I'm going through all the D&D books and deciding which prestige classes I want to allow in the campaign. It's tricky, because I already have the major adventures all worked out in front of me, and if someone decides on a character with a weird class, or a complicated back-story, that character probably won't fit into the campaign.
Now, I've never played a character with a spell-casting prestige class, and I'm struggling with an issue here:
Let's say a character is a 6th level Wizard, 3rd level Rogue. She then takes a level in, say, Arcane Trickster. The Arcane Trickster is one of those classes that say that, when a character gains a level, the character also gains "new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not gain any other benefit ..."
Now, I understand that the character now casts an additional first level spell and a fourth level spell, just as if she were a 7th level Wizard. My question is, does a prestige class add to her effective caster level? For example, does her fireball do 6d6 of damage with a range of 640 feet, or 7d6 of damage with a range of 680 feet?
Does it matter which prestige class we're talking about?
The answer to this question makes a difference in terms of which prestige classes will fit in the campaign.