May 27, 2016


Arcane Tradition
Comments from the Finger: This one's based on Mage of the Arcane Order from 3.5. Thanks to Sleepy Magus for helping out!

School of the Arcane Order

Wizards of the Arcane Order, better known as Guildmages, are spellcasters that belong to an arcane academy or guild which serves the same purpose: to educate fledgling mages and advance the understanding of magic as a whole. To that end, guildmages share arcane magical knowledge through a common nexus known as a Spellpool, and can prepare spells known by others by attuning to this source.
     Guildmages are not known particularly to specialize in a school of magic, but are instead free to generalize their understanding through the community of the Arcane Order. This makes them some of the most flexible spellcasters in the world, as they are free to prepare spells from diverse branches of magic with ease.

Guild Membership
At 2nd level, as an established and respected member of the Arcane Order, you can rely on certain benefits that membership provides. You can board at the Arcane Order campus for free, and browse its library or use its common laboratory at your leisure. Additionally, you form professional ties with other wizards and sorcerers in the guild, which may lead to alliances or job opportunities in the future.
     You must pay dues of 5 gp per month to the guild. If you miss too many payments, you must make up back dues to remain in the guild’s good graces and continue to access the Spellpool.

When you join the Arcane Order at 2nd level, you are granted a special arcane focus that allows you to call spells from the common source of guild members: the Spellpool. When you prepare spells following a long rest, you can choose to prepare two 1st level wizard spells of your choice from the Spellpool, even if the spells haven't been copied into your spellbook. These spells do not count against the total number of spells you can prepare.
     The number and level of wizard spells you can prepare from the Spellpool increases as you grow in level and rank within the Arcane Order, as shown in the Spellpool Table.
     If your arcane focus is lost or destroyed, or if you fall out of good standing in the Arcane Order, you cannot access the Spellpool. You can replace your arcane focus for 100 gp.

Spellpool Table
Wizard Level  Spells Prepared  Spell Level

Community Spellcasting 
Starting at 6th level, you can bolster your spellcaster allies. Whenever you cast a spell, each creature you choose adjacent to you has advantage on the next spell attack roll it makes before the beginning of your next turn.

Spellpool Recovery
At 10th level, when you recover spell slots using Arcane Recovery on a short rest, you can also re-prepare the spells you have prepared from your Spellpool.

Guild Regent
At 14th level, you are awarded the title of regent within the Arcane Order. When you prepare your spells following a long rest, choose one spell you have prepared from your spellpool of 1st or 2nd level. You can cast this spell without expending a spell slot until you take a long rest again.

Changelog: 5/27/16:
Spellpool: Spells do not count against your total number of spells known. More spells prepared.
Community Spellcasting: Provides allies advantage on spell attack rolls.
Guild Regent: You can cast one of your spellpool spells of 1st or second level at will.
5/28/16: Guild Regent: Fixed typo


  1. Here is a good example why i miss prestige classes.....
    I realy like the Idea of a Guildmage, but this doesent fit in the rules of 5E.
    Maybe the guildmage would be better as a background than a path option.
    Looks like this path is much less powerfull than other Wizzard path options. (i love my fortelling dice btw.)
    Even the Community Spellcasting feature sound a bit like a jerk, compahred to what was possible in 3.5
    Some suggestions:
    Maybe you inhance the power of the spellpool, that the wizzard dont need to prepare the spell he likes to cast. And add a chance that the spell he would like to cast is in the spellpool.
    I also would change the community spellcasting feature the way, that players can empower a spell togheter ( add spelllevel, give concentration to someone else, use benefits of single casters in the circle and so on).
    I realy like your work. But some prestigeclasses have no longer a place in the 5E rules.

    1. To be fair, comparing anything to divination wizard is a little unfair. In pretty much any build there's little reason not to take a 2-level multiclass dip into divination wizard just to get that feature and regardless which school of magic you want to focus on, you should probably pick divination, it's overdue a nerf.

      That said, this subclass does feel considerably weaker and both thematically and mechanically I feel it would work better as a prestige class.

    2. This response comes in two parts:

      First: Prestige classes killed 3.5. I played a lot of 3.5 and built basically every optimized build I could get my hands on, so believe me when I say that I've read literally hundreds of prestige classes. The fascinating property of prestige classes is that only a very small fraction of them were any good -- the vast majority were traps that almost any player could fall into. We remember them fondly because of the options they provided (which is the goal I want this site to fulfill in the current edition) but the power creep and general complexity added to the game, along with how unreliable they tended to be if you picked one at random, brought 3.5 to its knees. Prestige classes don't have a place anywhere, least in the current edition.

      Second: The power of this class comes down to being able to prepare spells you don't actually know. Ultimately, this is the most flexible caster out there, since you can always prepare a useful spell for exactly what you need. In my mind, this is actually a very powerful feature if you have any idea what's coming your way.

      But it's entirely possible I overestimated the value of being able to prepare any spell, regardless of whether or not you know it. Perhaps the Spellpool needs more spells prepared, or higher level spells, or perhaps the capstone (being able to cast a spell without expending a spell slot) needs to be moved earlier. I might even remove that Spellpool spells count against your total spells known, but I'd prefer some more feedback before I do that.

    3. First thing I notice is that the 6th level feature is way underpowered. While it may be useful to have in very specific scenarios, it does nothing extremely interesting.

    4. Alright, I'll move spellpool spells not counting against your limit to 2nd level, and also bump up the number of spells you can prepare at all levels by 1. I'm still thinking about how to bump up the capstone and 6th level features to work a little more solidly.

  2. Silly me, having missed 3.5 but not Magic:The Gathering, I thought this was going to be a Ravnica guildmage drawing power from the Guildpact, which would've been impeccable timing.

    Anyhow, I think keeping the Spellpool at a consistent rate would be a better idea instead of staying at 1 prepared spell at level 6. Community spellcasting would be more interesting if it let you draw (or donate/pay!) a limited amount of POWER from the Spellpool or allies (as opposed to drawing OPTIONS from the Spellpool), Spellpool Recovery I assume let's you prepare new spells as written but if not should, and the final ability should have the "doesn't count against your limit" wording moved earlier, and perhaps instead allow a short list of unique Regent privileges & responsibilities such as the ability to teleport in on other members, nag for dues with Sending, or even rearrange your Spellpool selection as an action by spending a spell slot whose level is equal to the number of spells replaced, and do that once per long rest for the ultimate in reaction and flexibility of any Wizard.

    1. Alright, I've implemented some changes to boost the general power. I don't want to incorporate too much actual guild privileges as major features that you're given, because that should be largely roleplay-focused. After all, if something happens to the Arcane Order in your campaign, or another mage (controlled by the DM) opts to /not/ help you for story reasons, it robs you of your class features.

    2. The suggestions were predicated on the idea that membership was abstracted; someone has to be administrating the Spellpool and such after all, but there is no mechanical need to know who that is. I do like the new system, the new capstone feels like you're allowed additional Spellpool access for seniority and reliability, getting Guild resources as a reward for using them well.

  3. If you prepare a spell from the spell pool can you write it into your book?

    1. Nope. The goal here is to give you access to spells through the pool, but not to allow you to be able to full your spellbook in a week.

    2. Thats a point. The rules sayes, that you can copy any spell you have prepared into your spellbook.
      thats the reason i would like to have these spells from the spellpool to be not prepared.

    3. See, the problem with that is that its just not true. I'm staring at the PHB right now and it's not in there.

      Moreover, that doesn't make any sense. A normal wizard can't prepare a spell without his spellbook, so why would there be a ruling like that?

    4. If you lose your spellbook, you can use the same procedure
      to transcribe the spells that you have prepared into a new

      page114 Players Handbook (sidebar spellbook / replacing the book)

    5. That's intended for when you lose your spellbook -- not as a thing you should be doing every day. If you only use that when you lose a spellbook, it nets you only a few spells at a time.

  4. Maybe you can think about this idea.
    Maybe it would be a good way to be more flexible in casting, if the wizzard dont need to prepare the spells from the spellpool.
    Maybe he COULD leave some slots unprepared, to use them later with spells from the spellpool.
    For example:
    You are a level wizzard (guildmage) with an Int 18 (+4 modifier), so you are able to prepare up to 11 spells from 1st to 4th level of your choice. Your are down in a dungeon and dont know what kind of monsters you will face today. so you decide to be more flexible with your casting, and choose 3 spellsplots to be not prepared.
    later you and your m8's face a huge number of zombies. So you use one of these free slots, to cast "protection from evil" too the fighter. So one of your 3 free slots is lost.

    Sorry, im not good with english, it is hard for me to explain my thoughts in an language i wich is not my first / native language.

    I would like to see the spellpool feature changed the way, that you dont prepare the spells from the spellpool.
    More the way that you summon these spells from the spellpool, and get a "fire and forgett" use of these spells.
    To fix the use of it, i would increese the casting time by +1action.
    (1 action too summon the spell and anotherone to cast it)
    and i would roll a dice for every use of these feature, to check the chance that these special spell is actual in the spellpool. if it is not, the use is wastet.

    after the adventure the guildmage should think about paying back the debt... maybe he found a uncommen spellscroll in the zombiedungeon.
    He copy this one in his spellbook, and prepares it to cast it several times back to the spellpool, while he is partying in the nearby Tavern his great victory.

    In this way, the spellpool is a powerful tool for a wizzard, because he could use it to cast spells he allready dont know. But he have to pay them back to the pool, and if his guild includes multiple casters with several classes, he although gets access to uncommen spells through the spellpool.
    For example:
    If you have a druid/wizzard in your guild, you maybe have the chance to get the fearie fire spell from the spellpool. (roll a d20 and by 4 or less it is in the pool...)

    Although it is a great hook for storytelling and gaining reknowen in your guild, if you have some very uncommen spells in your spellbook, and you are pleased to cast them to the spellpool.
    And jealous guildmembers want to steal your spellbook to copy these spells. ;-)

    1. I've got two issues with that. First, there's a difference between being able to choose any spell you want spontaneously, and having to prepare in advance. Being able to just pick any spell you need from the wizard list when the time arises means that you simply always have the spell that you need, and it basically eliminates the DM's ability to surprise you. Need to get out of a tight spot? Cast Dimension Door! Surprised by demons? Cast banishment!

      Removing the need to prepare spells basically gives you a 'master key' to all situations, whereas preparing spells gives you great flexibility, but you still have to guess what you'll be up against.

      Secondly, I'm completely avoiding the concept of spellpool debt for a reason. Ultimately, that's just one more thing to keep track of, and there's no reason for the wizard to have any more bookkeeping. Generally, 5e is against that type of bookeeping.

    2. Yes, you are right. But with the way i suggestetd, this comes with hard conditions.
      My thought is, that you are able to do so, but only once for every spellslot prepared you sacrifice for this.
      For example:
      If you are 5th level wizzard you could cast 9 spells without a rest. 4/3/2
      following your idea for the spellpool, you could only get 1st level spells from the spellpool. so.. how many prepared spells YOU would sacrifice to get a chance to get the right spell from the spellpool?
      second. if you have a longer castingtime, how usefull would it be to be able to cast Misty Step from the spellpool if you are surroundet?
      third. If there is the chance of abbout 10% (?) to waste the spellslot, because the spell you want to cast is not in the spellpool, would you realy trust this the way that you dont prepare any spell?

  5. At 14th level you can cast a spell at will, or just once every long rest?

    1. You can cast that spell at will until you take a long rest, when you switch your spell choice out.