Excerpt from
Complete Arcane
By Richard Baker

Nothing distinguishes the Dungeons & Dragons game as much as the presence and power of arcane magic in the hands of player characters and villains. Sorcerers and wizards hurl spells that can blast their foes with fire, ensnare their minds, or hurl them into distant planes. Bards weave mystic melodies of beauty and strength, instilling their allies with hope and courage or binding their enemies in terrible dooms. All characters make use of weapons and garments enchanted in countless different ways, reinforcing their native talents with the spells and powers of magic belts, swords, boots, cloaks, or rings. This book contains information for both players and DMs -- from new base classes and monsters to guidance on running an arcane campaign. Our sneak peek offers a look at the new prestige classes, arcane feats, alternate magic item types, and spell lists contained within.

Green Star Adept

Once each generation, the comet Alhazarde -- the legendary Green Star -- visits the night skies, a portent of great and terrible events. Beneath its emerald light, kings rise or fall, weird monsters and magical plagues appear to scour the land, and strange and ancient secrets are revealed. Glorious and sinister auroras glimmer in the dusk for weeks on end, and from time to time shooting stars of burning emerald fall from the sky. These fallen stars are the only known source of starmetal, a rare and precious ore infused with mighty magical power.

A Green Star adept is the master of the strange and powerful magic derived from Alhazarde's glittering green starmetal. He travels the land, searching for more of the comet's fallen substance and mastering its eldritch power. Turning his back on the traditional studies of the sorcerer or wizard, he slowly transforms into a living statue of starmetal, gaining immortality and invulnerability at the cost of his own flesh. At each appearance of the comet, only a handful of adepts can complete the rites necessary to achieve this transformation.

Sorcerers and wizards are most capable of understanding the strange arcana of the mystic comet. Of the two, wizards are more likely to master the astrological calculations and meticulous observations required to divine the secrets of the Green Star. Some Green Star adepts, however, come from entirely different origins, having picked up the necessary arcane knowledge along the way. Such rare individuals might be learned monks or warlocks, sinister rogue/sorcerers, or any other character diligent enough to learn the secrets of the comet Alhazarde.

All Green Star adepts are bitter rivals, since all who follow the path are in constant competition for the rare and precious starmetal required for the transformation. NPC Green Star adepts never work with each other, often going to great lengths to keep other adepts from learning about news of starmetal finds.

Adaptation: It would be easy to postulate that the base material from which the prestige class derives its name is some other substance, even without changing the abilities derived from the material in any way. Thus, a practitioner of this prestige class could instead take his powers from quartz, jade, sapphire, iron, black iron, steel, or some other substance known for (among other things) solidity.

Hit Die: d8.

Requirements

To qualify to become a Green Star adept, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +4.

Skills: Decipher Script 2 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 8 ranks, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 2 ranks, Knowledge (geography) 2 ranks, Knowledge (history) 2 ranks.

Feat: Combat Casting.

Spells or Spell-Like Abilities: Arcane caster level 1st.

Special: Must acquire a piece of starmetal weighing at least 2 ounces, powder it, and consume it by drinking it in a specially prepared infusion. This infusion requires arcane reagents costing 1,000 gp and takes one week to prepare.

Class Skills

The Green Star adept's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (architecture and engineering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All the following are class features of the Green Star adept prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Green Star adepts gain proficiency with simple weapons. They gain no proficiency with armor or shields.

Spells per Day/Spells Known: At every even-numbered level, a Green Star adept 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 Green Star adept, he must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.

Damage Reduction (Ex): The starmetal infusion reinforces the flesh of a Green Star adept, making him resistant to physical blows. He gains damage reduction 1/adamantine. Each level thereafter, his damage reduction improves by 1, until by 10th level, he has damage reduction 10/adamantine.

Improved Caster Level (Ex): A Green Star adept adds his class level to his caster level in another arcane spellcasting class to determine his effective spellcaster level. If the character had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a Green Star adept, the player must decide to which class to add each adept level for this purpose. For example, a 5th-level wizard/4th-level Green Star adept's caster level would be 9th, due to this ability, but he would only have access to 4th-level spells (5th-level wizard plus two arcane spellcasting class levels from being a 4th-level Green Star adept).

Starmetal Dependency (Ex): A Green Star adept must consume more starmetal to continue his transformation. When he gains a level in this class beyond 1st, he does not gain any of the class features for that level until he performs a special ritual that requires 24 hours, 1 pound of starmetal, and other arcane reagents and materials costing 1,000 gp. A Green Star adept's base attack bonus, saving throws, skills, and feats or ability score increases are not dependent on this ritual -- he fails to gain the special class abilities only until he completes the ritual. See page 141 for a description of starmetal as a new special -material.

Starmetal Rigor (Ex): At 1st level, a Green Star adept's process of transformation has already begun. His flesh takes on a faint emerald hue, and it becomes denser and stronger as the starmetal infusion takes hold. A 1st-level adept's Strength score increases by 1, but his Dexterity score drops by 1 (to a minimum of 3). His natural armor bonus also improves by 1.

When an adept reaches 4th level, his Strength and his natural armor bonus improve by an additional 1 point.

At 7th level, an adept's Strength increases by 2 more, for a total increase of +4, while his Dexterity is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 3). His natural armor bonus improves by another 2 points, for a total bonus of +4.

At 10th level, an adept's Strength score increases by 2 more points (total increase of +6) and his Dexterity is reduced by 1 (total reduction of -3, to a minimum of 3). His natural armor bonus improves by another 2 points, for a total bonus of +6.

Natural Attack (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a Green Star adept has flesh so dense that his unarmed strikes deal substantial damage. He gains a slam attack that deals bludgeoning damage equal to a club sized for the character (1d4 for Small adepts, 1d6 for Medium adepts, or 1d8 for Large adepts), plus 1-1/2 times his Strength modifier.

Unnatural Metabolism (Ex): When an adept reaches 2nd level, his starmetal infusion begins to radically alter his metabolism. He gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and necromancy effects.

At 5th level, a Green Star adept's bonus on saving throws against the attack forms listed above increases to +4. At 8th level, the save bonus increases to +6.

Fortification (Ex): At 3rd level and higher, a Green Star adept has resistance to attacks that affect other living creatures. When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the character, there is a 25% chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and the damage is instead rolled normally.

When an adept reaches 6th level, this ability improves, increasing the chance of negating a critical hit or sneak attack to 50%. At 9th level, a Green Star adept has a 75% chance to negate a critical hit or sneak attack.

Otherworldly Vision (Ex): At 4th level, a Green Star adept gains darkvision out to 60 feet and low-light vision.

Null Metabolism (Ex): When a Green Star adept reaches 7th level, his transformation approaches completion. He no longer needs to breathe, eat, or sleep. He has immunity to inhaled poisons, drowning, suffocation, and sleep effects (although he still must rest 8 hours in order to regain spells).

In addition, an adept of 7th level or higher is no longer subject to fatigue or exhaustion and ignores the effects of these conditions.

Emerald Perfection (Ex): At 10th level, a Green Star adept completes his transformation. He resembles a perfectly sculpted statue of himself, forged from green starmetal. His type changes to construct, which brings about the following alterations to his basic nature:

* An adept loses his Constitution score and any hit point adjustment for Constitution. However, he gains bonus hit points based on his size: +10 hit points for Small, +20 hit points for Medium, or +30 hit points for Large.

* Unlike other constructs, a Green Star adept has no special immunity to mind-affecting effects. He is essentially a human mind in a magically animated body.

* He gains immunity to poison, paralysis, stunning, disease, extra damage from sneak attacks, death effects, and necromancy effects.

* He no longer heals damage on his own, and receives no benefit from spells or effects that heal living creatures. However, he can repair himself by means of repair damage spells (see page 120) or his rapid repair ability (see below).

* He is no longer subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, or energy drain.

* He gains immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects, or is harmless.

* He is no longer at risk of death from massive damage, but he is immediately destroyed if reduced to 0 hit points. However, unlike other constructs, a Green Star adept can be returned from the dead by any means that would have worked on him before his final transformation.

* He no longer takes ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. He cannot die of old age and might exist in this form for eons.

Rapid Repair (Ex): A 10th-level Green Star adept repairs 1 point of damage per hour of rest, as long he has at least 1 hit point. Rapid repair does not allow a Green Star adept to regrow or reattach lost body parts.

Table 2-12: The Green Star Adept

Level Base
Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special Spells per Day
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Damage reduction, improved caster level, starmetal dependency, starmetal rigor 1 --
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Natural attack, unnatural metabolism +2 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Fortification (25%) --
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Otherworldly vision, starmetal rigor 2 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Unnatural metabolism +4 --
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Fortification (50%) +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Null metabolism, starmetal rigor 4 --
8th +6 +2 +2 +6 Unnatural metabolism +6 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
9th +6 +3 +3 +6 Fortification (75%) --
10th +7 +3 +3 +7 Emerald perfection, rapid repair, starmetal rigor 6 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class

Sample Green Star Adept

Theogrin Raablek: Male human barbarian 4/sorcerer 1/Green Star adept 3; CR 8; Medium humanoid; HD 4d12+12 plus 1d4+3 plus 3d8+9; hp 71; Init +1; Spd 40 ft.; AC 17, touch 11, flat-footed 17; Base Atk +6; Grp +10; Atk +11 melee (2d6+7/19-20, +1 greatsword) or +10 melee (1d6+6, slam); Full Atk +11/+6 melee (2d6+7/19-20, +1 greatsword) or +10 melee (1d6+6, slam); SA rage 2/day; SQ damage reduction 3/adamantine, fortification (25%), improved caster level, starmetal dependency, starmetal rigor 1, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge, unnatural metabolism +2; AL LN; SV Fort +8, Ref +3, Will +5; Str 18, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 12.

Skills and Feats: Concentration +9 (+13 casting defensively), Decipher Script +2, Intimidate +3, Jump +15, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +3, Knowledge (geography) +3, Knowledge (history) +3, Survival +5; Cleave, Combat Casting, Great Cleave, Power Attack.

Language: Common.

Rage (Ex): Two times per day, Theogrin can enter a state of fierce rage that lasts for 8 rounds. The following changes are in effect as long as he rages: hp increase by 16; AC 15, touch 9, flat-footed 15; Grp +12; Atk +13 melee (2d6+10/19-20, +1 greatsword) or +12 melee (1d6+9, slam); Full Atk +13/+8 melee (2d6+10/19-20, +1 greatsword) or +12 melee (1d6+9, slam); SV Fort +10, Will +7; Str 22, Con 20; Jump +17. At the end of his rage, Theogrin is fatigued for the duration of the encounter.

Fortification (Ex): When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored against Theogrin, there is a 25% chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated, and the damage is instead rolled normally.

Improved Caster Level (Ex): Theogrin adds his Green Star adept level to his arcane caster level to determine his total caster level (4th), but not his spells known or spells per day.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Theogrin retains his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class even when flat-footed or targeted by an unseen foe (he still loses his Dexterity bonus if paralyzed or otherwise immobile).

Unnatural Metabolism (Ex): Theogrin has a +2 bonus on saving throws against poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and necromancy effects.

Sorcerer Spells Known (6/5 per day; caster level 2nd): 0 -- arcane mark, detect magic, light, mage hand, read magic; 1st -- enlarge person, shield.

Possessions: +1 mithral shirt, +1 greatsword, gauntlets of ogre power, 90 pp.


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