Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Class: Arcanist

It still needs some tweaking and polishing up, but here's the arcanist class (which needs a different name like whoa), with everything needed for a Classic Red Box game. I hope *grins*

After further tweaking, I'm planning to expand the class into higher levels.


Arcanist
(Mageblade, Spellblade, Magic Knight, etc etc)

Some individuals have the knack for magic, but not the potential to be apprenticed as a full-fledged magic-user. Others are disinclined to commit to the years of training required of a magic-user's student, or would prefer to know a smattering of magics to supplement their other talents. Of these individuals some choose to combine their talent for magic with weapons-skill, and these people become arcanists.

An arcanist is a multitalented adventurer. A respectable combtant, though not the equal of a fighter, an arcanist also possesses knowledge of a variety of magic spells with which they may aid the party or augment their ability to combat the denizens of dungeons.

With fewer hit points and a more limited selection of armour than a fighter, an arcanist needs to be more cautious in combat – at least until the enemy is softened up by a few choice spells or attacks. Many arcanists choose to mix it up a bit, darting in and out of combat as opportunities present themselves and so keep out of harm's way – at least some of the time – until the time is right to land a strategic blow.

The magic of an arcanist is more limited than that of a magic-user; arcanist's spells never attain the sheer power of a magic-user's enchantments. Neither can arcanist cast as many spells in a day. The versitility of the arcanist lies in making use of magic and martial skill both, not relying on one or the other.

Like a magic-user or elf, an arcanist learns spells from scrolls, spellbooks or other arcanists, recording them into their own spellbook. In addition to new spells, arcanists stay alert for magical weapons and armour that they can use during adventures.


Prime Requisite: An arcanist has two PRs, Strength and Intelligence. If either score is 13 or more, the character gains a 5% bonus to XP gained. If both scores are 13 or higher, or one score is 16 or higher, the character gains a 10% bonus to XP gained.

Hit Dice: Arcanists' Hit Dice per level are determined using 1d6.

To Hit: Arcanists use the Cleric to-hit table.

Saving Throws: Arcanists use the Fighter Saving Throw table.

Armour: An arcanist may use only leather armour or chain mail (may not wear armour granting a base Armour Class better than that of chain mail). They may not use shields.

Weapons: An arcanist may use any one-handed bladed weapon, plus spear. In addition, they may use daggers, flasks of oil and vials of holy water as missile weapons.

Special Abilities: Like magic-users and elves, arcanists cast spells memorized from spellbooks; they use all rules for magic as applied to magic-users and elves. Arcanists have fewer spell slots, however, and a more restricted spell list.

[Even if the spell lists are broadened by the addition of new or newly-discovered spells, arcanists should never be given access to spells that harm or incapacitate whole groups of enemies, or that deal massive amounts of scaling damage.]


XPLevelTitleNumber of Spells / Spell Level
01Disciple1 First
18002Initiate1 First
36003Duelist2 First


First Level Spell List

Bolt*
Detect Magic
Floating Disc
Hold Portal
Light
Protection From Evil
Read Magic
Ventriloquism**

* see below
**alternately, ventiloquism may be replaced with bulwark (see below); this is suggested against, though the spell would be in-theme.


Bolt
Range: 150'
Duration: 1 round
Effect: Creates one bolt of energy

A bolt is a pulse of magical energy (usually of a specific kind chosen by the arcanist when the spell is learned, such as fire, ice or lightning), shot towards a target from the arcanist's pointed weapon or finger. A bolt has a +3 to hit its target, and inflicts 1-6 hit points of damage. Multiple versions of the bolt spell may be learned, gaining access to more types of energy.


Bulwark
Range: 0
Duration: 2 turns
Effect: Defensive barrier on the arcanist

As shield, save that bulwark instead grants a flat +2 bonus to the arcanist's current Armour Class rather than granting a blanket Armour Class vs. normal attacks and missiles. It does not defend against magic missiles until the arcanist is third level.

2 comments:

Badelaire said...

A couple of thoughts...

- Perhaps giving the Arcanist access to the staff as well, since it's a "mage" weapon, but still pretty nasty in a fight.

- Take a look, if you can find it online somewhere, for the Warlock class in 3.5E. Basically a magic-user who uses "abilities" rather than spells in the form of pacts with extra-worldly entities. So perhaps the Arcanist, instead of using spells, starts the game with maybe one or two powers and gains a new power every other level, or somesuch. This prevents him from just being a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, and allows him to be something more unique.

Either way, pretty cool.

taichara said...

Perhaps giving the Arcanist access to the staff as well, since it's a "mage" weapon, but still pretty nasty in a fight.

Not a bad idea, that; I'll need to make a decision (if I do) regarding magical staves, though, because that could create an end-run around the arcanist's "no blowing up the world" restriction.

Though not nearly so much as wands *grins*


Take a look, if you can find it online somewhere, for the Warlock class in 3.5E. Basically a magic-user who uses "abilities" rather than spells in the form of pacts with extra-worldly entities. So perhaps the Arcanist, instead of using spells, starts the game with maybe one or two powers and gains a new power every other level, or somesuch. This prevents him from just being a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, and allows him to be something more unique.

I should still have the book with the Warlock in it here somewhere, I think ...

That's definitely an idea for a variant, and something I'll keep in mind while I'm fine-tuning. But a jack-of-all-trades was rather what I was aiming for here, sort of.

I have two alternate spell lists for Basic that I have to post (maybe I'll do that soonish ;3) that will probably make my inspiration perfectly obvious. I'm preparing to duck tomatoes and bricks *grins*

A non-casting version would also be interesting, though!