Death Magus (3.5e Class)

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Master of the save or die, they feed on death to fuel their abilities. 20 0 Poor Poor Poor Good Prepared Arcane Spellcasting Full

Death Magus[edit]

Fiends who feed on the echoes of the dead and dying, the death magus is a herald and bringer of destruction.

Making a Death Magus[edit]

Abilities: Any mental ability score can be used to fuel the death magus and his spells, but Constitution is needed to keep them alive. Dexterity can keep it alive as well, while Strength is generally not important.

Races: Any.

Alignment: Any non-good.

Starting Gold: 5d4×10 gp (125 gp).

Starting Age: As wizard.

Table: The Death Magus

Hit Die: d4

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 Cantrips, Death Eater, Fatal Pulse, Variable Ability 3 1
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Deathwatch, Forensics 4 2
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Soft Death 4 2 1
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Ensure Death 4 3 2
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Conserve Destruction 5% 4 3 2 1
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Improved Fatal Pulse 4 3 3 2
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Death Scar, Immunities (Death) 4 4 3 2 1
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Conserve Destruction 25% 4 4 3 3 2
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Quick Death 4 4 4 3 2 1
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Suicide Pact 4 4 4 3 3 2
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Conserve Destruction 50% 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
12th +6 +4 +4 +8 Greater Fatal Pulse 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
13th +6 +4 +4 +8 Destructive Touch 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
14th +7 +4 +4 +9 Conserve Destruction 75% 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
15th +7 +5 +5 +9 Immunities (Energy Drain, Negative Energy), Strip Immortality 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
16th +8 +5 +5 +10 Bind Soul 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
17th +8 +5 +5 +10 Conserve Destruction 100% 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
18th +9 +6 +6 +11 Deadly Fatal Pulse 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
19th +9 +6 +6 +11 Mass Suicide Pact 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3
20th +10 +6 +6 +12 Negator 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all knowledge taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Death Magus.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The death magus are proficient with all simple weapons, the scythe, but not with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a death magi’s movements, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Spells: Death magi cast their spells based on their selected mental ability score (see Variable Ability).

A death magus must choose and prepare her spells in advance. To prepare or cast a spell, a death magus must have a chosen ability score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a death magi’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the death magi’s chosen ability modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a death magus can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Death Magus. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if she has a high chosen ability score score.

A death magus prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does, though he cannot lose a prepared spell to spontaneously cast a cure spell in its place and his spells are arcane spells. A death magus may prepare and cast any spell on the death magus spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during her daily ritual.

Death magi choose their spells from the following list:

0—arcane mark, caltropsSpC, daze, detect magic, disrupt undead, ghost sound, prestidigitation, resistance, spook, touch of fatigue.

1st—backbiterSpC, bane, cause fear, chill of the graveSpC, chill touch, curse water, doom, dust to dust, inflict light wounds, ghoul lightSpC, grave strikeSpC, paranoia haunt, possessed hand, ray of enfeeblement, sleep, smell of fearSpC, spirit wormSpC, winter chillSpC.

2nd—blade of pain and fearSpC, combustSpC, curse of ill fortuneSpC, curse of impending bladesSpC, daze monster, death armorSpC, decompositionSpC, desecrate, ghoul glyphSpC, ghoul touch, infernal woundsSpC, inflict moderate wounds, life boltSpC, living undeathSpC, phantasmal assailantsSpC, protection from negative energySpC, protection from positive energySpC, ray of weaknessSpC, rebukeSpC, scare, shatter, shroud of undeathSpC, speak with dead, spectral hand, spawn screenSpC, sterilize, stolen breathSpC, sudden weakness, vile strike, voodoo doll, wave of griefSpC, winter's embraceSpC, wracking touchSpC.

3rd—clutch of orcusSpC, cold intolerance, contagion, corpse bomb, corpse candleSpC, crumbleSpC, curse of cacophonous chorus, death throesSpC, dehydrateSpC, divine sacrificeSpC, gentle repose, ghoul geastureSpC, greater disrupt undeadSpC, healing touchSpC, infestation of maggotsSpC, inflict serious wounds, jack-o'-lantern bomb, junglerazerSpC, mass curse of impending bladesSpC, nauseating breathSpC, phantom steed, ray of exhaustion, rust raySpC, sepia snake sigil, skull watchSpC, spark of lifeSpC, undead torchSpC, unholy stormSpC, unluckSpC, vampiric touch, withering glare.

4th—animate dead, assay spell resistanceSpC, bestow curse, bloodstarSpC, bolt of bones, consumptive fieldSpC, contagious touchSpC, corporeal instabilitySpC, crushing despair, curse of qwop, cursed bladeSpC, death ward, delay deathSpC, enervation, exsanguinate, fear, freeze mind, frog touch, greater rebukeSpC, inflict critical wounds, langourSpC, life wardSpC, metal meltSpC, miasma of entropySpC, negative energy auraSpC, nerve overload, phantasmal killer, positive energy auraSpC, rapid unplanned disassembly, ray of dark sacrifice, revananceSpC, scrying, stone shatterSpC, undead bane weaponSpC, wither limbSpC, wood rotSpC, wrackSpC.

5th—baleful polymorph, barghest's feastSpC, bone shape, cloudkill, contact other plane, curse of misfortune, cryostasis, curse object, darkboltSpC, denial, disrupting weapon, echo skullSpC, eyebite, freeze blood, ghoul gauntletSpC, graymantleSpC, incorporeal novaSpC, jungle's raptureSpC, lich's touch, life's graceSpC, mass contagionSpC, mass curse of ill fortuneSpC, memory rotSpC, mass inflict light wounds, night's caressSpC, prismatic raySpC, prying eyes, raise dead, revive undeadSpC, sensory deprivation, slay living, spiritwallSpC, symbol of pain, waves of fatigue.

6th—aura of terrorSpC, belladone's death curse of snakes, circle of death, create undead, deathball, dirgeSpC, disintegrate, flesh to stone, fleshshiverSpC, harm, haunting death curse, heart ripperSpC, hunger of the deep, imperious glareSpC, liliane's stabbing cloudkill, mass inflict moderate wounds, legend lore, ray of entropySpC, revive outsiderSpC, revivifySpC, spectral touchSpC, stone to flesh, symbol of fear, undeath to death.

7th—arrow of boneSpC, avasculateSpC, blood jorum, blood to waterSpC, crawl away head, death dragonSpC, destruction, energy ebbSpC, ethereal jaunt, evil glareSpC, field of ghoulsSpC, final rebukeSpC, finger of death, glass strikeSpC, greater consumptive fieldSpC, greater scrying, hiss of sleepSpC, improved phantasmal killer, mass inflict serious wounds, liliane's ray of death, prismatic spray, resurrection, solipsismSpC, sword of darknessSpC, symbol of weakness, vision, waves of exhaustion, withering limbSpC.

8th—awaken warrior spirit, avascular massSpC, blackfireSpC, bodak's glareSpC, create greater undead, crippling blow, death pactSpC, flensingSpC, ghostformSpC, greater bestow curseSpC, heart of stoneSpC, heat drainSpC, horrid wilting, mass death wardSpC, mass critical light wounds, oblivion, prismatic wall, ray of darkest desires, steal life, skull cough, steal life, suddenly phantom train, symbol of death, trap the soul, veil of undeathSpC, wrathful castigationSpC.

9th—an eternal curse upon thee, black blade of disasterSpC, cast in stoneSpC, deathxtreme!, disintegrating burst, energy drain, etherealness, evil within, gorgon's glare, gravity collapsar, ice 9, implosion, jellify, Liliane's omnicide beam, power word kill, prismatic sphere, reality maelstromSpC, sphere of ultimate destructionSpC, schism of the helix, soul bind, true resurrection, undeath's eternal foeSpC, wail of the banshee, wave of negation, weird.

Cantrips: A death magus can cast their 0th level spells from this class at will.

Death Eater: A death magus feeds on the power of death. Whenever a creature within their reach dies, or whenever they slay a creature by their action, they gain "death charges" which they can employ with their Fatal Pulse class ability. They can retain up to 3 + their class level in death charges at any one time.

Fatal Pulse: Drawn from the power of the echoes of death, a death magus can perform various supernatural and extraordinary abilities by consuming this energy. Unless stated otherwise each ability is a standard action. The DC for any abilities is 10 + 1/2 HD + your chosen ability modifier.

Death Scry (Su): You can determine if a creature is alive, wounded, dying, or dead even if you aren't there. As a 1 round action you divine their status as if using deathwatch with a Will save to resist. This consumes 1 point of death charge.

Delay Your Fate (Su): If the death magus would die from hp damage, they can delay it even if they cannot act. As a non-action the death magus spends 5 charges to delay dying from hp damage. It doesn't prevent them from being unconscious or dying, or perishing from non-hp means, but it gives allies a chance to heal you to a non-fatal amount of hp.

Epitaph (Su): By consuming 5 death charges you can duplicate the effects of speak with dead with all the usual limitations.

Fatal Blow (Ex): The deaths of others powers more violence. For every point of death charge you spend, you gain a +2 profane bonus to damage up to a maximum of your class level of death charges spent.

Fatal Strike (Ex): The deaths of others echoes for more death. For every point of death charge you spend, you gain a +1 profane bonus to attack rolls up to a maximum of your class level of death charges spent.

Reinvigoration (Su): You can consume death charges to recover hp. For every point of death charge you spend you can recover 1d6 hp.

Restoration (Su): You can consume death charges to recover ability damage. For every point of death charge you spend you can recover 1 point of ability damage from any one of your ability scores.

Sacrifical Insight (Su): You sacrifice a creature to gain the skills of the dead if but for a moment. As part of any ability or skill check you can spend any number of death charges gaining a +2 profane bonus on an ability score or skill check, up to a maximum profane bonus equal to your class level. You must use this ability before rolling.

Variable Ability: A death magus can run their spells and abilities of either their Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. They gain a minor benefit depending on what they choose. Once selected it cannot be changed.

Intelligence: The death magus can analyze a corpse of a creature as a 1 round action and determine random trivia about them as if they possessed bardic knowledge as a bard of their level. The information always concern the creature, its abilities, or relevant local data such as where they live.

Wisdom: The death magus can unerringly determine the age of a creature or object on touch, and if they are mortal, immortal, or neither. They can also determine where they will go when they die at that time.

Charisma: The death magus has a terrifying presence. On the first round of combat creatures with less HD than your own are At Bay from you. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.

Deathwatch (Su): The 2nd level death magus falls under a constant deathwatch effect.

Forensics (Ex): A 2nd level death magus can determine the circumstances that a creature perished under. With a DC 20 Heal check you can figure out how a creature died, with a +1 to the DC for each day old the corpse is. More simple death methods (such as an obvious bullet wound) decreases the DC by 5 or more, while unusual deaths may increase the DC by 5 or more.

Soft Death: At 3rd level, a death magus can slip into a temporary death over the course of 1 minute. They perish at the end, becoming a corpse, though their corpse does not rot or age in any way. At any point after they can return to life but are staggered for 1 minute upon doing so.

In addition, a death magus who slays any creature can also return them more easily. They can choose to make revival costs for a slain creature have half the gp and XP cost. This doesn't apply to creatures not slain by the death magus.

Ensure Death (Su): The 4th level death magus cannot be raised as an undead if not willing, and they can touch a corpse as a standard action to make them unable to be raised as an undead or revived. This is considered a curse which can be (and must be) removed by bestow curse, caster level equal to your character level. Removing the curse permits revival or reanimation as normal.

Conserve Destruction: The death magus at 5th level and beyond can conserve some of their hit-or-miss save or die spells. Any spell whose failed result results in instant death or has the [Death] tag (though not spells that kill simply as the result of damage) are counted for this effect. There is a 5% chance that when the spell is cast and saved against, the death magus does not lose the spell slot.

At 8th level the chance rises to 25%, and then at 11th level the chance rises again to 50%, and once more to 75% at 14th level. At 17th level the chance is 100%, ensuring no save or die goes spent without success.

Improved Fatal Pulse: At 6th level and beyond, the death magi's options with their fatal pulse ability increases to include the following.

Animate Corpse (Su): You briefly reverse the death you grant with your abilities. You duplicate the effects of animate dead with no components, but it only functions on creatures you have killed and the skeletons or zombies only last for 1 round/level. This costs 5 death charges, or you can use this as a free action when you slay a creature by consuming 13 death charges.

Final Words (Su): Let the dead have their peace. As an immediate action whenever a creature within 60 ft perishes (including yourself) you can consume 1 death charge to allow them to send a final message to any creature of their choice, as if using sending. The creature appears before their target as a ghostly visage before vanishing and dying after any replies. The message is enough to wake creatures to receive the message.

Restore Corpse (Su): You don't bring back the soul, but the flesh is restored to damaged bodies and skeletons. As long as you have a piece to work with you can restore a corpse with a touch as a 1 round action, making them suitable for raise dead or for animation into a zombie. This consumes 5 death charges.

Omen of Death (Su): The death magus charges themselves with the energy of death to ensure the next one hits. As a standard action they consume a number of death charges equal to the level of the spell you want to boost. The next save-or-die spell you cast by the end of the next round gains a +1 bonus on caster level and +2 on DCs.

Rebuke Undead (Su): The death magus awes the dead with their kill count. By consuming 5 death charges, they rebuke undead as a cleric of their level.

Summon Skeletal Steed (Su): You conjure up the steed of death itself. As a 1 round action you summon a skeletal horse of any kind or similar creature. The horse has 1/2 your hit points and lasts for 24 hours or until dismissed. The horse is the same each time, so any damage remains on it and if it is destroyed it cannot be summoned, but it restores itself to unlife and full hit points every 24 hours. No ride checks are required, and it cannot be turned or rebuked. Summoning the skeletal steed consumes 1 death charge.

Death Scar (Ex): The 7th level death magus can choose to invoke a scar upon any creature which successfully saves against one of their save-or-die abilities (as defined by the Conserve Destruction ability). This scar, besides being a mark, makes them vulnerable to future effects against the death magus. The death magus treats their weapon attacks as having the Bane enhancement against the creature, and a -10 penalty on saving throws against scrying on part of the death magus. The curse is difficult to remove, but can be removed by break enchantment or higher.

Immunities (Ex): At 7th level the death magus becomes immune to death effects. Can't be dying ironically now, can we?

Then at 15th level, the death magus gains additional immunities to both energy drain and negative energy.

Quick Death: At 9th level, a death magus can use their Soft Death ability much quicker. They can die as an immediate action, and revive themselves but are dazed for 1 round and staggered for 1 round after.

People you have slain can be revived even easier. The costs are reduced to 1/4th.

Suicide Pact (Su): The 10th level death magus is a vindictive soul. If the death magus is slain their attacker must immediately make a Fortitude save DC 10 + 1/2 HD + chosen ability modifier or die, save for partial. A successful save deals 1d6 + 1 point of damage per character level. This is a [Death] effect.

Greater Fatal Pulse: At 12th level and beyond, the death magi's options with their fatal pulse ability increases again to include the following.

Afterlife Gate (Su): Traveling to the afterlife is usually a fatal affair, but the death magus can visit for fun. They may use plane shift (willing only) limited to the outer planes and back to their plane of origin. This consumes 8 death charges.

Deadman's Switch (Su): You set a death throes effect upon yourself ready to go if you drop below 0 hp. Upon using this ability you or an ally can cast a spell into yourself which remains dormant until you drop below 0 hp. It triggers when you drop below 0 hp. This counts as contingency and does not stack with it. It costs a number of death charges equal to twice the spell level to be stored (maximum 18 charges at 9th level).

Reverent (Su): You bring back your allies to fight again, if only briefly. With a touch you duplicate true resurrection with no costs, but the revived creature lasts only 1 round/level before they crumble into dust even when their body was previously intact. They cannot benefit from this ability again until they are revived properly. This consumes 10 death charges.

Share Death (Su): You can temporary slay other creatures as if using Quick Death, allowing them to return at will with the same penalties. Unwilling creatures get a Fortitude save to resist. This consumes 8 death charges.

Destructive Touch (Su): A 13th level death magus can use a standard action to touch an unattended mundane object and destroy it, as if disintegrate were cast upon it. It only functions on items with hardness equal or less than 1/2 your character level. For example when you get this ability you can destroy objects of hardness 6 or less.

Strip Immortality: At level 15, the death magus can breach immunity to [Death] effects and immunity to necromantic effects, though said creatures gain a +8 bonus on their saving throws to resist. If they use an ability which could age a creature to death they are capable of aging even immortal creatures as if they were mortal.

If they slay a creature with a respawn ability, the creature must make a Will save DC 10 + 1/2 HD + chosen ability modifier or be unable to respawn with their respawn ability, dying instead.

Soul Bind (Su): At 16th level, the death magus can choose to employ soul bind on any creature which perishes from one of your attacks, provided you have sufficient material components on hand.

Deadly Fatal Pulse: At 18th level and beyond, the death magi's unlocks the final abilities of their fatal pulse ability. Add the following.

Maw of the Barghest (Su): You can devour a corpse just killed within the last minute and gain their powers and abilities. As a touch you eat a recently dead corpse of any size, recovering hp and ability points as if you had rested for the night. In addition you gain access to all class features, spells, and extraordinary abilities which do not require a body part you lack of the devoured creature, retaining this benefit for 5 rounds. This consumes 15 death charges.

Spontaneous Revival (Su): You drag your allies back from the dead no matter what. You can spontaneously cast any spell which revives the dead on your class list, even if it is not prepared (such as raise dead or true resurrection), and you can do so as a 1 round action (or its normal casting time if better). This consumes a spell slot of the appropriate level and a number of death charges equal to the level of the spell duplicated.

Mass Suicide Pact (Su): The 19th level death magi's suicide pact improves. If they perish they can choose to kill not only their attacker but all hostiles within a 60 ft radius.

Negator (Su): The 20th level death magus has discovered ultimate destruction. Once per day it may use the Destroy ability of the TerrorBear. The save DC is 10 + 1/2 HD + chosen ability modifier.

Human Death Magus Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Scythe.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 3 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Concentration 4 Con
Knowledge Arcana 4 Int
Spellcraft 4 Int

Feat: Improved Initiative.

Bonus Feats: Spell Focus (necromancy).

Gear: Robe.

Gold: 107 gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Death Magus[edit]

Religion: Death magi and gods of death and destruction go together like peanut butter and chocolate.

Other Classes: Man, you spooky. You too spooky.

Combat: You are a save-or-die necromancer supreme, but it may actually be best to slay the lower level mooks to build your death charge before attempting on their boss.

Advancement: If the class works for a wizard, it works for you.

Death Magi in the World[edit]

This is the end of your story.
—Noxtos, Ghede Death Magus, Book of the Dead

Daily Life: For some reason a lot of people are nervous about you. You're probably a NEET holed up in a tower somewhere.

Death Magi Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge Arcana can research death magi to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge Arcana
DC Result
10 A death magus draws powers from those they kill. The more they kill, the more abilities they can use.
15 A death magus is a master of the save-or-die. They can sometimes keep casting after they should have run out of spells.
20 Power death magi have powerful abilities from their death charges, and to kill one is to invite death itself.
30 Those who succeed on this level of skill check can learn about specific death magi, their whereabouts, trivia, motives, and behavior.

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Eiji-kun's Homebrew (5139 Articles)
Article BalanceVery High +
AuthorEiji-kun +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionPoor +
Class AbilityPrepared Arcane Spellcasting +
Class Ability ProgressionFull +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level0 +
RatingUndiscussed +
Reflex Save ProgressionPoor +
SkillConcentration +, Craft +, Heal +, Intimidate +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Profession +, Search +, Spellcraft + and Spot +
Skill Points2 +
SummaryMaster of the save or die, they feed on death to fuel their abilities. +
TitleDeath Magus +
Will Save ProgressionGood +