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Magic comes in many shapes and forms. Some invoke the power of their deity, while others find magic within their ancestry. An archivist, however, looks to a magic form more ancient than others. Both scholar and student, archivists delve into the mysterious art of runic magic, glyphs of wondrous power etching themselves onto archivists as they invoke eldritch powers once long forgotten. The archivist learns to harness the power of these runes, mastering one of six designs of runic script to evoke primal energies, wreak havoc upon foes, or alter the very fabric of reality to suit their needs. Each script an archivist casts imparts lingering power upon his person, building in strength until unleashed with incredible result.

Role: While the powers of runic magic are diverse, archivists must choose where the focus of their study lies. Whether mastering destructive forces or creative energies, an archivist proves a valuable member to any adventuring team by making the seemingly impossible a reality.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d6.

Class Skills

The archivist’s class skills are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Archivist
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Fundamentals Known Scripts Known Max Script Level
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Bonus Feat, Fundamentals, Study, Study Synergy 3 2 1
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Study Ability 3 3 1
3rd +1 +3 +1 +3 4 4 2
4th +2 +4 +1 +4 Altered Script 1/day 4 5 2
5th +2 +4 +1 +4 5 7 3
6th +3 +5 +2 +5 Bonus Feat 5 8 3
7th +3 +5 +2 +5 6 9 4
8th +4 +6 +2 +6 Study Ability 6 10 4
9th +4 +6 +3 +6 7 12 5
10th +5 +7 +3 +7 Altered Script 2/day 7 13 5
11th +5 +7 +3 +7 7 14 6
12th +6/+1 +8 +4 +8 Bonus Feat 8 15 6
13th +6/+1 +8 +4 +8 8 17 7
14th +7/+2 +9 +4 +9 Study Ability 8 18 7
15th +7/+2 +9 +5 +9 8 19 8
16th +8/+3 +10 +5 +10 Altered Script 3/day 8 20 8
17th +8/+3 +10 +5 +10 8 22 9
18th +9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Bonus Feat 8 23 9
19th +9/+4 +11 +6 +11 8 24 9
20th +10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Study Ability 8 25 9

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the archivist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Archivists are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor and shields, however, do not interfere with the casting of runic scripts.

Rune Magic

An archivist’s arcane power comes through his understanding of scripts, an esoteric form of magic that involves the creation and destruction of mystic symbols called “runes”.

An archivist learns one runic script of his choice at each archivist level, plus a bonus script known at 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels, as shown on Table: Archivist under “Scripts Known”. These five bonus scripts must be chosen from the archivist’s chosen study (see below). At first, an archivist can only learn 1st-level scripts. As he grows in skill, he can master scripts of much greater power, as shown on Table: Archivist under “Max Script Level”. To learn or cast a runic script, the archivist must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the script’s level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an archivist’s script is 10 + the script’s level + the archivist’s Intelligence modifier.

Table: Castings Per Script Per Day
Level Script Level
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st 1
2nd 1
3rd 1 1
4th 2 1
5th 2 1 1
6th 2 1 1
7th 2 2 1 1
8th 3 2 1 1
9th 3 2 2 1 1
10th 3 2 2 1 1
11th 3 3 2 2 1 1
12th 3 3 2 2 1 1
13th 3 3 3 2 2 1 1
14th 3 3 3 2 2 1 1
15th 4 3 3 3 2 2 1 1
16th 4 3 3 3 2 2 1 1
17th 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 1 1
18th 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 1 1
19th 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 1 1
20th 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 1 1

Unlike a typical spellcaster that has spell slots each day, an archivist can cast each script he knows a number of times each day based on the level of the script, as shown in Table: Castings per Script per Day. For example, a 5th-level archivist could cast each 1st-level script he knows twice each day, each 2nd-level script spell once each day, and each 3rd-level script he knows once each day. In addition, he receives bonus scripts per day if he has a high Intelligence score (see Rune Magic). These extra castings can be applied to any script he knows of the appropriate level.

An archivist does not need to prepare his scripts in advance. He can cast any of the scripts he knows at any time, assuming he has not used up his total castings of that script for the day.

Bonus Feats

At 1st level, 6th level, and every six levels thereafter, an archivist gains a bonus feat. This bonus feat must be chosen from Design Focus, Greater Design Focus, an item creation feat, or a metascript feat. He must meet the prerequisites of these feats as normal.


All archivists learn a number of fundamentals, scripts that are so simple that they require little effort to cast. An archivist begins play knowing any three fundamentals of his choice. He continues to learn more fundamentals as he advances, as shown in Table: Archivist under “Fundamentals Known”. Unlike other runic scripts, a fundamental can be cast an unlimited number of times per day. While fundamentals can be overloaded like any other runic scripts (see Rune Magic), the magic is too weak to generate much energy: casting a fundamental does not grant the archivist any runic charges.


Rather than attempt to master all runic magic, archivists instead focus on a specific script design. An archivist must decide his study at 1st level. Choosing a study grants a number of abilities to the archivist, which are obtained at 2nd, 8th, 14th, and 20th levels. The abilities granted are described in each study’s entry. An archivist’s bonus scripts known at 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels must have the same design that he chooses to study. The archivist’s chosen study also determines his study synergy ability (see below).

The DC to save against any special abilities granted by an archivist study is equal to 10 + 1/2 the archivist’s level + his Intelligence modifier, unless otherwise noted.

Study Synergy (Su)

At 1st level, an archivist’s ability to overload his runic power into a script gains new function, based on his chosen study. This ability is described in his chosen study’s entry. As with the normal use of runic power, the effects of the archivist’s study synergy stack for each runic charge of the specified type that is overloaded.

Altered Script (Su)

At 4th level, the archivist learns to adapt his rune magic to the situation at hand. As a swift action, the archivist gains a single runic charge of his choosing. In addition, the archivist may exchange any number of his runic charges out for charges of a different rune design. The new charges can be of any design, not just those that are available to the archivist through his runic scripts. Starting at 16th level, the archivist gains two runic charges of his choice when using this ability, instead of only one. The archivist can use this ability once per day, plus an additional time per day for every six levels past 4th, to a maximum of three times per day at 16th level.

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have archivist as their Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.

Table: Alternate Favored Class Bonuses
Race Bonus Source
Core Races
Dwarves The archivist gains 1/6 of a bonus item creation feat. AG:PI
Elves The archivist gains 1/6 of a bonus metascript feat. AG:PI
Gnomes When casting revelation (thought) scripts, add +1/3 to the effective caster level of the script, but only to determine the script’s duration. AG:PI
Half-Elves The archivist gains 1/6 of an additional daily use of his altered script ability. AG:PI
Half-orcs Add a +1 bonus on concentration checks to cast archivist scripts. AG:PI
Halflings Add a +1/4 luck bonus to saving throws against language-dependent effects and symbol spells. AG:PI
Humans Add +1/2 bonus to Spellcraft and Use Magic Device checks. AG:PI
Other Races
Aasimar Add +1/4 to the archivist’s caster level when casting scripts with the good descriptor. AG:PI
Tiefling Add +1/2 point of bonus damage dealt with destruction scripts. AG:PI

Archetypes & Alternate Class Features

When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.

A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.

Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.

Table: Archetypes / Alternate Class Features
Archetype / Alternate Class Feature Class Features Changed or Replaced
Class Skills Weapon & Armor Rune Magic Fundamentals Bonus Feats Study Study Synergy Altered Script
1 6 12 18 2 8 14 20
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Path of Iron, © 2015, Ascension Games, LLC; Author Christopher Moore