Arcanist

“So what if the land becomes barren? It’s not like we’re
going to stick around.”

―Datuu Dawnchaser, elf defiler

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Athasian arcanists drain energy from the surrounding soil. The method used labels the arcanist as a defiler or a preserver. Preservers have the self–control to gather energy without destroying plants. Those who do not, or who feel no remorse about the damage caused, become Defilers. Defilers leave behind sterile soil and infertile ash when they cast spells. Because of this, most wastelanders blame arcanists for the desert landscape that dominates the Tablelands today, and their hatred extends to defilers and preservers alike. In the seven cities, arcane magic is outlawed and feared.

Writing is also illegal in the Tablelands, thus arcanists have to go to great lengths to conceal their spellbooks, and they have refined this art to the point where even fellow wizards can be hard pressed to identify a spell book. When found, they are precious resources, hoarded
and studied by arcanists thirsty for knowledge or power.

Making an Arcanist
The arcanist’s greatest strength is also his greatest liability. Often arcanists will conceal their abilities, learning to mask their spellcasting behind other actions. For all but the most powerful arcanists, secrecy is of prime importance, and some will not exercise their power in the presence of those that they do not feel they can trust. Because of this, and because of their generally frail nature, arcanists can often be seen as a liability by those not aware
of the power they hide.

Races
Elves and humans are the most likely to be arcanists. Elves are more tolerant of the faults of magic, even at its worst, due to their nomadic nature. Defiling simply isn’t as much of a concern if the ruined land is fifty miles behind you by the end of the next day. The solitary life lead by most half‐elves makes it easier for them to conceal their arcanists, should they choose to follow that path. Some rare halflings and pterrans will take up the arts of carcanists, but these races are so closely tuned to flow of life on Athas that they will never willingly defile. Half‐giants, trusting and slow–witted, rarely become arcanists, and those that do rarely survive for long. Dwarves rarely take to the magic arts, though their focus allows those that do to become exceptionally skilled. Thrikreen and muls almost never become Arcanists.

Amendments to the Game
Class Skills: Bluff, Disguise & Sleight of hand skills are now class skills.
Archetypes All arcanists in Athas must select either the Defiler or Preserver Archetype.

Preserver Archetype

Preserving 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 a maximum amount of magical energy equal to 3 + 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 3 + 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 than the maximum amount noted above; points gained in excess of this total are lost.

Terrain types affect arcane magic depending on the amount of plant life available. Barren and desolate terrains weaken spells, while fertile and abundant terrains boost spells. Spell save DCs and caster level checks are affected as indicated below.

Desolate (Salt flats, sea of silt): Spell DC -2; Caster Level -2
Barren (Boulder fields, stony barrens, scrublands) Spell DC -1, Caster Level -1
Infertile (Cities, rocky badlands, stoy barrens, scrublands) No modfiers
Fertile (Verdant plains, savannahs, swamps) Spell DC +1, Caster Level +1
Abundant (Forests, oceans, gardens) Spell DC +2, CL +2

Points from the arcanist reservoir are used to fuel many of the arcanist’s powers. In addition, the perserver can expend 1 point from her arcane reservoir as a free action whenever she casts an arcanist spell. If she does, she can choose to Ignore a terrain penalty for the purpose of that spell. She can expend no more than 1 point from her reservoir on a given spell in this way.

This replaces the arcane reservoir ability of the arcanist.

Defiler Archetype

Defiling 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 a maximum amount of magical energy equal to 3 + 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 3 + 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 than the maximum amount noted above; points gained in excess of this total are lost.

Terrain types affect arcane magic depending on the amount of plant life available. Barren and desolate terrains weaken spells, while fertile and abundant terrains boost spells. Spell save DCs and caster level checks are affected as indicated below.

Desolate (Salt flats, sea of silt): Spell DC -2; Caster Level -2
Barren (Boulder fields, stony barrens, scrublands) Spell DC -1, Caster Level -1
Infertile (Cities, rocky badlands, stoy barrens, scrublands) No modfiers
Fertile (Verdant plains, savannahs, swamps) Spell DC +1, Caster Level +1
Abundant (Forests, oceans, gardens) Spell DC +2, CL +2

Defiling provides additional power for the spell and add +1 to the Spell DC and CL of spells cast with defiling. These stack with the terrain modifiers above. Defilers leave behind an ashen circle when casting spells. The radius is 5 ft. x spell slot level expended (a 0‐level spell defiles a single 5‐ft. square occupied by the caster). Creatures except the defiler caught within the defiling radius at casting time experience pain and suffer a –1 penalty to all attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks for 1 round. Plant creatures also suffer 2 hp damage x spell slot level expended (a 0‐level spell inflicts 1 hp damage).

Defilerʹs ash is black and totally devoid of life‐giving properties. It is the telltale sign of wizardry. Nothing grows in a defiled area for years. Even if the defilerʹs ash moves with the wind, the ground remains a lifeless scar. A defiler cannot preserve, but a preserver can defile if desperate.

Points from the defiler’s reservoir are used to fuel many of the defiler’s powers. In addition, the defiler can expend 1 point from her defiling 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 spell’s DC by 1. She can expend no more than 1 point from her reservoir on a given spell in this way. This also stacks with the terrain and defiling modifiers above. This increases the defiling radius by 5 ft.

This replaces the arcane reservoir ability of the arcanist.

The Road to Corruption and Redemption

Arcane casters who defile must roll a Will save DC 10 + spell level + amount of times previously defiled. Failing this save, they become defilers. Preservers succeeding the save lose their preserver status and become tainted. Tainted wizards are not defilers, but risk becoming so. Tainted wizards may seek redemption from a druid. The druid, if willing and able, can cast a conversion spell on the tainted wizard, restoring her preserver status (reset the number of times defiled to zero). Defilers can also seek redemption. Usually the defiler must undertake a quest or otherwise demonstrate a true willingness to redeem herself before the druid casts the conversion spell.

Arcane Exploits

The following arcane exploits are valid for Arcanists in Athas.

Acid Jet (Su)
Altered Shifting (Su)
Arcane Barrier (Su)
Arcane Weapon (Su)
Consume Magic Items (Su)
Counterspell (Su)
Dimensional Slide (Su)
Energy Shield (Su)
Face Thief (Su)
Familiar (Su)
Flame Arc (Su)
Force Strike (Su)
Illusion Catcher (Su)
Item Crafting
Lightning Lance (Su)
Metamagic Knowledge
Metamixing (Su)
Potent Magic (Su) (Defiler’s only)
Quick Study (Su)
See Magic (Su)
Shadow Veil (Su)
Shift Caster (Su)
Sonic Blast (Su)
Spell Disruption (Su)
Spell Resistance (Su)
Spell Tinkerer (Su)
Swift Consume (Ex)
Third Eye (Su)

The following Greater Exploits are available in Athas

Alter Enhancements (Su)
Burning Flame (Su)
Counter Drain (Su)
Dancing Electricity (Su)
Energy Absorbtion (Su)
Greater Counterspell (Su)
Greater Metamagic Knowledge
Greater Spell Resistance (Su)
Greater Spell Disruption (Su)
Lingering Acid (Su)
Redirect Spell (Su)
Resistance Drain (Su)
Siphon Spell (Su)
Spell Thief (Su)
Suffering Knowledge (Su)

Arcanist Archetypes

Brown Fur Transmuter
Spell Specialist
Twilight Sage
White Mage

Arcanist

Freedom TheSword