The Arcanum Soldier

May 27th, 2013

Alex Riggs

Best in Class Archive

            As those of you who’ve been around for a while will no doubt be aware, Necromancers of the Northwest has been making new Pathfinder content for some time now (for those of you who haven’t been around for a while, we’re glad to see you, and hope you stick around for a bit). We’ve made quite a few books in our time, and while we think that they all more-or-less stand on their own, there are a few that we always sort of wished we could provide a little more support for. In the same way that it’s nice for fans of, say, witches to see new witch archetypes, new witch familiars, and new witch spells, we think it’d also be cool for those of you who like our products to be able to enjoy, for example, new priest archetypes or new spirit warrior-themed feats.

            So, this week we’re taking a look back at one of our older products that we feel could use some additional love. Namely, A Necromancer’s Grimoire: Secrets of the Witch, and its potent coven magic. The idea behind coven magic is pretty simple: groups of spellcasters can form covens with the use of the Coven Initiate feat (or through other means, like certain witch hexes). Once in a coven, the book gives you numerous things you can do, but mostly it involves special spells that can be cast collaboratively by coven members, and that have increasingly powerful effects as more characters aid in casting the spell. The focus of the book was obviously witches, but today I’m going to bring the magic of covens (er…no pun intended) to another class: the magus.

            Before we just jump right in, though, two things you should know: first, if you start reading through and wonder what the “Coven Initiate” feat does, don’t worry: we’ll be reprinting that feat in tomorrow’s Extraordinary Feats (along with a bunch of new coven feats). Alternatively, of course, you could always pick up A Necromancer’s Grimoire: Secrets of the Witch, which just so happens to be on sale for half off this week, at a mere $1.25.



New Magus Archetype
The Arcanum Soldier


            Arcanum soldiers are elite combat soldiers, trained in the use of both steel and spells. They are not lone warriors, however, but are trained to work as a team and use group tactics and the power of collaborative magic to defeat their enemies.

            Coven Initiate: At 3rd level, the arcanum soldier gains Coven Initiate as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

            Impromptu Coven (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, the arcanum soldier learns how to form a temporary coven with any ally who happens to be nearby. As a standard action, the arcanum soldier can form a temporary coven with any number of willing creatures within 60 feet that can see and hear him. Forming a coven in this way does not grant the ability to cast spells as described in the Coven Initiate feat, but does allow any members of the coven that have spellcasting abilities of their own to participate in casting a spell that can be cast by multiple coven members. The impromptu coven lasts for a number of rounds equal to the arcanum soldier’s magus level.

            This ability replaces the magus arcana gained at 3rd level.

            Strength of the Coven (Sp): Beginning at 5th level, the arcanum soldier gains the ability to share his strength with his coven. Whenever he casts a spell with a range of “personal,” he may choose to have it affect each member of his coven that is within 60 feet of him at the time the spell is cast, instead. If he does, the spell’s duration is halved, regardless of the number of creatures that the spell now affects. The arcanum soldier may use this ability three times per day.

            This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 5th level.

            Power of the Coven (Sp): Beginning at 11th level, the arcanum soldier can draw upon the strength of his coven members to power a wider variety of spells. Whenever the arcanum soldier casts a spell that deals hit point damage, and which has a casting time of 1 round or less, any number of his coven members that are within 60 feet of him may choose to aid in casting the spell. Any character that aids in casting a spell in this way cannot take any actions during his or her next turn. For each creature that aids in casting the spell, the spell deals an additional amount of damage equal to 1/2 the additional caster’s caster level (rounded down, minimum 1). A coven member that does not have a caster level cannot aid in casting spells in this way.

            Additionally, the arcanum soldier can assist any coven member who casts a spell that deals hit point damage and has a casting time of 1 round or less in the same way, even if that coven member does not have the power of the coven class feature.

            This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 11th level.

            Shared Arcane Pool (Su): Beginning at 17th level, the arcanum soldier can share his arcane pool with other members of his coven. This allows the arcanum soldier to spend points from the arcane pools of any of his coven members who have arcane pools, and allows other coven members with arcane pools to spend points from his own. Only points from the pool are shared in this way, and the arcanum soldier cannot use this ability to spend his arcane pool points in ways that he would not normally be able to, nor can this ability be used to allow coven members who do not have an arcane pool to spend points as though they did.

            Each member of the coven is able to restrict access to his or her personal arcane pool, and can choose as a free action to disallow any attempt to access his arcane pool, if he does not want to share access to it.

            This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 17th level.