Talk:Arcanist (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Posted on the Boards:[edit]

This PrC was taken from the Wizards Boards by permission, the thread related to this PrC is: [1]


Creator's notes:[edit]

Lost empires of Faerun was a big inspiration, with the Arcane Manipulation feat and the Mage Lord being the original seeds for the PRC. However the Mage Lord is exclusively Wizard territory, and nudged you in the direction of a ray slinging combat mage, something I found a bit restrictive. So I decided to create a stripped down version of the Mage Lord and broaden its focus. I modified it so spontaneous casters can also enter the class (and spontaneous casters sorely lag behind in terms of useful prestige classes). The entry isn’t too terribly difficult, in fact, with a casting requirement of only 1st level arcane spells, alternate casters like Hexblades or Arcanamachs can also get a benefit. I used the Incantatrix PRC as the standard to measure against. I figured if the class was mathematically less powerful than the Incantatrix, I’d get few complains about ‘brokeness’. They’re about equally difficult to get into (wizards have to dish out one more feat, but they get one more feat than Sorcerors anyway).

Wizards and Sorcerers both end up with the ability to lose prepared spells and eventually even apply metamagic to spontaneously cast spells. Differences do remain between the two however. A Wizard/Arcanist will not have the number of spells per day that a sorcerer does, nor the number of available spontaneous spells (no more than 40ish max without some severe trickery or feat sacrifice, roughly half of what a sorcerer has). In turn, the Sorcerer/Arcanist will never know as many spells as the Wizard, and so won’t have the luxury of placing obscure specific function spells in slots on the off chance it becomes useful.

I tried to spread out the abilities so it’s not tempting to dip a level or two and leave, despite the simple entry.

Sorcerers get more mileage out of Scroll Preparation than Wizards (sort of a ‘sorry for making you take Arcane Preparation without getting much benefit related to it’). I don’t think it’s an unbalancing ability. I’m considering opening it up to include items with charges, possibly as an ‘Item Preparation’ package deal, or a adding ‘wand’ at 7th level and ‘staff’ at 9th.

UMD as a class skill was another nod to the Sorcerer.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

Ex, Su, or Sp[edit]

The class features need to be labeled as Ex, Su, or Sp. —Sledged 10:55, 26 September 2006 (MDT)

Too Good of a PrC?[edit]

This PrC doesn't seem to have any significant drawbacks. Most wizards/sorcerers are going to have the skill requirements even if they choose not to take this class, and the feat requirement only calls for one feat. If you're a wizard, you'll recoup the loss because the PrC grants three feats in 10 levels (versus the wizard's two feats in 10 levels). If you're a sorcerer, it's even better. The only thing lost for either classes is familiar progression, which at the cost of one feat (Obtain Familiar in the Complete Arcane) can be regained. —Sledged 09:34, 27 September 2006 (MDT)

This is much to good of a PrC. Someone needs to tone it down... Would this do an OK job?
  1. Bring the "+1 level of existing arcane class" down to every other level -- 2,4,6,8, etc.
  2. Make "Spontaneous Mastery" every other level -- 1,3,5,7,9, etc. (therefor, if one wants to get to level 9 spells spontaneously cast they would have to build the PrC (see DMG) to level 19) --Green Dragon 15:01, 27 September 2006 (MDT)
  3. Get rid of the Bonus Feats
  4. Move all the Special Abilities a level further down (spell manipulator 2nd, Scroll Preparation 6th, etc.) but leave Spontaneous Metamagic where it is.
Would this make it a more Balanced PrC? To Underpowered? To overpowered? Please give your ideas. --Green Dragon 15:01, 27 September 2006 (MDT)
Since this was inspired by Lost Empires of Faerûn, I think is should be based on the 2E class of the same name in Netheril: Empire of Magic. I'll have a better idea of how to fix it once I get my hands on a copy of it. —Sledged 16:11, 27 September 2006 (MDT)
So this is not trying to use 3.5e rules? --Green Dragon 18:30, 27 September 2006 (MDT)
It is. It's an upgrade of a 2E class to 3.5E rules. It's like what they did to the 2E wild mage (2E Tome of Magic) and all the 2E FR specialty priests. The 3.5E version of the former can be found in the Complete Arcane, and of the latter, scattered about in various books (Complete Divine, FRCS, Player's Guide to Faerûn, Faiths and Pantheons, etc...). —Sledged 19:24, 27 September 2006 (MDT)
After looking over the class features, this class is insanely more beneficial for sorcerers than it is for wizards:
At each level, the Arcanist gains the ability to spontaneously cast any spell of up to the level designated by his class [...] that is on his class list (if a spontaneous caster), losing a prepared spell in the process.
Let me trim the fat if you missed it the first time:
the Arcanist gains the ability to spontaneously cast any spell that is on his class list.
Essentially, this means that at 10th level, a sorcerer/arcanist's spells known progression become irrelevant, and she effectively knows every sorcerer/wizard spell (up to the maximum level she can cast), and can cast any of them spontaneously.
This more than just an imbalance. This PrC simply should not be (or at least that class feature).
Sledged 22:45, 27 September 2006 (MDT)
Would it be beter to make it a certain amount of spells, a certain amount of "Spontaneous casts" per day, and only a few select spells? Would this make it more balanced? --Green Dragon 23:06, 27 September 2006 (MDT)
I'll re-make it now... Tell me if it is more balanced this way please.
What I changed:
  • Brought the "+1 level of existing arcane class" down to every other level -- 2,4,6,8, etc.
  • Made "Spontaneous Mastery" every other level -- 1,3,5,7,9, etc.)
  • Got rid of the Bonus Feats
  • Moved all the Special Abilities a level further down (spell manipulator 2nd, Scroll Preparation 6th, etc.) but leave Spontaneous Metamagic where it is.
  • Made "Spell Manipulator" take a full-round to do.
Thats all. Is better? What could still be improved? --Green Dragon 17:08, 28 September 2006 (MDT)
Looks good! I may suggest some changes once I get the specs on the 2E class on which this PrC is based. —Sledged 19:47, 28 September 2006 (MDT)
I'm glad it is balanced, and I look forward to the time when you get that book. Hope it can be improved more. --Green Dragon 20:37, 28 September 2006 (MDT)
So I looked up the 2E arcanist, and one of the drawbacks of the class was that they were barred from certain spells. Unfortunately, the barred spells were not grouped according to school, but to keep things simple I'd say the character must give up two schools of magic neither of which may be divination. How much you think such a limitation would be worth? Full caster again? —Sledged 16:04, 3 October 2006 (MDT)
I believe that it would be worth full caster without the first level, but restrictions to three schools maybe? It might become overpowered without that. Your ideas? --Green Dragon 21:30, 3 October 2006 (MDT)
I thought about three schools. Though I don't see that as a problem with sorcerers, that's a heavy limitation for specialists. However, 2E arcanists had two other limitations.
The first was that anytime they failed to learn a new spell, that spell was forever beyond their ability to learn, and not even wishes could reverse it.
The second was that of the spells they could learn, some could never be learned through independant research (see arcane magical writings, I'd say three schools of the character's choice). They could only be learned via copying. —Sledged 10:07, 4 October 2006 (MDT)
What do you think would balance this PrC? --Green Dragon 15:48, 4 October 2006 (MDT)
Let's just keep it simple and go with three barred schools. It may be a bit harsh, and it can be changed later if others give input. —Sledged 13:09, 7 October 2006 (MDT)
Looks good, and I would say it is more balanced this way. --Green Dragon 15:54, 7 October 2006 (MDT)

Balance - 7/10[edit]

I give this PrC a 7/10 on Balance. The reason for this is because it is lacking flavor and may be a tad bit overpowered with all the spells the Arcanist would be able to cast (Break up a couple 3rd level spell into 6 0-level and the Arcanist is set for the rest of the dungeon). --Green Dragon 16:03, 7 October 2006 (MDT)


Anyone know why this rating is not showing up on DnD Prestige Classes? --Green Dragon 23:24, 7 January 2007 (MST)

I noticed that, too. Maybe we should ask Blue Dragon. —Sledged 09:06, 8 January 2007 (MST)
Just asked him, he should respond soon. --Green Dragon 16:10, 8 January 2007 (MST)
He told me that (this is going to kill you) dplc was not made to be used in a template, and all the items are currently just using old database information. This means that if one was to change a PrC's dplc information it would not actually change it. The old information would still show up. However, I also asked Blue Dragon if he would be willing to make the dplc work with templates, etc (fully wiki-functional) and he said he will program it in soon. Sorry for this, however your Template:PrC Balance should work soon... --Green Dragon 17:08, 9 January 2007 (MST)

Signature Spell[edit]

For me and the rest of us who don't have the Players Guide to Faerun, could someone tell me what the Signature Spell feat does? -Tyaxor 16:11 6/10/09


Discussion moved from User talk:Green Dragon/Archive 18#3.5e Prestige Class Arcanist. --Green Dragon 00:08, 30 December 2010 (MST)

I am curious as to why this refers to magic being de-schooled and organized into one group, requiring the player to give up nearly half of the available spells he can cast. This seems like a contradiction in the very nature of the prestige class. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 22:15, 4 February 2010 (UTC). Please sign your posts.

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