Saturday Potpourri: The Staff Caster (Wizard Archetype)

Staff Caster (Wizard Archetype)

The image of the old gray-haired wizard is ubiquitous in the world of fantasy. In the heat of battle, he leans against his staff, weathering the onslaught. He calls out the incantations of his mighty spell, gathering all his power in a single focus of energy. The air swirls and crackles around him. His staff burst aflame with electricity. He thrusts the staff forward and a bolt of lightning erupts from its headpiece.

The staff caster is a wizard archetype that epitomizes the concept of the old wizard using only a staff and the power of his magic to survive.

Arcane Bond

A staff caster must choose a staff as his bonded item.

A staff caster does not receive the once daily bonus spell from his bound staff. Instead, the staff functions as a spell storing device, storing up to ½ the staff caster’s level (min. 1, rounded down) in spell levels worth of spells. Thus, at 4th level, he could store two 1st level spells or one 2nd level spell in the staff.

A bonded staff can be used to store and cast any spell that the wizard has in his spellbook and is capable of casting. This spell is treated like any other spell cast by the wizard, including casting time, duration, and other effects dependent on the wizard’s level. This spell cannot be modified by metamagic feats or other abilities. The bonded staff cannot be used to store or cast spells from the wizard opposition schools.

The bonded staff’s hit point and hardness increase by +1 per level the staff caster possesses. If a bonded staff is damaged, bound amplification will not function until it is restored to full hit points the next time the wizard prepares his spells. If a bonded staff is destroyed, staff caster suffers -1 on all concentration checks until the staff is replaced. It can be replaced after 1 week in a special ritual that costs 200 gp per wizard level plus the cost of the masterwork item.

This alters arcane bond and replaces scribe scroll.

Staving Touch (Su)

At 1st level, whenever the staff caster casts a spell with a range of touch from the wizard spell list, he can use his bonded staff to deliver the touch attack. This occurs as part of the same action as casting the spell. He gains all the attack bonuses that apply to his staff (including enhancement bonuses and relevant feats) but does not add his staff’s damage or effects to the touch spell.

At 5th level, the bonded staff can increases the range of a spell cast from the wizard spell list with the range of a touch to the range of close. A wizard casting a spell in this way casts a spell with the range of touch as a close ranged touch attack.

This ability replaces the wizard’s bonus feats normally gained at 5th level.

Bound Amplification

At 10th level, a bonded staff gains the ability to spontaneously amplify the staff caster’s spells via metamagic. The staff contains a pool of metamagic energy equal to the staff caster’s Intelligence bonus. As a swift action, the caster may draw up to 3 points from the staff’s energy pool to use for paying the level increase cost of a spell modified with metamagic. One point of the staff’s energy pool pays for one level of increase in the spells cost due to metamagic modification. The cost of a spell amplified by the bonded staff may not exceed the caster’s highest level spell slot. A spell that benefits from the staff’s metamagic pool may not be additionally modified by the caster and the staff must pay for all of the increased metamagic costs for the spell. Bound amplification cannot amplify spells stored in the bound staff, and the bound staff can amplify spells cast by the staff caster only at the time they are cast. Energy points used in this way are expended until the wizard sleeps for 8 hours.

This ability replaces the wizard’s bonus feats normally gained at 10th and 15th level.

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