Magician (3.5e Class)

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Author: Paleomancer (talk)
Date Created: 1 July 2010
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Magicians are arcane spellcasters who combine the spell versatility of wizards with the spontaneity of sorcerers.

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Making a Magician[edit]

Tome of Prowess
This class is designed to be compatible with the Tome of Prowess rules. Any class abilities that have different rules under Tome of Prowess will be marked by a ToP: label.
A magician shares many of the strengths and the weaknesses of wizards and sorcerers. While he has more flexibility in his daily spell list than a sorcerer, like a wizard, he must still be careful in what spells he prepares. Magicians generally serve best as support casters and blasters, keeping to the rear of engagements.

Abilities: Intelligence determines the level of spells a magician can cast and how many spells per day he can cast. Charisma determines how hard a magician's spells are to resist. Constitution is important for extra hit points, and Dexterity improves a magician's armor class.

Races: Any member of a civilization with a strong spellcasting or academic tradition is likely to become a magician.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 2d6×10 gp (70 gp).

Starting Age: Complex.

Table: The Magician

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 Scribe Scroll, summon familiar 3 2
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Arcane versatility 1/day 4 3
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 5 4 2
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 5 5 3
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Arcane versatility 2/day 5 5 4 2
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Bonus feat 5 5 5 3
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 5 5 5 4 2
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Arcane versatility 3/day 5 5 5 5 3
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 5 5 5 5 4 2
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 5 5 5 5 5 3
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Arcane versatility 4/day 5 5 5 5 5 4 2
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Bonus feat 5 5 5 5 5 5 3
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 2
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 Arcane versatility 5/day 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 3
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 2
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 3
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Arcane versatility 6/day 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 4 2
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Bonus feat 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 3
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Arcane versatility 7/day 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (None), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha),

Class Skills, Tome of Prowess Variant (4 per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraisal (Int), Arcana (Int), Ciphers (Int), Concentration (Wis), Devices (Int), Psychology (Int).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the magician.

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

Spells: A magician casts arcane spells which are drawn primarily from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. A magician casts spells uniquely for an arcanist, as he casts spells spontaneously, like a sorcerer, but he must select his spells known each day from a spellbook, like a wizard. To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, a magician must have a Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a magician's spell is 10 + the spell level + the magician's Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a magician can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Magician. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score.

A magician's selection of memorized spells is extremely limited. A magician begins play able to prepare three 0-level spells and one 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new magician level, he may prepare one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Magician Spells Prepared. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a magician may prepare is not affected by his Intelligence or his Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Magician Spells Prepared are fixed.)

A magician uses metamagic feats in a very unusual way for a spellcaster. If he knows a metamagic feat, he can choose to apply it to a spell he knows, altering the spell level as normal and thus using a higher level memorized spell and spell slot to cast. Every time he casts that spell, it is affected by the metamagic feat, which he cannot change until he prepares spells again. He could, if he desired, prepare a spell normally and also prepare the same spell without applying a metamagic feat. Unlike a sorcerer, a magician may use the Quicken Spell feat in this way.

Table: Magician Spells Prepared
Level Spells Known
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st 3 1
2nd 3 2
3rd 3 2 1
4th 3 3 1
5th 3 3 1 1
6th 3 3 2 1
7th 3 3 2 1 1
8th 3 3 2 2 1
9th 3 3 3 2 1 1
10th 3 3 3 2 2 1
11th 3 3 3 3 2 1 1
12th 3 3 3 3 2 2 1
13th 3 3 3 3 3 2 1 1
14th 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1
15th 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 1 1
16th 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1
17th 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 1 1
18th 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1
19th 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2
20th 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2

Spellbook: A magician must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook, except for read magic, which all magicians can prepare from memory. Once he prepares a spell in his mind, it is there indefinitely, but to change it the next day, he must consult his spellbook. A magician begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells, plus three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the magician has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new magician level, he gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new magician level) for his spellbook. At any time, a magician can also add spells found in the spellbooks of other arcane spellcasters to his own. The feat Spell Mastery functions identically for magicians as it does for wizards and similar spellcasters, whereas the Complete Arcane feat Extra Spell allows the Magician to select an extra spell known per day (which can be changed from one day's casting to the next, as normal).

Scribe Scroll: At 1st level, a magician receives Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat.

Familiar: A magician can obtain a familiar. Doing so takes 24 hours and uses up magical materials that cost 100 gp. A familiar is a magical beast that resembles a small animal and is unusually tough and intelligent. The creature serves as a companion and servant. The magician chooses the kind of familiar he gets. As the magician advances in level, his familiar also increases in power. If the familiar dies or is dismissed by the magician, the magician must attempt a DC 15 Fortitude saving throw. Failure means he loses 200 experience points per magician level; success reduces the loss to one-half that amount. However, a magician's experience point total can never go below 0 as the result of a familiar’s demise or dismissal. A slain or dismissed familiar cannot be replaced for a year and day. A slain familiar can be raised from the dead just as a character can be, and it does not lose a level or a Consitution point when this happy event occurs. A character with more than one class that grants a familiar may have only one familiar at a time, but levels in classes that grant familiars stack in order to determine familiar abilities.

Arcane Versatility (Sp): A magician's combination of spontaneous and prepared spellcasting techniques allows him to manipulate his spell knowledge beyond other casters. At 2nd level, once per day as full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a magician can cast a spell he has not prepared that day, provided it is already scribed in his spellbook, consuming a spell slot of the same or higher level. The spell must be one he could have selected during his daily preparation, it must be one he knows and personally placed in his spellbook (but see below for Spell Mastery). Additionally, he must locate the desired spell, which generally takes a move action that provokes an attack of opportunity, and casting the spell requires the spellbook as an additional focus. He cannot apply any metamagic effects to this spell, and the casting time of the selected spell must not be greater than one standard action. The magician may use arcane versatility with a spell that is up to one spell level below the maximum spell level he can cast. This ability applies only to spells gained as a magician, and cannot be used with spell-slots for any other spellcasting class. He may use this ability one additional time every three levels after 2nd (5th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th, and 20th level). This ability may be used in conjunction with the Spell Mastery feat, but it is still subject to the same limitations as if the magician were casting from his spellbook.

Bonus Feats: At 6th, 12th, and 18th levels, a magician gains a bonus feat. At each such opportunity, he can choose a metamagic feat, an item creation feat, or Spell Mastery. The magician must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including caster level minimums. If you are using the WotC Complete Mage handbook, the reserve feats listed are also acceptable options.

Epic Magician[edit]

Table: The Epic Magician
Hit Die: d4

Level Special
23rd Arcane Versatility 7/day, bonus feat
26th Arcane Versatility 8/day, bonus feat
29th Arcane Versatility 9/day, bonus feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Spells: The magician's caster level is equal to her class level. The magician's number of spells per day and spells prepared does not increase after 20th level. Each time the magician achieves a new level, he or she learns two new spells of any spell levels that he or she can cast (according to his or her new level). Note: Magicians gain a special benefit from the Spell Knowledge feat; instead of learning two new spells, the magician may prepare two new spells per day of any level he can cast (including spell slots higher than 9th level, if he already has access to them through Improved Spell Capacity) and then spontaneously cast them, as normal. However, once the spell levels are selected for a particular Spell Knowledge feat, they cannot be henceforth changed (although the spell placed in them may be changed, as normal).

Arcane Versatility: As normal, a magician may use arcane versatility with a spell that is up to one spell level below the maximum spell level he can cast (which works in conjunction with the Improved Spell Capacity feat) and he may not apply metamagic feats to the selected spell. He may use this ability one additional time every three levels after 20th (23rd, 26th, 29th, and so on).

Familiar: The magician’s familiar continues to increase in power. Every two levels beyond 20th the familiar’s natural armor and Intelligence each increase by +1. The familiar’s spell resistance is equal to the master’s class level + 5. At 21st level and again every ten levels higher than 21st, the familiar gains the benefit of the Familiar Spell epic feat for a spell of its master’s choice.

Bonus Feats: The epic magician gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic wizard feats) every three levels after 20th.

Epic Magician Bonus Feat List: Augmented Alchemy, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Combat Casting, Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Epic Rod, Craft Epic Staff, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Efficient Item Creation, Enhance Spell, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Familiar Spell, Forge Epic Ring, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Scribe Epic Scroll, Spell Focus, Spell Knowledge, Spell Mastery, Spell Penetration Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic. In addition to the feats on this list, the magician may select any item creation feat or metamagic feat not listed here.

Human Magician Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Quarterstaff (1d6/1d6 bludgeoning, crit x2), light crossbow (1d8 piercing, 10 bolts, crit 19-20).

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

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Bluff 4 Cha
Concentration 4 Con
Decipher Script 4 Int
Disguise 4 Cha
Knowledge (arcana) 4 Int
Sense Motive 4 Wis
Spellcraft 4 Int
Use Magic Device 4 Cha

Feat: Combat Casting.

Bonus Feats: Toughness.

Gear: Backpack, 5 days rations, spellbook, spell component pouch, 2 sunrods, waterskin.

Gold: 6 gp 75 sp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Magician[edit]

Religion: Magicians pay moderate respect to deities of magic and knowledge, but usually have little interest in religion.

Other Classes: Magicians, like wizards, value varied parties with a multitude of skills. Magicians are usually amiable to anyone who is not hostile to magic.

Combat: Magicians may serve as magical artillery, minion summoners, battlefield control, or as general support, depending on their daily spell selection.

Advancement: Magicians usually advance single-class or through a prestige class that grants full or near full spellcasting. They rarely advance in other arcane spellcasting classes. Many magicians will become archmagi to increase their spellcasting versatility, and magicians with levels in divine or psionic class will take the mystic theurge or cerebremancer classes.

Magicians in the World[edit]

Aha! I know what spells you prepared, little wizard. You cannot hope to stop me now!
—The Archfiend Bazillika, shortly before being vaporized by an impromptu Disintegrate spell

The magician is a combination of and alternative to wizards and sorcerers. Like the sorcerer, a magician can cast the spells he knows whenever he wishes, without having to worry as much about when to use a particular spell. Like the wizard, a magician has the potential to learn just about every arcane spell there is, and he can even change his spell selection to suit his party's needs. Of course, he is more limited in any given day in what spells he can memorize than even the sorcerer, although the arcane versatility class ability does help to alleviate that in emergencies.

Daily Life: Magicians are much like wizards in their daily lives, living as hermits, academics, or adventurers as their inclination lies.

Notables: Fanghorn the Spellbreaker, notable bane of tyrants and criminals alike.

Organizations: Magicians can be found in colleges, universities, temples, monasteries, libraries, and other places of learning and knowledge. They also may roam the wilderness alone and shun company.

NPC Reactions: Most people cannot tell the difference between magicians and sorcerers or wizards until the difference is pointed out to them. Wizards may find magicians intriguing, or they may find their inclination to spontaneity annoying. Sorcerers and other spontaneous spellcasters look on the abilities of magicians with more than a little envy. Other classes do not differentiate between magicians and wizards, treating one like they treat the other, although the greater charisma of magicians over wizards usually makes classes like druids or barbarians more inclined to tolerate them.

Magician Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research magicians 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 Magician? Isn't that another word for wizard?
15 Magicians cast spells like sorcerers, but they use spellbooks like wizards.
20 If pressed, a magician can cast a spell from his spellbook on the spot.
30 Those who reach this level of success can research particular magicians, including their whereabouts, reputation, and power.

Magicians in the Game[edit]

Like wizards, a magician's party role is contingent on his selection of memorized spells. Since a magician at any one time knows less spells than a sorcerer, he must be especially careful in choosing his daily spells. Nevertheless, magicians are very versatile and can fulfill multiple party roles, such as summoner, controller, booster, or blaster, though combining more than two roles at one time is a difficult proposition. The Arcane Versatility class ability allows the magician a degree of freedom and can even be used to cast some utility spells, freeing spells memorized for more commonly useful spells. Depending on skill selection, a magician can even make an competent party spokesman, almost as adept in social circles as he or she is in spellcasting. As with most arcanists, it is important for the magician to avoid direct combat unless he or she is very well prepared, as he or she is no hardier than any other arcane spellcaster. If you are using reserve feats from Complete Mage, there are several which could dramatically increase the flexibility of a magician.

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Paleomancer's Homebrew (11 Articles)
Facts about "Magician (3.5e Class)"
Allowed AlignmentsLawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +
Article BalanceVery High +
AuthorPaleomancer +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionGood +
Class AbilityArcane Spellcasting +, Prepared Spellcasting + and Spontaneous Spellcasting +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level1 +
Rated ByStryker + and Foxwarrior +
RatingRating Pending +
Reflex Save ProgressionPoor +
SkillBluff +, Concentration +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Disguise +, Gather Information +, Intimidate +, Knowledge +, Profession +, Sense Motive +, Speak Language +, Spellcraft + and Use Magic Device +
Skill Points4 +
SummarySpellcasters who spontaneously cast spells from spellbooks +
TitleMagician +
ToP SkillAppraisal +, Arcana +, Ciphers +, Concentration +, Devices + and Psychology +
Will Save ProgressionGood +