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Wizards of High Sorcery

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by James O'Rance

Wizards of High Sorcery are a class unique to Krynn, one that combines rigorous study and research with the gift of magic that some are said to have been gifted with at birth. A character who becomes a Wizard of High Sorcery belongs to an ancient order of wizards and sorcerers that work together to preserve the magical lore of Krynn. The Wizards of High Sorcery began as loosely organised groups of wizards. It was not until much later that the Orders became formalised and structured.

There is solidarity among Wizards of High Sorcery, although this is tempered by the ambitions of the members and the ethos of each Order. A White Robe and a Black Robe fighting on opposing sides of a war (such as the War of the Lance) would not hesitate to destroy each other. When these High Sorcerers meet on neutral grounds (such as a Tower of High Sorcery), they are likely to enter into an eager discussion of magic. If attacked by an outside force seen as a threat to their magic (a renegade spellcaster, for example), both would join together to fight in defense of the magic.

All Wizards of High Sorcery are brothers in their Order. All Orders are brothers in magic.

The Towers of High Sorcery are held in common among all Orders and no magic is to be used there in anger against fellow High Sorcerers.

The world beyond the walls of the Towers may bring brother against brother and Order against Order, but such is the way of the universe.

The Conclave of High Sorcery consists of three factions with seven representatives from each. Each of the Orders of High Sorcery is equally represented at the Conclave and a single individual is selected by each Order as Master. In the case of the White Robes, elections are held to determine the master of their Order. The Red Robes draw lots from among the seven members of the Conclave. The Master of the Black Robes is usually the most powerful High Sorcerer of that Order. This has from time to time resulted in some rather fabulous contests as two High Sorcerers vie to establish who is fit to lead their Order. Such contests are invariably held beyond the boundaries of the Towers.

The Head of the Conclave is determined by the consensus spell. The law of the Conclave is largely determined in everyday matters by the Head of the Conclave, and his law is final. However, if a decision is made against the will of the Conclave, then a mandate may be called for in which a consensus is taken of the entire Order, and a new Head of the Conclave is chosen.

The Conclave is convened on set dates and times as dictated by the moons. The Conclave meets regularly once each month on the first day of High Sanction for the ruling Order. The Night of the Eye is a special time when all of the Orders gather together. The Head of the Conclave can also call a Conclave during times of grave crises that affect all Orders. The Conclave does not meet when the Test is given, as this is a normal function of the Tower and is handled on a routine basis.

Hit Die: d4


To qualify to become a Wizard of High Sorcery, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Spellcasting: Ability to cast 2nd level Arcane spells.
Knowledge (arcana): 4 ranks
Spellcraft: 4 ranks
Special: The character must take (and survive) the Test of High Sorcery.

Class Skills

The Wizard of High Sorcery's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Alchemy (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (arcana, history) (Int), Profession (Wis), Scry (Int, exclusive skill), and Spellcraft (Int). See Chapter 4: Skills in the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Wizard of High Sorcery prestige class.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Wizards of High Sorcery gain no proficiency in any weapon or armour. Armour of any type interferes with a Wizard of High Sorcery's movements, which can cause her spells to fail (if those spells have somatic components). Note that armour check penalties for armour heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a -1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armour and equipment carried.

Alignment: Each Wizard of High Sorcery belongs to one of the three Orders, according to her alignment. The Orders of High Sorcery are the White Robes (good), Red Robes (neutral), and Black Robes (evil). Each Order specialises in different spells, and has an ethos dedicated to the alignment of its particular moon of magic (Solinari, Lunitari, and Nuitari).

From time to time, a character's action will indicate that she is no longer a follower of the tenets of his chosen Order. Such changes are not without hardship. The character's spellcasting abilities are not affected by the moons of magic until one game month has passed. Furthermore, the character is unable to use spell secrets that she could not learn within her new Order (see below).

Spells per Day: Wizards of High Sorcery cast arcane spells, and continue to study magic as they did before taking the Test. Thus, when a new Wizard of High Sorcery level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in the spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (metamagic or item creation feats, improved chance to use bardic powers, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of Wizard of High Sorcery to the level of some other arcane spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.

If a character had more than one class capable of casting arcane spells before she became a Wizard of High Sorcery, she must decide to which class she adds each level of High Sorcerer for purposes of determining spells per day when she adds the new level.

Bonus Feat: At 1st level, the Wizard of High Sorcery gains a bonus feat. If the character has not taken Moon Magic (see Arcane Magic of Krynn), she gains this feat; otherwise, she may choose any metamagic feat. At higher levels, the Wizard of High Sorcery gains additional feats, which may be taken as either metamagic or item creation feats.

Arcane Learning: Wizards of High Sorcery spend much of their spare time poring over old tomes and learn new languages to enable them to uncover the lost magical secrets of the past. At 2nd, 5th, and 8th level, a Wizard of High Sorcery can choose to learn either one bonus language or one command word for a specific rod, staff, wand, or wondrous magical device.

Useful languages for a High Sorcerer include Ancient Elven, Ancient Ogre, Draconian, Dragonspeak, Ergot, Kharolian, Qualinesti Elven, Silvanesti Elven, and Solamnic. In addition, Wizards of High Sorcery often learn Magius, an ancient language in which magical research notes are often written. Its spoken form no longer exists, but literacy in Magius is necessary for a character who wishes to advance very far in the Wizards of High Sorcery.

Learning Spells: Whenever a Wizard of High Sorcery gains a level, she is taught two new spells by her Order. The character must have access to the spell books of a higher-level member of her Order (the spell books of a Wizard of the White Robes are of no use to a Wizard of the Red Robes). The libraries of each Order of High Sorcery do not contain every spell known; each Order teaches only spells from particular schools. These schools are:

  • Order of the White Robes: Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, and Evocation.
  • Order of the Red Robes: Conjuration, Divination, Evocation, Illusion, and Transmutation.
  • Order of the Black Robes: Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, and Necromancy.

Spell Secret: The Wizard of High Sorcery can choose one spell found within the libraries of her Order (White Robes, Red Robes, or Black Robes), and permanently modify it as though affected by one of the following metamagic feats: Empower Spell, Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Still Spell, or Silent Spell. The spell's level does not change, and once the choice of spell and modification are chosen, they cannot be changed. As the Wizard of High Sorcery goes up in level, she can choose the same spell to be modified in different ways with multiple spell secrets.

Wizard of High Sorcery
Level Base Att. Fort Ref Will Special Spells per Day
1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Bonus feat +1 level of existing class
2 +0 +0 +0 +3 Arcane learning +2 level of existing class
3 +1 +1 +1 +3 Spell secret +3 level of existing class
4 +1 +1 +1 +4 Bonus feat +4 level of existing class
5 +2 +1 +1 +4 Arcane learning +5 level of existing class
6 +2 +2 +2 +5 Spell secret +6 level of existing class
7 +3 +2 +2 +5 Bonus feat +7 level of existing class
8 +3 +2 +2 +6 Arcane learning +8 level of existing class
9 +4 +3 +3 +6 Spell secret +9 level of existing class
10 +4 +3 +3 +7 Bonus feat +10 level of existing class

The Test

The Test of High Sorcery is more than just a trial of a person's magical abilities, it also tests how that person will use the abilities she has and those she will gain. Each initiate's test is a different one, designed especially for her needs ands weaknesses. Failure means death. Those attempting the Test may bring companions along, but no one who enters the Tower of High Sorcery is guaranteed of emerging alive.

Because magic is such a powerful force in Krynn, the Conclave is extremely careful about who is allowed to wield this power. All arcane spellcasters above a certain level of power (those able to cast 3rd-level spells) are required to take the Test of High Sorcery to determine their worthiness. The Conclave is not interested in whether the power is used for good or for evil so much as it is concerned with irresponsible use of the power (one reason kender never pass the Test!). An initiate who agrees to take the Test, therefore, pledges her life to the magic. She must prove to the satisfaction of her fellow Wizards of High Sorcery that she takes magic seriously, and that she will devote her life to magic.

Once an initiate has passed the Test, she is considered a Wizard of High Sorcery and expected to abide by the decisions of the Conclave. She may gain levels in the Wizard of High Sorcery prestige class (provided that she meets the other requirements), although she is not required to do so.

The Test should involve:

  • At least three encounters that test the character's knowledge of magic and its use, including challenges that can be overcome with clever use of the character's spells.
  • At least three encounters that cannot be solved by magic alone.
  • One of these must be a conflict with a character known to the initiate as an ally.
  • At least one one-on-one encounter against an opponent who is +1 CR higher than the initiate's character level.

These guidelines may be adjusted upward if the initiate chooses to bring allies into the Test.

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