Faerûnian Prestige Class : Netherese Arcanist
The archwizards of ancient Netheril were arguably the greatest human spellcasters in all of Faerûn's history, though the elves often point out that the Netherese learned all they knew from elf wizards. But even so, the spellcasters of Netheril were renowned for the mighty magic under their control - spells that could shear the tops from mountains and levitate them in the air to serve as floating enclaves. Some say that these archwizards even had access to a spell that could make a man into a god.
The Netherese arcanist is a pioneer of epic spellcasting who focuses his efforts on mastering the secrets of spells that go beyond ordinary limits. Most members of this prestige class died when their floating enclaves plummeted from the sky and their mighty empire crumbled into the desert of Anauroch, though at least one still survives as a lich. But two means remain by which modern-day wizards and sorcerers can approach the techniques of ancient Netheril. They can explore lost Netherese ruins and find records of the arcanists' forgotten secrets, or they can visit the living heirs of those powerful spellcasters - the shades. Among the shades, Netherese arcanists are once again rising to a level of prominence in society, to the great concern of their neighbors.
To qualify to become a Netherese arcanist, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
To qualify to become a Netherese Arcanist, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Race: Human (including human undead) or shade.
- Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 25 ranks, Spellcraft 25 ranks.
- Feats: Improved Metamagic, Epic Spellcasting, Improved Spell Capacity,
- Spells: Able to cast 13th-level arcane spells.
- Special: Traditions of Netheril: The candidate must have access to the ancient magical traditions of Netheril. A lich or a shade character from the Empire of Shade meets this criterion, or (at the DM's discretion) another character who has unearthed ancient Netherese lore might also qualify.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are Class Features of the Netherese arcanist.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Netherese arcanists gain no proficiency with any weapon, armor, or shield. Armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand, and Tumble, and double the normal armor check penalty applies to Swim checks.
Epic Spellcasting: At 1st level, the Netherese arcanist gains Epic Spellcasting as a bonus feat if he does not already have it.
Field Specialization: Every Netherese arcanist chooses one of three "fields" of magic - invention, mentalism, or variation - for his major field of specialization. He also chooses one of the remaining two fields as his minor field. He cannot cast spells based on seeds from the third field.
The epic spell seeds covered by each field are given in the table below.
|Invention||afflict, armor, conjure, destroy, energy, slay, summon|
|Mentalism||banish, compel, conceal, contact, delude, foresee, reveal|
|Variation||animate, animate dead, dispel, fortify, reflect, transform, transport, ward|
The base Spellcraft DC for developing spells in the arcanist's major field of specialization is reduced by 5, as though it were within the caster's specialist school. If it already is within the caster's specialist school, there is no additional benefit.
Spell Focus (Epic): At 2nd level, the saving throw DC for each of a Netherese arcanist's epic spells increases by 1, but the Spellcraft DC does not increase.
Backlash Resistance (Su): At 3rd level, a Netherese arcanist gains resistance 5 to backlash damage from casting epic spells. Each time he casts an epic spell with a backlash, that damage is reduced by 5 points. If the backlash damage continues for more than 1 round, the reduction is 5 points each round.
Epic Spell Artisan: At 4th level, a Netherese arcanist gains the ability to develop epic spells with less expense in time and resources. When determining the cost of raw materials for researching an epic spell, he multiplies the Spellcraft DC by 7,000 gp instead of the usual 9,000 gp and reduces the development time and XP cost accordingly.
Greater Spell Focus (Epic): At 5th level, the saving throw DC for each of a Netherese arcanist's epic spells increases by 1, but the Spellcraft DC does not increase. This increase stacks with that provided by his Spell Focus (epic) ability, for a net increase of +2.
|Netherese Arcanist||Hit die: d4|
|1st||Epic Spellcasting, field specialization|
|2nd||Spell Focus (epic)|
|3rd||Backlash resistance 5|
|4th||Epic spell artisan|
|5th||Greater Spell Focus (epic)|
Source: Player's Guide to Faerûn