not meet the prerequisites.
Bonus Feat: At 6th, 12th, and 18th level, the Arcane Scholar gains a bonus feat. At each such opportunity, she can choose a metamagic feat, an item creation feat, or Spell Mastery. The Arcane Scholar must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including caster level minimums.
These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. The Arcane Scholar is not limited to the categories of item creation feats, metamagic feats, or Spell Mastery when choosing these feats.
Counterspell Mastery (Ex): The Arcane Scholar's Raw Spells become easier to control in times of need. On a successful Spellcraft check to determine the spell being cast, the Arcane Scholar may use an equivalent or higher Raw Spell spell slot in order to counterspell. Only functions against Arcane spells. This usage of Raw Spells requires no Concentration check.
Metamagic Mastery (Ex): The Arcane Scholar's studies of the Weave have granted her easier access to metamagic spells. Whenever she casts a spell enhanced by a metamagic feat, the spell slot increment is reduced by one. This cannot reduce the spell slot increment to negative, but it can nullify it.
Antimagic Emanation (Sp): The Arcane Scholar's experiments with the Weave have undermined its integrity, resulting in a permanent distortion in the Magic continuum. Treat the area around the Arcane Scholar as if under a permanent Antimagic Field spell (10ft-radius, as the spell). This affects neither the Arcane Scholar's spellcasting, nor any of her possessions. The Arcane Scholar has no control over this effect. This effect cannot be negated by any means of mortal magic.
Epic Arcane Scholar
2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Playing an Arcane Scholar
Religion: Arcane Scholars tend to worship Mystra, the goddess that tends to the Weave, or Boccob, the god of Magic.
Other Classes: Arcane Scholars tend to pursue a good relationship with other magic users in order to exchange and collect as much information about magic as possible. In adventuring groups, they require the assistance of strong fighters in order to stay safe while casting their spells.
Combat: Arcane Scholars tend to fill any role a Wizard does. They stay as far away from the front lines as possible, due to their limited survivability.
Arcane Scholars in the World
|“||"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."||”|
|—Isaru the Cripple, Elven Arcane Scholar|
Arcane Scholars tend to isolate themselves from society, practically living in libraries and arcane labs. They deal mostly with other magicians and Arcane Scholars. An Arcane Scholar's journey through knowledge never ends.
Daily Life: An Arcane Scholar usually spends her day in mystical experiments and endless hours of going through heavy arcane tomes, or interacting with other Magicians and exchanging knowledge.
Notables: Isaru the Cripple, founder of the first famous School of Magic. Make up your own famous teachers, researchers and mages for your own campaign.
Organizations: Typically Arcane Scholars congregate in their research facilities and schools. They rarely interact with other non-magical groups, except when it might lead to new discoveries.
NPC Reactions: NPCs tend to not give Arcane Scholars much thought, though some might be afraid of their uncontrollable magic.
Arcane Scholar Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) can research Arcane Scholars to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Arcane Scholars are bookworm wizards, preferring to stay secluded and develop their theories.|
|10||Arcane Scholars tend to conduct dangerous magical experiments and gather any and all accessible arcane knowledge from around the world.|
|15||Arcane Scholars have a unique connection with magic, allowing them to wield it in dangerous but powerful ways.|
|20||Arcane Scholars seek a way to indefinitely tap into the raw power of Magic behind the Weave, the fabric separating our world from true Magic. To date, no one has completely succeded.|