Wizard Character Concepts
If you select a concept, it modifies the standard wizard class. You cannot select a character concept and later on multiclass back into the wizard class using a different character concept or the normal wizard character class.
The Quintessential Wizard
Author Mike Mearls
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002
Many of the concepts here operate similar to the rules for specialist wizards. They allow you to gain bonuses with a specific type or set of spells while limiting your ability to learn and use enchantments that fall outside the concept’s area of expertise. Like specialist wizards, some of the concepts trade mastery in one aspect of magic with an inability to use one class of spell. Other concepts make slight changes to the core wizard class, replacing its access to bonus feats with new abilities or expanding its list of class skills. Unless otherwise noted, specialist wizards may choose any concept, just like the standard wizard class.
The art of alchemy is as old as that of wizardry, if not older. While the typical alchemist lacks magical skills and focuses on producing tools and items such as sunrods and thunderstones, many wizards combine magical talent with knowledge of chemicals, reagents, and craftsmanship. The masters of potions and magical elixirs, alchemists find steady work and high demand for their wares across civilised lands.
Adventuring: While most alchemists prefer the safety, security, and steady income of their workshops to the deadly uncertainties of adventures, some venture out in search of rare ingredients, lost potion formulae, and other treasures that enhance their art. During an adventure, the alchemist’s variety of potions can spell the difference between success and failure. More importantly, an alchemist’s potions allow him to distribute magical abilities throughout the party. Rather than relying on the alchemist to cast a spell or activate a magic item, his comrades need only drink a potion to gain the benefits of his magic.
Role-Playing: Alchemists are analytical and thorough thinkers, and this attitude spills over to their personalities. They are the fantasy campaign equivalent of scientists, carefully weighing evidence and attempting to create thorough, sensible plans of actions in dealing with any problem, from something as mundane to efficiently loading a wagon to ambushing and defeating a green dragon. Alchemists are theorists and analysts. Much of their study of alchemy is driven by making observations of the interactions of reagents and predicting how they can be combined to produce wondrous effects. Thus, alchemists are tuned in to observing effects, predicting results, and making plans based on their ideas.
Bonuses: The alchemist gains Brew Potion in place of Scribe Scroll at 1st level. While Brew Potion is normally available only to characters with a spellcasting level of 3 or higher, the alchemist’s focus on creating magical elixirs gives him a leg up on other spellcasters. Creating potions is a highly specialised skill that requires the knowledge of and ability to wield
some rather advanced magics. Only the alchemist’s intense focus on the subject allows him to circumvent the standard training necessary to gain Brew Potion.
The alchemist also learns to create potions that mimic the effects of spells to which he does not normally have access. The Expert Brewer feat is available only to wizards who choose the alchemist character concept.
|Expert Potion Brewer (Alchemist Only, Item Creation)|
Your knowledge of alchemy and magic allows you to create potions that duplicate spells not normally found on spell lists available to your class.Prerequisites: Brew Potion, spellcaster level 3+ Benefit: Each time you take this feat, you may choose 3 levels worth of spells that you do not have in your spellbook or on your list of available spells, including spells that appear only on the lists of classes in which you have no levels. 0-level spells count as 1st level ones for the purposes of this feat. For example, a wizard could select cure light wounds and aid with this feat, as those two spells- levels total 3 and neither appear on the wizard spell list. You may create potions that duplicate the chosen spells as per the standard rules for brewing potions. However, multiply the gp and xp costs of the potion to determine its final cost. Though you know how to duplicate the spell’s effects, your knowledge is imperfect and requires more work and resources than normal.
Penalties: The art of creating scrolls, normally a critical part of a wizard’s training, is not an important skill to an alchemist-in-training. The alchemist cannot select the Scribe Scroll feat until he has a caster level of at least 5 in any spellcasting class. Many alchemists disdain scrolls, viewing them as a primitive and unwieldy alternative to a finely crafted potion.
Not everyone who masters a few charms turns his first efforts to battling dragons and orcs, researching esoteric secrets, or forging enchanted items. Some wizards begin from far humbler stations, such as a simple, travelling entertainer. With a few illusions and other basic spells, the entertainer provides an enjoyable show for his audience, who in turn provide him with a few coins for food and a place in an inn’s common room for the night. Some entertainers start out as apprentices who need to earn a few extra coins on the side, while others learn their craft from an established performer and follow in their master’s footsteps.
Adventuring: As itinerant performers, the entertainer is no stranger to travel, exploration, and the minor adventures that go with a hand to mouth existence. After scrabbling together a hard earned livelihood, an entertainer turns to adventuring as a chance to use his skills to gain the fame, fortune, and a comfortable lifestyle that casting prestidigitation for bar-room crowds can never provide. On adventures, entertainers offer skills in handling people that other wizards lack. Working crowds for cash taught the entertainer how to put on a good show. Most entertainers
lack the talent to cast more than a few spells per day. In order to bulk up their shows, they learn to use misdirection, music, oration, and other tricks to provide mundane tricks that captivate audiences.
Role-Playing: Compared to other wizards, entertainers take simple joy in their arts. They may lack the theoretical and technical background of other mages, but they learn many practical lessons from their days on the road that pay off in situations not covered by the typical magic academy’s classrooms. Entertainers are streetwise, savvy, and in-tune with the world at large. They know where to get a good drink in town, what neighbourhoods to stay away from, and how to talk to about buying information. Some wizards turn their noses up at the entertainer, labelling him little more than a gimmicky wannabe, but adventurers with experience know that the entertainer’s days of travel grant him a good view of society and friends in almost most every town.
Bonuses: The entertainer’s experience with working magic to enchant and amaze audiences gives him an excellent sense of how to pitch his casting as a performance and to distract observers from the true nature of his casting. The entertainer gains Bluff, Gather Information, and Perform as class skills. The entertainer’s life on the road and chosen Profession grant him access to skills not normally associated with wizards. In addition, the entertainer can use his Bluff skill to mask his casting. If the caster attempts to cast a spell in front of a friendly or neutral observer, he may use a full-round action to make a Bluff check. If his check beats the Sense Motive checks of his observers, on his next action the entertainer casts a spell without alerting those watching him. They assume that the wizard’s incantations and gestures are merely part of his act. If the spell has no obvious visual effects, they fail to notice it. For example, an entertainer who uses this ability to cast charm person on a guard does not alert the guard’s friends to his spellcasting.
Penalties: Days on the road and nights performing in taverns limit the entertainer’s formal training in the magical arts. He does not count Alchemy or Knowledge (Arcana) as class skills. Add one to the minimum level necessary for the entertainer to gain any item creation feat, aside from Scribe Scroll.
In a world haunted by demons, ghosts, and other malevolent spirits, the threat of possession hangs over any who come into contact with the undead and other threats. Unlike a rampaging orc tribe or an incursion of giants, a ghost’s possession and control of a victim could easily go unnoticed. The mayor of a village could operate for months under the influence of an evil ghost, turning over the plans for defence to a local gang of ogres in return for cash and happily plotting the town’s downfall merely to line his own pockets. The exorcist strives to counter such threats. Wandering the land alone or with a small group of witch hunters, he ferrets out the signs of outside influence in otherwise innocent commoners and casts them out with his magical abilities. Exorcists who have not yet mastered dispel magic serve as scouts and investigators, seeking out signs of magical influence to report back to their superiors and more experienced spellcasters.
Adventuring: Adventuring parties planning an excursion to ancient ruins, crypts, or other sites reputed to house ghosts or similar threats seek out and hire exorcists to aid them on their journey. In any dangerous environment, teamwork and trust are paramount to success, and any creature or threat that can turn an adventurer against his comrades poses a tremendous threat. Exorcists are experts at noticing the subtle changes in behaviour and body language that mark a malevolent, controlling influence at work. Once they identify this hidden threat, their training and mystic knowledge allows them to tailor counterspells designed to purge spirits and enchantments
from a person’s mind.
Role-Playing: While their study of magic allows them to break magical enchantments and other controls, it also leaves exorcists somewhat paranoid. Some would say that exorcists know too much of the creatures and spirits that can break a man’s will, leaving them ready to jump at any shadow or suspicious statement with accusations of ghostly possession or demonic influence. Corrupt or fanatical exorcists go so far as to accuse any who even so much as voice disagreement with their plans of being under
the control of demons or worse. Most exorcists are naturally suspicious, but their knowledge of the threats humanity faces makes them more likely to accept aid and support in their struggles, rather than expect enemies to be lurking behind every seemingly innocent person they meet.
Bonuses: The exorcist’s study of mind-influencing magic allows him quickly to diagnose the presence of any outside influences on those he meets. When using Sense Motive to determine if a subject is under the effects of any enchantment spells, possessed by a ghost or other creature, or the target of a Magic Jar or similar effect, the exorcist gains a +2 competence bonus to his check. The exorcist also gains a +2 bonus to his dispel checks made with dispel magic and Dispel Magic, Greater.
Penalties: Exorcists study the ways of demons, ghosts, and other creatures. They must select the skill Knowledge (exorcism) and spend 4 skill points on it at first level and 1 more point for each level they gain in the wizard class. The exorcist’s bonuses and abilities stem from his in-depth, arduous study of the magical effects that can distort and bend a sentient being’s will. In addition, the Exorcist swears never to call creatures from beyond the planes. He may never use a spell that summons a monster or other creature to this plane.
Toiling over a steel blade in a blazing forge, spending countless hours carefully shaping a longbow, or sewing an elegant, silk cloak, the arcane craftsman masters a variety of crafts and learns to combine the mundane arts with the study of magic to produce expertly built enchanted items. As apprentices, arcane craftsmen are taught that while a wizard’s command of magic and the spells in his books measure his personal power, a true mage masters the art of imparting permanent enchantments into physical items. Arcane craftsmen believe that while fireball and stoneskin are impressive spells, their effects are fleeting. The fireball bursts and disappears, while the stoneskin evaporates after several attacks. An enchanted blade, so long as it is properly cared for, lasts forever. Many arcane craftsmen view the creation of intelligent weapons and items as the pinnacle of achievement, a task that mirrors the gods’ creation of life itself.
Adventuring: Of all the character concepts presented here, arcane craftsmen are the least likely actively to seek adventure. Most are content to spend their days labouring in elaborate workshops, perfecting their skills at the forge and steadily producing enchanted items. Arcane craftsmen regard their work as an artform, and attempt to push their skills to new levels and surpass the accomplishments of the arcane craftsmen who came before them. However, not all arcane craftsmen share this contentment with a relatively mundane life. Some arcane craftsmen actively adventure in order
to recover lost magical items or valuable materials and components needed to produce the most powerful items. News of the newly uncovered ruins of an ancient civilisation draw daring arcane craftsmen in great numbers. Discovering a unique or lost technique of magic item creation ranks as one of the greatest contributions an Arcane Craftsman can make in his field. Many arcane craftsmen also maintain extensive collections of magical items and actively seek out chances to add to their holdings.
Role-Playing: Arcane craftsmen cover a wide range of personalities and alignments. Some arcane craftsmen take their art very seriously and come across as pretentious, arrogant, elitists. These artists take great pains to demonstrate their knowledge and skill, delivering long, tedious lectures on the properties of a +1 longsword or a cloak of elvenkind. The only reason adventurers put up with their dull company is their unsurpassed expertise in crafting magic items. Other Arcane Craftsmen view their trade as any other craft, and though they take pride in their work they do not allow it to spill over into their attitudes towards others. These Arcane Craftsmen are designers, engineers, and problem solvers. They take a very practical approach to adventures, and their inventive minds are quite a boon for
Bonuses: The Arcane Craftsman’s studies in the arts of creating magical items grants him access to the Craft Wondrous Item feat at first level. Note that this does not mean the Arcane Craftsman gains this feat for free. He may choose to use a feat to purchase it. When creating an item, the Arcane Craftsman also reduces the XP and gold he must spend to complete an item by 10% (round down).
Penalties: The arcane craftsman does not receive Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat. The arcane craftsman’s intense study of magical items cuts into the free time other characters allocate to picking up various talents and skills. In addition, the arcane craftsman must allocate at least one skill point per level to a craft skill pertinent to the production of magical items. Arcane craftsmen must keep their skills sharp in order to maintain the talents
they learned under the tutelage of their masters.
Geomancers learn to sing songs of power to draw forth the energy and power of the elemental plane of earth. With their incantations, granite turns to putty in their hands, Earthquakes rumble, and organic matter turns into rock. The earth is slow and ponderous. It demands restraint and patience from those who seek to master its secrets, and many who take the first steps on the geomancer’s path turn away when they find the many hours of study and Concentration it demands from its adherents. Geomancy is a poor choice for those who want quick results, but in the long term it offers some of the most powerful incantations to wizards who master its principles. Geomancers view other wizards as impatient and immature. They believe that only earnest study, patience, and a strong appreciation for the arcane arts gained through long years of work instil a proper, healthy attitude in a wizard.
Adventuring: Geomancers study the earth’s secrets, and find the idea of journeying deep into a dungeon the perfect method to explore, catalogue, and unlock the world’s inner secrets. Some geomancers, particularly dwarf and gnome ones, never see the light of the sun, spending their entire life locked within the caves, caverns, and galleries of the earth’s deepest reaches. Environments that others find frighteningly claustrophobic and stuffy feel like home to the geomancer. Human geomancers in particular love to explore the deepest reaches of mines and cave complexes, as many of them find studying their magic on the earth’s surface a poor substitute for working in the most natural environment for their craft.
Role-Playing: The stereotypical geomancer is a quiet, patient spellcaster who carefully weighs his options before making even the simplest decisions. Geomancers look to the earth not only for the magical power but as a guide to life and philosophy. Storms rage and waste their energy, winds howl, fires burn bright, but long after these have expended their energy, the earth remains. True, the wind may scatter dirt and waves can wear down rocks, but geomancers believe this illustrates the earth’s ability to change on its own terms. Even the most powerful storm can never hope to sink a continent and must content itself to making gradual changes at the slow
pace of the earth.
Bonuses: The geomancer’s focus on earth magic grants them a greater selection of incantations in his spellbooks and a greater ability to focus and use certain spells compared to wizards of the same level. Geomancers gain an additional spell in their books chosen from the table below each time they gain a wizard level. In addition, when casting one of the spells listed below, the geomancer gains a +1 caster level bonus. Thus, a 5th-level geomancer casts magic stone as if he was 6th level.
Geomancers who are also specialist wizards do not gain access to bonus spells from their prohibited schools.
|Level||Geomancer Bonus Spells|
|2||acid arrow, chill metal, glitterdust, heat metal, soften earth and stone|
|3||meld into stone, stone shape|
|4||rusting grasp, spike stones, stoneskin|
|5||passwall, wall of iron, wall of stone, transmute mud to rock, transmute rock to mud|
|6||acid fog, flesh to stone, Move earth, Stone Tell, stone to flesh|
|7||Earthquake, Phase door, reverse gravity, statue|
|8||Iron Body, maze, repel metal or stone|
|9||Elemental Swarm (earth only), freedom, imprisonment|
Penalties: The geomancer’s intense study of earth magic leaves him little time to master many of the talents and skills apprentices normally study during their training. Geomancers do not receive the Scribe Scroll feat for free at 1st level.
While most wizards spend years studying under the direction of a master spellcaster, others learn magic through a combination of luck, raw talent, and undaunted persistence. Gutter mages, as they are called by more established, traditional wizards, are street thieves, young prodigies born in the slums who manage to scrabble together the training necessary to master the basics of the wizard’s skills. Unlike most spellcasters, they never entered a formal classroom and most learn spellcasting by studying third-hand grimoires and trading stolen goods to greedy wizards who gladly exchange a few brief lessons in magic for a wand, scroll, or spellbook, not asking how it was gained.
Adventuring: To the gutter mage, life is an adventure unto itself. Most of them must beg for or steal money to buy food, and their days are spent simply trying to live as comfortable a life as possible. That a gutter mage has the time and energy to track down the resources necessary to establish his magical skills speaks volumes of his natural talent and intense dedication. On adventures, the gutter mage operates much like a cross between a rogue and a wizard, and most rely on spells such as invisibility and other illusions to improve their stealth abilities.
Role-Playing: Gutter mages are both smart and opportunistic. Growing up on the streets gives them a very practical approach to life. While most are far from evil, they take a chance to pocket a few extra pieces of gold or swipe a magical trinket if the opportunity presents itself. Gutter mages sometimes flaunt their willingness to bend the rules and observe their own codes of conduct that rarely align with what society views as proper behaviour. Normal wizards look down on gutter mages as upstarts, an attitude that the gutter mages view as one prompted by fear and uncertainty amongst those who would jealousy guard their knowledge. To the gutter mage’s mind, traditional wizards’ guilds and academies are little more than legitimised rackets that bilk students and wizards of their hard-earned money.
Bonuses: The gutter mage gains Bluff, Hide, Innuendo, Gather Information, and Move Silently as class skills. Growing up on the streets gives him the knowledge necessary to navigate his way through the lower end of society and track down rumours and other information. His other skills come from his reliance on stealth and well-crafted lies to survive his rough, hand to mouth existence on the streets. Unlike other wizards, who study their craft at the feet of masters and rarely worry about matters as trivial as finding a meal or as serious as dodging rival thieves and the city guardsmen, gutter mage apprentices rely on their magic to pull them through life-threatening
Penalties: As the gutter mage relies on happenstance and the occasional help of a kindly wizard or opportunistic mage to advance his training, he lacks a grounding in many of the more formal aspects of magical training. A gutter mage does not automatically gain a bonus feat at fifth level. He also does not count Alchemy and Knowledge (Arcana) as class skills. The gutter mage’s grasp of the theoretical aspects of magic is tenuous at best. His focus on the practical uses of magic.
Adamovich Kiprenskii (1778-1836) Fortune-teller with a candle Oil on canvas, 1830
64 x 51 cm The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia 1830
Many wizards spend years toiling over musty tomes of lore in great libraries, soaring towers, or other bastions of learning. Most major cities support a wizards guild and an academy dedicated to the mystic arts that carefully tends and cultivates magical talents within its pupils. However, not every wizard learns his skills in a castle or at the feet of an accomplished archmage. At the edges of civilisation, old hermits who know how to sling a spell or two jealously guard a few mouldering old spellbooks, dispensing enchantments for peasants and other commoners and serving as the leading authorities on a whole range of subjects, from curses and omens to signs of the coming weather. These hedge wizards, as they are called by their more civilised brethren, specialise in magic dealing with mundane aspects of life in the wild.
Adventuring: Hedge wizards take naturally to a rough life of adventure. Young hedge wizards learn bits and pieces of mystic knowledge from their masters, who themselves possess incomplete, often incorrect, theories and practices of magic. A hedge wizard who feels his magical potential limited by his training strikes out on his own, eager to hone his abilities in dangerous situations or seeking out a magical academy where he can receive proper training in the art of wizardry. Adventuring parties find the hedge wizard’s unique repertoire of magic useful on adventures,
particularly those that require a party to venture across the wilderness.
Role-Playing: As befits their rural upbringing, hedge wizards come across as country hicks. Few of them have much knowledge of the world beyond their home village and its immediate environs, and all but the savviest of them have any idea of their master’s relative place in the hierarchy of wizards. To the young hedge wizard, a wizard of only 5th level seems to be a mighty archmage. A hedge wizard’s master and teacher is usually only a 3rd or 4th-level spellcaster, giving him a rather skewed view of the heights wizards can attain.
Bonuses: The hedge wizard’s unique brand of magic draws upon the mystic potential of the wilderness, the elements, and other aspects of nature. He adds the spells listed under the Animal and Plant domains to his spell lists and may gain or add them to his books as if they were arcane spells, even if he discovers a divine scroll that contains one of these domain spells. In addition, he chooses 2 of the following domains to add to his spell lists: Air, Earth, Water, and Fire. The hedge wizard gains access only to the domain spells, not to the granted powers listed with them. Each day, the hedge wizard prepares one additional spell per spell level chosen from his 4 domains, just as a specialist wizard gains additional spells each day.
Penalties: While the hedge wizard’s peculiar brand of magic allows him access to several spells and styles of enchantments not normally available to wizards, his magical abilities are limited in some ways compared to normal wizards. The hedge wizard learns magic by happenstance and experimentation, and much of what he knows is dictated by the experiences and knowledge of the wizard to whom he is apprenticed. Thus, hedge wizards have several gaps in their magical training. They must choose two schools of magic to treat as prohibited schools, as per a specialist wizard. The hedge wizard chooses from Abjuration, Conjuration, Evocation, Necromancy, and Transmutation.
While some wizards seek power and others seek knowledge, the investigator seeks something much simpler. Working with the city watch and other law enforcement groups, he uses his magic to track down criminals and bring them to justice. Much like a bounty hunter or other freelance enforcer, the investigator takes on the task of stalking and capturing lawbreakers. Unlike his more mundane counterparts, the investigator often starts out with only a few clues to his quarry’s identity. Unsolved murders, crimes with few clues, and other puzzles are the investigator’s primary concern. He uses his magic to help uncover the critical facts needed to solve a crime and bring the perpetrator to justice.
Adventuring: In the investigator’s line of work, adventure often comes to him unbidden. Criminals wily enough to avoid leaving any obvious clues also have the skill and Intelligence to collect thugs, assassins, and other allies ready to slay anyone who comes too close to uncovering their master’s identity. In the course of solving a crime, an investigator may have to crawl through a sewer to find clues, chase a suspect or important witness across the city’s rooftops, and use his magic to defeat his target’s minions. After putting up with such troubles, venturing into the earth’s caverns on an adventure seems like a nice, relaxing change of pace.
Role-Playing: Investigators are calm, calculating, and exacting. They believe in approaching a problem from multiple angles at once, slowly proposing and eliminating a variety of explanations or ideas with a systematic precision. These arcane law enforcers learn the hard way that any detail, no matter how minor, may turn out to be a critical fact on which an entire series of events may turn. The investigator tends to let scenes play out before him, content to sit in the background and observe the interactions between others. To this type of wizard, what a person says is not as important as how he says it or when he speaks.
Bonuses: The investigator learns to observe people and draw conclusions based on his assessment of their body language, word choice, mood, and tone. Thus, he gains Gather Information and Sense Motive as class skills. He also gains access to a selection of divine spells. The investigator treats these as arcane spells and may add them to his spellbook as normal. The divine spells he may use are detect chaos/evil/good/law, detect snares and pits, divination, mark of justice, refuge, speak with animals, speak with dead, speak with plants, and zone of truth. The investigator uses these spells at their cleric level if they appear on both the cleric’s and wizard’s spell lists.
Penalties: While the investigator’s focus on tracking down criminals and uncovering evidence grants him a few abilities not normally associated with wizards, his specialised training precludes him from mastering some skills normally considered basic talents amongst mages. The investigator does not count Alchemy as a class skill. He lacks the educational background associated with gaining that skill. In addition, he chooses one school of magic other than Divination or Necromancy. When using spells from that school, he receives a -1 penalty to his caster level. The investigator lacks the rounded education of other wizards. The investigator must always have at least one divination spell in his spellbooks for each spell level to which he has access.
Knight of the Staff
Edward Burne-Jones (British, 1833-1898) The Princess Sabra Led to the Dragon Painting
Date: 1866 Medium: Oil on canvas Location: Private Collection
Not all who hear the call to the path of the paladin take up a sword, don a suit of armour, mount a noble charger, and ride into battle. Some of those who strive to fight for the forces of good choose to turn their knowledge of the arcane arts into a weapon to wield against the hordes of darkness. These knights of the staff walk side by side with paladins into battle, using their magic to smite demons, devils, and other foul beasts. Their paladin brethren shield them from attack, while they in turn use their spells to enhance and augment their heavily armed and armoured comrades. Knights of the staff sometimes congregate in orders dedicated to training promising youngsters in their art and co-ordinating the formation and deployment of crusading adventuring bands and war parties. These heroic wizards build towers that serve as both military strong points and centres of arcane teaching. Other knights of the staff work with religious orders, living and working with the clerics and paladins of their patron deity. These wizards enjoy a place in the ecclesiastical hierarchy equal to that of the most ardent divine spellcaster. Though their studies and methods differ from their deity’s traditional adherents, their goals, ideals, and dedication rank equal to any cleric or paladin. These knights of the staff seek to forge arcane magic into a tool that serves their god.
Adventuring: Knights of the staff adventure for many of the same reasons as paladins. They consider it their divine mission to seek out and destroy evil, protect innocents, and make the world a safe place for all. These heroic wizards consider their talents as a duty rather than a gift. Since they enjoy such great powers, they must seek to use them properly, rather than slide into the isolated research of sages or the selfish power-mongering of necromancers and other scheming, would-be conquerors who see their arcane talents as a badge of superiority over the common dregs. Self-centred, ambitious wizards in particular stand as the chosen enemies of knights of the staff, who consider themselves the best defence against a wizard run rampant.
Role-Playing: Knights of the staff are dedicated, serious, and unflinching in the face of danger. They have little time for distractions, and some feel a tremendous burden to do as much good with their powers as possible, refusing to take any more time than is absolutely necessary in resting and recovering from their quests. Other knights while just as dedicated are less aggressive in seeking out physical evils to destroy or scatter. These wizards tend to be less fanatical but more careful in choosing their fights, believing that a hidden evil uncovered is worth a dozen obvious ones put to flight.
Bonuses: Knights of the staff gain several of the same benefits and abilities enjoyed by paladins. They gain that heroic class’s divine grace ability, which allows them to add their Charisma bonus to all saving throws. Once per day, the knight may infuse a burst of positive energy into one of his spells as a free action. He adds his Charisma modifier to the save DC of his spell, though this increased DC applies only to targets who have evil alignment. Good and neutral victims must save against the knight’s standard DC.
Penalties: The knight’s focus on quests against evil limits his magical training. He does not gain any of the wizard’s bonus item creation or metamagic feats. Knights treat necromancy as a prohibited school. They are morally opposed to all necromantic magic and refuse to employ it under any circumstances. Like paladins, knights of the staff must be lawful good. A knight of the staff who ceases to be lawful good, freely commits an evil act, or disobeys the paladin’s code of conduct loses this concept’s bonuses and their highest level arcane spells until he atones for his transgressions.
Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904)
Fire has long been an important tool for civilisation. It provides heat and light during long winter nights, allows blacksmiths to shape and forge iron tools, andis an important weapon against the creatures that lurk amongst the shadows. However, it also poses many dangers. An untended campfire runs out of control and threatens the entire forest. The blacksmith slips and burns his hand, crippling him for life. Fire is both an ally and an enemy, a useful tool that must be always kept under close observation lest it run wild. Pyromancers seek to control the energy of elemental fire and forge it to their use. While other elemental mages seek harmony with their chosen element, pyromancers view themselves as masters of flame. They exult in their chosen element’s ability to burn through foes and wreak massive destruction, and many die trying to force their magic to obey their will. Pyromancers are known for their brief but spectacular careers, and for each of these wizards who retires at an old age, a dozen more fall in battle.
Adventuring: Adventure and excitement sing a siren’s call to the pyromancer. These wizards enjoy unleashing the destructive energies they control, and warfare and adventure are two of the most convenient outlets for their skills. Like most wizards, they adventure to improve their skills and uncover lost magical treasures, but they also enjoy the pure adrenaline rush of combat and other life threatening situations. Pyromancers have a disturbing tendency to load up on lamp oil, alchemist’s fire, and other combustibles, giving most of their adventures a spectacular and often abrupt conclusion.
Role-Playing: Labelling pyromancers as fiery may seem little more than a bad pun, but the description fits. Like their chosen elements, pyromancers are untamed wellsprings of energy, enthusiasm, and destructive power. When kept in check by their allies, pyromancers are tremendously useful tools. They deliver a devastating fireball that smashes the enemy and sends them fleeing in terror, provide a well-timed flame strike, or drop a fire shield that saves the day. However, when allowed to run out of control pyromancers are a threat to themselves and their friends. In the heat of battle, a pyromancer is liable to fireball his friends in an effort to incinerate a troll. A pyromancer may decide he needs to augment his spells with a liberal dose of lantern oil splashed across the battlefield, setting afire valuable treasure and even allies in addition to the party’s enemies.
Bonuses: Unlike other wizards who specialise in a particular element, pyromancers focus on fire to such a degree that they never develop the ability to cast spells from certain schools. Pyromancers work in a similar way to specialist wizards. Their specialist school includes all the spells listed below and all spells with the fire descriptor attached to their school type. This includes all spells, even those not listed on the wizard’s spell list. Thus, a pyromancer is capable of mastering druid and cleric fire spells, though he casts them as arcane spells. If a spell is listed on more than one list, the pyromancer may access it at its lowest listed level. For example, a spell listed as 3rd level on the druid list and 4th level on the wizard list counts as a 3rd level pyromancy spell.
The pyromancer may prepare one additional fire spell per spell level each day. He gains a +2 bonus to Spellcraft checks made to learn spells that include the fire descriptor in their school type. He may scribe divine spells into his book that count as fire spells. In return, the pyromancer selects any single school as a prohibited one. However, the pyromancer may still use and prepare spells from the prohibited school that include the fire descriptor.
|2||continual flame, fire trap, flame blade, flaming sphere, heat metal, produce flame, pyrotechnics|
|3||flame arrow, fireball|
|4||fire shield, fire trap, quench, wall of fire|
|5||flame strike (fire damage only)|
|7||delayed blast fireball, fire storm|
|9||Elemental Swarm (fire only)|
Penalties: As noted above under bonuses, the pyromancer selects one school prohibited to him. He may not prepare or use spells from that school unless they have the fire descriptor listed in their description.
Any merchant ship that has the funding to pay a sea mage’s considerable fees does so without question. The sea mage is a wizard who specialises in elemental water. However, of the four elements water is the most difficult one to manage. Water dictates its pace. Though a great storm may temporarily disturb the ocean, after a day at most the sea returns to normal. Rivers flow relentlessly onward, carving through the earth to accommodate their path, quenching flames, paying no mind to the wind. A human mage has little chance to command the power of elemental water, and few wizards succeed in attaining mastery solely over the waves. Those spellcasters who do pursue water magic combine it with a more general study of the ocean, serving aboard ships and using their magic to protect the craft on its voyage, calm tempestuous seas, and repel attackers. Many wizards who serve aboard ship are simply spellcasters who view it as a lucrative Profession. Few possess the specialised talents of a sea mage, making those who do an expensive commodity.
Adventuring: While serving aboard a ship, sea mages find adventures come to them in the form of storms, marauding pirates, and hungry sea monsters. Some sea mages tire of serving others and strike out on their own, either captaining their own ships or joining up with a band of adventurers to seek buried treasure, explore distant islands, and defeat pirates and other maritime threats. Any adventuring band that takes to the high seas benefits from the sea mage’s talents, and any competent one quickly finds adventuring companions in port. On adventures, sea mages fill many of the typical wizardly roles, in addition to dealing with any issues relating to sea travel. Even in dungeons and subterranean environments sea mages can prove their worth, as many of the deepest caverns host great, sunless seas.
Role-Playing: Sea mages tend to be patient and relentless. Once they choose a goal, nothing stands in their way. Though their quest may take years of work and occasionally they may need to put aside their objectives for a time, they continually keep their goals in mind. Like the sea, they are in constant motion. While great events or powerful forces can disturb their rhythm, such interruptions are as brief as they are rare. Only a fool makes an enemy of a sea mage – their memories are long and they never stop till their desire for revenge is satisfied.
Bonuses: The sea mage’s affinity with water and the sea grants him an affinity for casting a few spells. The sea mage may cast any of the spells listed below as arcane spells, and may add any listed divine spells to their spellbooks as if they were listed on the wizard spell list. In addition, when using these incantations the sea mage increases his caster level by 1. As sea mages spend many hours aboard ships, they count Balance and Climb as class skills and gain proficiency with the cutlass (treat as Scimitar.)
|Level||Sea Mage Bonus Spells|
|1||Create Water, obscuring mist, Purify Food and Drink|
|3||gust of wind, sleet storm, water breathing|
|4||control water, ice storm, solid fog, quench|
|9||Elemental Swarm (water elementals only)|
Penalties: The sea mage’s focus on learning the ways of the sea and the operations of a ship denies him some of a traditional wizard’s typical training. The sea mage does not gain Alchemy or Knowledge as class skills, and nor does he gain Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat.
Ferdinand Roybet (18401920) Description Odalisque (La Sultane)
While most mages commonly use the summon monster spells to call a temporary ally to aid their efforts, a few are so intrigued by the power and possibilities offered by these spells that they choose to specialise in their use. These wizards approach summoning creatures in a manner similar to wizards who delve deeply into a particular school of magic to the detriment of their training in other areas of magic. Summoners learn to call out to creatures slightly more powerful than the typical outsider brought to the prime plane by a summoning spell.
Adventuring: The summoner’s focus on calling outsiders to aid him spurs him to seek out adventure in order to prove his talent and test the skill and might of the creatures he can conjure. After all, the summoner measures his skill not by his own talent but by the talents of the outsiders he commands. The rigors of adventure are the perfect proving ground for his talents.
Role-Playing: Summoners tend to disdain the spells and magic used by traditional wizards. In their view, magic is best used to call others to deal with problems, rather than resorting to brute force methods such as fireball or acid arrow to defeat enemies. They see magic as a test of wills, and seek to prove themselves by binding and commanding more powerful creatures. This competitive attitude extends to their dealings with others. Summoners see themselves as forceful, powerful personalities. They are often pushy, overbearing, and demanding of others. Sometimes summoners learn the hard way to stop treating people like the magical creatures they bind.
Bonuses: When casting a summon monster spell, the summoner grants several special abilities and enhancement to the creature he calls. These bonuses are determined by the summon monster spell used and can be seen on the table below.
|Summon monster I||+2 Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution|
|Summon monster II||+2 to any 2 of Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution|
|summon monster III||+2 to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution|
|summon monster IV||+2 to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, +1 BAB|
|Summon Monster V||+4 to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, +1 BAB|
|summon monster VI||+4 to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, +1 BAB, +1 HD|
|summon monster VII||+4 to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, +2 BAB, +1 HD|
|Summon monster VIII||+4 to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, +2 BAB, +2 HD|
|summon monster IX||+6 to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, +2 BAB, +2 HD|
Penalties: The summoner spends so much time researching improvements to his summoning spells that he never develops some of the more generally applicable abilities mastered by most wizards. He chooses one school that is prohibited to him as per a specialist wizard.
of Inuit Woman 1654
To a painter, the canvass allows him to express his view of the world, presenting images not only how they appear but how they seem to his mind’s eye. His art is a window to his secret, inner world. In a similar manner, the barbaric tattoo mage uses his skin as a canvas for his magical art. He covers himself in an intricate matrix of mystic design, sigils, runes, and other arcane markings. To the untrained eye, these images are merely decorative. They may be beautiful or hideous, but they appear to be nothing more than artistic indulgences. A trained wizard or knowledgeable sage, on the other hand, recognises the mystic significance behind the tattoos. The pattern of linked chains is actually an important symbol for binding and commanding demons. The wings scribed above his ears channel energy
to him and grant him improved hearing. The tattoo mage combines his knowledge of arcane magic with the art of tattoos and other body modifications. This fusion grants him several powers unavailable to the typical wizard.
Adventuring: Tattoo mages adventure for many of the same reasons as other wizards. They seek to improve their talents, discover lost caches of scroll, spellbooks, and other magical items, and put their magic to use in the name of a cause they support. Tattoo mages tend to be a little more aggressive and daring than the average wizard. For whatever reason, they tend to enjoy physically demanding challenges far more than their more civilised brethren.
Role-Playing: As a barbarian outlander, the tattoo mage is loud, boisterous, and given to superstition. Many of his tattoos are designed to ward off bad luck and malevolent magics, and these feral wizards see those two forces at work in even the most innocent coincidences. These wizards feel a drive to prove the power of their magic, demonstrating their skill with spells in order to win the respect of others and claim their places as powerful archmages.
Bonuses: The tattoo mage’s body art serves as a mystical focus that stores ambient energies and allows him to channel and shape mystic power. When preparing spells, the tattoo mage may choose one spell from his books to store within his tattoos. That spell enters the energy matrix of his tattoos. Once per day as a free action, the tattoo mage may switch a prepared spell of the same or higher level for the spell encoded in his tattoos. This ability does not allow the tattoo mage to cast extra spells. It only allows him to expand his selection of prepared spells. For example, a 1st-level tattoo mage with a 14 Intelligence can cast two 1st-level spells. He chooses to prepare magic missile and shield. He then encodes burning
hands into his tattoos. During the course of an adventure, he casts shield. Later, he must start a fire. Lacking flint and steel, he replaces magic missile with burning hands and then casts that spell.
Penalties: The tattoo mage’s barbaric upbringing denies him some of the training other wizard’s take for granted. In the wilds, magic is regarded as a practical tool. The theory and practice behind it do not draw any interest from the tribal shamans, elders, and others who commonly learn tattoo magic. These wizards do not gain Alchemy or Knowledge as class skills.
Arab Tale Teller, 39 x 54 inches, oil painting Date1833 Author Horace Vernet
Wizards embrace a wide range of theories on the nature and source of magic. Some believe arcane energies to be an integral part of the structure of the universe. Others teach that magic comes from within, a hidden talent resting in all living things that only wizards have the skill and focus to tap into. The theologian spurns these theories and others like them. Instead, he believes arcane energies to derive from a divine force. clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers shape spells granted directly from a deity, and theologians see their arcane magic merely as a variation on the power offered by the same force. Theologians are deeply religious spellcasters who dedicate their talents to advancing or supporting a deity and his temporal followers. In some churches, particularly those associated with magic, theologians hold many of the offices and duties normally assigned to clerics.
Adventuring: Theologians adventure for many of the same reasons as clerics. They seek to advance their faith by defeating the forces that oppose it, protecting the commoners and other innocents who pray to their deity, and dedicating their efforts to their god in an effort to spread his name and increase his renown through the land. Theologians volunteer to accompany paladins and clerics on crusades against the forces of evil, and many of them strive to use their magic to advance their church by whatever means possible. They combine arcane talents with their divine leanings to pave the way for their god and his followers. Like clerics, theologians receive orders from their religious hierarchy to pursue specific quests or goals. When charged with such missions, they are relentless in their drive to rise to the
Role-Playing: Much like clerics, theologians take their religion very seriously, often to the point that it dominates their social interactions. With their emphasis on missions and expectations granted from their church’s hierarchy, theologians sometimes become fanatical in their devotion to their god. Others are more accepting of other beliefs and are willing to work with anyone so long as, in the end, their gods’ needs are met. Regardless, theologians strictly adhere to their alignment and embrace their god’s teachings in all aspects of their lives.
Bonuses: Like clerics, theologians gain access to their deity’s domains. As devout followers of a deity, they draw their magical energies from their god and shape it with equal parts study and prayer. The theologian selects one of his deity’s domains. He gains the use of that domains granted power, and adds the domain’s spells to his books. Of course, the theologian cannot actually use higher-level domain spells until he gains the required levels.
Penalties: As an ardent follower of his deity, the theologian must spend the maximum allowed skill ranks on Knowledge (religion) based on his level. In addition, the religious training a theologian receives during his apprenticeship colours his view of magic. The theologian may not cast spells that contain alignment descriptors other than his own. For example, a chaotic good theologian could not use lawful or evil spells.
Laurens (18381921) Faust
in the most intricate arcane traditions, the theoretician specialises in uncovering the fundamental building blocks of magic and learning how to use that knowledge to improve the effectiveness and power of his enchantments. He focuses intensively on arcane theory, particularly research into the nature of magic, its interactions with the physical world, and the development of new casting methods that boost the efficiency of existing spells. This focus allows the theoretician to improve and modify his spells without the effort and intense study normally associated with the use of metamagic feats.
Adventuring: Theoreticians who turn to the adventurer’s life do so to test their theories in a practical environment. While a fireball cast in controlled situations may display several intriguing characteristics, these wizards are careful and thorough enough to probe the practical uses of their research. Many theoreticians never leave their laboratories, but the most successful and accomplished of these wizards insist on maintaining their work to the highest standards of experimentation and testing.
Role-Playing: Theoreticians tend to be thoughtful but distracted. One of these wizards may be intrigued by an effect displayed by a demonic spellcaster and become so caught up in his discovery that he momentarily forgets the deadly threat posed by the evil beast. Theoreticians are like absent-minded professors, brilliant in their chosen field but often out of touch with the demands of daily living. A theoretician may become so absorbed in his studies that he sleeps late and misses a meeting with his adventuring companions, or prepares spells that he wants to test out
rather than ones that might prove to be useful on an adventure.
Bonuses: As part of their study of magical theory, theoreticians are the masters of using metamagic feats. Their studies into the nature of magical spells and focus on methods for improving casting methods and spell formulation allow them to make much easier use of methods that boost the power of his spells. The theoretician may subtract one from the spell level of a spell that he prepares with a metamagic feat once per day. At 5th level, he may do this with twice per day. At 10th level, three times, at 15th, four, and at 20th five.
Penalties: Practicalities are beneath the theoretician’s notice. At 1st level, the theoretician divides his total starting skill points by four. His focus on the technical and theoretical details of magic occupies the time during his apprenticeship when he would normally master the basics of mundane skills.
When armies march to war, a wise general equips his troops with well-crafted weapons, stout armour, and plentiful supplies. He drills and trains his soldiers until they execute his commands with grace and precision. Yet, despite this reliance on strong steel and hardened warriors, only a fool heads into battle without a small cadre of war wizards. While other mages ponder over tomes of arcane lore, the war wizard studies tactics, military history, and the lives of great generals. The average apprentice practices writing scrolls until his hands ache. The war wizard trains to cast his spells with an opponent slashing a blade at him or wrestling him to the ground. Characters who choose this concept learned magic at the feet of a hardened veteran of great battles, a master who teaches them the practical uses of magic in battle rather than dwelling on theory and abstract ideals. The war wizard is like a finely honed blade. His skills and talent for magic are carefully sharpened to make him an asset on the battlefield.
Adventuring: Many war wizards work as mercenaries, and in times of relative peace they turn to adventure to keep their purses full of coins or to satisfy their thirst for the excitement and thrill of combat. War wizards rarely shy away from conflict. Their training revolves around combat, and they grow restless and bored after spending too much time without any excitement. Adventuring bands are happy to accept a war wizard, as they know that, unlike other wizards, a war wizard is a battle-tested veteran who will stand his ground in the face of the enemy.
Role-Playing: Compared to other mages, war wizards are practical and aggressive. Their magic is based on real world experiences and applications. These spellcasters may have only an inkling of the actual forces at work behind a fireball, but that doesn’t stop them from knowing exactly how to use that spell for its best effect. In demeanour, attitude, and bearing, war wizards have much more in common with fighters than other wizards.
Bonuses: The war wizard gains Combat Casting as a bonus feat at first level. In addition, he gains proficiency with all simple weapons. As part of their training, war wizards learn to use a wide variety of weapons and practice casting spells in combat.
Penalties: The war wizard’s specialised training comes at the price of his knowledge of magical theory and the art of item creation. A war wizard may only use his bonus feats gained every fifth level to select one of the following feats: Alertness, Armour Proficiency (any), Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Spring Attack, Toughness. The war wizard adds +1 to the casting level of any spell to which he applies a metamagic feat. He counts his caster level as -2 when determining if he meets the requirements to Craft a magical item. The war wizard’s ignorance of magical theory hampers his ability to modify his spells or forge enchanted items.
Harnessing the power of elemental air, the wind mage is a master of weather, electricity, and fog. The wind mage’s magic draws upon elemental energies to boost his effectiveness. However, like the weather and winds, air energies are difficult to harness and impossible to predict. Thus, wind mages do not display the same level of reliance on air magic as other mages who specialise in water, fire, or earth energies. Wind mages do not interpret this as a sign of their magic’s weakness. If anything, they see it as a strength of its teachings. As air magic is difficult to master, wind mages view themselves as amongst the most skilled practitioners of the mystic arts. Only wind mages, with their dedication, talent, and precise training, are capable of demanding any degree of obedience over the capricious, independent forces of elemental air.
Adventuring: Wind mages adventure to uncover magic items, lost treasures, and other artefacts that improve their magical ability. The energy they access is difficult to harness, and wind mages seek any tool that allows them to improve their ability to command the power of elemental air. In particular, adventures involving lofty mountain peaks, voyages to the elemental plane of air, the exploration of the land above the clouds, and quests for lost caches of magic items interest wind mages, as all offer them the chance to learn more of the forces behind their abilities.
Role-Playing: The stereotypical wind mage shares many characteristics with the weather. He can be placid and calm at one moment, and energetic, angry, and aroused the next. Like the wind, wind mages shift directions often, leaping from one goal to the next as the fancy strikes them. Air magic appeals to risk-takers and those who love freedom and chaos. Controlling the winds is not a matter of imposing your will upon the elements, but learning to shape air into patterns you desire. Many wind mages describe their magic as tricking or luring elemental energies rather than commanding them.
Bonuses: Wind mages automatically gain access to extra spells in their books when they gain a level. In addition to the 2 spells a wind mage adds to his books at each level, he gains one of the following spells. Also, when casting any of these spells the wind mage adds 1 to his effective caster level. Treat any listed spell not found on the wizard spell list as an arcane spell when the wind mage casts it.
Wind mages who are also specialist wizards do not gain access to bonus spells from their prohibited schools.
|1||feather fall, jump, obscuring mist, shocking grasp|
|2||fog cloud, levitate, whispering wind|
|3||fly, gaseous form, gust of wind, lightning bolt, sleet storm, stinking cloud, Wind Wall|
|4||ice storm, solid fog|
|5||cloudkill, control winds, mind fog|
|6||acid fog, chain lightning, control weather|
|9||Elemental Swarm (air elementals only)|
Penalties: The wind mage faces trials and tribulations far more daunting than those faced by most apprentices. A wind mage must choose one school of magic as prohibited to him, as per specialist wizards.
Many assassins refuse to accept contracts against wizards or other spellcasters. While a hired killer is confident that his blade and stealth are effective against mundane targets, the challenges presented by a wizard are too daunting for most assassins to tackle. A wizard undoubtedly has demons, spirits, and other guardians at his beck and call, while his mastery of magic makes him an unpredictable foe. An assassin can watch a noble for a time to judge his fighting skill, but a wizard’s powers are too diverse and subtle for even the most attentive spy to fully record. A few wizards, noting this trend, offer their services as hired killers, specialising in missions against clerics, sorcerers, wizards, and other spellcasters. Drawing
on their knowledge of the arcane arts, these wizard hunters demand high fees for their services. Given that many criminal masterminds and warlords are wary of tangling with a mage, wizard hunters never face a shortage of eager customers.
While many wizard hunters operate as assassins, some work as bounty hunters and trackers, using their magical abilities to track down and bring to justice wizards who have broken the law. The typical town guardsman lacks the skill and experience to handle a wizard, ensuring that these more law-abiding wizard hunters enjoy a steady stream of work.
Adventuring: Wizard hunters turn to adventure as part of their chosen Profession. Many fugitive mages recruit orcs, ogres, and other evil humanoids to serve them as guards and cannon fodder. Thus, only the most powerful wizard hunters work alone. Even those who operate as assassins work with rogues, fighters, and others who can provide much-needed support against a wizard’s underlings. The great rewards offered for the head of a rampaging wizard draw the attention of adventurers, sometimes leaving a wizard hunter little choice but to team up with others who seek his target. In dungeon adventures or those not directly related to the hunter’s line of work, his skills still prove useful, as humanoid adepts and other magic-users are vulnerable to his unique talents.
Role-Playing: From a young hot-shot who seeks to take down a mighty wizard to prove his name, to a hardened veteran smart enough to pick and choose his targets, wizard hunters have a wide range of personality types. Hunters tend to be loners who view risky undertakings as challenges to their skill. Wizard hunters view the struggle against their quarry as an intensely personal battle. An effective hunter studies his target’s tendencies carefully in order to formulate a viable strategy against him.
Bonuses: Wizard hunters specialise in snuffing out the spells cast by others. When a hunter attempts to counterspell an opponent’s casting, he gains a +2 competence bonus to his Spellcraft check to identify the spell. In addition, wizard hunters add silence to their list of spells. They may add this spell to their spellbook by either choosing it as one of their 2 new spells when gaining a wizard level or by finding and successfully copying it from an arcane or divine scroll. Wizard hunters also cause a -2 circumstance penalty to any Concentration checks they cause with weapons or spells. The wizard hunter learns to aim and time his attacks to optimise his chances of ruining a spell.
Penalties: The wizard hunter’s emphasis on learning how to defeat opposing spellcasters causes him to miss out on much of the training most apprentices take for granted. The wizard hunter does not gain Scribe Scroll at 1st level, nor does he gain a bonus item creation or metamagic feat at 5th level.