An elf clad in rugged leathers completes her whispered incantation. Suddenly, a column of divine fire roars down from the heavens, engulfing enemy soldiers.
Arms and eyes upraised toward the sun and a prayer on his lips, a human begins to glow with an inner light that spills out to heal his battle-worn companions.
Adorned in scale mail, a gnome shouts orders to nearby allies, helping them coordinate their assault to the best advantage.
An archivist is a wielder of divine magic, similar to a cleric only in the type and nature of the magic at his command. Indeed, the archivist has more in common with the wizard than he does with the standard servant of the divine, due to the scholarly way in which he collects and maintains his spell selection. Archivists seek out esoteric sources of divine lore, wherever those sources might be, securing those secrets for themselves and their fellow scholars.
Scholars of the Divine
As an archivist, you travel in search of new and unusual magic of a divine nature. Since your understanding of magic revolves around the written word, you prize magical writings of any kind and will travel far to investigate a newly discovered (or yet-to-be discovered) holy scripture or mystical recitation. The secrets you uncover are their own reward, and your confidence in yourself and in the job you do is more rewarding than the empty gratitude of some group or hierarchy.
Agents of Knowledge
Archivists are not especially potent front-line fighters and will often hang back with the wizards when combat arises. They are sturdier and usually better armored than their arcane counterparts, however, and boldly stride into combat when necessary.
Creating an Archivist
The archivist is a more academic profession than the cleric or paladin but hardier and more worldly than the average cloistered wizard. Due to the exploratory and often dangerous nature of their work, archivists develop techniques for safeguarding themselves and their allies from the foul taint that so often surrounds and accompanies the lost or forbidden lore they seek. Archivists are thus exceptional support characters, bolstering the efforts of those who aid them in their scholarly pursuits.
You can make an archivist quickly by following these suggestions. First, Intelligence should be your highest score, followed by Constitution or Dexterity. If you plan on following the Path of the Tactician, make Strength your next-best score. Second, choose the sage background. Third, choose the light, resistance, and sacred flame cantrips, along with the following 1st-level spells for your prayerbook: bane, bless, command, cure wounds, guiding bolt, and inflict wounds.
As an archivist, you gain the following class features.
- Hit Dice: 1d6 per archivist level
- Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constituion modifier
- Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constituion modifier per archivist level after 1st
- Armor: Light armor
- Weapons: All simple weapons
- Tools: None
- Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
- Skills: Choose two from Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, and Religion
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
- (a) a component pouch or (b) an arcane focus
- (a) a scholar's pack, or (b) an explorer's pack
- Leather armor and a prayerbook
As a scholar of divine magic, you have a prayerbook containing spells that show the first glimmerings of your divine power. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting and the end of this class for the archivist spell list.
At 1st level, you know three cantrips of your choice from the archivist spell list. You learn additional archivist cantrips of your choice at higher levels as shown in the Cantrips known column of the Archivist table.
At 1st level, you have a prayerbook containing six 1st-level archivist spells of your choice.
Preparing and Casting Spells
The Archivist table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
You cast spells from the archivist's list of spells. You prepare the list of archivist spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of archivist spells from your prayerbook equal to your Intelligence modifier + your archivist level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
For example, if you're a 3rd-level archivist, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With an Intelligence of 16, your list of prepared spells can include six spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination, chosen from your prayerbook. If you prepare the 1st-level spell cure wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd-level slot. Casting the spell doesn't remove it from your list of prepared spells.
You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of archivist spells requires time spent studying your prayerbook and memorizing the incantations and gestures you must make to cast the spell: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.
Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your archivist spells, since you learn your spells through dedicated study and memorization. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for an archivist spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus +
your Intelligence modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus +
your Intelligence modifier
You can cast an archivist spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell in your prayerbook. You don't need to have the spell prepared.
You can use an arcane focus (found in chapter 5) as a spellcasting focus for your archivist spells.
|1st||+2||Spellcasting, Esoteric Knowledge (d4)||3||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||Lore Mastery, Theology Savant||3||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||Path of Knowledge||3||4||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||4||4||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+3||Esoteric Knowledge (d6)||4||4||3||3||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+3||Lore Mastery, Path of Knowledge Feature||4||4||3||3||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||4||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|11th||+4||Esoteric Knowledge (d8)||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|14th||+5||Path of Knowledge Feature||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||—||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||—|
|17th||+6||Esoteric Knowledge (d10)||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||1|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||5||4||3||3||3||3||2||1||1||1|
Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher
Each time you gain an archivist level, you can add two archivist spells of your choice to your prayerbook. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots, as shown on the Archivist table. On your adventures, you might find other spells that you can add to your prayerbook (see the "Your Prayerbook" sidebar).
As a master of lore, you are able to draw on your extensive knowledge of creatures, identifying their weaknesses and exploiting them. When a creature you can see is the target of an attack roll, you may use your reaction to make an Esoteric Knowledge check. On a success, roll 1d4 and subtract your result from the target's AC for the triggering attack.
At 6th level, your Esoteric Knowledge die increases to a d6, at 11th level it increases to a d8, and at 17th level it increases to a d10.
Esoteric Knowledge Checks
An Esoteric Knowledge check is an Intelligence check against a specific creature. If you have proficiency in a skill associated with that creature's type, you may add your proficiency bonus to the roll. The DC for this check is equal to 8 + twice the creature's Proficiency bonus.
You can make a number of Esoteric Knowledge checks equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1). You regain all uses of Esoteric Knowledge after a long rest.
At 5th level, you regain all uses of Esoteric Knowledge on a short or long rest.
Certain creatures—such as legendary creatures—may impose a Disadvantage on an Esoteric Knowledge check.
At 2nd level, choose two skills from the following list: Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion. If you are not proficient in the chosen skills, you gain proficiency with them. If you are already proficient, your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies.
At 7th level, you can choose one more skill from the list to gain this benefit.
Starting at 2nd level, you become more adept at comprehending divine magic procedures, and you can work with a willing divine spellcaster to learn and record additional archivist spells in your spellbook even without having them written out as on a spell scroll or prayerbook. The spell you wish to learn from the other person must, as usual, be a divine spell of a level for which you have spell slots, and the process of recording it in written form takes the same amount of gold and time copying it off a scroll would take.
At the DM’s discretion you may be permitted to add non-clerical divine spells, such as those cast by druids, rangers, and paladins, to your spellbook with either the described procedure or copying it off a spell scroll or other written format. Keep in mind that convincing non-clerics to explain their special rites to an outsider is no easy task, and the odds of them keeping any written documentation of their magic that is detailed enough for you to just copy into your spellbook yourself are fairly low.
Path of Knowledge
At 3rd level, you choose a path that defines the nature of your scholarly pursuits. Choose the Path of the Scholar, Path of the Explorer, or Path of the Usurper, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th and 14th levels.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Beginning at 5th level, you are able to hinder a foe's attacks as easily as their defense. When a creature you can see makes an attack roll, you can make an Esoteric Knowledge check as a reaction. If you succeed, you may roll your Esoteric Knowledge die and subtract the result from the triggering attack roll.
By 10th level, you have learned the secrets of all manner of monsters and men. As an action, choose a target you can see within 30 feet and make an Esoteric Knowledge check against them. If you succeed, the target is Frightened and must move its speed away from you for equal to the number of rounds equal to the roll of your Esoteric Knowledge die.
At the end of each of its turns, the target may make a Charisma saving throw against your Spell Save DC to end this effect early.
At 18th level, you may make two Esoteric Knowledge checks against an individual creature before requiring a long rest.
At 20th level, your knowledge surpasses that of mere mortals. Your Intelligence score increases by 4. Your maximum for this score is now 24.
Paths of Knowledge
The pursuit of knowledge drives every archivist the world around. For some archivists, the pursuit itself is their very existence and thus embrace that never-ending hunger for knowledge. For others, the pursuit is a means to protecting their allies or to fighting alongside them.
Path of the Scholar
Archivists traveling the Path of the Scholar are gatherers and keepers of secrets. They are often obsessed by the written word, with cryptic and arcane lore serving as their devoted mistress. Scholars often forsake material wealth and personal glory for rare or unusual information, an endless quest that brings them ever closer to their unattainable goal: perfection through edification. Often rejecting what he views as the pointless affectations and transitory pleasures of his short-sighted neighbors, the Scholar believes that the only worthwhile goal in life is the acquisition of intellectual might. After all, wealth is spent, passions fade, and the power of the body is limited by age, while the mind’s capacity to grow greater with time is infinite.
When you choose this path at 3rd level, you may choose one additional skill to gain the benefits of your Lore Mastery trait.
Additionally, whenever you have at least a full minute to review your notes while making an Intelligence check that lets you add your proficiency bonus, you can treat a d20 roll of 9 or lower as a 10.
Also at 3rd level, you are able to accurately predict the actions of your foe. Make an esoteric knowledge check against a creature you can see. If you succeed, the DM must inform you what the target's plan for the next round will be. If the character is able to take that action on their turn, they then must take it. If they are unable to take that action, the DM is free to change the action.
At 7th level, you are able to apply your advanced understanding of monsters to benefit your allies. As a bonus action, you can make an Esoteric Knowledge check against a creature you can see. On a success, all attack rolls made against that target have advantage until the end of your next turn.
Beginning when you reach 14th level, you are able to apply your knowledge to aid your allies in avoiding harm. As a reaction when a creature you can see creates an effect which causes a saving throw, you may make an Esoteric Knowledge check against the triggering creature. If you succeed, roll your Esoteric Knowledge die and subtract the result from the DC of the saving throw.
Path of the Explorer
Archivists on the Path of the Explorer seek out knowledge in the most dangerous of places, pushing the boundaries of safety in order to score some piece of forgotten lore.
When you choose this skill at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in light armor, medium armor, shields, and martial weapons.
Additionally, you are able to apply your knowledge swiftly to the situation. Any time you would take an action to make an Intelligence check, you may do so as a bonus action.
Also, at 3rd level, you have advantage on any rolls made to detect traps. If you know of a trap, you can spend an Esoteric Knowledge use to add your Esoteric Knowledge die to the roll to disarm or disable it.
Beginning at 7th level, you are able to apply your esoteric knowledge to your physical activities. When you make a Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check and apply your proficiency bonus, you may roll your Esoteric Knowledge die to lower the Difficulty of the check by an equivalent amount.
Once you have used this ability, you may not use it again until you have completed a short rest.
Use Magic Device
By 14th level, you have learned enough about the workings of magic that you can improvise the use of items even when they are not intended for you. You ignore all class, race, and level requirements on the use of magic items.
Path of the Usurper
Archivists do not need to follow a deity to access the divine power that flows through them, though many do. Some Archivists, however, are not content to pay heed to any deity or source of power, but also unwilling to relinquish the benefits given to clerics and other believers, and instead choose to take what the deities might withhold from them. Some do this subtly, merely feeding on table scraps of loose divine power. Some draw their strength from the loose energy left from dead or forgotten divine entities (and some of these Archivists actually seek to raise those entities back to proper status.) And still others, called Ur-Priests, actively hate the deities and seek to harm them by using the very power they grant their faithful.
When you choose this path at third level, your divine connection grants insights into the mindset and motivations of others. You gain proficiency in your choice of Deception, Insight, Intimidation, or Persuasion. Additionally, whenever you make a Deception, Intimidation, Insight, or Persuasion check against a creature, you can use Intelligence instead of another stat.
Also at 3rd level, you gain the ability to steal a mote of energy from the very gods, and use it to empower one of your spells, or penalize one of the enemy's spells.
As a bonus action, you speak a prayer to control the flow of magic around you. The next divine spell you cast gains a +2 bonus to the first attack roll you make or to its saving throw DC against one creature, as appropriate. This requires you to expend a use of Esoteric Knowledge, but you can only use this ability once per short or long rest.
As a reaction, you can make an esoteric knowledge check against a spell as it's cast. Use your Religion proficiency against the spell's save DC. If you succeed, you can reduce the spell's DC by your Esoteric Knowledge die against one target. At your DM's discretion, you may be allowed to use this ability against the special attacks of Divine creatures as well. You can only use this ability once per long or short rest.
At 7th level, you have advantage on saves against divine spells, as well as the abilities of Celestials and Fiends, and any other abilities your DM rules are divine in nature.
If you save successfully against such an ability with both rolls, you may choose to turn some of the energy back upon the ability's originator, dealing radiant or necrotic damage (your choice) to that creature equal to twice your Esoteric Knowledge dice.
At 14th level your awareness of divine magic is peerless. When you cast a divine spell that targets one or more creatures, you may make an Esoteric Knowledge check against one target. If the check succeeds, the target has disadvantage against the save DC of your spell and cannot gain resistance to any damage dealt by the spell.
- Prerequisites. Intelligence 13
- Proficiencies. Light armor and simple weapons.
Levels in Archivist count as full spellcasting levels for the purpose of determining how many spell slots are available.
Cantrips (0 Level)
- Control Flames
- Create Bonfire
- Magic Stone
- Minor Illusion
- Mold Earth
- Sacred Flame
- Shape Water
- Spare the Dying
- Absorb Elements
- Cause Fear
- Comprehend Languages
- Create or Destroy Water
- Cure Wounds
- Detect Magic
- Detect Poison and Disease
- Find Familiar
- Fog Cloud
- Guiding Bolt
- Healing Word
- Illusory Script
- Inflict Wounds
- Purify Food and Drink
- Speak with Animals
- Calm Emotions
- Continual Flame
- Detect Thoughts
- Enhance Ability
- Find Traps
- Gentle Repose
- Heat Metal
- Hold Person
- Lesser Restoration
- Locate Animals or Plants
- Locate Object
- Pass without Trace
- Protection from Poison
- See Invisibility
- Spiritual Weapon
- Warding Bond
- Warding Wind
- Zone of Truth
- Animate Dead
- Bestow Curse
- Create Food and Water
- Dispel Magic
- Elemental Weapon
- Feign Death
- Flame Arrows
- Glyph of Warding
- Magic Circle
- Mass Healing Word
- Meld into Stone
- Protection from Energy
- Remove Curse
- Speak with Dead
- Speak with Plants
- Spirit Guardians
- Summon Lesser Demon
- Charm Monster
- Death Ward
- Elemental Bane
- Freedom of Movement
- Grasping Vine
- Hallucinatory Terrain
- Locate Creature
- Summon Greater Demon
- Contact Other Plane
- Greater Restoration
- Infernal Calling
- Legend Lore
- Mass Cure Wounds
- Modify Memory
- Blade Barrier
- Find the Path
- Primordial Ward
- True Seeing
- Word of Recall
- Antimagic Field
- Control Weather
- Mind Blank
- Power Word Stun