Arcane Emporium, Vol. 6

This month’s volume of Arcane Emporium should resonate with those who played 3rd Edition. Re-introducing for your gaming pleasure: prestige classes.

Back in March 2016, we made our first foray into bringing back prestige classes, not realizing that an “official unofficial” concept of prestige classes had been published in Unearthed Arcana in October of the previous year. The content in this month’s Arcane Emporium has been revised to further align with the mechanics of Wizards of the Coast’s prestige class, the Rune Scribe; we think our original idea was pretty close to what the folks over on the official development team had, but it’s always helpful to revise and this was a fantastic opportunity to improve on our earlier design concepts.

The three prestige classes presented here are the Guild Mage, the Lycanthrope, and the Shadow Dancer.

Simply click the image below to be taken to the full PDF.

Arcane Emporium is a catalogue of homebrew rules, weapons, spells, monsters, and much more. New issues will be published at the end of each month with additional material. If you like what you see, please consider becoming a patron on our Patreon. This will help us post regular content for everyone’s enjoyment, and may allow us to improve our server.


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Art Credit: “Disciple of the Ring” by Clint Cearley © Wizards of the Coast

7 thoughts on “Arcane Emporium, Vol. 6”

  1. Hey, I’ve got a few questions about the Guild Mage Prestige class.

    Based on what I read in the “Advanced Spell casting” feature, it seems as though taking levels in this prestige class works differently from normal? In that, a level in Guild mage acts as a substitute for a level in your base class, causing you to ‘skip’ the normal level. (Ie, a 5th level wizard takes a level in guild mage. The level in guild mage acts as and takes the place of their 6th level in wizard, so the next time they level up after, they take the 7th level in wizard, as opposed to delaying the 6th.)

    I’m also confused by the leveling chart. Where it says “Spell Slots per Spell Level”, does this mean that each available spell slot the player has gets a +1? For example, a 8th level bard has four 1st level spell slots, three 2nd level spell slots, three 3rd level spell slots, and two 4th level spell slots. If they took their 9th level as a guild mage, would it provide an additional spell slot for each level, or simply the spell slot gained from the bard’s 9th level?

    And finally, I’m not… entirely sure what qualifies as an arcane caster in terms of the prerequisites for the class. Obviously Wizards, Sorcerers, and Bards. But what about classes like Warlock, Druid, or Ranger? Druid and Ranger both seem fairly ‘arcane’, in that their magic is well… simply based in magic (Or drawing it out from the natural world). However, Warlocks get their magical ability from another entity, making me think its a divine spell caster? I’m not sure.

    If you could clear these questions up for me, that would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Thanks for commenting!

      If you haven’t played previous editions, I’m not surprised that the Guild Mage seems confusing. When we compile and polish 2017’s Arcane Emporiums, we plan to add a sidebar in the Guild Mage entry to help with this.

      You do have the basics of it correct. As shown in Advanced Spellcasting:

      When you gain a new level of guild mage, you treat that level as though you had advanced in whatever arcane spellcasting class you had before adding that level in a prestige class for the purposes of determining spell slots and maximum spell level known.

      The reason that this doesn’t function according to the normal rules of spellcasting is because this is a prestige class specifically for spellcasters and is designed to let you take levels in it without sacrificing the possibility of getting higher-level spells. A wizard 15/fighter 5 wouldn’t get 9th-level spells because they’re only a 15th-level wizard and prepare wizard spells as a 15th-level wizard. Even a wizard 15/cleric 5—a character who would get 9th-level spell slots, wouldn’t get 9th-level wizard spells because they aren’t a high enough level in the wizard class.

      By contrast, a wizard 15/guild mage 5 would get those spells because their guild mage level stacks with their wizard level for the purpose of calculating spell slots. That’s what the “+1 to existing class” means—you count as one level higher in your existing spellcasting class. To refer to your example, you would get access to 5th-level bard spells because you then count as a 9th-level bard for the purposes of calculating your spells. It does not mean that your 8th-level bard suddenly has a spell slot range of 5/4/4/3.

      In regards to “arcane caster”, the sidebar on page 205 of the Player’s Handbook lays out what this means.

      The spells of wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, and bards are commonly called arcane magic. […] The spells of clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers are called divine magic.

      Admittedly, this seems to be the only place that this is actually specified in the Player’s Handbook, and so it may be worth noting in a special sidebar in our polished compilation. Once again, it’s our experience with previous editions slipping through. These delineations were far more clearly described in every edition up until 5th, and it’s not surprising that some newer players might not necessarily realize what they mean, as is the case here.

      Hopefully this helps!

    1. Hi Adam,

      Thank you for commenting!

      Glad to hear that you liked these. This Arcane Emporium has been exceedingly popular, and it has not escaped our notice. While we don’t have a current timeline to offer, more prestige classes are certainly on our agenda. We recommend to keep coming back.

      Best,
      the Archmage

  2. what are the stats of the werewolf/werecat etc? The thing with the wild shape is that it can scale because you can use different animals with better CR. At 5 level a simple wolf is a very weak form to use.
    Does the hybrid have the same stats as the beast? The lycanthrope needs a revision.

    1. Hi James,

      Thank you for your comment!

      The lycanthrope’s Advanced Shapechanger ability is what allows them to assume stronger beast shapes, namely the dire equivalent of their animal namesake. As specified in the section for that ability, stats for the dire bear, dire rat, and dire tiger are in the appendix of the document (page 9).

      As for the stats for the hybrid shape, it is explained in the Shapechanger feature description (page 6).

      We are always looking for feedback on our content. What revisions do you think are needed?

      Best,
      – the Archmage

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