For the D&D 3.5 Dungeon Master's Guide, the list of prestige classes has been expanded from six to sixteen. We previewed one of them last week -- the Mystic Theurge. This week, we offer a tiny peek at all sixteen.(Those marked with an * are the new ten.)
Arcane Archer: Master of the elven warbands, the arcane archer is a warrior skilled in using magic to supplement her combat prowess. Beyond the woods, arcane archers gain renown throughout entire kingdoms for their supernatural accuracy with a bow and their ability to imbue their arrows with magic.
*Arcane Trickster: Arcane tricksters combine their knowledge of spells with a taste for intrigue, larceny, or just plain mischief. They are among the most adaptable of adventurers.
*Archmage: The highest art is magic -- often referred to as the Art. Its most advanced practitioners are frequently archmages, characters who bend spells in ways unavailable to other spellcasters. An archmage gains strange powers and the ability to alter spells in remarkable ways, but must sacrifice some of her spell capability in order to master these arcane secrets.
Assassin: The assassin is the master of dealing quick, lethal blows. Assassins also excel at infiltration and disguise. Assassins often function as spies, informants, killers for hire, or agents of vengeance. Their training in anatomy, stealth, poison, and the dark arts allows them to carry out missions of death with shocking, terrifying precision.
Blackguard: The blackguard epitomizes evil. He is nothing short of a mortal fiend. The quintessential black knight, this villain carries a reputation of the foulest sort that is very well deserved. Consorting with demons and devils and serving dark deities, the blackguard is hated and feared by all. Some people call these villains antipaladins due to their completely evil nature.
*Dragon Disciple: It is known that certain dragons can take humanoid form and even have humanoid lovers. Sometimes a child is born of this union, and every child of that child unto the thousandth generation claims a bit of dragon blood, be it ever so small. Usually, little comes of it, though mighty sorcerers occasionally credit their powers to draconic heritage. For some, however, dragon blood beckons irresistibly. These characters become dragon disciples, who use their magical power as a catalyst to ignite their dragon blood, realizing its fullest potential.
*Duelist: The duelist (sometimes known as the swashbuckler) is a nimble, intelligent fighter trained in making precise attacks with light weapons, such as the rapier. He always takes full advantage of his quick reflexes and wits in a fight. Rather than wearing bulky armor, a duelist feels the best way to protect himself is not to get hit at all.
Dwarven Defender: The defender is a sponsored champion of a dwarven cause, a dwarf aristocrat, a dwarven deity, or the dwarven way of life. As the name might imply, this character is a skilled combatant trained in the arts of defense. A line of dwarven defenders is a far better defense than a 10-foot-thick wall of stone, and much more dangerous.
*Eldritch Knight: Studying the martial and arcane arts to equal degree, the eldritch knight is a versatile combatant who can cast a fireball on his foes or charge them with sword drawn. The eldritch knight takes pride in his ability to use the right technique for the job: spells against physically tough foes and force of arms against spellcasting enemies.
*Hierophant: A divine spellcaster who rises high in the service of his deity gains access to spells and abilities of which lesser faithful can only dream. The hierophant prestige class is open to powerful divine spellcasters who are approaching access to the strongest and most difficult divine spells. They delay the acquisition of these greatest gifts in exchange for a deeper understanding of and ability to control the power they channel.
*Horizon Walker: The horizon walker is an unceasing traveler to the universe's most dangerous places. As her journeys take her from place to place, she adapts to become one with her environment. In time, she develops a mystic connection with the ground beneath her. But she is by no means tied to a particular place; her restless feet are ever leading her toward the horizon, where new adventures await.
Loremaster: Loremasters are spellcasters who concentrate on knowledge, valuing lore and secrets over gold. They uncover secrets that they then use to better themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually.
*Mystic Theurge: Blurring the line between divine and arcane, mystic theurges draw power from divine sources and musty tomes alike. While most spellcasters choose one path to magical power, mystic theurges walk two roads at once, simultaneously mastering spells common to clerics and wizards.
*Red Wizard: The Red Wizards are the masters of Thay, the would-be magical overlords of the land of Faerun (in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting). They focus on a school of magic more intently than any specialist, achieving incredible mastery of magic within a very narrow focus. Seen as cruel and evil tyrants by people across the worl of Toril, a few choose to leave their region, assume secret identities, and practice magic without having to worry about political alliances and possible slave uprisings.
Shadowdancer: Operating in the border between light and darkness, shadowdancers are nimble artists of deception. They are mysterious and unknown, never completely trusted but always inducing wonder when met.
*Thaumaturgist: The thaumaturgist reaches out with divine power to other planes of existence, calling creatures there to do his bidding. Evil thaumaturgists conspire with demons and devils to gain power on the Material Plane, while good thaumaturgists send powerful angels or eladrins on holy quests.
Dragon Magazine features monthly focus articles on the upcoming D&D 3.5 revision. For more information on changes to the haste, harm, and hold person spells, check out Dragon 307 (May), available on newsstands April 22, 2003. Or subscribe to Dragon for your monthly fix of the latest Dungeons & Dragons updates and meaty bonus features.