Prestige Classes


"Study the categories in which you see magic and the limits they place upon you. Only by knowing the rules can you learn how best to beat them."

-Caphodel Berrandar, Mistress of Enchantment

Many wizards choose to specialize in a specific school, focusing on a particular branch of magic. The master specialist studies the very notion of specialization. Though she, too, focuses on one school above all others, she so thoroughly devotes her attention to mastering her chosen discipline that she gains insight beyond the reach of any mere specialist. If a specialist is a student of a school of magic, the master specialist is that school's teacher.


The path of the master specialist requires the kind of dedicated and studious mind that only a wizard can provide - other arcane casters simply don't have the capability to meet this class's needs. The best way to become a master specialist is to be a specialist wizard and take 1st level in the prestige class as your 4th character level. Then you can advance through all ten levels of the class and, after completing it at 13th level, either return to wizard or move on to another prestige class such as archmage.

Elements of this prestige class use the term "chosen school." This term refers to the school in which you are specialized.


You might appear very similar to an average wizard or specialist, but beneath that veneer of normality exists a piercing understanding of your chosen school and a mastery of it that none but another master specialist can match. Your knowledge of the intricacies of your school and of magic in general gives you tremendous confidence even in the face of overwhelming odds. Every spell of your chosen school is another chance to enhance your effectiveness and expand your mastery of the school. You hunger for knowledge and are interested in anything to do with your favored form of magic.

Master specialists have no organization of their own, but they are common among more general arcanist guilds, wizard colleges, and academies devoted to a single school of magic.


For the most part, your techniques in combat should match those of other specialists in your field. Evokers attempt to destroy the foe, enchanters to win them over, conjurers to send both energy effects and summoned creatures against them, and so forth. Your school esoterica grant you special benefits, and you should use them to your best advantage by preparing multiple combat spells from your specialist school.


You stepped onto the path of the master specialist almost as soon as you took up the practice of magic. Your chosen school called to you like nothing else, and you answered that call with fervor. You have reached the point where you are an acknowledged expert in your field, but you have quite a way to go before you have gained the level of power and understanding you require. You spend much of your time in study and research, but nothing teaches like real experience, so you are as likely to adventure as a more traditional wizard.

As you advance as a master specialist, consider feats that expand the abilities of your chosen school but also those - such as metamagic feats - that augment your magic in general. Keep Knowledge (arcana) and Spellcraft high. If you advance fully through the class and continue to devote 1 skill point at each level to each skill, you need only take Spell Focus in another school to become an archmage at 13th level.


Most master specialists are members of, or at least have ties to, arcanist organizations, guilds, colleges, and similar groups. Although these organizations aren't likely to simply hand you equipment, they are useful places to trade resources. You can find other wizards willing to exchange spells or sell access to their spellbooks, and if magic items are available in the area, this is the place to find them. You might even be able to purchase them at a small discount (5% to 10%), in exchange for access to your spells or an agreement to perform some service for the guild.


"Generalist wizards have a broad range but less focus; specialists have a narrow range, but great power in one field. These 'master specialists' somehow gain even greater skill in a single school. I'd love to know how they manage it."

-Naull, an evoker

The master specialist fits into almost any D&D setting. Wherever specialist wizards exist, some seek to more thoroughly understand each school. Master specialists are most often found in areas where wizardly study is highly formalized, such as large cities or other communities that have guilds and colleges. Because a master specialist might well not appear any different to casual observation than any other specialist, DMs can easily assign this prestige class to established NPCs after the fact.


Master specialists hold the same sorts of positions in guilds and organizations as other casters of their level. Although the path of the master specialist is one of interest to many casters, it doesn't innately grant a greater degree of knowledge or power - or, by extension, rank and influence - than other areas of arcane practice.

NPC Reactions

To the layman, nothing about a master specialist differentiates her from any other specialist wizard (or, in some cases, any other wizard at all). Thus, most people react to a master specialist exactly as they would to any other wizard in their community. A specialist wizard that has not adopted the master specialist path might look to master specialists with envy, derision, or awe, depending on how confident the specialist is in his own skills as a spellcaster.


Characters who have ranks in Knowledge (arcana) or the bardic knowledge ability can research master specialists to learn more about them. When a character makes a successful skill check or bardic knowledge check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 15: Master specialists study the techniques of specialization, and through that gain abilities beyond the reach of mere specialists.

DC 20: This result reveals the details of a master specialist's school esoterica (the abilities gained at 4th, 7th, and 10th level).

DC 30: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn important details about specific master specialists in your campaign, including notable members, the areas where they operate, and the kinds of activities they undertake.

Any community large enough to have a wizards guild or an arcane college most likely contains at least a handful of master specialists as members, and even if none of them have the specialty the PCs seek, they likely know where to look. PCs are far more likely to pique the interest of a master specialist if they have some new tidbit of arcane lore to share.


The master specialist is no more difficult to integrate into a campaign than a standard specialist wizard. Abjurers and evokers are exceptionally useful on the battlefield, conjurers and necromancers can provide powerful allies and serve as backup combat casters, enchanters and illusionists can mislead or deceive the foe, diviners provide early warning and intelligence, and transmuters are useful in a variety of circumstances. As such, they easily slip into almost any caster-appropriate role in a party and campaign.

The master specialist prestige class should appeal to players who enjoy portraying specialists but desire better representation of the flavor of the schools, or new powers relating to their focus that they can't achieve through more traditional means.


Although this prestige class is presented as essentially eight classes in one, you could divide the master specialist into separate prestige classes for each school. Each could have its own entry requirements and an organization that provides access to its special techniques.

The master specialist prestige class is designed for early entry. In this way a player who wants to play a specialist that feels more like a specialist can do so very early on. If you want to delay entry, consider increasing the skill requirements and requiring the Skill Focus (Knowledge [arcana]) feat. Should you do so, consider adding an additional benefit to the class advancement table, such as a bonus on saves against spells of the chosen school.

Sample Encounter

It's entirely possible that PCs encounter a master specialist and never realize it. With the exception of her heightened interest in study and arcane practice, a master specialist likely appears in the same circumstances as any other caster of their specialization. PCs might battle the minions of a necromantic master specialist, face an evocation master specialist across the battlefield, or protect a diviner specialist from harm until he can deliver his vital information to the queen.

EL 13: Caphodel Berrandar (N female gnome enchanter 8/master specialist 5) is a captivating personality and a well-studied arcanist. She funds her studies by hiring herself out to adventurers and powerful patrons that might require her abilities. Although she is not evil, she doesn't particularly care about the politics of those she works for (though she avoids working for blatantly wicked forces). When the PCs encounter her, she might be making use of her magic and charisma to protect a fortress or stronghold the party is intent on infiltrating.

Hit Die: d4.


To qualify to become a master specialist, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks.

Feat: Spell Focus (school of specialization).

Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 2nd-level arcane spells.

Special: Must be a specialist wizard.

Class Skills

The master specialist's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Master Specialist

Level Base
Special Spellcasting
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Skill Focus (Spellcraft) +1 level of wizard spellcasting ability
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Expanded spellbook +1 level of wizard spellcasting ability
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Greater Spell Focus +1 level of wizard spellcasting ability
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Minor school esoterica +1 level of wizard spellcasting ability
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Expanded spellbook +1 level of wizard spellcasting ability
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Caster level increase +1 +1 level of wizard spellcasting ability
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Moderate school esoterica +1 level of wizard spellcasting ability
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Expanded spellbook +1 level of wizard spellcasting ability
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Caster level increase +2 +1 level of wizard spellcasting ability
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Major school esoterica +1 level of wizard spellcasting ability
Class Features

You are a true master of the magic of your chosen school. What you lack in versatility, you make up through incredible ability within your specialty.

All of the following are class features of the master specialist prestige class.

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 the wizard class. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.

Skill Focus (Spellcraft): At 1st level, you gain Skill Focus (Spellcraft) as a bonus feat.

Expanded Spellbook: When you reach 2nd level, you can add one wizard spell of your chosen school to your spellbook. The spell can be of any level that you can cast, and it is in addition to the normal spells gained when increasing your level. You can add another spell of your chosen school to your spellbook at 5th and at 8th level.

Greater Spell Focus: At 3rd level, you gain Greater Spell Focus as a bonus feat. You must apply this feat to your chosen school.

Minor School Esoterica (Ex): At 4th level, your unflagging focus on your chosen school opens your mind to new possibilities and grants you the first taste of the unique skills of a master specialist. You gain an ability from those below based on your chosen school.

Abjuration: You gain a competence bonus on dispel checks equal to 1/2 your master specialist level.

Conjuration: Any creature you summon or call appears with extra hit points equal to your caster level.

Divination: Divination spells you cast that have a duration of concentration remain in effect for a number of extra rounds equal to 1/2 your master specialist level after you cease concentrating. You can cast other spells and otherwise act normally during this duration.

Enchantment: Targets of your charm spells do not gain a bonus on their saves due to being currently threatened or attacked by you or your allies. In addition, subjects of your compulsion spells do not get a bonus on saves due to being forced to take an action against their natures.

Evocation: When casting an evocation spell, you gain a bonus on Concentration checks equal to 1/2 your master specialist level.

Illusion: The save DCs of your illusion spells that have a saving throw entry of "Will disbelief" increase by 2.

Necromancy: When you cast a necromancy spell, undead allies within 60 feet gain turn resistance and a bonus on saves equal to your master specialist level for a number of rounds equal to your master specialist level.

Transmutation: When a transmutation spell you have cast is successfully dispelled, it remains in effect for 1 round and then ends as normal for dispelling. If a creature is responsible for the dispelling effect, it knows that the spell has been dispelled but is functioning for another round.

Caster Level Increase (Ex): Upon reaching 6th level, add 1 to your caster level whenever you cast a spell of your chosen school. At 9th level, you instead add 2 to your caster level.

Moderate School Esoterica (Ex): At 7th level, your long study of your chosen school leads to a breakthrough. You gain an ability from those below based on your chosen school. Each ability is triggered automatically when you cast a spell from your chosen school and lasts for a number of rounds equal to the spell's level, unless otherwise noted.

Abjuration: If you are subject to a spell that has a partial or half effect on a successful save, you suffer no adverse effect if you successfully save.

Conjuration: Dispel checks made against your conjuration spells treat your caster level as if it were 5 higher than normal.

Divination: You gain uncanny dodge for the duration of the spell.

Enchantment: You can immediately reroll any failed Will save against an enchantment or mind-affecting spell or ability; you must accept the result of the second roll.

Evocation: You gain resistance 20 to any one energy type that matches a descriptor used by the spell you just cast.

Illusion: You gain concealment.

Necromancy: You are immune to ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, and negative levels.

Transmutation: You can immediately reroll any failed Fortitude save against a transmutation spell or ability; you must accept the result of the second roll.

Major School Esoterica (Ex): At 10th level, your knowledge of your chosen school reaches its peak. You gain an ability from those below based on your chosen school; each one can be used three times per day.

Abjuration: When casting an abjuration spell that normally has a range of personal, you can instead choose to cast it as a touch spell that affects a single creature. When casting an abjuration spell that is an emanation centered on you, you can instead choose to cast it as a touch spell that emanates from the touched creature.

Conjuration: You can cast a conjuration spell with a casting time of 1 standard action as a swift action.

Divination: When you cast a divination spell, you also gain true seeing (as the spell) for 5 rounds.

Enchantment: Any creature that successfully saves against one of your enchantment spells must save again 1 round later (as if you had cast the spell again) with a +5 bonus on the save.

Evocation: Any creature that fails its save against one of your evocation spells takes damage again 1 round later equal to half the damage it took when you cast the spell.

Illusion: You can cast any illusion spell as a stilled and silent spell and eschew the materials (per the Still Spell, Silent Spell, and Eschew Materials feats) without an increase in caster level or casting time.

Necromancy: When you cast a necromancy spell, undead allies within 60 feet gain fast healing 10 for 5 rounds.

Transmutation: When a creature successfully saves against a transmutation spell you cast, it takes damage equal to the level of the spell.