Archmage (3.5e Class)

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A true archmage need not silly pets to fight, need not rely upon wands and staves, archmagi's need only the torrent of magic to flow through them and channel them into world shattering spells! Oh, you don't know what Archmagi's are? Well your in luck because your speaking to one right now! Archmagis are mages that are about middle ground between sorcerer and wizard, but for short periods hurl around more powerful spells then either. They are the prime example of going down a metamagic path.

Making an Archmage[edit]

Archmages are channellers of raging arcane power. Most arcane spell casters learn to tap into the source of magic. These mages let magic flow through them like a raging torrent.

Archmages cast more powerful spells at lower levels more often then the other arcane spell casters. The creatures they summon are more powerful, illusions more complex, the blasts of fire and lightning are more powerful. However, Experienced archmages manage their spell resources as they burn through their spells at a greater rate as they use their lower level spells to augment their higher level spells or use their mastery of spells to swap the spells they have memorised. Archmages of all the spellcasting classes, is the most likely to fall in battle in true blaze of glory.

Abilities: Intelligence is the defining feature of the archmage, as all it does is cast spells. Dexterity and Constitution are useful in help keeping the archmage alive.

Races: Any race would become an Archmage, at least any with interest and aptitude in magic.

Alignment: Any. Lawful archmages seek to understand and control the forces of magic. Chaotic archmages bend and shape magic to their own will. Good archmages use there magic for altruistic purposes, while evil archmages use their magic for selfish desires. Neutral archmages are a mixture of ethical bent and morals, with a willingness to take some short cuts to further the greater good.

Starting Gold: 3d4 x 10 gp (Average 75 Starting Gold)

Starting Age: Complex as Wizard

Table: The Archmage

Hit Die: 1d4

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +1 +2 Favourite Spell, True Caster, Master of Spells, Bonus feat 3 1
2nd +1 +0 +1 +2 4 2
3rd +1 +0 +1 +3 Augmented Casting 4 2 1
4th +2 +1 +1 +3 Bonus Feat 4 2 2
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 4 2 2 1
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 4 3 2 2 1
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 4 3 2 2 2
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Bonus Feat 4 3 3 2 2 1
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 4 3 3 2 2 2
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 2nd Favourite spell, 4 3 3 3 2 2 1
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Mage lord 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 1
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Bonus Feat 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 2
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 1
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 2
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 1
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Bonus Feat 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 2
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 2
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 2
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 3rd Favourite Spell, Archmage Supreme, Bonus Feat 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×2 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Archmage.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Archmages are proficient with simple light melee weapons, bo staff, dart, jo staff, quarterstaffs, and light crossbows. They are not proficient with any type of armour or shield. Armour of any type interferes with an Archmage’s gestures, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail.

Bonus Languages: An Archmage may substitute Draconic for one of the bonus languages available to the character because of her race.

Spells (Su): An Archmage learns and casts arcane spells which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. An Archmage must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time (see below). To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the Archmage must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Archmage’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the Archmage’s Intelligence modifier.

Like other spellcasters, an Archmage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Archmage. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Intelligence score.

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 meditating. While studying, the Archmage decides which spells to prepare.

An Archmage can study a spell book or recall the spells she knows each day to prepare her spells. She can prepare any spell recorded in her spellbook, or any other spell she knows.

An archmage begins play knowing all 0-level wizard spells plus three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the archmage has,the archmage holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new archmage level, she knows two new spells 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 in other archmage or wizards’ spellbooks to both her own spellbook or her knowledge.

True Caster (Su): The Archmage has a +4 to rolls on concentration checks.

Favourite Spell (Su): Choose one spell that you are able to cast and that has a duration of 10 rounds per level or greater. (You may change which spell it affects through a 24 hour ritual that will leave you fatigued for the rest of the day.) The spells duration is now indefinite until absorbed, discharged, dispelled, negated or the archmage casts another favourite spell to replace it. The favourite spell must have a personal range or a fixed range (comprehend languages or detect magic, for example). The archmage is still required to concentrate on spells such as detect magic and detect thoughts to use their effects. Concentrating on such a spell is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Archmage loses 1 spell slot from whatever level the spell was.

Master of Spells (Su): The Archmage has a profound understanding of the nature and flow of magic. You can swap a memorised spell with another currently memorised spell of the same level or higher. This ability a number of times per day equal to their archmage level plus their intelligence bonus. For example a 10th level Archmage with an intelligence of 16 can use this ability 13 times a day. You cannot use this ability with spell subjected to Augmented Casting.

Augmented Casting (Su): Starting at 3rd level, you can choose to sacrifice only one spell to apply the effect of a metamagic feat that you know to another spell you cast. (For instance at 5th level, you could sacrifice one 1st level spell to apply a metamagic effect to a 2nd level spell.) This sacrificed spell is lost (just as if you had cast the spell) in addition to the spell you are actually casting. The total level of the spell to be augmented can't exceed the highest level spell you can cast. For example, when you first gain this ability at 3rd level, you can only apply a metamagic effect to 1st-level spells. A 3rd level archmage could sacrifice a 1st level spell to cast a silent magic mussle spell. A 10th-level archmagus can affect spells of 5th level or lower. The level of the spell slot sacrificed must equal or exceed the spell level adjustment of the metamagic feat. To Empower a spell, for example, you would have to spend a 2nd-level or higher spell. You can't use this ability to augment a spell of another class that you may have levels in unless it is in an arcance casting prestige class. Because the archmage has not prepared the spell in a metamagic form in advance, he must apply the metamagic feat using augmented cating on the spot. Therefore, such a character must also take more time to use augmented casting with a metamagic spell (one enhanced by a metamagic feat) than he does to cast a regular spell. If the spell’s normal casting time is a standard action, using augmented casting with a metamagic version is a full-round action for an archmage. (This isn’t the same as a 1-round casting time.) The only exception is for spells modified by the Quicken Spell metamagic feat, which can be cast as normal using the feat. For a spell with a longer casting time, it takes an extra full-round action to cast the spell. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + 1/2 your class level + plus your intelligence bonus.

Bonus Feat: Bonus Feats At 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th level, an archmage gains a bonus feat. At each such opportunity, she can choose a Metamagic, Spell Mastery, Spell Focus feats or the one these feats: Embody Energy, Energy Admixture, Energy Substitution, Extra Slot, Extra Spell, Arcane Mastery, Greater Spell Focus, Greater Spell Penetration and Scribe scroll. The archmage 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 archmage is not limited to the categories of metamagic feats, reserve, Spell Focus feat (or a feat with the Spell Focus feat as a prerequisite), Spell Mastery, Spell Penetration feat when choosing these feats.

2nd Favourite Spell (Su): 'The archmage gains a second favourite spell. You can have 2 favourite spells active at once.'

3rd Favourite Spell (Su): 'The archmage gains a third favourite spell. You can have 3 favourite spells active at once.'

Magelord (Ex): A Archmage recives an one additional bonus spell per spell level for high intelligence.

Archmage Supreme (Su): At 20th level, when you can choose to sacrifice any number of spells to apply the effect of a metamagic feat using Augmented Casting. The level of the spell slot sacrificed must equal or exceed the spell level adjustment of the metamagic feat less one level. To empower a spell, for example, you would have to spend a 1st-level or higher spell. You can use this ability to augment a spell already affected by a metamagic feat. The level of the augmented cannot exceed tbe highest level of the spell you can cast. For example a 15th level archmage casting a 3rd level fireball spell and enhance it with a 3rd level spell to maximise it and a 2nd level spell to empower it with the explosive spell metagic feat.

Archmage Starting Package[edit]

Human Archmage Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Light Crossbow, Dagger

Skill Selection: Concentration, Diplomacy, Decipher Script, Knowledge(The Planes), Knowledge(Arcana), Spellcraft

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Concentration 4 CON -
Diplomacy 4 CHA -
Decipher Script 4 INT -
Spellcraft 4 INT -
Knowledge(Arcana) 4 INT -
Knowledge(The Planes) 4 INT -

Feat: Improved Initiative

Bonus Feats: Toughness, Spell Focus (Enchantment/Charm)

Gear: Sack, 7 Days Trail Rations, Paper, Ink, Ink Pen, Bedroll, Lantern Hooded

Gold: 45

Ability Scores: Strength 10 Dexterity 13 Constitution 14 Intelligence 15 Wisdom 8 Charisma 12

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Archmage[edit]

Archmages play as wizards and sorcerers with a few minor but key differences. Archmages cast fewer spells per day than both classes. As they progress through their levels, they can cast higher level spells than wizards or sorcerers of the same level. With the favourite spell ability, they can extend the duration of one spell indefinitely. The number of spells they can have running concurrently increases at it reaches higher levels. A useful ability for some divination, controlling and defensive spells.

The master of spells ability allows the Archmage to swap memorised spells for others as she casts as required. However as the archmages casts their spells, their options gradually diminish. Augmented casting also allows the Archmage to increase the power of their spells by burning through other lower level spells to enhance them with metamagic effects.

Religion: Archmages tend to see Religion as a shadow or weaker power than magic, believing that there are greater things than even them. They find themselves drawn to gods that are associated to magic, power, rulership when they do worship a deity. The worship of a deity is rare, but not unheard of.

Other Classes: Archmages get along with people of knowledge, such as wizards, alchemists, lore masters and sages even though tend to condescension, derision or arrogance as if they were addressing their lessers. They rarely get along with barbarians, witch doctors or uneducated classes for more than the need to have a shield or another ability. Others tend to see Archmages as competition, know it all's or power obsessed Megalomaniacs. They despise any class that can steal their magic such as Jackals and Spell thieves.

Combat: Archmages are almost never good with physical combat using spells to keep the opposition in check.

Advancement: Archmages will usually only continue their own dedication to the magic. When one does decide to take levels of other classes, they usually look to the arts of the Fighter or Rogue to improve their capabilities with physical combat while they wait to cast another spell. Archmages who multiclass as fighter and rogues usually take eldritch knights and arcane tricksters as prestige classes respectively. Some Archmage do multiclass as sorcerers and eventually take ultimate magus as a prestige class. Usually taking levels of other spell casting classes tends to stifle their development.

Advancement: .

Archmagi in the World[edit]


Daily Life: .

Notables: .

Organizations: .

NPC Reactions: .

Archmage Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in can research to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC Result
5 .
10 .
15 .
20 .



If an Archmagi permanently loses the ability to cast spells (such as having their intelligence reduced to less than 9), the archmage loses access to all magical related abilities and bonuses of the archmage. An ex-archmage cannot gain class levels in archmage ever again until they regain their spell casting ability.

Adaptation: Archmagis occur wherever there are wizards, sorcerers or a source of arcane power. They could be particularly talented spell caster who excel at learning magic than their contemporaries. Possible variants include specialist archmages who can specialise in a school of magic like a wizard or a type of magic like elementalism. Archmages could be seen as power hungry mages and bullies seeking to extinguish any competition or threat to their power. Archmages could be an example of an evolved magical class or a primal magician from a past golden age. As an optional variant, an Archmage could specialise in a school of magic in the same manner ad a wizard.

Sample Encounter: Dread mount, traditionally a mountain dwarf settlement, accepted a contingent of renegade elves who were made refugees by a rampaging dragon. Inmesha was one of the top evil agents who has infiltrated the settlement, using her charisma, power, to work her way to the upper levels of the settlement's hierarchy.

EL 13: Inmesha works with four Ghouls, that she has buried in shallow graves just outside the settlement.

CR 11

Female elf Archmage 11
LG Medium Humanoid (elf)
Init/Senses +7/Listen +3, Spot +3
Languages Common, Elven, Draconic, Sylvan
AC 21, touch 16, flat-footed 18
(+3 Dex, Amulet of natural armor +1, bracers of armor +4,fire sheild, protection from arrows)
hp 38 (11 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +8/+8/+12
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee masterwork dagger +9 (1d4/19-20)
Ranged masterwork dagger +9 (1d4/19-20)
Base Atk/Grp +5/+5
Atk Options Storm bolt 6d6 (Ref DC20 half)

Archmage Spells Prepared: (4/6/5/5/3/2/2/1; base DC = 13 + spell level): 0 -- arcane mark, dancing lights, detect magic, read magic, sleep; 1st -- burning hands, charm person, feather fall, magic missile, sleep, spider climb; 2nd -- command undead, ghoul touch, invisibility , protection from arrows (favourite spell), web ; 3rd -- dispel magic, fly, gaseous form, lightning bolt, slow; 4th -- charm monster, fire shield, polymorph other; 5th -- baleful polymorph, teleport; 6th -- chain lightning, create undead; 7th -- control undead (favourite spell),

Abilities Str 10, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 17, Wis 12, Cha 15
SQ elf traits, Favourite spell X 2 (Control Undead, protection from arrows), +1 competence bonus to caster level when casting electricity spells
Feats Combat Casting, Empower Spell, Extend Spell, Great Fortitude, Iron Will , Scribe Scroll, Storm Bolt
Skills Concentration +15, Knowledge (arcana) +15, Knowledge (geography) +7, Knowledge (history) +6, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +8, Listen +3, Ride (horse) +4, Search +5, Spellcraft +14, Spot +3;

Inmesha's power as a combatant is in her spells. When threatened she orders her ghoul to disinter and unbury themselves and attack. Inmesha casts Extended Slow, Web, Charm monster to assist her ghouls and use augmented casting to cast Empowered Lightning bolts as well as cast baleful polymorph to hurt her opponents. She then keeps her distance using storm bolt to weaken enemies. If an opponent looks suitably weakened she will finish them with chain lighting. If the battle goes against her, she will escape using fly, gaseous form or teleport.


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