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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Dec 2006
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    Default Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    Design Notes and Goals:

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    The primary purpose of this class is to provide the flexibility and power of full spellcasting in a somewhat more balanced package. This class is not a direct nerf to magic users. Indeed, it strengthens several of the areas where traditional spellcasters are weak, while bringing down their most powerful capabilities and reducing their ability to ignore what are supposed to be their hindrances. I'm aiming in the area of tier three, but I'm also perfectly comfortable with the idea that this class might be toeing the line of tier two, since it draws inspiration from classes like the beguiler but is significantly more flexible. The way I envision how the major differences between it and more traditional casters balance out is as follows:

    More Spells, Less Options: Probably the biggest difference between this class and the traditional ones is that is has a spells known system similar to the beguiler, warmage, and dread necromancer, but allowing the player to pick from certain groups of spells to build its spell list. As a result, a high-level mage could be able to do several things - say blast, heal, buff, divine, transport, and summon - and could do so in a variety of ways through all levels. However, it wouldn't have any access to spells of other types, such as debuffing, battlefield control, and protection. Additionally, several major classes of spells are divided up into multiple groups. For instance, there's a separate set of spells for offensive and general buffs, defensive buffs, and self-only buffs. And then a fourth for those defend-against-certain-thing spells. In other words, you can't just grab Haste and Slow and still be able to pick whatever other spells you want. When you get Haste, you also get a bunch of other ally augments, but it's giving up one of your spell groups. My main question in this area is if the number of Circles available to the mage and the rate of acquisition is high and fast enough, or if I should tone the number down or boost it a bit (although I expect if it needs to be tweaked, it would be down rather than up).

    More Basics, Less High Level Casting: This class has several things that improves its basic capabilities. Although its chassis is pretty pathetic, it has some options for frequent-use powers that give it some good spell-saving baseline options in a battle. It can also cast certain spells more freely as it levels, and gains limited amount of per-encounter spell power. Most importantly, it uses a spell-point style system that weights high-level spells more heavily. As a result, even a low-level mage can cast substantially more first level spells over the course of the day. At high levels, the mage can expect to be able to get quite a bit of mileage if it sticks to its less powerful spells and makes good use of its other abilities. However, casting a normal wizard's daily allotment of high-level spells will run it almost completely dry. Where a normal 20th level wizard could cast four ninth level spells and still have 4-6 eighth, seventh, sixth, and so on available (and probably a ninth or two still in its pocket, at that), a 20th level mage casting four ninth level spells would be pretty much restricted to low level spells for the rest of the day. Overall, the mage gets a lot more for casting less powerful spells and using its abilities, with the high level spells being substantially less energy-efficient, and best for use when you really need to bring a lot of power to bear right now. I'm wondering here if the powers and easier low-level casting give a bit too solid of a foundation with high-level spells as a fallback, and if the Energy acquisition and cost is too much or too little.

    More Multiclassing, Less Prestige: There are several tweaks to how this class works that make it more multiclassing-friendly, the primary one being that the mage determines its highest level spell based on character level, rather than class level advances its higher level spells (albeit more slowly) even with non-mage levels, and the mage gets a bit of ability score swapping when multiclassing to reduce MAD. However, the mage gets new Circles and more Energy based on its class level, and casting-advancing prestige classes only advance Energy. Plus, the mage has some actual class features, including more powers, bonus feats, and signature spells. As a result, multiclassing out means you have fewer options, and can't cast nearly as many spells, so it's a viable option, but not a never-do-it or always-do-it (depending on if the class you choose has +1 level of casting every level). The thing I'm a bit concerned about here is making sure that multiclassing is a fair option to meet a concept, without a small dip in mage being way too good.

    More Optimization, Less Game Breaking: I'm hardly the strongest optimizer on these boards, but I'm not bad at it by any means, and I've paid attention to all the spells that get touted as the major game breakers. So when I wrote up the Circles, I made it a point to avoid useless or broken spells, or grab the good ones. Sure, there are some weaker spells in there; I wanted each spell level of each Circle to have at least two spells, and aimed for three, so the theory was that a weak or situational spell was still better than nothing. Several of the major problems (polymorphing and calling in particular) were revised as Major Powers (of which characters only get one) rather than spells, and rebalanced as well, so you won't have someone who, say, can shapeshift into a solar while gating in a solar (that can, itself, gate in other solars). I also allowed a few options for different spells for certain Circles when the same spell level had thematically similar spells. Of course, with only three spells per spell level per Circle to work with, a lot didn't make the cut, so if there are any gems that got passed over for less useful spells, or any spells in there that are still wildly unbalanced, that would be good to know. I do also admit to having had to make a few stretches to fill quota (especially at the higher levels), so if anything really looks like it doesn't fit, or should be moved, let me know that too. As an aside, I drew primarily from the SRD and Spell Compendium, so some problem spells like Love's Pain, Shivering Touch, and the Celerity line also didn't even get the chance. Although, I tell ya, I had to break out psionics, throw in (higher-level and nerfed) Greater Shadow Conjuration/Evocation, and create a couple custom spells for the highest-level divination and illusion Circles, three things I really didn't want to do. Interesting trivia fact: there are very few high-level divinations and illusions that actually get you information or trick people.

    Anyway, those are the aims and plans, and the things I'm still unsure on. Any thoughts, critiques, and suggestions greatly appreciated!


    HD: d4.
    Skills: Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Knowledge (Arcana, Religion, Nature, Planes), Profession, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device (and see Spellcasting).
    Skill Points: 2.
    Proficiencies: Simple Weapons, No Armor, No Shields.

    The Mage
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Spellcasting, First Circles (2), First Power.

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |First Favored Circle.

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Third Circle.

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bonus Feat.

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |First Signature Spell.

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Fourth Circle.

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Second Favored Circle.

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Bonus Feat.

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Second Power.

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Fifth Circle.

    11th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Greater Power.

    12th|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Bonus Feat.

    13th|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Second Signature Spell.

    14th|
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Improved Signature Spell (First).

    15th|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Sixth Circle.

    16th|
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bonus Feat.

    17th|
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Third Power.

    18th|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Third Favored Circle.

    19th|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Improved Signature Spell (Second).

    20th|
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Bonus Feat, Circle Master.[/table]

    Spellcasting: The primary ability of mages is their ability to cast spells. Mage spellcasting has several differences from normal spellcasting classes.

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    Casting Score: At first level, a mage chooses Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as its casting ability. The appropriate ability modifier is referred to as its casting modifier. The mage's casting score determines several aspects of the mage's spells and abilities. A mage must have a casting score of at least 10 + the spell level to cast spells of a given level. The save DC for a mage's spells is equal to 10 + the spell level + the mage's casting modifier. A multiclassed mage may elect to substitute its casting score for any mental ability score used in calculations of class features of the mage's other classes (for example, a Cha-based mage/monk could use Charisma rather than Wisdom when determining its AC bonus).

    The mage's choice of its casting ability also determines the mage's additional class skills:

    Intelligence: Knowledge (all), Search.

    Wisdom: Heal, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival.

    Charisma: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Perform.

    Circles: A mage's spell list is determined by its Circles. Mages may cast all spells on their spell list spontaneously. The maximum spell level a mage is able to cast is based on its mage level - mages can cast spells of a spell level no higher than half its class level, rounded up. Levels in prestige classes that add +1 level to casting add directly to the mage's level to determine maximum spell level. Levels in other classes (or prestige class levels that don't advance casting) add +1 effective mage level per two class levels - as the mage's personal power grows, it becomes better able to command more advanced forces, even if its personal study of magic has lapsed.

    Energy: Mages do not draw from a certain number of discrete spells per day. Rather, all mages have a pool of Energy, which they spend to cast spells. Energy is provided based on the mage's class level, so while a multiclassed mage can still cast higher level spells, it cannot cast as many, and a character with only a few levels of mage might not have enough Energy to power its highest level spells. A mage's Energy is equal to its class level times (5 + its casting modifier). Changes to casting modifier do not provide additional Energy, unless the change lasts for at least 24 hours. Prestige classes that advance casting provide additional Energy (and of course, continue to increase maximum spell level since they increse character level), but do not provide any other benefits of mage class levels, such as new Circles, bonus feats, powers, and signature spells.

    A mage's Energy refreshes after a full night's rest. Additionally, at the start of any dangerous or important encounter, a mage gains a pool of temporary Energy equal to its class level plus its casting modifier, as the adrenaline of the encounter allows the mage to tap into deeper reserves of power. This pool resets to 0 at the end of the encounter, and any spells cast using this pool end when it resets, even if their durations have not yet lapsed.

    The Energy cost of spells varies by spell level as follows:

    Level 1: 1 Energy.
    Level 2: 3 Energy.
    Level 3: 6 Energy.
    Level 4: 10 Energy.
    Level 5: 15 Energy.
    Level 6: 21 Energy.
    Level 7: 28 Energy.
    Level 8: 36 Energy.
    Level 9: 45 Energy.

    Metamagic: Mages may apply metamagic feats to their spells spontaneously, simply by increasing the Energy cost to that of the appropriate spell level. There is no increase in casting time. Mages get a reduced benefit from many effects that simplify metamagic feats. Any ability that reduces the cost of a metamagic feat can only apply once to any given spell, and no single metamagic feat applied may benefit from more than one such effect. Additionally, any ability that automatically adds a metamagic feat to a spell may only do so if the normal spell level modifier for the feat would not bring the spell above the mage's highest available spell level.

    Armor: Mages suffer a chance of spellcasting failure for wearing any armor they are not proficient with.

    Cantrips: A mage may select a number of 0-level spells from the Wizard, Cleric, Druid, or Bard spell lists equal to 3 + its Intelligence modifier. It may cast these spells once at will as a swift action. The Cure Minor Wounds spell cannot be used on targets with current hit points higher than the mage's character level.

    Surging: A mage may improve lower-level spells by spending additional Energy on them, although generally not quite as much as casting a higher-level spell. This is referred to as surging. Each point of a surge costs an amount of Energy equal to the level of the spell being cast, and a spell cannot have a higher surge value than the mage's highest available spell level minus the level of the spell being cast. For example, an 11th level mage could add a surge value no higher than 3 to a third level spell.

    For each point of the surge value, the spell's save DC (if any) increases by 1. This does not stack with the Heighten Spell feat. For each two points of the surge value, any caps on effects of the spell determined by caster level allow a caster level five higher. For example, a Fireball spell with a two point surge would cost 12 Energy (rather than 6), have a DC of 15 + casting modifier (rather than 13+mod), and deal a maximum of fifteen dice of damage, rather than ten.

    Energy Burn: A mage is able to cast its spells despite low energy cost or a lack of components, but doing so is damaging to the mage's body. A mage may accept energy burn when casting spells to reduce the spell's cost. Each point of energy burn causes a one-point reduction in the mage's current and maximum hit points. The mage's maximum hit points recover with natural rest only. Each point of energy burn can lower the Energy cost of a spell by 1. A point of energy burn can also substitute for up to 5 gold or 1 XP per character level in component or XP costs (for casting spells, not for crafting magic items). A mage can sustain enough energy burn to incapacitate or kill itself. Worse, a mage who reduces its maximum hit points to -10 with energy burn not only dies, but cannot ever return to life. A mage can sustain more energy burn than would kill it (if it is already injured, for example), but may not sustain more than would bring its maximum hit points to -10.


    Circles: Mage spells are divided into several Circles, each of which contains two or three spells per spell level. A first level mage selects two Circles, adding the spells of those Circles to its class spell list. At third, sixth, tenth, and fifteenth level, the mage selects an additional Circle.

    Power: Mages are a diverse lot, and not just because of their differing spell lists. At first level, a mage selects a Power, some natural or supernatural capability that it acquires as a result of its specific training or spellcasting style. The mage may select another Power at ninth level and a third at seventeenth level.

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    Autosurge: The mage has deep reserves of power that strengthens its weaker spells. Every spell the mage casts automatically receives its maximum possible surge value, with no increase in energy cost. This is a Supernatural ability, unlike most Greater Powers.

    Animal Companion: The mage gains an animal companion as a Pathfinder druid. Additionally, if the mage would gain a familiar (such as with the Acquire Familiar feat) it may instead add the familiar's special abilities and Intelligence to its animal companion.

    Combat Training: The mage gains the Average BAB rating, a good Fortitude save (its choice), a d8 HD, and proficiency with one martial weapon, heavy armor and shields.

    Energy Bolt (Sp): At will as a standard action, the mage can unleash a bolt of arcane energy as a ranged touch attack with Medium range, dealing 1d6 points of damage per two class levels, plus additional damage equal to the mage's casting modifier. The mage can choose the form of energy the bolt takes when it gains this power, selecting from the following list:

    Fire: The energy bolt deals one additional point of damage per die.
    Cold: The target of the energy bolt is Fatigued for one round.
    Electricity: The target of the energy bolt is Entangled for one round.
    Acid: The energy bolt deals additional damage next round equal to the number of dice rolled.
    Sonic: The target of the energy bolt is Deafened for one round.
    Force: The energy bolt can affect incorporeal creatures without a miss chance.
    Positive: The energy bolt deals double damage to the undead (it still deals normal damage to non-undead creatures; it does not provide healing).
    Negative: The energy bolt heals undead rather than damaging them.
    Water: The target of the energy bolt is subject to a Trip attempt, with an effective Strength bonus equal to the mage's casting modifier.
    Wind: The target of the energy bolt is subject to a Bull Rush attempt, with an effective Strength bonus equal to the mage's casting modifier.
    Earth: The energy bolt deals physical Slashing, Piercing, and Bludgeoning damage (subject to DR), and does not allow Spell Resistance.
    Light: The target of the energy bolt is dazzled for one minute, but consecutive hits stack the penalty.
    Dark: The target of the energy bolt suffers a 20% miss chance for one round.
    Holy: The energy bolt deals +2 damage per die against Evil creatures.
    Unholy: The energy bolt deals +2 damage per die against Good creatures.
    Axiomatic: The energy bolt deals +2 damage per die against Chaotic creatures.
    Anarchic: The energy bolt deals +2 damage per die against Lawful creatures.
    Psychic: No touch attack is required, but a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + casting modifier) is allowed to negate the damage. The mage need not have line of effect or line of sight to the target, but the range is reduced to Close.
    Mana: If the energy bolt beats a target's Spell Resistance, that target loses its Spell Resistance for one round.

    Inspiration: The mage is a beacon of power for its allies. At will as a standard action, the mage can initiate some magical display of power that inspires and strengthens it and its companions. This functions as a bard's Inspire Courage ability, except the mage must spend one Energy per point of the bonus each round to maintain its effects, and may cast spells normally while maintaining it. The effect does not linger when the mage ends maintenance. Additionally, the mage may choose any two descriptors that the save bonus applies to (rather than the default Charm and Fear), and may choose two stats that the bonus applies to from the following list, rather than the default attack and weapon damage rolls: Attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, AC, saving throws (doubled for the two chosen descriptors), DR (two points of DR/- per point of the bonus), Energy Resistance (five points of resistance to Acid, Cold, Electricity, Fire, and Sonic per point of the bonus), speed (+5' speed for all movement modes per point of the bonus), and hit points (five temporary hit points per point of the bonus, which refresh each round). While using this ability, the mage also adds twice the bonus to Intimidate checks.

    Mana Shield: The mage can use its magic to protect itself, spending Energy to prevent hit point damage on a point-for-point basis. This does not require an action. Mana Shield cannot be used to reduce the damage of energy burn.

    Skill Training: The mage gains a good Reflex save, a d6 HD, proficiency with light armor, six skill points per level (rather than two), and eight additional class skills of its choice.

    Soothing Presence: As a swift action, the mage can grant a target within Close range temporary hit points equal to half its casting modifier times the target's level. These temporary hit points cannot exceed the total damage the target has sustained. If the target receives healing, each hit point healed converts two of these temporary hit points into another point of healing (this effect is not recursive). These temporary hit points last for up to five minutes and do not stack.

    Turn/Rebuke: The mage may choose a category of creatures from the list of favored enemies available to rangers, which it may either Turn or Rebuke as a cleric Turns or Rebukes undead, but using its casting modifier rather than its Charisma modifier. This ability can be used to power divine feats.


    Favored Circles: Starting at second level, the mage chooses one of its Circles to be a Favored Circle. Each Circle has a special ability provided to mages who favor it. The mage may choose another Favored Circle at 7th level, and a third at 18th. Additionally, you may spend a feat to gain an additional Favored Circle.

    Bonus Feats: At fourth level, and every four levels thereafter, a mage may choose a bonus Item Creation or Metamagic feat.

    Signature Spell: Many mages become known for a favored spell. A fifth level mage can select a spell it knows of third level or lower to be its signature spell. The mage treats the spell as one spell level lower for purposes of determining Energy costs (this also means it has one more level available for metamagic). Additionally, the mage can cast its signature spell at no cost in Energy once per encounter, although it cannot add metamagic feats when doing so. At thirteenth level, the mage can select a second signature spell, which must be sixth level or lower.

    Greater Powers: An eleventh level mage has unlocked a more potent special power, which it may choose from the following list. The mage may alternately choose two normal Powers, if it so desires. Unless otherwise stated, all Greater Powers function as spells, and require both Verbal and Somatic components.

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    Divinatory Query: The mage is able to acquire information through magic. This requires a ten-minute ritual. At the end of the ritual, the mage casts its magic out seeking the information it desires. The mage's player may ask the DM a question of its choice.

    Unless specific magic or abilities that can mislead or block divinations is in play, the DM must provide useful information - it cannot be false or misleading. However, the DM does not need to provide the exact information that the mage desires.

    In general, divinatory queries should provide hints, tips, clues, plot hooks, and raw data. The DM should never feel obligated to provide the solution to a puzzle or dilemma, a strategy to overcome a challenge, or information that leads to rewards greater than are merited by the effort the characters must put in to acquire them. Likewise, the DM need never directly provide information that is largely unknown in the game world, a closely-guarded secret, or otherwise plot-sensitive.

    This is not to say the DM should ever provide useless information. The knowledge gained should always be useful in either helping the characters to learn what they want, or in helping them to formulate their own conclusions or strategies. Likewise, the DM should always endeavor to provide information that is new to the characters, and that they couldn't easily acquire through other means.

    In general, broader questions should result in broader answers. "What is the makeup of the enemy army?" should probably receive a response along the lines of "orcs, giants, and demons". On the other hand, "How many orcs are in the warcamp?" is more likely to yield a concrete number.

    The same question, or one essentially the same, typically provides the same answer.

    While this ability is meant to be a useful information-gathering tool to the mage, it is also offers utility for the DM in driving the story. The DM may always choose to provide more or better information than suggested in the guidelines above, if doing so will improve the story. The above guidelines represent the minimum that the mage should be able to expect for investing in this ability at the expense of other Greater Powers.

    At DM discretion, a mage with this ability may also receive periodic visions and omens, even when not using this ability actively.

    The mage must possess the Divinatory Revelations or Oracular Perceptions Circle to gain this Greater Power.

    Matter Alteration: The mage can conjure or transmute objects. Conjuring objects requires the expenditure of components equal in value to that of the item to be conjured. Transmuting objects is done without components, but an item cannot be turned into another item of greater intrinsic worth. The mage can conjure or transform up to ten pounds of material per level with a full-round action (heavier targets require proportionately more time). Alternately, the mage can use this ability to utilize the Craft skill. Doing so allows the mage to use any material as the base material, so long as it is of equal value to the raw materials required, and multiplies the amount of progress per Craft check by the mage's level. The mage must possess the Area Alteration Circle to gain this Greater Power.

    Necromantic Reanimation: The mage can reanimate the dead as skeletons and zombies, as with the Animate Dead spell. The mage can only maintain active control over a total number of HD of undead equal to or less than its casting modifier times its class level. Actively controlled undead can be directed as the mage deems, moving and acting at its will and following whatever strategies the mage assigns. Other undead are passively controlled. Passively controlled undead do not attack the mage, beings controlled by the mage's magic, or beings that the mage chooses to protect (a move action to provide or revoke protection), but will otherwise attack any beings they encounter, chasing them if they flee. As a move action, the mage can halt the undead from attacking, direct them to move forward (they progress in a straight line except as required to circumvent obstacles), have them turn in a new direction, or have them stop moving. The mage can command any or all passively controlled undead at once, but cannot command them more precisely without switching to active control. Additionally, since the passively controlled undead are mindless and awaiting orders, they become dazed for one round any time the mage casts a spell within three-hundred feet of them. The mage can change which undead it is passively or actively controlling with one minute of concentration, during which time all of the mage's undead are considered passively controlled. The mage must possess the Physiological Assault Circle to gain this Greater Power.

    Planar Binding: The mage can call powerful outsiders to do its bidding. Calling an outsider requires a ten-minute ritual. This functions as a Planar Binding spell, with the following differences:

    There is no limit to the power of creatures that the mage can call, though it can only call a single creature per ritual.

    This power does not provide any inherent means to control the outsider. The normal opposed Charisma check has an alternate effect. If the mage succeeds, the outsider takes a -4 penalty on saving throws against the mage's spells, and the mage can banish it with a standard action. If the outsider succeeds, it gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against the mage's spells, and becomes immune to all Charms, Compulsions, and Banishing effects from the mage. This Charisma check cannot be improved by any magic, even enhancement bonuses, but the mage may substitute its casting modifier for its Charisma modifier if it wishes. Unless the mage is powerful enough to be a serious threat to the outsider, or the outsider deems the mage's cause worthy of its action, it usually takes a significant sacrifice, favor, or payment by the mage to enlist the outsider's aid. As a rule, the cost for enlisting an outsider's aid should be equivalent to an encounter with the outsider - for example, a sacrifice of treasure appropriate to an encounter of the outsider's CR, a favor that presents a challenge equal to its CR, the sacrifice of creatures with a combined EL equal to its CR, a sacrifice of XP appropriate to the mage's share for an encounter of the outsider's CR, and so on, depending on the nature of the outsider. Usually, if the mage succeeds the Charisma check, it can enlist the aid of an outsider with a CR equal to or less than its own character level - 2 without need of further payment, although this can depend on the nature of the task (a very dangerous task or one the outsider finds distasteful or beneath it, for example, would make an exception, even for weak Outsiders). Outsiders with a CR greater than the mage should always require some substantial recompense for their aid, even if the mage's goals are aligned with their own (after all, outsiders of such power are often busy with their own important tasks).

    The mage need not attempt to force or trap the outsider. If it foregoes the trap and allows the outsider to automatically succeed its Will save, it may send a verbal message to the outsider requesting its aid. The outsider may then choose to answer the calling or not. This is generally an advisable strategy when dealing with outsiders that serve a similar cause, or those that have a significant advantage of power.

    The binding effect somewhat shackles the power of the outsider, both limiting the power it could bring to bear against the mage and the power of a mage to exploit a stronger being. Outsiders called with this ability cannot use any spell or ability that calls other creature, or any spell (or spell-like ability emulating a spell) that has an XP cost, expensive component cost, focus, or that is of higher level than the mage itself can cast. Most outsiders quickly understand when a mage is calling them to use a capability it could not easily emulate (such as a spell that isn't in one of the mage's Circles), and will almost always use this leverage to exact a payment or favor from the mage.

    The mage must possess the Minion Conjuration Circle to gain this Greater Power.

    Polymorphing: The mage can take on the form of other creatures of a certain type. Choose any one of the Pathfinder polymorph spell lines (Beast Shape, Monstrous Physique, Undead Anatomy, Elemental Body, Vermin Shape, Plant Shape, Form of the Dragon, or Giant Form). You add the spells from that line to your list of spells known at the appropriate spell levels. The mage must possess the Personal Augmentation Circle to gain this Greater Power.

    Resurrection: The mage is capable of bringing the dead back to life. This requires an elaborate ritual lasting at least one hour. The mage's level determines how long the subject can have been dead:

    Level 11: One Day.
    Level 14: One Week.
    Level 17: One Month.
    Level 20: One Year.
    Epic Level: One Year per level above 19.

    A ritual of resurrection is draining to both the revived character and the mage performing it. For each step on the above list that the target has been dead, the ritual requires 10 components (for example, resurrecting a character dead for a week requires 20 components), chosen from the list given in the Ritualism Greater Power. There is no permanent loss of level or Constitution for this form of resurrection.

    Components marked with an asterisk may be paid by either the mage or the revived character. However, the ritual requires at least one-fifth of its components to be such costs paid by the mage, and another one-fifth to be such costs paid by the target.

    If the target's body is not generally whole, its "time dead" counts as one step worse. If only a small portion of its body is available, it counts as two steps worse. If its body is completely unavailable, it counts as three steps worse.

    The mage must possess the Curative Arts or Purifying Rites Circle to gain this Greater Power.

    Ritualism: The mage is capable of performing powerful magical rituals, emulating spells from Circles or even levels it cannot cast. By default, this power does not allow the emulation of spells not found on the mage spell list, or custom effects. The DM may allow such effects on a case-by-case basis at its sole discretion, and may impose additional costs or requirements for using them. Performing a ritual requires one hour of work; it can be done in ten minutes by doubling the number of components, one minute by quadrupling the components, or one full round by multiplying the components by 10.

    Performing a ritual requires a number of components equal to the Energy cost of the spell. The number of components is doubled for every spell level above the mage's maximum. For example, an 11th level mage could perform a ritual for an eighth level spell, but it would cost 144 components.

    The mage may choose the components it uses from the following list. Some components can only be chosen a certain number of times, or escalate in cost if they are chosen more than a certain number of times. Components marked with an asterisk are paid by the mage, even if other casters are participating.

    Component costs cannot be negated, ignored, or obviated by immunities or other defenses.

    Twice as much time spent. (Max 5 times, time cannot have been reduced)
    The participation of another spellcaster, who must be high enough level to cast the spell in question. Lower-level spellcasters can be substituted, but it requires twice as many for each level lower. Mages may alternately sacrifice an equal number and power of characters, casters or not, although only truly vile mages would generally use this option. (Max 5 times)
    An XP cost of 100 XP*. (Total cost doubled every 5 times)
    A material cost valued at 1,000 gold pieces. (Total cost doubled every 5 times)
    Two points of Constitution Damage, which cannot be healed magically*.
    One Negative Level, which cannot be healed magically, or result in actual level loss and fade at the rate of one per day*.
    Energy Burn equal to spell's normal Energy cost*.
    A unique and difficult to acquire material component, determined at DM discretion. (DM decides maximum times allowed)
    The ritual must be researched beforehand, which takes one day per hour that it takes to perform the ritual. The ritual must be used within an equal amount of time or it must be researched anew. This option can be chosen only once, but counts as five Components.

    Performing the ritual successfully requires a series of Spellcraft checks. The DC begins at 15 + twice the spell level, and increases by 1 with each successive check. The character must make one check per ten components, minimum one. Failing any check results in the ritual failing. Failing a number of checks equal to three or half the checks required, whichever is higher, results in a backlash at DM discretion. Typically, a backlash just means the spell activates but targets detrimentally - an offensive spell might target the mage, a beneficial spell might target its foes, etc. If this is not appropriate, the DM can create a backlash at its own discretion. Backlashes can be harmful, but are not permanently debilitating or life-threatening unless at least six Spellcraft checks were failed. In this case, while there should be level-appropriate defenses available, the backlash could potentially be catastrophic.

    The mage must possess the Explorer's Tricks Circle to gain this Greater Power.

    Teleportation: The mage can transport itself and others instantly across vast distances. Teleportation requires three consecutive full-round actions.

    Each day, the mage may teleport a total distance equal to 20 miles times its casting modifier times its class level. The mage may teleport itself and up to one other character per three class levels, along with any items or equipment they are wearing or carrying, up to their maximum load. All such individuals must be in contact with at least one other traveler (including the mage). The mage may alternately substitute an amount of nonliving matter for each character equal to what its carrying capacity would be calculated using its casting modifier rather than Strength. Each size category a creature is larger than Medium causes it to count as double, while each size category below counts as half. Bonded creatures of any kind can be teleported with their master without counting against the mage's limit.

    The mage may teleport creatures or objects beyond this limit, or those that are not in contact with it. However, each such creature (or creature-worth of objects) costs equal distance from the mage's maximum. For example, a 12th level mage with Int 22 can teleport itself and up to four other creatures up to 1,440 miles per day. If it wants to teleport itself and six others 80 miles, it would deduct 240 miles from its daily total - 80 for itself and four others, and an additional 80 for each of the two characters over its limit.

    The mage may teleport others without teleporting itself. If it does so, it must pay the necessary distance for each creature being teleported. If the above mage did not wish to travel with the six it was teleporting, it would have to spend a total of 480 miles from its daily limit.

    An unwilling target receives a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 level + casting modifier) to resist the teleportation. A mage may choose not to teleport certain objects a character is carrying, in which case the character can make a Will save to bring them along regardless, if it wishes. A character can even try to latch onto a person being teleported to travel along (forcing the mage to pay for the extra distance, if this brings the mage over its normal limit). However, if this causes the distance to exceed the mage's remaining daily distance, the effect fails.

    A mage halves the distance costs to teleport to its home, base of operations, or the like. Teleporting to a place the mage can currently see (even through Scrying or the like) or to a place it has been before both function normally.

    If the mage has not been to a place, but knows its geographic location, it can teleport there with reasonable accuracy. The mage must make a DC 15 Casting Modifier check to arrive exactly where it intends; otherwise, it can arrive as much as a mile off-target, although always in a place where it is not in immediate danger.

    Teleporting into a place that the mage does not know the geographic location of, but can clearly identify, is possible, but risky. The mage must make a DC 20 Casting Modifier check. If it fails, the teleportation fails and it cannot try again, but the distance is not used. If it fails by 5 or more, the distance is used, and at the DM's discretion, the mage might inadvertently teleport into a thematically similar location within range.

    The mage must possess the Arcane Transit Circle to gain this Greater Power.

    Wizardry: The mage is trained in wizardry, able to prepare alternate spells to face new challenges. The mage can change the Circles it has access to, although it may not change its Favored Circles. Doing so requires study, meditation, prayer, or some similar method of refocusing the mage's energies, and must be done in a place condusive to the effort. For example, one mage might study the rituals and formulae for other spells in a library of arcane tomes, while another might pray for new magic in a hallowed temple to its deity, and a third might fall into deep meditation in the security of its home. Regardless of the exact method, the mage cannot swap out its spells without returning to a city, its base of operations, or some other safe location. Each changed Circle requires a full day of work. The mage must possess the General Arcanum Circle to gain this Greater Power, and cannot swap General Arcanum out using this Greater Power.


    Improved Signature Spell: A fourteenth level mage has improved its mastery of its first signature spell. Once per encounter, the mage can cast its signature spell at no cost in Energy, regardless of the metamagic applied to it. Additionally, when not applying metamagic to its signature spell, the mage can cast it at will. Finally, if another character within line of sight casts the mage's signature spell, the mage may make an opposed caster level check to redirect the targeting of the spell as if it were the caster. The mage gains these benefits for its second signature spell at nineteenth level.

    Circle Master: A twentieth level mage has achieved true mastery of one of its Circles. Choose any single Favored Circle; the mage treats every spell of that Circle as if it were one spell level lower for purposes of metamagic and Energy costs (the first level spells may be cast at will as long as they are not modified by metamagic).
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2011-07-05 at 02:34 AM.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

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    M&M 3e Character Guide

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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    Spell Circles

    Ally Augmentation

    Spells of this Circle bolster the mage's allies, focusing primarily on improving their offenses.

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    Favored Ability: Whenever you cast a spell from this Circle, each target receives a floating bonus equal to the spell level, which it may add to a single attack roll or saving throw, or to its AC against a single attack, any time during the next round.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Bless, Enlarge Person OR Reduce Person, Snake's Swiftness.
    Level 2: Aid, {Animal's Boost}, Mass Snake's Swiftness (SpC).
    Level 3: Greater Magic Weapon OR Greater Magic Fang, Haste, Heroism.
    Level 4: Mass Enlarge Person OR Mass Reduce Person, Mass Shield of Faith (SpC), Recitation.
    Level 5: Animal Growth, Divine Agility (SpC), Righteous Wrath of the Faithfil (SpC).
    Level 6: Mass {Animal's Boost}, Fires of Purity (SpC), Greater Heroism.
    Level 7: Aura of Vitality (SpC), Brilliant Aura (SpC).
    Level 8: Crown of Glory (SpC), Lion's Roar (SpC).
    Level 9: Cloak of Bravery (SpC), Nature's Avatar (SpC).


    Arcane Transit

    Spells of this Circle allow the mage to travel and communicate faster and more easily.

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    Favored Ability: Whenever you cast a spell from this Circle that can affect targets other than you, you can affect at least one target per point of your casting modifier with a single casting.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Benign Transposition (SpC), Expeditious Retreat OR Longstrider, Jump.
    Level 2: Animal Messenger OR Whispering Wind, Baleful Transposition (SpC), Levitate OR Spider Climb.
    Level 3: Gaseous Form OR Amorphous Form (SpC), Fly, Water Breathing OR Air Breathing (SpC).
    Level 4: Air Walk, Dimension Door, Sending OR Telepathic Bond.
    Level 5: Greater Dimension Door (SpC) OR Tree Stride, Overland Flight OR Mass Fly, Plane Shift.
    Level 6: Wind Walk, Shadow Walk, Word of Recall OR Gemjump (SpC).
    Level 7: Ethereal Jaunt, Greater Plane Shift OR Master Earth, Phase Door.
    Level 8: Demand, Refuge, Stormrage (SpC).
    Level 9: Etherealness, Gate*, Teleportation Circle.

    *Transport function only.


    Area Alteration

    Spells of this Circle change the face of the battlefield, bringing up a variety of obstacles in the path of the mage's foes.

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    Favored Ability: Any character who has its vision or speed reduced by one of your spells from this Circle loses its Dexterity bonus to AC.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Entangle, Grease, Obscuring Mist.
    Level 2: Briar Web (SpC), Fog Cloud OR Darkness, Web.
    Level 3: Sleet Storm, Spike Growth, Vine Mine (SpC).
    Level 4: Black Tentacles, Solid Fog, Spike Stones.
    Level 5: Doomtide (SpC), Transmute Mud to Rock, Transmute Rock to Mud.
    Level 6: Acid Fog OR Freezing Fog (SpC), Repulsion, Tunnel Swallow (SpC).
    Level 7: Incendiary Cloud, Transfix (SpC), Whirlwind.
    Level 8: Greater Whirlwind (SpC), Earthquake.
    Level 9: Magic Miasma (SpC), Transmute Rock to Lava (SpC), Tsunami (SpC).


    Baleful Curses

    Spells of this Circle impose direct hindrances and negative effects onto the mage's enemies, up to and including instant death.

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    Favored Ability: Any opponent who fails a saving throw against a spell of this Circle takes a penalty on all saving throws equal to half the number of points it failed by for one round.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Bane OR Doom, Ray of Clumsiness (SpC), Ray of Enfeeblement.
    Level 2: Blindness/Deafness, Curse of Ill Fortune (SpC), Ray of Stupidity (SpC).
    Level 3: Ray of Exhaustion, Slow, Unluck.
    Level 4: Bestow Curse, Enervation, Moon Bolt (SpC).
    Level 5: Baleful Polymorph, Feeblemind, Slay Living.
    Level 6: Flesh to Stone, Fleshshiver (SpC), Spectral Touch (SpC).
    Level 7: Avasculate (SpC), Destruction OR Finger of Death, Greater Bestow Curse (SpC).
    Level 8: Avascular Mass (SpC), Flensing (SpC), Temporal Stasis.
    Level 9: Imprisonment, Soul Bind, Wail of the Banshee.


    Beguiling Influence

    Spells of this Circle allow the mage to manipulate and command other creatures.

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    Favored Ability: When you successfully affect a character with a spell from this Circle, you may choose for it to lose all memory of the time spent under the spell's effects when the spell ends.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Charm Person OR Charm Animal, Command, Hypnotism.
    Level 2: Calm Emotions, Enthrall, Entice Gift (SpC).
    Level 3: Dominate Animal, Miser's Envy (SpC), Suggestion.
    Level 4: Charm Monster, Command Plants, Voice of the Dragon (SpC).
    Level 5: Dominate Person, Greater Command, Mark of Justice.
    Level 6: Geas/Quest, Mass Suggestion.
    Level 7: Control Undead, Solipsism.
    Level 8: Demand, Mass Charm Monster.
    Level 9: Dominate Monster, Programmed Amnesia.


    Curative Arts

    Spells of this Circle allow the mage to heal injuries and prevent death.

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    Favored Ability: Your healing spells are substantially more potent. Your Cure Light Wounds or Mass Cure Light Wounds spells heal your casting modifier + twice your character level in damage, with no cap. The per-level healing changes to four for Moderate Wounds, six for Serious Wounds, and eight for Critical Wounds. You may also deal this damage when harming undead creatures, but if you do so, a successful Will save negates the damage entirely, rather than halving it.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Cure Light Wounds OR Lesser Vigor (SpC), Resurgence, Remove Fear.
    Level 2: Cure Moderate Wounds OR Close Wounds (SpC), Lesser Restoration, Remove Paralysis.
    Level 3: Cure Serious Wounds OR Mass Lesser Vigor (SpC), Remove Curse, Remove Disease.
    Level 4: Cure Critical Wounds, Delay Death (SpC), Panacea OR Restoration.
    Level 5: Mass Cure Light Wounds, Revivify (SpC), Break Enchantment.
    Level 6: Mass Cure Moderate Wounds, Heal, Stone to Flesh.
    Level 7: Mass Cure Serious Wounds, Fortunate Fate (SpC), Greater Restoration.
    Level 8: Mass Cure Critical Wounds, Mass Restoration, Regenerate.
    Level 9: Clone, Mass Heal, Freedom.


    Deceptive Glamours

    Spells of this Circle make creatures, objects, and areas appear other than they are - or not appear at all.

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    Favored Ability: When casting a spell of this Circle that alters how something appears visually, you can increase its effective spell level (as with a metamagic feat) to affect other senses. Each additional spell level applied lets you affect two other senses (for example, if you cast Invisibility as a third level spell, you could also hide the subject from hearing and smell, including hearing-based Blindsense and Scent, or from Tremorsense and Blindsight).

    Spells:
    Level 1: Disguise Self, Serene Visage (SpC), Remove Scent (SpC).
    Level 2: Invisibility, Reflective Disguise (SpC), Silence.
    Level 3: Invisibility Sphere, Forestfold (SpC), Suspended Silence (SpC).
    Level 4: Greater Invisibility, Hallucinatory Terrain, Translocation Trick (SpC).
    Level 5: False Vision, Mirage Arcana, Seeming.
    Level 6: Hide the Path (SpC), Mass Reflective Disguise (SpC), Veil.
    Level 7: Mass Invisibility, Sequester, Shifting Paths (SpC).
    Level 8: Screen, Superior Invisibility (SpC).
    Level 9: Doppelganger's Cloak*, Latent Invisibility**.

    *As Veil, but anyone who sees one of the veiled characters must make a Will save. The creatures become aware if anything they are going to do or say will attract suspicion from those who failed, and with a move action, can learn how such characters would expect them to react to a given situation (including answers to passwords and other secret questions).
    **As Superior Invisibility, but opponents must roll a Will save or fail to notice the direct results of any action you perform that does not target or affect them (such as attacking one of their allies, opening a door, talking to a friend, etc). They must also save to notice any responses or indirect results to or of an action they failed to notice (such as the ally talking back, your allies walking through the door, or your friend responding to you).


    Defensive Augmentation

    Spells of this Circle allow the mage to place potent defenses upon both itself and its allies.

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    Favored Ability: Whenever you cast a spell from this Circle, you grant all targets temporary hit points equal to the spell level * half your casting modifier. These last for one round and do not stack.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Mage Armor, Conviction (SpC), Shield of Faith.
    Level 2: Barkskin, Blur, Shield Other.
    Level 3: Displacement, Greater Mage Armor (SpC), Magic Vestment.
    Level 4: Greater Resistance (SpC), Sheltered Vitality (SpC), Stoneskin.
    Level 5: Mass Sanctuary (SpC), Mass Fire Shield (SpC), Spell Resistance.
    Level 6: Superior Resistance (SpC), Tortoise Shell (SpC).
    Level 7: Mass Spell Resistance (SpC), Statue.
    Level 8: {Holy Aura Line}, Protection from Spells.
    Level 9: Effulgent Epuration (SpC), Foresight.


    Divinatory Revelations

    Spells of this Circle allow the mage to acquire information it otherwise could not.

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    Favored Ability: You can cast spells of this Circle in half the normal time and with half the normal XP costs or material components. Additionally, your DM may elect to provide you with more information than the spell would normally allow, to whatever degree it deems useful, if it feels that doing so would further the story.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Deathwatch, Identify, Omen of Peril (SpC).
    Level 2: Augury, Detect Thoughts, Zone of Truth.
    Level 3: Helping Hand OR Safety (SpC), Know Opponent (SpC) OR Know Vulnerabilities (SpC), Speak with Dead.
    Level 4: Discern Lies, Divination, Lay of the Land (SpC).
    Level 5: Commune, Commune with Nature, Contact Other Plane.
    Level 6: Analyze Dweomer, Legend Lore, Probe Thoughts (SpC).
    Level 7: Brain Spider (SpC), Vision.
    Level 8: Discern Location, Hypercognition (Ps).
    Level 9: Hindsight (SpC), Metafaculty (Ps).

    *Use rules for Detect Undead, choose creature type when casting.


    Energy Evocation

    Spells of this Circle blast the mage's foes with directed energy.

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    Favored Ability: You are more proficient with certain forms of energy. Choose an energy type selected from the list in the Energy Bolt power. Whenever you cast spells from this Circle, you may change the spell's damage type (and descriptors, where appropriate) to match that energy, and apply the special effects of that energy type to the spell. If the special effect causes a condition, a successful saving throw negates the condition. You may also expand your options by purchasing additional energy types at the cost of 2 skill points per energy type. If you have the Energy Bolt power, you must select the same energy type, but any additional energy types you purchase can also be used through your Energy Bolt. If Psychic is chosen, the special effects apply to spells that normally require ranged touch attacks, and other spells replace any require Reflex saves with Will saves. Additionally, anyone who takes damage from your spells from this Circle take additional damage equal to your casting modifier (this bonus damage applies a maximum number of times of once per creature per round).

    Spells:
    Level 1: Burning Hands, Lesser Orb of {Energy} (SpC), Shocking Grasp.
    Level 2: Combust (SpC), Lesser Fireburst (SpC), Scorching Ray.
    Level 3: Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Acid Breath.
    Level 4: Blast of Flame (SpC), Orb of {Energy} (SpC), Wall of Fire OR Wall of Ice.
    Level 5: Ball Lightning (SpC), Firebrand (SpC), Greater Fireburst (SpC).
    Level 6: Acid Storm (SpC), Chain Lightning, Disintegrate.
    Level 7: Delayed Blast Fireball, Firestorm, Radiant Assault (SpC).
    Level 8: Bombardment (SpC), Field of Icy Razors (SpC), Horrid Wilting.
    Level 9: Maw of Chaos (SpC), Meteor Swarm*, Sphere of Ultimate Destruction (SpC).

    *Damage dice increased to d12s...because it deserves it.


    Ephemeral Constructs

    Spells of this Circle create barriers and constructs of magical force.

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    Favored Ability: Anything you create with a spell from this Circle gains additional hit points equal to your full normal hit point total.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Mount, Unseen Servant, Wall of Smoke (SpC).
    Level 2: Dark Way (SpC), Spiritual Weapon, Wall of Gloom (SpC).
    Level 3: Regal Procession (SpC) OR Servant Horde (SpC), Phantom Steed, Wind Wall.
    Level 4: Ethereal Mount (SpC), Resilient Sphere, Wall of Sand (SpC) OR Wall of Water (SpC).
    Level 5: Interposing Hand, Mage's Faithful Hound, Spiritwall (SpC) OR Wall of Force OR Wall of Limbs (SpC) OR Wall of Stone OR Wall of Thorns.
    Level 6: Blade Barrier, Forceful Hand, Wall of Iron OR Wall of Gears.
    Level 7: Forcecage, Grasping Hand, Mage's Sword.
    Level 8: Clenched Fist, Telekinetic Sphere.
    Level 9: Black Blade of Disaster, Crushing Hand.


    Explorer's Tricks

    Spells of this Circle provide a variety of utility options to the adventuring mage, allowing it to mitigate the rigors of travel and bypass various obstacles.

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    Favored Ability: When casting a spell of this Circle, you can increase the casting time of the spell to reduce the cost. Spells with a casting time of one round or less are increased to ten minutes. Those with casting times of longer than one round are increased to one hour. If you do so, the Energy cost is reduced to twice the spell level - 1.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Comprehend Languages, Feather Fall, Floating Disk.
    Level 2: Knock, Make Whole OR Shatter, Rope Trick*.
    Level 3: Create Food and Water, Daylight, Tongues.
    Level 4: Essence of the Raptor (SpC), Greater Floating Disk, Secure Shelter.
    Level 5: Cloak of the Sea (SpC), Passwall, Xorn Movement (SpC).
    Level 6: Heroes' Feast, Ruby Ray of Reversal (SpC), Transcribe Symbol (SpC).
    Level 7: Mage's Magnificent Mansion*, Submerge Ship (SpC), Teleport Object.
    Level 8: Excavate (SpC), Ghostform (SpC).
    Level 9: Pavilion of Grandeur (SpC), Unbinding (SpC), Undermaster (SpC).

    *Casting time increased to one hour.


    Flash and Fanfare

    Spells of this Circle assail the senses of the mage's foes with overwhelming displays of light, sound, scent, and similar sensory overloads.

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    Favored Ability: When casting a spell of this Circle, you may change an allowed Fortitude save to a Will save, or a Will save to a Fortitude save.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Color Spray, Faerie Fire, Shock and Awe (SpC).
    Level 2: Glitterdust, Pyrotechnics, Sound Burst.
    Level 3: Flashburst (SpC), Great Thunderclap (SpC), Stinking Cloud.
    Level 4: Blistering Radiance (SpC), Rainbow Pattern, Wrack (SpC).
    Level 5: Cloudkill, Illusory Feast (SpC), Prismatic Ray (SpC).
    Level 6: Anger of the Noonday Sun (SpC), Dream Casting (SpC), Illusory Pit (SpC).
    Level 7: {Holy Word Line}, Power Word Blind, Prismatic Spray.
    Level 8: Power Word Stun, Prismatic Wall, Sunburst.
    Level 9: Cast in Stone (SpC), Power Word Kill, Prismatic Sphere.


    General Arcanum

    This Circle provides a diverse selection of classical arcane magic, with an emphasis on spells that negate or alter other magic.

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    Favored Ability: When casting spells of this Circle, you add half your casting modifier to your caster level. This bonus can exceed any level caps the spell normally applies.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Greater Mage Hand (SpC), Heat Metal, Magic Missile.
    Level 2: Continual Flame, Divine Insight (SpC), Magic Mouth.
    Level 3: Dispel Magic, Invisibility Purge, Sonorous Hum (SpC).
    Level 4: Assay Spell Resistance OR Spell Enhancer (SpC), Dismissal, Lesser Globe of Invulnerability OR Dispelling Screen (SpC).
    Level 5: Duelward (SpC), Permanency, Telekinesis.
    Level 6: Antimagic Field OR Globe of Invulnerability, Banishment, Greater Dispel Magic.
    Level 7: Antimagic Ray, Greater Dispelling Screen, Limited Wish.
    Level 8: Trap the Soul, Wall of Greater Dispel Magic (SpC).
    Level 9: Mage's Disjunction OR Reaving Dispel (SpC), Replicate Casting (SpC), Wish OR Miracle.


    Illusory Tricks

    Spells of this Circle create false perceptions to delude the mage's opponents.

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    Favored Ability: Whenever someone would do something that might potentially give it a save to disbelieve a spell you cast from this Circle, it must first make a Will save. If it fails, it elects not to do so, and may choose some other action to take instead. This effect is a mind-affecting compulsion.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Dead End (SpC), Silent Image, Ventriloquism.
    Level 2: Minor Image, Phantom Foe (SpC), Phantom Trap.
    Level 3: Illusory Script, Major Image, Secret Page.
    Level 4: Illusory Wall, Modify Memory, Sensory Deprivation (SpC).
    Level 5: Dream, Persistent Image, Phantasmal Disorientation (SpC).
    Level 6: Mislead, Permanent Image, Programmed Image.
    Level 7: Project Image, Solipsism (SpC).
    Level 8: Programmed Phantasm*, Retroactive Decoy**.
    Level 9: Greater Shadow Conjuration***, Greater Shadow Evocation****.

    *As Programmed Image, but lasts up to one hour per level after being triggered and the illusion draws from the beliefs and memories of the person who triggered it. The illusion's program of actions and even its appearance can be broad and results-oriented (for instance, an illusion of the person the triggerer loves most, trying to convince it to leave the area). When the trigger condition is met, the character who triggered it must roll a Will save. If it succeeds, the illusion does not trigger. If it fails, the illusion's appearance and actions are drawn from its own beliefs and memories, appearing, acting, and reacting exactly how the triggerer believes it should to fulfill its concept.
    **As Mislead, but cast as an immediate action, and you may take two immediate move actions when you cast it.
    ***Can only mimic Level 7 and lower spells from the Minion Conjuration Circle.
    ****Can only mimic Level 7 and lower spells from the Energy Evocation Circle.


    Mental Disruption

    Spells of this Circle directly assail the mind of the mage's enemies, imposing various debilitating effects.

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    Favored Ability: When casting a spell of this Circle that renders a target unable to move or unable to act, you can potentially prolong the spell's duration. To do so, you must allow the target to make a new saving throw against the spell each round (if the spell does not already allow such). However, if the target fails three saving throws in a row (including the initial save), it is no longer allowed to make further saving throws, and the spell's duration increases to one hour per caster level.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Cause Fear, Inhibit (SpC), Sleep.
    Level 2: Mechanus Mind (SpC), Mindless Rage (SpC), Hypnotic Pattern.
    Level 3: Deep Slumber, Hold Person, Ray of Dizziness (SpC).
    Level 4: Confusion, Crushing Despair, Fear.
    Level 5: Hold Monster, Mind Fog, Nightmare.
    Level 6: Aura of Terror (SpC), Imperious Glare (SpC), Insanity.
    Level 7: Hiss of Sleep (SpC), Mass Hold Person, Stun Ray (SpC).
    Level 8: Maddening Whispers (SpC), Maze OR Irresistable Dance, Wrathful Castigation (SpC).
    Level 9: Mass Hold Monster, Weird.


    Minion Conjuration

    Spells of this Circle call minions to the mage's command.

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    Favored Ability: Whenever you cast a spell of this Circle, you may distribute a number of points equal to your casting modifier among the ability scores of the creature or creatures you summon (multiple creatures all receive the same bonuses). Additionally, the summoned creatures gain a bonus to attack rolls, AC, and saving throws equal to half the spell level rounded up, and a bonus to damage rolls equal to the spell level.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Summon Monster I, Summon Nature's Ally I.
    Level 2: Summon Monster II, Summon Nature's Ally II.
    Level 3: Summon Monster III, Summon Nature's Ally III.
    Level 4: Summon Monster IV, Summon Nature's Ally IV.
    Level 5: Summon Monster V, Summon Nature's Ally V.
    Level 6: Summon Monster VI, Summon Nature's Ally VI.
    Level 7: Summon Monster VII, Summon Nature's Ally VII.
    Level 8: Summon Monster VIII, Summon Nature's Ally VIII.
    Level 9: Summon Monster IX, Summon Nature's Ally IX.


    Natural Mysticism

    Spells of this Circle exert influence over the natural world.

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    Favored Ability: Whenever you cast a spell from this Circle that alters material, terrain, or weather, you affect half again as much matter or as large an area.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Cloudburst (SpC), Pass Without Trace, Speak with Animals.
    Level 2: Soften Earth and Stone, Warp Wood, Wood Shape.
    Level 3: Plant Growth, Speak with Plants, Stone Shape.
    Level 4: Control Water, Eye of the Hurricane (SpC), Land Womb (SpC).
    Level 5: Awaken, Control Winds, Greater Stone Shape (SpC).
    Level 6: Ironwood, Move Earth, Stone Tell.
    Level 7: Control Weather, Reverse Gravity, Transmute Metal to Wood.
    Level 8: Antipathy, Mass Awaken, Sympathy.
    Level 9: Storm of Vengeance, Planar Perinarch (SpC), Shadow Landscape (SpC).


    Oracular Perceptions

    Spells of this Circle improve, extend, and project the mage's senses.

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    Favored Ability: The range of any senses provided or improved by spells of this Circle (including the amount of material they can penetrate) is doubled.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Ebon Eyes (SpC) OR Low Light Vision (SpC), Detect {Alignment}, Detect {Creature Type}*.
    Level 2: Darkvision, Find Traps, See Invisibility.
    Level 3: Arcane Sight, Blindsight (SpC) OR Deeper Darkvision (SpC) OR Tremorsense (SpC), Clairaudience/Clairvoyance.
    Level 4: Arcane Eye, Greater Blindsight (SpC) OR Mass Darkvision (SpC), Scrying.
    Level 5: Mark of Justice, Prying Eyes, Zone of Revelation (SpC).
    Level 6: Find the Path, Mass Make Manifest (SpC), True Seeing.
    Level 7: Greater Arcane Sight, Greater Scrying.
    Level 8: Greater Prying Eyes, Superior Arcane Sight*.
    Level 9: Eye of Power (SpC), Spellscrying**.

    *As Greater Arcane Sight, but identifies magical items.
    **As Scrying, but you can cast spells of 5th level and lower through the scrying sensor.


    Personal Augmentation

    A favorite of warrior-mages, spells of this Circle directly improve the mage's capabilities, but cannot be cast upon the mage's allies.

    Spoiler
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    Favored Ability: When casting a spell of this Circle with a duration of at least one round per level and no discharge, you may do so as a swift or immediate action. Doing so reduces the duration to one round, but also reduces the Energy cost to twice the spell level - 1.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Divine Favor, Shield, True Strike.
    Level 2: Divine Insight (SpC), Heroics (SpC), Mirror Image.
    Level 3: Bite of the Wererat (SpC), Blink, Lion's Charge (SpC).
    Level 4: Assay Spell Resistance (SpC), Divine Power (PF), Fire Shield.
    Level 5: Bite of the Wereboar (SpC), Greater Blink (SpC), Righteous Might.
    Level 6: Bite of the Weretiger (SpC), Contingency, Tenser's Transformation.
    Level 7: Bite of the Werebear (SpC), Elemental Body (SpC), Spell Turning.
    Level 8: Ghostform (SpC), Iron Body, Moment of Prescience.
    Level 9: Absorption (SpC), Greater Visage of the Deity (SpC), Time Stop.


    Physiological Assault

    Spells of this Circle directly assault the target's health, spirit, or physiology.

    Spoiler
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    Favored Ability: Your Inflict spells are substantially more potent. Your Inflict Light Wounds or Mass Inflict Light Wounds spells deal your casting modifier + twice your character level in damage, with no cap. The per-level damage changes to four for Moderate Wounds, six for Serious Wounds, and eight for Critical Wounds. However, if you take advantage of this effect, a successful Will save negates the damage, rather than only halving it. This effect also applies when healing undead.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Inflict Light Wounds, Horrible Taste (SpC), Spiritworm (SpC).
    Level 2: Inflict Moderate Wounds, Ghoul Touch, Healing Sting (SpC).
    Level 3: Inflict Serious Wounds, Contagion, Vampiric Touch.
    Level 4: Inflict Critical Wounds, Poison, Waves of Fatigue.
    Level 5: Mass Inflict Light Wounds, Mass Contagion, Night's Caress (SpC).
    Level 6: Mass Inflict Moderate Wounds, Harm, Waves of Exhaustion.
    Level 7: Mass Inflict Serious Wounds, Blood to Water (SpC), Withering Palm (SpC).
    Level 8: Mass Inflict Critical Wounds, Blackfire (SpC), Red Tide (SpC).
    Level 9: Energy Drain, Implosion, Mass Drown (SpC).


    Runes and Wards

    Spells of this Circle create long-term traps and protections, usually over areas and objects, although some are suitable for use upon creatures.

    Spoiler
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    Favored Ability: When casting spells of this Circle, any duration normally measured in hours is instead measured in days.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Alarm, Magic Aura, Sanctuary.
    Level 2: Arcane Lock, Consecrate OR Desecrate, Obscure Object OR Misdirection.
    Level 3: Anticipate Teleportation (SpC), Glyph of Warding OR Sign of Sealing (SpC), Nondetection.
    Level 4: Detect Scrying, Dimensional Anchor, Fire Trap.
    Level 5: Hallow OR Unhallow, Mage's Private Sanctum OR Refusal (SpC), Symbol of Sleep OR Symbol of Pain.
    Level 6: Guards and Wards OR Forbiddance, Symbol of Persuasion OR Symbol of Fear, Greater Glyph of Warding OR Greater Sign of Sealing.
    Level 7: Energy Transformation Field (SpC), Greater Anticipate Teleportation (SpC), Symbol of Stunning OR Symbol of Weakness.
    Level 8: Dimensional Lock, Symbol of Death OR Symbol of Insanity, Temporal Stasis.
    Level 9: Greater Spell Matrix (SpC), Instant Refuge (SpC).


    Specialized Proofing

    Spells of this Circle are designed to lessen, negate, or protect against single specific dangers and challenges.

    Spoiler
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    Favored Ability: When casting spells from this Circle that normally affect a single target, you can instead affect a number of targets equal to your casting modifier.

    Spells:
    Level 1: Endure Elements, Hide from Undead, Protection from {Alignment}.
    Level 2: Align Weapon, Resist Energy, Protection from Arrows.
    Level 3: Magic Circle vs. {Alignment}, Mass Align Weapon (SpC), Mass Resist Energy (SpC) OR Protection from Energy.
    Level 4: Death Ward OR Life Ward, Freedom of Movement, Ray Deflection.
    Level 5: Dispel {Alignment}, Life's Grace (SpC), True Seeing.
    Level 6: Antilife Shell, Energy Immunity (SpC), Repel Wood.
    Level 7: Ironguard (SpC), Mass Death Ward (SpC), Planar Bubble (SpC).
    Level 8: Greater Spell Immunity, Repel Metal or Stone, Mind Blank.
    Level 9: Unbinding (SpC), Undeath's Eternal Foe (SpC).
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2011-07-05 at 02:29 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    Beat me to the punch. I've been juggling around ideas for a tier 3 caster..

    This is awesome. Absolutely amazing. There are a few tweaks to be made (May I suggest looking over Surging again? Seems a bit cheap for the extra Save DC and the uncapping of spell effects) but for the most part this is great.



    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    A mage's Energy is equal to its class level times (5 + half its casting modifier).
    What is this? They scale linearly? HOORAH! And given the costs of spells of higher levels... Yes. I approve.


    Edit: Re-read Surge. My bad, I misinterpreted the cost. That's much better than what I originally thought it was.
    Last edited by Welknair; 2011-06-14 at 09:03 AM.
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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    I suggest the Energy Blast power be nerfed- it steps on the heels of warlocks as bad as reserve feats. (Of course, my idea of the perfect warlock fix involves raising the blast to d10s, but that's a story for a different time)

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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    I suggest the Energy Blast power be nerfed- it steps on the heels of warlocks as bad as reserve feats. (Of course, my idea of the perfect warlock fix involves raising the blast to d10s, but that's a story for a different time)
    The standard warlock's Eldritch Blast deals less damage than, say, a fighter half his level using Power Attack. Balancing every class's damage power to be worse than EB only insures that everyone deals trivial damage.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    I'm no good at figuring spell balance, but lemme took a look at the rest of the class. It seems fun!

    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    More Spells, Less Options: Probably the biggest difference between this class and the traditional ones is that is has a spells known system similar to the beguiler, warmage, and dread necromancer, but allowing the player to pick from certain groups of spells to build its spell list.
    I like this way of building a class, it seems to let you be very concept-focused, just getting the types of spells that match your character concept.

    More Multiclassing, Less Prestige: *snip*
    Paying attention to multiclassing is great!

    Proficiencies: Simple Weapons.
    /nitpick it seems most classes that don't have armor proficiency explicitly say it, just to prevent possible confusion.

    <table>
    Table looks right and matches the text far as I can tell.

    Armor: Mages suffer a chance of spellcasting failure for wearing any armor they are not proficient with.
    I like! Still a squishy wizard by default, but if someone wants to put in the effort (and feats) they can get armor.

    Cantrips: A mage may select a number of 0-level spells from the Wizard, Cleric, Druid, or Bard spell lists equal to 3 + its Intelligence modifier. It may cast these spells once per minute as a swift action.
    A step towards the pathfinder at-will cantrips. I'd suggest doing the same thing here, except then Cure Minor Wounds becomes infinite fast healing for free. A good balance.

    Surging: A mage may improve lower-level spells by spending additional Energy on them, although generally not quite as much as casting a higher-level spell. This is referred to as surging. Each point of a surge costs an amount of Energy equal to the level of the spell being cast, and a spell cannot have a higher surge value that the mage's highest spell level minus the spell's level. For example, an 11th level mage could add a surge value no higher than 3 to a third level spell.

    For each point of the surge value, the spell's save DC (if any) increases by 1. This does not stack with the Heighten Spell feat. For each two points of the surge value, any caps on effects of the spell determined by caster level allow a caster level five higher. For example, a Fireball spell with a two point surge would cost 12 Energy (rather than 6), have a DC of 15 + casting modifier (rather than 13+mod), and deal a maximum of fifteen dice of damage, rather than ten.
    I completely mis-read the Energy cost the first dozen times I read this, I was thinking the cost per surge point was equal to the base cost of the spell. Not sure where that came from, I can't think of any clearer way to put that part. I think the part about how many surge points you can put on a spell could be a tiny bit clearer (not intended as a negative comment, just trying to strengthen the wording):

    Each point of a surge costs an amount of Energy equal to the level of the spell being cast, and a spell cannot have a higher surge value than the mage's highest available spell level minus the level of the spell being cast.

    Circles: *snip*
    As mentioned before, I like the Circle system for spells known. Brilliant idea.

    Familiar: *snip*
    I think this is the weakest Power out there, by quite a lot. I agree there should be some way for a Mage to get a familiar, but this seems like a huge power sacrifice. Maybe just have a feat that gives you access?

    Turn/Rebuke: The mage may choose a Type of creatures, which it may either Turn or Rebuke as a cleric Turns or Rebukes undead, but using its casting modifier rather than its Charisma modifier. This ability can be used to power divine feats.[/SPOILER]
    I choose Humanoid. Really, I'm not sure all types should be available for choosing. If you do want all types, Humanoids should be broken up by races, the same way Favored Enemy does it, as otherwise it is just too broad. I think. And, some people will get scared by Divine Feats...

    Favored Circles: Starting at second level, the mage chooses one of its Circles to be a Favored Circle. Each Circle has a special ability provided to mages who favor it. The mage may choose another Favored Circle at 7th level, and a third at 18th.
    Would it be possible to have a feat that gives you another Favored Circle? It seems on about the right power level, would be a fun option to have.

    Wizardry: The mage is trained in wizardry, able to prepare alternate spells to face new challenges. The mage can change the Circles it has access to, although it may not change its Favored Circles. Doing so requires study, meditation, prayer, or some similar method of refocusing the mage's energies, and must be done in a place condusive to the effort. For example, one mage might study the rituals and formulae for other spells in a library of arcane tomes, while another might pray for new magic in a hallowed temple to its deity, and a third might fall into deep meditation in the security of its home. Regardless of the exact method, the mage cannot swap out its spells without returning to a city, its base of operations, or some other safe location. Each changed Circle requires a full day of work.
    This seems really dang powerful. Isn't the wizard's ability to do basically this the reason its considered tier 1? That it has access to every option the class offers? It worries me. Maybe it compares fine to the other Greater Powers, the others are all a kind of thing I don't have much experience with so I just don't know. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong, what time expenditure are you looking at by 'full day of work'? 8 hours of solid meditation? That does make it a little more difficult to change your makeup on the fly, as does limiting it to one circle a day...maybe I'm overreacting. /shrug.

    Improved Signature Spell: A fourteenth level mage has improved its mastery of its first signature spell. Any caps to the mage's caster level for its signature spell are removed. Once per encounter, the mage can cast its signature spell at no cost in Energy, regardless of the metamagic applied to it. Additionally, when not applying metamagic to its signature spell, the mage can cast it at will. Finally, if another character within line of sight casts the mage's signature spell, the mage may make an opposed caster level check to redirect the targeting of the spell as if it were the caster. The mage gains these benefits for its second signature spell at nineteenth level.
    The unmetamagic'd version at-will seems the most powerful part of this ability. How relevant are such spells at that level of play? I don't have an answer to that, and thats really what determines how strong this is.




    Okay, for all my pokings I am liking this. Something I haven't seen before, but still semi recognizable as a D&D spellcaster. I shall continue to observe. Nice work dude!

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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    Quote Originally Posted by blackmage View Post
    /nitpick it seems most classes that don't have armor proficiency explicitly say it, just to prevent possible confusion.
    Noted, will change.

    A step towards the pathfinder at-will cantrips. I'd suggest doing the same thing here, except then Cure Minor Wounds becomes infinite fast healing for free. A good balance.
    Yep, Cure Minor is the reason I went with 1/minute. I suppose it is still technically infinite healing, but really slow. Still, maybe just going at-will and doing something like the PF change to Stabilize is worth it.

    I completely mis-read the Energy cost the first dozen times I read this, I was thinking the cost per surge point was equal to the base cost of the spell. Not sure where that came from, I can't think of any clearer way to put that part. I think the part about how many surge points you can put on a spell could be a tiny bit clearer (not intended as a negative comment, just trying to strengthen the wording):

    Each point of a surge costs an amount of Energy equal to the level of the spell being cast, and a spell cannot have a higher surge value than the mage's highest available spell level minus the level of the spell being cast.
    Works for me. Thanks!

    I think this is the weakest Power out there, by quite a lot. I agree there should be some way for a Mage to get a familiar, but this seems like a huge power sacrifice. Maybe just have a feat that gives you access?
    Hmm...as it happens...isn't there a feat that provides access? Maybe I'll just say that if a mage with Animal Companion gets that feat it can do the familiar companion bit (which was the main part I liked about it...frankly I'm not a huge fan of familiars, but they are kind of iconic), as a little reminder bit.

    I choose Humanoid. Really, I'm not sure all types should be available for choosing. If you do want all types, Humanoids should be broken up by races, the same way Favored Enemy does it, as otherwise it is just too broad. I think. And, some people will get scared by Divine Feats...
    Ack, yep, that is exactly correct. Will have to tweak that. As for divine feats...quite a few of them are reasonable, but you know, maybe I'll just go ahead and add a clause that any auto-metamagic effect is limited to normal max SL when I talk about the metamagic.

    Would it be possible to have a feat that gives you another Favored Circle? It seems on about the right power level, would be a fun option to have.
    Interesting thought. I'll probably look them over again to make sure there wouldn't be any balance issues, but I might just add that.

    This seems really dang powerful. Isn't the wizard's ability to do basically this the reason its considered tier 1? That it has access to every option the class offers? It worries me. Maybe it compares fine to the other Greater Powers, the others are all a kind of thing I don't have much experience with so I just don't know. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong, what time expenditure are you looking at by 'full day of work'? 8 hours of solid meditation? That does make it a little more difficult to change your makeup on the fly, as does limiting it to one circle a day...maybe I'm overreacting. /shrug.
    It is indeed a very potent ability, and actually, I'd be really interested to get some more opinions on it. Definitely, it carries the risk of changing the class from toeing Tier 2 to toeing Tier 1. I think that the added prep time and restrictions, the restriction of only swapping non-favored Circles, the competition with other Greater Powers, and most of all, the lack of granularity in changing (you can go from a great debuffer to a great blaster, but you can't swap out a couple debuffs for a couple blasts) help keep it in line. However, I could be wrong.

    The unmetamagic'd version at-will seems the most powerful part of this ability. How relevant are such spells at that level of play? I don't have an answer to that, and thats really what determines how strong this is.
    I'm not 100% sure here either, but I'm thinking that, especially since lower-level spells cost proportionately less and since there shouldn't be any crazy broken spells in the lists (if I did my job right), it should be potent, but okay. The second one could be more serious, but that's a 19th level ability, the sort of thing you get after you've hit ninth level spells. I'm okay with level 19 and 20 abilities being a bit over the top.

    Thanks for the critique!

    EDIT: I was thinking more about Wizardry, and had a thought. I could remove it from the Greater Powers list, and make it an option that a character could select at the expense of all Powers, normal and Greater. It would still be a pretty potent ability, but it would come at a really heavy cost. A mage who takes Wizardry basically wouldn't have anything to fall back on if it overextends itself. I'm not 100% sure I want to do it, but if other people are of the opinion that it's too powerful, that'll probably be my go-to nerf.
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2011-06-14 at 05:17 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    This class is wonderful. There are a few things that I would change, but everything else is wonderful. The ones in spoilers are fairly minor, and mostly just how I would do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    More Multiclassing, Less Prestige: *snip*
    I agree with many of the things here, however I don't think multiclassing should give higher level spells as fast as being full-classed. Being multiclass friendly also makes this very dip friendly. I would change it to only progressing at half-speed when multiclassing similar to TOB, but this is minor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    *table*
    I would recommend adding numbers to the repeating abilities; rather than just saying "circle", say "1st circle". this just helps to get an immediate feel for how quickly they gain power.


    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Casting Score: At first level, a mage chooses Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as its casting ability. The appropriate ability modifier is referred to as its casting modifier. The mage's casting score determines several aspects of the mage's spells and abilities. A mage must have a casting score of at least 10 + the spell level to cast spells of a given level. The save DC for a mage's spells is equal to 10 + the spell level + the mage's casting modifier. A multiclassed mage may elect to substitute its casting score for any mental ability score used in calculations of class features of the mage's other classes (for example, a Cha-based mage/monk could use Charisma rather than Wisdom when determining its AC bonus).
    This makes this class a wonderful dip. If any class is the least bit MAD, they can dip a single level of this, and in addition to other great abilities, only have to worry about one mental score for other abilities. A palidin 19/wisdom mage 1 would be able to completely dump his cha, and would be even better at lay on hands/smite/turn undead etc. No other class has an ability which modifies abilities of other classes from multi-classing, and I would recommend that this one does not either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Armor: Mages suffer a chance of spellcasting failure for wearing any armor they are not proficient with.
    I would only allow them to ignore ASF from armor which they gain proficiency with from the mage class in order to make the Combat Training power slightly more worth it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Cantrips: A mage may select a number of 0-level spells from the Wizard, Cleric, Druid, or Bard spell lists equal to 3 + its Intelligence modifier. It may cast these spells once per minute as a swift action.

    Surging: A mage may improve lower-level spells by spending additional Energy on them, although generally not quite as much as casting a higher-level spell. This is referred to as surging. Each point of a surge costs an amount of Energy equal to the level of the spell being cast, and a spell cannot have a higher surge value that the mage's highest spell level minus the spell's level. For example, an 11th level mage could add a surge value no higher than 3 to a third level spell.

    For each point of the surge value, the spell's save DC (if any) increases by 1. This does not stack with the Heighten Spell feat. For each two points of the surge value, any caps on effects of the spell determined by caster level allow a caster level five higher. For example, a Fireball spell with a two point surge would cost 12 Energy (rather than 6), have a DC of 15 + casting modifier (rather than 13+mod), and deal a maximum of fifteen dice of damage, rather than ten.

    Energy Burn: A mage is able to cast its spells despite low energy cost or a lack of components, but doing so is damaging to the mage's body. A mage may accept energy burn when casting spells to reduce the spell's cost. Each point of energy burn causes a one-point reduction in the mage's current and maximum hit points. The mage's maximum hit points recover with natural rest only. Each point of energy burn can lower the Energy cost of a spell by 1. A point of energy burn can also substitute for up to 5 gold or 1 XP per character level in component or XP costs (for casting spells, not for crafting magic items). A mage can sustain enough energy burn to incapacitate or kill itself. Worse, a mage who reduces its maximum hit points to -10 with energy burn not only dies, but cannot ever return to life. A mage can sustain more energy burn than would kill it (if it is already injured, for example), but may not sustain more than would bring its maximum hit points to -10.
    I would place these as seperate abilities from spellcasting.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Autosurge: The mage has deep reserves of power that strengthens its weaker spells. Every spell the mage casts automatically receives its maximum possible surge value, with no increase in energy cost.
    This seems more powerful than others to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Combat Training: The mage gains the Average BAB rating, a good Fortitude save (its choice), a d8 HD, and proficiency with one martial weapon, medium armor and shields.
    This seems weaker than others to me. I would grant proficiency with heavy armor in addition to the change above.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Energy Bolt (Sp): At will as a standard action, the mage can unleash a bolt of arcane energy as a ranged touch attack with Medium range, dealing 1d6 points of damage per two class levels, plus additional damage equal to the mage's casting modifier. The mage can choose the form of energy the bolt takes when it gains this power, selecting from the following list:

    Fire: The energy bolt deals one additional point of damage per die.
    Cold: The target of the energy bolt is Fatigued for one round.
    Electricity: The target of the energy bolt is Entangled for one round.
    Acid: The energy bolt deals additional damage next round equal to the number of dice rolled.
    Sonic: The target of the energy bolt is Deafened for one round.
    Force: The energy bolt can affect incorporeal creatures without a miss chance.
    Positive: The energy bolt deals double damage to the undead.
    Negative: The energy bolt heals undead rather than damaging them.
    Water: The target of the energy bolt is subject to a Trip attempt, with an effective Strength bonus equal to the mage's casting modifier.
    Wind: The target of the energy bolt is subject to a Bull Rush attempt, with an effective Strength bonus equal to the mage's casting modifier.
    Earth: The energy bolt deals physical Slashing, Piercing, and Bludgeoning damage (subject to DR), and does not allow Spell Resistance.
    Light: The target of the energy bolt is dazzled for one minute, but consecutive hits stack the penalty.
    Dark: The target of the energy bolt suffers a 20% miss chance for one round.
    Holy: The energy bolt deals +2 damage per die against Evil creatures.
    Unholy: The energy bolt deals +2 damage per die against Good creatures.
    Axiomatic: The energy bolt deals +2 damage per die against Chaotic creatures.
    Anarchic: The energy bolt deals +2 damage per die against Lawful creatures.
    Psychic: No touch attack is required, but a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + casting modifier) is allowed to negate the damage. The mage need not have line of effect or line of sight to the target, but the range is reduced to Close.
    Mana: If the energy bolt beats a target's Spell Resistance, that target loses its Spell Resistance for one round.
    These seem well balanced to each other and to the others. I would note that a positive energy does/does not heal non-undead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Inspiration: The mage is a beacon of power for its allies. At will as a standard action, the mage can initiate some magical display of power that inspires and strengthens it and its companions. This functions as a bard's Inspire Courage ability, except the mage must spend one Energy per point of the bonus each round to maintain its effects, and may cast spells normally while maintaining it. The effect does not linger when the mage ends maintenance. Additionally, the mage may choose any two descriptors that the save bonus applies to (rather than the default Charm and Fear), and may choose two stats that the bonus applies to from the following list, rather than the default attack and weapon damage rolls: Attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, AC, saving throws (doubled for the two chosen descriptors), DR (two points of DR/- per point of the bonus), Energy Resistance (five points of resistance to Acid, Cold, Electricity, Fire, and Sonic per point of the bonus), speed (+5' speed for all movement modes per point of the bonus), and hit points (five temporary hit points per point of the bonus, which refresh each round). While using this ability, the mage also adds twice the bonus to Intimidate checks.
    The hit points boost is easily the best and the DR is fairly good. I would change the DR to 1 per point of bonus and the Hp to 2 per point of bonus.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Turn/Rebuke: The mage may choose a Type of creatures, which it may either Turn or Rebuke as a cleric Turns or Rebukes undead, but using its casting modifier rather than its Charisma modifier. This ability can be used to power divine feats.
    I would not allow them to chose a creature type with an int greater than 2. IIRC all of the things a cleric can turn always have an int score of -, are animals, or only apply to those with an int of -.


    I have not yet looked in detail at the greater powers or individual circles; I will comment on those after I do.

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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    Quote Originally Posted by jvluso View Post
    I agree with many of the things here, however I don't think multiclassing should give higher level spells as fast as being full-classed. Being multiclass friendly also makes this very dip friendly. I would change it to only progressing at half-speed when multiclassing similar to TOB, but this is minor.
    You know, I was thinking along those lines and talked myself out of it, but looking at it again, you're probably right. A Mage 10/Warblade 10 would have eighth level spells and maneuvers, which is nothing to sneeze at, and if it took Combat Training, would get a fourth iterative and have pretty solid hit points. That's probably plenty.

    I would recommend adding numbers to the repeating abilities; rather than just saying "circle", say "1st circle". this just helps to get an immediate feel for how quickly they gain power.
    Got it, thanks.

    This makes this class a wonderful dip. If any class is the least bit MAD, they can dip a single level of this, and in addition to other great abilities, only have to worry about one mental score for other abilities. A palidin 19/wisdom mage 1 would be able to completely dump his cha, and would be even better at lay on hands/smite/turn undead etc. No other class has an ability which modifies abilities of other classes from multi-classing, and I would recommend that this one does not either.
    To be honest, I have a burning hatred of MAD, and this ability reflects that. "Choose a single mental ability score for your abilities" is a common house rule of mine. Don't get me wrong, I definitely see your point, but I'm going to stick with my personal preferences here.

    I would only allow them to ignore ASF from armor which they gain proficiency with from the mage class in order to make the Combat Training power slightly more worth it.
    Eh, by this point, I see the no-casting-in-armor thing as more flavor than anything. If a mage wants to snag a fighter crusader level to be able to cast in full plate, more power to it.

    This seems more powerful than others to me.
    I'm starting to wonder if I underestimated the value that Surging provides. I'll keep it in mind.

    This seems weaker than others to me. I would grant proficiency with heavy armor in addition to the change above.
    Eh, sure, it's basically "I'm a cleric honest!" might as well go all the way.

    These seem well balanced to each other and to the others. I would note that a positive energy does/does not heal non-undead.
    Good idea.

    The hit points boost is easily the best and the DR is fairly good. I would change the DR to 1 per point of bonus and the Hp to 2 per point of bonus.
    This is my preferences coming through again. I tend to see DR and fast healing sort of effects as being too low across the board, especially considering how easy it is to optimize damage, so I'll tend to buff them up a bit.

    I would not allow them to chose a creature type with an int greater than 2. IIRC all of the things a cleric can turn always have an int score of -, are animals, or only apply to those with an int of -.
    Only the most basic of undead are mindless. I think the next most common turn subject is creatures with an elemental subtype. Elementals have Int scores (albeit not great ones), and this can even include dragons. That being said, this is the second concern raised about the Turn/Rebuke ability and its selection options, so I'll definitely be thinking on that.

    Thanks for the input!
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2011-06-14 at 05:45 PM.
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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    I created a prestige class for these guys - the mage knight. Posting it here rather than create a new thread. Might be doing more of these in the future.

    Design Notes

    Spoiler
    Show
    The balance point here is about par with a typical optimized gish build, but with a simpler progression (and using the mage as a base, so hopefully around Tier 3 in any case). I think it might be a bit more powerful than the norm, since the base class it's intended for gives more features and gets less benefit for the +1 level casting progression thing, but hopefully not by too much.

    I also tried a bit of an experiment here, with a class that could theoretically actually get stronger (in the sense of gaining more of its limited resources) throughout an adventuring day, if it paces itself right. If it works like I want, it should cleanly kill the notion of the fifteen-minute adventuring day. If not, it'll probably just be a broken mechanic that I have to get rid of. ::Shrug::


    Description

    While many mages are considered frail scholars with little physical prowess, some are known to train in battle or dabble in more martially-oriented professions. Those that do sometimes get a taste for the adrenaline of physical combat and go on to become mage knights, warriors adept with blade and spell in nearly equal measure.

    The training of a mage knight isn't easy. It requires a strong battle nerve and tolerance for physical threats, as well as significant spellcasting prowess. Most importantly, the blending of physical and magical power requires that all mage knights have a thorough understanding of the Circle of Personal Augmentation. Of course, knowledge of this Circle is also simply practical for a mage who intends to wade into melee. Mage knights can generally expect to learn fewer Circles and powers over the course of their career, and generally forego advanced study of their signature spells. Additionally, mage knights face a somewhat slower advancement of their magic than a dedicated mage, although still faster than a mage who divides its efforts among spellcasting and martial classes.

    However, the mage knight also gains superior fighting ability above and beyond that granted by the normal combat training regimens a mage might practice, as well as several ways to meld their physical and magical talents, either simply by learning new tricks, prolonged self-enhancing spells, supplementing their magical items, or proofing themselves from certain types of magical effects. They also learn how to project powerful auras to enhance their allies. As skilled warriors and spellcasters who can passively improve their allies, mage knights often play the role of a guardian, drawing enemies to engage them directly to free up their companions for focusing on a powerful offensive.

    As the mage knight advances, it will learn to ward off attacks with its magic, cast spells in the midst of melee combat, strike down spells with its weapons and turn them to its advantage, revise its special skills to meet new challenges, and eventually, at the pinnacle of its art, execute a devastating flurry of attacks against multiple foes, channeling the full power of an entire Circle of magic through its attacks to impose a different spell on each enemy it strikes.

    Among the most unique capabilities of mage knights, however, is their ability to cast spells with reduced impact to their personal energy. One does not become a mage knight merely to have a sword as a fallback to spells, but because one wishes to engage in physical combat as much as, if not more than, magical. While mage knights lack the raw energy stores of a single-classed mage, they find it far easier to tap into their deeper reserves in the heat of battle. Couple that with the drive to triumph that boosts their power with every physical victory they attain, and over a prolonged series of fights, the mage knight who focuses on physical tactics and paces its spell power can end the day with even more energy than it began. Needless to say, mage knights are rarely in favor of the notion of stopping to rest in the midst of an adventure.

    Most mage knights begin as mages with the Combat Training power. With the expected training in battle casting represented by a level-appropriate Concentration skill, this is sufficient to allow a mage to enter the class at sixth level (although many will wait until seventh to get one more Circle). Mages who do not wish to spend a power on Combat Training can take a level in a class with good Fortitude saves, six levels of mage, and still enter mage knight at eighth level; due to the easier multiclassing options of mages, this will still allow access to ninth level spells by character level 20.

    Prerequisites
    Concentration: 8 Ranks.
    Base Fortitude Save: +4.
    Spellcasting: Must be able to cast third level or higher spells from at least three Circles, one of which must be the Circle of Personal Augmentation.

    Statistics
    HD: d10.
    Skills: Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana, Religion, Nature, Planes), Profession, Spellcraft, Swim, Tumble, Use Rope. The mage knight also gains the class skills for its casting modifier as additional class skills.
    Skill Points: 4.
    Proficiencies: The mage knight gains no additional proficiencies with any weapons or armor.

    The Mage Knight
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Spellcasting

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Spellskill, Auras, Battle Vigor|+1 Level of Mage.

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Spellskill, Mana Shield|-

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Spellskill|+1 Level of Mage.

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Spellskill, Battle Casting|-

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Spellskill|+1 Level of Mage.

    6th|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Spellskill, Spellsunder|-

    7th|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Spellskill|+1 Level of Mage.

    8th|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Spellskill, Spellskill Versatility|-

    9th|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Spellskill|+1 Level of Mage.

    10th|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Spellskill, Circlestrike Flurry|-[/table]

    Spellcasting: At the levels indicated on Table: The Mage Knight, the mage knight gains one additional effective level of mage for purposes of determining its highest-level spells. As normal, levels that do not advance casting provide one-half of an effective mage level for this purpose.

    The mage knight continues to gain additional Energy every level. The mage knight is trained to work magic in the heat of battle, and the adrenaline of the battle becomes part and parcel of the mage knight's spellcasting. Likewise, they simply don't put as much time into practicing the rituals and procedures that most mages uses to maintain their energy reserves. As a result, each level of mage knight only adds the mage knight's casting modifier (rather than 5 + casting modifier) to its daily Energy pool. However, its superior skill in casting spells during battle and other dangerous encounters allows it to increase its temporary Energy pool for each encounter by 2 for each mage knight level, rather than 1.

    The mage knight automatically treats the Circle of Personal Augmentation as a favored Circle. Additionally, when it uses the benefit of the Circle's Favored Ability, it gains an additional option. It may pay the normal Energy cost of the spell, and use its normal duration, but if it uses this option with another spell, the first spell immediately ends.

    Spellskills: Mage knights blend physical and magical training in a variety of ways. At each class level, the mage knight gains one of the following capabilities:

    Bonus Feat: The mage knight gains a bonus fighter feat or metamagic feat.

    Eldritch Fighting (Ex): The mage knight has used a regimen of magical enhancement and physical training to improve its fighting skills. The mage knight may substitute its casting modifier for a chosen ability modifier on one of the following stats: attack and damage rolls, Armor Class, Fortitude saves, Reflex saves, Will saves, or hit points gained each level.

    Immunity (Ex): The mage knight develops an immunity to a certain form of magic. It may choose any of the following immunities: Charm, Fear, Sleep, Pain, or Disease. At third level, it may add the following options: Poison, Compulsions, or Phantasms. At fifth level, it adds the following options: Ability Damage, Negative Levels, Petrification, or Death Effects. At seventh level, it may choose any single descriptor.

    Self Sufficient (Su): The mage knight binds latent magical energy to its body or equipment, providing itself with magical enhancements powerful enough to match up to magic items at no cost. The mage knight can choose one of the following bonuses to permanently acquire:

    A +1 Enhancement bonus to attack and damage rolls per three character levels.
    A +1 Armor Enhancement bonus per three character levels. This bonus is doubled if the mage knight uses a shield.
    A +1 Deflection bonus to AC per three character levels.
    A +1 Natural Armor Enhancement bonus per three character levels.
    A +1 Resistance bonus on all saving throws per three character levels.
    A +2 Enhancement bonus to a chosen ability score per five character levels. At each such interval, it also gains a two-point lower bonus to a different score (so a 20th level mage knight has a +8, +6, +4, and +2 Enhancement bonus).

    Stalwart Defense (Ex): The mage knight is trained to defend against incoming magical attacks. It may choose a single saving throw for each purchase of this spellskill. Whenever it succeeds a saving throw of that type against a spell or effect that causes a reduced effect on a failed save (such as Reflex Half, Fortitude Partial, etc) it instead ignores the effect entirely.

    Auras: Mage knights are often valuable centers and protectors of their parties. A mage knight can project an aura as a swift action. The aura extends out to a radius of five feet per class level. Any effects that apply to allies apply to the mage knight as well. The mage knight can maintain an aura as long as it is conscious. The mage knight can project the auras of any Circles that it can cast from, but it may only project one aura at a time.

    The primary effects of the aura are active for as long as the aura is. The secondary effects, which occur upon casting a spell of that Circle, require the mage knight to spend a swift action to activate (this does generally mean that the mage knight cannot switch to an aura and activate its secondary effect in the same round).

    Spoiler
    Show
    Ally Augmentation: All allies within the aura receive a Morale bonus on weapon damage rolls equal to the mage knight's casting modifier. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all allies within the aura receive a Morale bonus on attack rolls equal to the spell level for one round.

    Arcane Transit: All allies within the aura float a few inches off the ground. This allows them to walk over liquid and semisolid surfaces and ignore difficult terrain. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all allies within the aura may immediately teleport up to five feet per spell level, but they must end up within the aura.

    Area Alteration: All enemies treat the area of the aura as difficult terrain. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all enemies in the aura must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + spell level + casting modifier) or fall prone.

    Baleful Curses: All enemies within the area of the aura suffer a penalty on saving throws equal to one-third the mage knight's casting modifier (minimum 1). Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all enemies within the aura take a penalty on weapon damage rolls equal to the spell level for one round.

    Beguiling Influence: All allies within the area of the aura add the mage knight's casting modifier as a Morale bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all creatures in the aura with an Indifferent reaction to the mage knight and its allies change that reaction to Friendly for one minute.

    Curative Arts: All allies within the area of the aura gain Fast Healing equal to the mage knight's casting modifier, so long as they are below half their normal maximum hit points. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all allies within the aura are healed one point of damage per spell level per character level (using the ally's character level).

    Deceptive Glamours: All allies within the area of the aura gain Concealment. Whenever th mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all allies within the aura become Invisible for one round.

    Defensive Augmentation: All allies within the aura gain DR/- equal to the mage knight's casting modifier. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all allies with the aura gain a Morale bonus on AC or saving throws equal to the spell level for one round.

    Divinatory Revelations: All allies within the aura add the mage knight's casting modifier as a Morale bonus to all Knowledge checks. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all allies within the Circle may roll a d20. This roll will apply to the next d20 roll that character makes within the next round.

    Energy Evocation: The mage knight may choose an energy type when it projects this aura. All spells that deal damage of that energy type that are cast by allies of the mage knight within the aura deal additional damage equal to the mage knight's casting modifier. Whenever the mage casts a spell of this Circle, all of its allies are surrounded by an aura of energy of the same type as the spell for one round. These auras deal backlash damage equal to the spell's level on any non-reach melee hit against the ally.

    Ephemeral Constructs: The edge of the mage knight's aura holds back enemies. Opponents attempting to pass into or out of the aura's area must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 character level + casting mod) to do so. An opponent may automatically succeed this saving throw by spending a standard action. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell from this Circle, it may resize its aura to any radius up to its normal maximum.

    Explorer's Tricks: All allies within the aura gain a Competence bonus on one skill check per round equal to half the mage knight's casting modifier. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all allies within the aura gain a Competence bonus equal to the spell level on all skill checks for one round.

    Flash and Fanfare: The area of the aura is brightly illuminated, and at the mage knight's option, filled with a display of lights and sounds, that cause all enemies within the aura suffer a penalty on Spot and Listen checks equal to the mage knight's casting modifier. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell from this Circle, all enemies within the aura must make a Will save (DC 10 + spell level + casting modifier) or be Blinded and Deafened for one round.

    General Arcanum: The area of the aura is excluded from all hostile spells with a spell level less than or equal to half the mage knight's highest level spell, rounded down. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, it may roll a Dispel check against a single spell upon each enemy in the aura. The spell to be dispelled must be equal to lower level than the spell cast.

    Illusory Tricks: The area of the aura is filled with confusing illusions, allowing allies in the aura to hide even while being observed or without cover or concealment. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, a figment of each ally in the Circle appears, sharing that ally's space. The figment is under the control of the associated ally (they may move the figment up to 30' each round as a free action). The Will save to disbelieve these figments is 10 + the spell level + casting modifier, and each figment has an AC of 10 + the spell level. While not disbelieved, the figments may be used to flank. A figment that is hit by an attack or targeted by a spell is destroyed. The figments last for up to one minute.

    Mental Disruption: All enemies within the aura suffer a penalty on Will saves equal to half the mage knight's casting modifier. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all enemies within the aura must make a Will save (DC 10 + spell level + casting modifier) or become Confused for one round.

    Minion Conjuration: All allies within the aura are accompanied by a small minion, which shares its space normally but can be directed to flank a chosen enemy the ally threatens (a free action for the ally), attempting to avoid attacks of opportunity with a Tumble skill bonus equal to the mage knight's character level. The minion has an AC of 10 + the mage knight's character level, has hit points equal to the mage knight's casting score, and has saving throw modifiers equal to 2 + the mage knight's casting modifier. If the ally it is assigned to is attacked by a foe it threatens, the minion makes an attack of opportunity using the mage knight's attack bonus and dealing 1d8 + the mage knight's casting modifier damage if it hits. Each minion may make one attack of opportunity per round. If destroyed, a minion reforms at the end of the appropriate ally's next turn. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this school, the minions gain additional attacks of opportunity, and bonuses to their attack and damage rolls, equal to the spell level for one round.

    Natural Mysticism: All allies within the aura ignore difficult terrain and add the mage knight's casting modifier to saving throws against poison and disease. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all enemies in the aura become Entangled for one round, and if they fail a Reflex save (DC 10 + spell level + casting modifier), are immobilized as well.

    Oracular Perceptions: All allies within the aura can see invisibility and add the mage knight's casting modifier to Spot and Listen checks. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all illusions and darkness effects of a lower level within the aura are dispelled, and all enemies in the aura must make a Will save (DC 10 + spell level + casting modifier) or be outlined by faerie fire for one round.

    Personal Augmentation: Whenever an opponent within the aura spends its entire turn without taking an action that targets or affects the mage knight, it provokes an attack of opportunity from all foes who threaten it. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle that has a duration of longer than one round and no discharge, without using the Favored Ability of the Circle, all allies in the aura gain the benefits of the spell for one round.

    Physiological Assault: All enemies within the aura suffer a penalty on Fortitude saves equal to half the mage knight's casting modifier. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all enemies within the aura must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + spell level + casting modifier) or become Nauseated for one round.

    Purifying Rites: All allies within the aura reduce any ability damage, ability drain, or negative levels sustained by half the mage knight's casting modifier. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle that does not have an expensive component or XP cost, the spell affects all allies within the aura.

    Runes and Wards: Any attempt by enemies to teleport or scry into the area of the aura requires a caster level check, DC 10 + casting modifier + the mage knight's caster level, or the spell fails. Attempts to scry outside the aura must still make this check, or the scrying cannot perceive into the area of the aura. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all enemies within the aura must make a Will save (DC 10 + spell level + casting modifier) or be immediately ejected from the aura's area (unless space does not permit).

    Specialized Proofing: All allies within the aura add the mage knight's casting modifier to all saving throws against any effect that the mage knight is currently immune to. Whenever the mage knight casts a spell of this Circle, all allies within the aura gain one of the mage knight's immunities for as long as they remain in the aura. Granting a new immunity in this manner overrides the old one.


    Battle Vigor (Ex): Mage knights are not like most spellcasters, content to stay back from combat and sling their spells, to fall back and rest as they exert themselves. There is always something about a mage knight - a desire for thrill, for challenge, to assert physical superiority, to defeat a worthy foe in honorable combat, or sometimes just to test how far they can go without their spells - that pushes them to take up arms and press on in the face of any challenge. And this drive only heightens the mage knight's adrenaline-fueled power. The mage knight never sees its fighting skills as something to fall back on when it runs out of spells. Indeed, it is far more likely that the spells are the fallback, a well of power that grows with each victory until the mage knight unleashes it upon a hapless foe.

    In game terms, every time the mage knight strikes the finishing blow upon an opponent, its temporary Energy pool increases by half that foe's BAB. Additionally, whenever it scores a critical hit, its temporary Energy pool increases by its critical multiplier. The mage knight only gains this bonus through weapon attacks - a critical with a ranged touch spell or bringing down an enemy with a spell does not provide it. The mage knight cannot have more Energy in its temporary pool than its casting modifier times (its mage knight level + 1).

    Additionally, if the mage knight has more temporary Energy at the end of an encounter than its normal per-encounter total, it does not reset. It persists until the mage knight either ends an encounter with less than its normal total, loses or flees an encounter, falls unconscious, or goes at least one hour without a combat encounter. This temporary pool, however, cannot be used to cast spells outside of a combat encounter (the mage knight still needs the adrenaline of combat to tap into it), and spells cast from it still expire at the end of whatever encounter they were cast in.

    Mana Shield (Su): Starting at second level, the mage knight can use its magic to protect itself, spending Energy to prevent hit point damage on a point-for-point basis. This does not require an action. Mana Shield cannot be used to reduce the damage of energy burn.

    Battle Casting (Su): A fourth level mage knight is adept at casting spells in the midst of melee combat. Any time the mage knight takes an attack, full attack, or charge action, or uses any combat maneuver or ability that requires a standard or full-round action, allows at least one melee attack, and does not itself allow for spellcasting, the mage knight may quicken a spell as if it had the Quicken Spell feat. The spell level of the quickened spell cannot be higher than one-half the mage knight's class level. The mage knight cannot trigger Battle Vigor in any round that it uses this ability.

    Spellsunder (Su): Starting at sixth level, the mage knight can sunder spells with its blows. It may do so in one of three ways. First, it may attempt to sunder a spell that targets it or affects an area that it occupies by spending an attack of opportunity or immediate action. Second, it may attack the Effect of a spell (including a summoned creature or scrying sensor) as an attack action. Third, it may spend a swift action when attacking an opponent with active spells upon it to sunder one such spell per successful attack.

    To sunder a spell, the mage knight makes a check rolling 1d20 + its caster level OR base attack bonus + its casting modifier OR whichever modifier applies to its attack roll. The DC is 10 + the spell's caster level + the caster's primary spellcasting ability modifier. If the mage knight succeeds, it negates the spell.

    The mage knight can also attempt to sunder a single spell as a standard action (readying the action to sunder a targeted spell, or making a single attack against an effect or augmented foe). If it succeeds, it may cause one of the following effects instead of just negating the spell:

    Absorption: The mage knight absorbs the energy of the spell, increasing its current temporary Energy by twice the spell level - 1.

    Backlash: The mage knight brutally destroys the spell in such a way that the residual magic backlashes upon the caster. The caster sustains 3d6 points of damage per spell level.

    Containment: The mage knight draws the power of the spell into its weapon. The next target it strikes suffers the effects of the spell. The attack itself replace any attack rolls or Reflex saves required or allowed by the spell. Fortitude and Will saves are allowed normally. Other special defenses also function normally, but the mage knight gets a +1 bonus on the check to penetrate Spell Resistance per point by which its attack roll beat its target's AC. The spell only affects the target of the attack, even if it normally affects an area or multiple targets. If the spell normally covers an area for a duration, the target is considered exposed for one round. If the spell is not of a harmful nature, the target instead sustains 2d6 damage per spell level.

    Deflection: The mage knight redirects the spell's targeting as if it were the caster.

    Reaving: The mage knight gains the benefit of the spell for itself, even if it would not normally be a valid target. This can only be used for beneficial spells.

    Spellskill Versatility: Starting at eighth level, the mage knight gains additional versatility with its spellskills. It may now spend any feats gained from levels (but not bonus feats from other classes) to purchase additional spellskills, and once per day as a full-round action, it may swap a chosen spellskill for another, although spellskills spent to gain new Favored Circles cannot be swapped in or out.

    Circlestrike Flurry (Su): A tenth level mage knight can unleash a tremendous physical and magical assault. This costs the mage knight both a full-round and a swift action, and can be done no more than once per encounter. Using this ability immediately reduces the mage knight's temporary Energy to 0, if currently higher.

    When using this ability, the mage knight must spend Energy for a chosen spell level that it can cast, and choose one of its Circles. The mage knight then immediately bursts into a flurry of attacks, making a single attack against each opponent within its reach. With each successful attack, the mage knight visits the effects of a chosen spell upon that foe, as if the spell had been absorbed into its weapon using the Containment function of the Spellsunder ability. Each foe must be targeted with a different spell, all spells must be from the chosen Circle, and no spell can be higher level than the one the mage knight spent Energy on. However, lower level spells are automatically granted a Surge value equal to the difference in level. If the mage knight has access to the chosen Circle's Aura, using this ability automatically changes the mage knight's aura to that of the chosen Circle and activates the secondary ability (once, regardless of the number of attacks made or spells cast).
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2011-07-04 at 02:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    @base class:
    This looks really cool! I don't have much experience with 3.5/PF yet but I'll make sure to request permission to play a mage from my DM if I were to play a primary caster.

    I wonder how everyone ranks the class in terms of tiers. Did Quellian-dyrae succeed in making a tier 3 "wizard"?

    Also: I've never converted 3.5 classes to PF. Is there anything to pay attention to other than converting/merging the class skills to their PF counterparts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zejety View Post
    @base class:
    This looks really cool! I don't have much experience with 3.5/PF yet but I'll make sure to request permission to play a mage from my DM if I were to play a primary caster.
    Awesome! Glad you like it.

    I wonder how everyone ranks the class in terms of tiers. Did Quellian-dyrae succeed in making a tier 3 "wizard"?
    I do not for a moment deny that I am interested in knowing that as well.

    Also: I've never converted 3.5 classes to PF. Is there anything to pay attention to other than converting/merging the class skills to their PF counterparts?
    Not a Pathfinder guru by any means, although I did dip into it a bit for some aspects of the class (the Polymorphing Greater Power, specifying that the Divine Power spell should be the Pathfinder version...I looked into Pathfinder for those pesky top-level divination and illusion spells, but nothing appropriate there either).

    In the general sense, though, I'm pretty sure the class skills would be a primary thing, but also I think the chassis get streamlined some in terms of a fixed BAB to HD ratio. I believe it's poor BAB gets d6, average gets d8, and full gets d10 (with the barbarian's d12 as at least one exception).

    In the specific sense of this class, then, you'd probably just remove Concentration, add Fly, replace Decipher Script with Linguistics, and bump the HD to d6.

    The casting score based skills would also change. Search was folded into Perception, but something of the premise there was that the skills should all be based on the casting modifier, so maybe replace that with Appraise for Int-based. Wis-based changes Listen and Spot to Perception. Cha-based stays as-is.

    The Skill Training power wouldn't increase HD, since it's already d6.

    The big question would be the spells. I drew a lot of the spells from the SpC, and I know Pathfinder added quite a few new spells, some of which might be more appropriate. I don't think leaving the spells as-is (albeit, replaced by any Pathfinder equivalents) would be a problem, although it might be worth swapping out some SpC spells to PF spells of a similar theme to maximize compatibility.

    In terms of balance...eh, I think the general move Pathfinder made with casting classes was toning down some spells and boosting up some basic features, which is something of the goal of the mage, albeit to a greater degree. The Circles and Powers should give the mage sufficient build-flexibility to compare to Pathfinder classes. So, if it's balanced for 3.5, it's probably balanced fine for Pathfinder.
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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    There's no necromancy.
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    The necromancies are scattered about. Physiological Assault and Baleful Curses have most of the debuffs and save-or-dies. Mental Disruption has fear. Power Word: Kill and Symbol of Death are in Flash and Fanfare and Runes and Wards. And armies of undead come from a Greater Power rather than spells.
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    No Explosive Runes? BLASPHEMY.

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    LOL! Yeah, after all the "Make a book full of Explosive Runes and cast Dispel Magic on it" bombs you hear about every so often, I figured it'd be safer to leave that one out.
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    I don't really know. Tier 3 is about having much versatility, and being somewhat good at some fields, if you expend your resources to be good at it. it's not really a poer scale.

    Tier 2 however is about having really immense power within your field of expertise, but not being able to do everything. Tier 3 to 2 is not a linear progression. if you improved everything that a tier 3 has strong, you would end with a tier 1 class, and that's something that no one really wants: A clas withability to be really powerful in everything, some at once, that doesn't really spend resources to be really good at it, and that can change their "specialization" almost at will. In this way tier 2 and 1 are on the same power level, however tier 1 can have this power level on different things every day.

    So, while I'll be real with you that I didn't read to the full extension the spell lists, I can't really consider any full caster a tier 3 character. This class is obviously tier 2 in my opinion: You choose a path and you have good spells on it. You choose a path and you are very good on it. You can be better in a secondary role than characters focused on this role as their primary role, but you must pay the cost of not being able to fill all the roles.

    In any case, I really don't like spell point systems. with the big numbers, the mage can't really trade all his first level spells for higher level ones, but these systems always seem to fail at what they intend to do. I always mention this homebrew to anyone who makes a point based system: http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Mana-...ariant_Rule%29

    Well, in any case i'll take a careful look at the spell lists before I give a final judgment, but I see that you intended this class to be used with the current spellcasters, so you gave a lot of options and power to make them competitive. It may have been a little too much power, too less versatility, for a tier 3.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiBastet View Post
    So, while I'll be real with you that I didn't read to the full extension the spell lists, I can't really consider any full caster a tier 3 character. This class is obviously tier 2 in my opinion: You choose a path and you have good spells on it. You choose a path and you are very good on it. You can be better in a secondary role than characters focused on this role as their primary role, but you must pay the cost of not being able to fill all the roles.
    The beguiler and dread necromancer are tier 3 full-casters. The important distinction between a tier 3 full-caster and a tier 2 full-caster is that the tier 3 full-caster has a limited list which doesn't have the gamebreaking spells on it, while the tier 2 full casters (sorcerer, favored soul) have access to the same gamebreaking spells as wizards and clerics but can't have all of them.

    I'm not up to going over the spell list with a fine-toothed comb to see which side the Mage falls on, but the principle of making a tier 3 by giving a full-caster a firmly restricted spell list is sound.

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    It's the question about power. In this case the power level of the spells. I'll have to comb it too, but considering you can have a really large list, can cast free spells and you can autosurge all of them, it screams Power to me.
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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    As far as I can see it, the spell lists contain sufficient spells of the "omg goddamn it you must have it", except for the blast "OMG NOW!" spells. I can understand that becausethe thematic spells are somewhat hard to find and there's pretty much only they. But i also understand that in a PF game they aren't all that bad also.

    However, this class strikes me very similar to the ardent: Limited list of choices, real power in your choices, dip friendly, abilities to let you overdo it, and even the PP. As the ardent is considered tier 2, then I'm pretty sure this is tier 2 too. Low tier 2, as people claim the Ardent is, but tier 2 in any case.

    But don't consider this some kind of failure. It's a good tier 2 class, better than others around. If I didn't have my sorcerer with a very similar idea (making all the specialized caster into one and allowing you to choose and dip around other disciplines), I could even use it.

    My dm issue with it, however, is that there's no pre-requisite or something to the special abilities and such. You can take any and make a very strange salad. I understand this is the intent, to make a "every conceivable spellcaster archetype here", but really strikes me as a little... odd.
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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    Giving it a quick skim, the spells that jump out as traditional problems of the T1/T2 variety that are on the list are Time Stop, Teleport, and Contact Other Plane. COP is one of those that's as much of a problem as the DM lets it be, Teleport really changes how a lot works, and with Time Stop it's hard to say how big an issue it is with a restricted spell list - definitely a powerhouse, though.

    As a rule of thumb, the thing to watch out for that pushes you from T3 to T2 is spells that change or break the rules entirely. High DCs and piles of damage make you really good at the "conventional" game, while the gamebreakers that make you T1/T2 are the ones that let you play a different game entirely - extra actions, filching monster abilities, economy-busters and so on.

    On the basis of skimming the spell list, I'd put the class at the low end of T2 or the high end of T3 depending on what circles are picked. A lot of the prime offenders simply aren't on the list, and it's harder to cherry-pick the ones that are than with a "traditional" T2.

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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    That's a fair enough analysis. And don't get me wrong, if in trying to create a flexible Tier 3 mage I wound up with a fairly well-balanced Tier 2, I'm fine with that. To be honest, I'm leery of the notion that the game-breaking spells are a prerequisite for Tiers 1 and 2, because to me that basically means Tiers 1 and 2 must be inherently broken. I like to think that you can make a balanced Tier 1 or 2 character, but still play at that Tier.

    The main thing that makes the mage feel Tier 3 to me is the lack of cherry-picking. A sorcerer gets way less spells known, but a broader variety of spells. It may not have the perfect spell for the situation (like the wizard), but it will almost certainly have a spell that can suit the situation, if it chooses with care.

    The other thing, the one that I believe balances all the extras the mage gets, is the Energy system. A 20th level sorcerer with Cha 36 has eight 9th level spells per day...and eight 8th, 7th, and 6th level spells, and 9 or 10 of each of the lower levels.

    A 20th level mage with Cha 36 could indeed cast eight 9th level spells in a day, but that would be it for its main Energy pool. It does have fallbacks, though, so while it's easier to run out of power than with a sorcerer, it's going to be able to contribute better once it does.

    Or, that's the theory at any rate. Whether or not that actually fits Tier 3...I dunno.

    One thing I have been noticing is that autosurge is being brought up frequently. The surging mechanic is mainly a way to keep lower-level spells viable, giving them level-appropriate DCs and damage caps, but with a lower Energy cost since they aren't actually higher-level spells. I hadn't thought too much of it, but from what I'm seeing, it seems to be a standout power. So I'm going to move that one up to Greater Power status.

    I'm interested that Contact Other Planes is considered one of the game-changers. I actually originally wanted to take Contact Other Planes and Commune out and create a Greater Power for that sort of "ask the DM what you want to know" magic (largely because, I don't particularly like how the existing spells do it). I ended up putting them back due to a lack of good spells for the Circle, but I might take another look and see if I can do that.

    Teleportation is one of my personal favorite forms of magic, but it was also brought up above and I know it's commonly cited as a game-changer. The teleport spells all have an "OR" option with them anyway, so maybe they'd also serve better as a Greater Power.

    And come to think of it, resurrection might as well.

    EDIT: Time Stop is an interesting case. It actually might be a worry here, because even split up into several Circles, one area where the mage's style is a huge advantage is in the area of buffing. One serious balance concern I have about the mage is the possibility of snagging all the augment Circles (Ally Augmentation, Defensive Augmentation, Personal Augmentation, and Specialized Proofing), and going in loaded up with immunities and stat buffs. I'm not sure if it's a serious problem, considering the Energy costs, but if anyone wants to weigh in on that I'd be interested in getting some more opinions.

    Thanks for the analyses!
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2011-07-05 at 12:38 AM.
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    Autosurge is harmless. It means your old spells remain usable rather than having worthlessly low DCs, since the way maximum surge value is calculated means it caps out at a DC equal to your highest-level spell. There might be some corner cases where the level-cap expansion has unforeseen consequences but I'd have to dredge to think of any that matter very much (increasing the healing on lower Cure Wounds spells isn't exactly a game-changer). If it expanded caps other than caster level it'd be a problem with Color Spray and so on, but... it doesn't.

    Contact Other Plane is the backbone of a popular bit of T1 theorycraft where you cast it so much that you know everything ever. It's very DM-dependent and a potential headache. Meh. Everyone I know plays it a different way.

    Teleport is a game-changer because suddenly the travel part of an adventure can just be gone. There's no negotiating the treacherous mountain pass, there's no long trek through the desert, there's no attack by pirates while you sail to your destination - once you know where you're going, boom, you're there. Whether this is good or bad is a matter of personal taste. Its alternate, Plane Shift, is a game-changer in its own way, although usually one that gives the GM more options rather than fewer.

    Resurrection, Teleport, and COP are all spells that could be Powers or Greater Powers, but they fit so closely into existing circles that it seems kind of weird to disconnect them from circles entirely. One thing that comes to mind would be to grant an extra Greater Power that's specifically tied to your favored circle, so that Resurrection is a greater power but it's one that only people with a foundation of strong healing magic can develop.

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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    Autosurge is harmless. It means your old spells remain usable rather than having worthlessly low DCs, since the way maximum surge value is calculated means it caps out at a DC equal to your highest-level spell. There might be some corner cases where the level-cap expansion has unforeseen consequences but I'd have to dredge to think of any that matter very much (increasing the healing on lower Cure Wounds spells isn't exactly a game-changer). If it expanded caps other than caster level it'd be a problem with Color Spray and so on, but... it doesn't.
    That was my original theory as well, but it's been brought up enough that I'm going to err on the side of caution. Besides, it makes a nice "nothing else really fits my character" Greater Power.

    Contact Other Plane is the backbone of a popular bit of T1 theorycraft where you cast it so much that you know everything ever. It's very DM-dependent and a potential headache. Meh. Everyone I know plays it a different way.
    That's what I figured, which means that it really wouldn't hurt the mage. I might save myself some trouble and leave them in there, but still write up a Greater Power divination because...well, honestly, because the way I'd like to see divinations get used and the way they can actually get used are two very different things.

    Teleport is a game-changer because suddenly the travel part of an adventure can just be gone. There's no negotiating the treacherous mountain pass, there's no long trek through the desert, there's no attack by pirates while you sail to your destination - once you know where you're going, boom, you're there. Whether this is good or bad is a matter of personal taste. Its alternate, Plane Shift, is a game-changer in its own way, although usually one that gives the GM more options rather than fewer.
    Yeah, it really does deserve Greater Power status, I think.

    Resurrection, Teleport, and COP are all spells that could be Powers or Greater Powers, but they fit so closely into existing circles that it seems kind of weird to disconnect them from circles entirely. One thing that comes to mind would be to grant an extra Greater Power that's specifically tied to your favored circle, so that Resurrection is a greater power but it's one that only people with a foundation of strong healing magic can develop.
    I'm already on it. Well, sort of. I'm giving each Greater Power (probably except for Autosurge, since it's pretty one-size-fits-all) a required Circle, so you can't have, say, absolutely no healing ability and then suddenly bam resurrection at 11th, or something equally ludicrous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    That was my original theory as well, but it's been brought up enough that I'm going to err on the side of caution. Besides, it makes a nice "nothing else really fits my character" Greater Power.
    Looking back through the thread, only one person has had an issue with autosurge that wasn't a result of "misread how the value is calculated". Personally, I probably wouldn't take it as a greater power - you only get one, and the others are actual new capabilities instead of a medium-strength generic boost.

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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    Was there? Okay, fair enough. Autosurge back to standard Power. I did remove the, err, auto-Autosurge functions of Signature Spells and Favored Circle, they should be solid enough as-is and this way the only way to Autosurge is with the Power itself.

    Also added the new Divinatory Query, Teleporation, and Resurrection Greater Powers, as well as a "Ritualism" Greater Power which might be broken but as I was working on the Resurrection one I liked the system and thought it could be expanded, so, we'll see. I think the costs and time should be sufficient to mitigate the versatility and potential power, but I'm not 100% sure.
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    This looks great to me. Is there a way to Rebuke instead of Turn?
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    I was also a little against autosurge, but was ignored. No wonder, in the internet.

    Autosurge has a problem with your idea of (you can cast as many 9th spells as a generic caster, but that's all you can cast in the day), because the spell costs are so different, and because you removed many of the game changing high level spells, many times I feel that there's no need to use your highest level spell to solve something of your archetype (mainly with blasting and healing, not the most stellar choices of tatics, but that's because the game has save or suck and die spells that really are better, something you're trying to improve on), heck, it's much better to cast your lower level spells since their damage will be scaled more or less to what a spell of this level would do, and their dc will go to more or less the level of the spells you would be able to cast as highest level.

    I didn't look very far at the math, but you could stick to your favorite save or suck or save or die or whatever spell, that will have a DC as high as your highest level spell. So, for most of the bread and butter, why care? It's a simplistic review, and if it's the goal of autosurge, then wow, go for it.

    You see, the thing I said about autosurge was more or less saying that it's a feature that clearly cements it on the way to tier 2. If it's the goal, the ability is fine. I fear autosurge will be one of those "obrigatory class featueres that eat one of your options", since most players I know would love to be able to use their lower level spells, and with that casting many many many more spells per day and have them at more or less the level of their highest level and with a dc similar to their highest level.

    Also, the abiity is a little odd as a greater power.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiBastet View Post
    I was also a little against autosurge, but was ignored. No wonder, in the internet.
    You weren't ignored. You were the one person who didn't then say "oh, wait, I misread how it worked", like I mentioned.

    I didn't look very far at the math, but you could stick to your favorite save or suck or save or die or whatever spell, that will have a DC as high as your highest level spell.
    You see, the thing I said about autosurge was more or less saying that it's a feature that clearly cements it on the way to tier 2.
    Being able to deal solid damage on a consistent basis isn't what makes a class tier 2 instead of tier 3, and neither is tossing out a lot of save-or-suck with a level-appropriate DC. If it was, the warblade and totemist would be up there with or above the sorcerer. The gap between 1-2 and everyone else is bridged by the "game-changers" - that is, the things like Teleport, Celerity, Fabricate, Contact Other Plane, and so on that literally let the top casters play a different game than the rest of the peons down in tiers 3 and lower. Tier 3 is really quite good at the game that everyone else is playing; Tier 2 doesn't even have to play that game if they don't want to.

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    Default Re: Tier 3 (hopefully) Mage Class

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    Rant
    When i mention that an ability further cements the class to tier 2, giving it Power, Imention as part of the class.

    Your lecture about tiers based on the comment as a stand-alone ability is not only completly unnecessary, but also really out of place. You bring nothing to the discussion singling part of my intent ("this ability is a plus on the tier 2 side" vs "this ability is the hallmark of a tier 2 char") and ranting over it.

    That or you don't understand what I say. Either way I'm done helping this guy while you intend to be smartass.

    Good luck op.
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