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Complete Arcane - A Player's Guide to Arcane Magic for All Classes
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Designing Adventures
Multiclass Specialists and
Prohibited Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .185
Epic Wa rlo c k s , Wa r mages ,
and Wu Jen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
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Almost every session of a D&D game will at some point
turn on the power of arcane magic. Even if no players in
a campaign are playing arcane spellcasters (as rare as that
would be in most games), the heroes will inevitably encounter
villains or NPC allies who do command arcane power, not
to mention the wealth of monsters in the game that wield
arcane spells or spell-like abilities of their own. Regardless of
their own involvement with magic, heroes ignore the power
of the arcane at their peril.
Finally, unpredictability refers to arcane magic’s incom-
plete and imperfect nature. No single arcanist, no matter
how powerful, knows all spells, all feats, and all methods
of casting. In magic, not even the most powerful of spells is
absolute, and exceptions and unforeseen complications come
along with every arcane rule and law.
A number of terms can be used to describe arcane spell-
casters, some with specifi c meanings and others simply
Arcanist: Any character who can cast arcane spells. The
term is essentially synonymous with “arcane spellcaster.”
Archmage: A character with levels in the archmage pres-
tige class (see the Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 179), though
highly accomplished mages are often referred to as archmages
even if they don’t have actual archmage levels.
Mage: An arcane spellcaster whose primary talent is
spellcasting. Bards, for example, are not referred to as mages
(as sorcerers and wizards are) because spellcasting is simply
one facet of their overall talents.
Sorcerer: A member of the sorcerer class. In general, if
it’s not known whether a character is a sorcerer or a wizard,
he or she is referred to as a mage or arcanist.
Specialist: A wizard who has specialized in a school of
magic. A specialist should rightly be referred to by the name
that goes along with her specialty—abjurer, conjurer, diviner,
enchanter, evoker, illusionist, necromancer, or transmuter.
Wa rlo c k : A member of the warlock class, described in
this book beginning on page 5.
Wizard: A member of the wizard class. The term includes
both specialized and nonspecialized wizards, but if a wizard’s
school of specialt y is known, he is referred to by the appropri-
ate specifi c name.
While magic allows characters to perform many wondrous
acts, it’s also important to roleplay the limitations of
magic—exclusivity, mystery, and unpredictability.
Exclusivity refers to the idea that magic isn’t necessarily
easily accessible to everyone who wants to use it. This might
be the single most important difference between magic and
technology, given that once it becomes common knowledge
how to achieve some specifi c technological goal (creating a
matchlock musket, for instance), anyone else should be able
to obtain the same results by following the same steps in the
technological creation process.
Knowledge of magic and technical learning propagate
in very different ways, though. In an average city in which
a hundred people might have suffi cient skill to build a
matchlock musket, only a dozen mages might have suffi cient
knowledge and ability to master a new spell or reproduce a
desired arcane effect. Even if magical knowledge is made
available, a majority of people will always be incapable of
making use of it, lacking either the required heritage, the
blessing of a capricious deity, or a mind trained by years of
exercise and meditation.
Mystery is a natural consequence of exclusivity, for with
magic, knowledge is power in a very literal sense. A wise mage
thinks long and carefully before sharing knowledge of a spell
with someone she doesn’t know well, and some magical inno-
vations have been discovered and lost many times as a result.
Likewise, countless fragments of learning and lore come
to light again and again in the arcane world—innovations
gleaned by individuals who then conceal their discoveries,
or which are simply forgotten when their creators die.
Complete Arcane makes use of the information in the three
D&D core rulebooks— Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s
Guide, and Monster Manual. In addition, it includes references
to material in the Epic Level Handbook and the Underdark
supplement for the F ORGOTTEN R EALMS Campaign Setting.
Although possession of either or both of these supplements
will enhance your enjoyment of this book, they are not
strictly necessary.
This book includes material from other sources, including
Dragon Magazine, web articles previously published on the
Wizards of the Coast website, and earlier publications such
as Oriental Adventures and Tome and Blood. This material
has been picked up and revised to v.3.5 based on feedback
from thousands of D&D players comparing and debating
the strengths and weaknesses of characters and options at
gaming conventions, on message boards, on email lists, and
over the counters of their friendly local gaming stores.
Most of the changes we made to previously published
material are intended to create an improved version of that
material—to help out prestige classes that were formerly
suboptimal choices, to adjust feats or spells that were
simply too good, or take whatever steps the D&D v.3.5 revi-
sion made necessary for each individual class, feat, spell, or
item. Of course, if you’re playing with older material and it’s
working fine in your game, you shouldn’t feel compelled to
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izards, sorcerers, and bards represent three ap-
proaches to classes based on arcane spellcasting.
While they offer a tremendous amount of ver-
satility, they’re not the only arcane spellcasters
the game could feature. This chapter presents three new
standard character classes: the warlock, the warmage, and
the wu jen. Unlike a prestige class, a new standard character
class is designed for use from a character’s fi rst class level.
Wa rlo c k : A supernatural character whose sinister powers
are inborn abilities, not spells.
Wa r m a ge : A militant spellcaster whose training focuses
on battlefi eld magic. The warmage fi rst appeared in the
Miniatures Handbook.
Wu Jen: A mysterious wizard of the eastern world, whose
arcane lore revolves around mastery of the elements. The
wu jen fi rst appeared in Oriental Adventures.
a warlock can perform feats of supernatural stealth,
beguile the weak-minded, or scour his foes with blasts
of eldritch power.
Adventures: Many warlocks are champions of dark
and chaotic powers. Long ago, they (or in some cases, their
ancestors) forged grim pacts with dangerous extraplanar
powers, trading portions of their souls in exchange for
supernatural power. While many warlocks have turned
away from evil, seeking to undo the wrongs of their
former colleagues, they are still chained by the old
pacts through which they acquired their powers. The
demand to further the designs of their dark patrons,
or to resist them, drives most warlocks to seek the
opportunities for power, wealth, and great deeds (for
good or ill) offered by adventuring.
Characteristics: Wa rlo c k s ha rb or g re at re s er ve s
of mystical energy. The font of dark magic burning
in their souls makes them resistant to many forms
of attack and arms them with dangerous power.
Warlocks do not wield spells, but they do learn to
harness their power to perform a small number
of specifi c attacks and tricks called invocations.
Warlocks make up for their lack of versatility by
being tougher and more resilient than sorcerers
or wizards.
Born of a supernatural bloodline, a warlock seeks to master
the perilous magic that suffuses his soul. Unlike sorcerers or
wizards, who approach arcane magic through the medium of
spells, a warlock invokes powerful magic through nothing
more than an effort of will. By harnessing his innate magi-
cal gift through fearsome determination and force of will,
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