Black Mage (3.5e Class)

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Black Mage[edit]

Black mages is a broad title, used to describe those who once sought knowledge, truth and power through deep study, contemplation and patience. Some however, only valued power and were not willing to wait in order to obtain it. One cannot identify a black mage easily, their attire is not uniform, their actions are not in union, they have no headquarters, no leaders, no doctrine or anything that might possibly set them apart from any other practised caster. Great evil dwells within the body of the black mage, manifesting itself in many unnatural and unseen ways, forming a cocoon of pure, tangible malcontent, acting as a buffer between both the black mage and otherwise lethal blows

Making a Black Mage[edit]

A black mage is a strong destructive spell caster with some ability in combat but are otherwise vulnerable in melee because of their inability to wear heavy armors and lack of access to martial weapons. Black mages are good support characters, however the rest of the party much be wary of their magics - they harm allies just as much as enemies...

Abilities: Charisma is most important to a black mage, since he has forsaken his lore books he relies on his own wit. Secondly Constitution as it better allows a black mage to focus even when under stress. Lastly Strength as this allows the black mage to target and damage his opponent in close-quarter combat and deliver devastating touch attacks.

Races: The title of black mage can be bestowed upon those of many different races, none are more populous than any other. However humans, who are impatient by nature, are most likely to stray from the path of righteous magic.

Alignment: Any evil.

Starting Gold: 2d8×10 gp (90gp).

Familiar: The same as mages.

Starting Age: Moderate.

Table: The Black Mage

Hit Die: d6

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 Vengeance, Aura of Evil 4 2
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Somatic Weaponry 5 3
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Theurgic Submersion +1, Bonus Feat 5 3 2
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 5 4 3
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Malignant Soul DR 3/good 5 4 3 2
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 5 5 4 3
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Theurgic Submersion +2 5 5 4 3 2
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 5 5 5 4 3
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Bonus Feat 5 5 5 4 3 2
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Malignant Soul DR 5/good 5 5 5 5 4 3
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Theurgic Submersion +3 5 5 5 5 4 3 2
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 5 5 5 5 5 4 3
13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 5 5 5 5 5 4 3 2
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 3
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Theurgic Submersion +4, Malignant Soul DR 10/good 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 3 2
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 3
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 3 2
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 3
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Theurgic Submersion +5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Malignant Soul DR 20/good 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana), Listen (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Use Magical Device (Cha).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the black mage.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Black mages are proficient with all simple weapons, but not with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a Black mage’s movements, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Somatic Weaponry: at 2nd level a black mage automatically gains the Somatic Weaponry feat, allowing him to complete the somatic components of a spell even if his hands are full. A black mage gains this feat even if he does not qualify for it.

Bonus Feat At 3rd level the black mage gains the Empower Spell Metamagic Feat as a bonus feat. At 9th level he gains the Maximize Spell Metamagic feat as a bonus feat.

Spells: To prepare or cast a spell, a black mage must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a black mages’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the black mage’s Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a black mage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given below. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.

Black mages must spend 1 hour a day focusing his desires to grant him access to his spells, sometimes voicing a dark mantra in order to reinforce his true intention. Time spent resting has no effect on whether a black mage can prepare spells. A black mage may prepare and cast any spell on the black mage spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.

Black mages choose their spells from the following list:

0— Acid Splash, Daze, Detect Magic, Disrupt Undead, Flare, Inflict Minor Wounds, Ray of Frost, Read Magic, Touch of Fatigue.

1st— Burning Hands, Cause Fear, Chill Touch, Color Spray, Inflict Light Wounds, Mage Armor, Magic Missile, Magic Stone, Magic Weapon, Produce Flame, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Shocking Grasp, Sleep, Summon Monster I*, True Strike.

2nd— Acid Arrow, Blindness/Deafness, Daze Monster, Death Knell, Flaming Sphere, Ghoul Touch, Hideous Laughter, Hold Person, Inflict Moderate Wounds, Scare, Scorching Ray, Shatter, Silence, Sound Blast, Summon Monster II*, Touch of Idiocy.

3rd— Bestow Curse, Contagion, Deep Slumber, Explosive Runes, Fireball, Flame Arrow, Glyph of Warding, Greater Magic Weapon, Inflict Serious Wounds, Lightning Bolt, Poison, Ray of Exhaustion, Searing Light, Slow, Stinking Cloud, Summon Monster III*, Vampiric Touch.

4th— Black Tentacles, Call Lightning, Confusion, Crushing Despair, Death Ward, Dispel Magic, Enervation, Fear, Fire Shield, Fire Trap, Flame Strike, Greater Magic Weapon, Ice Storm, Inflict Critical Wounds, Phantasmal Killer, Shout, Solide Frog, Spike Growth, Summon Monster IV*, Wall of Fire.

5th— Blight, Cloudkill, Cone of Cold, Disrupting Weapon, Feeblemind, Hold Monster, Insect Plague, Interposing Hand, Mass Inflict Light Wounds, Mind Fog, Nightmare, Slay Living, Stoneskin, Summon Monster V*, Symbol of Pain, Symbol of Sleep, Telekinesis, Waves of Fatigue.

6th— Acid Fog, Banishment, Blade Barrier, Chain Lightning, Circle of Death, Eyebite, Forbiddance, Freezing Sphere, Greater Dispel Magic, Harm, Mass Inflict Moderate Wounds, Summon Monster VI*, Undeath to Death.

7th— Blasphemy, Delayed Blast Fireball, Destruction, Earthquake, Finger of Death, Fire Storm, Incendiary Cloud, Insanity, Mage's Sword, Mass Hold Person, Mass Inflict Serious Wounds, Power Word Blind, Prismatic Spray, Spell Turning, Summon Monster VII*, Sunbeam, Symbol of Stunning, Symbol of Weakness, Waves of Exhaustion, Word of Chaos.

8th— Antimagic Field, Binding, Clenched Fist, Greater Shout, Horrid Wilting, Maddening Scream, Mass Inflict Critical Wounds, Polar Ray, Power Word Stun, Scintillating Pattern, Summon Monster VIII*, Sunburst, Symbol of Death, Symbol of Insanity, Telekinetic Sphere, Trap the Soul

9th— Crushing Hand, Implosion, Imprisonment, Mass Hold Monster, Meteor Swarm, Power Word Kill, Soul Bind, Storm of Vengeance, Summon Monster IX*, Wail of the Banshee, Weird.

* Black Mages can only summon evil creatures.

Vengeance (Sp): A black mage chooses upon character creation whether he can channel acid, fire, cold, electric or sound (once this decision is made it is final). He can at any time choose to expend stored spell energy into a destructive ranged attack, area or touch spell of the damage type he chose upon creation even if he did not prepare it ahead of time. The black mage can “lose” any prepared spell in order to cast a ranged, area or touch damage spell of the chosen type of the same spell level or lower. If the black mage chooses to cast that ranged or touch damage spell of the chosen type at a lower level than the spell slot sacrificed, this adds to the saving throw required by the target.

The saving throw required is a Reflex save equal to 10 + level of spell slot sacrificed + the black mage’s Charisma modifier. If the saving throw is succeeded by the target, they take only half damage (rounded down). A saving throw is only required in the case of an area effect attack, a ranged or melee touch attack allows for no saving throw.

When a black mage chooses to spontaneously cast a damaging spell of the chosen damage type, he may either select it as a ranged or melee touch attack or an area attack. In the case of a ranged or melee attack it affects only a single target. In the case of an area effect attack it will affect all creatures and objects within the area.

The range for a black mage's vengeance attack is equal to 100ft + 10ft/level. The radius for a black mage's area of effect attack is equal to 10ft + 5ft starting at 5th level and increases by 5ft every 5 levels thereafter.

When calculating damage for a black mage's vengeance ability apply the following modifiers depending on the energy type chosen. Fire damage increases the damage dealt by +1 per dice of damage. Cold damage requires a fortitude save instead of a reflex save in the case of an area of effect attack and still allows for half damage on a successful save. Electricity increases the DC for the saving throw by +1 and grants a +1 bonus on attack rolls when using it as a ranged touch attack. Acid causes the target to, if they take damage also take a -2 circumstance penalty to their AC until the end of your next round. In the case of an area of effect attack apply this effect only if the target failed it's reflex save. In the case of sonic damage, decrease the damage dealt by -1 per dice of damage dealt.

Vengeance damage table
Spell Level Result
0 1d6 + Charisma modifier
1st 2d8 + Charisma modifier
2nd 4d8 + Charisma modifier
3rd 6d8 + Charisma modifier
4th 8d8 + 2xCharisma modifier
5rd 10d8 + 2xCharisma modifier
6th 12d8 + 2xCharisma modifier
7th 14d8 + 3xCharisma modifier
8th 16d8 + 3xCharisma modifier
9th 18d8 + 3xCharisma modifier

Aura of Evil (Ex): The power of a black mage’s aura of evil (see the detect evil spell) is equal to his class level plus his cleric level, if any.

Theurgic Submersion (Su): Magic simply congeals around the black mage, flowing over him like liquid and protecting him from physical harm. This provides an armor bonus to AC equal to the stated value. The bonus given is +1 at 3rd level and increases by increment of 1 every 4 levels (7th, 11th, 15th, 19th etc). This bonus stacks with items that grant other armor bonus to AC, but the black mage can only can only use one source of armor bonus to AC to add this bonus to.

Malignant Soul (Ex): At 5th level, a black mage gains Damage Reduction. Subtract 3 from the damage the black mage takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack which is not of good alignment. At 10th level this damage reduction improves to 5. At 15th level it improves again to 10. Finally at level 20 it increases once again to 20 the cocoon of malignant energy forming into an extremely resistant dark coating of energy that protects the black mage from harm.

Ex-Black Mages[edit]

If a black mage for any reason should change his alignment to anything than evil, he can no longer gain any levels in black mage and loses his ability to cast Vengeance, loses his armor bonuses granted by Theurgic Submersion and Damage Reduction given by Malignant Soul.

The character may once again take levels as a black mage as well as gaining both his ability to spontaneously cast Vengeance and other special class abilities if his alignment should become evil again.

Epic Black Mage[edit]

Table: The Epic Black Mage

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
23rd Bonus Feat, Theurgic Submersion +6
25th Malignant Soul DR 25/good
26th Bonus Feat
27th Theurgic Submersion +7
29th Bonus Feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Malignant Soul (Ex): The epic black mage’s damage reduction increases by 5 every five levels higher than 20th.

Theurgic Submersion (Su): The epic black mage’s armor bonus to AC increases by 1 point every four levels higher than 19th

Spells: The black mage’s caster level is equal to his class level. The wizard’s number of spells per day does not increase after 20th level. Each time the black mage achieves a new level, he learns two new spells of any spell levels that he can cast (according to his new level).

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

Epic Black Mage Bonus Feat List: Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Combat Casting, Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor, SRD:Craft Epic Rod, Craft Epic Staff, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Efficient Item Creation, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Forge Epic Ring, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, Spell Opportunity, Tenacious Magic.

Human Black Mage Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Spear, Light Crossbow.

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

Table: Starting Skill Points
Skill Ranks Ability Armor Check Penalty
Concentration 4 Constitution
Listen 4 Wisdom
Sense Motive 4 Wisdom
Spellcraft 4 Intelligence
Spot 4 Wisdom

Feat: Improved Initiative.

Bonus Feats: Toughness.

Gear: Backpack, Bedroll, Waterskin, Flint and Steel, 3 × Torch, Vial of Ink, Ink Pen, Ink Pot, 10 × Parchment, Scroll Case, Quiver, 20 × bolts, Sack, Spell Component Pouch, Travelers Outfit, 3 × Trail Rations.

Gold: 35 gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Black Mage[edit]

Religion: Alot of them worship Nerull, Vacna, Hextor, Erythnul.

Other Classes: Most of the Black Mages get along with evil arcanists, Rogues, Fighters and hexblades. they hate characters the with Good and Neutral(Good Tendencies) alignment

Combat: They have small role in combat.

Advancement: Some Black Mages multiclass as Rogues. Some take levels in arcane prestige classes.

Black Mages in the World[edit]

First, the power drives you mad...then...then there's the thirst, unquenchable thirst for it, the insatiable need...
it doesn't let you sleep at night...just keeps
The diary of a Celcequius, Celcequius the Insane, Black Mage

Daily Life: Similar to hexblades.

Organizations: Similar to hexblades.

NPC Reactions: A lot of them avoid or fear them.

Black Mage Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research black 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 Black mages are rogue spellcasters
10 All black mages emit powerful evil auras
15 Black mages can spontaneously cast devastating ranged and touch spells[1]
20 Black mages are surrounded and protected by physical condensed layers of magic[2]


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