In this column, we present epic-level progressions for three prestige classes from Magic of Faerūn -- the guild wizard of Waterdeep, the incantatrix, and the mage-killer -- along with a new epic prestige class (the spellfire hierophant) and a selection of new epic feats designed for these characters. All of these epic-level progressions enhance the rules provided in the Epic Level Handbook.
Epic Guild Wizard of Waterdeep
As one of the most prestigious and powerful organizations of wizards in all of Faerūn, the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors count a number of epic-level characters among its membership. Most don't involve themselves in the day-to-day politics of the guild, but their devotion to the cause is second to none.
The epic guild wizard selects feats much like a typical wizard, since she often focuses on metamagic and/or epic magic item crafting feats such as Enhance Spell or Craft Epic Wondrous Item. Epic Spell Focus and Epic Spell Penetration are wise choices, as well. Improved Spell Pool Access, a new feat described below, is a very worthy feat for this prestige class.
As a wizard, Intelligence is your single most important ability score. Constitution is a good choice to boost your hit points and Concentration checks, and you can't argue with the positive effects of a Dexterity increase.
Other Options: Make your spellcasting more versatile with Spell Opportunity or Spell Stowaway. Pick up defensive feats, such as Epic Toughness or Energy Resistance, to bolster your fortitude in combat. Epic Spellcasting is useful, though you can't share the results with the rest of the guild.
Hit Die: d4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Spells: The epic guild wizard's caster level increases by 1 per level gained above 10th. The epic guild wizard's number of spells per day does not increase after 10th level, unless the sum of her class levels contributing to her caster level equals 20 or less.
Membership: The epic guild wizard of Waterdeep must continue to carry out the duties and responsibilities of membership, including dues, obedience to rulings, aid to other members, defense of the city, and devotion of personal time and energy.
Improved Spell Acquisition: At each level of advancement in the guild wizard prestige class, a character gains three spells of her choice of any level she can cast to add to her spellbook.
Bonus Language: At 12th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the guild wizard can add one additional language to the list of those she already knows. She can include ancient languages (see the section on Language in Chapter 3: Life in Faerūn in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting).
Spellpool: Beginning at 12th level, an epic guild wizard of Waterdeep can call spells of up to 10th level from the spellpool. For every two additional levels of guild wizard gained, the upper limit of the spell level called from the spellpool increases by +1 (11th-level spells at 14th level, 12th-level spells at 16th level, and so on). The spellpool can't provide epic spells (those created from the epic spellseeds described in Chapter 2 of the Epic Level Handbook).
The percentage chance that a desired spell is available in any 24-hour period is equal to 65% minus 5% per level of the spell, to a minimum of 5% for spells of 12th level or higher. The spellpool otherwise functions just as described in Chapter 1: Magic Variants in Magic of Faerūn.
Bonus Feats: The epic guild wizard of Waterdeep gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic guild wizard feats) every 4 levels after 9th.
Epic Guild Wizard Bonus Feat List: Augmented Alchemy, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Epic Rod, Craft Epic Staff, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Efficient Item Creation, Energy Resistance, Enhance Spell, Epic Counterspell (new feat; see below), Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Epic Toughness, Familiar Spell, Forge Epic Ring, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Improved Spellpool Access (new feat; see below), Intensify Spell, Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Polyglot, Scribe Epic Scroll, Spell Knowledge, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic.
The epic incantatrix is even more solitary than the typical representative of the class.
Epic Spell Penetration is tailor-made for dealing with extraplanar creatures (who often have substantial spell resistance). Improved Metamagic helps your prodigious metamagic abilities, and any of the epic metamagic feats (such as Improved Heighten Spell) are likely to come in handy.
Focus your ability increases on the ability that controls your spellcasting (typically Intelligence or Charisma). Beyond that, either Dexterity or Constitution are fine choices.
Other Options: With Master Staff or Master Wand, the incantatrix can conserve the power of charged items until she needs a big boost.
Hit Die: d4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Spells: The epic incantatrix's caster level increases by 1 per level gained above 10th. The epic incantatrix's number of spells per day does not increase after 10th level, unless the sum of her class levels contributing to her caster level equals 20 or less.
Instant Metamagic (Su): The incantatrix can use her instant metamagic ability one additional time per day for every two levels gained after 9th (11th, 13th, and so on).
Bonus Feats: The epic incantatrix gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic incantatrix feats) every 3 levels after 10th.
Epic Incantatrix Bonus Feat List: Augmented Alchemy, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Enhance Spell, Epic Counterspell (new feat; see below), Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Epic Will, Familiar Spell, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Master Staff, Master Wand, Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Spell Knowledge, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic.
The epic mage-killer is a terrifying opponent and is legendary in her ability to bring enemy spellcasters to their knees. Though any given order might count only a tiny number of these characters among them, even the rumor of a single hunter of this power is enough to guard against the abuse of magic.
Spell Stowaway is a great way to take advantage of your opponents' powers. Energy Resistance helps bolster your ability to weather potent attacks. Epic Spell Focus goes well with your many Spell Focus feats, and you can't beat Epic Counterspell for its sheer utility against enemy spellcasters.
As with any spellcaster, your ability increases should boost your spellcasting power (Intelligence, Charisma, or Wisdom). Dexterity helps avoid damage, while Constitution increases your ability to weather it.
Other Options: Boost your combat effectiveness with Epic Prowess. If you're worried about your saves, pick up Epic Fortitude or Epic Reflexes.
Hit Die: d4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Spells: The epic mage-killer's caster level increases by 1 per level gained above 10th. The epic mage-killer's number of spells per day does not increase after 10th level, unless the sum of his class levels contributing to his caster level equals 20 or less.
Improved Saves (Ex): At every odd-numbered level, the mage-killer gains a +1 bonus on either his Fortitude or his Reflex save. These bonuses stack.
Bonus Feats: The epic mage-killer gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic mage-killer feats) every 3 levels after 10th.
Epic Mage-Killer Bonus Feat List: Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Energy Resistance, Enhance Spell, Epic Counterspell (new feat; see below), Epic Fortitude, Epic Prowess, Epic Reflexes, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Familiar Spell, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Spell Knowledge, Spell Opportunity, Spell Stowaway, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic.
While many characters may call themselves master of spellfire -- the raw energy of the weave -- such individuals are mere students compared to you. The spellfire hierophant learns new methods of controlling and shaping spellfire that lesser mortals barely comprehend.
A spellfire hierophant can come from almost any background, though most have some previous training in the use of spellfire (such as the spellfire channeler prestige class). Other than that class, spellcasters have the easiest time qualifying.
With the generally solitary nature of spellfire wielders, it's no surprise that spellfire hierophants tend to exist outside of normal society. Those few who venture from their hidden lairs in the wilderness or on the planes rely on disguises and subterfuge to accomplish their goals.
Hit Die: d4.
To qualify to become a spellfire hierophant, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Skills: Concentration 24 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 12 ranks, Spellcraft 12 ranks.
Feats: Endurance, Epic Spellfire Wielder, Spellfire Wielder, Weapon Focus (spellfire).
The spellfire hierophant's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Wilderness Lore (Wis). See Chapter 4: Skills in the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the spellfire hierophant prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Spellfire hierophants gain no proficiency with any weapons, armor, or shields.
Greater Charged Item Drain (Sp): A spellfire hierophant can drain a number of charges from a touched charged item (including single-use items such as potions or scrolls), converting the energy into stored spellfire energy levels. The limit to the number of charges she can drain is equal to her Charisma bonus (minimum 1), but she can't drain more charges than the item has remaining (each spell on a scroll counts as one charge). A fully drained item has no magical properties (a potion becomes water, a scroll becomes blank paper.) A creature gets to make a Will save (DC = 20 + one-half class level + Charisma modifier) to prevent one of its held or carried items from being drained.
Ranged Healing (Su): At 2nd level, the spellfire hierophant gains the ability to release stored spellfire energy levels to heal at a range of up to 25 feet (plus 5 ft./2 levels). This requires a ranged touch attack. The amount of healing is normal for the character (either 2 points per level expended or 1d4+1 points per level expended if the character has the spellfire wielder class feature improved healing).
Haste (Su): Once per day, the spellfire hierophant can expend spellfire energy levels to accelerate her actions, just as if she had cast haste on herself. Each spellfire energy level expended when the ability is activated allows the hierophant to act as hasted for 1 round. The hasted hierophant sparkles with light while so affected. For every three levels gained after 3rd, the spellfire hierophant can use this ability one additional time per day (twice at 6th level, three times per day at 9th level, and so on).
Greater Permanent Item Drain (Sp): At 5th level, a spellfire hierophant can drain power from permanent magic items by touch as a standard action. An item that creates spell effects (such as boots of speed) loses that function for 24 hours, and the spellfire hierophant gains spellfire energy levels equal to the caster level of the item. A creature gets to make a Will save (DC = 20 + 1/2 class level + Charisma modifier) to prevent one of its held or carried items from being drained. An item with all its permanent abilities drained for the day is still a magic item (for purposes of making saving throws when damaged, and so on).
Spellfire Reserve (Ex): At 7th level, the spellfire hierophant learns how to store spellfire energy levels in deep reserve. These energy levels don't count as part of the character's normal storage capacity, but they also can't be used to power spellfire effects without first calling them from reserve. Spellfire energy levels in reserve also don't detect as magical (allowing a spellfire hierophant to disguise her nature). Placing any number of stored spellfire energy levels in reserve, or calling any number of levels from reserve into normal storage capacity, requires a full-round action. The spellfire hierophant can store a number of energy levels in reserve equal to her class level plus her Constitution bonus (if any).
Spellfire Burst (Su): At 10th level, the spellfire hierophant can substitute a spellfire burst for a normal spellfire blast. The range remains the same, but instead of requiring a touch attack, the spellfire energy explodes in a 5-foot radius burst at the target point, dealing appropriate damage to all creatures in the area (Reflex halves; DC 20 + 1/2 class level + Charisma modifier). This can affect as many bursts as the character would normally fire blasts in the round, but it can be used only for one round per day. For every 5 levels gained thereafter, the spellfire hierophant can use this ability one additional round per day (two rounds at 15th, three rounds at 20th, and so on).
If the character also has the spellfire channeler class feature maelstrom of fire, the area of the burst is a 10-foot radius instead.
Bonus Feats: The spellfire hierophant gains a bonus feat at 4th level and an additional bonus feat every 4 levels thereafter (8th, 12th, 16th, and so on). These bonus feats must be selected from the following list: Energy Resistance, Epic Skill Focus (Concentration), Epic Spellfire Wielder (new feat, described below), Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus (spellfire), Exceptional Deflection*, Fast Healing, Infinite Deflection*, Reflect Arrows*.
*The spellfire hierophant can ignore the prerequisite of Improved Unarmed Strike for these feats.
New Epic Feats
Epic Counterspell [Epic]
Epic Spellfire Wielder [Epic]
Improved Spellpool Access [Epic]
Game Resources: To use the material in this article to its fullest, check out the Epic Level Handbook, and grab a copy of Magic of Faerūn and the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Of course, you'll also need the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and the Monster Manual!
About the Author
Andy Collins is the co-designer of the Epic Level Handbook. Read more about him and his projects at www.andycollins.net.
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