Look, most Wizards aren't that subtle; they just use their magic to solve their problems.
Luckily, I'm not like them; I've got nothing BUT my wits. And I do quite well, thank you.
In your average world, magic is one of the strongest things in existence; after all, it can do practically everything.
Of course, that's what the wizards want you to believe; there are others that recognize that magic as a brute force is in fact a weakness
. It makes you a target, and being a target is a bad thing, as far as they are concerned.
No, they grab just enough magical power to get the villagers around them to believe that they are powerful wizards, and then leave the whole mess behind.
After all, with a little bit of spit-shine and hocus-pocus, you can make a really
suitable illusion of a dragon...
Persuasive, Force of Personality
Bluff 8 ranks, Spellcraft 8 ranks.
Must not have any form of spellcasting.
The class skills for a Deceit Mage are Bluff (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Knowledge (Any)(Int), Listen (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int). Spot (Wis)
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies:
|+0||+0||+0||+2||Mask of Gentility, Hedge Magics|
|+1||+0||+0||+3||Personal Effect (Aura), False Counterspelling (0th and 1st)|
|+1||+1||+1||+3||Sensory Alteration, Do You Really Believe It?|
|+2||+1||+1||+4||False Counterspelling (2nd)|
|+2||+1||+1||+4||Personal Effect (Prestidigitation), Continued Deceit|
|+3||+2||+2||+5||False Counterspelling (3rd)|
|+3||+2||+2||+5||It Came from Over There!|
|+4||+2||+2||+6||Personal Effect (Wizardly Demeanor), False Counterspelling (4th)|
|+4||+3||+3||+6||Do You Truly Believe It?|
|+5||+3||+3||+7||False Counterspelling (5th), Irrepressible Deceit|
A Deceit Mage gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies.
Mask of Gentility (Ex):
A Deceit Mage knows when it is best to lie, and their deceit makes it harder to read them. They gain Mask of Gentility (EoE) as a bonus feat.
Hedge Magic (Su):
Of course, it is
rather hard to fake being a mage if you can't substantiate your claims; however, few people know how easy
to manipulate "magical" senses.
At 1st level, a Deceit Mage gains the ability to use Nystul's Magical Aura
as a supernatural ability. This takes a standard action to use, and may be used a number of times per day equal to their class level+their Charisma modifier.
A Hedge Mage has an "effective" caster level equal to their class level; this allows them to qualify for feats that require a certain caster level; for example, if a Deceit Mage takes the Summon Familiar feat, they use their class level to determine the familiar's abilities, and so forth.
Personal Effect (Su):
Knowledge of magical manipulations is simple to use, and can easily be used to create an aura of mystique, as it were.
At 2nd level, the Deceit Mage may change their aura into any form they choose; in essence, they may choose to detect as magical, or as any alignment of their choice. They may also alter the strength of the aura at will, allowing them to appear to be a grand mage or a nonmagical nobody, whenever convenient. Altering the aura is a free action, and may be done as many times per day as the Deceit Mage desires.
At 5th level, this ability expands to a certain level of false theurgy; the Deceit Mage is treated as if they were permanently under the effect of a Prestidigitation
At 8th level, they truly know how to make an impression; whenever a Divination effect is used on the Deceit Mage, it instead receives false information, decided upon by the Deceit Mage whenever they alter their aura through the 2nd level version of this class feature.
False Counterspelling (Su):
Wizards are surprisingly dull-witted, for ones accounted so wise; they don't seem to realize that someone can dispel their spells by simply making them THINK they have been counterspelled.
After all, most spells can be dismissed by the caster; they just don't look it.
At 2nd level, a Deceit Mage may counterspell any cantrips or spells of 1st level by expending a usage of their Hedge Magic as an Immediate Action; they must still roll a Spellcraft check to correctly judge the spell that is being cast at them.
At 4th level, and every 2 levels thereafter, the highest level spell counterspell-able by this class feature is increased by 1.
Sensory Alteration (Su):
Fun fact; light and sound are traits of magical auras. As such, a Deceit Mage has learned to manipulate this.
Whenever a Deceit Mage of at least 3rd level uses their Hedge Magic ability, they may simultaneously create an auditory and visual illusion; this is equivalent to the effects of the Ghost Sound
and Silent Image
Do You Really Believe It? (Su):
Sometimes, if they do it just
right, a good liar can convince everyone that he did just kill them, despite the troubling fact that, well, they are still breathing.
At 3rd level, a Deceit Mage may expend a single use of their Hedge Magic to duplicate a spell of any level that they can counterspell using False Counterspelling. This spell is "cast" as a SLA ability, and as such, does not need verbal, somatic, or material components. Their caster level for this ability is equal to their class level.
However, due to the fact that this spell is just smoke-and-mirrors, there are a few key limitations to the spells you cast through this feature; first of all, no spell that requires an expensive material component or an experience cost may be used. Secondly, the spell must either target people or include people in its area of effect.
Finally, the "spell" is actually a very well done placebo effect; as such, anyone who has the spell cast on them receives a Will Save. If they succeed at this Will Save, they are completely unaffected by the spell; however, if they fail, they are completely under the delusion that the spell worked; as such, they act as if they had taken the damage or had been affected by other qualities of the spell; as such, handle the effects of that spell as normal.
Anyone who actually knows that the spell is a placebo automatically succeeds on the Will Save; a Deceit Mage may attempt a Bluff check to convince the character that the spell was not a placebo, and was in fact the real deal.
This class feature doesn't affect creatures with an intelligence of 2 or below (this includes mindless creatures.); however, this is a trick of perception, and as such, is not a mind-affecting ability if the original spell was not one already.
Using this class feature counts as casting the spell for all purposes of class features, feats, and prerequisites.
Continued Deceit (Ex):
A Deceit Mage knows that they can ALWAYS advance their position, usually through deceiving those in charge of their advancement.
After 5th level, a Deceit Mage is treated as if they know every spell of any level they may counterspell through False Counterspelling as both Arcane and Divine spells. In addition, they are treated as both Spontaneous and Prepared casters for the purposes of feats, class features, and prerequisites.
Any level they take hereafter that advances spellcasting of the type they selected upon receiving this class feature instead count as levels in this class for the purpose of Hedge Magic, False Counterspelling, Did You Really Believe It?, It Came From Over There!, and Did You Truly Believe It?
It Came From Over There! (Su):
Sometimes (such as when you're in the wizard-hating nation-state of Barbaria, but I digress), it is best to not
be in the center of attention.
At 7th level, a Deceit Mage may, at their option, cause any use of Hedge Magic, Did You Really Believe It, Did You Truly Believe It. or False Counterspelling to seem to come from any creature within 10' per class level.
Did You Truly Believe It? (Su):
A Deceit Mage eventually becomes so good that they can fool the universe into believing in their placebo effect.
At 9th level, a Deceit Mage may cast a spell using the standard casting time. This functions exactly like Did You Really Believe It?, except for the fact that succeeding at the Will Save still causes 50% of the spells effects to occur.
In addition, a Deceit Mage may use this class feature to cast a spell that does not directly affect creatures or include them in its area; this attempt only has a 50% chance of succeeding, however.
Irrepressible Deceit (Ex):
A Deceit Mage has become so good at lying, that they are completely trusted by practically everyone.
At 10th level, a Deceit Mage is now a completely flawless liar; as such, the fact that they are lying cannot be detected. Sense Motive checks opposed to their Bluff checks are treated as if they had rolled a 1 on the dice.
In addition, the Deceit Mage may Speak with Authority on a subject, replacing the standard Knowledge, Craft, or Profession check with a Bluff Check.
So, what do you think? If anyone can find the translation someone did of the Burning Wheel Speaking with Authority rule into d20, I would be thankful.
The inspiration for this was the scene in the first book in the Serpentwar Saga, where a character fooled enemy mages into burning a city down for him by pretending to counterspell one of their spells.
It kinda grew from there.
So... what do you think?