Magic-User (3.5e Class)

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Author: Ganteka Future (talk)
Date Created: 18 September 2013
Status: 24 September 2017: Version 4.3
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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A basic spellcaster with some customization options. 20 1 Poor Poor Poor Good Spontaneous Arcane Spellcasting, Spontaneous Divine Spellcasting Full


This is a spellcaster that grants options to focus on different styles of casters. It can change its specializations from day to day and can regain its spell slots with special charges in an emergency. It can cast low level spells in high level slots for added effectiveness beyond heightening and eventually gains 10th level spell slots. As a magic-user gains levels, it can continually cast its lowest spells from select chosen schools.

Making a Magic-User[edit]

A magic-user utilizes her spells as her tools to perform her role. She possesses a mix of mental-based skills, allowing her to function as a diplomat, leader, scholar and advisor. She's also slightly more robust than a sorcerer or wizard and can actually cast spells while holding a staff in both hands.

Abilities: Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma determines a magic-user's primary casting ability and is paramount for her potential. Constitution and Dexterity typically follow in importance for defense/survival purposes.

Races: Any. Races with a favorable primary casting ability modifier are most common.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 3d4×10 gp (75 gp).

Starting Age: Moderate.

Table: The Magic-User

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Basic Magic, Ignore Tradition, Minion, Spell Heightening 4 1
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Bonus Feat, Rapid Dismissal 5 2
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Bonus Feat 5 3 1
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Overheighten (+1) 5 4 2
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Bonus Feat 5 5 3 1
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Unlimited Focus (0th Level) 5/∞ 5 4 2
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Bonus Feat 5/∞ 5 5 3 1
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Overheighten (+2) 5/∞ 5 5 4 2
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Bonus Feat 5/∞ 5 5 5 3 1
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 5/∞ 5 5 5 4 2
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Bonus Feat 5/∞ 5 5 5 5 3 1
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Overheighten (+3) 5/∞ 5 5 5 5 4 2
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Bonus Feat 5/∞ 5 5 5 5 5 3 1
14th +7/+2 + 4 +4 +9 Unlimited Focus (1st Level) 5/∞ 5/∞ 5 5 5 5 4 2
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 Bonus Feat 5/∞ 5/∞ 5 5 5 5 5 3 1
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Overheighten (+4) 5/∞ 5/∞ 5 5 5 5 5 4 2
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Bonus Feat 5/∞ 5/∞ 5 5 5 5 5 5 3 1
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 5/∞ 5/∞ 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 2
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Ancient's Power 5/∞ 5/∞ 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 3 1
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Unlimited Focus (2nd Level) 5/∞ 5/∞ 5/∞ 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 2

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (choose four) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the magic-user.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A magic-user is proficient with simple weapons (Reference: homebrew weapons). Simple weapons don't affect a magic-user's somatic components when held/wielded, counting as a "free hand" for spells with somatic components. A magic-user is proficient with light armor and ignores arcane spell failure chance when casting spells in light armor.

Skills: A magic-user may use her primary casting ability modifier in place of Intelligence as the key ability for making Spellcraft skill checks.

Spells: A magic-user is neither arcane nor divine and can count as either for prerequisites. She chooses her spells from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, cleric spell list and druid spell list. A magic-user may cast a spell she knows so long as she has an appropriate slot available. Additionally, she chooses to use either her Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma as her primary casting ability score.

To learn or cast a spell, a magic-user must have her primary casting ability score equal to at least 10 + the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a magic-user's spell is 10 + the spell's slot + the magic-user's primary casting ability score modifier.

Regaining Spent Spells: A magic-user restores all spent slots after a full rest. As she gains higher levels, she may cast spells from her lowest level slots an unlimited number of times provided that they are not from a neglected school (see Unlimited Focus). Her spell allotment total is given on Table: The Magic-User.
Renewing Spells: A magic-user receives no bonus spells known or spells per day for a high primary casting ability score. Instead, a magic-user gathers and stores energy which she can use to refresh spent spell slots. The magic-user passively gathers 1 renewal point every hour, to a maximum of 2 plus her chosen casting ability modifier. As a free action on her turn she can expend the points to recover an equal number of spell levels, such as a 3rd level slot for 3 charges, or two 2nd level slots for 4 charges. 0th level spells cost 1 renewal point to restore.
Ingraining Spells: A magic-user's selection of spells is rather limited. The spells a magic-user learns are ingrained into her essence, allowing her to function similarly to a wizard's spellbook with an amount of available spaces equal to her magic-user level × 10. A spell takes up 1 space per spell level (one space each for 0-level spells). A 1st level magic-user begins with knowing six 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the player's choice.
Learning New Spells: A magic-user learns new spells in three ways. At each new magic-user level, she may learn two new spells for any spell level she is able to cast. Alternatively, a magic-user may ingrain herself with a new spell from a spellbook or appropriate source spell scroll with a Spellcraft skill check (DC 15 + spell level) while meditating, taking 10 minutes per spell level to do so. If the process is interrupted or the Spellcraft check fails, it can be re-attempted. Lastly, a magic-user may practice through trial and error to produce a desired spell effect with a Spellcraft skill check (DC 25 + spell level of the target spell) taking 1 hour per attempt, regardless of success. After success, another 4 hours is required to fully learn and ingrain the spell. If the spell to be learned has a costly material component or focus, it is required for the practice.
Neglected Schools: A magic-user temporarily neglects four spell schools of her choice. She may only cast spells from a neglected school if she has available slots in an Unlimited Focus spell level and may change her neglected schools after a full rest or 4 hours of meditating. The spell schools are Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy and Transmutation. The Universal spell category cannot be neglected.
A magic-user may cast spells from non-neglected schools without expending a slot of her Unlimited Focus spells, even if those levels are empty from casting neglected-school spells.
Counterspelling: If a magic-user first identifies a spell as it is cast with a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + the spell's level) as a free action, and that spell is not of a neglected school, she may attempt to counterspell the spell as an immediate action rather than as a readied standard action. On a success, her caster-level is impaired with a –2 penalty for 1 round and she loses a spell of an equal- or higher-leveled slot. On a failure, only the action and spell slots used to attempt it are wasted with no caster level penalty applied.
Metamagic Spells: A magic-user's spells may have metamagic effects applied without increasing casting time. A magic-user may enhance her spells with metamagic effects, choosing when to apply these effects as the spell is cast.
Retraining Spells: A magic-user may "forget" an ingrained spell, freeing up the space it took, by meditating uninterrupted for 1 hour (taking a standard action each round to maintain concentration).

Specialization: A magic-user needs to specialize. Choose two of the following:

Combat Trained: Your magic-user base attack bonus progression improves by one step and you gain Combat Casting as a bonus feat and you may count your magic-user class level as your base attack bonus for the purposes of qualifying for prerequisites. This feature may be chosen a second time to grant a further improved base attack bonus progression as well as proficiency with a single weapon of your choice. This weapon does not interfere with your magic-user somatic spell components when held/wielded.
Resistant: Choose either Reflex or Fortitude to improve the save progression to "good". This feature may be chosen a second time to grant a good save progression to the other choice.
Skill Focused: Choose 4 more skills as class skills. These skills are class skills for all your classes. Additionally, gain 4 more skill points per level of magic-user.
Skill Master: Gain all skills as class skills. Gain Skill Trick Mastery as a bonus feat. You do not need to meet the prerequisites for this feat. Additionally, choose a number of skills equal to your primary casting ability score modifier. You may always "take 10" on these skills.

Basic Magic (Sp): At 1st level, a magic-user may use detect magic and prestidigitation at will as spell-like abilities.

Ignore Tradition: At 1st level, a magic-user gains Alternative Eschew Materials as a bonus feat.

Minion: At 1st level, a magic-user gains a minion.

Spell Heightening: At 1st level, a magic-user gains the Heighten Spell metamagic feat. When a magic-user heightens a spell by at least 1 spell level, that spell becomes uncapped for the purposes of linearly scaling effects based on caster level, allowing them to scale to the magic-user's current caster level.

Example: A fireball is a 3rd level spell. A 16th level magic-user can cast the spell from a 4th level slot, dealing 16d6 damage instead of being capped at 10d6. If she were to maximize it, raising it to a 6th level slot, she'd still have to heighten it to a 7th level slot to uncap it.

Bonus Feat: As a magic-user gains levels, she gains bonus feats. These feats may be Metamagic, Reserve, Spelltouched feats (Reference:Homebrew Spelltouched feats) or other feats that specifically modify her spells or spellcasting ability. For Spelltouched feats, she merely needs to have access to the spell level of the exposure spell to meet the prerequisite to choose the feat. She must otherwise meet the prerequisites for these feats. A magic-user gains bonus feats at 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th levels.

Rapid Dismissal: At 2nd level, a magic-user is able to quickly dismiss spells once she's done with them. She gains the Rapid Dismissal skill trick and doesn't need to meet the prerequisites for it. After using up her uses of this ability per encounter, she may still dismiss a spell as a swift action instead.

Overheighten: At 4th level, a magic-user is able to boost her magic-user caster level and save DCs by 1 as she casts a spell. However, in doing so, she takes an equivalent penalty to her caster level and save DCs for as many rounds afterwards. She cannot use Overheighten again until the penalty wears off. At 8th level, she may choose to instead boost by 2. At 12th level, she may instead boost by 3 and at 16th level, she may boost by 4.

Unlimited Focus: At 6th level, a magic-user is able to cast an instance of a 0-level spell from her non-neglected schools without the expenditure of a spell slot. Casting another instance of the same spell before the duration ends, or casting from a neglected school costs a spell slot as normal. This ability does not extend to casting gained from other sources.

At 14th level, she gains this ability for 1st level spells and finally for 2nd level spells at 20th level.

Ancient's Power: At 19th level, a magic-user gains access to 10th level spell slots, despite 10th level spells not being available for her to learn. A magic-user may heighten spells into these slots. It is traditional among magic-users that the first spell cast from her 10th level slot is a cantrip.

Campaign Information[edit]

This class is purposely sparse on flavor. Your character provides the flavor you want while the class provides the mechanics to back it up. Call her a shaman or a wizard, an eldritch enchanter or an occult incantator. Have her gain inspiration from a powerful outsider patron, from ancient tomes or from a tribal ritual.

Magic-User Lore[edit]

It is the deep of night and the time that monsters awaken.
—Indora Argool, candothist magic-user

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research magic-users 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
5 Magic-users are spellcasters that specialize in a few schools of magic, but are otherwise diverse in their methods and don't follow the old ways.
10 Magic-users focus their talents to a limited selection of spells. Their counterspelling gives them an edge over opponent casters.
15 Magic-users may eventually cast their weakest spells at leisure if properly focused. Their unusual casting allows them to break the ordinary limits of a spell's power.
20 Magic-users eventually gain access to a level of spells known only to the ancients. Even the earliest of spells learnt can be formidable in the hands of a magic-user.

Alternate Class Features[edit]

  • Domain Magic-User: Replace the Minion feature with a cleric domain (Reference: homebrew cleric domains). Spells accessed in a domain do not count for or against a magic-user's neglected schools and do not take up any spaces for spells ingrained.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewClassesBase Classes

Article BalanceVery High +
AuthorGanteka Future +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionPoor +
Class AbilitySpontaneous Arcane Spellcasting + and Spontaneous Divine Spellcasting +
Class Ability ProgressionFull +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level1 +
RatingUnrated +
Reflex Save ProgressionPoor +
SkillConcentration +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Gather Information +, Knowledge +, Perform +, Profession +, Spellcraft +, Appraise +, Bluff +, Use Magic Device +, Heal +, Sense Motive + and Survival +
Skill Points4 +
SummaryA basic spellcaster with some customization options. +
TitleMagic-User +
Will Save ProgressionGood +