Mage (3.5e Class)

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A Mage is a normal spell caster that has an inordinate amount of pure talent. As they learned more about the rudimentary basics of spell casting, a question began to resonate through their mind. "Are these really the only way that I can cast these spells?" Outside of the university, through curiosity and experimentation, they gain a pure disposition for manipulating spells on the spot.

Making a Mage[edit]

Mages are able to deal high damage with their spells for less than their Wizard or Sorcerer counterparts. The spells they gain are the spells that they're able to manipulate relentlessly.

Abilities: Intelligence is the most important ability to a Mage. Wisdom will also help increase a Mages' Arcane Missile damage. Otherwise a high Constitution and Dexterity are good so the Mage won't be struck down right off the bat.

Races: Humans and gnomes like this class because it requires a certain aloofness that more serious, or less arcane-inclined races do not naturally have. An elf or a dwarf will do in a pinch, however.

Alignment: Mages do not necessarily believe in "good" or "evil". There is simply a giant grey area of perspective and abstract thought. Mages tend to not care for these thoughts, and therefore typically choose to be completely neutral.

Starting Gold: 1d20×10 gp (100 gp).

Starting Age: Moderate

Table: The Mage

Hit Die: d4

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Pure Talent x 2, Arcane Missile 1d4, Mage's Intuition, Scribe Scroll, Spellbook 5 2
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Pure Talent, Spellweave, Meta-Divinity 5 3
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Bonus Feat 6 3 2
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Pure Talent, Arcane Missile 2d4, 6 4 3
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Improved Metamagic 6 4 3 2
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Pure Talent, Raw Talent 6 4 4 3
7th +3 +2 +2 +6 Improved Spellweaving 6 4 4 3 2
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Pure Talent, Arcane Missile 3d4 6 4 4 4 3
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 6 4 4 4 3 2
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Pure Talent 6 4 4 4 4 3
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Bonus Feat 6 4 4 4 4 3 2
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Pure Talent, Arcane Missile 4d4 6 4 4 4 4 4 3
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 6 4 4 4 4 4 3 2
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 Pure Talent, Improved Raw Talent 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Pure Talent, Arcane Missile 5d4 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 1
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Pure Talent 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 1
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 1
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Pure Talent, Arcane Missile 6d4 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 1

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Alchemy (Int), Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Mage.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Mages are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. Mages are proficient with light and medium armor.

Mage's Intuition: A Mage is able to use his years of combat practice to try and identify an enemy's next move. In doing so, he adds his Wisdom modifier directly to his AC.

Scribe Scroll: At 1st level, the Mage gains Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat.

Spellbook: The Mage must study their typically large, and fashionable spellbook on their downtime to make sure they're well studied on what they cast. The only spell they don't need their book to cast is read magic, which all Mages know from memory. A Mage can opt to use their spellcraft skill instead of their caster level when overcoming spell resistance. A Mage does not need to physically read the spell in order to use it, the spellbook must simply be on the Mage's person.

Magic Table of Contents[edit]

All spells can be cast in any combination without exceeding spells per day.

A Mage starts out with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells, plus three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the Mage has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new Mage level, they gain two (plus the Mage's Intelligence bonus) new spells of any spell level or levels that they can cast (based on his new Mage level) for their spellbook.

The Mage must have direct access to their spellbook or will be unable to cast anything.

Spells: A Mage casts arcane spells which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. A Mage must choose their spells ahead of time (see below).

To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the Mage must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Mages’ spell is 10 + the spell level + the Mages’ Intelligence modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a Mage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Their base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Mage. In addition, they receive bonus spells per day if they have a high Intelligence score. This bonus is applied to every spell slot as long as the Mage is capable of casting within it (i.e. a Mage cant cast any bonus 2nd level spells at the 2nd level).

Pure Talent (Ex): The Mage is naturally gifted at fiddling with the laws of magic. They are able to cast their spells using one (+ one per 4th level) metamagic feat without causing the spell to use a higher spell slot. At 1st and every 2 levels afterward, the Mage can choose a metamagic feat. The Mage is only able to cast a number of metamagically affected spells equal to their class level plus their Wisdom modifier per day. A Mage must still meet all prerequisites for metamagic feats, including ability score and caster levels. The Mage can choose metamagic feats from the following:

Empower Spell—Increase spell’s variable, numeric effects by 50%
Repeat Spell—A repeated spell is automatically cast again at the beginning of the next round without consuming another daily spell
Enlarge Spell—Double spell’s range
Extend Spell—Double spell’s duration
Heighten Spell—Cast spells as higher level
Maximize Spell—Maximize spell’s variable, numeric effects
Quicken Spell—Cast spells as free action
Silent Spell—Cast spells without verbal components
Still Spell—Cast spells without somatic components
Widen Spell—Double spell’s area
Energy Substitution—Change the elemental effector.

For a more indepth list, see

Arcane Missile (Sp): The Mage is able to simply expel raw magical energy at-will as a standard action in its most basic form to attack. The Arcane Missile is a ranged touch attack (also as if the target was flat-footed), with a range of 200 ft + 40 ft/level. There is no saving throw for it. At first and fourth level, and every four levels afterward, it's damage increases by 1d4. At first and third level, and every three levels afterward, you gain an additional missile (two missiles at 3rd level, three at 5th, four at 7th, etc). If you shoot multiple missiles, you can have them strike a single creature or several creatures. A single missile can strike only one creature. You must designate targets before you roll damage. The Mage adds his Wisdom modifier to the damage.

A Mage may also apply all damage through a ranged weapon if she chooses (Weapon Damage + Spell Damage), however, the missile must make a ranged attack instead of a ranged touch attack, as per the rules above. Multiple missiles are all applied in one ranged attack if the Mage is currently unable to do a full attack.

Applying a metamagic feat to Arcane Missile requires a 0 level spell slot. See Spellweave for adding any more. This counts as the first feat added.

Meta-Divinity: The Mage made a colossal break through, they figured out how to scribe divine spells into an arcane spellbook! However, they doubt anyone else in the world would understand the techniques they used to do it but themselves. Probably because they made most of them up. They are able to cast one selected cleric domain spell list that do not count against the limit of 5 spells per school per spell level. The Mage does not gain the granted powers from the domain. The spells use the same spells per day as the Mages arcane ones. Once they choose it, they can't change it. Spellweave affects these spells as normal.

Magic is complicated, and there simply aren't enough pages to keep both the Arcane and Divine arts in one book. The Mage's spellbook will only hold a maximum of 5 spells from the Divine school for each spell level. These can only be swapped out for other spells when the Mage spends a week in study per spell they want swapped. At any time, a Mage can also add spells found in other Mages’ or wizards’ spellbooks to their own by means of the Spellcraft skill, but cannot exceed the 5 spells per caster level restriction.

Spellweave (Su): The Mage is easily able to weave two or more metamagic effects to the same spell without preparing ahead of time. In fact, metamagic feats only cost 1/4 as many spell slots as they do normally. The first metamagic feat applied does not count, so long as the increase is no more than +4 spell levels.

The Mage also can weave some of their own metamagic into the spells. By increasing the casting time of a spell (free to move, move to standard, standard to full, and so on) they can eliminate the cost of one spell level. Quicken Spell cannot be applied to these.

Also, by making a Knowledge (arcana) check at the time of casting, (DC 15 + original spell level), the Mage can eliminate yet another cost of a slot, or cast the spell normally at one slot lower. A failed check means the spell is casted normally.

Improved Metamagic: The Mage gains the Improved Metamagic feat regardless if they meet the prerequisites.

Raw Talent: The Mage chooses one school of magic, and any metamagic feat applied to that school only increases the spell slot requirement by one per feat. A Mage may also have 1 extra spell in this school per spell level.

Optionally, the Mage can simply add an additional school they are able to cast, gaining an initial number of spells in that school equal to half of their intelligence modifier rounded down.

Improved Spellweaving (Su): The Mage is able to combine two spells together (also consuming two daily spell slots) to create even more powerful spells than before. Obvious spells may negate each other (such as burning hands and ray of frost), but a scorching ray combined with gust of wind may prove to be deadly in extreme situations. Combined spells add both debuffs of the spell to a Mage's target, such as burning and slowing.

Improved Raw Talent: The Mage selects another school as per the affects of Raw Talent.

Epic Mage[edit]

Table: The Epic Mage

Hit Die: d4

Level Special
21st Perfecture, Bonus Feat
23rd Bonus Feat
26th Bonus Feat
29th Bonus Feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Perfecture: The Mage's ability to alter spells is practically perfected. The Mage can apply 3 feats to a spell before it costs a higher spell level.

Bonus Feats: The epic Mage gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Mage bonus feats) at and every 3 levels after 20th.

Epic Mage Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Augmented Alchemy, Blinding Speed, Damage Reduction, Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Epic Rod, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Efficient Item Creation, Energy Resistance, Epic Fortitude, Epic Reflexes, Epic Speed, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Prowess, Fast Healing, Great Charisma, Great Constitution, Great Dexterity, Great Intelligence, Great Strength, Great Wisdom, Improved Combat Reflexes, Legendary Climber, Legendary Leaper, Penetrate Damage Reduction

Human Mage Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Longsword (1d8, crit 19–20/×2, 1.5 lb., Medium, slashing/piercing).

Armor: Novice's Mage Plate (AC Bonus: +2; Max Dex: +6; Armor Check Penalty: 0; Arcane Spell Failure: 0%; Speed 30' (30’); Wt 10 lb.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Concentration 4 Con
Decipher Script 4 Int
Knowledge (arcana) 4 Int
Spellcraft 4 Int

Feat: Maximize Spell.

Bonus Feats: Quicken Spell.

Gear: Adventurers Kit.

Gold: 100.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Mage[edit]

Religion: The set traditions and rigid customs might put a Mage off from religion. They would lean more towards churches that are more relaxed with their dealings.

Other Classes: Mages may have a slight superiority complex to Wizards, and especially Sorcerers, having devoted much more of their energy and time to doing everything they do, but better.

Combat: The Mages spells are powerful, but limited. They're best left in the back, showering the opposition with spells. They should also be on the look out for other types of advantages they can use to shift the tide of battle, being much more capable to tailor spells to their situation.

Advancement: The Mage might benefit from multiclassing into a melee class, in order to have a back up once their spells run out.

Mages in the World[edit]

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
—Wesley, Human Mage

Mages seek a fundamental understanding of magic. Although, instead of taking cues from any 'reputable and proven' sources, they would rather figure it out themselves. If someone is messing with spells in ways they shouldn't be, a Mage will seek them out to shake their hand. Which means that they can also be easily misinterpreted as a conspirator and blamed should that magic go awry.

Daily Life: A Mage may find him/herself in many different walks of life; from that of banditry, to his or her's own country's military service. A Mage's skill sets are invaluable, and therefore, many parties seek them out in general as either support or damage casters.

Notables: Lt. Wesley Keye (SI:7 Intelligence Officer)

Organizations: Mages tend to stick around places where magic is studied.

NPC Reactions: They would react to a Mage as they would a sorcerer or wizard, because there it is very hard to distinguish them at first glance.

Mage Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research Mages to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (arcana)
DC Result
5 Mages are casters, frail and dangerous.
10 Mages have done away with tradition, and at times, safety.
15 Specific known locations of currently practicing Mages.
20 Specific Mages; their names, general level of ability, and past accomplishments.

Mages in the Game[edit]

Mages view sorcerers and warlocks as people who took the easy way out for their magic. Mages view all other Mage classes as people who settle for mediocrity. Their pride in their magic is only surpassed by their dedication.

Adaptation: If you are using the spell point system in Unearthed Arcana (pg. 153), the Mage is effectively a wizard, not a sorcerer.

Sample Encounter: A town has had mysterious and very intrusive magical occurences that quickly got on the whole towns nerves ever since a Mage and his assistant moved into the dramatic abandoned tower on the hill north of the town. A certain head scribe wants a certain group of adventurers to investigate under the radar, and wouldn't mind 'misplacing' some inventory to give them some incentive.

EL : <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.

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