Elixir Mage (3.5e Class)

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Author: Spanambula (talk)
Date Created: Nov 6, 2012
Status: In progress
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Elixir Mages are addicts, needing a substance not just to cast spells, but to function period. Designed for use with mana-based spellcasting variant rule. 20 1 Poor Poor Poor Good Spontaneous Arcane Spellcasting Full

Lawful Good Lawful Neutral Lawful Evil Neutral Good Neutral Neutral Evil Chaotic Good Chaotic Neutral Chaotic Evil

Elixir Mage[edit]

A rogue Cognitist society known as Castleguard wanted to study the effect of magical substances in nonmagical creatures. To do so, they kidnapped young males and females and used them in cruel experiments, trying to find the secret to unlocking magical potential in living creatures. After years of "study," most of the subjects died, but a very few survived. These subjects of dubious fortune were experimented on further, taught to use their drug-addled minds to cast spells. The cognitists of castleguard were on the verge of a major breakthrough when a group of adventurers, hired to find the children stolen for the society's experiments, raided the Castleguard facility. Horrified at what they found, the adventurers slew most of the cognitists and tried to capture the rest. Knowing what fates lay in store for them at the hands of narrow-minded public officials, the Cognitists blew themselves up in a huge explosion.

In the ensuing confusion, many of the surviving experiments decided to escape rather than trust these armed strangers who were killing everyone. The escaped experiments were keenly aware of their addiction to the elixir they'd been exposed to. They managed to steal the formula for the elixir before fleeing the Castleguard compound. Through desperate trial and error they learned to craft the elixir themselves before going their separate ways...

Making an Elixir Mage[edit]

An Elixir Mage is an addict first and foremost, but a capable spellcaster second. While they lack a wizard's versatility and raw casting power, their flexibility makes them useful in a variety of roles augmented by powerful magic. Though their drug dependency is a serious issue, most find that the long term effects of drug usage are worth it )assuming they had a choice about it to begin with).

Abilities: The Elixir Mage uses sheer force of will to harness the effect of the drug into creating and casting spells. Her Wisdom is the most important ability, allowing her to cast more spells and make them more difficult to resist. Her Constitution is also important, helping her deal with effects of strain and giving her much-needed hit points. Dexterity is important as it helps the Elixir Mage strike true with her ranged spells and helps her evade and avoid being hit in combat. Intelligence is important for more skill-oriented Elixir Mages, while Charisma helps the Elixir Mage interact with others around her more effectively. Strength is important only for more melee-oriented Elixir Mages as it helps them hit harder and do more damage with physical attacks.

Races: The elixir only works on creatures without innate magic. Races, templates and bloodlines with spellcasting (such as dragons) or spell-like abilities cannot become Elixir Mages. Any species naturally immune to poison cannot become an Elixir Mage.

Alignment: Few Elixir Mages are lawful, as drug manufacture and use is illegal in most civilized areas. Some Elixir Mages champion the causes of justice and goodness, protecting others from evils such as the fate that befell themselves. Others shun concepts of selflessness and sacrifice, giving themselves over to their addiction and using their powers for personal gain at the expense of the welfare of others. Some Elixir Mages make careful contacts with both good and evil allies, just seeking to stay out of trouble and trying to live off the grid as much as possible.

Starting Gold: As wizard.

Starting Age: Simple.

Table: The Elixir Mage

Hit Die: d4

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Strain Costs Spells
Maximum Spell
Level Known
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Craft Elixir, Addiction, Withdrawal 3 6 4 1st
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Medicinal Purposes 3 6 6 1st
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Adaptation, Synesthesia (scent) 2 3 7 8 2nd
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Empathetic Addiction 2 3 6 10 2nd
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Drug Resistance 1 2 4 7 12 3rd
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Overdose 1 2 3 7 14 3rd
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Improved Adaptation 0 1 3 4 8 16 4th
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Detox, Synesthesia (Blindsense 30) 0 1 2 4 7 18 4th
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Drug Immunity 0 0 2 3 5 9 20 5th
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Saturated Body 0 0 1 3 4 8 22 5th
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Greater Adaptation 0 0 1 2 4 6 10 23 6th
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Euphoria, Pusher 0 0 0 2 3 6 9 25 6th
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Tolerance, Synesthesia (Blindsight 30) 0 0 0 1 3 5 7 11 26 7th
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 Aura of Addcition, Anti-Drug 0 0 0 1 2 5 7 10 28 7th
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 Expanded Mind 0 0 0 0 2 4 6 8 12 29 8th
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Improved Detox 0 0 0 0 1 4 6 8 11 31 8th
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Use Your Illusion 0 0 0 0 1 3 5 7 9 13 32 9th
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Synesthesia (Tremorsense 30) 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 7 9 12 34 9th
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Out-of-Body Trip 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 35 9th
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Rehabilitation, 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 37 9th

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)

Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (None), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Elixir Mage.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Elixir Mages are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a Elixir Mage's gestures, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail.

Spells: An Elixir Mage casts arcane spells from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. She can cast any spell she knows without readying it ahead of time.

To learn or cast a spell, an Elixir Mage must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an Elixir Mage’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the Elixir Mage's Wisdom modifier.

An Elixir Mage’s selection of spells is extremely limited. An Elixir Mage begins knowing four spells. At each new level she gains new spells known from the sorcerer/wizard spell list or from spells that the Elixir Mage has gained some understanding of through study. However, the Elixir Mage can’t use the latter method of spell acquisition to learn spells at a faster rate.

Upon reaching 3rd level, and at every odd-numbered level after that (5th, 7th, and so on), an Elixir Mage can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the Elixir Mage “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be one level lower than the highest-level spell the Elixir Mage can cast. An Elixir Mage may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.

Strain Tolerance: An Elixir Mage's strain tolerance is equal to her Wisdom Score (not the modifier) + one-half her Elixir Mage levels plus any levels in a Prestige Class which advances her spellcasting (rounded down). She loses Strain equal to 1/2 her Character Level (but never more than her casting stat modifier) per hour if she does not cast spells, fight, run, or otherwise exert herself.

As soon as a spellcaster's total Strain exceeds her Tolerance, she becomes fatigued (even if she is normally immune to this condition; this is fatigue of the mind, not the body). If a fatigued Elixir Mage wishes to cast another spell, she must make a Concentration Check with a DC equal to 15 + the spell's level + the current amount over her Strain Tolerance. If she succeeds the spell functions normally, but the Elixir Mage takes lethal damage equal to the spell's strain. This damage cannot be reduced in any way (such as with damage reduction). If the check fails, she still takes the damage and becomes exhausted (even if she is normally immune to this condition). An exhausted Elixir Mage may not cast any more spells, though she ceases to be exhausted after one hour of complete rest.

An Elixir Mage who is fatigued due to excess Strain ceases to be fatigued as soon as her total Strain is no longer over her Tolerance. However, she does not recover Strain while exhausted. An Elixir Mage recovers from Strain much faster when she rests. A full 8 hours of rest completely removes all Strain.

Craft Elixir: All Elixir Mages learn how to craft the drug that keeps them going. An elixir is a chemical compound that acts as a potent psychotropic drug. In certain rare individuals, maintaining a high level of the drug in the body creates magical energy that can be harnessed by the user to cast spells, among other effects. The formula itself is a closely guarded secret, often tailored to some degree to the individual. Despite its exotic effects, the elixir can be crafted from common ingredients that can be found almost anywhere. What form the elixir actually takes, and whether it is ingested, imbibed, inhaled, or injected is up to the individual. An Elixir Mage must take at least one dose of her drug per day to be able to cast any spells. Crafting a day's supply of the elixir takes one hour and consumes 5 sp worth of materials. Most Elixir Mages keep several days' worth of the drug on hand, more if they're planning to be between supplies for an extended period of time. The Elixir is extremely toxic to most creatures. Any non-Elixir Mage who takes the elixir becomes nauseated for 1d4 minutes. Any magical beast or creature with spell-like abilities who takes the elixir takes 1d4 points of Constitution damage in addition to the Nausea unless they succeed on a DC 16 Fort save. Creatures immune to poison suffer no ill effects from the drug. Taking the Elixir is a move-equivalent action that provokes attacks of opportunity. The effects of the elixir are instantaneous.

Addiction: All Elixir Mages are addicted to their elixir, without exception. An Elixir mage must take a dose of her elixir regularly or begin suffering from withdrawal. Over time, and as the elixir builds up in her system, the Elixir Mage can go for longer periods without taking the drug. The interval between doses cannot exceed 4 hours plus one hour for every character level. Time spent sleeping does not count towards this interval, but most Elixir Mages dose themselves immediately upon waking.

Withdrawal: If an Elixir mage goes without a dose of her elixir for longer than her normal interval, she immediately begins exhibiting withdrawal symptoms. Irritability, sweating, cramps, headache, sensitivity to loud sounds and bright lights and shortness of breath are all common symptoms. Elixir Mages experiencing withdrawal take a -4 to all attack rolls, saves, skill checks and ability checks. At every missed interval beyond the first, the Elixir Mage takes 1 point of Wisdom damage, down to a minimum of 1. This Wisdom damage cannot be reversed by any means aside from taking more elixir. After taking a dose of the elixir, the -4 penalty disappears immediately and lost Wisdom returns at a rate of 1 point per round.

Medicinal Purposes (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, an Elixir Mage can harness the drug in her body to heal wounds (her own or that of others) with a touch, causing 2 points of strain. Each day she can heal a total number of hit points of damage equal to her Elixir Mage level × 1/2 her Wisdom bonus. This functions like the Paladin's Lay on Hands ability, except as noted here.

Adaptation: Elixir Mages are a diverse group, and employ themselves in a variety of professions to keep the money they need rolling in. Some are thieves, others fight, and some even throw themselves into religious service. At 3rd level the Elixer Mage chooses wheter to diversify or continue as a straight caster, gaining abilities to suit their chosen profession. These skills improve at 7th level, and again at 11th level.

  • Rogue Addict: No one understands an addict's life like the criminal underground. A Rogue Addict gains Evasion, Trapfinding, and a sneak attack which does 1d6 damage, just like a Rogue. Add Disable Device to your class skills. At 7th level your sneak attack improves to 3d6 and you get Uncanny Dodge. At 11th level you get Improved Evasion and Sneak Attack 5d6.
  • Holy Addict: Hey I found religion! It was behind the sofa the whole time! Choose a deity within 1 alignment of your own to worship. You gain Smite 1/day (as Paladin), and can choose one domain of that deity, adding the domain spells to your list of spells known. (You must choose a deity, not just follow a cause.) At 7th level you gain Divine Grace (as the paladin ability) and Aura of Resolve (as Paladin of Freedom), smite 2/day, and at 11th you gain Special Mount and can smite 3/day, and access to a second Domain.
  • Martial Addict: Hey, weapons and armor! They'll help me fight all the purple hippos that are after me! You become more adept in combat. You gain a medium BAB progression and your hit die improves one step to a d6. You gain proficiency with martial weapons and light armor (though incurring ASF chance as normal), and a bonus feat from the Fighter Bonus Feat list which you must meet the prerequisites for. At 6th level you gain a second Fighter Bonus Feat, proficiency with medium armor and shields, and no longer incur ASF chance from light armors. At 11th level you get proficiency with heavy armor, no ASF chance from medium armors and a third Fighter Bonus Feat.
  • Casting Addict: Screw you guys, I just loves me some MAGIC POWER WHEEEEE!!!! Your Strain Tolerance becomes 1.5 x your Wisdom score (plus half your class levels as normal), allowing you to cast more spells before the strain makes your nose bleed and your brain hemorrhage. At 7th level you choose a metamagic effect that you already have. 1/day you can apply it to any spell you can cast without incurring additional strain or increasing the casting time. At 11th level you can choose another metamagic effect that you know to use 1/day, or increase your previous choice and cast that 2/day. This cannot be used to cast a spell with an effective level higher than the maximum spell level you can cast.

Synesthesia (Ex): The elixir expands your senses, and you begin to perceive the world around you differently than other people. At 3rd level you gain the Scent ability. At 8th level you gain Blindsense out to 30 feet. At 13th level you gain Blindsense out to 60 feet and Blindsight out to 30 feet. At 18th level your Blindsight extends out to 60 feet and you gain Tremorsense out to 30 feet. These senses no longer function if you are experiencing withdrawal.

Empathetic Addiction (Su): By gaining 2 points of strain, as a standard action an Elixir Mage can cause a single living target within 30 feet to suffer from withdrawal identical to her own for a number of rounds equal to her caster level. A successful Will save with a DC of 12 + the Elixir Mage's Wisdom modifier negates the effect, but the target is shaken for 1 round. Multiple withdrawal effects against the same target do not stack.

Drug Resistance (Ex): At 5th level the body of an Elixir Mage becomes accustomed to high levels of toxicity. She gains a +4 bonus to saves against poison and natural diseases.

Overdose: At 6th level, the Elixir Mage gains the ability to flood her body with elixir, temporarily relieving her of some of her strain. As a standard action the Elixir Mage consumes two doses of elixir in order to lose Strain equal to one-half her total Strain Tolerance, to a minimum of zero Strain. This boost comes at a heavy cost, however. Until the Elixir Mage rests for 8 hours, all her spells create an additional 2 points of strain per spell, she loses 1 less point of strain per hour of inactivity, and the Concentration DC to avoid exhaustion increases by 10.

Detox: At 8th level, an Elixir Mage's body has become so used to the elixir that she can better manage her addiction. Whenever an Elixir Mage would normally suffer from Withdrawal, she makes a Fortitude save to stave off her withdrawal symptoms until her next dose The save DC is 10+1 for each hour since her last dose. Once she fails a save and begins Withdrawal, she cannot make any more saves to overcome her condition.

Drug Immunity (Ex): At 9th level the Elixir Mage becomes immune to all poisons and drugs other than her own elixir.

Saturated Body: At 10th level the Elixer Mage's body begins to exhibit more powerful side effects of constant magical drug use. She gains Spell Resistance equal to her HD + her Wisdom modifier.

Euphoria (Su): By now the drug can not only heal damage, but her sense of pleasure from using the drug alters reality on a microcosmic level, protecting her from damage. By gaining 3 points of Strain the Elixir Mage gains DR/- equal to 1/3 her class level and resistance 10 to all energy types. This protection lasts for one hour per six levels of Elixir Mage.

Pusher (Ex): The Elixir Mage's force of will is nearly indomitable. She gains a +4 bonus on caster level checks to overcome Spell Resistance.

Tolerance: The Elixir Mage's mind is so used to feeling the effects of strain that it can shrug some of it off completely in times of extreme need. She can reduce the strain of a single spell by one half (rounded down) once per day.

Aura of Addiction (Su): As Empathetic Addiction, except it affects every opponent within 30 feet of the Elixir Mage, and the save DC is 15 + the Elixir Mage's Wisdom modifier.

Anti-Drug (Ex): By 14th level the Elixir Mage's body is so used to toxins that it becomes immune to all poisons and diseases, even magical diseases such as Lycanthropy and Mummy Rot.

Expanded Mind: The drug-addled mind of the Elixir Mage has become difficult to target directly. On a failed save against an enchantment spell or effect, the Elixir Mage may attempt the save again on the next round at the same DC to resist the effect. An Elixir Mage experiencing Withdrawal does not benefit from this ability.

Improved Detox: At 16th level, the Elixir Mage comes closer to mastering her addiction. She no longer experiences withdrawal symptoms from missing a dose, though she still must dose at least once per day to be able to cast spells.

Use Your Illusion (Sp): By gaining 4 points of Strain, an Elixir mage can expand her altered reality over the area around her, duplicating the effects of a Screen spell. The illusion takes 1 minute to create.

Out-of-Body Trip (Su): By gaining 5 points of Strain, an Elixir Mage can project her body into the Astral Plane, as the spell Astral Projection. However, she can only project herself and not anyone else.

Rehabilitation: At 20th level, the Elixir Mage has metabolized so much elixir that her body now produces its own internal supply. The Elixir mage no longer needs to dose at all, though she still must consume 2 doses if she wishes to use her Overdose ability. Her type changes to Aberration, and she no longer takes penalties for aging.

Epic Elixir Mage[edit]

Table: The Epic Elixir Mage

Hit Die: d4

Level Special
21st Epic Strain Tolerance

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Epic Strain Tolerance: An Epic Elixir Mage gains Strain Tolerance equal to 1.5 times her Wisdom score, or 2 times his Wisdom score if she chose the Caster Addict option.

Human Elixir Mage Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Dagger, light crossbow.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Bluff 4 Cha
Concentration 4 Con
Hide 4 Dex 0
Knowledge (Local) 4 Int
Listen 4 Wis
Sense Motive 4 Wis

Feat: Improved Initiative.

Bonus Feats: Spell Focus (any).

Gear: as Sorcerer.

Gold: 3d6 gp.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewClassesBase Classes

Allowed AlignmentsLawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +
Article BalanceVery High +
AuthorSpanambula +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionPoor +
Class AbilitySpontaneous Arcane Spellcasting +
Class Ability ProgressionFull +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level1 +
RatingUnrated +
Reflex Save ProgressionPoor +
SkillAppraise +, Bluff +, Concentration +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Disguise +, Escape Artist +, Forgery +, Gather Information +, Heal +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Perform +, Profession +, Ride +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Speak Language +, Spellcraft +, Spot +, Survival +, Tumble +, Use Magic Device + and Use Rope +
Skill Points4 +
SummaryElixir Mages are addicts, needing a substance not just to cast spells, but to function period. Designed for use with mana-based spellcasting variant rule. +
TitleElixir Mage +
Will Save ProgressionGood +