Some spellcasters spend their lives spurning the ground and its heavy tread, but a few look to non-arcane means to overcome the limits of earth like the Templeforge Skycaster. Fusing the arts of engineering and magic, they take to the skies and seldom return to earth. Their magic is as large as the heavens, and often infused with elemental Air.
The airships allow the skycasters to share the joy of the sky, taking passengers on voyages far and away. Many dedicate themselves to gods of travel and the sky, roving over earth and sea, seeking out the unknown beyond the next long horizon. Aerial mapmaking opportunities are second to none, of course. Trained at the Templeforge where the airships are built, the Skycasters are an elite martial order of wizardry, masters of the air. Some call them pirates, but most are merely mercenary.
Some Skycasters do follow a warlike path, mastering siegecraft and martial studies to complement [More…]the arts of flight and navigation. Their keen eyes spot troop movements and fortifications from beyond the reach of their enemies’ weapons and spells. Their airships provide a fearsome way of delivering firepower, able to deploy entire companies of elite forces in places or in numbers that magical means cannot match.
Not all masters of the sky are warriors; some serve their liege as diplomats to distant lands. Yet other Skycasters pursue the golden call of commerce. Unbound by roads or ocean currents, the sky-merchants forge new trade lines, specializing in goods difficult to transport any other way.
This varied nature suits Skycasters well; fusing of different disciplines is, after all, their specialty. Bold explorer, shrewd trader, capable mercenary, this prestige class allows for new adventure every time the wind shifts. Clerics and multiclass paladins gain a way to spread the word of their faith and deeds. Wizards are drawn to it for obvious reasons, accumulation of knowledge being second nature. Bards and rogues who meet the casting requirements might find their social talents perfect for the role of a trade envoy. Druids or even rangers dedicated to exploration may delight in the skycaster’s freedom of travel.
Hit Die d4
To qualify to become a Skycaster, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Skills Knowledge (Nature) or Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 8 ranks
Craft (Alchemy) 8 ranks
Feats Craft Wondrous Item, Enlarge Spell, Alertness
Spells Able to cast featherfall or wind wall and 2 other transmutation spells.
Special Proficient in a martial or exotic weapon
The Skycaster’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Alchemy) (Int), Craft (Airship) (Int), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int). See Chapter 4 of the D&D Player’s Handbook for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at Each Level 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the Skycaster prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency Skycasters gain no weapon proficiencies and gain proficiency with light armor.
Spells per Day/Spells Known A Skycaster continues advancing in spellcasting ability as well as gaining the abilities of his new class. Thus, when a new Skycaster level is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of controlling or rebuking undead, wild shape ability, and so on). He adds his level of Skycaster to the level of whatever other spellcasting class he has, and then determines spells per day accordingly.
For example, when Arehen, a 10th-level wizard, gains a level as a Skycaster, he gains new spells as if he were an 11th-level wizard, but uses the Skycaster progression base attack bonus and saving throws. If he next gains a level as a wizard, making him an 11th-level wizard/1st-level skycaster, he gains spells as if he had risen to 12th level as a wizard. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before she became a Skycaster, the player must decide which class to assign each level of Skycaster to determine spells per day and spells known.
Armored Spellcasting (Ex): A Skycaster can avoid any chance of arcane spell failure for spells as long as he restricts himself to light armor, such as Rimebane jackets (See KQ #7).
Friends of a Feather (Ex): A Skycaster gains a familiar bond with an air mephit. If the Skycaster already has a familiar, this creature may replace it, but a Skycaster can never have more than one familiar. Levels of any class that provide a familiar companion stack for determining the effective Hit Dice and abilities of the air mephit. This creature behaves in all other ways as the familiar class ability, including penalties for death or dismissal.
Infuse Ammunition (Ex): A Skycaster may temporarily enchant a number of ballista bolts or other ammunition equal to his Intelligence modifier to each store a spell of 3rd level or lower. The spell remains active for 24 hours and discharges when it hits a target. An infused spell counts as cast and is removed from the Skycaster’s available spells for the day. Scrolls cannot be used to infuse ammunition.
At 5th level, a Skycaster may infuse ammunition with 4th level spells, and at 10th level he may infuse 5th level spells.
Greater Enlarge Spell (Ex): At 5th level, the Skycaster learns how to further increase the range of his spells—he can alter a spell with a range of Close, Medium, or Long to increase its range half again. A greater enlarged spell with a range of Close reaches 75 ft. + 5 ft./level, while a skycaster’s Medium-range spells reach 250 ft. + 20 ft./level and his Long-range spells reach 1,000 ft. + 80 ft./level. A greater enlarged spell requires a spell slot one level higher than the spell’s standard level.
Spells whose ranges are not defined by distance, as well as spells whose ranges are Touch or Personal, do not have increased ranges.
Shipboard Sanctum (Su): At 6th level, the Skycaster can attune himself to his vessel in a 24-hour ritual costing 250 gp in rare materials and incense. Once attuned, the airship is considered the Skycaster’s sanctum; while the skycaster is on board, the caster level of any spells he casts is increased by one. This does not affect the level of the spell.
Soul of the Airship (Su): At 8th level, the Skycaster’s bond with his chosen airship is further heightened. Once an airship has become his sanctum and so long as he remains onboard, a Skycaster is aware of that airship’s condition and its passengers as per the status spell. As a full round action, the Skycaster can concentrate and determine one of the following:
– the precise location of any one passenger who has been onboard for 12 hours or more,
– the overall condition of the airship and any damage it might have taken,
– the presence and number of passengers who have not been onboard for 12 or more hours.
The skycaster may make this determination once per day equal plus once for each point of his Intelligence modifier, though never less than once per day. He loses this power whenever he is away from the airship for more than three hours, and must perform the Sanctum ritual again to regain it.
Infuse Hull (Ex): The spells of the most experienced Skycasters can affect an entire airship that they are bonded with through the sanctum ritual. With this ability, a Skycaster can cast any spell with a touch or personal range on the airship, affecting the airship as if the spell were cast on him. The spell behaves normally and does not change in level. Spells that can be ended by specific actions, such as invisibility, still end if any member of the crew meets the conditions for ending the spell.
Skycaster Prestige Class
|Level||Attack Bonus||Save||Save||Save||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+1||+0||+0||+2||Armored Spellcasting||+1 level of existing class|
|2nd||+2||+0||+0||+3||Infuse Ammunition (3rd)||+1 level of existing class|
|3rd||+3||+1||+1||+3||Friends of a Feather||—|
|4th||+4||+1||+1||+4||—||+1 level of existing class|
|5th||+5||+1||+1||+4||Greater Enlarge Spell, Infuse Ammunition (4th)||+1 level of existing class|
|6th||+6||+2||+2||+5||Shipboard Sanctum||+1 level of existing class|
|7th||+7||+2||+2||+5||—||+1 level of existing class|
|8th||+8||+2||+2||+6||Soul of the Airship||—|
|9th||+9||+3||+3||+6||—||+1 level of existing class|
|10th||+10||+3||+3||+7||Infuse Ammunition (5th), Infuse Hull||+1 level of existing class|
Want to know more about Templeforge airships? Read about them in Kobold Quarterly #7, or discuss them on the Forum.