Typically, arcanists are thought of as either those of
wizard schooling with a talent or training for breaking the bonds of
conventional spellcasting, or else sorcerers that learn to move beyond their
blood and unlock arcane secrets through a combination of organization and
intuition. However, witches and the old ways don’t really figure into the
vanilla arcanist, which is where today’s entry comes in.
Whether they revere a patron whose aspect is the very
secrets that arcanists exploit, use their familiars as direct conduits to the
heartbeat of magic, or perhaps arcanists that chose to experiment and embrace
the old ways, they bring the power of exploits to witchcraft, giving them a
very wide range of abilities.
Like a true witch, these arcanists bond with a familiar that
serves as a mystic receptical for their knowledge of arcane spells. However,
they do not form a pact or alliance with any specific or at the very least
traditional patron spirit. Still, the familiar is a useful ally.
Additionally, these spellcasters draw not upon the arcane
spells common to sorcerers and wizards, but upon the magic of the old ways,
granting them access to healing and cursing magic beyond the ken of other
arcanists, but limiting them in other ways.
Want to play with exploits with the witch spell list? Have
at it with this archetype! The various exploits can mean a lot of different
things depending on your choices. Want to round out the attack-light spell list
with some damaging exploits? Go for it. Want to manipulate not only the
battlefield with debuffs but also by turning enemy spells and magic against
them? Also quite possible! Study various witch builds and arcanist builds to
figure out where to take this one.
In some worlds, these might be the first arcanists. In
others, they might be abberant outliers, oddities that make even other
arcanists hesitate. The question, however, is whether your mage believes they
are the one with all the answers, or are more humble in their pursuit of
knowledge. A few years of experience can make all the difference one way or the
Long ago, the first witches venerated a patron known as
Senneniah the Word Weaver. They say that those who were especially favored by
her were granted unprecedented control over magic, but over time the practice
faded into obscurity. Some say that the last remnants of that old way lay deep
in the tombs of the eldest elven kings, protected by the mummified remains of
Healing magic in the hands of the non-clergy is considered
blasphemy in the land of Tegnar. Witches are already heretics as is, but in
secret vaults in mage academies, the secret to combining the old ways with
modern arcane arts is rumored to exist, a rumor than many an inquisition would
love to prove right.
With his construct army, Emperor Alnahax believes that
taking the lizardfolk lands of the Heartwood will be easy. After all, his
clockworks are immune to many of the spells and bodily curses the witches can
dish out. Imagine his shock when cadres of reptilian ‘witches’ begin spewing
blasts of elemental might that ignore even his golems magical immunity.