Straight outta Oakhurst
Arcane Order of the Forgotten Rite
It is both a school for fledgling spellcasters and a guild for those of advanced knowledge and power.
The Arcane Order’s charter is twofold. Its first tenet is advancing magical knowledge through both ongoing research and archeological investigation of lost arcane disciplines. A good portion of research is centered around elucidating a “magical grammer” of the great power wielded in ages past, and this research has borne wondrous fruits: metamagic feats. The second tenet is the support and welfare of the Order’s membership, initially through arcane schooling and later throughcampanionship, resources, boarding, and access to the Spellpool (see below). Although nonwizards can benefit somewhat from what the Order has to offer, its emphasis on wizardry deters most applicants.
NPC guildmages often join adventuring companies of nonspellcasters who are not affiliated with the Order. Thus, they could be encoutnered anywhere adventure beckons. However, a guild member in good standing returns when he can to the campus, pays his required dues, and does his part in the upkeep of the Spellpool.
Beginning at 2nd level, members can call 1st through 3rd level spells from a common source known as a spellpool. At 6th level, they may call upto 6th level spells from the spellpool. At 10th level, they may call upto 9th level spells from the spellpool.
A magical reservoir of spell energy is bound into a special matrix
in a guarded vault on a sublevel of the Order’s headquarters.
Using his guild focus, a mage of the Arcane Order can “call”
spells from this common resource as needed.
Calling a Spell: Calling a spell from the Spellpool can be done
at any distance but requires the caster to have an open, unused
spell slot of the appropriate level. Wizards preparing spells for
the day decide at that time whether to leave some spell slots
open. A spellcaster can call only for a spell of a level that he could
normally cast. He can call a number of spells per day whose
total levels are equal to or less than half his caster level (round
down, minimum one). For example, Turial Edemont, a 5th-level
wizard/4th-level mage of the Arcane Order can call one 4th-level
spell per day, two 2nd-level spells per day, or any other combina-
tion of spells whose levels do not exceed four, assuming he has
slots available and his Spellpool debt isn’t too high (see below).
When a caster calls a spell, he takes a full-round action to
concentrate on his focus (which provokes attacks of opportu-
nity). The spell appears in the caster’s mind at the beginning of
his next turn and can be used immediately. However, if he does
not cast the called spell within a number of minutes equal to
his caster level, it fades from his mind as though cast. A wizard
cannot learn a called spell, despite its temporary presence in his
consciousness, though of course he could later attempt to learn
the spell through standard means.
Spell Availability: Three stages of access to the Spellpool exist.
A member first joining the Order gains Spellpool I privileges,
which grants access to spells of 1st to 3rd level. Spellpool II
allows access to 4th- to 6th-level spells, and Spellpool III grants
access to 7th- to 9th-level spells. No 0-level spells are available,
but the Spellpool can provide any other spell on the wizard/sor-
cerer spell list in the Player’s Handbook, as well as any additional
spells designated by the DM.
Spellpool Debt: Every time a spellcaster calls a spell, he
incurs a debt. He must return an “energy packet” to the Spell-
pool: a spell he has prepared of a level equal level to that of
the called spell, or a number of spells whose combined levels
equal the level of the called spell. For instance, the Spellpool
debt for a 5th-level spell is five levels, which could be paid off
with another 5th-level spell or any combination of spells whose
levels total five. Returning a spell is a full-round action, like
calling a spell, and depletes a prepared spell slot as if the spell
had been cast.
The debt must be repaid within a number of days equal to
the character’s class level; otherwise, the mage’s access to
the Spellpool is automatically suspended. Once the debt is
repaid, a suspended caster immediately regains access to the
Spellpool—except that failure to pay off a debt within one year
results in a spellcaster’s expulsion from the Order. A mage
can’t run a “positive balance” with the Spellpool, paying off a
debt before incurring it.