Wednesday, 20 June 2012

D&D Mine: The Magus

Here's a small sample from the work-in-progress with my early Modern inspired D&D Mine. The Magus class is fairly close kin to the standard magic-user, but has altered, non-Vancian, mechanics for spell casting, and a simple system of spell acquisition. 

The rest of this post is designated Open Gaming Content according to the Open Gaming License.



The Magus

The Magus is a mysterious figure, a student of arcane powers and spell casting. Usually cloaked in robes woven with mystical symbols, Magi can be devastating opponents. However, they are usually physically weaker than other adventuring classes, and are untrained in the use of armour and weapons.
As Magi progress in level, they generally become the most powerful of the character classes, but at lower levels they are quite vulnerable and must be protected by the other party members. Perhaps one day, though, you will rise to such heights of power that you can build a mystically protected tower for your researches, create fabulous magic items, and scribe new formulae for hitherto unknown spells. Such arch-mages can sway the politics of kingdoms, and command respect and fear across the realms.
Table 6: Magus Advancement
Level
XP
d4 HD
BHB
ST
1
0
1
+0
15
2
2,500
2
+0
14
3
5,000
3
+0
13
4
10,000
4
+0
12
5
20,000
5
+0
11
6
40,000
6
+0
10
7
80,000
7
+0
9
8
160,000
8
+0
8
9
320,000
9
+0
7
10
640,000
10
+0
6

Table 7: Magus Known Spells

Spell Level
Level
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
2
4
3
6
2
4
8
4
5
8
4
2
6
8
4
4
7
8
6
4
2
8
8
6
6
4
9
8
6
6
4
2
10
8
8
6
4
4

Magus Class Abilities

XP Modified by Intelligence: The Intelligence Modifier applies to XP gained by this class.
Saving Throw: Magi get +2 on saving throws vs. magic.
Weapon/Armor Restrictions: Magi tend to spend their waking hours in study of arcane tomes and scrolls, and as such tend to not have much training in combat. They may use any weapons, but suffer a -2 penalty to hit with all weapons except daggers or staves. Likewise, while Magi may wear whatever armour they choose, their lack of training means that they gain no benefit from it – the protective benefits being negated by the unaccustomed bulk.
Spell Casting: A Magus has mastered the formulae for a number of spells depending on his level. These spells may be cast freely, but each time a spell is cast it fatigues the Magus, draining his hit points (see Game Rules).
Starting Spells: A starting Magus has learned his initial spells either from an Arch-mage or from studying a spell book or arcane library. The player should choose one of the spell books, libraries and Arch-mages which are described in the magic booklet. The Magus' initial spells are then determined randomly by rolling on the list of spells available from the chosen source.
Learning New Spells: Upon gaining a level a Magus is able to learn new spells, according to the known spells table, from any available sources. If a Magus has no available sources he will have to wait to learn new spells.
Specialist Knowledge: Magi spend much of their lives absorbed in the study of obscure and esoteric areas of knowledge. From his education, a Magus character can choose a number of specialist areas of knowledge, based on his or her Intelligence attribute. These are fields of study which the character has researched during his or her education, and represent learning far beyond what is common knowledge. Instead of an area of specialist knowledge, an additional 1st level spell can be chosen, if the player wishes.
Intelligence
Areas of Specialist Knowledge
13 - 15
1
16 - 17
2
18
3
Some example areas of specialist knowledge are given below, but players and Referees should feel free to invent others. The use of these areas of expertise is left open to interpretation and improvisation.
Alchemy: The study of the physical substances of the world, and how their admixture and transformation can give insight into the world of spirit.
Ancient History: Detailed knowledge of the history and legends of one or more ancient cultures.
Ancient Languages: A Magus with this specialism would not be penalised when making Language skill rolls to understand ancient or dead languages.
Arcane Languages: Various esoteric languages, which fall outside of the scope of the Languages skill, are possible areas of study for a Magus. Examples would include Faerie or angelic tongues, or the languages of birds or burrowing animals.
Astrology / Astronomy: An intimate knowledge of the stars, planets and constellations. The Magus may be able to perform minor divinations by studying the night sky.
Demonology: Study of the various types and ranks of demons, and their powers and vulnerabilities.
Herbalism: Knowledge of wild and cultivated plants, and their effects on the human body.
Medicine and Anatomy: The study of the human body, its organs and their functions.
Undead: Study of the various types of undead creatures, and their powers and vulnerabilities.

5 comments:

  1. Looks like a neat variation, though more of a support class than a primary adventurer, IMO. I like the adventurer/sage combo. Very much looking forward to the full magic book so that I can get a better handle on how it'll all work. (Fatigue rules, spell lists and so on.)
    Another great idea Gavin!

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  2. Glad to have peaked your interest Koren :)

    Yeah I guess the Magus makes more sense in the larger context of the rules and what I have in mind for the setting... I'll post more bits & pieces as things solidify.

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  3. Nice write-up. Is the picture from Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft? It has been a while (15 years maybe) since I last looked at it, but I believe I remember that illustration.

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  4. Hi Shane, no idea about the picture I'm afraid... google image search just threw it my way ;)

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  5. I dig the "skills" / specialist knowledge keyed to Int like that.

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