Tarot Mage (3.5e Class)

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Tarot Mage[edit]

For centuries practitioners of magic have used different foci, gestures, material components, and rituals to harness or augment their powers. Tarot magic is an extremely specialized school; Its spellcasters are wizards who forsake normal spellbooks in favor of the magic of their powerful tarot deck. With a complete deck of 78 arcane tarot cards, a tarot mage has the potential of casting any known spell.

There are two kinds of tarot decks; the mundane deck that is a tool charlatans and seers can use to read fortunes and entertain the masses, and the arcane deck that allows the Tarot Mage to cast unique spells. One goal of Tarot Mages is to find the magical cards or locate the materials necessary to create these magical devices. Tarot Mages will protectively guard their special decks because without them, they lose much of their arcane power.

Making a Tarot Mage[edit]

Abilities: Intelligence determines how powerful a spell a tarot mage can cast, how many spells the Tarot Mage can cast per day, and how hard those spells are to resist. To cast a spell, a Tarot Mage must have an Intelligence score of 10 + the spell's level. A Tarot Mage gets bonus spells based on Intelligence. The Difficulty Class of a saving throw against a Tarot Mage's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the Tarot Mage's Intelligence modifier. Since Tarot Mages often strive to impress and entertain crowds, high Charisma is a valued trait.

Races: Open to any race; Dwarves, however, rarely choose this class.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 4d6×10 gp (140gp).

Starting Age: As Wizard

Table: The Tarot 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 Bonus Feat 3 1
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 4 2
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Craft Minor Arcana 4 2 1
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 4 3 2
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 4 3 2 1
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Bonus Feat 4 3 3 2
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 4 4 3 2 1
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 4 4 3 3 2
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Craft Major Arcana 4 4 4 3 2 1
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 4 4 4 3 3 2
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Bonus Feat 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Bonus Feat 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Double Tap 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (tarot) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Scry (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).


Class Features[edit]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Tarot Mage is proficient with all simple weapons, but not any type of armor or shield.

Armor does not affect the Tarot Mage's spellcasting because she does not need a full range of movement in order to cast the spell. The Tarot Mage channels her powers through the tarot cards that act as a foci for the magic.

Spells: A Tarot Mage is a blend of wizard and sorcerer. Just as a wizard must have his spellbook in order to prepare spells, the tarot mage must have his tarot cards, both Minor Arcana and Major Arcana, through which to focus arcane power. The Tarot Mage does not need to specify individual spells per day: As long as a tarot mage has a certain tarot card and he is of the requisite level, the mage can cast any spell associated with the card. To cast a spell, a Tarot Mage must have an Intelligence score of 10 + the spell's level. A Tarot Mage gets bonus spells based on Intelligence. The Difficulty Class of a saving throw against a Tarot Mage's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the Tarot Mage's Intelligence modifier.

The Tarot Mage can cast cantrips (0th level arcane spells) without the aid of tarot cards, and these are drawn from the same spell list as a sorcerer or wizard. The number of cantrips known depends on the Tarot Mage's level.

Table: Cantrips Known

Level Number of Cantrips Known
1 4
2 5
3 5
4 6
5 6
6 7
7 7
8 8
9 8
10+ 9

The other spells come from tarot cards, and the number of spells known by a Tarot Mage will depend on the number and type of cards that he has crafted, found, or otherwise obtained. At first level, a Tarot Mage begins with 4 minor arcana and 2 major arcana cards of his choice (the Tarot Mage cannot select XXI - The World at this time - it is a very rare and powerful card). In addition, the Tarot Mage gains one minor arcana tarot card of his choice per level of experience, although the card must allow the casting of a spell within the mage's capabilities (i .e. it cannot be for a spell higher level than he can cast).

Beyond that, the character must adventure to locate new tarot cards or the materials to craft them. Until the Tarot Mage has acquired a new card, he is limited to casting the spells available from the cards already in his possession. If a Tarot Mage finds a tarot card, he must attune himself to the card before he can cast from it - a process that takes a full day of study. If the Tarot Mage crafts the card, it can be used immediately upon creation.

Bonus Feats: At first level, The tarot mage may choose any metamagic or item creation feat which she qualifies for as a bonus feat. This occurs again at sixth level, and every six levels thereafter (12th, 18th).

Craft Minor Arcana: At third level, The Tarot mage gains the Craft Minor Arcana feat.

Craft Major Arcana: At ninth level, the Tarot mage gains the Craft Major Arcana feat.

Double Tap (Ex): At twentieth level, the Tarot Mage has become a master of his arcana, allowing him the ability to tap two Major Arcana cards at one time, whose effects stack, despite this not normally being the case.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Tarot Mage[edit]

Religion: Tarot Mages tend to worship beings aligned with the magical sphere of the world, as well as deities of chance and prosperity. Most importantly, however, is that Tarot mages worship deities who grant them arcana.

Other Classes: Tarot mages get along with bards, due to their shared love of entertainment, and with Wizards and Sorcerers, due to their similar spells. Other classes might view the Tarot mage as a charlatan at times, or as a sporadic character, but most have neutral opinions, otherwise.

Combat: The Tarot mage fulfills a specialized arcane spellcasting slot. It's magic is unique, but limited in uses and to specific arcana present, therefore functions as a wizard with greater boundaries in spell capacity, but similar or greater narrowed scope in implementation.

Advancement: Tarot Mages often remain full class until completing their Tarot Deck. It is not uncommon for Sorcerers or Wizards to become Tarot Mages, however. A small number of bards may also choose to do so.

Tarot Mages in the World[edit]

"The fool meets a magician in his wanderings, who kindly asks for his haversack. Holding his rod to the heavens, and his finger to the ground, the haversack unfolds with many items; The Sword, the Staff, the Pentacle and the Cup, each with its own virtues. Were these items in the sack to begin with? Or were they simply a clever illusion of the magician?"
—Jaelana, Elven Tarot Mage

Tarot Mages make their livings giving fortunes, and serving as counsel to many superstitious rulers. They also double as a powerful spellcaster, and can easily be a troubadour, or assassin, owing to a large variety of potential roles.

Tarot Mage Lore[edit]

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

Knowledge (Tarot)
DC Result
5 Tarot Mages are seers who use Tarot cards to divine and cast spells.
10 While arcane, Tarot Mages have unique spells, different from other classes.
15 Arcana are often sought after by Tarot Mages, especially Major Arcana; Cards capable of turning the tides on fierce battles.
20 Very few Tarot Mages have acquired a full deck of Tarot cards, but those who have often go on to become more powerful than can be imagined. Hundreds of spells at one's fingertips in an instant.

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