Mage of the Arcane Order

"Yes…yes! I do believe this will work splendidly. I simply must show my colleagues this!"

Also called a “guildmage,” a member of this prestige class is a spellcaster who belongs to an academy and guild known as the Arcane Order. The academy is called the Order in casual conversation, or sometimes just “that college of wizardry.” It is both a school for fledgling spellcasters and a guild for those of advanced knowledge and power.

The Arcane Order’s charter is twofold. The group’s first objective is advancing magical knowledge through both ongoing research and archeological investigation of lost arcane disciplines. A good portion of research is centered around elucidating a “magical grammar” of the great power wielded in ages past, and this research has borne wondrous fruit: metamagic feats.
The second tenet is the support and welfare of the Order’s membership, initially through arcane schooling and later through companionship, resources, boarding, and access to the Spellpool (see below). Although non-wizards can benefit somewhat from what the Order has to offer, its emphasis on wizardry deters most applicants. In fact, barely any bards, clerics, psions or sorcerers are amongst their membership.

To qualify to become a mage of the Arcane Order, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Skill: Knowledge (arcana) 8 ranks.
Feats: Cooperative Spell and any one other metamagic feat.
Spells: Able to prepare and cast 2nd-level arcane spells.
Special: Prospective members must pay an initiation fee of 750 gp.

The mage of the Arcane Order’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Speak Language (n/a), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Hit die: d4

Level BAB Fort. Save Reflex Save Will Save Special Spells Per Day/Spells Known
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Guild member, Spellpool I +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Free metamagic feat +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Bonus language +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Spellpool II +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 New spell +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Bonus language +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Spellpool III +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 New spell +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Free metamagic feat +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Regent +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Mages of the Arcane Order gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Spells per Day/Spells Known: At each level, a mage of the Arcane Order 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 mage of the Arcane Order, he must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.

Guild Member: A “guild-level” mage of the Arcane Order pays monetary dues and accepts various duties in return for member benefits. The dues are 30 gp per month. Duties include putting in an appearance on campus at least once every six months and accepting any special commissions handed down by senior members. A guildmage who falls into arrears on his dues by more than three months has his membership revoked and loses access to the Spellpool. Reinstating membership is difficult. However, ex-members do not lose any spells or metamagic feats they had gained while in good standing.
A member in good standing can board at the Arcane Order campus between adventures, paying only 5 sp per day for common-quality meals and lodging. At his leisure, he can browse the Order’s well-respected library, which is stocked with tomes on both mundane and arcane lore (though no spellbooks are kept here). Likewise, he can use the Order’s common laboratory facilities when creating magic items (although material costs remain out-of-pocket). Furthermore, he is free to read and post notices to the “job board,” a mundane medium whereby fellow members of the Order pass information, advertise their interest in a research topic or adventure, or attempt to sell an interesting oddity, magical or otherwise. Last but not least, members form professional ties with their fellow wizards, possibly leading to lasting friendships or alliances.

Spellpool (Su): Mages of the Arcane Order can call spells from a common source: the Spellpool. New members receive a special focus (a trinket chosen by the spellcaster, such as a ring, brooch, scarf, or other portable item) at the time of their initiation. The focus allows access to the Spellpool and works only for its owner. If a mage of the Arcane Order loses his focus, he must undergo another initiation. The range of available spells increases at 4th and 7th levels. See below for details.

Bonus Metamagic Feat: At 2nd level and again at 9th level, a mage of the Arcane Order gains sudden insight from studying the reconstructed texts of ancient magical grimoires. He gains a metamagic feat of his choice as a bonus feat. He must still meet the prerequisites of the feat.

Bonus Language: At 3rd level and again at 6th level, a guildmage’s access to the Order’s superb library and resources allows him to learn a new language.

New Spell: When a mage of the Arcane Order reaches 5th level, and again at 8th level, a fellow wizard allows the character to copy a spell from his or her spellbook (chosen by the player, subject to the DM’s approval). He does not need to make a Spellcraft check to copy the spell into his own spellbook, although specialist wizards still cannot learn spells from prohibited schools. Spellcasters who do not use spellbooks gain no benefit from this ability.

Regent: A 10th-level mage of the Arcane Order is awarded the status of regent. A regent gains a +2 competence bonus on all Charisma-based interaction checks when dealing with lower-level members of the Order.

Spellpool: A magical reservoir of spell energy is bound into a special matrix in a guarded vault on a sublevel of the Order’s headquarters. Using his guild focus, a mage of the Arcane Order can “call” spells from this common resource as needed.

Calling a Spell: Calling a spell from the Spellpool can be done at any distance but requires the caster to have an open, unused spell slot of the appropriate level. Wizards preparing spells for the day decide at that time whether to leave some spell slots open. A spellcaster can call only for a spell of a level that he could normally cast. He can call a number of spells per day whose total levels are equal to or less than half his caster level (round down, minimum one). For example, Turial Edemont, a 5th-level wizard/4th-level mage of the Arcane Order can call one 4th-level spell per day, two 2nd-level spells per day, or any other combination of spells whose levels do not exceed four, assuming he has slots available and his Spellpool debt isn’t too high.
When a caster calls a spell, he takes a full-round action to concentrate on his focus (which provokes attacks of opportunity). The spell appears in the caster’s mind at the beginning of his next turn and can be used immediately. However, if he does not cast the called spell within a number of minutes equal to his caster level, it fades from his mind as though cast. A wizard cannot learn a called spell, despite its temporary presence in his consciousness, though of course he could later attempt to learn the spell through standard means.

Spell Availability: Three stages of access to the Spellpool exist. A member first joining the Order gains Spellpool I privileges, which grants access to spells of 1st to 3rd level. Spellpool II allows access to 4th- to 6th-level spells, and Spellpool III grants access to 7th- to 9th-level spells. No 0-level spells are available, but the Spellpool can provide any other spell on the wizard/sorcerer spell list in the Player’s Handbook, as well as any additional spells designated by the DM.

Spellpool Debt: Every time a spellcaster calls a spell, he incurs a debt. He must return an “energy packet” to the Spellpool:a spell he has prepared of a level equal level to that of the called spell, or a number of spells whose combined levels equal the level of the called spell. For instance, the Spellpool debt for a 5th-level spell is five levels, which could be paid off with another 5th-level spell or any combination of spells whoselevels total five. Returning a spell is a full-round action, like calling a spell, and depletes a prepared spell slot as if the spell had been cast. The debt must be repaid within a number of days equal to the character’s class level; otherwise, the mage’s access to the Spellpool is automatically suspended. Once the debt is repaid, a suspended caster immediately regains access to the Spellpool—except that failure to pay off a debt within one year results in a spellcaster’s expulsion from the Order. A mage can’t run a “positive balance” with the Spellpool, paying off a debt before incurring it.