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Cryomancer Wizard Archetype

Wizards traditionally conduct their research in the halls of academia. Whether they perform mystical experiments in a state-of-the-art laboratory or pour through the pages of a long-forgotten tome, these magical practitioners feel more at home in a scholarly atmosphere than the great outdoors. However, one brand of wizard unique to the polar biomes foregoes the conventional and treads down a divergent path. The cryomancer adopts an interactive approach. He believes new discoveries are best found in the field and not in a stodgy library stuffed with stale, antiquated ideas. The extreme cold encountered at the poles represents one of the last untapped frontiers for unearthing exciting arcane breakthroughs. The limited heat found in these frigid lands and waters alters the fundamental building blocks of matter, giving rise to molecular structures and states seemingly in defiance of the physical laws governing the universe in temperate worlds. Normally solid objects can shatter into countless tiny fragments upon impact with another object. Living creatures can be kept in suspended animation for prolonged periods without suffering irreparable harm. The dense layers of compressed ice and snow, the gravity-driven winds, and the mysterious lights illuminating the night sky contain secrets still beyond the comprehension of mortal minds.

Nonetheless, the cryomancer’s breadth of knowledge about cold environments continues to expand, allowing him to imbue bonded objects with magical powers suited for these chilly realms. Despite his expertise in this subject matter, the cryomancer lacks the survival skills to go it alone in the harsh wilderness. Most of these wizards set out onto the glaciers and polar seas in the company of more experienced polar explorers and adventurers. Although he rarely takes the lead while trudging across the frozen landscape or sailing upon the icy seas, his value to the group cannot be understated whenever they run across one of the biomes’ numerous paradoxes.

Frozen Bond (Su)

At 1st level, a cryomancer must select an object for his arcane bond. If he chooses an amulet or ring, the item continuously keeps him warm and comfortable in cold environments as if affected by endure elements. As a free action, the cryomancer may sacrifice a spell slot to gain resistance to cold equal to double the level of the spell slot used; thus, a 2nd-level spell would confer resistance to cold 4. The effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to the level of the spell slot sacrificed.

A wizard who chooses to bond with a staff or wand can spontaneously cast a wizard spell with the cold descriptor once per day as if it were a wizard spell he knew and had prepared. The spell’s level cannot exceed the highest-level wizard spell he can cast. The cryomancer may spontaneously cast a spell with the cold descriptor from another class’ spell list, such as a cleric or druid. When casting such a spell, the cryomancer can only cast a spell at least one spell level lower than the highest-level wizard spell he can cast. (If the spell is on multiple spell lists, he uses the lowest level from among those lists.) If the cryomancer bonds with a weapon, he may use a free action to sacrifice a spell slot to confer magical properties on the weapon. If he sacrifices a spell slot, the bonded weapon gains a +1 enhancement bonus and the frost property for a number of rounds equal to the level of the spell slot sacrificed. At 9th level, the wizard may bestow the icy burst property on the bonded weapon instead of the frost property by sacrificing a spell slot of 5th level or higher. This ability alters arcane bond.