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Gunpowder Mage (Legendary Wizard Archetype)

One would think that the excitement of arcane magic would be enough for some, but others are drawn to the siren song of more explosive armaments. Gunpowder mages are at home among the sights and sounds of combat, wielding unique weaponry in an attempt to immerse themselves in the song of strife.

Gunpowder Magic

The gunpowder mage has learned to combine the explosive force of gunpowder with their magics, allowing them to use firearms to amplify the potency of their spells. The gunpowder mage gains Exotic Weapon Proficiency (firearms) as a bonus feat. The gunpowder mage infuses any firearm they wield with their arcane powers, treating them as arcane guns. Arcane guns can be used to both fire projectiles and cast magic.

While wielding an arcane gun, the gunpowder mage can perform the somatic components of their spells using their firearm, rather than requiring a free hand.

The gunpowder mage can cast any ranged touch attack, cone, line, or ray wizard spells through their arcane gun. When they cast through the arcane gun, the gun’s enhancement bonus (if any) is added as a bonus to the caster level of the spell, as a bonus to the spell’s attack rolls, and to the spell’s saving throw DCs. Spells fired through the arcane gun that require an attack roll have a ×3 critical hit multiplier. When the gunpowder mage uses their gun to cast a spell, the gun must be loaded with gunpowder, which requires reloading the gun as normal.

Using the unpredictable nature of gunpowder to enhance spells in this way has its inherent risks. If any of the spells’ attack rolls result in a natural 1 (a misfire), or a natural 20 is rolled on any saving throw made against the spell by a target (an overload), the arcane gun gains the broken condition. If the arcane gun already has the broken condition, the gun explodes.

When a gun explodes, it lets loose a blast of force, or if the spell has the acid, cold, electricity, or sonic descriptor, it deals that type of energy damage instead. In the case of spells with multiple descriptors, roll randomly among the descriptors to determine the type of damage dealt by the blast. The blast is centered on a single intersection within the spellslinger’s space (spellslinger’s choice) and deals 1d6 points of the appropriate energy damage or force damage per level of the spell cast. Any creature within the blast other than the spellslinger can make a Reflex saving throw to halve the damage. The Reflex save DC is calculated using the spell level of the spell being sacrificed.

This replaces the legendary wizard’s arcane bond class feature.

Diminished Arcane School

The gunpowder mage does not gain an increase to their caster level with spells from their arcane school.

This modifies the legendary wizard’s arcane school class feature and replaces the secondary specialization class feature.


The gunpowder mage gains the Gunsmithing feat and a battered gun that is identical to the firearm a gunslinger gains at first level. Like a gunslinger, a spellslinger can use the Gunsmithing feat to restore their battered gun.

This replaces the legendary wizard’s scribe scroll class feature.

Gunpowder Infusion

At 5th level, the gunpowder mage has learned to transfer spell energy directly into their arcane gun, infusing its gunpowder with arcane power. As a swift action, the gunpowder mage can sacrifice a prepared spell (or a spell slot, for a path of the prodigy wizard) and transform its energy into a weapon bonus equal to the spell level of the sacrificed spell (or slot) to a single barrel of one of their arcane guns. With that weapon bonus the spellslinger can apply any of the 17 following to their arcane bond: enhancement bonuses (up to +5) and dancing, defending, distance, flaming, flaming burst, frost, ghost touch, icy burst, merciful, seeking, shock, shocking burst, spell storing, thundering, vicious, and wounding. An arcane gun gains no benefit from having two of the same weapon special abilities on the same barrel. The effect of this ability lasts for a number of minutes equal to the level of the spell sacrificed, or until this ability is used again to assign the infused barrel different enhancements. These bonuses stack with any existing enhancement bonuses and abilities of the firearm, stacking to a maximum enhancement bonus of +5.

This replaces the legendary wizard’s bonded advancement class feature.

Arcane Gunpowder

At 11th level, the gunpowder mage has learned techniques to refine their gunpowder with magic. The misfire chance of their arcane guns are reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 0). At 17th level, spells they cast through their arcane gun can no longer misfire or overload.

This replaces the legendary wizard’s bonded inspiration and bonded union class features.

Gunpowder Mage Arcane Discoveries: The following new arcane discoveries are available to the gunpowder mage in addition to their normal selection of arcane discoveries.

Arcane Ammunition (Su)

Benefit(s): You can utilize your magic to keep your arcane guns continuously loaded with conjured ammunition.

This ability functions as the reloading hands spell as a continuous effect. If a firearm loaded with this conjured ammunition leaves your hands, the ammunition immediately disappears. If you wield more than one arcane gun, each arcane gun is affected by this ability.

Arcane Clear (Su)

Benefit(s): You can use your arcane power to quickly clear a misfire from your arcane gun. As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you can remove the broken condition from a single firearm you are currently wielding, as long as that condition was gained by a firearm misfire, or a misfire or overload caused by casting a spell through your arcane gun. In addition, as a move action you can sacrifice a prepared spell of 1st level or higher (or a spell slot of 1st level or higher, for a path of the prodigy wizard) to clear the broken condition (as above) and to prevent your arcane gun from misfiring or overloaded for a number of rounds equal to the level of the sacrificed spell.

Gunpowder Mage and Guns Everywhere

If your game is using the Guns Everywhere rules, adjust the gunpowder mage archetype in the following ways:

  • Gunpowder Magic: The gunpowder mage gains the Gunsmithing feat and a battered firearm instead of gaining the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (firearms) feat.
  • Gunsmith: The gunpowder mage no longer gains this ability, and no longer replaces the scribe scroll class feature.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

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