Elemental Mage (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||It's silly to ask what an Elemental Mage is. We are magic users who are so in sync with a particular element, it almost becomes the only element we cast. Almost.||”|
|—Verund, Human Elemental Mage|
Elemental Mages are most commonly sorcerers and wizards with a preference for a specific element and choose to utilize that one element with deadly force and precision. What the Elemental Mage may lack in variety more than makes up for it in sheer raw power.
Becoming an Elemental Mage
Characters may wish to pursue the Elemental Mage because they want to do one thing and be good at it. There is not a doubt that the Elemental Mage class greatly enhances one's ability to utilize a specific element. However, it leaves other elements and spells hopelessly mundane and unaffected.
|Skills:||15 Ranks in Knowledge (Arcana), 15 Ranks in Spellcraft|
|Feats:||Spell Focus: Evocation|
|Spellcasting:||Knowledge of at least one spell above the 0 Level with an Elemental Descriptor, Able to cast 4th Level Spells|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Favored Element||+1 Existing Spellcasting Level|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||+1 Existing Spellcasting Level|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+3||Elemental Counterspelling||+1 Existing Spellcasting Level|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+4||+1 Existing Spellcasting Level|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Elemental Substitution||+1 Existing Spellcasting Level|
|6th||+3||+2||+2||+5||+1 Existing Spellcasting Level|
|7th||+3||+2||+2||+5||Focused Element||+1 Existing Spellcasting Level|
|8th||+4||+2||+2||+6||+1 Existing Spellcasting Level|
|9th||+4||+3||+3||+6||+1 Existing Spellcasting Level|
|10th||+5||+3||+3||+7||Elemental Ascension||+1 Existing Spellcasting Level|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
The Elemental Mage has the following Class Features:
Spellcasting: At new each level, the Elemental Mage gains new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which he belonged before adding the prestige class level. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If he had more than one spellcasting class before becoming an Elemental Mage, he must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known. He may only add a level to a class if he is able to cast a spell with an elemental descriptor in it.
Favored Element: At the first level, the Elemental Mage chooses an element type (acid, cold, electric, fire, or sonic) of one of his own spells. This element becomes his favored element and he will now automatically learn all spells of that element each time he gains a new spellcasting level in his spellcasting class. He also learns all spells of that element for previous spellcasting levels, if applicable. If he has a limit on the number of spells he may know, then all spells of this element type will no longer count against that limit. If he prepares spells, he no longer has to prepare spells of his favored element. He can instead cast them spontaneously just as a cleric can spontaneously cast cure or inflict spells.
At the fifth level, the spell save DC for spells of his favored element increase by +2 and he gains damage resistance against his favored element equal to his class level.
Elemental Counterspelling: Beginning at the third level, counterspells involving the Elemental Mage’s favored element are treated differently. If the Elemental Mage attempts to counterspell a spell of his favored element, he may use a lower level spell of his favored element and add half his class level to its spell level to counter it. He also gains a +4 bonus on the Spellcraft Check to counterspell. If another spellcaster attempts to counterspell a spell cast by the Elemental Mage that matches his favored element, then the DC for the Spellcraft Check increases by +4.
Elemental Substitution: At the fifth level, the Elemental Mage may substitute the element type for any spell he casts that is not of his favored element with his favored element. He may choose to do so as he begins casting. It does not affect casting time or spell level. He may not use this modified spell for Elemental Counterspelling.
Focused Specialty: At the seventh level, if a creature has a Spell Resistance, the Elemental Mage may add his class level to his caster check to overcome the Spell Resistance if he uses a spell of his favored element. If the creature does not have a Spell Resistance, then the Elemental Mage can instead deal bonus damage equal 1d6 per two class levels using a spell of his favored element. This applies to spells modified by Elemental Substitution.
Elemental Ascension: At the tenth level, the Elemental Mage gains immunity to his favored element. He also gains a breath weapon of his favored element that he may use once per day, dealing 1d6 damage/5 character levels.
Playing an Elemental Mage
Combat: An Elemental Mage shines in dealing a great amount of sheer damage with his favored element. However, he might be advised to take caution around those with a resistance or immunity to his favored element as that could effectively render his class features useless.
Advancement: An Elemental Mage is best when prestiged from a Sorcerer or Wizard as they have the most elemental spells available to them. Elemental Mages could prestige in the SRD: Archmage Class and combine their benefits together for a little more versatility.
Resources: Elemental Mages usually congregate in groups by favored element. Often times, Elemental Mages whose favored elements are not the same can be hostile towards one another, believing their element to be the superior one.
Elemental Mages in the World
|“||Fire is the best element as it is the most dynamic and powerful. Leave it to its own devices, it grows like a child, maturing into a wild blaze. Who is to say that fire is not alive? The wisps that appear in the flames could be their words and we are simply too blind to see it.||”|
NPC Reactions: NPCs might react differently to different types of Elemental Mages. Fire Mages might be viewed with caution due to their tendency to constant ignite things on fire. On the other hand, Sonic Mages could be viewed with great annoyance because they love to make as much noise as possible.
Elemental Mage Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge(Arcana) can research the Elemental Mage to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Elemental Mages enjoy spending countless hours experimenting with new ways to manipulate their favored element with magic.|
|15||Elemental Mages slowly develop immunity to their favored element over time.|
|20||Particularly powerful Elemental Mages seek ways to transcend their mortal form and become an elementa.|
|25||Elemental Mages consumed by their obsession for their favored element are prone to mania, desiring to become one with their element.|
Elemental Mages in the Game
A younger, less experienced Elemental Mage might be excitable and enjoy talking about all the things that his favored element can accomplish. However, an older Elemental Mage may be so enamored by the favored element that pointing out a weakness of it or something superior to it may send him into a rage, defending his favored element with a wild passion.
Adaptation: Elemental Mages may hold the knowledge to ancient, elemental magic. Another possibility is that their experimentations with their favored element could have disastrous results if not halted.
Sample Encounter: "You meet an older looking man with dark rings around his eyes. He's mumbling something under his breath. You can't make out most of it but he seems to be whispering 'Fire' over and over again. In his twitching fingers, a flame flickers to life and dies repeatedly. He's rocking back and forth, shivering."