The Mage's Assistant
"Ooh, what does this do?"
-Jeffrey, Mage's Assistant
There's always an ingredient in the cellar, in the garden, or in the the attic. There's always a magic item to dust. There's always a library to reorganize. There's always new spells to test. Guess who gets the job? Mage's Assistants aren't Mage's Apprentices. Nowhere close. They aren't taught by their master, but rather serve them. However, hanging around Wizards for too long does cause some... interesting effects. And reading a bit in your spare time never hurts.
Becoming a Mage's Assistant
Mage's Assistants are usually sent off by poor families to bring in some money and hopefully learn a parlor trick or two to bring in some more. The only real criteria are to not get in the way too much and whatever is asked of you. The Master knows what he's doing. Most of the time.
Skills: Climb 1, Profession (Mage's Assistant) 6, Spellcraft 1
Special: Must serve an individual with at least one level in an Arcane spellcasting class.
Skill Points each level: 4+Intelligence Modifier
Class Skills: Balance, Climb, Concentration, Decipher Script, Hide, Knowledge (Arcana), Move Silently, Profession, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device
Hit Dice: d6
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Mage's Assistant gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Accustomed: When you work for a spellcaster, you get exposed to spells. A lot. After a while you just start getting used to the random spells and exploding magic items. This comes in the form of a bonus to all saves against spells and spell-like abilities.
Minor Schooling: Assistants are far less likely to get into trouble if they know what they're doing. Because of this, their Masters give them a bit of minor schooling. They add their Assistant level as a bonus to Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft.
A Trick or Two: Hanging out in a Wizard's tower every day, what are you going to do when you get bored? You certainly aren't going to go tell Master that you finished shining his collection of stuffed Otyughs. How about reading a book or two? Mage's Assistants eventually pick up on a couple of lower-level spells. When they attain this ability, they select two 0-level spells from the Wizard's spell list. They may now use each of these once per day as a spell-like ability with the save being based off of their Intelligence and their effective CL equal to their Assistant level. If they ever become a Wizard, levels in Wizard stack with levels in Assistant for determining the CL.
Evasion: Wizards like things that go boom and often try to create new ways to achieve this. This doesn't always go as planned. Being able to dodge Evocation is a good way to increase an Assistant's longevity. Assistants gain Evasion, as the Rogue ability of the same name, at 2nd level.
A Trick or Three: After much work, the Assistant has learned to cast a single first level spell from the Wizard spell list once per day at a CL equal to their Assistant level as a spell-like ability. If they ever become a Wizard, levels in Wizard stack with levels in Assistant for determining the CL.
Spell Comprehension: Assistants eventually build up enough knowledge of Wizard magic to cast Prepared spells just as a Wizard does. They gain two 0-level spell slots and a single 1st-level slot. These are in addition to the spells that they've mastered. The caster level of these spells is equal to their Assistant level.
Note: Spells and abilities from A Trick or Two, A Trick or Three, and Spell Comprehension are all subjected to Arcane Spell Failure due to armor.
And that's it. That's the last of my NPC PrCs. I realize that this class isn't near as good at casting as an Adept is, but it isn't meant to be a primary caster. It's meant to have a smattering of Arcane talents in addition to some much-needed magic survivability.