Arcane Scholar of Candlekeep is a prestige class that was introduced in Mask of the Betrayer.



Arcane Scholars seek to raise the study of magic to the level of an academic discipline. Their interest is not in researching new spells or finding more specialized uses for their craft, but in understanding the fundamental processes of magic and the inner workings of the Weave, which is the fabric that underlies all magic.

The first Arcane Scholars emerged from the dusty libraries of Candlekeep, where they pored through the writings of a thousand long-dead mages, seeking the unifying principles that underlie all magic. But even the archives of Candlekeep have their limits, and not all practitioners of magic have the means or desire to record their experiences with the Art. So Arcane Scholars dispersed into the wider world, observing and recording all the various expressions of magic they could find. Their tradition has gradually spread, and some mages who have never set foot in Candlekeep have adopted their disciplined and systematic approach to magic.

By gaining a deeper understanding of magic, and by discerning its underlying principles, arcane scholars become specialists in metamagic. Their spells are more powerful, last longer and can be cast more quickly than those of their peers. Arcane Scholars have also become especially adept at explaining the workings of magic to ordinary folk. Those who travel with Arcane Scholars gain the benefit of their considerable knowledge and are better able to avoid hostile magic.

Arcane Scholars do not limit themselves to studying particular sorts of arcane magic. To truly understand the Art, they believe that one must understand all its expressions. Thus all arcane casters are equally welcome to join their fellowship. Indeed, the insights of sorcerers and bards are particularly prized by Arcane Scholars, as such casters rarely have the patience to discuss the deeper workings of magic.


Skills: Spellcraft 8 ranks

Feats: Empower Spell, Skill Focus (Concentration), Skill Focus (Spellcraft)

Spellcasting: Able to cast 3rd-level arcane spells.

Class Features[]

Hit die: d4
Proficiencies: None
Skill points: 2 + Int modifier
Class skills: Appraise, Concentration, Craft Alchemy, Diplomacy, Lore, Search, Spellcraft
Base attack bonus progression: Low
Saving throws high: Will
low: Fortitude, Reflex
  • Spells Per Day/Spells Known: When a new Arcane Scholar level is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as though he had gained a level in whatever arcane spellcasting class gave him access to 3rd-level arcane spells. If the character has more than one applicable arcane spellcasting class, he must pick one to improve.

Class Progression[]

Level Features Gained
1 Maximize Spell
2 Spell Knowledge + 1
3 Improved Empower Spell
4 -
5 Quicken Spell
6 -
7 Improved Maximize Spell
8 Spell Knowledge + 2
9 -
10 Improved Quicken Spell

Bonus Feats[]

  • Spell Knowledge: At 2nd Level, the Arcane Scholar and any party members gain a +1 bonus to their saves versus spells. This bonus increases to +2 at 8th level.
    Note: as of patch 1.23, Spell Knowledge is bugged and does nothing.

Tested in 1.23 and it works

  • Improved Empower Spell: At 3rd level, the Arcane Scholar becomes especially adept at empowering spells. Empowered spells now only use a spell slot one level higher than the spell's actual level.
  • Improved Maximize Spell: At 7th level, the Arcane Scholar becomes especially adept at maximizing spells. Maximized spells now only use up a spell slot two levels higher than the spell's actual level.
  • Improved Quicken Spell: At 10th level, the Arcane Scholar becomes especially adept at quickening spells. Quickened spells now only use up a spell slot three levels higher than the spell's actual level.

A comparison of Empower Vs Maximize that goes over the benefits of each, and to help you decide what to take.

NWN Comparison[]

  • This class did not exist in NWN.

3.5 Rules Comparison[]

  • This class was created in-house by Obsidian Entertainment for Mask of the Betrayer.
  • Closest class to ASoC in terms of gameplay in base DnD ruleset is Incantatrix/Incantator, who also gains improved metamagic as a bonus feat and specializes in metamagic in general.