Bookcaster (3.5e Class)

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Author: Zhenra-Khal (talk)
Date Created: 12/19/2018
Status: In Progress
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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A wizard with some balancing factors, such as casting directly from their spellbook and using a focus to bring their spells up to snuff. 20 1 Moderate Poor Poor Good Prepared Arcane Spellcasting, Spontaneous Arcane Spellcasting, Alternate Magic, Other Other


Inspired by the Bookish Wizard and Wand Wizard, the Bookcaster is an arcane spellcaster who doesn't prepare spells, who can use a Focus in place of somatic components, and whose spells are weaker than a normal Wizard's spells, but can be enhanced by enchanting their Focus.

Making a Bookcaster[edit]

Like most spellcasters, the Bookcaster prefers to stay in the backline most of the time, flinging spells from afar, and this is made even more true because of the time it takes them to flip through their spellbook to find the spell they want to cast. However, they have slightly better combat options than a traditional Wizard to help compensate.

Abilities: Intelligence governs your spells and skills, which you need. Dexterity helps you dodge attacks, and Constitution helps you endure the ones you can't dodge, as well as helping you cover your weak saves.

Races: Same as Wizard. You don't see many Goblinoids or Orc-kin using Intelligence.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 3d4×10 gp (75 gp).

Starting Age: Complex.

Table: The Bookcaster

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Grimoire, Familiar, Scribe Scroll, Magic Focus, Bookmark 4 2
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Research, Weapon Focus: Battle Book 5 3
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Final Word 5 3 0*
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Bonus Feat 6 4 1
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Cheat Sheet, Comprehend Languages 6 4 1 0*
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Improved Scribe I 7 5 2 1
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Speed Read 7 5 2 1 0*
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Bonus Feat 8 6 3 2 1
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Polyglot 8 6 3 2 1 0*
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Scrolltongue 9 6 4 3 2 1
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 9 6 4 3 2 1 0*
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Bonus Feat, Improved Scribe II 9 6 5 4 3 2 1
13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 9 6 5 4 3 2 1 0*
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 9 6 6 5 4 3 2 1
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 9 6 6 5 4 3 2 1 0*
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Bonus Feat 9 6 6 6 5 4 3 2 1
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 9 6 6 6 5 4 3 2 1 0*
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 Improved Scribe III 9 6 6 6 6 5 4 3 2 1
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 9 6 6 6 6 5 4 3 2 1
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Bonus Feat 9 6 6 6 6 6 5 4 3 2

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Forgery (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (All taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (None), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Truespeak (Int).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Bookcaster.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Bookcasters are proficient with all simple weapons. Bookcasters are not proficient with any armor or shields, as it interferes with their spells.

Spells: Bookcasters cast Arcane spells, drawn from the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list. They gain spells per day as noted on the table above; They gain bonus spells per day for having a high Intelligence score, and whenever they are listed as having 0* spells per day, they only gain spells per day of that level if their Intelligence is high enough to grant them bonus spells of that level. A Bookcaster must have an Intelligence of at least 10 + the spell's level to cast it, and the saving throw for a Bookcaster's spell is equal to 10 + their Intelligence modifier, plus the Grade of the spell, ranging from 1 to 5. The grades are:

  • Basic (0th-1st level, +1 DC)
  • Least (2nd-3rd level, +2 DC)
  • Lesser (4th-5th level, +3 DC)
  • Greater (6th-7th level, +4 DC)
  • Imperial (8th-9th level, +5 DC)

However, Bookcasters do not prepare spells. Instead, they may cast any spell they have inscribed in their Grimoire, directly off the page; They can even apply Metamagic feats without increasing casting time. However, flipping through their Grimoire to find a spell takes one round per spell Grade of the spell you're looking for, after which you may cast that spell, though the spell takes twice as long as it normally would (With the exception of spells with a casting time of Immediate, Free or Swift actions); In this cast, two standard actions is a round and two move actions is a standard action.

However, if you wish to cast a different spell, you must once again flip through the pages to find it, losing the previous spell. This gives you more versatility than a Sorcerer, and your spells per day give you a bit more raw power than a Wizard, but the drawback is that you have to spend time paging through to find your spells. You can't cast a spell if you can't see to read (Unless your Grimoire is written in Braille), in addition to the normal restraints of verbal and somatic components, and likewise, your spells are subject to Arcane Spell Failure from armor and shields; However, you can never remove the verbal or somatic components of your spells (Such as with Silent Spell or Still Spell) with the exception of using your Magic Focus (See below), and your Grimoire being in-hand does not interfere with somatic components, unlike wielding a weapon.

If you have a Familiar, you can have it page through the Grimoire for you using its action, but every round while it is searching, you must still spend your Swift action to help guide it along, whether it be to remind them what they're looking for, suggest places to look, or to check whether or not they've found the right spell.

Grimoire: At first level, you gain a Grimoire. This is a Battle Book, which you have found or made, effectively being free. However, if it is lost or destroyed, you must pay the full normal cost to replace it. In a similar vein to a Wizard's spellbook, you can't cast any spell, except Read Magic, without your spellbook in hand, open and readied to the page containing that spell. This means you

Your Grimoire, when you begin play, contains all Cantrips from the core Sorcerer/Wizard spell list (Except those from their Prohibited Schools; See " School Specialization" below), and two 1st-level Sorcerer/Wizard spells of your choice, plus 1 for every point of Intelligence bonus you possess.

At each new level, you may automatically add one new spell of any level you can cast to your Grimoire, though like a Wizard, you can add spells from other spellbooks or scrolls to your Grimoire.

Familiar: At first level, you gain a Familiar, as a Wizard of your level. Alternatively, you can choose to gain a Bonded Object or Guiding Spirit instead. In the case of a Bonded Object, if you choose your Grimoire to be your Bonded Object, not only does it retain its enchantments when re-made after lost or destroyed, but all spells inscribed in it are transferred as well - The old book, if it still exists, is both stripped of its enchantments, and has all its pages wiped blank and/or turned to ash (Your choice).

Bonus Feats: The Bookcaster gains Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat at 1st level, and Weapon Focus (Battle Book) and Weapon Specialization (Battle Book) as bonus feats at 2nd level. At every level divisible by 4 (4th, 8th, 12th, etc.), they gain a bonus feat they meet the prerequisites for; This must be a Metamagic, Item Creation, Reserve, or Spelltouched feat, or the Obtain Familiar/ Become Familiar, Improved Familiar, Obtain Watchful Spirit, Spell Focus, Skill Focus (Decipher Script, Forgery or any Knowledge), Improved Spell Secrets, Greater Spell Secrets, or Uncaring Master feats.

Magic Focus: At 1st level, the Bookcaster gains an item to be their Magic Focus, provided at no cost to the Bookcaster. It can be a weapon, shield, any item that takes up a body slot (Such as a Ring, Amulet, Gauntlet, or so forth), or a special held item, such as a Rod, Wand, an enchanted skull, coin, crystal, holy symbol, and so forth, as long as it takes a body or Held slot and is not your Grimoire or a suit of armor. If lost or destroyed, it can be replaced in the same manner as a Bonded Object. If you have chosen the same item to be both your Magic Focus and your Bonded Object, double the cost of replacing it.

The main purpose of this Focus item is to help you cast your spells, both empowering them and making them easier to cast. To empower your spells, the Magic Focus can be enchanted with an Enhancement Bonus at the same cost and requirements as a weapon, though it requires no Item Creation feat of its own to do so. While the item is held or equipped in its proper slot, this Enhancement Bonus is applied to the Save DC of any Bookcaster spell cast through it, as well as to ranged touch attacks, melee touch attacks, and healing/damage rolls, that are part of the spell - Thus for example you could cast a CL 5 Shocking Grasp through a +3 Magic Focus Ring, dealing 5d6+3 Electricity damage and gaining a +3 bonus to the attack roll, +6 if the opponent is wearing metal armor.

Likewise, a Magic Focus item held or worn does not affect the somatic component of spells (Unless it is a shield or armor, in which case Arcane Spell Failure applies) when you cast a spell of a level equal to or lower than the Enhancement Bonus of your Magic Focus (While wearing/wielding the Focus properly), the spell has no Somatic component, allowing you to ignore Arcane Spell Failure for that spell. If the Magic Focus doesn't have an Enhancement bonus yet, treat it as having a +0 Enhancement Bonus, counting as magical and removing the somatic component of 0th-level spells the Bookcaster casts.

Like your Grimoire, you can be Disarmed of your Magic Focus if it is a held item, or it can be Sundered, so be careful.

Bookmarks (Ex): Beginning at 1st level, you can Bookmark individual spells in your Grimoire so you can find them faster. You can create a number of Bookmarks at a time up to your class level (Though never more than your Intelligence modifier), and changing which spells you have Bookmarked takes 15 minutes. However, instead of spending several rounds looking for a spell, flipping the page to any spell you have Bookmarked is only a Swift action that you or your Familiar can perform. Also, spells you have Bookmarked count as spells you have available to cast for the purposes of Reserve feats.

When you get the Improved Scribe ability, your tight and tidy writing allows you to Bookmark more spells at a time. When you gain Improved Scribe I, you can mix and match Cantrips and 1st-level spells on a single Bookmark, so long as the combined level of 0th- and 1st-level spells on a single Bookmark does not exceed 2 (0th-level spells count as 1/2 of a spell level for these purposes).

When you gain Improved Scribe II, you can add 2nd-level spells to the mix and the maximum combined spell level on a multi-spell Bookmark increases to 4; And when you gain Improved Scribe III, you can ad 3rd-level spells into the mix, and the max combined spell level increases to 6.

Research (Su): At 2nd level, you gain the "Lol Media" feat, able to look up almost anything in your tomes.

Final Word (Su): When you drop a creature of a CR at least equal to your own (Usually by killing it) with a blow from your Grimoire, you can, as a free action, either cast the spell your Grimoire is currently open to, or turn the page to a Bookmarked spell.

Cheat Sheet (Su): You have a table of sneaky notes written on the inside of one of your Grimoire's covers, helping alleviate some of the stress associated with tests, qualifications and Metamagic costs. Specifically, beginning at 5th level, this functions as, and stacks with, the Arcane Metamagic feat.

Comprehend Languages (Su): You've been reading for so long that you're sure you've come across just about every language there is. At 5th level, you are always under the effects of Comprehend Languages.

Improved Scribe (Ex): Beginning at 6th level, you writing has gotten better, smaller, neater. Mechanically, your spells take up one less spellbook page, except your 0th- and 1st-level spells, which only take up half a page each. This applies retroactively with no effort from the Bookcaster; His writing gets so gud that his skill affects previous writing. Additionally, you gain a +2 bonus on Decipher Script and Forgery checks.

At 12th level, your writing improves again; Page costs are reduced by an additional -1 (Total of -2), your 2nd-level spells now only take up half of a page each, and your 0th- and 1st-level spells only take up one-third of a page each. Additionally, the bonus to Decipher Script and Forgery increases to +4.

At 18th level, your writing improves a final time; Page costs are reduced by an additional -1 (Total of -3), your 3rd-level spells now only take up half of a page each, your 2nd-level spells only take up one-third of a page each, and your 0th- and 1st-level spells only take up one-quarter of a page each. Additionally, the bonus to Decipher Script and Forgery increases to +6.

As this can be confusing, I've added a handy table.

Table: Grimoire Page Costs
Improved Scribe
Per Spell
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
Normal 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Imp. Scribe I 1/2 1/2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Imp. Scribe II 1/3 1/3 1/2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Imp. Scribe III 1/4 1/4 1/3 1/2 1 2 3 4 5 6

And yet another table because I'm wondering if this setup would work better.

Table: Grimoire Page Costs
Improved Scribe
Per Spell
Basic Least Lesser Greater Imperial
Imp. Scribe I 1/2 1 2 3 4
Imp. Scribe II 1/3 1/2 1 2 3
Imp. Scribe III 1/4 1/3 1/2 1 2

Speed Read (Su): You're so used to scanning your own complicated roadmap of a spellbook that normal books struggle to keep up with you. Beginning at 7th level, you can read the entire contents of any nonmagical book or text as a full-round action, no matter how long it is. If you already possess such an ability, such as the Scan Text ability of a Spelling Faerie, you can instead read an entire nonmagical book as an attack action (Though you're not actually making any attacks; This just means you can make a "full attack" to go through as many books as you can make attacks, and even read a book in place of an Attack of Opportunity).

Polyglot (Ex): At 9th level, you gain Polyglot as a bonus feat, even though you don't meet the prerequisites. This replaces the Comprehend Languages ability you gained at 5th level.

Scrolltongue (Su): Beginning at 10th level, you treat Scrolls as Spell Trigger magic items instead of Spell Completion magic items. Additionally, you can cast a spell off a scroll as a Move action instead of a Standard action.

School Specialization[edit]

Like a Wizard, the Bookcaster can specialize in a single school of magic by giving up one or two others. Details on how this works can be found here.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewClassesBase Classes

Article BalanceVery High +
AuthorZhenra-Khal +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionModerate +
Class AbilityPrepared Arcane Spellcasting +, Spontaneous Arcane Spellcasting +, Alternate Magic + and Other +
Class Ability ProgressionOther +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level1 +
RatingUndiscussed +
Reflex Save ProgressionPoor +
SkillAutohypnosis +, Bluff +, Concentration +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Forgery +, Heal +, Intimidate +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Profession +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Speak Language +, Spellcraft +, Spot + and Truespeak +
Skill Points4 +
SummaryA wizard with some balancing factors, such as casting directly from their spellbook and using a focus to bring their spells up to snuff. +
TitleBookcaster +
Will Save ProgressionGood +