Prestige Classes


“Oppose me, and I shall show you whole new universes of pain.”

—Tessa Senchan, master spellwarp sniper

The spellwarp sniper contorts spells, changing area effects into rays that deliver precise, devastating attacks.


Every spellwarp sniper has at least one level of rogue, ninja, spellthief, or some other class that grants the sneak attack or sudden strike class feature, which is a prerequisite for the prestige class. At her heart, however, a spellwarp sniper is a spellcaster of respectable skill, usually of arcane origin. Occasionally a divine caster (such as a cleric dedicated to a deity of destruction) enters this class.


You value precision and control. Not comfortable with the flashy and clumsy style of most destructive spells, you have learned to focus them into tight, manageable beams. This desire for exacting detail colors every aspect of your life, from your dealings with others to your personal work ethic. You do not speak in generalizations, preferring specific facts. Until experience teaches you better, you take information, people, and events at face value.


You excel at fighting isolated creatures, focusing your attention and your precise spellcasting on one target at a time. When faced with a group of foes, though, you are less effective. Although you can cast area spells, they lack your specialized destructive power when not in ray form. For this reason you should focus on a single foe in an opposing group, preferably one that seems not particularly agile.


You likely learned your trade from a mentor, also a spellwarp sniper, whose attention was drawn by your discipline and focus. You were encouraged by your mentor to join an organization that befits your morals and beliefs. Some guilds and other magical organizations recruit precise, dedicated individuals who show promise, whether they run in street gangs or walk the grandest halls of wizardry. The best candidate is someone already devoted to the study of magic who can then learn the ways of trickery and stealth; such individuals are easier to find than pocket-picking street urchins with the potential to wield magic.

Once you become a spellwarp sniper, you must maintain your discipline and focus. Concentration and Spellcraft remain vital skills for you, and Hide, Move Silently, and Spot become increasingly important. Your feat selection should continue to support your use of ray spells: Good choices include Improved Precise Shot, and Split Ray and Ranged Spell Specialization (both from Complete Arcane). Weapon Focus (ray) is an acceptable choice, though since rays require only ranged touch attacks to hit, the additional accuracy might not be necessary. Reach Spell (Complete Divine) might also be a good choice, depending on your available array of touch spells.


Most spellwarp snipers belong to some kind of organization. If you do not already, you are likely to endure continual recruitment offers. When you are attached to an organization, you can expect to find support both from the leaders of the group and from those with whom you actively serve. Such support includes training and any needed supplies for your studies. Snipers are invaluable to a team, and you make one of the best. In turn, you are expected to aid your colleagues within the organization, typically by joining teams that require fire support.


“We figured we could take ’em. We got the jump on those guards in the square, but then the fire started shootin’ into us. Beams o’ fire like flaming yellow needles. I don’t know where they were coming from, and I didn’t wait around long enough to find out!”

—Stecky “the Clutch” Rockwater, Red Knives Gang

Since spellwarp snipers usually belong to organizations, you can readily introduce one into your campaign through a group affiliated with the PCs.


A spellwarp sniper is particularly effective in the role of ranged support, having greater accuracy than others who rely on traditional weapons. Assassins’ guilds and thieves’ guilds openly welcome spellwarp snipers. City and royal guards also actively recruit them. In addition, organizations that focus on the study of magic recruit spellwarp snipers for their surgical precision. The ability to hone devastating evocations into pinpoint attacks greatly reduces the chance of accidental damage to the surroundings, especially in libraries and universities.

Sometimes a spellwarp sniper occupies a different role, that of executioner. A spellwarped fireball ray to the back of the head is more deadly than a crossbow bolt and sends a more terrifying message.

NPC Reactions

Popular among allies, respected by rivals, and feared by enemies, spellwarp snipers elicit a wide range of reactions from those they meet. Those fighting on the same side as one are typically friendly, welcoming such a powerful ally. Spellwarp snipers acknowledge one another as belonging to an elite group of spellcasters, but they tread carefully among their own kind. Overall, they are indifferent toward one another. Those who have suffered at the hands of a spellwarp sniper offer no quarter and begin as openly hostile.


Characters with ranks in the appropriate Knowledge skill (arcana for arcane casters or religion for divine casters) can research spellwarp snipers to learn more about them. When a character succeeds on a skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: A spellwarp sniper can hit a vital spot with a spell just as a rogue can with a crossbow bolt, and usually far more accurately.

DC 15: Spellwarp snipers can manipulate area spells to make them into precise beams of destructive magic.

DC 20: If you see someone who looks like a spellcaster watching you intently, take cover. She’s probably looking for just the right time to blast you with a ray.

DC 30: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn important details about specific spellwarp snipers in your campaign, including a notable individual, the area in which she operates, and the kinds of activities she undertakes.

A PC who wishes to enter this prestige class usually seeks out a mentor. The easiest method is to contact an organization with which the character is friendly: a thieves’ guild, the city or royal guard, a temple, or a wizard’s university, depending on the PC’s affiliations.


Spellwarp snipers can bring great power to bear in a small space. At lower levels they serve as magical assassins or sharpshooters, particularly as part of an ambush or group raid. Higher-level spellwarp snipers make effective leaders, particularly if they command a number of other spellwarp snipers. At any level, they are interesting and surprising spellcasting opponents.

The prestige class appeals to evokers for obvious reasons. Players who like the role of long-ranged support combatant or who prefer characters with precision-based attacks should enjoy the change of pace offered by the spellwarp sniper.


As a prestige class, the spellwarp sniper is already fairly generic in the way it interacts with a campaign setting. It doesn’t require new rules or different sources of power. For an interesting take on spellwarp snipers, try changing the types of spells they can warp. Perhaps they can transform touch spells rather than area spells, or they focus their abilities only on nondamaging area spells. Depending on the needs of your campaign, you might change the class’s role in a group, or create a separate organization of spellwarp snipers that is not affiliated with another group.

Hit Die: d6.


To qualify to become a spellwarp sniper, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Skills: Concentration 8 ranks, Spellcraft 8 ranks.

Feat: Point Blank Shot.

Spellcasting: Ability to cast 3rd-level spells.

Special: Sneak attack or sudden strike +1d6.

Class Skills

The spellwarp sniper's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Spellwarp Sniper

Level Base
Special Class Features
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Spellwarp +1 level of existing spellcasting class
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Sudden raystrike +1d6 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Precise Shot +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Sudden raystrike +2d6 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Ray mastery +1 level of existing spellcasting class
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the spellwarp sniper prestige class.

A spellwarp sniper can alter the way certain spells work, turning them into precision weapons that target vital locations.

Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a spellwarp sniper, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Spellwarp (Ex): You can alter the form of certain area spells into rays as you cast them. As a free action, you can warp a 1st-level area spell with instantaneous duration and a range greater than touch. The spell’s level, components, range, and damage (if any) remain unchanged. However, the spell’s area entry is replaced by an effect entry of “ray. ”

The spell acts in all ways as a ray, and is considered a ray for the purpose of effects that modify or depend on rays (such as the other abilities of this prestige class). You must succeed on a ranged touch attack to affect an opponent with the spell. Even if the original spell allowed a Reflex save to reduce or negate its effect, the ray does not. However, if the original spell allowed a Fortitude or Will save to reduce or negate the spell’s effect, the save still applies.

You must decide to warp the spell as you cast it. You do not need to prepare it as a warped spell. You can apply metamagic feats as normal to the spell, as long as they can affect ray spells.

Each time you advance a level in this class, the maximum level of spell that you can affect increases by one. For example, a 3rd-level spellwarp sniper can warp spells of up to 3rd level.

Sudden Raystrike (Ex): If you can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from your ray attack, you can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Whenever the target of one of your ray spells is denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus of not), you deal an extra 1d6 points of damage with your ray spell. (If your ray spell doesn’t deal hit point damage, this extra damage doesn’t apply. ) At 4th level, the extra damage increases to 2d6. If you get a sneak attack or sudden strike bonus from another source (such as rogue or ninja levels), the bonuses on damage stack whenever both abilities would apply to the same target.

This damage applies only to targets within 30 feet. Creatures with concealment, creatures without discernible anatomies, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are all immune to your sudden raystrikes.

Precise Shot: At 3rd level, you gain Precise Shot as a bonus feat. If you already have Precise Shot, you can select any other feat that has Point Blank Shot as a prerequisite, as long as you meet the prerequisite for the chosen feat.

Ray Mastery (Ex): At 5th level, you attain unequaled control over your ray spells. This control manifests in three ways.

  • You can apply the extra damage from the sudden raystrike ability (as well as any additional sneak attack or sudden strike damage from other sources) to ray attacks against a target within 60 feet, instead of 30 feet.

  • You can deliver a coup de grace with a ray spell that deals hit point damage. You must be adjacent to your target to deliver the coup de grace.

  • Once per day, you can empower a single ray spell, as though with the Empower Spell feat, without any adjustment to the spell’s level or casting time. This effect applies equally to spells that are already rays and those you warp into rays.