BRCS:Chapter one/Character/Magician

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Magicians are practitioners of the path of lesser magic. Unable (or unwilling) to tap the great energies of the land itself to wield the powers of true magic, these arcane spellcasters specialize in the application of the less extravagant powers of the world. Their arcane lore is not based upon the channeling of immense natural powers, but rather on the refinement and evocation of a more precise and subtle lore.

Most magicians employ their magics with great care to bring health, wonder, and guidance without inspiring superstitious dread. Regular folk consider them eccentric and mysterious, and they do recognize the difference between a seer who can predict the sex of an unborn child or help find lost items and a wizard regent capable of summoning undead legions and turning them into a toadstool. Most rulers will go to great efforts to retain the permanent services of a skilled court magician, as magicians provide many of the benefits of that a court wizard provides, and very few of the drawbacks.


Magicians, like wizards, seek knowledge and the resources they otherwise require for enhancing their art. They are highly valued for their ability to provide sound advice, healing, and magical insight. Court magicians are almost always included in any adventures in which their patron in involved.


Although the study of lesser magic is less demanding than the pursuit of true magic, magicians cannot afford to depend on their art alone to provide them with safety and livelihood. Magicians develop a wide variety of skills that make them invaluable companions, advisors, and teachers. Magicians are quite flexible and each develops those skills and abilities they find most useful in meeting their duties and obligations.


Magicians may be of any alignment. The powers of illusion and enchantment can be used for personal gain and easily as they can be used for good. Most seem to lean toward non-chaotic alignments, however, as their art requires patience, subtlety and discipline.


Magicians tend to revere Ruornil and Avani.


Magicians usually come from the wealthier parts of society, or else their talent was recognized early on by some older magician or even wizard. Regardless, magicians have usually gone through years and years of tedious study and education in order to learn their craft.


Members of any race can learn the arts of the magician.

[top]Preferred Race/Culture

Most magicians are human or goblinoid. The Brecht know the value of magic and treat it as a commodity; although they have no colleges to teach emerging magicians. Magicians are also highly regarded among the Khinasi, where the pursuit of magic is considered one of the highest callings. Magicians are more common in Khinasi lands than in any other realm, it is rare to find a realm without a court seer. Human magicians from Anuire are generally respected and valued by their people. Rjurik and Vos magicians exist, but their people view them with suspicion and mistrust. Elven magicians are rare - most elves wishing to pursue the arts of the lesser path advance as bards. Dwarf and halfling magicians are less common than human magicians, but are valued highly by their people.

[top]Other Classes

Magicians usually crave the support of other classes when going on adventures. They are excellent at gathering information, supporting other party members and confounding opponents. Due to their lack of offensive spells, Magicians are also fair combatants, though they tend to prefer support positions over front-line fighting.

[top]Game Rule Information

Magicians have the following game statistics:
  • Abilities: Intelligence determines how powerful a spell a magician can cast, how many spells he can cast, and how hard those spells are to resist in the same way that Intelligence determines such factors for a Wizard.
  • Alignment: Any.
  • Dit Die: d6.

[top]Class Skills

The magician's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Administrate (Int), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (N/A), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).
  • Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int bonus) x 4.
  • Skill Points each Additional Level: 6 + Int bonus.

[top]Class Features

The following are class features of the magician.
  • Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Magicians cannot depend on magic alone to earn a living or to defend them from danger. Magicians take time to learn the basics of combat and to wear armor if they must. Magicians are skilled with all simple weapons. They are proficient with light armor but not with any type of shield. A magician can cast magician spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, a magician wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component (most do).
  • Spells: A magician casts arcane spells and unless otherwise noted is bound by the same rules and restrictions on learning, memorizing, and casting spells that apply to wizards. A magician is limited to a certain number of spells of each spell level per day, according to her class level. She may prepare and cast spells as a wizard does, provided that she knows the spell and that she can cast spells of that level. She must prepare her spells by getting a good night's sleep and spending one hour studying her spellbook each day. A magician's starting spells, ability to add two new spells to her spell book each time she advances in level, and ability to copy or research additional spells for her spell book is exactly the same as for a wizard.

    The principal difference between a wizard and a magician is their spell list. Magicians and bards use a form of power that is more gentle and subtle than the power used by wizards and sorcerers. Although there are many spells which wizards and magicians have in common, most wizards spells require power for more extravagant than that available to magicians. However, a magician is not simply a "lesser wizard"; through their subtle arts magicians have access to some spell effects for which the fierce energies of the wizard and sorcerer are not well suited. Thus magicians are capable of casting spells of healing and other subtle magics that are beyond the ken of practitioners of the greater path.

    When Table 1-4 indicates that the magician gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Intelligence score for that spell level.

Table 1-4: The magician
Base Fort Ref Will Spells per Day
Level Attack Bonus Save Save Save Special 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st+0+0+0+2Spontaneous Cantrips3n/an/an/an/an/an/a
2nd+1+0+0+3Magician Special Ability41n/an/an/an/an/a
4th+3+1+1+4Path Specialty: School Specialty +1421n/an/an/an/a
6th+4+2+2+5Magician Special Ability4321n/an/an/a
8th+6/+1+2+2+6Path Specialty: Spontaneous Casting53321n/an/a
10th+7/+2+3+3+7Magician Special Ability543320n/a
12th+9/+4+4+4+8Path Specialty: School Specialty +2544331n/a
14th+10/+5+4+4+9Magician Special Ability6544321
16th+12/+7/+2+5+5+10Path Specialty: Spell Power +26554433
18th+13/+8/+3+6+6+11Magician Special Ability6555444
20th+15/+10/+5+6+6+12Path Specialty: School Specialty +36555555

  • Spell Mastery: Magicians may take the feat Spell Mastery.
  • Spontaneous Casting: Magicians are masters of minor magics and can channel stored energy into 0-level spells that they haven't prepared ahead of time. As a standard action, a magician can 'lose' any prepared spell in order to cast any 0-level spell known. If the magician wishes to use any metamagic feats to modify the 0-level spell, the prepared spell expended must be of the appropriate level or higher. The casting time is a full round action if the normal casting time is a standard action and for spells with longer casting times the spontaneous spell takes an additional full round action to cast.
  • Magician Special Ability: At 2nd level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the magician gains a special class ability chosen from the list below:
Bonus Feat: The magician may select choose a bonus feat from the following list (all prerequisites must be met normally): Brew Potion, Combat Casting, Craft Wand, Craft Wondrous Item, Diligent, Eschew Materials, Metamagic (any), Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus, Spell Focus (Divination), Greater Spell Focus (Divination), Spell Focus (Illusion), Greater Spell Focus (Illusion), Spell Mastery, Spell Penetration, and Greater Spell Penetration.
Helpful: A magician who takes this ability has learned to be extremely helpful when adding her expertise to a group effort. When the magician Aids Another with a skill, she adds a +4 bonus to the acting character's skill check. When the magician Aids Another with a skill, she adds a +4 bonus to the acting character's skill check in lieu of the normal +2. This ability may be taken more than once, each time adding an additional +2 bonus to the Aid Another action.
Lorewise: The magician's years of study and research have made her a walking library of esoteric facts, stories, and rumors. The magician gains the Lore ability (identical to the bardic version), rolling 1d20 and adding the magician's class level and Intelligence modifier to the result. 5 or more ranks in a relevant Knowledge skill may also add a +2 bonus to the check result.
Skill Mastery: The magician chooses a number of class skills equal to 3 + Int modifier. Thereafter the magician may take 10 when using any of these skills, even when conditions or distractions would otherwise not allow it.
Versatile: Magicians tend to be very adaptable characters, often picking up unusual skills while traveling, studying, and adventuring. Each time this ability is taken, the magician may choose to add any 2 skills to his list of magician class skills.
  • Path Specialty: School Specialty +1
As the Magician advances in his understanding and mastery of the lesser path of arcane magic, he develops an affinity for one of the two main schools of his art. At 4th level the Magician must choose either Divination or Illusion as his specialty school of magic. Thereafter, every path specialty gained applies only to the character's chosen specialty school. Every 4 levels after 4th, the Magician gains an additional ability that applies only to the chosen specialty school. At 4th level, there are two immediate benefits.
Spell Potency: The magician gains a +1 bonus to the DC of any spells of he casts from his chosen specialty school. This stacks with Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus.
Arcane Insight: The magician gains a +1 insight bonus to saving throws against spells of his specialty school.
  • Path Specialty: Spontaneous Casting
At 8th level the Magician gains the ability to spontaneously cast spells of his chosen specialty school. The magician may sacrifice a prepared spell to cast any known Divination or Illusion spell (as appropriate) of equal or lesser spell level. The casting time is a full round action if the normal casting time is a standard action and for spells with longer casting times the spontaneous spell takes an additional full round action to cast.
  • Path Specialty: School Specialty +2
At 12th level the magician's Spell Potency and Arcane Insight bonuses increase to +2 in her chosen specialty school.
  • Path Specialty: Spell Power +2
At 16th level the magician adds +2 to the caster level of any spells cast from his chosen specialty school. This ability stacks with [Greater] Spell Penetration when overcoming a target's spell resistance.
  • Path Specialty: School Specialty +3
At 20th level the magician's Spell Potency and Arcane Insight bonuses increase to +3 in her chosen specialty school.
  • Starting Gear: 2d4 x 10 gp worth of equipment.

[top]Human Magician Starting Package

See Also: Chapter three/Magic/Magician spells - a spell-list for Magicians
This article is a Birthright Campaign Setting (D&D 3.5/D20) page
The BRCS Document is a comprehensive toolbox consisting of rules, races, classes, feats, skills, various systems, spells, magic items, and monsters compatible with the d20 System version of Dungeons & Dragons from Wizards of the Coast.

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