Battle Mage (3.5e Class)
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There are those who seek to master the art of magic, and there are those who seek to master the art of combat. The battle mage seeks to master both, with awe-inspiring results. With weapon in hand and arcane magic at his command, foes cower and flee from the battle mage.
Making a Battle Mage
With a d8 hit die, medium base attack bonus, and moderate arcane magic, this class isn't the best at any field, but it has range. A battle mage can stand up as a secondary swordsman or archer when spellcasting isn't an option. Which is good, because, with his limited number of spells, that's more likely to be the case.
Abilities: Charisma is needed for spellcasting, and is, therefore, is most important score for a battle mage. Constitution is important for hit points and Concentration checks. Dexterity is useful for better armor class. Strength is useful for a battle mage to making melee attacks.
Races: There is no race that truly favors this class. However, elves, half-elves, and humans are more likely to desire both arcane magic and combat ability, and are, therefore, slightly more common among the members of this class.
Starting Gold: 6d4 x 10 gp
Starting Age: Simple
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Battle Mage.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Battle Mages are proficient with all simple weapons and any one martial weapon of the character's choice. Battle Mages are proficient with light armor, but not with shields. A Battle Mage can cast spells derived from his class levels of Battle Mage while in light armor without the normal arcane spell failure chance.
Spells: A Battle Mage casts arcane spells which are drawn primarily from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a wizard or a cleric must (see below).
To learn or cast a spell, a Battle Mage must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Battle Mage's spell is 10 + the spell level + the Battle Mage's Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a Battle Mage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Battle Mage. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.
A Battle Mage's selection of spells is extremely limited. A Battle Mage begins play knowing three 0-level spells and one 1st-level spells of your choice. At each new Battle Mage level, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Battle Mage Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a Battle Mage knows is not affected by his Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Battle Mage Spells Known are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the Battle Mage has gained some understanding of by study. The Battle Mage can't use this method of spell acquisition to learn spells at a faster rate, however.
Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered Battle Mage level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a Battle Mage can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the Battle Mage "loses" the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell's level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level Battle Mage spell the Battle Mage can cast. A Battle Mage may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.
Unlike a wizard or a cleric, a Battle Mage need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. He does not have to decide ahead of time which spells he'll cast.
Animal Companion (Ex): A Battle Mage may start with, or later gain, an animal companion selected from the following list: badger, camel, dire rat, dog, riding dog, eagle, hawk, horse (light or heavy), owl, pony, snake (Small or Medium viper), or wolf. If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the following creatures may be added to the Battle Mage’s list of options: manta ray, porpoise, Medium shark, and squid. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the Battle Mage on his adventures as appropriate for its kind.
This ability functions like the druid ability of the same name, but uses the character's Battle Mage level to determine bonuses based on class level. A Battle Mage may select from the alternative lists of animal companions just as a druid can. Like a druid, a Battle Mage cannot select an alternative animal if the choice would reduce his effective druid level below 1st.
Battle Mage levels stack with levels of any other classes that are entitled to an animal companion for the purpose of determining the companion’s abilities and the alternative lists available to the character.
Bonus Feats: A Battle Mage may pick any Feat from Fighter Bonus Feats, or any Metamagic Feat.
Epic Battle Mage
2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Spells: The Battle Mage’s caster level is equal to his class level. The Battle Mage’s number of spells per day does not increase after 20th level. The Battle Mage does not learn additional spells unless he selects the Spell Knowledge feat.
Animal Companion: The epic Battle Mage’s animal companion continues to increase in power. At every three levels higher than 18th (21st, 24th, 27th, and so on), the companion gains +2 bonus Hit Dice, its natural armor increases by 2, its Strength and Dexterity modifiers increase by 1, and it learns one additional bonus trick.
Bonus Feats: The epic Battle Mage gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Battle Mage bonus feats) every three levels after 20th.
Epic Battle Mage Bonus Feat List: Augmented Alchemy, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Energy Resistance, Enhance Spell, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Epic Toughness, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Master Staff, Master Wand, Multispell, Perfect Health, Permanent Emanation, Spell Knowledge, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity.
Human Battle Mage Starting Package
Weapons: Scimitar, light crossbow.
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 3 + Int modifier.
Feat: Weapon Focus (scimitar).
Bonus Feats: Combat Casting (Human), Improved Toughness (Battle Mage).
Gear: Studded leather. Backpack with waterskin, one day’s trail rations, bedroll, and sack. Flint and steel, hooded lantern, and 5 pints of oil. Spell component pouch. Case of 10 crossbow bolts.
Gold: 6d4 gp.
Playing a Battle Mage
Religion: Battle mages are most likely to favor Boccob (god of magic). Those that continuously serve as part of a particular army may revere Heironeous (god of valor), St. Cuthbert (god of retribution), or Hextor (god of tyranny). Battle mages that work as mercenaries sometimes worship Fharlanghn (god of roads), Kord (god of strength), or Erythnul (god of slaughter). However, many simply worship whichever god is most common to their race or nation.
Other Classes: Battlemages can be found working with any class, but they are most comfortable with wizards, and martial classes. An interesting mix, for instance would be a party with a battlemage and a duskblade/duskbow to back them up. Battlemages often band together in their own units, and can unleash terrible destruction when working co-operatively.
Combat: A battlemage's role in combat depends on the magic they use, and to a lesser degree, the weapons and equipment they use. All battlemages know the school of Evocation, so their primary role is that of an arcane combatant. Secondary roles include defender (Abjuration), intelligence-gatherer (Divination), summoner/tactician (Conjuration), psychological warfare/control (Enchantment), debuffing/demoralizing/undead control (Necromancy), diversions/espionage (Illusion), and booster/troubleshooter (Transmutation).
Advancement: A battlemage usually stays as a battlemage, so as to enjoy all that a focused career in battle magic has to offer. Those battlemages who do branch out, either take levels in a martial class to boost their skill, a secondary casting class (which is rare, but it happens), or a prestige class playing to their strengths.
Battlemages in the World
|“||Ten thousand zombies versus me? They're going to need more zombies.||”|
|—Danzig Nyttafjell, tiefling battlemage, casually lighting a cigar and surveying the battlefield below.|
Battlemages can be found anywhere there is battle to be had, especially serving in armies as a sort of advanced tactics and weaponry specialist.
Daily Life: A typical day for a battlemage involves getting up early, exercising, studying his spellbooks, having breakfast, and then some weapon practice. At the end of the day, he cleans his weapons, tends to his armor (and mount if he has one), before going to bed.
Notables: Danzig Nyttafjell, a tiefling battlemage/vampire hunter born in the haunted city of Genushi. He currently travels with the paladin Ragnar Turnheaval, and the Ilmatian priestess Aneka Pike.
Organizations: There are battle magic guilds in many kingdoms, and often a college of magic will have a resident battle magic guild as well, much like how modern universities often have ROTC on campus.
NPC Reactions: How an NPC reacts to a battlemage depends on how they view spellcasters, and to an extent, how they view the military. Lands or peoples with a strong martial or magical tradition tend to view a local battlemage with respect. Opposing lands will hate and fear them, usually.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (War) or Knowledge (Arcana) can research battlemages to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Battlemages? Oh, yeah, they work as the army's personal spellcasters.|
|10||Battlemages use magic typically only seen on the battlefield, and do more damage with it.|
|15||Battlemages can do things like braiding or linking magic, and sometimes stranger things like channeling spells through their weapons.|
|20||Specific information about a particular battlemage, including his whereabouts, habits, etc.|
Battle Mages in the Game
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