Random Encounters12/09/2003

Wild Life

Silverwood Arcanist

The vast expanse of woodlands known as the Silverwood has many guardians, but few are as unusual as a group of arcane spellcasters who specialize in casting spells while mounted. These spellcasters, known as Silverwood arcanists, work closely with the druidic circles within the Silverwood and the Silverwood outriders. Like the outriders, arcanists build a near-mystical bond with their animal mounts, learning their techniques from both skilled animal trainers and druidic traditions. Because of their unique blend of skills, Silverwood arcanists are some of the most versatile and mobile individuals on a battlefield, and they have long been one of the secrets of the Silverwood's continued prosperity and security.

Most Silverwood arcanists begin their adventuring career as sorcerers, but a good number of wizards and bards join as well.

Hit Die: d4.


To qualify to become a Silverwood arcanist, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Skills: Handle Animal 3 ranks, Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, Ride 3 ranks.

Feats: Mounted Combat, Wild Cohort.

Special: You must be able to cast 3rd-level arcane spells.

Special: Your wild cohort must be an animal large enough for you to ride and must be trained to serve as a mount. (This training includes either being trained for riding or trained for combat riding with the Handle Animal skill. See pages 74 and 75 of the Player's Handbook for more information on training animals.)

Class Skills

The Silverwood arcanist's class skills (and the key ability for each) are Concentration (Con), Handle Animal (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

The Silverwood Arcanist
Special Spells per Day
1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Fast handling, skilled rider +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Cohort trick +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
3 +1 +1 +1 +3 Mounted casting +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
4 +2 +1 +1 +4 Cohort trick +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
5 +2 +1 +1 +4 Share spells +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class

Class Features

The following are all class features of the Silverwood arcanist prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Silverwood arcanists gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Spells per Day: A Silverwood arcanist continues training in magic as well as her field of research. Thus, when a new Silverwood arcanist level is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus feats, improved familiar abilities, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of Silverwood arcanist to the level of some other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells known, spells per day, and caster level accordingly.

Fast Handling (Ex): At 1st level, a Silverwood arcanist can handle her wild cohort as a free action rather than a move action. The Silverwood arcanist can push it as a move action. This benefit applies only toward the Silverwood arcanist's animal cohort; the normal action times are required to handle and push other animals. See the description of the Handle Animal skill in the Player's Handbook for more information on handling and pushing animals.

Skilled Rider (Ex): You gain a bonus on Ride checks equal to the number of ranks you have in Ride that you purchased as cross-class ranks. In addition, when you take levels in classes or prestige classes other than the Silverwood arcanist, the Ride skill is treated as an additional class skill.

Cohort Trick: At 2nd level and again at 4th level, your wild cohort can learn a "bonus" trick in addition to the ones it can learn because of its Intelligence, training, and the wild cohort feat. These bonus tricks don't require any training time or Handle Animal checks, and they don't count against the normal limit of tricks known by the wild cohort. The Silverwood arcanist selects these tricks, and once selected, they can't be changed.

Mounted Casting: At 3rd level, the Silverwood arcanist gains the Mounted Casting feat as a bonus feat. She does not have to meet the normal prerequisites for this feat.

Share Spells: At the Silverwood arcanist's option, she can have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) she casts on herself also affect her wild cohort. The wild cohort must be within 5 feet at the time of casting (usually serving as the Silverwood arcanist's mount) to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the wild cohort if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the wild cohort again even if it returns to the Silverwood arcanist before the duration expires. Additionally, the Silverwood arcanist can cast a spell with a target of "you" on her wild cohort (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. A Silverwood arcanist and her wild cohort can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the mount's type (animal).

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