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**Official Revision** Arcanist


Class Discussion

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

62 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey there all,

This post contains an official revision of the Arcanist. Effective immediately, this is the new build of the class, replacing that from the playtest PDF. Before I dive into the specifics, let me just say a few things first.

1. Concerning the survey. DO NOT adjust your survey results or report survey results based on this build of the class. We are still doing some tinkering and there will be some changes between this and the version that appears in the revised version of the playtest PDF. At that time, we will ask folks to revise their surveys. Until then, continue to base your survey on the version of the class in the current PDF.

2. This build does not yet have all of the options we plan to include in the final version of this class. There will be a wider array of Arcanist Exploits for you to choose from. Those listed here are merely a representative sample.

3. There will be a new Arcanist discussion thread started up to discuss this build of the class. The old thread will be locked.

4. The Arcanist revision is posted below.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Arcanist Revised
Some spellcasters weave magic into a beautiful tapestry. Others draw upon their innate gift to produce magic. Arcanists take a different route—seeing magic for what it really is, arcanists are able to pull apart magic, deconstructing the bonds that hold it together and forcing it to obey their will. It is not an easy task, but this talent allows them to wield magic like no others. They can consume the raw essence of magic to forge powerful effects, both wondrous and deadly.

Role: The arcanist is a scholar of all things magical. She constantly seeks out new forms of magic to find out how they work, and in many cases to collect the energy of such magic for her own uses. Many arcanists are seen as reckless, more concerned with the power of magic than the ramifications of that unleashing such power.

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d6.
Alternate Classes: Sorcerer and wizard.
Starting Wealth: 2d6 [xxTS] 10 gp (average 70 gp).

Class Skills
The arcanist’s class skills are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table
The table remains unchanged except as follows.
Level - Special
1st - Arcane reservoir, arcanist exploit, cantrips, consume spells
2nd - -
3rd - Arcanist exploit
4th - -
5th - Arcanist exploit
6th - -
7th - Arcanist exploit
8th - -
9th - Arcanist exploit
10th - -
11th - Arcanist exploit, greater exploits
12th - -
13th - Arcanist exploit
14th - -
15th - Arcanist exploit
16th - -
17th - Arcanist exploit
18th - -
19th - Arcanist exploit
20th - Magical Surpemacy

IN ADDITION, in the spells per day part of the table, replace all instances of 5 with 4 (in effect, reducing the number of slots per day).

Class Features
The following are the class features of the arcanist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Arcanists are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor interferes with an arcanist’s gestures, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail (see Arcane Spells and Armor on page 83 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook).

Spells: An arcanist casts arcane spells drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, presented in Chapter 10 of the Core Rulebook. An arcanist must prepare her spells ahead of time, but unlike a wizard, her spells are not expended when they’re cast. Instead, she can cast any spell that she has prepared, assuming she hasn’t yet used up her spells per day for that level.

To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the arcanist must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The saving throw DC against an arcanist’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the arcanist’s Intelligence modifier.

An arcanist can only cast a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table XX–XX. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Intelligence score (see Table 1–3 in the Core Rulebook).

An arcanist’s may know any number of spells, but the number she can prepare each day is limited. At 1st level, she can prepare four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells each day. At each new arcanist level, the number of spells she can prepare each day increases, adding new spell levels as indicated on Table XX–XX: Spells Prepared. Unlike the number of spells she can cast per day, the number of spells an arcanist can prepare each day is not affected by her Intelligence score. Feats and other effects that modify the number of spells known by a spellcaster affect the number of spells the arcanist can prepare.

An arcanist must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying her spellbook. While studying, the arcanist decides what spells to prepare.

Like a sorcerer, an arcanist can choose to apply a metamagic feat to a prepared spell as she casts it, increasing the casting time as normal. Like a wizard, she may prepare a spell with a metamagic feat, casting it using the normal casting time. She cannot combine these options. A spell prepared with a metamagic feat cannot be further modified with another metamagic feat (unless she has the metamixing exploit).

Spellbooks: An arcanist must study her spellbook each day to prepare her spells. She can’t prepare any spell not recorded in her spellbook, except for read magic, which all arcanists can prepare from memory.

An arcanist begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard/sorcerer spells plus three 1st-level spells of her choice. The arcanist also selects a number of additional 1st-level spells equal to her Intelligence modifier to add to the spellbook. At each new arcanist level, she gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that she can cast (based on her new arcanist level) for her spellbook. At any time, an arcanist can also add spells found in other wizards’ spellbooks to her own (see Chapter 9 of the Core Rulebook).

Arcane Reservoir (Su): An arcanist has an innate pool of magical energy that she can draw upon to fuel her arcanist exploits and enhance her spells. The arcanist’s arcane reservoir can hold an amount of magical energy equal to three times the arcanist’s level. Each day when preparing spells, the arcanist’s arcane reservoir fills with raw magical energy, gaining a number of points equal to 1 + 1/2 her arcanist level. Any points she had from the previous day are lost. She can also regain these points through the consume spells class feature and some arcanist exploits. The arcane reservoir can never hold more points that the total mentioned above, points gained in excess of this maximum are lost.

Points from the arcanist reservoir are used to fuel many of the arcanist’s powers (see arcane exploits). In addition, the arcanist can expend one point from her arcane reservoir as a free action whenever she casts an arcanist spell. If she does, she can choose to increase the caster level by 1 or increase the DC of the spell by 1. She can expend no more than one point from her reservoir on a given spell in this way.

Arcanist Exploit: By bending and sometimes even breaking the rules of magic, the arcanist learns to channel the power she harnesses to create a wide variety of magical effects. Some of these exploits allow her to break down various forms of magic, adding their essence to her arcane reservoir. At 1st level and every two levels thereafter, the arcanist learns a new arcane exploit selected from the following list. An arcanist exploit cannot be selected more than once. Once an arcanist exploit has been selected, it cannot be changed. Most arcanist exploits require the arcanist to expend points from her arcane reservoir to function. Unless otherwise noted, the save DC for any arcanist exploit is equal to 10 + 1/2 the arcanist’s level + the arcanist’s Charisma modifier.

Acid Jet (Su): The arcanist can unleash a jet of acid by expending one point from her arcane reservoir. She can make a ranged touch attack against any one target within 30 feet. If the attack hits, it deals 1d4 points of acid damage, plus 1d4 points of acid damage for every two arcanist levels beyond first (to a maximum of 10d4 at 19th level). The target is also sickened for 1d4 rounds. The target must succeed at a Reflex saving throw to halve the damage and negate the sickened condition.

Consume Magic Items (Su): The arcanist can consume the power of potions, scrolls, staves, and wands, using them to fill her arcane reservoir. Using this ability is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. When using this exploit, the arcanist adds a number of points to her arcane pool equal to half the level of the spell contained in the item (o-level and 1st level spells do not recharge the arcanist’s arcane reservoir). If used on a potion or scroll, the item is destroyed. If used on a wand, the wand loses 5 charges (if it has less than five charges, the wand is destroyed and the arcanist gains no benefit). If used on a staff, it looses one charge and the arcanist gains a number of points to his arcane reservoir equal to the highest-level spell the staff can cast using only 1 charge (if the staff has no spells that require only 1 charge, the arcanist cannot use that staff with this ability). Points gained in excess of the reservoir’s maximum are lost.

Counterspell (Su): By expending one point from her arcane reservoir to attempt to counterspell a spell as it is being cast. The arcanist must identify the spell being cast as normal. If the check is successful, the arcanist can then use an immediate action and expend an available arcanist spell slot of a level equal to or higher than the level of the spell being cast. To counterspell the spell, the arcanist must make dispel check as if using dispel magic. If the spell being countered is one that the arcanist has prepared, she receives a +5 bonus on the dispel check.

Dimensional Slide (Su): The arcanist can expend one point from her arcane reservoir to create a dimensional crack that she can step through to reach another location. This ability is used as part of a move action, allowing her to move up to 10 feet per arcanist level to any location she can see; this is in place of 5 feet of movement. She can only use this ability once per round. She does not provoke an attack of opportunity for the movement caused by this ability, but any other movement provokes as normal.

Flame Arc (Su): The arcanist can create an arc of flame by expending one point from her arcane reservoir. She can make a ranged touch attack against any one target within 30 feet. If the attack hits, it deals 1d6 points of fire damage plus 1d6 points of fire damage for every two arcanist levels beyond first (to a maximum of 10d6 at 19th level). The target may attempt a Reflex saving throw to halve the damage.

Force Strike (Su): The arcanist can unleash a blast of force by expending one point from her arcane reservoir. This attack automatically strikes one target within 30 feet (as per magic missile) and it deals 1d4 points of damage, plus 1 point of damage per arcanist level. Spells and effects that negate magic missile also negate this effect.

Ice Missile (Su): The arcanist can create missile made of freezing ice by expending one point from her arcane reservoir. She can make a ranged touch attack against any one target within 30 feet. If the attack hits, it deals 1d4 points of cold damage plus 1d4 points of cold damage for every two arcanist levels beyond first (to a maximum of 10d4 at 19th level). In addition, the target is staggered for 1 round. The target may attempt a Reflex saving throw to halve the damage and negate the staggered condition.

Lightning Lance (Su): The arcanist can create a lance of lightning by expending one point from her arcane reservoir. She can make a ranged touch attack against any one target within 30 feet. If the attack hits, it deals 1d4 points of electricity damage plus 1d4 points of electricity damage for every two arcanist levels beyond first (to a maximum of 10d4 at 19th level). The target is also dazzled for 1d4 rounds. The target may attempt a Reflex saving throw to halve the damage and negate the dazzled condition.

Metamagic Knowledge: The arcanist can select one metamagic feat as a bonus feat. She must meet the prerequisites of this feat.

Metamixing (Su): The arcanist can expend one point from her arcane reservoir to add a metamagic feat to a spell as she casts it, using a higher-level spell slot as normal, but using the spell’s original casting time. She can use this ability to add a metamagic feat to a spell that she prepared using a metamagic feat, although she cannot the same metamagic feat on a given spell more than once.

Potent Magic (Su): Whenever the arcanist expends one use of her arcane reservoir to increase the caster level of a spell, the caster level is increased by 2 instead of 1. Whenever she expends one point from her arcane reservoir to increase the DC of a spell, the DC is increased by 2 instead of 1.

Spell Tinkerer (Su): The arcanist can alter an existing spell effect by expending one point from her arcane reservoir. She must be adjacent to the spell effect (or the effect’s target) and be aware of the effect to use this ability. She can choose to increase or decrease the remaining duration of the spell by 50% (adding or subtracting 50% from the remaining duration). Alternatively, she can suppress a spell effect for a number of rounds equal to her Charisma modifier (minimum 1). If the spell affects multiple creatures, this ability only suppresses the spell for one creature. At the end of this duration, the spell resumes and the suppressed rounds do not count against its total duration. This ability can be used on unwilling targets, but the arcanist must succeed at a melee touch attack, and the target may attempt a Will saving throw to negate the effect. This ability has no effect on spells that are instantaneous or have a duration of permanent.

Consume Spells (Su): The arcanist can spend a standard action to expend an available arcanist spell slot, making it unavailable for the rest of the day just as if she had used it to cast a spell. In doing so, she adds a number of points to her arcane reservoir equal to the level of the slot consumed. She cannot consume cantrips (0 level spells) in this way. Points added to the arcane reservoir in excess of the limit (see arcane reservoir) are lost.

Greater Exploits: At 11th level and every two levels thereafter, the arcanist can choose one of the following greater exploits in place of an arcanist exploit.

Burning Flame (Su): Whenever the arcanist uses the flame arc exploit, she can expend two points from her arcane reservoir instead of one. If she does, the target catches on fire if it fails its saving throw. Until the fire is extinguished, the target takes 3d6 points of fire damage at the start of its turn. The fire can attempt a Reflex saving throw as a full-round action to extinguish the flames. Applying at least 1 gallon of water to the target automatically extinguishes the flames. The arcanist must have the flame arc exploit before selecting this exploit.

Counter Drain (Su): Whenever the arcanist successfully counterspells a spell, the arcanist regains points to her arcane reservoir depending on the level of the spell countered. Spells of 2nd-level or lower do not restore any points. Spells of 3rd, 4th, and 5th level restore one point. Spells of 6th, 7th, and 8th level restore two points. Spells of 9th level restore three points. The arcanist must have the counterspell exploit before selecting this exploit.

Dancing Electricity (Su): Whenever the arcanist uses the lightning lance exploit, she can expend two points from her arcane reservoir instead of one. If she does, all creatures adjacent to the target take an amount of damage equal to half the amount of electricity damage rolled. Adjacent creatures can attempt a Reflex saving throw to halve this damage. Whether or not the target makes its saving throw has no effect on adjacent targets. The arcanist must have the lightning lance exploit before selecting this exploit.

Disrupt Spell (Su): The arcanist can disrupt a spell effect or magic item by expending one point from her arcane reservoir. This acts like a targeted dispel magic with a range of touch. The arcanist can add her Charisma bonus to the dispel check.

Greater Metamagic Knowledge: The arcanist can select a metamagic feat as a bonus feat. She must meet the prerequisites of this feat. Each morning, when she prepares her spells, the arcanist can expend one point from her arcane reservoir to exchange this bonus feat for another metamagic feat, as long as she meets the prerequisites of the new feat. The arcanist must have the metamagic knowledge exploit before selecting this exploit.

Icy Tomb (Su): Whenever the arcanist uses the ice missile exploit, she can expend two points from her arcane reservoir instead of one. If she does, the target is coated in a rime of ice if it fails its saving throw. This ice causes the target to be entangled and take 1 point of Dexterity damage at the start of its turn. The target can break free from the ice as a standard action by making a Strength check with a DC equal to 10 + the arcanist’s Charisma modifier. If the target takes more than 10 points of fire damage from a single attack, the ice melts and the effect ends. The arcanist must have the ice missile arcanist exploit before selecting this exploit.

Lingering Acid (Su): Whenever the arcanist uses the acid jet exploit, she can expend two points from her arcane reservoir instead of one. If she does, the target takes additional damage on the following rounds if it fails its saving throw. The target takes 1d4 points of acid damage on the following round for every 2d4 points of acid damage dealt by the initial attack. On subsequent round, the target continues to take 1d4 points of acid damage for every 2d4 points of acid damage deal on the previous round. The damage continues until the amount of acid damage dealt on the previous round by this effect is less than 1d4. The arcanist must have the acid jet exploit before selecting this exploit.

Siphon Spell (Su): When the arcanist uses the disrupt spell greater exploit, she can siphon some of the power to restore her arcane reservoir. If the caster level of the spell is equal to or higher than the arcanist and she exceeds the DC of the dispel check by 5 or more, she regains 1 point to her arcane reservoir. If she exceeds this check by 10 or more, she instead regains 2 points to her arcane reservoir. This has no effect on magic items. The arcanist must have the disrupt spell greater exploit before selecting this exploit.

Spell Thief (Su): The arcanist can steal a spell affecting one creature by expending one point from her arcane reservoir. If the creature is unwilling, she must succeed at a melee touch attack to steal the spell; the target must succeed at a Will saving throw to negate the effect. The arcanist can specify a spell affecting the target to steal, but if she’s incorrect or doesn’t know what spells are affecting the target, the spell stolen is determined randomly from all those affecting the target. If successful, the spell effect transfers to the arcanist, affecting her for the remaining duration. This ability doesn’t grant the arcanist a saving throw against the effect, unless it normally allows for a new saving throw during its duration (such as at the end of each round). The arcanist cannot use this ability to steal a spell with a range of personal or a duration of permanent. The arcanist must have the spell tinkerer exploit before selecting this exploit.

Magical Supremacy (Su): At 20th level, the arcanist learns to easily convert her arcane reservoir into spells and back again. She can cast any spell she has prepared directly from her arcane reservoir, instead of expending a spell slot, by expending a number of points from her arcane reservoir equal to the level of the spell to be cast. When she casts a spell in this fashion, she treats her caster level as 2 higher than normal, and the DC of any saving throws associated with the spell increase by 2. She cannot further expend points from her arcane reservoir to enhance a spell cast in this way.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Just to be clear on the spells per day,

Level - 1st - 2nd - 3rd - 4th - 5th - 6th - 7th - 8th 9th
1st - 2
2nd - 3
3rd - 4
4th - 4 - 2
5th - 4 - 3
6th - 4 - 4 - 2
7th - 4 - 4 - 3
8th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 2
9th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 3
10th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 2
11th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 3
12th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 2
13th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 3
14th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 2
15th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 3
16th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 2
17th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 3
18th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 2
19th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 3
20th - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4

Note that the number of spells prepared per day is unchanged.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

So, there is now an official discussion thread for this revision. Please direct all of your discussion to that thread as this one will be locked so as to avoid confusion when revised version the PDF is released.

I am also hiding all the comment posts in this thread to keep it clean for reference and printing purposes. Feel free to repost in the comment thread.

YOU CAN FIND THE DISCUSSION THREAD HERE

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

Please refer to the revised playtest document for the most up-to-date version of this class.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

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