The arcanist trades all other abilities in his pursuit of more magic and power. Always a multiclass spellcaster of more than one spell-casting class, the arcanist oversteps borders and taboos to practice his magic as powerfully as possible. He uses both arcane and divine magic, ignoring the strictures of gods, to cast more spells of the highest levels possible. As such, he is willing to trade all other statistics.

The classic arcanist usually has levels of cleric or druid combined with levels of sorcerer or wizard. The class is less appealing to bards, rangers and paladins, as they have more class related abilities to lose.

The arcanist trains his mind as a precise tool of magic. This takes hours of note memorization, opening that final potential of the mind. Training takes place in monasteries or under the tutelage of a dedicated mentor. This intensive, repetitive training has a detrimental effect upon spontaneity, the arcanist is not known for creativity.

Arcanists can be of any alignment. The mental discipline of the class is a lawful trait, but many arcanists are outcasts from religious or magical orders, chaotic individualists who put their own personal development before all other concerns.

Only religions that respect self-sacrifice or magic are likely to encourage their followers to be come arcanists. But some clerics go rogue in order to become arcanists; these may have agents and followers of their former patrons at their heels. Most wizards admire the arcanist's dedication and willingness to give it all up for magical power, but find them lacking in magical creativity. Bards, sorcerers and druids generally fail to see the point of arcanism, and may even be hostile to such narrowly-focused individuals.

Hit Die: d4.


To qualify to become an arcanist, the character must fulfil all the following criteria.

Skills: Concentration 7 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 5 ranks, Knowledge (nature or religion) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 7 ranks.

Spellcasting: Ability to cast first level divine spells and first level arcane spells.

Classic Play

'Sacrifice' is the right word for describing what this class does, which is, in short, the melding of divine and arcane magic. The cost, however, is everything else. As the character advances his spellcasting ability in two classes, he has a poor progression in all the other characteristics: the lowest base attack, the worst saves, the lowest hit die, the fewest skill points per level, a pathetic number of class skills and no other special ability or bonus feat. Characters wishing to become arcanists should also make sure that they comply with both the Intelligence or Charisma and Wisdom scores necessary to cast the spells from the levels they have access to, or the benefit is wasted.

Class Skills

The arcanist's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Knowledge (any) (Int), Scry (Int, exclusive skill), and Spellcraft (Int). See Chapter 4: Skills in Core Rulebook I for skill descriptions.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the arcanist prestige class.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: The arcanist gains no new ability to use weapons and armour.

Spells per Day: An arcanist continues training in magic as well as his field of research. Thus, when a new arcanist level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in one arcane and one divine spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. The character does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would gain (improved chance of controlling or rebuking undead, metamagic or item creation feats, etc.). This essentially means the arcanist adds his class level to the level of two other spellcasting classes, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly. The spells of each class are cast as normal for that class and retain their basic type (i.e., divine or arcane).

This combined spell ability is very powerful, but has several drawbacks, as outlined under special limitations.

Special Limitations

The arcanist must accept limitations to his ability to use spells. Power on this level requires sacrifice.

Limited Magic Item Creation Feats: An arcanist may not count his arcanist levels against the level requirements for item creation feats. As an example, a Wiz 3/Clr 3/Arcanist 5 cannot learn any item creation feats requiring a caster level over three to learn, despite the fact that his caster level as either a cleric or wizard is eight.

Prohibited Metamagic: An arcanist cannot use or learn any metamagic feats with spellcasting classes improved by his arcanist class. Any metamagic feats he knows become useless to him unless he has a third spellcasting class not affected by his arcanist spellcasting abilities.

Prohibited Spell Research: Arcanists cannot research new spells for spellcasting classes improved by their arcanist class. Arcanists fill their minds by rote learning to prepare the maximum possible number of spells. This rigid training inhibits the creativity required to research new spells. This does not prohibit an arcanist with a spellbook from scribing or copying spells, and such a character still gets the two free spells with each level of advancement.

1+0+0+0+0+1 spellcaster level in 2 existing classes
2+1+0+0+0+1 spellcaster level in 2 existing classes
3+1+1+1+1+1 spellcaster level in 2 existing classes
4+2+1+1+1+1 spellcaster level in 2 existing classes
5+2+1+1+1+1 spellcaster level in 2 existing classes
6+3+2+2+2+1 spellcaster level in 2 existing classes
7+3+2+2+2+1 spellcaster level in 2 existing classes
8+4+2+2+2+1 spellcaster level in 2 existing classes
9+4+3+3+3+1 spellcaster level in 2 existing classes
10+5+3+3+3+1 spellcaster level in 2 existing classes