Bloodmage

Another necromancer prestige class. This one focuses more on the personal aspects of death magic, including gaining lots of evil and/or necromantic spells, rather than the usual gambit of raising an enormous army of undead. The concept is based loosely on the maho-tsukai in Oriental Adventures and the tainted sorcerer in Unearthed Arcana (which is itself based on the maho-tsukai). Thanks to everyone on Usenet and EN World who provided comments, in particular Nockermensch and Inconsequenti-AL.

The greatest, most powerful magics are those fueled by the spark of life. Blood magic, the tool of the bloodmage, entails sacrificing part of one's vitality for magics that are beyond the ability of normal wizards. It promises great power over the essence of life and death, an enticing prize indeed.

Such knowledge comes at great cost, however. Blood magic finds its ultimate source in the lower planes, and the lords of darkness do not give up their secrets easily. A prospective bloodmage must carry out a ritual that involves treachery and the sacrifice of innocents; furthermore, as the bloodmage progresses along this path, he will almost certainly be the cause of more death and suffering to those in his path. Such is the nature of blood magic; even if the physical scars may heal, the acts they perform will inevitably leave their mark on the bloodmage's psyche.

NPC bloodmages are rarely seen, but far more common than might be thought. They lead a secretive existence, as most nations and cultures would destroy them on sight. Most are sorcerers, who possess great innate magical power but may lack the schooling to realise the danger of blood magic before it's too late. The next most common are wizards, who have rummaged in libraries of ancient lore and stumbled across the scrolls detailing the necessary steps to become a bloodmage. Rarest are fallen clerics and druids, but these are not unknown.

Many bloodmages are twisted by their association with blood magic, if they were not so originally: prone to fits of rage, great callousness or cruelty, or terrible nightmares. Most consider it a worthwhile price to pay. Some regret their decision to embrace blood magic, but are resigned to their fate. A very few are repulsed at the acts they have committed, but are trapped nonetheless.


Requirements

Alignment: Any nongood.

Base Will save bonus: +4

Skills: Concentration 8 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks.

Other: Ability to cast 2nd level spells.

Special: The character must locate and use ancient scrolls detailing the rites and rituals necessary to take this class.

Class Statistics

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (alchemy) (Int), Disguise (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points/Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Level

Base Attack Bonus

Fort
Save

Ref
Save

Will
Save

Special

Spells per Day

1

+0

+2

+0

+0

Blood magic, accursed,
bloodpool (0 level)

+1 level of existing spellcaster class

2

+1

+3

+0

+0

Bloodpool (1st level)

+1 level of existing spellcaster class

3

+1

+3

+1

+1

Bloodpool (2nd level)

+1 level of existing spellcaster class

4

+2

+4

+1

+1

Bloodpool (3rd level)

+1 level of existing spellcaster class

5

+2

+4

+1

+1

Bloodpool (4th level)

+1 level of existing spellcaster class

6

+3

+5

+2

+2

Bloodpool (5th level)

+1 level of existing spellcaster class

7

+3

+5

+2

+2

Bloodpool (6th level)

+1 level of existing spellcaster class

8

+4

+6

+2

+2

Bloodpool (7th level)

+1 level of existing spellcaster class

9

+4

+6

+3

+3

Bloodpool (8th level)

+1 level of existing spellcaster class

10

+5

+7

+3

+3

Bloodpool (9th level)

+1 level of existing spellcaster class

Class Features

All the following are class features of the bloodmage.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: The bloodmage gains no weapon or armour proficiencies beyond those he already has. Armour of any type interferes with a bloodmage's spellcasting gestures, which can cause his spells to fail (if those spells have somatic components).

Spells: At every level, the bloodmage gains new spells per day and spells known as if he had gained a level in a previous spellcasting class. He does not, however, gain any other benefits of the other spellcasting class. This essentially means that he adds his bloodmage levels to the level of whatever other spellcasting class he has, then determines spells known, spells per day, and caster level accordingly.

A bloodmage has access to all Necromancy spells and all spells with the Death or Evil descriptors that appear on either the sorcerer/wizard or cleric spell lists, just as if they were on the spell list for his previous spellcasting class. This is in addition to the spells he gains from his previous spellcasting class. (He does not gain actual knowledge of these spells; they merely become available for him to choose from when he gains a level, and he can use spell completion and spell trigger items based on these spells.) The spell's level is equal to the lower of its wizard and cleric spell levels, for those that appear on both lists. These spells are listed below.

Accursed (Ex): The bloodmage's association with foul magic has left its mark on his soul. He is treated as evil-aligned for the purposes of spells and effects, regardless of his actual alignment. For example, he detects as evil with a detect evil spell, he suffers extra damage when struck by a weapon with the holy enchantment, and so on.

Blood Magic (Su): The bloodmage's power derives from blood sacrifice, hence the name. Each time he casts a spell, he takes 1 point of damage per spell level (with a minimum of 1 point). This does not provoke a Concentration check to successfully cast the spell, but cannot be negated through damage reduction or any other means.

If a spell has expensive material components, the bloodmage does not use them, but must pay a greater price in lost health. He takes an amount of Constitution damage as given in the table, in addition to the hit point damage from casting the spell. This Constitution loss cannot be negated by any means, short of not having a Constitution score (but see below). Lost Constitution points return at the rate of 1 point per day.

Component cost

Constitution damage

50 gp or less

2

51 gp-300 gp

4

301 gp-750 gp

8

751 gp or more

12

Bloodpool (Su): One of the secrets of blood magic that the bloodmage gains is the ability to use the bodies of others to fuel his spells. He can build up a reserve of arcane power, by bleeding a victim in a gruesome and agonizing ritual. This grants him temporary hit points or Constitution points that he can use in place of his own for casting blood magic.

Bleeding a sacrificial victim is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, and the victim must be helpless or willing. When the bloodmage bleeds a victim, each hit point of damage he deals counts as a point he can substitute for his own, when casting his spells. Each round, he can deal a maximum amount of damage equal to 10 x his levels in this prestige class; the victim is entitled to a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + the bloodmage's class levels + his Charisma modifier) to halve the damage taken. The bloodmage can choose to keep his victim alive by bleeding it for fewer than its total hit points + 10, which is enough to kill it. If he kills his victim, he also gains a number of Constitution points equal to the victim's HD (minimum of 1). He can only gain Constitution points by killing a victim as part of a sacrificial ritual; creatures slain in combat, for example, don't count.

A potential victim must have blood or ichor of some sort (not a plant, elemental, construct or undead), and have Intelligence and Charisma scores of at least 3. Called or summoned creatures cannot be used for such a ritual. If the ritual is interrupted, the victim takes no damage, and the bloodmage gains no benefit.

At any one time, the bloodmage's bloodpool can hold up to a number of hit points equal to 10 x his caster level, and a number of Constitution points equal to his caster level. Any hit points or Constitution points he gains in excess of these limits are wasted. The hit points and Constitution points he gains in this manner do not add to his own totals they can be used only for the purpose of casting blood magic, and only within the next 24 hours, after which they are lost.

The level of spell that the bloodmage can cast using his bloodpool is limited by the level he has reached in this prestige class. At 1st level, he can use the bloodpool to cast 0-level spells (cantrips or orisons). This goes up by 1 spell level for every bloodmage level, until he can use it to cast 9th level spells at 10th bloodmage level.

Undead Bloodmages

An undead bloodmage (or a bloodmage of any type with no Constitution score) no longer takes Constitution damage when casting a spell with expensive material components. Instead, he takes a like amount of Charisma damage. Creatures that he sacrifices to his bloodpool grant him temporary Charisma points instead of Constitution points for use in spellcasting.


Spell List

0 level Disrupt undead, inflict minor wounds, touch of fatigue.

1st level Deathwatch, cause fear, chill touch, curse water, doom, inflict light wounds, protection from good, ray of enfeeblement.

2nd level Blindness/deafness, command undead, death knell, desecrate, false life, gentle repose, ghoul touch, inflict moderate wounds, scare, spectral hand.

3rd level Animate dead, bestow curse, contagion, halt undead, inflict serious wounds, magic circle against good, ray of exhaustion, speak with dead, vampiric touch.

4th level Death ward, enervation, fear, inflict critical wounds, poison.

5th level Blight, dispel good, magic jar, mark of justice, mass inflict light wounds, nightmare, slay living, symbol of pain, unhallow, waves of fatigue.

6th level Circle of death, create undead, eyebite, harm, mass inflict moderate wounds, symbol of fear, undeath to death.

7th level Blasphemy, control undead, destruction, finger of death, mass inflict serious wounds, symbol of weakness, waves of exhaustion.

8th level Clone, create greater undead, horrid wilting, mass inflict critical wounds, symbol of death, unholy aura.

9th level Astral projection, energy drain, implosion, power word kill, soul bind, wail of the banshee.


Sample Bloodmage

A gaunt, hollow-faced man, Malac, the Drinker of Souls, is one of the most powerful bloodmages in the land, and one of the few to display his true nature openly. In his youth, he was a greatly talented sorcerer, who desired to learn more about the gift of magic he had inherited. He discovered an ancient tome, containing matters of arcane lore beyond anything he'd heard about, and was instantly besotted. In return for unlocking the secrets of the tome, he had to complete a ritual that involved slaying his family, which he did that very night. He hasn't looked back since.

Malac now rules over a fiefdom that he and his underlings have carved out of the frontier. His enemies are legion, but none dare to challenge him. His long association with blood magic has left him on the verge of insanity; he suffers from frequent violent outbursts during which nobody around him is safe, and he wanders the corridors of his fortress, muttering to himself. It may not be long before he cracks entirely.

Malac: human male sor6/bloodmage 8; CR 14; Medium Humanoid (human); HD 6d4+8d8+42 (105 hp); Init +4; Spd 30 ft; AC 21 (touch 17, flat-footed 17); BAB +7; Grap +7; Atk +8/+3 melee (1d6, masterwork quarterstaff); SA Spells; SQ Blood magic, bloodpool (7th level spells), accursed; AL NE; SV Fort +14, Ref +11, Will +12; Str 10, Dex 18, Con 17, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 24.

Skills and Feats: Concentration +20, Knowledge (arcana) +19, Spellcraft +22, Craft Wondrous Item, Empower Spell, Spell Focus (Necromancy), Scribe Scroll, Spell Penetration, Still Spell.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Armour of any type interferes with Malac's arcane gestures, which can cause his spells to fail (if those spells have somatic components).

Accursed (Ex): Malac's association with foul magic has left its mark on his soul. He is treated as evil-aligned for the purposes of spells and effects, regardless of his actual alignment. For example, he detects as evil with a detect evil spell, he suffers extra damage when struck by a weapon with the holy enchantment, and so on.

Blood Magic (Su): Malac's power derives from blood sacrifice. Each time he casts a spell, he takes 1 point of damage per spell level (with a minimum of 1 point). This does not provoke a Concentration check to successfully cast the spell, but cannot be negated through damage reduction or any other means.

If a spell has expensive material components, Malac does not use them, but must pay a greater price in lost health. He takes an amount of Constitution damage as given in the table, in addition to the hit point damage from casting the spell. This Constitution loss cannot be negated by any means, short of not having a Constitution score. Lost Constitution points return at the rate of 1 point per day.

Bloodpool (Su): Malac has the ability to use the bodies of others to fuel his spells. He can build up a reserve of arcane power, by bleeding a victim in a gruesome and agonizing ritual. This grants him temporary hit points or Constitution points that he can use in place of his own for casting blood magic.

Bleeding a sacrificial victim is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, and the victim must be helpless or willing. When Malac bleeds a victim, each hit point of damage he deals counts as a point he can substitute for his own, when casting his spells. Each round, he can deal up to 80 points of damage; the victim is entitled to a DC 25 Fortitude saving throw to halve the damage taken. Malac can choose to keep his victim alive by bleeding it for fewer than its total hit points + 10, which is enough to kill it. If he kills his victim, he also gains a number of Constitution points equal to the victim's HD (minimum of 1). He can only gain Constitution points by killing a victim as part of a sacrificial ritual; creatures slain in combat, for example, don't count.

A potential victim must have blood or ichor of some sort (not a plant, elemental, construct or undead), and have Intelligence and Charisma scores of at least 3. Called or summoned creatures cannot be used for such a ritual. If the ritual is interrupted, the victim takes no damage, and Malac gains no benefit.

At any one time, Malac's bloodpool can hold up to 140 hit points and 14 Constitution points. Any hit points or Constitution points he gains in excess of these limits are wasted. The hit points and Constitution points he gains in this manner do not add to his own totals they can be used only for the purpose of casting blood magic, and only within the next 24 hours, after which they are lost.

Malac can use his bloodpool to cast up to 7th level spells.

Equipment: masterwork quarterstaff, bracers of armour +4, amulet of Charisma +6, belt of Constitution +2, gloves of Dexterity +4, circlet of resistance +3, ring of regeneration, ring of protection +3, 2 arcane scrolls of slay living, arcane scroll of phantasmal killer.

Spells Per Day (6/8/8/8/7/7/6/4, save DC = 17 + spell level, or 18 + spell level for Necromancy spells): 0 dancing lights, daze, detect magic, detect poison, flare, ghost sound, open/close, prestidigitation, read magic; 1st deathwatch, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, shield, true strike; 2nd ghoul touch, resist energy, scorching ray, see invisibility, spectral hand; 3rd bestow curse, fireball, fly, vampiric touch; 4th dimension door, enervation, fear, stoneskin; 5th dispel good, teleport, wall of force; 6th harm, planar binding; 7th limited wish.


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