The Burning mages
While most people show a spark of magic, only a few have enough talent (and opportunity) to become a sorcerer or wizard. But fear not! Arcane might can be yours; the way is that of the burning mage.
The burning mages represent one of the most extreme forms of intuitive and uncontrolled magic. Compared to a burning mage the sorcerer has a cold, analyzing approach to magic.
A burning mage quite literally puts his tiny magical spark on fire and use it to fuel his magic.
Now, you may ask, is there a drawback? Surely there must be some form of price for this, else the wizards and the sorcerers would long ago abandoned their craft?
Of course there is. Even though this way can give almost anyone access to arcane magic, the complete lack of real magical talent or any shred of understanding of the workings of magic leaves the burning mages confined to the most basic of spells. They are also completely unable to perform any other act of magic other than “causing destruction”. Further, the Fire damages their soul and slowly wears down the mind, turning them into walking beacon fires of magic and little else.
Becoming a burning mage is easy. One only needs to find another burning mage and embrace the Fire. Usually, the basic training (= to level 1) takes less than two weeks and the recruit can expect to reach the peek of power in under two years.
Most burning mages are human. Only rarely will an elf sacrifice her long life in exchange for the short moment of glory the Fire grants. People with magical talent and/or access to wizard training will seldom downgrade their career, though patience-lacking wizard students occasionally leave their books and seek out the Fire.
The vast majority of burning mages are ordinary humans – farmers, labourers, low-grade soldiers or even slaves – seeking to improve their lot in life. They are attracted by the promises of a comfortable life in the service of some warlord of king and the short and easy way to it.
This class is not intended to be a player class; it’s designed to be an NPC-class. It’s severely underpowered compared to other spellcasting classes and shoe-horned into one role and one role only. If someone actually plays it that player should get something like 300% bonus experience to represent how easy the burning spellcasting is to learn.
2 + int mod
(Unlike other classes, a burning mage may receive negative amounts of skill points on level up. In that case the burning mage must select a non-class skill to lose a rank. This represents the gradual breakdown of the burning mages mind.)
Concentration (con), Craft (int), Intimidate (cha), Profession (wis), Spellcraft (int)
Every level the burning mage loses one point of intelligence. This loss is permanent and can not be restored in any way much like the constitution loss a first level character suffers during resurrection.
Setting your arcane gift on fire interfers with other arcane spellcasting. Deduct your burning mage level from every other arcane caster class to determine spellcasting abilities.
|Level || BAB || Fort || Ref || Will || Class features || Spells per day (0, 1, 2, 3)|
|1st || +0 || +0 || +0 || +1 || Burning Magic, Fire Up, Chaotic Magic || 3, 0|
|2nd || +1 || +0 || +0 || +1 || - || 4, 1|
|3rd || +1 || +1 || +0 || +2 || Flaming Soul || 4, 2, 0|
|4th || +2 || +1 || +0 || +2 || Flowing Fire || 4, 2, 1, 0|
|5th || +2 || +2 || +1 || +3 || Last Strike || 4, 3, 2, 1|
|6th || +3 || +3 || +1 || +3 || Living Chaos || 4, 3, 3, 2|
|Spells known || 0 || 1 || 2 || 3 |
|1st || 1 || 1 || 0 || 0|
|2nd || 2 || 1 || 0 || 0|
|3rd || 2 || 2 || 1 || 0|
|4th || 2 || 2 || 2 || 1|
|5th || 2 || 2 || 2 || 1|
|6th || 2 || 2 || 2 || 1|
Level 0: Flare, Dancing lights, Light, Repair minior damage
Level 1: Burning hands, Magic missile, Shocking grasp, Lesser orb of fire, Fist of stone
Level 2: Flaming sphere, Schorching ray, Shatter, Fireburst, Repair moderate damage
Level 3: Fireball, Lightning bolt, Resonating bolt, Stony grasp
The burning mage gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
The burning mage’s spells is based on charisma like a sorcerer with regard to saves and bonus spells per day. To learn a spell the burning mage needs a charisma score equal to 10 + spell level.
Modified caster level: The burning mage is considered to be two levels lower than normal for purposes of calculating spell damage and spell penetration. (Minimum casterlevel 1.)
Components: The burning mage don’t require material or focus components at all, the burning gift substitutes for those. They still need to perform verbal and somatic components as usual.
Concentration: Since the burning mage don’t feel pain when casting spells all damage is counted as zero for concentration checks. (The concentration DC to not lose a spell if hurt is always 10.)
Preparation: The burning mages restores spell slots in the same way a sorcerer does. He must use the Fire up ability during his daily preparation.
Casting: The burning mage casts spontaneously and without a spellbook.
Ineptitude: Due to their complete lack of understanding of the workings of magic a burning mage are unable to use counterspells or metamagic feats.
(Su) Normally the burning mages gift only “glows” faintly, giving his soul much needed rest.
Unless the burning mage uses Fire Up he cannot cast any spells and all class abilities except Living Chaos is inactive.
When the magic catches fire it completely fills his body and mind. Feelings of fear and pain fades and his body temperature rise as if suffering from a fever. Any method to detect magic will show a bonfire of magical energies.
As long as the fire burns the mage receives 2 temporary HP/level, +10 to saves vs fear and +2 to saves vs other mind-effecting spells and effects.
If the burning mage falls beneath 0 hp he remains conscious but loses 1 hp/round as usual. He doesn’t get a roll to stabilise himself as long as the fire burns.
The fire burns for about 30 minutes.
(Su) Before he can use his spells the burning mage must “get the fire going” much like the hot ashes in a fireplace. Firing up is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
This ability may be used as twice per day per level but he must rest for 5 minutes between cooling down and firing up again.
(Su) The burning mage’s magic is unpredictable at best and always carry a risk for the mage and his allies. Each time the burning mage casts a spell he must take a will save and compare with the list:
1-4 Catastrophic miscast
The burning mage and everyone within 5 ft take 2 * (spell level +1)d6 damage (50% fire damage, 50% force damage). The burning mage also suffers 2d6 ability damage to constitution, wisdom and intelligence. (One point in three is ability drain instead.)
The spell is not cast and the spell slot is wasted for the day.
The spell is cast but the burning mage suffers (spell level)d6 damage (50% fire damage, 50% force damage) and 1d4 ability damage to wisdom and intelligence.
10-17 Normal cast
The spell is cast. Add 1d3 casterlevels to the effect for all purposes (damage, overcoming spell resistance).
18+ Perfect cast
The spell is cast. Add 2d3 casterlevels to the effect for all purposes (damage, overcoming spell resistance).
A natural 1 is always a Catastrophic miscast and a natural 20 is always a Perfect cast.
(Su) When the burning mage reaches level 3 his soul burns with such “heat” that it can affect other creatures. Everyone within 5 ft must succed a will save each round (DC = 5 + burning mage level*2) or suffer (burning mage level)d4 damage. If the victim is an arcane caster and fails his save by 5 or more his ability catches fire. Each round he gets a new save (old DC-2) to put out the fire. As long as he burns he suffers 2d4 damage per round. (This may cause his spells to fail as normal when taking damage.)
(Su) As the burning mage approaches the peak of power his body is so molded by the Fire that it may be strenghtened and protected by it.
As long as the Fire burns the mage may ignore all effects caused by hunger, thirst and exhaustion.
All diseases is burnt away permanently and the effects of poisions is ignored for the duration of the fire.
He receives an increase to strength equal to his burning mage level and ignores all effects of constitution loss until the fire fades. He also ignores death effects.
If, however, he is subject to a death effect or drops to 0 constitution he immediately dies when the fire fades.
(Su) A Burning mage who has nothing to lose can perform a suicidal strike ingiting himself in a final blaze
If a Burning mage has Flowing fire and Fire up activated, he can wreathe himself in a large magical flame for (Cha mod+ burnig mage lvl) rounds, sacrificing all points of his Contitution and burnig himself up, leaving behind only a trace of fine dust.
This flame takes up the mage´s enire space and radiates intense heat into a number of adjecent squares equal to (Mage´s level* cha mod) Direct contact with the flame deals (Con)d6 points of fire damage per round and the heat causes only (Con )d4 points of fire damage. He can make a Dc 5+(Con) charisma check to prevent one item in his posssesion from taking fire damage from either Last strike or an saving throw as normal to prevent damage to his possesions from other his abities.
Activating Last strike takes a full round action, which provokes Attacks of Opportunity.
(Ex) If the burning mage survives long enough to reach the peak of the craft his soul and mind are so merged with the Fire that he may live on even when his mind finally leaves him for good.
If his intelligence score ever falls beneath 3 his mind breaks down. He now functions like a construct – obeying simple instructions form his master and able to cast spells, fight and separating friend from foe.
If his intelligence score falls beneath 1 the effect is permanent. The mind is now dead and gone beoynd restoration. Left is only a hollow body inhabited by the Fire. (The burning mage retains his memories from earlier.) Since the burning mage no longer is mentally alive he gains imunity to all mind-effecting spells just like a construct. Even though he is technically a “walking dead”, he is not undead and thus gains no vurnabilities or benefits tied to it.
This ability is always active but a burning mage beneath 1 intelligence is slow like a sleepwalker when not Fired Up.
Let me know what you think!