General Prestige Class : Mage of the Arcane Order
Also called a "guildmage," a member of this prestige class is a spellcaster who belongs to an academy and guild known as the Arcane Order. The academy is called the Order in casual conversation, or sometimes just that "college of wizardry." It is both a school for fledgling spellcasters and a guild for those of advanced knowledge and power.
The Arcane Order's charter is twofold. The group's first objective is advancing magical knowledge through both ongoing research and archaeological investigation of lost arcane disciplines. A good portion of research is centered around elucidating a "magical grammar" of the great power wielded in ages past, and this research has borne wondrous fruit: metamagic feats. The second tenet is the support and welfare of the Order's membership, initially through arcane schooling and later through companionship, resources, boarding, and access to the Spellpool (see Spellpool). Although nonwizards can benefit somewhat from what the Order has to offer, its emphasis on wizardry deters most applicants. In fact, the Order boasts almost no sorcerers, bards, or other characters with significant talent as spontaneous casters.
NPC guildmages often join adventuring companies of non-spellcasters who are not affiliated with the Order. Thus, they could be encountered anywhere adventure beckons. However, a guild member in good standing returns when he can to the campus, pays his required dues, and does his part in the upkeep of the Spellpool.
Adaptation: This prestige class can be tweaked by changing the premise of the Spellpool. Instead of a construct of stored spells that must always be paid back, lest debt be incurred (see below), perhaps the Order managed to subdue and chain a demigod of ancient days below their stronghold. What the Order members actually do when they call spells from the "Spellpool" is, perhaps unbeknownst to them, slowly draining the essence of this being.
To qualify to become a Mage of the Arcane Order, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 8 ranks.
- Feats: Cooperative Spell and any one other metamagic feat.
- Spells: Able to prepare and cast 2nd-level arcane spells.
- Special: Prospective members must pay an initiation fee of 750 gp.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All the following are class features of the mage of the Arcane Order prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Mages of the Arcane Order gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Spells per Day/Spells Known: At each level, a mage of the Arcane Order gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class to which he belonged before adding the prestige class level. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (such as the bonus feat sometimes gained by a wizard). If he had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a mage of the Arcane Order, he must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.
Guild Member: A "guild-level" mage of the Arcane Order pays monetary dues and accepts various duties in return for member benefits. The dues are 30 gp per month. Duties include putting in an appearance on campus at least once every six months and accepting any special commissions handed down by senior members. A guildmage who falls into arrears on his dues by more than three months has his membership revoked and loses access to the Spellpool. Reinstating membership is difficult. However, ex-members do not lose any spells or metamagic feats they had gained while in good standing.
A member in good standing can board at the Arcane Order campus between adventures, paying only 5 sp per day for common-quality meals and lodging. Ar his leisure, he can browse the Order's well-respected library, which is stocked with tomes on both mundane and arcane lore (though no spellbooks are kept here). likewise, he can use the Order's common laboratory facilities when creating magic items (although material costs remain out-of-pocket). Furthermore, he is free to read and post notices to the "job board," a mundane medium whereby fellow members of the Order pass information, advertise their interest in a research topic or adventure, or attempt to sell an interesting oddity, magical or otherwise. Last but not least, members form professional ties with their fellow wizards, possibly leading to lasting friendships or alliances.
Spellpool (Su): Mages of the Arcane Order can call spells from a common source: the Spellpool. New members receive a special focus (a trinket chosen by the spellcaster, such as a ring, brooch, scarf, or other portable item) at the time of their initiation. The focus allows access to the Spellpool and works only for its owner. If a mage of the Arcane Order loses his focus, he must undergo another initiation. The range of available spells increases at 4th and 7th levels. See Spellpool for details.
Bonus Metamagic Feat: At 2nd level and again at 9th level, a mage of the Arcane Order gains sudden insight from studying the reconstructed texts of ancient magical grimoires. He gains a metamagic feat of his choice as a bonus feat. He must still meet the prerequisites of the feat.
Bonus language: At 3rd level and again at 6th level, a guildmage's access to the Order's superb library and resources allows him to learn a new language.
New Spell: When a mage of the Arcane Order reaches 5th level, and again at 8th level, a fellow wizard allows the character to copy a spell from his or her spellbook (chosen by the player, subject to the DM's approval). He does not need to make a Spellcraft check to copy the spell into his own spellbook, although specialist wizards still cannot learn spells from prohibited schools. Spellcasters who do not use spellbooks gain no benefit from this ability.
Regent: A 10th-level mage of the Arcane Order is awarded the status of regent. A regent gains a +2 competence bonus on all Charisma-based interaction checks when dealing with lower-level members of the Order.
|Mage Of The Arcane Order||Hit Die: d4|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Guild member, Spellpool I||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Free metamagic feat||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+3||Bonus language||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Spellpool II||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+4||New spell||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|6th||+3||+2||+2||+5||Bonus language||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|7th||+3||+2||+2||+5||Spellpool III||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|8th||+4||+2||+2||+6||New spell||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|9th||+4||+3||+3||+6||Free metamagic feat||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|10th||+5||+3||+3||+7||Regent||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|