Mail'd Mage (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Mail'd Mage[edit]

The nightmare creatures of Midlothian conjuring broke through our lines and headed straight for our wizards' ranks. They set to their bloody task, rending the flesh of those magnificent greybeards. The whole military campaign was set back a fortnight or more by just those losses ... if only they had had more than just robes between those terrible teeth and their precious skin ...
—Quinlan Circuitus III, Commander of the Eastern Army, The Storming of the Midlothian Forge

Learning the mysteries of metal was far easier than leaving my peers to glean arcane secrets while I trudged around muddy fields with absurdly heavy gear. The experience has left me with two realizations. First, serfs-turned-soldiers lack the strength to do any real harm with just a dagger. Second, it's better to have one arm full of womanfolk than both arms full of tomes--the ladies love a man in well-kept armor who can handle himself.
—Joco the Elusive, Memoirs of a Cautious Conjurer

Do not forget that in the race to become the most powerful you must not become the most vulnerable.

Mastering magic's subtle interplay between a warrior's armor and his essence, the mail'd mage fuses arcane can-do with the durability of a conscripted warrior. What the mail'd mage sacrifices in arcane and combative prowess, he gains in survivability. By delving into these mysteries, the arcane spellcaster bypasses one of his most fundamental weaknesses: the inability to cast spells whilst wearing armor.

Becoming a Mail'd Mage[edit]

Those who wish to exercise arcane know-how in hazardous environments (ex: dungeons, battlefields, badlands) often pursue advancement in the mastery of melee weapons, armor, and/or survival skills. Seldomly can these additional abilities be used optimally and simultaneously, particularly wearing protective garb while casting arcane spells. Those who research and test the relationship between armor and magic--and those who have a strong enough desire to live--may ultimately come to know the mysteries of the bonding ritual.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become a mail'd mage, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

  • Spells: Ability to cast 2nd-level arcane spells.
  • Special: Must have suffered both arcane spell failure and success in a variety of armors.

Class Skills[edit]

The mail'd mage’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are:

Climb (Str), Concentration (Con),Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Mail'd Mage

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Saving Throws Arcane Failure
Special Spells per Day/Spells Known
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 5% Armored Vigilance+, Mail Bonding Ritual +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
2nd +1 +3 +0 +0 10% Mail Enhancement 1/–
3rd +2 +3 +1 +1 15% Endurance+ +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
4th +2 +4 +1 +1 20% Arcane Recovery 1/day +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
5th +3 +4 +1 +1 25% Mail Enhancement 2/–
6th +3 +5 +2 +2 30% Bonus Feat +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
7th +4 +5 +2 +2 35% Campaigner+ +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
8th +4 +6 +2 +2 40% Mail Enhancement 3/–
9th +5 +6 +3 +3 45% Bonus Feat +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
10th +5 +7 +3 +3 50% Arcane Recovery 2/day +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class

+: If the mail'd mage already possesses this feat, he or she may instead gain a substitute Armor or Shield feat.

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are Class Features of the mail'd mage prestige class.

Armored Vigilance (Ex): At 1st level, a mail'd mage learns to don armor expertly and in a short time. All times necessary to don, don hastily, and remove armor is halved for the mail'd mage if all other requirements are met.

This material is published under the OGL
Author: Eric D. Harry © Eric D. Harry 2001

Mail Bonding Ritual (Sp): At 1st level, a mail'd mage gains the ability to reduce the chance of arcane spell failure for any armor the mail'd mage wears personally (within the duration of the ritual's effect). This ritual is the mail'd mage's livelihood--it forms an intricate connection between the mail'd mage's body and his armor so that the armor, in part, takes on the responsibility of performing the somatic gestures necessary for some arcane spells. The more advanced the mail'd mage, the more precisely his essence influences the armor to represent the critical gestures.

The chance of arcane spell failure is reduced by 5% for each level of mail'd mage the character has. The ritual may only be performed on one suit of armor and any shields that can be carried by the mail'd mage at one time. The Mail Bonding Ritual takes 1 round to perform per point of AC bonus the armor and/or shield(s) collectively confer and lasts 12 hours for every level of mail'd mage or until the armor is removed (whichever happens last).

Mail Enhancement (Su): At the 2nd, 5th, and 8th levels, the mail'd mage gains bonus protection from armor currently affected by the Mail Bonding Ritual. Thus, it is the bound armor that grants the damage reduction indicated; mail enhancement damage reduction is NOT an inherent characteristic of the mail'd mage. Additionally, the armor gains an equal bonus hardness from this advancement and is entitled to a saving throw as though it were worn so long as it is under the effects of the ritual (even if unattended).

Endurance (Ex): At the 3rd level, the mail'd mage gains the ability to sleep in light or medium armor and not suffer the penalties of fatigue. Additionally, the mail'd mage gains a +4 bonus when making checks to hold breath, continue running, avoid nonlethal damage from starvation, thirst, prolonged marching, heat, cold, and swimming, and avoid damage from suffocation.

Arcane Recovery (Ex): At the 4th level, the mail'd mage gains the ability to re-roll a failed arcane failure check once per day. These re-rolls are treated exactly the same as the granted power of the Luck Domain; the re-roll completely replaces the previous result once rolled. At the 10th level, the mail'd mage may use this ability twice per day.

Bonus Feats: At 6th and 9th level, a mail'd mage gains a bonus feat. At each such opportunity, the mail'd mage can choose a metamagic feat, an item creation feat, spell mastery, or a fighter bonus feat. The mail'd mage must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score, base attack bonus, and caster level minimums.

These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. The mail'd mage is not limited to the categories of item creation feats, metamagic feats, spell mastery, or fighter feats when choosing these feats.

Campaigner (Ex): At the 7th level, the mail'd mage no longer suffers fatigue from sleeping in any type of armor or wearing it for prolonged periods of time. Additionally, the peaceful sleep enables the mail'd mage to better sense danger while asleep--even in armor.

This material is published under the OGL
Author: Sigfried Trent © Sigfried Trent 2001

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