• A half-elf Archivist/5 (from 3.5 Heroes of Horror) with no required feats.
    • Archivist 5 can cast 3rd level spells.
    • The desired spell is a 5th level spell.
  • All Pathfinder/3.5 books allowed.
  • House rule: This Archivist can cast/learn from divine or arcane spell lists.

How can I make this archivist able to cast Magic Jar?

Failing that, how can we allow her to inscribe Magic Jar into her prayer book?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a reason why just casting it off a scroll wouldn't work? \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Apr 15, 2012 at 5:58

3 Answers 3


Since you've got the houserule that gives Archivists the ability to cast arcane spells, then to add it to your prayerbook, you must either select it when you gain any level that supports Magic Jar (Archivist 9+) or you must copy it from a scroll or from another spellbook per PFRPG's Adding Spells to a Wizard's Spellbook rules.

The caveat being that nothing grants Archivists the ability to research spells. So, without another houserule you would need to ignore that portion of the above referenced rules.

Or the next time you have a feat available on or after Archivist 11 (can only add spells up to a level lower than your highest available spell level), you may use Extra SpellComplete Arcane (p79).

Previous Suggesting for non-arcane (RAW) Archivists

Find a spellcaster that treats arcane spells as divine, pay them to create a scroll, copy to your prayerbook.

Options include:

  • Wizard with the Divine Magician Alternate Class Feature from Complete Mage
  • Favored Soul of Bahamut/Tiamat Alternate Class Feature from Dragon Magic

An archivist of any level may attempt to learn Magic Jar.

An archivist scribes spells in her prayer book like a spellbook. Presuming that you have a source in the world capable of scribing from.

The specific rules referenced are here:

To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the wizard must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a wizard’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the wizard’s Intelligence modifier.

... Therefore the Archivist must have an Intelligence of at least 15.

And here:

A wizard can also add a spell to her book whenever she encounters one on a magic scroll or in another wizard’s spellbook. No matter what the spell’s source, the wizard must first decipher the magical writing (see Arcane Magical Writings, above). Next, she must spend a day studying the spell. At the end of the day, she must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell’s level). A wizard who has specialized in a school of spells gains a +2 bonus on the Spellcraft check if the new spell is from her specialty school. She cannot, however, learn any spells from her prohibited schools. If the check succeeds, the wizard understands the spell and can copy it into her spellbook (see Writing a New Spell into a Spellbook, below). The process leaves a spellbook that was copied from unharmed, but a spell successfully copied from a magic scroll disappears from the parchment.

If the check fails, the wizard cannot understand or copy the spell. She cannot attempt to learn or copy that spell again until she gains another rank in Spellcraft. A spell that was being copied from a scroll does not vanish from the scroll.

Therefore, presuming spellcraft optimization (trivial with appropriate spells like divine guidance or a number of the bard skill enhancers from archivist) there is no inherent problem in learning magic jar.

Casting Magic Jar is really quite difficult before Archivist 7

Magic Jar is a Wizard/5. Given the house rule allowing wizard spells in the archivist's prayer book (::whimper::) there is no formal problem save for the fact that our archivist only casts 3rd level spells.

The use of the Sanctum Spell feat provides for a -1 spell level when outside of the sanctum. Optimization detailed here. This, applied to Magic Jar, turns it into a level 4 spell.

However, it is not until Archivist 7 that this becomes possible. Magic Jar is necromancy, therefore the shadowcraft mage -> miracle route when combined with divine metamagic is possible... but overkill and difficult to pull off on the budget allocated above.

While it is possible to have an artificer make scrolls using sanctum spell, the easiest way that I can see is somehow change your race to a much lower ECL and have more caster levels naturally. Given a choice between that and shadow miracles as a fake-gnome, I'd take race-fiddling.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think the Sanctum Spell trick will work. The spell is still a 5th level spell. In fact, the feat description states that "A sanctum spell uses a spell slot of the spell's normal level." It just modifies any calculated mechanics & DCs when cast. I also don't see how changing your race would work. The spells you gain as an Archivist are solely based on your Archivist class level. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mad Brew
    Apr 15, 2012 at 1:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Huh... then how does sanctum spell... actually work? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2012 at 2:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Within any area you designate as your sanctum (there are rules for how to do that, that I won't cover here), any spell you prepare with the Sanctum Spell feat has an effective spell level 1 level higher than normal (and by the same token is -1 level outside of your sanctum). To quote the feat, "all effects dependent on the spell level (including save DCs) are calculated according to the adjusted level." So it's only increasing/decreasing the effects, it doesn't change it's actual level... you can't prepare a 5th level spell as a 4th. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mad Brew
    Apr 15, 2012 at 3:22

If houserulings aren't out of the question, I would imagine either just letting the Archivist learn Magic Jar as an exception to the limit of divine spells only, or just homebrew a divine variation of Magic Jar with an appropriate name/flavor text change. Last I checked making up new spells was within the limits of the rules as long as they weren't too overpowering.


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