Spellthief (3.5e Class)
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The Spellthief tends to be those that are in and of themselves magically inert, or didn't possess much magical prowess by themselves when trying to learn spells for themselves. However, a rare and powerful magic laid dormant in them, and when tapped into it, they found that they could copycat and sometimes actually steal the spells of others at some points. The Spellthief focuses on being an anti-mage, as an enemy caster may cast a spell, allowing The Spellthief to copy it into their spell list (either temporarily or permanently, depending on level, and power of spell), and then later do something such as counter the spell by casting it as a counterspell.
Making a Spellthief
Note from creator: This is not the Spellthief from Complete Adventurer, and could be considered a variant. I didn't know the class existed in expansion publications as I found no search results. --TyphonMagus (talk) 20:51, 3 November 2016 (MDT)TyphonMagus
The Spellthief is strongest when fighting against enemy casters, or if you want to work with a wizard or sorcerer in your party to double up on your party's magic output. In settings where magic is very scarce, if you have no mage already in the party, or if you already have a rogue-like class in your party, running a Spellthief is not reccomended.
Abilities: Dexterity and Charisma are most important for a Spellthief, as their casts, like a sorcerer will be based off of their Charisma score.
Races: Humans and Elves are most common to become Spellthieves, however any race is able to become one if they wish.
Starting Gold: 2d10 x 10 starting gold.
Starting Age: As Rogue.
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||Copycat, What's a spell material? Doesn't come naturally, what's a rune?||5||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+0||Is there magic in this thing?||6||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+2||Improved Spelltheft 3/day||6||6||6||4||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|9th||+6/+1||+3||+6||+3||There is definitely magic in this thing||6||6||6||6||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|10th||+7/+2||+3||+7||+3||Oh, that's a rune||6||6||6||6||5||3||—||—||—||—|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+5||+9||+5||Mastered Spelltheft (unlimited)||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||4||—||—|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+6||+11||+6||I can put it back||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||4|
Class skills are As Sorcerer.
Listed Special Abilities are as the Rogue Special Ability.
All of the following are class features of the Spellthief.
Copycat The Spellthief can, twice a day, copy a spell used by another caster and put it into their spell list. They can then use these spells once before forgetting how to use it. If a Spellthief copies a specific spell ten times, they can choose to permanently learn that spell. In combat, this can be used even out of turn, but they cannot cast until it is their turn. Using copycat counts the spell as prepared. At third level, the Spellthief need only copy the spell eight times in order to permanently add the spell to their spell list, and the uses per day goes up to four. At eighth level, the Spellthief need only copy the spell six times. At eleventh level, the Spellthief can copy the spell four times and it will be permanently added to their spell list . If a spell is permanently learned by this feat and above the level the Spellthief's spells per day list allows, then they cannot cast it outside of their initial copies of it until it does. Once the Spellthief has learned a spell permanently, they can no longer use copycat for that spell. If the spell is a higher level than they're allowed to cast via their list on initial copy, then the Spellthief must pass a Will Save DC 10+spell level to successfully cast.
Note: this only applies to learned spells. Clerical spells and other spells like it cannot be copied.
Concerning Wish, until the Spellthief reaches eleventh level, any copy of Wish shall be treated only as Limited Wish, and the DC for it, should it be above their caster level, is raised to DC 15+spell level.
What's a spell material? As the Spellthief draws their ability to spellcast from seeing and feeling arcane powers used, they need not use spell ingredients listed as required for the spell.
Doesn't come naturally Spellthieves are led to their lifestyle because they are generally either fail at any normal aptitude of the arcane, have trouble with learning spells conventionally, or are all but magically inert and must resort to the theft of the arcane prowess of others. Thus, a Spellthief starts out with a natural Arcane Fail % of 20%. At level five, this goes down to 10%, and at level 10, it will be reduced to 0%. Armor penalties will always still apply to Spellthieves, barring any enchantments to the armor.
What's a rune? Considering their lack of arcane education, Spellthieves cannot read scrolls unless they pass a Decipher Script check (DM discretion on DC).
Is there magic in this thing? If a Spellthief owns a wand or staff that has a spell in it, they can steal the spell from it, at the cost of destroying the wand or staff. This spell is counted as prepared and can be used immediately. In combat, this can only be used on the player's turn.
Spelltheft Unlike the copycat feat, the Spellthief actually steals a spell this time, though it is still only usable twice per day. If a spell is directed towards the Spellthief or their party that allows a save, the effects of the spell, the Spellthief can steal that spell from the enemy caster. The caster will no longer be able to use that spell for the remainder of the encounter. The Spellthief will be able to use the spell one time in the encounter, as long as their spells per day for its level allows it. This spell, however, does not count as prepared. At level seven, the spell is permanently learned by the Spellthief. If it is too high a level for them to cast on their spells per day list, they cannot cast it outside the initial encounter until it is. At fifteenth level, the Spellthief steals the spell away from the enemy caster permanently. It will leave the enemy caster's spell list unless they kill the Spellthief that stole it from them.
Spontaneous Casting Like a Sorcerer, a Spellthief no longer needs to prepare spells ahead of time, or worry about whether their copied/stolen spells count as prepared.
Unprepared Counterspell If the Spellthief is against an enemy caster, and a spell is used against a member of the party, they can Roll a Will Save DC(enemy spell save DC). If successful, they negate the spell. If the Spellthief gets a natural 20 on their Will Save, the spell will be turned against the enemy caster. Declaring you're going to use this feat is an immediate action that can happen on either turn, but when used, the Spellthief has an additional 50% arcane fail % for the next 1d3 rounds
There is definitely magic in this thing The Spellthief no longer needs to own the wand or staff to steal the spell out of it, however it will still break upon use. The Spellthief will gain a +3 to attempts to craft a wand or staff as long as they are attempting to put the stolen spell from this feat's use into it.
Oh, that's what a rune is The Spellthief can now read magical scrolls sufficiently as any normal caster could.
Steal Enchantment The Spellthief can steal an enchantment from a weapon and put it on another one, once per day. the Enchantment cannot exceed what the weapon in question can handle.
Random Cast As the Spellthief essentially just holds raw arcane power that only ever gets channeled by stealing from others, the Spellthief can cast a ranged touch attack that will randomly turn into one of the stolen spells on the Spellthief's spell list.
I can put it back The Spellthief can put any spell, enchantment, or stored spell back to its original owner, assuming the owner isn't dead, at the cost of losing the spell from their spell list.
Complete Theft The Spellthief can, once per month, make a successful touch attack and steal the entire spell list of an enemy caster. Anything that the Spellthief already knows just disappears from the list of the enemy caster without any positives for the Spellthief. This theft is permanent and the Spellthief will permanently learn all of the spells that he steals from this. Note: this only applies to learned spells. Clerical spells and spells like them cannot be stolen in this manner
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Spellthief is proficient with all simple weapons and a martial weapon of their choice. the Spellthief is proficient in light armor, but it will still affect Arcane fail %.
An Ex-Spellthief is either one who attempts to pursue learning magic via traditional means, or forgoes using magic whatsoever. An ex-Spellthief will lose all of the spells they've stolen in their spells known, and lose all class abilities.
Playing a Spellthief
Religion: A Spellthief can follow any deity they so choose, so long as the deity has no quarrel with people who steal, as that is their entire core of being.
Other Classes: A Spellthief generally has no quarrels with non-casters, and will be overall neutral upon meeting them. They will try their best to become good friends with any wizards or sorcerers (or other such casters) in a party, because it will provide them an oppurtunity to copy and start to learn a new spell. Enemy casters they will try to show up with any spells the Spellthief may have already, or with the spell the caster just cast being thrown back at them
Combat: In combat a Spellthief should be looking to either counterspell the enemy casters, or double up the magic DPS flowing from the party, either by copying an ally or enemy spell, or by using what they may already have in their repertoire. At the later levels, the role of a Spellthief will be to get to the enemy casters and disable them, either by stealing their most powerful spells away completely, or at max level, using their monthly to rip away all magical prowess from an enemy caster.
Advancement: When it comes to advancement, you can't really go into any caster classes or prestiges that let you learn spells, because you'll lose the Spellthief perks, leading to wasted levels. If you're going to multiclass, going into rogue works really well with this class.
Spellthieves in the World
NPC Reactions: Most NPCs that have no knowledge that the person is a Spellthief, or ones that don't use magic, generally won't care all that much about them. NPCs who use magic often and have spent years learning spells and perfecting them will either be jealous of the innate talent to copy spells, or be downright angry at their existence because of how it is obtained. If an NPC has had their knowledge of spells stolen from them by that specific Spellthief, they may attack them on sight.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Arcana or Knowledge History can research Spellthieves to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
Spellthieves in the Game
Spellthieves generally fit best when in the world where powerful magic users are a problem. Expect to see them in towns as possible allies if a powerful wizard is terrorizing a countryside, or if the Party of the campaign has made themselves a bad reputation and is known to abuse their arcane power.
For DMs If you are starting to find it too easy for your player's Spellthief to get permanently added spells, consider throwing more Psionics at the party.
In the case of NPC hireling mages, it is suggested you have the Spellthief make a Diplomacy check with increasing difficulty every time the Spellthief asks to witness a copy of the same spell from that hireling. This should slow the pace so they don't totally outshine any other casters in the party or your built world.