Beast Mage (3.5e Class)
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Notes For the Dungeon Master
While most abilities of a beast mage are going to be of a different alignment, you may gift a beast mage with an ability from an intelligent creature if you so choose by having the creature use its beneficial or harmful ability on the character.
A beast mage may become too powerful if allowed and not kept within check. Work with your player to make sure abilities chosen are appropriate for the game level you are managing. To keep certain abilities from being learned, you may raise the CR of the creature so that the beast mage is unable to learn said spell or ability.
This class should only be considered for more advanced players and dungeon masters as it does require a lot of give and take on the parts of the dungeon master and player.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Beast Mages have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Wisdom determines the number and how powerful an ability a Beast Mage can manifest and how hard those abilities are to resist. To manifest an ability, the beast mage’s Wisdom must be at or above the source creature's CR +3. A beast mage gets bonus power points based on Wisdom. The Difficulty Class of a saving throw against a beast mage’s ability is 10 + half the creature's CR from which the ability was learned (rounded down) + the Beast Mage’s Wisdom modifier.
Alignment: Any nonlawful
Starting Gold: 4d6 ×10gp (140gp)
Starting Age: Complex
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Learn, Intuition, Abation||2|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Track, Skill Focus, Memory (+1)||5|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Augment, Memory (+2)||12|
|8th||+6/+1||+2||+6||+6||Skill Focus, Memory (+4)||41|
|10th||+7/+2||+3||+7||+7||Swift Tracker, Memory (+5)||62|
|13th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||Sixth Sense (See Invisibility)||103|
|14th||+10/+5||+4||+9||+9||Skill Focus, Memory (+7)||119|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+12||Skill Focus, Memory (+10)||240|
The beast mages’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana, Dungeoneering, Nature, Religion, The Planes)(Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier ×4)
All of the following are class features of the Beast Mage.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Beast Mages are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the short sword, long sword, and scimitar. Beast Mages are proficient with light armor, but not with shields. Armor does not interfere with the manifestation of powers.
Monstrous Magic: A Beast Mage has the capability to manifest the abilities of the creatures he meets and fights. A creature is defined as belonging to any of these monster subtypes: Aberrations, Animals, Dragons, Elementals, Fey, Fiend, Magical beasts, Monstrous Humanoid, Oozes, Outsiders, Plants, Undead, and Vermin. He must experience the ability of the creature before he can learn it. He can manifest any ability he knows without preparing it ahead of time. Beast Mage only needs to think of the ability he wishes to activate.
To learn an ability, a Beast Mage’s level plus his Wisdom modifier must be greater than or equal to the challenge rating (CR) of the creature he wishes to learn from. To manifest an ability, the Beast Mage’s Wisdom must be at or above the source creature's CR. The DC for a saving throw against a Beast Mage’s manifested ability is 10 + half the creature's CR from which the ability was learned (rounded down) + the Beast Mage’s Wisdom modifier. This DC replaces any DC from a learned creature’s ability. A learned ability's maximum duration is equal to half the Beast Mages level times one hour.
At level 1 a Beast Mage starts out not being able to manifest any abilities. He gains abilities through the use of the Learn ability that he gains at level one. A Beast Mage may manifest as many abilities as he chooses as long as he has the Power Points to pay for it.
Power Points/Day: A Beast Mages’s ability to manifest abilities is limited by the power points he has available. His base daily allotment of power points is given on Table: Beast Mage. In addition, he receives bonus power points per day if he has a high Wisdom score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Power Points). His race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items.
The point cost of a Beast Mage ability is equal to twice the CR of the creature the Beast Mage learned it from. The Beast Mage regenerates his power points every day.
Learn: At the first level, a Beast Mage learns his signature ability; manifesting a creature's Abilities after experiencing them. A dragon's breath attack, a gorgon's gaze, even a devil's terrible aura of fear, all of these are potential abilities.
To learn a Beast Mage ability he must be struck by or affected by the extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like ability from one of the monster subtypes listed above. He may also learn new abilities from his fellow Beast Mages; however, he must be struck by the ability cast by a Beast Mage; for a Beast Mage's memorization and manifestation is unique from Beast mage to Beast mage. In the case of learning from other Beast Mages, the student cannot learn abilities from the teacher that he could not otherwise learn normally.
Intuition: The Beast Mage may use his Wisdom Modifier in the place of his Intelligence Modifier when making Knowledge or Spellcraft Checks. When a Beast Mage makes successful knowledge check against a creature, he may learn what extraordinary, special, and spell-like abilities the creature possesses.
Abation: The Beast Mage may choose to forfeit a successful save to be affected by the targeting ability from a creature that he can learn from. When he does so, the effect of the ability will be reduced by half whether it be time, damage, or etc. If the effect has a death effect, the Beast Mage will not be affected and will be dealt damage equal to half his current his points. If an effect of the ability cannot be reduced the Beast Mage is affected normally.
Track: A Beast Mage gains Track as a bonus feat at 2nd level.
Skill Focus: A Beast Mage gains Skill Focus as a bonus feat at 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter. For his skill focus he must choose from Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Dungeoneering), Knowledge (Nature), Knowledge (Religion), Knowledge (The Planes), Spellcraft, or Survival.
Memory: Beginning at the 2nd Level, a Beast Mage modifies his saves by +1 against an ability he has already learned. This bonus increases by +1 every two levels there after.
Sixth Sense: Beginning at the 2nd level, the Beast Mage can use Detect Animals or Plants as the spell a number of times equal to half his Beast Mage level. At the 12th level, the Beast Mage can use See Invisibility as the spell a number of times equal to a quarter of his Beast Mage level. The Beast Mage may only detect things that the Beast Mage treats as a creature.
Augment: Beginning at the 4th Level, a Beast mage may augment his abilities. He may increase one of the die used in an ability by one step (ex: d6 to d8) by doubling the point cost of the ability. At the 9th level he learns how to make his abilities harder to avoid. He may increase the save of an ability by 5 by doubling the point cost of the ability.
Swift Tracker: Beginning at 10th level, a Beast mage can move at his normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal -5 penalty. He takes only a -10 penalty (instead of the normal -20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.
Improved Abation:Beginning at the 7th Level, when a Beast Mage is affected by an ability of a creature he can learn from he reduces the affect by half. If he chooses to forfeit a successful save, the effect of the ability is halved again. If the effect has a death effect, the Beast Mage will not be affected and will be dealt damage equal to half (quarter on the forfeiture of a successful save) his current his points. If an effect of the ability cannot be reduced the Beast Mage is affected normally. This ability replaces Abation.
Bonus Languages:: A beast mage's bonus language options include Aquan, Auran, Draconic, Giant, Ignan, Infernal, Sylvan, and Terran. These choices are in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of his or her race.
A beast mage who becomes lawful in alignment cannot progress in levels as a beast mage, though he retains all his beast mage abilities.
Epic Beast Mages
|26th||Bonus Feat, Memory (+13)|
Power Points/Day The Beast Mage’s power points do not increase after 20th level (except through the use of epic feats).
Bonus Feats: The epic Beast Mage gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic beast mage bonus feats) every three levels after 20th.
Memory: The epic Beast Mage's Memory continues to improve past the 20th level.
Epic Beast Mage Bonus Feat List: Epic Reflexes, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Speed, and Great Wisdom
Half-Orc Beast Mage Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Feat: Power Attack.
Gear: Studded Leather Armor, Heavy Mace, Explorer's Outfit, Backpack, Bedroll, Flint & Steel, 30 Day Ration Supply, 50' Hemp Rope, 3 x Torches, Waterskin.
Gold: 3d6 gp.
The fiery breath of a red dragon, the icy touch of a spectre, or the fiery rays of a beholder -- all can be brought to bare by the beast mage. The beast mage is an expert tracker and hunter, pursuing knowledge and power through the interaction with exotic creatures. He does not learn his abilities through thought and study but through bodily experience and absorption. His limits are only those that his body can withstand. For with every hit he takes the stronger he becomes.
Playing a Beast Mage
Adventures: Beast mages adventure to gain knowledge about creatures and power. They make excellent teachers, but they like to be out in the field exploring, hunting and finding new things. From their research they will publish their findings to further the biological field. Sometimes they are called on as trackers for exotic beasts or hunts. It does not happen often, but beast mages may also be drafted as mercenaries because of the rare combat abilities they may posses. Beast mages tend to shun society and prefer a more solitary life.
Characteristics: Beast Mage manifest their abilities much in the same way that a Psion manifests their powers. Their abilites are learned only by absorbing the affects from the creatures they meet. Beast mages cast their spells by recalling how they learned the ability and forming enery into the desired shape with their mind.
Alignment: Because of the nature of how most beast mages learn their abilities, they tend to be chaotic in nature, rushing head first into situations. If they are not chaotic they are at least neutral in nature. Beast mage's do typically respect the law. They see the law as a limiter on the pursuit of knowledge. Because of a good beast mage's tendency to run into evil creatures, a good beast mage tends have more evil abilities and vice-verse for an evil beast mage having more good aligned abilities. Their usage of these abilities do not affect their alignment unless used for good or evil purposes.
Religion: Beast mages tend to respect nature and therefore normally revere Obad-Hai (god of nature) or Ehlonna (goddess of the woodlands).
Background: Beast mages come to their profession in many ways. Most have a thirst for knowledge and adventure. Some seek the fame and recognition that comes with finding new beasts. Others do it for the money. Many buyers will pay large sums of money for hunt of exotic creatures.
Races: Elves and Half-Orcs often favor the wilds and the hunt. Humans and half-elves also commonly seek the profession, looking for adventure and profit. Dwarves, gnomes, and halflings rarely become beast-mages because of their social nature. The more brutal and animal like races can also become beast mages seeking power.
Other Classes: The beast mage gets along well with rangers and barbarians for their expertise in the wilds. Beast mages share a kindred search for knowledge with wizards but prefer to be out in the field. Because of the profession of most beast mages, druids and beast mages typically don't get along but do respect one another. Beast mages in general are rather out going and accepting of others.
Role: The beast mage is incredibly versatile depending on what creatures he faces and what abilities he absorbs. The beast mage is meant as secondary attacker using his or her abilities to hinder and weaken enemies. Since the beast mage is always getting in the line of fire it often helps to have a healer as back up.
Building a Higher Level Beast Mage
When building a higher level Beast Mage work with your dungeon master to pick out appropriate abilities for your given level and experience.
Monstrous Magic: A higher level Beast Mage's number of abilities known equals his beast mage level + Wisdom modifier - 3.
Beast Mage Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcane) can research beast mages to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||PC knows that beast mages use the magical abilities of the creatures they encounter.|
|10||PC knows common tactics of beast mages.|
|15||PC knows some of the more notable beast mages in the area.|
|20||PC knows the name and alignment of the target NPC and one or two of their spells.|
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