Everyman Minis: Arcanist Exploits
This Everyman Mini clocks in at 15 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction, 2 pages of SRD, 8 pages blank, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
We begin this pdf with 6 new arcanist exploits: Altered Protection is clever and a great start for the pdf – the exploit allows an arcanist to spend 1 point from her arcane reservoir to change the damage type to which the protection of an abjuration spell applies to another choice taken from that spell’s array. NICE! Cerebral implantation lets you choose 4 spells of 1st level or higher that you’ve added to your spellbook. You may then prepare these sans your spellbook, and you may reassign these upon taking a new arcanist level. You may taken this exploit once, plus an additional time for every 6 class levels in arcanist you attain. Interesting one! Convincing Change lets the arcanist bolster a transmutation spell that nets a bonus to Disguise as part of the casting: The 1 point spent makes divinations detect the arcanist as the creatures the character turned inti/disguises as. Gold for infiltration and really, really cool!
Dramatic illusions enhances figments and glamers that allow a Will-save to disbelieve. When casting such a spell, the arcanist may expend 1 point from her arcane reservoir and make a Bluff or Disguise check. The first time a creature succeeds a Will save, they must attempt a Sense Motive check versus the Bluff or Disguise check to disbelieve the spell successfully. On a failure, disbelieving fails as well. While a creature can only be subjected to this exploit once per day, this can be incredibly potent in the hands of a creative player, provided the skills in question are properly maxed out. Personally, I’d have avoided the skill issue by tying the check to skill ranks, but that is arguably kinda odd. It’s one of the more problematic aspects of PF1, and by less of a fault of the ability, and more by that of the system, is something I’d be weary of. Ricochet Spell allows the arcanist to spend 1 point from the arcane reservoir as part of casting a spell requiring a ranged or ranged touch attack roll to choose a single square within 10 ft. per class level to be treated as the square or origin to determine targets in range, line of sight and cover/concealment. The distance of the square chosen from the arcanist is subtracted from the spell’s range, which makes sense. This is pretty damn awesome, elegant and cool. Two thumbs up! Weakening Resonance allows an arcanist to expend 1 point from the arcane reservoir to reduce a target creature or object’s hardness by 5, minimum 0, for Charisma modifier rounds. This is missing an activation action.
The pdf also includes a total of 7 greater exploits. Cerebral Spellcasting builds on the aforementioned exploit that has you implant spells to prepare them sans book, allowing for the casting of such spells sans spell-slot expenditure by expending arcane reservoir points equal to the spell’s level. Such spells may also be thus cast via arcane reservoir points without having them prepared in advance. Contingent Protection allows the arcanist to spend 1 point from her arcane reservoir when casting an abjuration spell with a list of options and have its onset delayed to an immediate action. Deadly Spells lets the arcanist expend 1 point from the reservoir to reroll any 1s on damage dice of hit point damage dealing evocation spells cast. Rerolls that come up as 1s can’t be rerolled. Dimensional Gate lets the arcanist expend 1 or more points (maximum Charisma modifier, minimum 1) from the arcane reservoir as a standard action to create a gate within 10 feet per class level; said portal may be used a number of times equal to the points spent in making it. The portal does not block line of sight/effect and movement through it doesn’t provoke AoOs. This requires dimensional slide. Exploitative Ruse adds the ruse descriptor for arcane reservoir points expended, with the number contingent on the spell’s level. As a standard action, the effect may be revised, but you must be in medium range, and the exploit requires the expenditure of spell slots for both spells. Creatures that fell for the ruse have saves penalized, and the ruse may have an initial spell and multiple lower effects tied together, and AOE-effects are also accounted for. Cool, high-difficulty design here!
Subconscious Demand can be used to modify a language-dependent spell being cast by expending 1 point from the arcane reservoir to make them affect targets that don’t share a language with the caster; 2 points can be spent to affect critters with Int of 3 or less, and 3 points can be used to combine these benefits. 4 points, finally, may be spent to get rid of the descriptor altogether. Towering beast, finally, can be used to cast polymorph spells with “beast shape” in the name by spending arcane reservoir points equal to spell level, increasing Strength and Constitution by +2, natural armor by +1, but also the Dexterity penalty by 1. Weapon damage dice of natural attacks increase by a size category as well, but this modification as a whole decreases the duration of the spell as a balancing tool.
Editing and formatting are, for the most part, very good on a rules language and formal level. Layout adheres to the two-column full-color standard of the series, and the artwork is nice. The pdf has a rudimentary bookmark towards the SRD, but doesn’t need them at this length.
Matt Morris’ arcanist exploits are really creative and execute several truly impressive rules-language operations, making this pretty much a must-own supplement for arcanist fans. As a whole, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down due to its few flaws.
You can get these complex, interesting exploits here on OBS!