Arcanists: Prepared Casters? Spontaneous Spellcaster? What about Pretaneous or Sponpared Casters?


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This is a FAQ thread questioning what kind of spellcaster Arcanists fall under. There are numerous items and abilities that require either Spontaneous spellcasting or Prepared spellcasting, and it is difficult to discern whether Arcanists can benefit from any of these options due to the nature of their spellcasting mechanic, and as such fall into their own type of spellcasting not defined anywhere in any rulebook (hence the Pretaneous/Sponpared joke in the thread title).

To that end, the FAQ question is thus: Are Arcanists spontaneous or prepared spellcasters for feats and other effects related to spontaneous or prepared spellcasting?

Some rules citations, starting with the original Spells feature from the Arcanist, via the PRD:

Spells wrote:

An arcanist casts arcane spells drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. 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 consuming a spell slot of the appropriate level, assuming she hasn't yet used up her spell slots 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's level. The saving throw DC against an arcanist's spell is 10 + the spell's 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 in the table above. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Intelligence score.

An arcanist 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 the table above. 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 instead affect the number of spells an 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 and refreshes her available spell slots for the day.

Like a sorcerer, an arcanist can choose to apply any metamagic feats she knows to a prepared spell as she casts it, with the same increase in casting time (see Spontaneous Casting and Metamagic Feats). However, she may also prepare a spell with any metamagic feats she knows and cast it without increasing casting time like a wizard. She cannot combine these options—a spell prepared with metamagic feats cannot be further modified with another metamagic feat at the time of casting (unless she has the metamixing arcanist exploit, detailed below).

Mark Seifter has made a post in regards to this in relation to two magic items regarding spontaneous spellcasting, though in my opinion it only convolutes their spellcasting mechanics even further:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Both of those items [Ring of Spell Knowledge and Mnemonic Vestments] seem to make the spell a spell known, but since they don't make the spell one of an arcanist's spells prepared, I think an arcanist could almost use the items but still couldn't cast the spell (I suppose she could write it down in her spellbook, though, for the ring, or swap to preparing it off the ring with Quick Study).

(Added Bolded part for context)

So, if you would like a more official answer than following confusing RAW and a dev post stating the possible intent of the Arcanist's spellcasting rules, please hit the FAQ button on this post. Until an answer comes around, this thread will serve as a discussion hub for the topic at hand for the developers to look over.


Arcanists also not being able to take spell mastery is kind of weird (if you want an easier problem to fix...)

Never mind it works in PFS

Scarab Sages

It would be great to have an answer to this. Whether an Arcanist is spontaneous or prepared or how to treat them in a given situation is a pretty basic question that needs an answer in order to properly make rulings concerning the class.


Now, to state my opinion on the matter.

I have a feeling that Arcanists are going to be put in a state of pseudo-limbo in regards to their spellcasting, because they are in a state of both "effectively spontaneous" and "effectively prepared," but for effects that rely on explicitly prepared or spontaneous options, they won't count for neither, which will hurt them significantly for items like Pearls of Power, and feats like Expanded Arcana. As it stands, the Arcanist is written with the combining of both spontaneous and prepared spellcasting elements, and in most cases where spontaneous or prepared spellcasting is important, the description falls short to properly fulfill either definition, nor does it properly convey how much of their spellcasting is spontaneous/prepared for effects reliant upon it.

Therefore, I really do believe that Paizo will make them Pretaneous spellcasters, and therefore only things that actually reference Arcanists will affect their spellcasting. (It's like the Extracts conundrum all over again.)

Scarab Sages

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Just pointing out that this line in particular causes a lot of confusion:

“Arcanist” wrote:
Feats and other effects that modify the number of spells known by a spellcaster instead affect the number of spells an arcanist can prepare.

I would normally think of the number of spells an Arcanist can prepare as the number of spells that an Arcanist can have prepared each day. So adding a spell known should mean an Arcanist can have one additional spell prepared (presumably the spell the feat or effect added). Mark’s interpretation seems to be that adding a “spell known” is equivalent to having it in your spellbook, so that you can choose to prepare it, not to having it prepared as an additional spell that you have access to cast on top of your other prepared slots.


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I don't think there should be a question that the arcanist is a prepared spell caster. They prepare spells exactly like the wizard does. It's only their casting that gets a little weird, but they can still only cast spells they have prepared. The problem is that "spontaneous spell caster" is so ill-defined that they could conceivably simultaneously be one of those too.

This question doesn't seem to be about if they are prepared or spontaneous though. It's more like, "Why doesn't the arcanist have equivalent tools to the wizard and sorcerer?"


I can find one item (the lattice crystal) that specifically works for arcanist spellcasting.


Melkiador wrote:

I don't think there should be a question that the arcanist is a prepared spell caster. They prepare spells exactly like the wizard does. It's only their casting that gets a little weird, but they can still only cast spells they have prepared. The problem is that "spontaneous spell caster" is so ill-defined that they could conceivably simultaneously be one of those too.

The question doesn't seem to be about if they are prepared or spontaneous though. It's more like, "Why doesn't the arcanist have equivalent tools to the wizard and sorcerer?"

No, they do not prepare spells exactly like Wizards do.

They have a spellbook, yes. But their spells don't expend when they cast them, whereas a Wizard's does. Their spell slots expend, but a Wizard's "spell slots" and "spells prepared" are effectively one and the same. And the spells they can prepare aren't increased by Intelligence or Arcane Schools like a Wizard's is, even with Archetypes.

So, suggesting that they are prepared identically is false. Similarly, perhaps, but even that's stretching it because their mechanics for preparing are different enough to spark the question as to whether they are spontaneous or prepared spellcasters.

The question still refers to what it refers to, which is whether Arcanists are prepared or spontaneous spellcasters for the purposes of items, feats, and other effects reliant on such requirements. The "equivalent tools" is simply the ramifications regarding certain answers to that question.


If they are prepared, they can use pearls of power

If they are spontaneous, they can use runstones.

If they are neither, there is one item in the entire game and one feat that interacts with their spell memorization.

Scarab Sages

Mark did also make an earlier comment about Runestones vs Pearls:

Mark Seifter wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
For the purpose of interaction with magic items such as pearls of power is the arcanist a prepared caster, spontaneous, or both.
Arcanists use runestones of power (ACG 234) and spell lattices (ACG 235). They can't use pearls of power or pages of spell knowledge, although clearly the lattices and pages are basically the same thing for the same price except the arcanist clause, so it wouldn't be too weird to just let them use either.

LINK


Huh. That's ruled exactly the opposite of what I would rule. As they "prepare spells" they are prepared casters by "Magic the Gathering" logic, and then they have an ability/clause that circumvents the main drawback of it.

[In magic terms: Consider the idea of a Sorcery with Flash. For all zones it is counted as a sorcery, but it would be functionally identical in most scenarios to an instant.]


I don't see them as 100% one or the other. It will vary depending on the specific question.

Scarab Sages

wraithstrike wrote:
I don't see them as 100% one or the other. It will vary depending on the specific question.

Which is why more guidance is needed. Right now there is not enough information to answer a large number of the questions.


They do their preparation exactly like a wizard. It's just that their prepared spells don't get used up once cast, as a wizard does, which has nothing to do with whether they were prepared or not. And they cannot cast any spell they have not prepared. So, how is that not prepared casting?

The problem isn't that they are not prepared casters. It's that the mechanic they have for using their prepared spells doesn't work with the item language that effects most prepared spells. If the designers were to say, "Their casting is prepared" and stop there, then the spells still wouldn't work with pearls of power, because the language isn't compatible.

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Cattleman wrote:
Huh. That's ruled exactly the opposite of what I would rule. As they "prepare spells" they are prepared casters by "Magic the Gathering" logic, and then they have an ability/clause that circumvents the main drawback of it.

Magic the Gathering rules are written in 'pseudo code'.

Pathfinder rules are written in 'conversational English'.

They have very different standards and are not meant to be interpreted in the same ways.


Melkiador wrote:

They do their preparation exactly like a wizard. It's just that their prepared spells don't get used up once cast, as a wizard does, which has nothing to do with whether they were prepared or not. And they cannot cast any spell they have not prepared. So, how is that not prepared casting?

The problem isn't that they are not prepared casters. It's that the mechanic they have for using their prepared spells doesn't work with the item language that effects most prepared spells. If the designers were to say, "Their casting is prepared" and stop there, then the spells still wouldn't work with pearls of power, because the language isn't compatible.

They still aren't the same. Clerics function more identical to a Wizard's preparation than an Arcanist does, and the same goes for their actual spellcasting, too. The fact that a Divine spellcaster is more like a Wizard than an Arcane spellcaster is should tell you a lot about how outlandish the Arcanist's spellcasting mechanics truly are.

For the record, even if clarified to be prepared, the Pearls of Power won't work because their mechanics rely on a spellcaster having their spell being expended upon casting. Arcanists are on a "Spells per day" basis, not unlike Spontaneous Spellcasting, which Pearls of Power explicitly wouldn't work on because their spells aren't expended in the same manner as what Pearls of Power requires. Runestones of Power potentially could, but even that doesn't work because Arcanists don't cast their spells spontaneously (apparently), even though their mechanics are more in-line with spontaneous casting than with prepared casting.

Which is precisely why my prediction is Paizo effectively saying that Arcanists are "Pretaneous" spellcasters, and don't benefit from any effects relating to either spontaneous or prepared spellcasting, because their currently written clauses do not support them being of either concept.

(On a slightly unrelated topic, Arcanists would get nerfed pretty hard here, making them a much less desirable class, even if they're full spellcasters.)


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If the question really gets answered, I see two likely answers. The lazy answer is that they don't meaningfully count as either for the purposes of those items. The more helpful answer is that they are prepared but count as spontaneous for items that modify spells known, using their spells prepared in place of spells known.

Scarab Sages

Clerics and Druids are both Spontanous Casters and Prepared Casters. They prepare their spells, but then can spontaneously cast inflict/cure/summon nature's ally. I've always considered them counting in both groups, though adding to spells known does nothing for either class, since spells known has no effect on how they cast spells.


The way I view and play my arcanist is that he is a Spontaneous caster, essentially a Sorcerer that gets to alter his spells known on a daily basis. or more often with Quick Study

An exception to this is his daily bonus spell from his

Arcane Bond:
A bonded object can be used once per day to cast any one spell that the wizard has in his spellbook and is capable of casting, even if the spell is not prepared. This spell is treated like any other spell cast by the wizard, including casting time, duration, and other effects dependent on the wizard's level. This spell cannot be modified by metamagic feats or other abilities. The bonded object cannot be used to cast spells from the wizard's opposition schools (see arcane school).

A Sorcerer can only cast a spell that he knows with his arcane bond. However, since the Arcanist has a spellbook like a Wizard I prefer to use the more liberal interpretation allowing him to cast any spell in his spellbook.

Pearls of POwer no, Runestones Yes

Page of Spell knowledge would add that spell Always as a prepared spell in addition to the Arcanists normal amount of prepared spells for that level.


I see them as both, honestly. They are prepared casters because they prepare spells and they are also spontaneous casters because of how they cast those prepared spells.


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Spontaneous caster is ill defined. But my definition is "casts spells without preparing them", and an arcanist can't cast a spell he hasn't prepared.

I get this definition from rules that say things like, "Most spellcasters prepare spells in advance—whether from a spellbook or through prayers—while some cast spells spontaneously without preparation.", from the magic chapter.


Unofficial: Hero Lab refers to them as "Flexible" casters, compared to Memorized (for Prepared) or Spontaneous.


Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Clerics and Druids are both Spontanous Casters and Prepared Casters. They prepare their spells, but then can spontaneously cast inflict/cure/summon nature's ally. I've always considered them counting in both groups, though adding to spells known does nothing for either class, since spells known has no effect on how they cast spells.

They aren't truly spontaneous spellcasters though, they need class features to be able to do that stuff, which they are provided. Arcanist doesn't have such features, and their base option is too poorly described to ascertain one definition or another without it being inconsistent of its assumed meaning with other similar examples in the rules.

@ Wabbit Hunter: Doesn't explain how Mark Seifter, who was one of the developers behind the Arcanist class, states that effects which provide spells known only apply to his ability to prepare the spell, and not for actually being able to cast the spell without preparation like other well-known spontaneous spellcasters are capable of doing. (Even the Cleric/Druid mention that Murdock states would make more sense in this context than for an Arcanist.)

@ Azten: While it makes sense in a conceptual sense, the rules don't support that reading whatsoever.

Yes, they prepare spells. No, those spells are not expended when cast, meaning effects which require expended spells won't work for them. That also means they aren't spontaneous spells, because spontaneous spells are cast from a finite list of known spells, and don't involve any sort of spellbooks, whereas an Arcanist does. And unfortunately, it also means they aren't prepared either, because they use mechanics separate from actual prepared spellcasters (think Wizard/Cleric), which means they aren't truly prepared spellcasters.

The fact that the Arcanist breaks new ground has two consequences. The first is that it has a unique approach to the game. The second is that it has barely any compatibility with other existing game elements as it's currently written, which means new material had to be created (spell lattices and runestones of power) to accommodate it.

Fun fact, another problem is that there are zero adventures which would include these items as loot (unless you randomly roll for it) due to its publishing date, which means unless you buy or craft them yourself, you won't find any anywhere, compared to Pearls of Power, which have been around since release, that can be seen in most every adventure path. (Not saying that they are, merely that the odds of them being in an adventure path are infinitely higher than the Arcanist or even Sorcerer equivalents due to it being released way earlier in Pathfinder's shelf life.)

@ GM Rednal: I will ask you nicely, once, to not mention anything Herolab related. I know you're trying to be helpful, but Herolab tilts me harder than an obtuse/acute triangle, and I'd rather not derail the thread talking about Herolab bulls#!^ when this thread is about Arcanist spellcasting.


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At least some of Paizo's writers seem think they count as enough of prepared casters to take Magaambyan Arcanist (which requires being able to prepare 3rd-level arcane spells), given that Arcane Anthology (and reprinted in the Adventurer's Guide, so it's been given the hardcover lookover too) has an Arcanist archetype that ties thematically and crucially directly mechanically to the prestige class without saying anything about the prepared spellcasting limitation being waived.


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It depends on the feat or item you are trying to determine. If it affects spell preparation, then they are prepared. If it involves actual casting and recall, it appears to be spontaneous.

I think this is a context dependent question and the correct answer is that some aspects of arcanist casting are prepared and some are spontaneous. I think you are much more likely to get specific questions about items and feats answered than a question that is this broad.


Ferious Thune wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I don't see them as 100% one or the other. It will vary depending on the specific question.
Which is why more guidance is needed. Right now there is not enough information to answer a large number of the questions.

I agree. Aside from the post above with me asking Mark a question I also asked about preparing spells in higher spell slots, and using higher slots to cast lower level spells. I got a yes to both since they prepare like wizards and cast like sorcerers.

However that was not an official answer, but I didnt want to wait.

The best way to handle this would be to come up with a list of questions, and see if it is possible for them to do an FAQ blog to answer them. If that is not feasible for some reason we would have to submit them as individual FAQ's.


LordInsane wrote:
At least some of Paizo's writers seem think they count as enough of prepared casters to take Magaambyan Arcanist (which requires being able to prepare 3rd-level arcane spells), given that Arcane Anthology (and reprinted in the Adventurer's Guide, so it's been given the hardcover lookover too) has an Arcanist archetype that ties thematically and crucially directly mechanically to the prestige class without saying anything about the prepared spellcasting limitation being waived.

They still need Spell Mastery, which is Wizard only, and only a specific Arcanist archetype can acquire it.

So, they can't take Magaambyan Arcanist except in the most stringent of circumstances. Which is ironic.

@ Create Mr. Pitt: Problem with that interpretation is that a lot of prepared effects won't work with the Arcanist, and neither would a lot of spontaneous effects, since by the rules, they don't qualify as either type of spellcasting. Those types of spellcasting are effectively packaged wholesale, and once you change any of those rules, they cease being either type due to their different mechanics. Mark's statement basically affirmed this train of thought, since, if they cast like Sorcerers, items like Rings of Spell Knowledge and Mnemonic Vestments would work for them normally.

But they don't, according to Mr. Seifter.

As such, they will either reinforce the "Pretaneous" statement, not answer this question at all and make the players decide what to do (like with Bardic Masterpieces, Overrun, and so on), or say they don't understand the question (which I can totally see happening) and make us repeat the cycle. Either way, Arcanist is gonna get (stuck being) nerfed.

@ Wraithstrike: They haven't made a FAQ blog to answer any questions in years. I think it was 2012 when the last one of those was made, and even with the three ACG Errata they made it was simply a forum post (which would make it hard to find for GMs saying Sniper Slayer's 2nd level ability still replaces the 2nd level Slayer talent, as one example).

As for individual FAQs, that won't be necessary. I tried to word the question so they can elaborate on whether they are prepared, spontaneous, or what parts count as prepared/spontaneous. Or, if they're just going to invent some third type of spellcaster and screw the Arcanist over. (Which is fine, they gotta make the Sorcerer more appealing somehow, right?)

I mean, some of their FAQs are really in-depth as of late, borderlining confusing to try and take in all the relevant information. For example.

I don't see how they can't pull a similar analysis here if they're going to do so for a question like the above FAQ.

Scarab Sages

Re: Magaambyan Arcanist... it’s an unfortunate crossover in language, but it’s not like it’s the first time Paizo has had two (mostly) unrelated things with similar or the same names. See Brawler the class vs Brawler the Fighter Archetype, Swashbuckler and Swashbuckler Rogues, Dueling and Dueling, etc.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

@ Wraithstrike: They haven't made a FAQ blog to answer any questions in years. I think it was 2012 when the last one of those was made, and even with the three ACG Errata they made it was simply a forum post (which would make it hard to find for GMs saying Sniper Slayer's 2nd level ability still replaces the 2nd level Slayer talent, as one example).

As for individual FAQs, that won't be necessary. I tried to word the question so they can elaborate on whether they are prepared, spontaneous, or what parts count as prepared/spontaneous. Or, if they're just going to invent some third type of spellcaster and screw the Arcanist over. (Which is fine, they gotta make the Sorcerer more appealing somehow, right?)

I mean, some of their FAQs are really in-depth as of late, borderlining confusing to try and take in all the relevant information. For example.

I don't see how they can't pull a similar analysis here if they're going to do so for a question like the above FAQ.

I am aware of how long the last blog FAQ has been. I wasnt really expecting it.

As for the wording on your question it doesn't really tell them how to answer it in a way that gives guidelines for specific situations.It is very wide open and it makes it easy to forget something. Sometimes they stick around and answer questions on an FAQ, but if someone doesn't notice something until a day or 2 later it will likely require another FAQ.


wraithstrike wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

@ Wraithstrike: They haven't made a FAQ blog to answer any questions in years. I think it was 2012 when the last one of those was made, and even with the three ACG Errata they made it was simply a forum post (which would make it hard to find for GMs saying Sniper Slayer's 2nd level ability still replaces the 2nd level Slayer talent, as one example).

As for individual FAQs, that won't be necessary. I tried to word the question so they can elaborate on whether they are prepared, spontaneous, or what parts count as prepared/spontaneous. Or, if they're just going to invent some third type of spellcaster and screw the Arcanist over. (Which is fine, they gotta make the Sorcerer more appealing somehow, right?)

I mean, some of their FAQs are really in-depth as of late, borderlining confusing to try and take in all the relevant information. For example.

I don't see how they can't pull a similar analysis here if they're going to do so for a question like the above FAQ.

I am aware of how long the last blog FAQ has been. I wasnt really expecting it.

As for the wording on your question it doesn't really tell them how to answer it in a way that gives guidelines for specific situations.It is very wide open and it makes it easy to forget something. Sometimes they stick around and answer questions on an FAQ, but if someone doesn't notice something until a day or 2 later it will likely require another FAQ.

I disagree. The question is worded as to whether they count as solely one type or the other, but that doesn't stop them from coming in and saying "They count as prepared for ABC effects, but spontaneous for XYZ effects."

As for them sticking around, I've found that unless it's been within the hour (or even less than that) of them making a FAQ post, they won't respond to it. (Which I understand why that is, but is merely a clarification on that front.)


Ferious. That archetype specifically says it can be taken by arcanists


When they cast spells they cast spontaneously. For nearly any other purpose they are a prepared caster.

Incompatibility with existing options isn't necessarily a flaw.

Pretty much any new class, such as the occult classes for instance, are going to run into the lack of specific magic applying to their class. It is not a problem unique to the arcanist.


One of those few points is Dragon Disciple. Just wanted to point that out since DD doesn't care if you cast spontaneously or not, just without preparation.


"without preparation" and "spontaneous" seem to have the same meaning in the magic chapter.


Better safe than sorry. That's why I used the Spell Specialist archetype for my Arcanist/Dragon Disciple.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I agree this needs to have an answer for Pathfinder Society play. A GM can just make the ruling for a home game, yet PFS needs a concrete agreement if a player wants to know how a feat like expanded arcana might work with an arcanist.

Can an arcanist take expanded arcana? (Normally an arcanist above first level "prepares" fewer spells than they have spell slots - unlike a wizard).

Can an arcanist take spell mastery?

Can an arcanist use pearls of power or thnderstones? Both? Neither?

At least a ring of wizardry still works.


dragonhunterq wrote:

When they cast spells they cast spontaneously. For nearly any other purpose they are a prepared caster.

Incompatibility with existing options isn't necessarily a flaw.

Pretty much any new class, such as the occult classes for instance, are going to run into the lack of specific magic applying to their class. It is not a problem unique to the arcanist.

There is nothing in the feature that I posted that outright says they cast spells spontaneously, which means not everyone will come to that conclusion. All the feature says is that their spells aren't expended when cast, and as such can be cast repeatedly. While it's mechanically identical to spontaneous spellcasting, it's not the same, and because it's not outright said

It's the same reason why, for example, people will say Spell-Like Abilities aren't Spells, even if their mechanics are practically identical.

As for incompatibility, I doubt the Occult classes have a question about what sort of spellcasting (prepared/spontaneous) they count as; that book did a good job clarifying Psychic spellcasting as its own subject and quantifying the ramifications and differences between the two existing types (Arcane/Divine), without creating complications to determine if they are prepared/spontaneous.

In short, it's not the same issue being presented here, where options that work solely for prepared or spontaneous casters can't be taken because an Arcanist isn't clearly defined as either subject, even for certain instances.

@ Azten: Good point with the Dragon Disciple requirement. I believe there are similar requirements for other PRCs, and Arcanist would still fail that requirement since they prepare spells for repeated use throughout the day. Even if their mechanics are different from a Wizard's, the fact of the matter is that for this purpose they still don't meet the requirement. It gives us a bit more insight and consistency, so good job.

@ Kestrelz: Per RAW, you can't take Expanded Arcana because you do not count as having spells known, but spells prepared, which means you can't take the feat due to the Special requirements.

Spell Mastery is written to work only with 1st level Wizards. They made a FAQ about this expanding to other "Arcane" spellcasters, stating that per RAW they can't, but it's a good houserule to let other casters learn it. Magaambyan Initiate archetype gets this feat by 5th level for free, but it's not the same, and shoehorns your character options significantly.

Pearls of Power won't work because Arcanists aren't defined as either prepared or spontaneous. Even if they were defined are Prepared, their spells aren't expended when cast, and Pearls of Power only works on spells that have been expended, so mechanically it doesn't apply. Thunderstones are an alchemical item; Runestones are the item you're looking for, and since those only work for spontaneous spellcasters (which Arcanists aren't clearly defined as falling under such), they won't work for the Arcanist's slots either.

Ring of Wizardry would let them cast twice as many spells per day of that level, it wouldn't let them prepare twice as many spells like a Wizard could, since their spells prepared and spells per day are one and the same.


KestrelZ, the Expanded Preparation feat exists, so arcanists don't need to be able to take Expanded Arcana anyway. In PFS, arcanists can take Spell Mastery per BigNorseWolf's link upthread, as arcanists unambiguously prepare spells (they just don't expend those spells when cast).

I would rule at my table that arcanists are prepared casters for things that care about preparation of spells or spells prepared, and spontaneous casters for things that care about spell slots or number of spells known. This is because they have a spells prepared table and their spells section extensively talks about preparing spells, but the way they cast their spells is far more akin to spontaneous casters. Additionally they have the text "Feats and other effects that modify the number of spells known by a spellcaster instead affect the number of spells an arcanist can prepare." (which by RAW only works on things that affect the number of spells known, not specific individual spells). However, official clarification would be nice, so I hit FAQ.


Fair enough on the PFS bit, but I will go ahead and say that PFS rules are for PFS, not for the game rules wholesale.

Otherwise, I wholly agree with you on how I'd rule at my tables.

In addition, the problem with your cited text is that we have items that, according to a developer, do not add to the Arcanist's spells he prepares, but to the Arcanist's spells that he can prepare, which means he isn't actually gaining any more prepared spells than what he already has, as is the case with other spontaneous spellcasters, he's just gaining preparation options.

In retrospect to that, the developer's comment is more in-line with the cited text than what we think, since that more closely resembles to what he can prepare, not what he has prepared (as we're already assuming).

In short, we're getting Princess Brided by Mr. Seifter ("I don't think that sentence means what you think it means").

Scarab Sages

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ferious. That archetype specifically says it can be taken by arcanists

Ah. I see now. Everyone was stressing the name of it. I thought it just predated the Arcanist class. So the issue is Spell Mastery, which outside of PFS a GM can just allow an Arcanist to take. In PFS, they’ve issued a clarification that any character able to prepare 1st level Arcane spells or 1st level extracts can take it. I think Arcanist will quality based on that criteria, because they do prepare 1st level spells. But I see the relevance to this FAQ request now.

EDIT: Clarified language a little.

So following Mark’s earlier response, an Arcanist with Spell Mastery can likely a) prepare their selected spells without their book, and b) prepare those spells using Quick Study without referencing their book. That would actually make the feat more useful for an Arcanist than for a Wizard. I might even try to take it with my Arcanist, if that interpretation is correct. GMs that I’ve run into have rules that I need to have my spellbook out (so take a move action) to use Quick Study, which turns it into a two round proposition (three including casting whatever spell I switch to).


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Fair enough on the PFS bit, but I will go ahead and say that PFS rules are for PFS, not for the game rules wholesale.

Otherwise, I wholly agree with you on how I'd rule at my tables.

In addition, the problem with your cited text is that we have items that, according to a developer, do not add to the Arcanist's spells he prepares, but to the Arcanist's spells that he can prepare, which means he isn't actually gaining any more prepared spells than what he already has, as is the case with other spontaneous spellcasters, he's just gaining preparation options.

In retrospect to that, the developer's comment is more in-line with the cited text than what we think, since that more closely resembles to what he can prepare, not what he has prepared (as we're already assuming).

In short, we're getting Princess Brided by Mr. Seifter ("I don't think that sentence means what you think it means").

I completely agree with you re PFS, but since KesterlZ was asking specifically about PFS I thought I'd re-link the existing PFS ruling on Spell Mastery. I agree that it has no bearing on RAW or how it can/should be played outside of PFS.

For ring of spell knowledge, that doesn't directly impact number of spells known, so by RAW it does nothing for arcanists (arcanists do not have "spells known" so knowing the spell is meaningless). Or rather, it is exactly as effective for arcanists as it is for wizards by RAW. Errata would be needed to remap spells known in general to spells prepared, rather than just considering number of spells known.

That said, at my table, I would probably allow it to add the explicit spell stored as a spell prepared, but proceeding with that as an actual house rule rather than how I'm interpreting RAW.


so they are either "both/and"and qualify for all feats and items of concern, or "neither/nor" and need a published set of feats and items that refer to them directly.

Is there a third option here?


They could just say "They're Spontaneous" or "They're Prepared."

But those are highly unlikely conclusions.


Honestly this question has been a thorn in the side of our group for a while now.

No pearls/pages really cuts into what an arcanist should be able to do IMO


Doesn't the arcanist basically have pages of spell knowledge baked in. You're just a quick study away from a ton of spells.


Melkiador wrote:
Doesn't the arcanist basically have pages of spell knowledge baked in. You're just a quick study away from a ton of spells.

Quick Study requires an exploit and paying Arcane Reservoir to do. Not to mention the action economy cost if it's for something during combat. In some cases, that's a big payment when a Page of Spell Knowledge would've otherwise done the trick just fine.

Then again, Pages of Spell Knowledge only give you the opportunity to prepare a spell not on your spellbook per Mr. Seifter, so you'd still need both in order to do what you wanted, so who really knows...


Pages of spell knowledge are really expensive though, so it's not like you're getting a ton of extra spells that way. Meanwhile, it's fairly cheap for the arcanist to learn new spells. And while it does cost an exploit, it's an amazing exploit that should be a first pick for most arcanists, anyway.


Depends on the Arcanist's specialization.

Enchanters and blasters would most likely want Potent Magic instead, since the Save DC/CL boost would be much more powerful starting out, while still giving that extra edge later on in their career.

Even further still are things like School Understanding for some of the more powerful Wizard School abilities, Bloodline Development for certain 1st level bloodline powers, or even a Familiar for some miscellaneous stat boosts.

Also starting out, they won't have too many spells in their book to prepare from, meaning even if they did take the exploit, the odds of them possessing that spell to re-prepare are pretty slim. Maybe 3rd or 5th level, will it begin to truly shine. But 1st and 2nd level, it becomes doubtful that it has major relevance.


Not like you're going to have a meaningful number of pages of spell knowledge by level 5 either though.


Quote:
Signature Spells: At 1st level and each time a spell specialist gains a new spell level, she chooses a signature spell. The spell specialist can cast this spell without preparing it, in the same way a sorcerer casts spells spontaneously. Even though the spell specialist does not need to prepare this spell, it still counts against the number of spells she can prepare, reducing the number of spells of each level she can prepare each day by 1.

So, the spell specialist archetype is under the impression that the default arcanist is not a spontaneous caster.

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