3
\$\begingroup\$

A character in a game I am running wants to use the prestige class mystic theurge (Dungeon Master's Guide) to advance the caster level of his savant.

The savant base class (Dragon Compendium) gains a kind of spellcasting progression starting at 5th level - the character gains arcane spells - and by level 10 acquires the ability to cast divine spells as well.

By 12th level, the savant would have access to 3rd level arcane spells and 2nd level divine spells.

At this level, the savant possesses the necessary skill ranks and the spellcasting requirements for the mystic theurge prestige class.

However, can a savant even benefit from the mystic theurge? The player of the savant claims that the mystic theurge progression will elevate his caster level; since savants have a caster level equal to one-half their savant level, a character who progresses savant 12/mystic theurge 8 will have a caster level of 14 (instead of the caster level 10 that a savant 20 would have).

... I am less sure that the mystic theurge interacts this way with the savant - indeed, I am unsure if the mystic theurge can even interact with the savant at all! The savant has no "spellcasting" class feature for the theurge to advance...

More controversially, the player also claims that the mystic theurge progression would double advance his savant spellcasting progression. Since the savant is both the arcane and divine spellcasting class, each level of mystic theurge would give him two levels of progression with his spellcasting in the savant class - which would rapidly run him out of spell progression, if the theurge can in fact do such.

My questions are:

  1. Can the savant base class benefit from the mystic theurge in any way? Either by increasing the caster level or advancing the spellcasting progression of the savant, or, in some other way the player or myself haven't thought of?

  2. Does the savant truly qualify for the mystic theurge? While I am confident that the answer to this second question is probably a yes, I'd prefer it if there were a valid reason to disqualify the savant from the mystic theurge other than just GM fiat.

\$\endgroup\$
0
0
\$\begingroup\$

I would say Yes and No to both of these questions. The bolded sections below are all emphasis mine. I’ve had a very similar conversation with a player of mine. We disagreed at that time, but this is my reasoning for the interpretation I presented.

Please forgive me if my interpretation of the Savant is limited, as I do not own the Dragon Compendium, so I am working off of web-based sources. Please also forgive me for any formatting issues, as I am new to this system.

My interpretation of the interaction is based on a few factors:

  • Mystic Theurge states, “Spells Per Day: When a new mystic theurge level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if he has also gained a level in any one arcane spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class and any one divine spellcasting class he belonged to previously.”
  • The Mystic Theurge specifically calls out that it learns spells per day in both the long text and the header on the class’ chart, not spells known.
  • Mystic Theurge goes on to state, “He does not, however, gain any other benefits a character of that class would have gained…”
  • Savant lists as special abilities of the class both “Arcane Lore” and “Divine Lore.” These are specific abilities gained at specific levels which affect how the class operates. Under those sub-headings, the Savant describes those abilities as:
    • Arcane Lore: “At 5th level, the savant chooses two spells from his lists that he has acquired through research and diligent study. Each level afterward, he selects two more arcane spells…”
    • Divine Lore: “The savant gains divine spells in the same manner as arcane ones. At 10th level, he learns two new divine spells from the savant divine list. Each level thereafter he gains two additional divine spells.”
      • The above Savant features are special abilities akin to the Familiar advancement of a Wizard, which the Mystic Theurge calls out specifically in the following “For example, a 3rd level cleric/3rd level wizard who takes a level in mystic theurge has the same access to spells as a 4th level cleric and a 4th level wizard. But he continues to turn undead as a 3rd level cleric, and his wizard familiar won’t gain any new abilities.” The familiar and turning undead are both special abilities of those base classes and are specifically called out as not being advanced by the Mystic Theurge class. The Mystic Theurge does not level up as either of the base classes Cleric or Wizard in this specific example.
      • In no other section of the Savant class does it state that this class learns new spells. Unlike most other divine spellcasters, the Savant does not automatically know all spells of each new relevant level. Meanwhile, wizards have a section labeled Spellbooks which states, “At each new wizard level, she gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that she can cast…” These are specific abilities of these specific classes; all classes learn spells in different, and often unique, ways (much like the Savant does every level after 5th and 10th level).
        To answer the question:

YES

  • The savant can benefit from the Mystic Theurge in that the Mystic Theurge would gain Spells Per Day and Caster Levels as if it were increasing as a Savant. Follow the spells per day chart of the base class to find overall spell slots. Add your mystic theurge level and half of your entry level Savant together to find caster level.
  • The Mystic Theurge only specifies that a player must pick one class when the player has two or more levels in differing arcane classes or two or more levels in differing divine classes. Mystic Theurge in no way states that the arcane and divine classes must be different.
  • The Savant most certainly qualifies for Mystic Theurge, as the Savant can, at level 12, cast both level 2 arcane and divine spells.
  • Indeed, through my interpretation, the Savant 12/Mystic Theurge 8 would effectively cast spells at a caster level of 14 (though the highest level spell castable would always be spell level 3 for arcane and 2 for divine).

NO

  • The Mystic Theurge does not advance the Savant’s spells known as the Savant gains those through two special class abilities (Arcane and Divine Lore respectively).

    • For comparison’s sake, the Archmage states this as part of advancement, “When a new archmage level is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in whatever arcane spellcasting class…”
  • The Savant 12/Mystic Theurge 8 would max out, with an assumed basic Int/Wis of 14 each (for calculating bonus spells), looking something like this:

    • Spells per day (Arcane) — 1st:4 // 2nd:4 // 3rd:3 // 4th:2
    • Spells per day (Arcane) — 1st: 3 // 2nd: 3 // 3rd: 1 // 4th: 1
    • Spells known (Arcane) — 16
    • Spells known (Divine) — 6
  • As stated in the final sentence of the first paragraph of the “Spells per Day” section of the Mystic Theurge, “This essentially means that he adds the level of mystic theurge to the level of whatever other arcane spellcasting class and divine spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.

  • This would, in my interpretation, mean that the Mystic Theurge is ultimately ineffective as a prestige class for any spellcasting multiclass. I readily admit that this does not in any way answer your question, so I am happy to delete this aside if folks have issues with it.

This, of course, does not stray into the territory of learning new spells in other ways. I still believe that the Savant/Mystic Theurge fails in this aspect as well. Lacking a spellbook means a savant/MT cannot copy new spells into such, and the savant/MT has no class ability or learned skill which allows that character to interpret such magical writings. A sorcerer or bard gains spells per level and no other way. A divine spell caster immediately gains access to all spells of a given level, as long as that spell is on their spell lists; however the Mystic Theurge does not advance that aspect of the base classes. The savant is only stated to gain spells (RAW) from advancing the Savant class and leveling up their Arcane and Divine Lore abilities.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, welcome to the site, thank you for your thorough and well-written consideration of this question! Unfortunately, I have personally got to slam the no button on your analysis—the phrase “spells per day” in prestige class spellcasting progressions refers to just the number of spells that a character gets each day, not the specific title of the ability that gives you that spellcasting. In fact, no class gets a feature entitled “spells per day,” they’re usually “spells,” sometimes “spellcasting,” and occasionally, as with the savant, other things—but PrCs advance them all the same. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Dec 3 '20 at 13:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Excellent catch on comparing the archmage's progression against the mystic theurge's progression - that's an explicit loss of spells known with no way to recover them outside of GM fiat, even if, otherwise, the class is a legal (if bizarre) choice for the player. \$\endgroup\$ – NFeutz Dec 3 '20 at 15:54
6
\$\begingroup\$

Answering these in reverse order because the second question is far simpler.

  1. Does the savant truly qualify for the mystic theurge? While I am confident that the answer to this second question is probably a yes, I'd prefer it if there were a valid reason to disqualify the savant other than just GM fiat.

Yes. The character is “able to cast 2nd-level arcane spells” as well as “able to cast [...] 2nd-level divine spells,” and can trivially achieve the necessary skill ranks. Those are the only requirements for mystic theurge, and nothing in the savant class description says that these spells cannot meet prerequisites (the way, say, the chameleon prestige class’s spellcasting says it cannot).

  1. Can the savant base class benefit from the mystic theurge in any way? Either by increasing the caster level or advancing the spellcasting progression of the savant, or, in some other way the player or myself haven't thought of?

We have absolutely no idea.

The rules for mystic theurge say that your spellcasting progresses

as if [you] had also gained a level in any one arcane spellcasting class [you] belonged to before [you] added the prestige class and any one divine spellcasting class [you] belonged to previously.

Is the savant an “arcane spellcasting class,” and/or a “divine spellcasting class”? There is literally no answer available to this question. Those terms are never defined. It’s a class that grants spellcasting of each of those types, so the naive/literal definition of those terms would probably include it for both. We have so many questions on this subject, but the answer is simply that we cannot truly know. Ask your DM/decide for yourself if you are the DM.

I would allow it—but I would rule that any given level doesn’t stack with itself if you choose savant as both the arcane spellcasting class and the divine spellcasting class, that is, you cannot gain two levels’ worth of spellcasting from a single level of mystic theurge. That would be my hard-and-fast rule for all of these kinds of corner cases.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.