The sky rumbles and flashes, and the clouds grow dark as a lone figure gestures from atop a hill. Lightning streaks down from the clouds overhead, striking like the fist of a god, scattering the approaching forces in its wake.
A woman sits calmly by her camp, steam rising from her tea. She flicks her wrist, and the charging orcs that had planned to ambush her fall to the ground in a roaring gout of fire, leaving nothing but charred husks.
A man gestures in grand style, his cape flying behind him as the parade marches by. He taps his ornate staff on the dragon-shaped float which appears to come alive, spraying fire high into the air and roaring with him astride its back.
All of these heroes are archmages, figures of great renown, wielding epic amounts of power.
While a powerful spell caster may claim to be an archmage, the title is given only to those truly deserving, decided by a council of other archmages, heads of their respected studies. To be an archmage is to be an embodiment of the power of magic itself, and an avatar of the weave.
To become an archmage you must meet the following prerequisites:
- Intelligence 18. Archmages have a deep knowledge of the arcane arts.
- Class: 20th level Wizard. To truly master the arcane, you must be willing to thoroughly study it.
- Complete a special task. You must be elected into the ranks of the Archmages by the ruling council of archmagi. You may be sent on a quest before being given the title.
Adventures past 20th Level
Characters who reach 20th level have attained the pinnacle of mortal achievement. However reaching this point doesn’t necessarily dictate the end of the campaign. These powerful characters might be called on to undertake grand adventures on the cosmic stage.
Instead of awarding epic boons for such quests, your DM might allow you to take levels in an epic class, and further develop your character.
The Archmage Level Table
|1st||High Arcana, Sanctum|
|3rd||High Arcana, Downcasting Experiment|
|4th||Sage of the Arcane|
|5th||High Arcana, Mystra’s Touch, Grand Magister|
At 1st level, an archmage is so attuned to magic that they are able to augment their spells beyond the capabilities of lesser casters. You know one high arcana of your choice. Your high arcana options are detailed at the end of the class description.
You gain an additional high arcana at 3rd level and another at 5th level
Also at 1st level, most archmages have found a place to call home. Whether you came across a hidden lab while adventuring and claimed it, or built a majestic tower that floats through the sky, a sanctum is a place to conduct your research in peace. Once you have acquired your sanctum, you can spend one week infusing it with magical energy, and attuning to it.
While you are attuned to your sanctum, you have lair actions you can use while in your sanctum.
Additionally, you can cast teleport with your sanctum as destination without expending a spell slot once. You can’t do so again until you finish a long rest.
When fighting inside your sanctum, you can invoke the ambient magic to take lair actions. On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), you can take a lair action to cause one of the following effects:
- You choose a 10-foot square area on the ground that you can see within 120 feet of you. The ground in that area turns into 3-foot deep mud. Each creature on the ground in that area when the mud appears must succeed on a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw or sink into the mud and become restrained. A creature can take an action to attempt a DC 17 Strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach and ending the restrained condition on a success. Moving 1 foot in the mud costs 2 feet of movement. On initiative count 20 on the next round, the mud hardens, and the Strength DC to work free increases to 22.
- Freezing fog fills a 20-foot radius sphere centered on a point you can see within 120 feet of you. The fog spreads around corners, and its area is heavily obscured. Each creature in the fog when it appears must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. A creature that ends its turn in the fog takes 10 (3d6) cold damage. A wind of at least 20 miles per hour disperses the fog. The fog otherwise lasts until you use this lair action again or until you die.
- You conjure two flying swords (Monster Manual pg. 20), each appearing in a spot within 120 feet of you that you can see. The flying swords add your proficiency bonus to their AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls. The flying swords last until you use this lair action again or until they are destroyed.
At 2nd level, the knowledge of your Arcane Tradition runs deep. You gain one of the following additional benefits, depending on your Arcane Tradition.
You can cast mage armor at will, without expending a spell slot or material components. The target’s base AC becomes 16 + its Dexterity modifier.
Any creature that you summon or create with a conjuration spell adds your proficiency bonus to its AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls.
You can dictate the outcome of one attack roll, one saving throw, and one skill check. You can’t do so again until you finish a long rest.
All saving throws against your enchantment spells are made with disadvantage. Additionally, you can expend one wizard spell slot to make a creature automatically fail its saving throw against your enchantment spell.
Evocation spells you cast ignore damage resistances, and treat damage immunities as resistances instead.
You can see, hear, and speak through any of your illusions. Additionally, you can cast spells as though you were in one of your illusion’s space as long as you can see it.
When you take damage, you can split the damage between any number of undead under your control. Any excess damage carries over to you.
Whenever you create a transmuter’s stone, you create a number of transmuter’s stones equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of two) instead.
At 3rd level, choose one 4th-level wizard spell in your spellbook to study. You can cast the chosen spell as a 4th-level spell using any spell slot of 4th level or lower.
Sage of the Arcane
At 4th level, if your total for an Intelligence check is less than your Intelligence score, you can use that score in place of the total.
Additionally, you can attune to an additional item that requires attunement.
At 5th level, you gain an additional 8th-level and 9th-level spell slot.
Also at 5th level, your Intelligence score increases by 4, and your maximum for that score is now 24.
When you cast a cantrip, you can expend one wizard spell slot to increase the cantrip’s damage. The extra damage is 2d10 per spell slot level. If the cantrip involves multiple damage rolls, you can divide the extra damage dice between them.
When you cast a spell, you can expend one wizard spell slot to increase the spell’s range. The spell’s range is tripled, and a range of touch becomes 60 feet. If the spell covers an area of effect, the size is doubled.
Mastery of Counterspelling
When you successfully counter a spell with counterspell, you can expend one wizard spell slot to reflect the spell’s effect back to the caster, instead of neutralizing it.
Mastery of Elements
When you cast a spell that deals acid, cold, fire, force, lightning, necrotic, radiant, or thunder damage, you can expend one wizard spell slot to change the element to a different one from this list.
Mastery of Shaping
When you cast a spell that normally covers an area of effect, you can expend one wizard spell slot and choose a number of 5-foot cubes equal to three times the spell’s level + your Intelligence modifier within the spell’s range to be covered instead.
You can expend one wizard spell slot to empower all your spells. For 1 minute, when you cast a spell using a spell slot of 1st level or higher, the spell’s level is increased by one (to a maximum of 9th level).