Path of Iron Update: Archivist Progress

Two weeks now into the Path of Iron Kickstarter, and we're getting close to the $2000 mark!

Out of all of the classes being presented in Path of Iron, the archivist is certainly the most daunting. Since it has its own form of spellcasting, it requires a significantly larger time investment, as it needs a whole list of scripts (the spells), feats, and magic items to support the system. When looking at the entirety of Path of Iron, the rune magic system will in all likelihood make up about a quarter or more of the whole book.

When the play test launches, it will come with everything needed to play as an archivist. It will start off with 120 scripts that the archivist can use, spread among the six designs of rune magic so that all archivist studies have equal choice and opportunity. These aren't necessarily all of the spells that will be in the final product, just the starting point. Feedback provided by players during the play test will determine what spells should be added to better round out the archivist's powers.

I'll finish with two more of the archivist's studies: creation and invocation. If all goes well, there will be some exciting news regarding the play test come the end of next week!


Those who study creation are masters of their craft, protecting and supporting allies while summoning creations and creatures to fight.
Study Synergy: An archivist that studies creation gains the following ability when overloading a script.

Runic Barrier (Su): Whenever you overload a script, you create a 10-foot-radius barrier centered on yourself. Allies in the area (including you) gain a +1 bonus to their Armor Class for each creation runic charge expended. The barrier lasts until the end of your next turn.

Study Abilities: Your powers unlock the secrets of creation.

Writ of Recovery (Ex): At 2nd level, when you cast a script that recovers hit points, you do not provoke attacks of opportunity for casting that script. In addition, the maximum amount of hit points your healing scripts can heal is based on your archivist level, not the script’s normal maximum. For example, if you were 8th level and cast a recover script, it would heal 1d8+8 hit points instead of the normal 1d8+5 maximum.
Generation (Sp): At 8th level, you can create materials and structures as if using a create* script. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1). You can have no more than one create* effect active at a time; using it again immediately ends the previous create* effect. At 14th level, you can use three of your daily uses of this ability to instead have it function as the manufacture* script.
In addition, for every three archivist levels past 8th, this ability is treated as if overloaded with a single runic charge of your choice, up to a full four runic charges at 20th level (this applies to both the create* and manufacture* effects).
Reflexive Barrier (Su): At 14th level, your creation of defensive wards becomes second-nature. You have a 25% chance to negate critical hits and sneak attacks used against you. This increases to 50% at 20th level.
Runic Vitality (Ex): At 20th level, your mastery over healing creations provides you with constant protection. You are immune to blindness, deafness, fatigue, exhaustion, sickness, nausea, energy drain, and death effects. Whenever you overload a script that restores hit points, it is automatically boosted by Empower Script*.


Students of invocation commune with the forces of nature, calling forth elemental energy, primal forces, and natural disaster with a single word.
Study Synergy: An archivist that studies invocation gains the following ability when overloading a script.

Ward of the Seasons (Su): Whenever you overload a script, you can grant yourself or a creature within 30 feet resist energy 5 against your choice of acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage for each invocation runic charge expended. This effect stacks and be applied to a different energy type for each runic charge. For example, if using three invocation runic charges, you can apply three charges to fire damage to grant fire resist 15, two to cold and one to acid to grant cold resist 10 and acid resist 5, or any other combination. The resistance lasts for 1 minute.

Study Abilities: Your every step brings you closer to the natural world.

Nature Affinity (Ex): At 2nd level, you have acclimated to harsh environments. Your need to eat and sleep is reduced as if wearing a ring of sustenance, and you are protected from extreme temperatures as if under the effects of an endure elements spell.
Natural Resilience (Ex): At 8th level, you become immune to poison and disease, even ones that are magical in nature. You also gain a +2 natural armor bonus. The natural armor bonus increases to +4 at 14th level.
Step of the Ages (Su): At 14th level, the elements grant you a new way to traverse the world. Choose one of the following to gain. Once chosen, it cannot be changed:

  • Air - You gain a fly speed of 40 feet with average maneuverability. At 18th level, it increases to 60 feet with good maneuverability.
  • Earth - You gain a burrow speed of 30 feet and can breath normally while in the ground. At 18th level, you gain the earth glide universal monster ability.
  • Fire - Your land speed increases by 20 feet, and you are no longer slowed by difficult terrain. At 18th level, your speed increases by an additional 20 feet.
  • Water - You gain a swim speed of 30 feet, you take no penalties to attack rolls or damage rolls for being underwater, and can breath underwater. At 18th level, your swim speed increases to 60 feet and you no longer take damage or penalties for being deep underwater, such as pressure damage.

One With the World (Ex): At 20th level, you become one with the forces of nature. You become immune to paralysis, sleep, and petrification, and gain tremorsense out to 30 feet. When you overload a script that deals acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage, you may replace the script’s normal damage with one of the other four energy types or split the script’s damage, so that half is of its normal type and half is of a different type.