View Full Version : Magus of the Unseen PrC (PEACH)

2012-08-25, 10:49 AM
Lore of the Unseen (Metamagic)
Prerequisite: Craft (Painting) 4 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks
Benefit: Any figment or glamer spell with a visual component that allows a Will save to disbelieve can be cast as an Unseen spell. To prepare a spell as an Unseen spell, you need to make a painting of the illusion you want to create, at full scale. This takes a varying amount of time and supplies, depending on size (see Table), and requires a Craft (Painting) check. The Unseen spell uses the painting as a material component, replacing any other material or focus components that do not have a gp cost, and leaving a blank canvas behind.
The DC to discover that the figment or glamer is an illusion is the result of your Craft (Painting) check, instead of the normal DC. You use the craft check even if it is lower than your normal DC. Also, if you are using this spell to disguise someone (such as the Disguise Self spell), you use the Craft check instead of making a Disguise check. Spell Focus (Illusion) and Greater Spell Focus (Illusion) still increase the DC as normal.
An Unseen spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell's actual level.

Table 1: Cost and Preparation Time of Illusions

{table=head]Size|Size of Canvas|Paint Used|Time|Quick Sketch Time

Fine|1' x 1'|1/8 pots|20 min.|4 min.

Diminutive|1' x 1'|¼ pots|1 hr.|12 min.

Tiny|1' x 1'|½ pots|4 hrs.|48 min.

Small|3' x 2'|2 pots|1 day|2 hrs.

Medium|6' x 4'|8 pots|4 days|8 hrs.

Large|10' x 6'|20 pots|10 days|2 days

Huge|20' x 12'|80 pots|40 days|8 days[/table]

Quick Sketch: The caster can sacrifice quality for speed. A quick sketch uses only one fifth the time, but suffers a -10 penalty to the Craft check.

Table 2: New Equipment


Canvas, 20' x 12'|120 lbs.|2,000 gp (Special Order Only)

Canvas, 10' x 6'|30 lbs.|400 gp

Canvas, 6' x 4'|12 lbs.|120 gp

Canvas, 3' x 2'|3 lbs.|30 gp

Canvas, 1' x 1'|½ lbs.|5 gp

Case, Painting,3'|4 lbs.|15 gp

Case, Painting, 6'|8 lbs.|40 gp

Easel, Artist's|12 lbs.|12 gp

Paint, Alchemical|½ lbs.|20 gp per pot

Paint, Oil|½ lbs.|6 gp per pot

Paint, Water|½ lbs.|3 gp per pot

Paintbrushes, Set|
-|4 sp

Palette|1 lb.|1 gp[/table]

Paint, Alchemical: These rich paints give a deeper and richer color, adding a +2 enhancement bonus to your Craft (Painting) check. Using alchemical paints requires buying ten pots to have a full set of colors.
Paint, Oil: At least ten pots of differently colored oil paints are required to have a full set.
Paint, Water: These paints are generally less firm and tend to be faded, suffering a -4 penalty to your Craft (Painting) check when they are used. However, they have the advantage that they can be stored in dehydrated form, in which they weigh only one tenth their normal weight. At least four pots of differently colored water paints are required to have a full set.

I've worded the feat as carefully as possible to ensure that it can not be applied to damaging or debuffing spells, just “traditional” illusions. (Technically it could be applied to Illusory Pit from Complete Arcane, but we've houseruled that to be a phantasm). That said, I don't own every d20 book ever written – I'm using Core and Complete Arcane, plus some odds and ends from the web and Dragon magazine – so there may be damaging / debuffing spells out there this could apply to. If necessary, I'll just limit it to a hard list of spells.
I'm not sure what the appropriate level adjustment is. On the one hand, at low levels, the cost, time for preparation, and difficulty of transporting the materials are severe enough that it could easily be +0. On the other hand, at high levels, once you pick up some +20 crafting items and extradimensional storage space, you're talking about an almost unbeatable DC in exchange for some time. Back on the original hand again, the prep time is serious and it can't be applied to traditional combat spells. I chose +1 spell level as a compromise between the two, but I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have about that.

Magus of the Unseen
“I understand your concern, Lord Gregorius, but I can assure you no such organization as “The Order of the Unseen” exists, and the Republic of Cusaro does not employ magic-users in any capacity. We categorically deny any involvement in the theft of these letters, and wish you the best of luck finding the perpetrators.”

The Order of the Unseen is a loose-knit secret society of illusionists based out of the city-state of Cusaro (think fantasy-Venice), with deep connections to Cusaran intelligence. Although not all members of the Unseen are spies – and certainly most Cusaran spies are not Magi – there is a notable overlap between the higher echelons of the Cusaran secret service and the Order.
The Order of the Unseen was founded some sixty years ago by Sari al-Azuri as a school for secret magical techniques said to have been acquired from ruins in the far southern deserts of Khadar (although even the Order itself is not sure if that's actually where she obtained them). The connection to Cusaran intelligence dates from the Order's very beginning, as Sari was herself at one point the Republic's Spymaster, and used the intelligence service as a recruiting ground for candidates for the Unseen and vice-versa. Since her disappearance some forty years ago, the Unseen have been led by the Unseen Council, which consists of those Magi of at least twelfth caster level (currently numbering five). The Council has no budget other than its members' personal fortunes and few formal powers besides reviewing candidates for induction, and in practice the Unseen function primarily as a network of acquaintances rather than as a formal group.
Magi of the Unseen focus heavily on the use of figments and glamers, and in particular on the casting of illusions covertly. To the Unseen, a good wizard can deceive others into believing his illusions are real – but a great wizard can deceive others into thinking he is not a spellcaster at all.

Becoming a Magus of the Unseen
Candidates for the Unseen are nominated by existing members, and then observed and tested over a period of time. By far the most common method is to arrange for candidates to be recruited by Cusaran intelligence which, since about a quarter of the secret service's upper leadership are members of the Unseen, gives plentiful opportunity for keeping an eye on them. If, after a period of observation, the candidate is approved by the Unseen Council, the nominating member of the Unseen will approach them and offer instruction in the Lore of the Unseen. Once they have mastered this feat – or if they already know it – they will be formally inducted in a brief ceremony before the Unseen Council.
Besides the requirements for spellcasting ability and some talent for painting, the main thing the Unseen look for in potential members is discretion, trustworthiness, and a certain seriousness of character. The Unseen are not interested in pranksters or those who cannot keep their secrets. Also, although it is not technically a requirement, they are disinclined to induct those whose activities are inimical to the interests of the Republic, or who are chaotic or evil. In the early years of the Order one candidate for induction turned out to be an agent of a foreign intelligence service, and through him the Lore of the Unseen feat passed into circulation among illusionists outside the Order. Since then they have taken stronger precautions, and it is said the Unseen Council has methods to determine those who are trustworthy and those who are not.

Hit Die: d4.

Feats: Lore of the Unseen, Spell Focus (Illusion)
Skills: Bluff 4 ranks, Craft (Painting) 8 ranks.
Spells: Able to cast invisibility and major image as arcane spells.
Special: Must be recruited by the Order of the Unseen.

Class Skills:
The Magus of the Unseen's class skills are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (The Planes) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

{table=head]Level:|BAB:|Fort:|Ref:|Will:|Special:|Spells per Day:

1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Unseen Library, Concealed Spell, Hold Picture|+1 level of existing class

2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Dextrous Image|+1 level of existing class

3rd|+1|+1|+1|+3|Skill Boost|+1 level of existing class

4th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Improved Concealed Spell|+1 level of existing class

5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Disbelief|+1 level of existing class[/table]

Weapons and Armor Proficiencies: The Magus of the Unseen gains proficiency with no weapons or armor.
Spellcasting: When a new Magus of the Unseen level is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in whatever arcane spellcasting class in which he could cast major image before he added the prestige class level. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained, except for an increased effective caster level.
Unseen Library: Magi of the Unseen add the following spells to their class spell lists: Glibness (3rd), Greater Subtle Image (4th level), Intelligent Image (9th level), Reactive Image (7th level), Subtle Image (2nd level).
Concealed Spell: At 1st level, a Magus of the Unseen can conceal the gestures and incantations used to cast an Unseen spell in normal conversation. This requires a Sleight of Hand check, DC 10 + spell level; your check has a -5 penalty if the spell has Verbal or Somatic components, or -10 for both. On a success, the spell is cast, but it is not apparent to anyone that you have cast the spell. On a failure the spell is still cast, but it is obvious that you were working magic. Anyone observing you can make a Spellcraft or Spot check, with DC equal to your Sleight of Hand check, to realize you were working magic; however, people who are not paying specific attention to you suffer a -10 penalty to their check.
Hold Picture (Sp): A Magus of the Unseen may consume the painted image of an Unseen spell ahead of time. By spending one minute concentrating, the Magus consumes the painted image and then no longer needs to have it with her when she casts the Unseen spell. A Magus of the Unseen may hold up to her class level in painted images in this fashion, and may dismiss any that she no longer wants as a swift action. A Magus holding one or more images in this fashion radiates an aura of illusion magic equivalent to an active 3rd level spell for each image held in this fashion; this aura can be suppressed using the usual methods.
Dextrous Image (Ex): At 2nd level, you may add your Intelligence bonus as a dodge bonus to the AC of any illusions you create.
Skill Boost (Ex): At 3rd level, you add your bonus from Spell Focus (Illusion) and Greater Spell Focus (Illusion) to your Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, and Sleight of Hand skills as a competence bonus.
Improved Concealed Spell: At 4th level, a Magus of the Unseen may use her Concealed Spell ability with any figment or glamer spell, not just an Unseen spell.
Disbelief (Ex): A Magus of the Unseen knows better than to believe their own eyes. At 5th level, Magi of the Unseen automatically receive a saving throw whenever they first perceive an illusion, without the need to study or interact with the illusion. This happens instantaneously and automatically, without the need to spend an action.

The Unseen in the World
“The Unseen? Never heard of them.”

The Unseen have been very successful in keeping their secrets secret, including the fact of their very existence – any Knowledge, Gather Information, or other check to learn anything about them has a minimum DC of 40. Furthermore, most people who have heard of them believe them to be either an urban legend or to have become defunct decades ago. About the only rule of any consequence that the Unseen lay on their members is discretion regarding their existence. Any arcane caster who manages to discover their existence and is not obviously evil or working for an enemy of Cusaro is going to be offered a job.
Most of the Unseen work for or are retired from Cusaran intelligence. Some of the Magi work as higher-level management in the secret service, but lower-level Magi generally work as freelance agents on a contingency basis - the secret service contacts them when they have a job for them and pays them on a fee-for-mission basis, but does not use them as long-term agents.

This is intended as a PrC for social adventurers rather than dungeoneers.
The Subtle Image spells are the same as Silent Image and Major Image, but they're one level higher and you can control their magic aura ala Nystul's Magic Aura, so they can't be penetrated by Detect Magic and its descendants (they can still be penetrated by True Seeing). I'm considering replacing them with a Subtle Spell class feature that would allow you to do that to any figment or glamer spell. Reactive Image is a Permanent Image that can be programmed to respond to events in a very limited fashion. Intelligent Image is a Permanent Image with a small controlling intelligence that can react to events around it.
All of the Unseen Library spells (except Glibness) can only be cast as Unseen spells. I'll post them in a separate post.
The three big things here, in my opinion, are the skills, Concealed Spell, and Disbelief. Unseen Library is cool, but the spells could easily be straight Sor/Wiz spells; it's there as a flavor thing. As it stands, you don't even get the spells for free, you just add them to your class spell list – although I might change that. Skill Boost is pretty trivial. Dextrous Illusion is nice – especially since one of the few ways to disbelieve an Image without having to make a Will save is to hit it with a sword – but even with the Int bonus, the AC of your typical Image is pretty terrible. (The original version of Dextrous Image let you substitute a Concentration check for AC, but I decided that was too much.) Hold Picture is nice but could be replaced by some concealed extradimensional storage space.
I want to at least give the class something small at every level just for flavor purposes. If I take one or more of the abilities out, I'd like to replace them with something – not even anything with game effects, just a cherry for bothering to take the level. Something like your eyes change color – not that specifically, but something like that.
I really like the idea of adding something related to Invisibility to the class – they are, after all, Magi of the Unseen – but I haven't been able to think of anything other than extending the duration, and I don't think there's room as a 5-level class. I've thought of extending the class to 10 levels, but I don't think I have enough there to fill up ten levels of space.

2012-08-26, 09:06 PM
Intelligent Image
Illusion (Figment)
Level: MotU-9
Components: V, S, M, XP (optional)
Effect: Visual figment that cannot extend beyond a 20-ft. Cube + one 10-ft. cube / level (S)
Duration: 1 day per level (D)

This spell functions like Permanent Image, except that the image is imbued with a basic intelligence that can control it in response to outside stimuli.
The intelligent spirit has only Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 8. It will follow instructions as best as it can. It can observe anything happening within its effect area and in the nearby vicinity using the five basic senses, plus Detect Magic and darkvision 60'. The Intelligent Image can speak one language known to the caster.
When the caster first casts the spell, he can optionally imbue it with a single illusion spell of third level or lower. This costs 100 XP and requires the caster to expend the spell. The Intelligent Image can then cast the spell once.
This spell can only be cast as an Unseen spell.
Material Component: Powdered jade worth 200 gp.
Optional XP Component: 100 XP.

Reactive Image
Illusion (Figment)
Level: MotU-7
Effect: Visual figment that cannot extend beyond a 20-ft. Cube + one 10-ft. cube / level (S)
Duration: Permanent (D)

This spell functions like Silent Image, except for the above, and it can be programmed to react to external stimuli. The figment includes visual, auditory, olfactory, and thermal elements, including intelligible speech.
You may set the basic state of the image, as well as one additional alternate state per six caster levels. Each state consists of an image, which can be stationary or in motion, provided its motion is repetitive (e.g., a lumberman sawing a log, a guard marching up and down). Each alternate state has a trigger, just like Programmed Image; when the trigger is met, the Reactive Image will change to the additional state until the trigger is no longer present. The triggers may be ranked by priority to determine which will activate if multiple triggers are present. The Reactive Image cannot be reprogrammed once it is cast.
Reactive Image can only be cast as an Unseen spell, and each alternate state requires a separate painting, and has a separate DC to disbelieve.
Material Component: A bit of jade dust worth 25 gp for each state (including the basic state), and a length of gold wire costing 50 gp.

Subtle Image
Illusion (Figment)
Level: MotU-2
Duration: Concentration + 1 round

This spell functions like Silent Image, except that you can control its magic aura in the same fashion as Nystul's Magic Aura. It can still be penetrated by True Seeing.
This spell can only be cast as an Unseen spell.

Subtle Image, Greater
Illusion (Figment)
Level: MotU-4

This spell functions like Major Image, except that you can control its magic aura in the same fashion as Nystul's Magic Aura. It can still be penetrated by True Seeing.
This spell can only be cast as an Unseen spell.