Wu Jen (Arcanist Archetype)

Wu jen are mysterious spellcasters of the far east who draw on the power of the five elements (earth, fire, metal, water, and wood), command spirit forces, and seek to expand their knowledge of the world, both magical and mundane. Typically, they live as hermits in the wilderness, purifying their bodies and minds to contact the various natural and supernatural powers. It is from these entities that they learn their spells and magical means to control the invisible forces of the world. 

Class Features
The wu jen has the following class features.


A wu jen adds the spells from the five elemental schools (earth, fire, metal, water, wood) to his spell list. A wu jen otherwise learns, prepares, and cast spells as an arcanist equal to his level.

Elemental Focus (Su)

A wu jen draws his power from the five elements. At 1st level, a wu jen chooses an elemental school of magic; earth, fire, metal, water, or wood. The wu jen gains the abilities granted by that school, as the elelmental school class feature of the wizard, treating his arcanist level as his wizard level for these abilities. In addition, the wu jen can prepare one additional spell per day of each level he can cast, but this spell must be chosen from the selected elemental school.

Unlike a normal arcane school, the wu jen must select his opposed element as his opposition school (fire melts metal, metal chops wood, wood breaks up the earth, earth absorbs the water, and water quenches fire). He does not select a second opposition school. Whenever she prepares spells from his opposition elemental school, the spell takes up two of his prepared spell slots. In addition, a wu jen takes a –4 penalty on any skill checks when crafting a magic item that has a spell from his opposition school as a prerequisite. A wu jen cannot select the school understanding arcanist exploit.

Just as each of the five elemental schools have an opposition school, each has a synergistic elemental school that create magical synergy (metal generates water, water nourishes wood, wood feeds fire, fire creates earth, and earth bears metal). As such, whenever a wu jen casts a spell that is listed in both the wu jen's chosen elemental school and it's synergistic school, it is cast as if he had a caster level 1 level higher. 

This ability replaces consume spells, 13th-level arcanist exploit, and magical supremacy.


In order to maintain his supernatural power, a wu jen must abide by certain strictures that may seem inconsequential to others but are vitally important to the wu jen. If a wu jen violates one of his taboos, he cannot cast any more spells that day. A wu jen must choose one taboo at 1st level, and one additional taboo every time he learns a spell secret. Possible taboos include: 

    • Cannot eat meat. 
    • Cannot own more than he can carry. 
    • Must make a daily offering (such as food, flowers, or incense) to one or many spirit powers. 
    • Cannot bathe. 
    • Cannot cut her hair. 
    • Cannot touch a dead body. 
    • Cannot drink alcohol. 
    • Cannot wear a certain color. 
    • Cannot light a fire. 
    • Cannot sit facing in a certain direction. 

Watchful Spirit (Su)

Once per day, a wu jen of 2nd level or higher can focus his ki to reroll an initiative roll he has made. He takes the better of the two rolls.  

Spell Secret

Starting at 3rd level, a wu jen can choose to learn a spell secret in place of an arcanist exploit. When a wu jen chooses a spell secret, he selects one spell known to him that then becomes permanently modified as though affected by one of the following metamagic feats: Elemental Spell, Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Focused Spell, Intensified Spell, Lingering Spell, Piercing Spell, Still Spell, or Silent Spell. The spell's level does not change, and once the choice of spell and modification are chosen, they cannot be changed. As the wu jen goes up in level, he can choose the same spell to be modified in different ways with multiple spell secrets. He does not need to know the feat he applies to the spell.  

Elemental Mastery (Su)

At 5th level, when a wu jen learns all the spells of his chosen elemental school up to the highest level of spells he can cast, he is considered a master of that element. Thereafter, whenever the wu jen casts a spell of that element, the saving throw DC is increased by 2, while the wu jen himself gets a +2 competence bonus on saving throws against spells of that element. This bonus stacks with the bonus conferred by the Spell Focus feat. Note, that when the wu jen gains the ability to cast higher-level spells, he loses his mastery until he learns all the spells of that element at the new spell level. Certain spells on the wu jen spell list are designated "all"; this means they belong to all elemental groups, and a wu jen must learn these spells in order to achieve mastery of any element. 

This ability replaces the 5th-level arcanist exploit.

Elemental Acuity (Su)

Starting at 9th level, a wu jen can recognize the material, somatic, and verbal component of any spell from his elemental mastery list (including spells that are designated as "all"). The wu jen gains a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks to identify these spells being cast by another creature (see Spellcraft in the Player's Handbook). This bonus increases to +4 at 13th level, and +6 at 17th level. 

This ability replaces the 9th-level arcanist exploit. 

Table: Wu Jen

Level Base 
Attack Bonus
Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells Per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Arcane reservoir, arcane exploitcantrips, elemental focus, taboos 2
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Watchful spirit 3
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Arcane exploitspell secret 4
4th +2 +1 +1 +4
4 2
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Elemental mastery 4 3
6th +3 +2 +2 +5
4 4 2
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Arcane exploit 4 4 3
8th +4 +2 +2 +6
4 4 4 2
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Elemental acuity 4 4 4 3
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 4 4 4 4 2
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Arcane exploitgreater exploits 4 4 4 4 3
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 4 4 4 4 4 2
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 4 4 4 4 4 3
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9
4 4 4 4 4 4 2
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 Arcane exploit4 4 4 4 4 4 3
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10
4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Arcane exploit4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
18th +8/+3 +6 +6 +11 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Arcane exploit4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12
4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4