The Many-Schooled Mage

November 18th, 2013

Joshua Zaback

Best in Class Archive

            It’s finally here: after a year of waiting, the long-anticipated next edition of Advanced Arcana, entitled Advanced Arcana IV. This newest incarnation of our favorite and most popular book series focuses on the similarities and differences of the different schools of magic, and provides over 100 new spells, as well as a slew of fantastic new appendices offering content ranging from spell mastery (a new system designed to allow you to improve existing spells), rules for creating your own arcane sanctum to practice your magic, and much more.

            For the first time, ever Advanced Arcana IV even includes a new base class: the elite arcanist. The elite arcanist has the ability to cast magic from any spell list, but is sharply limited in his ability to do so. This new class has many class features and abilities which tie him firmly into the major themes of Advanced Arcana IV, in that the school and spell list of a spell are far more relevant, but not everyone can immediately become an elite arcanist. After all, many characters looking to use Advanced Arcana IV will already be powerful spellcasters, and taking up a new 20-level base class just won’t be worth their time. To that end, I’ve decided to create a new prestige class with the aim of allowing spellcasters of all stripes to enjoy the magic of Advanced Arcana IV to the fullest.



New Prestige Class
Many-Schooled Mage

            A many-schooled mage is a magical cross-disciplinarian, who focuses his studies on the similarities between spells of the same school and their inherent connections in order to produce more potent spell effects. He differs from other school specialists in that he does not focus all his time on a single school of magic, but rather, over the course of his career, learns to tap the power of connected spells of various different schools. While most many-schooled mages are wizards due to their predilection for focusing on schools of magic, spellcasters of any background can make for excellent many-schooled mages.



            To qualify to become a many-schooled mage, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

            Feat: Spell Focus (any).
            Skills: Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), or Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks; Spellcraft 5 ranks.
            Spells: Ability to cast at least one 3rd-level spell of at least 3 different schools of magic, and at least one spell of any level of each school of magic.


Class Skills

            A many-schooled mage’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Craft (Int), Knowledge (any) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).


The Many Schooled Mage


Class Features

            All of the following are class features of the many-schooled mage prestige class.

            Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A many-schooled mage gains no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

            Spellcasting: When a new many-schooled mage level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain other benefits a character of that class would have gained, except for additional spells per day, spells known (if he is a spontaneous spellcaster), and an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a many-schooled mage, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.

            School Power (Su): At 1st level, and every odd-numbered level thereafter, a many-schooled mage chooses a single school of magic, from which he learns a secret. He must select a new school of magic each time. Whenever he casts a spell of the chosen school, he gains a potent benefit. If he casts a spell which is more than one school (such as a dual school spell), he gains the bonuses from each school whose secret he has learned. For more information on spells belonging to more than one school, see Advanced Arcana IV.

            The bonuses gained from each school are as follows.

            Abjuration: Whenever the many-schooled mage casts an abjuration spell, he gains DR 5/magic for a number of rounds equal to the spell’s level. At 5th level, he may choose to gain DR 5/adamantine, instead.

            Conjuration: Whenever the many-schooled mage casts a conjuration spell, he may teleport a number of feet equal to 5 feet per level of the spell. This effect otherwise functions identically to the spell dimension door. He may use this ability a number of times each day equal to his class level.

            Divination: Whenever the many-schooled mage casts a divination spell, he gains a +1 insight bonus to his choice of one of the following: AC, attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks. Regardless of what is chosen, this bonus lasts for a number of rounds equal to the spell’s level. At 5th level, this bonus increases to +2.

            Enchantment: Whenever the many-schooled mage casts an enchantment spell, he gains a competence bonus equal to 1/2 his class level (rounded down, minimum 1) on all Charisma-based skill checks for a number of minutes equal to the spell’s level.

            Evocation: Whenever the many-schooled mage casts an evocation spell, he gains a bonus equal to his class level on all damage rolls made for spells he casts. This does not affect the initial evocation spell that granted this bonus, and lasts for a number of rounds equal to the spell’s level. This ability only affects spells which deal hit point damage. This benefit does not stack with itself.

            Illusion: Whenever the many-schooled mage casts an illusion spell, he gains an amount of miss chance equal to 3% per class level (to a maximum of 30% at 10th level) for a number of rounds equal to the spell’s level.

            Necromancy: Whenever the many-schooled mage casts a necromancy spell, he projects an aura of despair which forces all characters within 10 feet of him to succeed on a saving throw or suffer a penalty on all attack and damage rolls equal to 1/2 the many-schooled mage’s class level (rounded down, minimum 1) for a number of rounds equal to the spell’s level. The saving throw DC for this ability is equal to the spell’s saving throw DC.

            Transmutation: Whenever the many-schooled mage casts a transmutation spell, he gains a bonus equal to 1/2 his class level (rounded down, minimum 1) to the physical ability score of his choice (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution) for a number of rounds equal to twice the spell’s level.

            School Admixture: At 10th level, the many-schooled mage becomes adept at finding the subtle connections of magic and may choose to treat any spell he casts as belonging to one additional school of magic of his choice.