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This version of the “Magician” class from Ghastly Affair has been reworked for use with retro-clones of the classic B/X rpg rules, such as Necrotic Gnome’s “Old School Essentials”. It differs slightly from the same Class found in Ghastly Affair, to make it more suitable for use in Dark Fantasy B/X campaigns. Compared to the standard B/X Magic User, the Magician is more versatile, but the magic they employ is both riskier and more costly.

MAGICIAN

Sorcerer. Witch. Warlock. Theurgist. Conjuror. Necromancer. Whatever the name, you are a worker of wonders, and a keeper of mysteries. You might be a member of secret society pulling the strings of princes and presidents. Perhaps you are a noble-born witch who slips from her palace by night to dance naked under the moonlight. Maybe you’re a rogue scholar who owes his soul to a Demon Lord. You could even be a pious canoness who can call upon the aid of celestial beings.

As a Magician, you can utilize spells by four different means: by using Incantations, by performing Ceremonies, by creating Talismans, or by employing Pacts. The knowledge of a spell might be directly imparted by a magical being, taught by another Magician, gleaned from an ancient text, or even discovered through long hours of magical experimentation.

You will have to decide who initiated you into magic – another Magician, an occult order, or a magical being of some kind. Perhaps you accidentally summoned a Planetary Angel while pursuing an ancient work of magical philosophy; or have performed the Ritual of the Crossroads, and signed the Black Book in your blood. Maybe you even studied at one of the fabled Black Schools of the Underworld – where sorcery is taught by Infernal masters who claim the soul of every tenth scholar.

Use the Magician Class to create characters inspired by such fictional characters as Heinrich Faust (from Goethe’s “Faust”) and Carathis (from the novel “Vathek”), or historical figures such as Cagliostro and La Voisin.

ABILITY REQUIREMENTS: Intelligence and Wisdom of at least 9 each.
PRIME REQUISITE(S): Intelligence and Wisdom.
HIT DICE: d4 + Constitution Bonus, up to 9th Level.
+1 Hit Points per Level after 9th, and Constitution Bonus no longer applies.
USEABLE WEAPONS: Dagger, Staff, Club, or Crossbow. (+ Pistol, if available.)
USEABLE ARMOR: None. (Breastplate, if available). No shields.
ATTACKS: As Magic user
SAVING THROWS: As Magic user
ALIGNMENT: Any.
LANGUAGES: Common and Alignment. Magicians often learn the native languages of magical beings.

SPECIAL ABILITIES:

Esoteric Knowledge: You have a base 30% chance to correctly identify a magical being (such as a Djinni or Demon), to remember some bit of esoteric lore appropriate to your current situation, to decipher a code, or to read an inscription written in an arcane language. At the GM’s discretion this ability can be used to correctly identify a magic item. You can only roll once per subject or encounter. The chance to remember relevant Esoteric Knowledge increases by 5% per Level, to a maximum of 95%.

Use Incantation: By means of your Magical Implement (and the secret words of power) you can use any spell from the list of Incantations you know. You do not need to re-memorize or otherwise prepare Incantations before using them.

The total Levels of Incantations you can use per day is equal to your Character Level times two. However, if you reach that that total, you will fall unconscious for a full Turn. Furthermore, even after you regain consciousness you will be so exhausted that you will be unable to use Incantations, perform Ceremonies, or Employ Pacts again until you get a full night’s rest.

  • For example, if you are 4th Level Magician, you can use a total of 8 Levels worth of Incantations a day. This could be eight 1st Level spells; four 2nd Levels spells; two 1st Level spells and three 2nd Level spells; or any other combination that doesn’t exceed 8 total Levels.

Perform Ceremony: Through a lengthy series of symbolic words and actions you can create magical effects from the list of Ceremonies you know. You can even affect a target you cannot see, if you have a piece of them (or something they own). Also, spells cast as Ceremonies can be held “in-reserve”, to take effect at some later time.

Ceremonies require half an hour per Spell level to perform, and require materials with a value in gp equal to 20 times the Spell’s level squared. If you are traveling or adventuring, you will have to obtain the materials you need to perform any desired Ceremonies before you set out, unless you can somehow obtain them in the course of your travels.

Any particular Ceremony can only be performed once a day, and only one spell can be held “in reserve” at a time. If you use a Ceremony on target you cannot see, they always receive a Saving Throw (even if the spell doesn’t ordinarily allow one), and if they Save, you can never again affect them with that Ceremony.

  • For example, Wizard Lock is a 2nd Level Ceremony. It requires an hour to perform, and 80 gp worth of non-reusable materials. If you perform a Ceremony of Wizard Lock today, you will have to wait until tomorrow to use it again.
  • As a second example, if you perform the Purify Food and Water Ceremony (1st Level), it will take a half hour, and expend 20 gp of materials. At its performance, you can decide to hold the spell “in reserve” until the next time you encounter spoiled food that you need to eat. If you already have Purify Food and Water “in reserve”, its the the only spell you can have so prepared.
  • For a third example, you can perform a Ceremony to inflict a Curse on somebody whose hair, blood, or clothing you posses, even if they are currently 100 miles away. Since Curse is a 3rd Level Ceremony, it will require an hour-and-a-half to perform, and use 180 gp worth of materials. If your would-be victim saves versus Magic, you can never try to Curse them again with a Ceremony.

Create Talismans: You can create an item that grants you (or a specified person) a constant spell effect. The physical basis of a Talisman requires rare materials worth 200 times the square of the Spell’s Level in gold pieces, or else blood and body parts from magical beings with total HD equal to twice the Spell’s Level. Charging a Talisman takes 1 hour per Spell Level. A charged Talisman lasts for 30 days, and will be ruined if touched by anyone other than its intended wearer. You can only create a Talisman if you know the appropriate spell in its “Talisman” form. You can only have one charged Talisman active at a time, whether worn by you or another.

  • For example, creating a Talisman of Read Magic (allowing the wearer to automatically decipher all magical writings) is a 3rd Level Spell. It requires either materials worth 1,800 gp, or else the blood (and/or body parts) from at least 6 HD worth of magical beings (such as two Thouls, or a single White Dragon). It requires 3 hours to charge.

Employ Pact: You can make sacrifice to a being from another plane of existence, and thereby temporarily gain some of their magical power.

Each Pact you can employ is activated by a different sacrifice, imposed by the being who grants it. Roll a d4 to determine what the granting entity wants in exchange:
1 = The blood of specific creatures with total Hit Dice approximately equal to the Level of the Spell.
2 = Wealth equal to 200 gp per Spell level (the coins or items disappear into the entity’s hoard on its home plane).
3 = A point of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability) per Spell Level. (This heals back at the rate of 1 point per day).
4 = The Magician’s blood, resulting in the loss of 2 Hit Points per Spell Level

A particular Pact can only be employed once a day, but you can employ many different Pacts per day – as long as you are capable of offering all the necessary sacrifices!

• For example, you might be able to employ a 5th Level Pact enabling you to Teleport – provided you are willing to sacrifice 10 HP worth of your own blood to the abomination Yrazzin, who dwells in the void between dimensions.

WEAKNESSES:

Magical Implement: You must have and employ a specially prepared object in order to use any Incantations. If you lose your Magical Implement, you must replace it (at a cost of 1000 gp per Magician Level possessed) before you can use Incantations again. Typical Magical implements include a staff, a wand, a sword, a dagger, a book, or an inscribed pantacle.

Power Object: Your magical power is bound to an object, such as a book of magic, an inscribed ring, or the text of your contract with an Infernal being. If you do not actually carry the object on your person, you use magic as if you were one Level lower (a 1st Level Magician must carry their Power Object to use magic at all). If your Power Object is destroyed, you lose the ability to use spells until it can be replaced. Replacing a Power Object costs 5,000 gp per Level of the Magician.

FOLLOWERS AT 11th LEVEL:

At 11th Level you will attract another Magician of 1st – 3rd Level, as well as 1d12 ordinary men and women seeking to be initiated by you as 1st level Magicians. These new initiates will become the core of your support within your magical order, secret society, or coven – or else follow you to form new one.

Experience Points

Level

Title

Hit Points

Esoteric Knowledge

Maximum Levels of Incantations per Day

Maximum Spell Level Usable

0

1

Initiate, or Covener

1d4

30%

2

1

3,000

2

Practiced Initiate, or Fellow Covener

2d4

35%

4

1

6,000

3

Journeyman Magician, or Ordinary Warlock / Ordinary Witch

3d4

40%

6

2

12,000

4

Practiced Magician, or Practiced Warlock / Witch

4d4

45%

8

2

24,000

5

Adept, or Sorcerer / Sorceress

5d4

50%

10

3

48,000

6

Major Adept, or Great Sorcerer / Great Sorceress

6d4

55%

12

3

96,000

7

Thaumaturge

7d4

60%

14

4

192,000

8

Great Thaumaturge

8d4

65%

16

4

384,000

9

Master Magician,

or Master Warlock / Witch Mistress

9d4

70%

18

5

559,000

10

Past Master / Past Mistress

9d4+ 1

75%

20

5

734,000

11

Magus / Maga, or

Warlock Lord / Witch Lady

9d4+2

80%

22

6

909,000

12

Magus / Maga, or

Warlock Lord / Witch Lady

(12th Level)

9d4+ 3

85%

24

6

1,084,000

13

Magus / Maga, or

Warlock Lord / Witch Lady

(13th Level)

9d4+ 4

90%

26

6

1,259,000

14

Supreme Magus / Supreme Maga, or Witch Queen / Witch King

9d4+ 5

95%

28

6

Starting Spells for Magicians

A Magician character starts play knowing three 1st level Spells. These Spells can represent any mix of Incantations, Ceremonies, Talismans, or Pacts the Player desires. The Player of a Magician character must keep a current list of all the Spells that her PC knows, broken down by Incantations, Ceremonies, Talismans, and Pacts.

A Magician’s Grimoire

Magicians keep Grimoires that record their words of power and magical techniques, much like the spell books of “standard” Magic Users. Unlike a Magic User’s spell book, however, a Grimoire is not usually inherently magical (unless it is also the Magician’s Power Object). A Grimoire may be written in a magical cipher or arcane language, but many are actually just inscribed in Common.

Gaining More Spells as a Magician

The Magician is assumed to automatically gain 1 new Spell per Level gained, which can also be of any kind the Player desires (Incantation, Ceremony, Talisman, or Pact), and any Level the Magician can currently employ. All other Spells must be located and learned in the course of regular game play.

The same Spell may in fact be found as an Incantation, Ceremony, Talisman, or Pact, but each version must be learned separately. Magicians in Campaign that also include the “standard” spell-casting Classes can adapt spells they learn from Magic User Scrolls or spell books into Incantations, by making a successful Esoteric Knowledge roll. Likewise, a Magician can attempt to adapt a divine spell they find written on a scroll into a usable Pact, by successfully rolling their Esoteric Knowledge.

Generally, any intelligent being with inherent magical abilities is able to teach a Magician spells corresponding to its own powers. For example, an Efreet can teach the Wall of Fire spell, and a Dryad can teach Charm Person. A magical being can choose to impart a spells as an Incantation, Ceremony, Talisman, or Pact (as appropriate). Of course, most beings from other planes of existence prefer to offer any spells they teach in the form of Pacts.

MAGICIAN SPELLS BY LEVEL

The following lists utilize the Cleric and Magic User spells enumerated in the “Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Cleric and Magic-User Spells”. Game Masters can see that work to adjudicate their effects, use the equivalents from another OSR retro-clone, or refer to the original B/X books.

Note that while many Magicians spells replicate those of Clerics, such spells are “arcane”, and not “divine” in the forms used by Magicians. The “standard” and “reversed” forms of spells (such as Light and Darkness) must almost always be learned separately by Magicians.

* Indicates that a Ceremony’s effect can be held “in-reserve”.

1st LEVEL MAGICIAN SPELLS

1st Level Incantations
Cause Fear
Darkness
Detect Evil
Detect Magic
Floating Disc
Hold Portal
Light
Magic Missile
Protection from Evil
Read Languages
Read Magic
Remove Fear
Resist Cold
Resist Fire
Shield
Sleep
Ventriloquism

1st Level Ceremonies Require 30 minutes, + 20 gp worth of materials.
Charm Person *
Cause Light Wounds
Cure Light Wounds
Purify Food and Water *

1st Level TalismansRequire 200 gp of materials, or at least 2 HD of slain magical creatures. Remain charged for 30 days, or until dispelled.
Detect Evil
Detect Magic
Purify Food and Water

1st Level Pactsd4 to determine the required sacrifice.
1 = 1 HD worth of blood from a specific creature.
2 = 200 gp worth of treasure.
3 = 1 point of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability).
4 = 2 Hit Points worth of the Magician’s blood.
Cause Fear
Cause Light Wounds
Charm Person
Cure Light Wounds
Darkness
Detect Evil
Detect Magic
Floating Disc
Hold Portal
Light
Magic Missile
Protection from Evil
Purify Food and Water
Read Languages
Read Magic
Remove Fear
Resist Cold
Resist Fire
Shield
Sleep
Ventriloquism

2nd LEVEL MAGICIAN SPELLS

2nd Level Incantations
Detect Evil
Detect Invisible
ESP
Find Traps
Hold Person
Invisibility
Knock
Know Alignment
Levitate
Locate Object
Mirror Image
Phantasmal Force
Resist Fire
Silence 15’ Radius
Snake Charm
Speak with Animals
Web

2nd Level Ceremonies Require 1 hour, + 80 gp worth of materials.
Bless *
Blight *
Wizard Lock

2nd Level Talismans Require 800 gp of materials, or at least 4 HD of slain magical creatures. Remain charged for 30 days, or until dispelled.
Resist Cold *
Resist Fire *

2nd Level Pactsd4 to determine the required sacrifice.
1 = 2 HD worth of blood from a specific creature.
2 = 400 gp worth of treasure.
3 = 2 points of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability).
4 = 4 Hit Points worth of the Magician’s blood.
Bless
Blight
Detect Evil
Detect Invisible
ESP
Find Traps
Hold Person
Invisibility
Knock
Know Alignment
Levitate
Locate Object
Mirror Image
Phantasmal Force
Silence 15’ Radius
Snake Charm
Speak with Animals
Web
Wizard Lock

3rd LEVEL MAGICIAN SPELLS

3rd Level Incantations
Dispel Magic
Fire Ball
Fly
Growth of Animal
Haste
Hold Person
Invisibility 10’ Radius
Lightning Bolt
Locate Object
Protection from Evil 10’ Radius
Protection from Normal Missiles
Striking

3rd Level CeremoniesRequire 1 ½ hours, + 180 gp worth of materials.
Cause Disease
Clairvoyance
Continual Darkness
Continual Light
Cure Disease
Curse
Infravision *
Remove Curse
Water Breathing *

3rd Level TalismansRequire 1,800 gp of materials, or at least 6 HD of slain magical creatures. Remain charged for 30 days, or until dispelled.
Darkness
Light
Protection from Evil
Read Languages
Read Magic
Speak with Animals

3rd Level Pacts d4 to determine the required sacrifice.
1 = 3 HD worth of blood from a specific creature.
2 = 600 gp worth of treasure.
3 = 3 points of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability).
4 = 6 Hit Points worth of the Magician’s blood.
Cause Disease
Clairvoyance
Continual Darkness
Continual Light
Cure Disease
Curse
Dispel Magic
Fire Ball
Fly
Growth of Animal
Haste
Hold Person
Infravision
Invisibility 10’ Radius
Lightning Bolt
Locate Object
Protection from Evil 10’ Radius
Protection from Normal Missiles
Remove Curse
Striking
Water Breathing

4th LEVEL MAGICIAN SPELLS

4th Level Incantations
Charm Monster *
Confusion
Dimension Door
Growth of Plants
Hallucinatory Terrain
Massmorph
Neutralize Poison *
Polymorph Others
Polymorph Self
Speak with Plants
Sticks to Snakes
Wall of Fire
Wall of Ice
Wizard Eye

4th Level Ceremonies Require 2 hours, + 320 gp worth of materials.
Cause Serious Wounds
Create Water
Cure Serious Wounds
Protection from Evil 10’ Radius

4th Level TalismansRequire 3,200 gp of materials, or at least 8 HD of slain magical creatures. Remain charged for 30 days, or until dispelled.
Charm Person (Constant effect)
Cure Disease (Effective Immunity)
Infravision
Remove Curse (Effective Immunity)
Water Beathing

4th Level Pactsd4 to determine the required sacrifice.
1 = 4 HD worth of blood from a specific creature.
2 = 800 gp worth of treasure.
3 = 4 points of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability)
4 = 8 Hit Points worth of the Magician’s blood.
Cause Sr. Wounds
Charm Monster
Confusion
Create Water
Cure Serious Wounds
Dimension Door
Growth of Plants
Hallucinatory Terrain
Massmorph
Neutralize Poison
Polymorph Others
Polymorph Self
Protection from Evil 10’ Radius
Speak with Plants
Sticks to Snakes
Wall of Fire
Wall of Ice
Wizard Eye

5th LEVEL MAGICIAN SPELLS

5th Level Incantations
Cloudkill
Feeblemind
Finger of Death
Hold Monster
Insect Plague
Magic Jar
Pass-Wall
Telekinesis
Transmute Rock and Mud
Wall of Stone

5th Level CeremoniesRequire 2 ½ hours, + 500 gp worth of materials.
Animate Dead
Commune
Conjure Elemental *
Contact Higher Plane
Create Food
Dispel Evil *
Raise Dead
Teleport *

5th Level TalismansRequire 5,000 gp of materials, or at least 10 HD of slain magical creatures. Remain charged for 30 days, or until dispelled.
Neutralize Poison (Effective immunity)
Protection from Evil 10’ Radius
Speak with Plants

5th Level Pacts d4 to determine the required sacrifice.
1 = 5 HD worth of blood from a specific creature.
2 = 1,000 gp worth of treasure.
3 = 5 points of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability)
4 = 10 Hit Points worth of the Magician’s blood.
Animate Dead
Cloudkill
Commune
Conjure Elemental
Contact Higher Plane
Create Food
Dispel Evil
Feeblemind
Finger of Death
Hold Monster
Insect Plague
Magic Jar
Pass-Wall
Raise Dead
Telekinesis
Teleport
Transmute Rock and Mud
Wall of Stone

6th LEVEL MAGICIAN SPELLS

6th Level Incantations
Anti-Magic Shell
Death Spell
Disintegrate
Geas
Lower Water
Move Earth
Part Water
Projected Image
Stone to Flesh

6th Level CeremoniesRequire 3 hours, + 720 gp worth of materials.Control Weather (Can be cast on a disant location, if the Magician has a handful of soil or rocks from it, or something belonging to a person currently there.)
Stone to Flesh *
Invisible Stalker
Reincarnation *
Remove Geas

6th Level Talismans Require 7,200 gp of materials, or at least 12 HD of slain magical creatures. Remain charged for 30 days, or until dispelled.
Create Food (Character can survive without eating as long as they wear the Talisman.)
Raise Dead (Character is automatically Raised if killed, as if the spell was immediately cast on them)
Remove Geas (Effective immunity)
Stone to Flesh (Immunity to Petrification)
Telekinesis

6th Level Pacts – d4 to determine the required sacrifice.
1 = 6 HD worth of blood from a specific creature.
2 = 1,200 gp worth of treasure.
3 = 6 points of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability)
4 = 12 Hit Points worth of the Magician’s blood.
Anti-Magic Shell
Control Weather
Death Spell
Disintegrate
Flesh to Stone
Geas
Invisible Stalker
Lower Water
Move Earth
Part Water
Projected Image
Remove Geas
Stone to Flesh