Cantrip Master (3.5e Class)

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Cantrip Master[edit]

The Cantrip Master is a long lost relic of the origins of magic use.

Before the understanding of meta magic the search for new more powerful spells went on much as it does today through trial and error, taking an incomplete understanding of principles and slowly making their way to the effect they desired. By the time the principles of meta magic were discovered they had all but lost the knowledge of the many simple spells that they originally sought to improve upon. What is left of these little spells are called cantrips and orisons and of themselves are of little use.

When particularly driven individuals of average intelligence, wisdom and charisma come to the realization that the normal avenues of advancement are going to be denied them, a Cantrip Master is born. Having read magic, a few cantrips, and a working knowledge of meta magic, these individuals look for spell effects that they CAN use. While others advance in their profession by constantly becoming competent at an ever increasing complexity of magic, the Cantrip Master advances by constantly becoming more proficient in simple magic (out of necessity).

Making a Cantrip Master[edit]

The Cantrip Master is a strong support spontaneous caster capable of decent combat magic as well as battle wound healing magic. The obsession with success develops into a special variety of meta magic that can do things others can't: the enhancement of an instantaneous touch effect to a long duration burst. While NPC CMs tend to have low casting stats and at least one level of a different casting class, it is not a requirement of the class but a side effect of the fact that Cantrip Masters are born out of necessity instead of being created by training.

Abilities: While a Cantrip Master casts from Charisma, it needs only be 10 or better. Intelligence, while not required, does give a Cantrip Master a bonus cantrip for every point over 10. The most useful abilities for a cantrip master are Dexterity and Constitution for all the usual reasons.

Races: Any.

Alignment: Neutral with respect to law and chaos but run the gamut of good and evil. Lawful types are to regimented to see the possibilities and chaotic ones are to undisciplined to have the drive to do things for themselves.

Starting Gold: 2d4×10 gp

Starting Age: As wizard.

Table: The Cantrip Master

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will Maximum Effective Spell LVL Spells per day at Maximum Effective Spell LVL
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Cantrip Mastery 1 4
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Bonus Feat: Reserve 1 5
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Arcane Thesis 1 6
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Cantrip Widen 2 7
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Bonus Feat: Reserve 2 8
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Cantrip Extend 3 9
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Bonus Feat: Metamagic or item creation 3 11
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Bonus Feat: Reserve 4 12
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Cantrip Proficiency 1 4 16
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Bonus Feat: Metamagic or item creation 5 15
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Bonus Feat: Reserve 5 19
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Cantrip Proficiency 2 6 17
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Bonus Feat: Metamagic or item creation 6 18
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 Bonus Feat: Reserve 7 20
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 Cantrip Proficiency 3 7 25
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Bonus Feat: Metamagic or item creation 8 23
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Bonus Feat: Reserve 8 24
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Cantrip Proficiency 4 9 26
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Bonus Feat: Metamagic or item creation 9 28
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Bonus Feat: Reserve 9 30

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy(Cha), Forgery (Int), Heal (Int), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Search (Int), Spot (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Class Features[edit]

Where practice achieves proficiency instead of complexity most can and do succeed. While most casters look at their practice spells with disdain, Cantrip Masters (many out of necessity) embrace them. Cantrip Masters become very efficient at magic use, as such they get 4 cantrips per spell level instead of just 2. They cast all spells as cantrip variations and get a +2 bonus on concentration checks. Targets of his "spells" experience them as single spells whose level is determined by the total quantity of cantrips that target them. All of the following are class features of the Cantrip Master.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Simple weapons.

Effective Spell Level: The level of spell for qualifying for prestige classes and feats. The spell level for save and spell penetration DCs.

Spells: Cantrips are cast from charisma. 1st level Cantrip Masters choose their spells from all of the LVL 0 spells of any class.

Cantrip Research: Cantrip Master specific cantrips are extracted from scrolls of spells. A cantrip can only have a simple single effect but might be a simple effect from a multi effect scroll. There must be a numeric factor that can be scaled down to 1/4 spell level from a caster level of double the spell level. Standard dX/LVL spells scaled directly at 1/2 die and with no per level increment: d6 becomes d3, etc.

Cantrip Master Cantrips Known: 4+1/LVL with a bonus cantrip for every intelligence point over 10

Cantrip Mastery:The Cantrip Master gets four cantrips per spell level instead of just two. He can cast as many cantrips in a single round as will add up to the maximum spell level and count as a single spell of that level. Metamagics apply to the individual cantrips, like metamagic spell trigger in a wand, instead of to spells at a rate of one cantrip per spell level. As spell slots are used they can be split into lower level spells as needed.

Cantrip Widen: Increases the area of effect of a spell. Each step uses a single cantrip (touch - ranged touch - 20 foot burst - 40 foot burst - etc) spreading out the spell area over the desired area of effect leaving less and less spell energy available for the desired spell effect.

Cantrip Extend: Increases the duration increment of the cantrip. Each step uses four cantrips (instantaneous - rounds - minutes - hours - days - permanency (400XP per spell level for permanence)) spreading out the spell energy over more and more time leaving progressively less available for the individual round's desired effect.

Note: Cantrip Widen and Extend are each a single metamagic regardless of how many steps of enhancement are applied and unlike normal metamagic the casting time is still a standard action instead of being extended to a full round action.

EXAMPLE: a very frugal use of magic healing is a widened, extended Cure Minor Wounds: 1 CLW base cantrip + 2 cantrips for Cantrip Widen (touch to ranged touch, and ranged touch to burst) + 12 cantrips for Cantrip Extend (instantanious to 1 round, 1 round to 1 minute, and 1 minute to 1 hour) - 2 for Acane Thesis on 2 metamagics = 13 cantrips or a 4th level spell effect

EXAMPLE: Maximize Spell does NOT work: 1 cantrip for Acid Splash, 3 cantrips for Maximize Spell feat, -1 cantrip for Arcane Thesis equals 3 cantrips for a 3HP of acid damage when those three cantrips would have done 3D3 of acid damage without the Maximize!

Cantrip Proficiency: Each point reduces any arcane spell failure by 5%. The proficiency points left over after the spell failure chance has been reduced to 0% become a bonus to save DC's and spell penetration.

Bonus Feat: Reserve: Reserve feats are supernatural abilities that require no verbal, somatic or material components, do not require concentration, can not be interrupted, and are not effected by spell resistance. They are available whenever you have a spell of the specific type available to cast and their strength is based on the spell available.

Arcane Thesis: Starting at lvl 6 adding metamagic costs one less cantrip. At 6th level a Cantrip Master can cast a 12d3 "fireball" instead of only 6d3 (with a lvl 3 equivalent spell he gets 12 cantrips, normally it would cost 2 cantrips for a d3 burst but with Arcane Thesis it only takes 1). Compare to the Arcane Thesis feat:

Epic Cantrip Master[edit]

Effective Spell Level: Increases every second class level starting with 10 at class level 21.

Cantrips per Day: Increases by effective spell level times 8 at every level.

Cantrips per Round: Increases to effective spell level times 4.

Bonus feats: In addition to the regular progression of Arcane Thesis and Reserve feats, an Epic Cantrip Master may choose from any feat that he qualifies for from any of the classes epic lists that he has cantrips from.

<-Sample race of your choice-> <-class name-> Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: <-Weapon selection for starting at 1st level with this class.->.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
<-Skill name-> <-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills-> <-Abbrieviated key ability-> <-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If innapplicable put "—"->
<-Skill name-> <-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills-> <-Abbrieviated key ability-> <-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If innapplicable put "—"->

<-copy and paste the rows as necessary.->

Feat: <-1st-level feat selection->.

Bonus Feats: <-1st-level feat bonus feats due to class or sample race. remove this section if this sample doesn't get any bonus feats at 1st level. ->.

Gear: <-Starting armor and other equipment outside of weapons.->.

Gold: <-Starting gold using this package.->.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Cantrip Master[edit]


Other Classes: Most other other classes just consider Cantrip Masters just another caster, but other casters usually start out by sneering at him since all he knows are cantrips. That attitude generally transitions to grudging respect and perhaps a little jealousy when the Master demonstrates his cantrip meta-magic in full bloom (notably the healing burst of 1 point each round for an hour or a when at lvl 1 he can put up a 4' high 20' long wall for 50% cover.

Combat: While both an effective healer and artillery caster, the Cantrip Master is actually not quite as good at either as a Cleric or a Sorcerer and that will usually relegate him to a support position. He does damage on par with a Wizard or Sorcerer but can never get complex magic, he is limited to single simple effects that can be scaled to cantrips that he applies his cantrip metamagic class abilities. As a healer he is quite good with Cure Minor Wounds thanks to his class metamagic, but will never be able to raise the dead or turn undead.

Advancement: Good options are the Master Spell Thief feat from Complete Scoundrel for multiclassing with Spell Thief or a level of Fighter and the Eldritch Night PRC for better saves and a better BAB for ranged touch and launch bolt, both of which can deliver huge "volleys" at higher levels).

Cantrip Masters in the World[edit]

if other casters were to admit to our existence they would have to admit that they lie to the whole world when they say that you need to be very wise or very intelligent to cast STRONG magic. The TRUTH is that you only need to be so great to cast COMPLICATED magic.
—<-NPC name->, <-race-> Cantrip Master
What most casters do not understand is that cantrips are the bricks and metamagic is the mortar of the complex magics that they cast
—<-NPC name->, <-race-> Cantrip Master

<-Where characters of this class fit in a d20 world.->

Daily Life: <-day in the life of a character of this class->.

Notables: <-notable NPCs of this class->.

Organizations: There really is none as they are so few and far between... NPC Cantrip Masters tend to be have low primary casting stats and some training in a regular casting class. They tend to be driven by emotion whether it is love of magic, concern for others, or just plain stubbornness, they refuse to accept their lot in life and look for unconventional solutions to their inadequacies.

NPC Reactions: Most NPCs react to a Cantrip Master as they would any other caster. The notable exception to this is a caster who happens to know about them and know that someone is one in which case it is one of disdain.

Cantrip Master Lore[edit]

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

Knowledge(Arcana or Religion)
DC Result
5 None - common knowledge is actively suppressed by most organizations and individual casters.
10 A group of traveling performers had a number some casters who would cast many cantrips at a time.
15 A rare self taught profession that uses magic more efficiently by using just enough to get the job done. While not able to understand complicated magic, Cantrip Masters get more powerful by getting better at simple magic.
20 Cantrip Masters are honored in remote inhospitable areas where they are often found traveling with merchant caravans making a decent living on contracts setting up temperate living quarters in the most inhospitable places at affordable prices while aiding and protecting the caravans on the road.

Cantrip Masters in the Game[edit]

<-How characters of this class fit in the game (PC and NPC) and what roles they play.->

Adaptation: <-Possible variant conceptions of this class.->.

Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPCs of this class.->.

EL : <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.

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