(Original Version)

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Originally the heirophant and archmage prestige classes were very similar, with nearly identical prerequisites. The main differences between the two classes were the special abilities they granted. Late in the process it was decided to make them more different, and so the archmage class was given a spell progression, and to balance that they had more difficult prerequisites to enter the class and had to pay spell slots for their special abilities. I thought it might be of interest to see the original version. Plus, the change in the prereqs means that the iconic FR characters who had levels in this class had to be reworked, so I'll be presenting the original writeups for those characters as well.

To avoid blatantly copying the text out of the FRCS, I'm just going to note what was different than the final version and refer you to the FRCS for the stuff that didn't change--noted as "(FRCS)."

    Hit Die: (FRCS)

To qualify to become an archmage, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
    Spellcasting: Ability to cast 7th-level arcane spells.
    Skills: Spellcraft 15 ranks
    Feats: Any metamagic feat
(There were no other prereqs for the class. We felt it was OK that most mages would eventually become archmages, like how most clerics would probably become divine disciples.)

Class Skills

Table 1: The Archmage
Class Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 High arcana
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 High arcana
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 High arcana
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 High arcana
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 High arcana
(Note the lack of a spellcasting progression.)

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the archmage prestige class.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: (FRCS)
    High Arcana: Every level, an archmage gains a special ability of her choice among the following (in this version of the class, you don't have to pay for these abilities with spell slots):
        Metamagic Feat: The archmage may choose a metamagic feat.
        (All other High Arcana are identical to those presented in the FRCS, except that you don't have to pay for them with spell slots, as I noted above.)