Dylan's Savage Worlds Nerdery

Geek life and custom content for Savage Worlds

Arcane Archer as a Magus Archetype

Ever since the magus class was released, it seemed silly to have the Arcane Archer as its own class. It isn’t very mechanically useful, and its role is clearly just a variation on the role intended for the magus – someone who blends arcane magic and combat skill. As such, I wrote up the following to be a replacement for the arcane archer prestige class.


Some magi focus on combining ranged weapons training with arcane magic, allowing them to rain death upon the battlefield in a number of ways. They learn to enhance their bow or gun in the same way that a normal magus enhances his blade, and learn tricks specific to their fighting style. Regardless of the name of the power, these abilities can be learned with any ranged or thrown weapon – it is not specific to archery.


Arcane Pool (Su)
Add Distance, Returning, and Seeking to the list of weapon properties that can be added to the ranged magus’s weapon. Remove dancing and vorpal from the list.
As long as the ranged magus has points remaining in his arcane pool, he may cast spells while wielding a ranged weapon as though he had a free hand.


Arcane Archery (Ex)
At 1st level, an arcane archer learns to cast spells and use his ranged weapon at the same time. To use this ability, the magus must be wielding a ranged weapon and wearing light or no armor. As a full-round action, he may cast a single magus spell with a casting time of 1 standard action and perform an attack action (not a full attack) with a ranged weapon. All attack rolls the magus makes this turn suffer a -2 penalty. If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but his attack still takes the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attack first.
This feature replaces spell combat.


Imbued Shot (Su)
When casting a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, the ranged magus can choose to imbue that spell into a ranged projectile or thrown weapon in his possession. Any target struck by the projectile is targeted by the spell, in addition to taking damage from the ranged weapon as normal. This attack uses the weapon’s critical range, but the spell effect only deals x2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier. If you don’t use the projectile immediately, it remains effective until used or you cast another spell (as though holding the charge of a touch spell). Any attack with the projectile, whether it hits or not, triggers the imbued spell. Only the ranged magus may use this projectile; it loses its charge if given to anyone else.
This ability replaces spellstrike.


Arcane Archery, Improved (Ex)
At 8th level, the ranged magus improves his ability to use ranged weapons while casting spells. When using the arcane archery ability, he may make a full attack action, rather than just an attack action.
This feature replaces Improved Spell Combat.


Safe Shot (Ex)
At 10th level, a ranged magus does not provoke attacks of opportunity when making attacks with a ranged weapon.
This ability replaces the medium and heavy armor class abilities.


Greater Arcane Archery (Ex)
At 14th level, the magus suffers no penalty to attack rolls when using arcane archery.
This replaces Greater Spell Combat.


True Magus (Su)
At 20th level, the magus becomes a master of combining magic with ranged attacks. Whenever he uses his arcane archery ability and the spell he casts targets the same target as his ranged attacks this turn, he can choose to either increase the DC to resist the spell by +2, grant himself a +2 circumstance bonus on any checks to overcome spell resistance, or grant himself a +2 circumstance bonus on all attack rolls made against the target during his turn.

New Arcana
Critical Shot (Su): Whenever the magus scores a critical hit with a ranged weapon, he may cast a spell with a range of touch as a swift action, then make a ranged attack with that spell against the target of the critical hit as a free action, attacking as though using his ranged weapon. The magus may use this ability once per day, and must be at least 12th level before selecting this arcana.

Death Shot (Su): The magus learns to create a special type of projectile or thrown weapon, similar to a slaying arrow. This arrow causes anyone damaged by its attack to make a Fortitude save or be slain immediately. The DC of this save is 20 + the magus’s Intelligence bonus. It takes one day to enchant the item, and the magus may have only one at a time. The projectile only functions for the magus, and the power is dissipated when an attack is made, whether or not it hits. The magus must be at least 15th level to select this arcana. This is a death effect.

Hail of Arrows (Su): As a full action while using a ranged weapon, the magus may perform a ranged attack with his current weapon at a number of targets within range equal to half his magus level. Each attack uses the magus’s primary attack bonus, and each enemy may be targeted by only a single attack. These attacks don’t use ammunition, and a thrown weapon can be used to perform this attack – the ability creates a number of temporary duplicates of a projectile or thrown weapon that dissipate as soon as they are used. This ability may be used once per day for every ten class levels. The magus must be at least 15th level to select this arcana.

Imbued Shot, Improved (Su): The ranged magus may spend one point from his arcane pool to cast any spell with a range other than Personal on the magus spell list with his Imbued Shot ability. The spell’s normal range is replaced by the range of the weapon used. Targeted spells effect the target struck by the projectile. Lines and cones start at the point of impact, and continue directly away from the magus in their normal area. Other area effects are centered on the arrow’s point of impact. If the arrow strikes a target, they take damage from the arrow in addition to the effects of the spell.

Phase Shot (Su): As a standard action, the ranged magus can launch a projectile at a target known to him within range. The shot travels to the target in a straight path, passing through any nonmagical material in its way. This ability allows the attack to ignore cover, concealment (including total cover and concealment), armor, and shield modifiers to the attack, but otherwise the attack is rolled normally. This ability may be used once per day for every six magus levels. To select this arcana, the magus must be at least 12th level and possess the seeker shot arcana.

Seeker Shot (Su): The ranged magus may, as a standard action, make an attack against a target known to him within range. The projectile travels to the target, navigating around corners and obstacles to strike its intended victim. Only unavoidable obstacles or the limit of the attack’s range prevents the shot’s flight. This ability negates cover and concealment modifiers, but otherwise the attack is rolled normally. Using this ability is a standard action, which includes making the attack. The ranged magus may use this ability once per day for every six class levels, and must be at least 9th level to select it.


Spell List
1st level
  •      Aspect of the Falcon
  •      Gravity Bow
2nd level
  •      Arrow Eruption
  •      Bow Spirit
  •      Venomous Bolt

2 responses to “Arcane Archer as a Magus Archetype

  1. John January 3, 2013 at 6:44 am

    This looks good, my only gripe is that the removal of heavy armor leaves a “dead” level. Sure the magus still gets spells, and you may argue that the bard also has similarly dead levels, but perhaps it would be better to leave medium armor in place and give them safe shot at level 13 instead of at level 10. The archer paladin does have medium armor, as does rangers, so there is some expectation that an archer might wear breastplate.

  2. steeldraco January 3, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Hm. Good point, I hadn’t noticed that dead level before. I was avoiding medium armor since the normal magus is quite limited on armor, and it made sense that a ranged magus would be even more limited. You could probably slot in medium armor at 10th and move Safe Shot to 13th without causing any problems.

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