Third Edition Dungeons and Dragons offered a couple prestige classes that have their own independent spellcasting capabilities, like the Assassin, with their own spells per day progression and spell lists. I love these independent caster PRcs, or "indie casters," as I like to call them, because they add richness and flexibility. Still, because caster level and number of spells quite lags a straight caster, they are underpowered options. Personally, I see that as a feature for splat book offerings that are usually bogusly overpowered.
But what if a character with one of these PrCs subsequently takes another PrC that advances spellcasting? When a secondary PrC, say loremaster, boosts one of these indie casters? In Third Edition D&D, for example, what do you do when your assassin takes a level of Arcane Trickster? In my newly updated PrC splat book, I have five PrCs that are indie casters. How do they advance past 10 levels of spellcasting when stacked with another PrC?
If the stacking does not exceed 10th level, then there is no complication. A spellspinner 5 / loremaster 3 has the spellcasting ability of an 8th level spellspinner. That's easy. But for my free PrC splat book, I needed rules for what happens past 10th level. So when that same character advances to spellspinner 5 / loremaster 6, then use following rules to advance casting:
- Rule 1) Advance spells per day progression using the same pattern that the PrC used for levels 1-10. For an example, you can download my splat book and check out the appendix. Of course, even with stacking, few multiclass combinations will allow spell progression beyond level 15 -- but offer levels 16 through 20 for those using epic play rules.
- Rule 2) Give the character the Heighten Spell feat as a free bonus feat. If they already have it, let them select any other metamagic feat for which they qualify. Why? Read on ...
- Rule 3) When a character's spellcasting progression grants the capability to cast 6th level spells and higher, how do you cast with those slots, since the PrC class spell list ends at 5th level spells? In short, use those higher level slots to prepare lower level spells. With the Heighten Spell feat, those spells benefit as if they were higher level spells, so far as saving throw DCs are concerned. Also use other metamagic feats to boost use those slots more effectively. For example, a fighting trickster 10 / arcane trickster 5 uses a 7th level spell slot to cast a Heightened Bestow Curse. The save DC for the spell is base 10 +7 +Int Mod + usual mods. With the Quicken Spell feat, the same caster could instead use the slot to cast a Quickened Suggestion, with the usual DC for a 3rd level spell, but as a swift action.
- Rule 4) Let the character gain knowledge of new spells in a way that is similar to what they have been doing. Wizard-like PrCs gain two spells known per level, plus whatever they add to their books normally. Let spontaneous casters add a spell or two to their spells known each time they advance in spells per day. Divine casters, like clerics and druids, generally get full access to all spells anyway.
For even more prestige class goodness, check out my splat book download page for Cayzle's Little Splat Book of Prestige & Class, version 1.0.