MSRD:Techno Mage (Class)

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This material is published under the OGL 1.0a.


The fastest path into this advanced class is from the Smart hero basic class, though other paths are possible.


To qualify to become a Techno Mage, a character must fulfill the following criteria.

Skills: Computer Use 6 ranks, Craft (electronics) 6 ranks, Knowledge (arcane lore) 6 ranks, Repair 6 ranks.

Class Information

The following information pertains to the Techno Mage advanced class.

Hit Die: Techno Mages gain 1d6 hit points per level. The character’s Constitution modifier applies.

Action Points: Techno Mages gain a number of action points equal to 6 plus one-half their character level, rounded down, every time they advance a level in this class.

Class Skills

The Techno Mage’s class skills are as follows: Computer Use (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (chemical, electronic, mechanical, pharmaceutical) (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Demolitions (Int), Disable Device (Int), Investigate (Int), Knowledge (arcane lore, art, current events, history, popular culture, streetwise, technology) (Int), Read/Write Language (none), Repair (Int), Research (Int), Speak Language (none), Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 7 + Intelligence modifier.

Table: The Techno Mage
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Defense Bonus Reputation Bonus
1st +0 +0 +1 +0 Arcane skills, arcane spells +1 +0
2nd +1 +0 +2 +0 Machine empathy, arcane spells +1 +0
3rd +1 +1 +2 +1 Bonus feat, arcane spells, program spell +2 +1
4th +2 +1 +2 +1 Create homunculus, arcane spells +2 +1
5th +2 +1 +3 +1 Arcane spontaneous casting, arcane spells +3 +1
6th +3 +2 +3 +2 Bonus feat, arcane spells +3 +2
7th +3 +2 +4 +2 Spell focus, arcane spells +4 +2
8th +4 +2 +4 +2 Online casting, arcane spells +4 +2
9th +4 +3 +4 +3 Bonus feat, arcane spells +5 +3
10th +5 +3 +5 +3 Quicken spells, arcane spells +5 +3

Class Features

The following features pertain to the Techno Mage advanced class.

Arcane Spells and Armor

The Techno Mage can become proficient in the use of armor, and while his limitations are not as great as the traditional Mage, he still has a difficult time casting most arcane spells while wearing it. Armor restricts movement, making the complicated gestures needed to cast spells with somatic components harder to perform. When casting an arcane spell with a somatic component, the chance of arcane spell failure depends on the type of armor being worn, as shown below.

Armor Type Arcane Spell Failure, Proficient Arcane Spell Failure, Nonproficient
Light 0% 10%
Medium 10% 20%
Heavy 20% 30%


The Techno Mage must study her spellfiles each day to prepare her spells. The Techno Mage can’t prepare any spell not recorded in her spellfiles (except for read magic, which the Techno Mage can prepare from memory). The Techno Mage begins play with spellfiles containing all 0-level arcane spells and three 1st-level arcane spells of the player’s choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the Techno Mage has, her spellfiles hold one additional 1st-level arcane spell. Each time the character attains a new level of Techno Mage, she gains two new spells of any level or levels that she can cast, according to her new level. The Techno Mage can also add spells found in other Techno Mages’ spellfiles or Mage’s spellbooks. (Mages may use spells found in the files of Techno Mages.)

A set of spellfiles is usually put into a notebook or desktop computer, or a PDA. Occasionally they are put on a secure website to allow access by cell phone or satellite phone. Backup files are a must, and are usually kept in another location (such as a safety deposit box). Hard copy is also used for storage of spellfiles, sometimes bound in spellbooks.

Arcane Skills

At 1st level, the Techno Mage gains access to the arcane skill Spellcraft and the expansion of the Concentration skill, as described under the Mage entry.

Arcane Spells

The Techno Mage’s key talent is the ability to cast arcane spells.

The Techno Mage is limited to a certain number of spells of each spell level per day, according to his Techno Mage class level. The Techno Mage must prepare spells ahead of time by resting for eight hours and spending one hour studying his spellfiles. While studying, the Techno Mage decides which spells to prepare. To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the Techno Mage must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the spell’s level. The Difficulty Class for saving throws against the Techno Mage’s spells is 10 + the spell’s level + the Techno Mage’s Intelligence modifier.

In addition, the Techno Mage receives bonus spells based on his Intelligence score, as shown below.

Int Score —Bonus Spells by Spell Level—
1 2 3 4 5
12–13 1
14–15 1 1
16–17 1 1 1
18–19 1 1 1 1
20–21 2 1 1 1 1
22–23 2 2 1 1 1
Techno Mage Level —Spells per Day by Spell Level—
0 1 2 3 4 5
1 3 1
2 4 2
3 4 2 1
4 4 3 2
5 4 3 2 1
6 4 3 3 2
7 4 4 3 2 1
8 4 4 3 3 2
9 4 4 4 3 2 1
10 4 4 4 3 3 2

Machine Empathy

At 2nd Level, the Techno Mage is so comfortable with technology that she gains a +2 competence bonus with any electronic or mechanical device, and in addition may use any skill that involves technology untrained.

Program Spell

At 3rd level, the Techno Mage may spend an action point to insert a spell within a particular analog or digital device, such that by touching a key (or flicking a switch), the spell activates. All variables of the spell are set at the time of casting.

Casting a spell takes the normal amount of time; discharging a programmed spell is an attack action.

Bonus Feats

At 3rd, 6th, and 9th level, the Techno Mage gets a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and the Techno Mage must meet all of the prerequisites for the feat to select it.

Armor Proficiency (light), Builder, Educated, Gearhead, Greater Spell Focus, Greater Spell Penetration, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, Studious, Windfall.

The Techno Mage may also take any metamagic feats as bonus feats.

Create Homunculus

At 4th level, the Techno Mage can create a homunculus. The homunculus may be flesh, digital, chemical, or biochemical in nature.

Creating a homunculus requires a DC 25 Wealth check to acquire the appropriate equipment. The materials used are consumed in the creation of the homunculus. In addition, the creation of a homunculus requires a pint of the Techno Mage’s blood.

It takes a week to create a homunculus. During this time the Techno Mage must labor for 8 hours a day. A character not actively working on the ritual must perform no other activities except eating, sleeping, or talking. If she misses a day, the process fails, and the ritual must begin anew. At the end of the period, the Techno Mage makes an appropriate skill check for the Craft skill connected with the particular subtype of homunculus (DC 20). A failure indicates loss of the subject (requiring the Techno Mage to begin again) but no other penalty.

The Techno Mage may create any number of homunculi. However, when a homunculi perishes, its death deals 2d10 points of damage to the Techno Mage, so caution is usually the by-word in homunculus creation.

Arcane Spontaneous Casting

At 5th, the Techno Mage chooses a number of spells she already knows equal to her Intelligence modifier. From that point on, the Techno Mage can cast those spells in place of already-chosen spells of the same level. The Techno Mage “loses” a prepared spell to cast another spell of the same level or lower.

Spell Focus

At 7th level, the Techno Mage gains Spell Focus as a bonus feat.

Online Casting

At 8th level, the Techno Mage can cast spells through electronic devices, including cameras, cell phones, and modems.

If the spell requires the caster to be seen, then the target must see the caster, if it requires the caster to be heard, then

the target must be able to hear the caster. Range is determined from the caster to the pick-up device (camera, keyboard, etc.) and then from the device to its target. The space between keyboard and monitor, or camera and screen, is not considered. The Techno Mage must be able to see or otherwise be able to determine the location of her target (“person at the keyboard” is a suitable target). Spells cast online are less effective, such that the target gets a +4 circumstance bonus on saving throws.

Quicken Spell

At 10th level, the Techno Mage learns to cast some spells as free actions. With but a moment’s thought (and the proper verbal, somatic, and material components). She can perform another action, even casting another spell, in the same round as she casts a quickened spell. She may only cast one quickened spell per round. A spell whose casting time is more than 1 full round cannot be quickened.

A quickened spell does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Quicken spell is considered a metamagic ability for purposes of interacting with metamagic feats.

When a quickened spell is prepared, it is treated as a spell of four levels higher than the spell’s actual level, such that only 0- and 1st level spells may be quickened by a Techno Mage.

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