Magician (3.5e Class)
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See also: Witch.
A self-possessed and quiet man labors over his anvil, weaving arcane charms and rare essences into the folds of his metals.
Making a Magician
Part smith, part mage, part warrior, the magician crafts weapons, armor and other implements through which he channels his magic.
The archetypal counterpart to the witch, the magician practices smithcraft rather than witchcraft, and explores arcane rather than divine lore. Whereas the witch accumulates a wide variety of lore in the course of her career, a magician will study a much more focused field, but in far greater detail. Magicians are much more reclusive that witches, preferring the company of their books to that of others and walling themselves away in their towers.
Abilities: High Intelligence is of great importance to the magician, as his life revolves around channelling arcane power and researching new uses for it. Great Strength is equally important, as without it, he will be able to neither practice his craft nor wield the results in combat. He should have scores in these abilites of at least 14. A robust Constitution (at least 12) will help protect him from the dangers of both the forge and the field. Wisdom and Dexterity are less useful, and most magicians are too antisocial to bother about Charisma.
Races: Most magicians come of these races: Human, Deep Dwarf, Half-Giant, Mountain Dwarf, Hill Dwarf, Duergar, Half-Elf, Ogre Mage, Stone Giant, Rakshasa, Azer, Hobgoblin, Centaur, Elan, Hound Archon, Maenad, Aasimar, Satyr.
Starting Gold: 3d4×10 gp (75 gp). Smithed goods are in high demand, and most masters will allow senior apprentices to retain a portion of the profits.
Starting Age: "Moderate".
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+0||Craft Minor Shield, Weapon Focus||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+4||+4||+1||+1||Craft Lesser Shield||0||0||—||—||—|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+1||Craft Minor Ring||1||0||—||—||—|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+1||+1||Craft Medium Shield, Weapon Specialization||1||1||—||—||—|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+2||+2||Craft Lesser Ring||1||1||0||—||—|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+3||+3||Craft Greater Shield||1||1||1||—||—|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+3||+3||Craft Medium Ring||1||1||1||1||—|
|13th||+13/+8/+3||+8||+4||+4||Craft Major Shield||2||1||1||1||—|
|14th||+14/+9/+4||+9||+4||+4||Greater Weapon Focus||2||2||1||1||0|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+5||+5||Craft Greater Ring||2||2||1||1||1|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+5||Craft Iron Golem||3||2||2||2||1|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+5||+5||Craft Superior Shield||3||3||2||2||1|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+6||Craft Major Ring||3||3||3||3||3|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
The magician is similar to the paladins in his combat abilities, but he does not have the affinity with horses. He does not ride, nor does he possess auras. He is however a stronger spell caster, with his spells being arcane rather than divine in origin. He is likely to posess a familiar. At higher levels he gains psionic abilities akin to that of the psychic warrior. All of the following are class features of the magician:
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Beginning at 4th level, a magician gains the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells, which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. A magician must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time (see below).
To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the magician must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a magician’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the magician’s Intelligence modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a magician can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Magician. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score. When Table: The Magician indicates that the magician gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Intelligence score for that spell level.
A magician may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting a good night’s sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the magician decides which spells to prepare.
Spellbooks: A magician must study his spellbook each day to prepare her spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook, except for read magic, which all magicians can prepare from memory.
At 4th level, a magelings master will gift him a spellbook containing three 1st-level spells of your choice (except those from her prohibited school or schools, if any; see School Specialization, below). For each point of Intelligence bonus the magician has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new magician level, he gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new magician level) for his spellbook. At any time, a magician can also add spells found in other magicians’ spellbooks to his own.
Imbuement: A magician can learn only a limited range of directly cast spells. Instead, he learns the ability to imbue his magecrafted items with the powers of a variety of arcane spells. The powers thus imbued in an item are invoked when the item is used. The imbuement level must be equal to or less than the level of the smithcrafted item If the imbued spell has a material component, fifty copies of the component must have been incorporated in the blueprint. Verbal, somatic and focus components are utilized at the time of imbuement. The spell must be one that the magician cannot cast directly.
A magician (and his bondmate if he has one) can tell what spell(s) an item has been imbued with; the only way for another to tell what an item has been imbued with, or even if it has been imbued at all, is through Identify spells and the like.
Magicians choose their spells from the following list:
- Minor Magecraft Imbue: Imbues a magecrafted item with any cantrip sorcerer/wizard spell not directly castable by the magician.
- Light Magecraft Imbue: Imbues a magecrafted item with any 1st level sorcerer/wizard spell not directly castable by the magician.
- Lesser Magecraft Imbue: Imbues a magecrafted item with any 2nd level sorcerer/wizard spell not directly castable by the magician.
- Medium Magecraft Imbue: Imbues a magecrafted item with any 3rd level sorcerer/wizard spell not directly castable by the magician.
- Greater Magecraft Imbue: Imbues a magecrafted item with any 4th level sorcerer/wizard spell not directly castable by the magician.
A school is one of eight groupings of spells, each defined by a common theme. At 4th level, a magician must specialize in one school of magic (see below). Specialization allows a magician to cast extra spells from his chosen school, but must also give up two other schools of magic (unless he chooses to specialize in divination; see below), which become her prohibited schools. A magician can never give up divination to fulfill this requirement.
Spells of the prohibited school or schools are not available to the magician, and he can’t even cast such spells from scrolls or fire them from wands. He may not change either his specialization or his prohibited schools later.
The eight schools of arcane magic are abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, and transmutation.
Spells that do not fall into any of these schools are called universal spells.
Abjuration: Spells that protect, block, or banish. An abjuration specialist is called an abjurer.
Conjuration: Spells that bring creatures or materials to the caster. A conjuration specialist is called a conjurer.
Divination: Spells that reveal information. A divination specialist is called a diviner. Unlike the other specialists, a diviner must give up only one other school.
Enchantment: Spells that imbue the recipient with some property or grant the caster power over another being. An enchantment specialist is called an enchanter.
Evocation: Spells that manipulate energy or create something from nothing. An evocation specialist is called an evoker.
Illusion: Spells that alter perception or create false images. An illusion specialist is called an illusionist.
Necromancy: Spells that manipulate, create, or destroy life or life force. A necromancy specialist is called a necromancer.
Transmutation: Spells that transform the recipient physically or change its properties in a more subtle way. A transmutation specialist is called a transmuter.
Universal: Not a school, but a category for spells that all magicians can learn. A magician cannot select universal as a specialty school or as a prohibited school. Only a limited number of spells fall into this category.
Magicians are able to craft a variety of the items out of the components they collect and process. Each item is crafted out of a number of components: minor items are crafted from three components, lesser from five, unmodified from seven, greater from nine, major from thirteen, superior from seventeen and epic from twenty-seven items. These components determine the nature of the item, and much of a magician's career will be spent learning and researching item blueprints. Some blueprints will be more potent than others.
Each magecrafted item will comprise at least one material item and at least one environmental one. Each item also has a prime component which has twice the normal impact upon the nature of the item, and is said to control the item.
To successfully create an item, the magician must pass a difficulty check against his Craft skill (armorsmithing, blacksmithing, goldsmithing or weaponsmithing as appropriate) , given by the following table:
In addition, many items require gemstones and precious metals to be inserted and inlaid. To successfully adorn an item, the magician must pass a difficulty check against his Craft (jewellering) skill as given by the following table:
Researching Blueprints: A magician can conduct research into new blueprints. This usually entails a degree of trial and error. He may learn about component properties from books written by other magicians, or he may pick them up from more general sources (tested by Knowledge (arcana) skill checks), which will give him clues as to how to formulate a blueprint that will give the desired result. Or he may simply pick a component that he has to hand at random, to determine its properties experimentally. He will create a magecrafted item according to the test blueprint, and then analyze its effects using his Magecraft skill. The results may lead to a useful blueprint, or else guide him towards further tests.
Component Types: Each component specified by a magecraft blueprint will belong to a particular type that defines how it is collected and refined, what effect it bestows on the item crafted, and what field of knowledge information about it is obtained from.
Altitude: Knowledge (geography).
Metals: Knowledge (arcana).
Bonus Languages: A magician may substitute Draconic for one of the bonus languages available to the character because of his race.
Familiar: Beginning at 3rd level, a magician can obtain a familiar. Doing so takes 24 hours and uses up magical materials that cost 100 gp. A familiar is a magical beast that resembles a small animal and is unusually tough and intelligent. The creature serves as a companion and servant.
The magician chooses the kind of familiar he gets. As the magician advances in level, his familiar also increases in power. This progression is as for sorcerer/wizard famililars, except that the master's class level is treated as being two levels below that of the character.
If the familiar dies or is dismissed by the magician, the magician must attempt a DC 15 Fortitude saving throw. Failure means he loses 200 experience points per magician level; success reduces the loss to one-half that amount. However, a magician’s experience point total can never go below 0 as the result of a familiar’s demise or dismissal. A slain or dismissed familiar cannot be replaced for a year and day. A slain familiar can be raised from the dead just as a character can be, and it does not lose a level or a Constitution point when this happy event occurs.
2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Spells: The magician’s caster level is equal to his class level. The magician’s number of spells per day does not increase after 20th level. Each time the magician achieves a new level, he learns two new spells of any spell levels that he can cast (according to his new level).
Familiar: The magician's familiar continues to increase in power. Every two levels beyond 20th the familiar’s natural armor and Intelligence each increase by +1. The familiar’s spell resistance is equal to the master’s class level + 5. At 23rd level and again every ten levels higher than 23rd, the familiar gains the benefit of the Familiar Spell epic feat for a spell of its master’s choice.
Magecraft Feats: The magician gains a magecraft feat every four levels after the 17th.
Bonus Feats: The epic magician gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic magician bonus feats) every four levels after the 19th.
Epic Magician Bonus Feat List: .
Human Magician Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Bonus Feats: .
Playing a Magician
Other Classes: .
Mageling: Up to around 4th level, the magician will probably be completing his apprenticeship with his master, a mage smith. This apprenticeship is likely to have begun when the magician was a child or adolescent, but these levels represent the final stages of his training, when he is trusted to perform many tasks and errands on his own, and may be left in charge of the tower and forge while his mentor travels abroad. An apprentice magician is known informally as a mageling. His master will still guide his steps, will likely lend him use (possibly restricted use) of the tower facilities (such as the library and forge), and will aid him in acquiring his familiar when the time comes.
Graduation: A mageling will need to complete a prentice piece and have it approved by his master in order to graduate. The nature of the prentice piece will determined by the master, but traditionally consists of a minor dagger given a minor imbuement. Generally speaking, the mageling is expected to be able to create farm implements, shields and minor weapons on his own and to have acquired a familiar by this stage.
Hedge Mage: After he graduates from his apprenticeship, the magician will likely undertake a journeymanship, up to about 11th character level. During this time the magician generally has no fixed abode, but moves from town to town, setting up small temporary smithies or assisting in existing ones, learning all she can from any libraries he can gain access to, honing his craft, and seeking out an appropriate locale for his future tower. At these levels, he is known as a hedge mage, or magician wanderer.
Mage Smith: Past 10th character level, a mage is likely to build and occupy a tower. A magician who has done so is known as a mage smith. He may travel away from his tower in the pursuit of knowledge and components, but in doing so runs the risk of losing her tower. He is likely to take elaborate precautions, constructing traps and recruiting guards, to prevent such unhappy events, and 11th level magicians do gain the spells Sanctum and Golem to decrease their likelihood. A magician may take on an apprentice at this stage, who will carry out errands and perform tasks for the magician in return for training in magesmithcraft.
Mage Lord: Past 20th level, a magician is likely to marry or otherwise permanently pair with a cottage witch, and help her establish an estate around his tower. A magician who has done so is known as a mage lord. The cottage witch likewise thus becomes a witch lady. Such a pairing of magician and witch is known as a spirit bond, where the magician becomes the animus to the witch's anima, the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Most of the epic abilities of each member derive from this bond. Each partner can continue to refine their own strengths and abilities, whilst drawing on the strengths of the other partner to shore up their weaknesses.
Note that the genders here are archetypal. A witch lord may be bonded to a magician lady, or two lords or two ladies may be bonded; the only stipulation being that one partner must be a witch and one a magician, in order for their strengths and weaknesses to complement.
The magical pair may attract tenants onto their estate. In return for coming under the pair's protection and for use of the land, their tenants will pay the pair a set rent per year, usually consisting of materiel and/or gold, plus agreed upon combat/construction/crafting/transportation services as required.
The pair may choose to erect their tower under another pair of higher level, in order to come under their protection. They will do this by swearing fealty to the higher level pair and become their vassals. In return for the protection of their lieges, the pair will commit to providing regular service of some sort to them, usually consisting of the delivery of a set number of witchcrafted and magesmithcrafted items per year and/or combat services as required. As they gain in levels, the pair will likely start to attract vassals of their own.
Mage King: Past 30th level, a magician may become a mage king. He does this by undergoing a coronation along with his bondmate (who becomes a witch queen), establishing their lands as a dominion beholden to none but the gods. In order to do this, the pair must have established a substantial holding of tower(s) and estate(s), and must have attracted a goodly number of tenants and vassals.
Magicians in the World
The Magician card from the Tarot Major Arcana is the archetype represented by this class. He represents the animus, the male component of the soul. Elof in Michael Scott Rohan's Winter of the World trilogy was an inspiration for this class.
Daily Life: .
NPC Reactions: .
Characters with ranks in can research Magicians to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
DC 5: .
DC 10: .
DC 15: .
DC 20: .
Magicians in the Game
Sample Encounter: .
EL whatever: .