Charter Mage (3.5e Class)

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Charter Mage[edit]

Baptized at birth with the mark of the charter- that seemingly infinite collection of magical symbols (or charter marks) - the charter mage works magic with the charter marks that swirl within the charter. Her magic is bound to the many marks that form the charter, and her spells are governed by its will. The charter was created to give form to the magic that filled the world at the beginning, and it will forever govern the magic of the charter mages, lest they fall to evil.

Making a Charter Mage[edit]

The charter mage has the same role in the party as a sorcerer or wizard does. Most charter mages will have a specialized list of spells that they cast (based around the charter marks that they know), which gives them similar limitations to a sorcerer. Charter mages are generally weak in combat, and so often need a fighter (or similar) to protect them.

Abilities: Charisma is the most useful ability score for a charter mage, as they need a high charisma score to learn charter marks and cast spells. Dexterity is useful to boost the charter mage’s armor class (as they do not wear armor), and intelligence can help in some key skills such as knowledge (arcana) and spellcraft.

Races: Most charter mages are humans, half-elves and elves, as they have a greater affinity with the charter than other races do. Charter mages among other races are exceedingly rare.

Alignment: Any

Starting Gold: 3d4×10 gp (75 gp)

Starting Age: Simple

Table: The Charter Mage

Hit Die: d4

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Charter
Marks per Day
Charter Marks Known
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 11 4 2
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 13 5 2
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 15 5 3
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 24 6 3 1
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 27 6 4 2
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 42 7 4 2 1
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 46 7 5 3 2
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 65 8 5 3 2 1
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 70 8 5 4 3 2
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 93 9 5 4 3 3 2 1
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 99 9 5 5 4 3 2
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 126 9 5 5 3 2 1
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 133 9 5 5 4 4 3 2
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 164 9 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 172 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 207 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 1
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 216 9 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 2
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 225 9 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 265 9 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 285 9 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 3

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis) and Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Charter Mage.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Charter mages are proficient with short swords, longswords, shortbows (including composite shortbows) and longbows (including composite longbows). They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a charter mage’s arcane gestures, which can cause her somatic components to fail.

Spells: A charter mage casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the list of spells that can be cast by a charter mage with her knowledge of charter marks. She can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a wizard or a cleric must (see below).

To cast a spell, the charter mage must first learn the charter marks that are used in the spells’ casting. To learn and use a charter mark, a charter mage must have a charisma score of 10 + the charter mark’s level (Cha 10 for 0-level charter marks, Cha 11 for 1st level charter marks, and so forth). The difficulty class for a saving throw against a charter mage’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level (or the level for the highest level mark used in the spell) + the charter mage’s charisma modifier.

The charter mage can only use a certain amount of charter marks each day. Her base daily charter mark usage allotment is given on #Table: The Charter Mage. In addition, she receives bonus charter marks per day if she has a high charisma score, based on the level of the highest level charter mark she knows (see #Table: Charter Mage Bonus Marks).

Table: Charter Mage Bonus Marks[edit]
Score Modifier Bonus Marks per Day (by Maximum Charter Mark Level)
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
12–13 +1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
14–15 +2 2 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
16–17 +3 2 5 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
18–19 +4 2 5 9 14 14 14 14 14 14
20–21 +5 4 7 11 16 22 22 22 22 22
22–23 +6 4 10 14 19 25 32 32 32 32
24–25 +7 4 10 18 23 29 36 44 44 44
26–27 +8 4 10 18 28 34 41 49 58 58
28–29 +9 6 12 20 30 42 49 57 68 78
30–31 +10 6 15 23 33 45 59 67 78 88
32–33 +11 6 15 23 33 45 59 75 84 94
34–35 +12 6 15 27 42 54 70 86 104 114
36–37 +13 8 17 29 44 62 76 92 110 130
38–39 +14 8 20 32 47 65 86 102 120 140
40–41 +15 8 20 36 51 69 90 114 132 152
42–43 +16 8 20 36 56 74 95 119 146 166
44–45 +17 10 22 38 58 82 103 127 154 184
etc. . .

A charter mage’s selection of spells is entirely based on the charter marks she knows; she can cast all charter mage spells that use charter marks that she knows in their casting, but cannot cast spells that require marks which she does not know. The number of charter marks she knows is extremely limited; she begins play knowing 4 0-level marks and two 1st level marks. At each new level, she gains one or more new marks, as indicated on #Table: The Charter Mage (unlike marks per day, the number of charter marks she knows is not affected by her charisma score, the numbers on #Table: The Charter Mage are fixed). These new charter marks can be common marks chosen from the charter mark list, or they can be unusual marks that the charter mage has gained some understanding of by study. For example, a charter mage with a scroll or book of charter magic detailing an unusual charter mark (one not on the charter mark list) could select that mark as one of her new marks for attaining a level, provided that it is of the right mark level. The charter mage cannot use this method of charter mark acquisition to learn charter marks at a faster rate, however.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered charter mage level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a charter mage can choose to learn up to two charter marks in place of the same number of charter marks that she already knows. In effect, the charter mage “loses” the old charter mark(s) in exchange for the new one(s). The new charter marks’ level must be the same as that of the charter mark(s) being exchanged, and they must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level charter mark the charter mage can use. A charter mage may swap no more than two charter mark at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the charter mark(s) at the same time that she gains new charter marks known for the level.

Unlike a wizard or cleric, a charter mage need not prepare her spells (or charter marks) in advance. She can cast any spell and use any charter mark she knows at any time, assuming she has enough marks per day to cast the spell. When the charter mage casts a spell, she uses up a number of marks per day equal to one mark per day per mark required to cast the spell.

As a sign that the charter mage is a faithful servant of the charter, she gains a charter mark on her forehead at 1st level. This mark is a mark of 9th level (which she may choose from the 9th level charter marks in the charter mark list), and she automatically learns the mark at 18th level in addition to the number of marks shown on Table: The Charter Mage. This mark designates her as a true servant of the charter; it shows itself as a true, uncorrupted mark by glowing faintly when it is touched be her or by another character (or NPC) capable of using charter magic.

Ex-Charter Mages[edit]

If the charter mage ceases to faithfully serve the charter or multi-classes into another arcane spellcasting class (excluding prestige classes that increase the spells per day, spells known and/or caster level of an existing arcane spellcasting class), she can no longer cast charter spells or use charter marks and her charter mark becomes corrupted (it remains the same but is revealed as a corrupted mark if touched by her or a character or NPC who can cast charter magic). She cannot take any more levels in the charter mage class until she atones (see the atonement spell description). If she does atone, she looses all levels in any other arcane spellcasting base classes that she has levels in and replaces them with levels in the charter mage class.

Epic Charter Mage[edit]

Table: The Epic Charter Mage

Hit Die: 4

Level Special
22nd Bonus Feat
24th Bonus Feat
26th Bonus Feat
28th Bonus Feat
30th Bonus Feat

<-number of skill points-> 2+ Int modifier skill points per level.

Spells: The charter mage’s caster level is equal to her class level. The charter mage’s number of charter marks per day does not increase after 20th level. The charter mage does not learn additional charter marks unless he or she selects the Charter Mark Knowledge feat.

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

Epic charter mage Bonus Feat List: Augmented Alchemy, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Charter Mark Knowledge Energy Resistance, Enhance Spell, Epic Charter Mark Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Master Charter-Staff, Master Charter-Wand, Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity.

Human Charter Mage Starting Package[edit]

Armor: None (speed 30ft.)

Weapons: longsword (1d8, crit. 19-20/x2, 4 lb., one-handed, slashing), shortbow (1d6, crit. x3, range inc. 60ft., 2 lb.).

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Bluff 4 Cha
Concentration 4 Con
Craft 4 Int
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Knowledge (Arcana) 4 Int
Profession 4 Wis
[[SRD:Spellcraft Skill|Spellcraft] 4 Int
Gather Information 2 Cha
Hide 2 Dex 0
Move Silently 2 Dex 0
Listen 2 Wis
Spot 2 Wis
Search 2 Wisdom|Wis

Feat: Combat Casting

Bonus Feats: Spell Focus

Gear: Backpack with waterskin, on day’s trail rations, bedroll, winter blanket, sack, and flint and steel. Hooded Lantern, five pints of oil. Quiver with 20 arrows.

Gold: None

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Charter Mage[edit]

Religion: Charter mages serve the charter, a seemingly infinite swirling mass of symbols (called charter marks) that gives shape and form to their magic. A charter mage’s magic is governed by the charter, and so she cannot use her magics without access to the charter.

Other Classes: Charter mages have no group opinions of other classes, save that they hate necromancers (save Abhorsen). Charter mages work best in the same position in the party as sorcerers and wizards, so they tend to rely on other classes.

Combat: Charter mages do best when they are protected by a fighter (or similar), while using their magic to either boost the abilities of other class members or blast away at their foes.

Advancement: Charter mages rarely multi-class, and cannot multi-class into other arcane spellcasting classes, so most just level up in the charter mage class.

Charter Mages in the World[edit]

Five great charters knit the land…
—Aline, human charter mage, Sabriel, by Garth Nix

Many charter mages travel the world, destroying undead and evil where they find them, while many others serve as guides to traveling groups through the world.

Daily Life: There is no typical “daily life” for charter mages as a whole; they are not generally grouped together by personality or culture (though they share the same opinions of the charter).

Notables: The Abhorsen is a great charter mage who specializes in putting the dead to rest.

Organizations: The clayr are charter mages who have the gift of seeing into the future, and use their powers to warn others of dangers such as necromancers.

NPC Reactions: NPCs who are suspicious of magic are usually suspicious of charter mages, but others generally treat them well.

Charter Mage Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in knowledge (Arcana) can research charter 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 Charter Mages draw their power from the charter.
10 The charter is made up of many mysterious symbols, called marks.
15 "five great charters knit the land..."
20 The founders of the charter, the great charters, who cannot be spoken of by those who cast charter magic.

Charter Mages in the Game[edit]

Sample Encounter:

EL 10: Miriel, a 10th level charter mage, seeks to aid the party in the destruction of the dead.

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