Villain Class: Darkmage

The darkmage class can be used to represent any human(oid) opponent who relies primary on arcane spells. Undead darkmages such as liches and vampires can also be dangerous, although their lack of a Constitution score inhibits their durability. A variant of this class is the darkpriest, who uses divine spells and has the ability to rebuke undead.

The darkmage's CR is equal to his class level/HD. A class progression to 25th level is given below, to allow creation of powerful opponents for high-level parties. A darkmage gains a feat at 1st level, 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, just like any other humanoid creature.

Class Statistics

Hit die: d6

Skills: The darkmage has ranks equal to his level +3 in Concentration, Knowledge (all types), Martial Lore, Intimidate, Spellcraft, Listen and Use Magic Device. His skill ranks are not affected by his Intelligence score, nor does he benefit from synergy bonuses.

Level BAB Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Special abilities, DR 5/adamantine 10 14 12 16 12 10
2 +1 +0 +0 +3   10 14 12 16 12 10
3 +1 +1 +1 +3   10 14 12 16 12 10
4 +2 +1 +1 +4 Bonus feat 10 14 12 18 12 10
5 +2 +1 +1 +4   10 16 12 18 12 10
6 +3 +2 +2 +5   10 16 14 18 12 10
7 +3 +2 +2 +5   12 16 14 18 14 12
8 +4 +2 +2 +6 DR 10/adamantine 12 16 14 20 14 12
9 +4 +3 +3 +6   12 16 14 20 14 12
10 +5 +3 +3 +7   12 18 14 20 14 12
11 +5 +3 +3 +7   12 18 16 20 14 12
12 +6 +4 +4 +8 Bonus feat 12 18 16 22 14 12
13 +6 +4 +4 +8   12 18 16 22 14 12
14 +7 +4 +4 +9   12 18 16 22 14 12
15 +7 +5 +5 +9   12 20 16 22 14 12
16 +8 +5 +5 +10 Greater metamagic (1/encounter) 12 20 18 24 14 12
17 +8 +5 +5 +10   14 20 18 24 16 14
18 +9 +6 +6 +11   14 20 18 24 16 14
19 +9 +6 +6 +11   14 20 18 24 16 14
20 +10 +6 +6 +12 Bonus feat 14 22 18 26 16 14
21 +10 +7 +7 +12 Supreme metamagic, DR 10/epic 14 22 20 26 16 14
22 +11 +7 +7 +13   14 22 20 26 16 14
23 +11 +7 +7 +13   14 22 20 26 16 14
24 +12 +8 +8 +14 Bonus feat 14 22 20 28 16 14
25 +12 +8 +8 +14 Spell swarm 14 24 20 28 16 14

Class Abilities

The following are the class abilities of the darkmage. All are extraordinary abilities unless otherwise noted. The darkmage's caster level for all spells and spell-like abilities is equal to his class level.

Weapon and armour proficiency: The darkmage is proficient with all simple weapons. He does not gain proficiency with armour or shields.

Arcane Resistance: The darkmage gains a resistance bonus to all saving throws equal to half his level, rounded down. This is a spell-like effect and can be dispelled, but the darkmage can reactivate it on his turn as a standard action.

Arcane Defense: The darkmage gains an armor bonus to AC equal to his level (minimum +4). This is a force effect. This is a spell-like effect and can be dispelled, but the darkmage can reactivate it on his turn as a standard action.

Damage Reduction: The darkmage has damage reduction 5/adamantine. This increases to 10/adamantine at 8th level. This is a spell-like effect and can be dispelled, but the darkmage can reactivate it on his turn as a standard action.

At 21st level, the darkmage gains DR 10/epic overlapping with his DR 10/adamantine. This cannot be dispelled.

Greater Metamagic: At 16th level, when the darkmage applies metamagic to a spell, the final spell slot required to cast the spell is reduced by one level, to a minimum of the spell's original level. The spell slot level is only reduced by one, regardless of how many metamagic feats are applied. He can use this ability once per encounter.

Supreme Metamagic: At 21st level, the darkmage is no longer limited in the number of times per encounter he can use his greater metamagic ability.

Spell Swarm: As a standard action, a darkmage of 25th level can cast two spells simultaneously. Both spells must have a casting time of one standard action or less. The darkmage can take no actions on the turn after he uses this ability. This is a supernatural ability.

Bonus Feats: At 4th, 12th 20th, and 24th level, the darkmage gains a bonus feat. This can be chosen from Spell Focus, Greater Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, Greater Spell Penetration, any metamagic feat, or any reserve feat (see Complete Mage). He must meet the normal prerequisites for these feats. A darkmage is treated as always having spells available of the highest level he can cast, for the purpose of reserve feat effects.

Spellcasting

The darkmage has the ability to cast spells on the wizard/sorcerer spell list. His primary casting ability is Intelligence: to cast a spell, he must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level, and the save DCs for his spells are calculated as 10 + spell level + Int modifier.

The darkmage gains a limited number of spell slots per encounter, as given in the table. A spell slot can be used to cast a spell of the given spell level or lower. Unlike other spellcasting classes, the darkmage does not gain additional spell slots from a high Intelligence score, nor are his slots limited on a daily basis. When casting a spell, he can cast any spell on his spell list; he does not have to prepare it or select it ahead of time as a known spell. The darkmage is an arcane spellcaster, and so his spells suffer from the arcane spell failure chance from wearing armour and shields. For the purpose of feats and other special abilities, the darkmage is treated as a caster who prepares spells: thus, for example, he does not require a full-round action to use metamagic feats.

 

Spells per encounter

Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10*
1 1                  
2 2                  
3 2 1                
4 2 2                
5 2 2 1              
6 2 2 2              
7 2 2 2 1            
8 2 2 2 2            
9 2 2 2 2 1          
10 2 2 2 2 2          
11 2 2 2 2 2 1        
12 2 2 2 2 2 2        
13 2 2 2 2 2 2 1      
14 2 2 2 2 2 2 2      
15 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1    
16 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2    
17 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1  
18 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2  
19 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1
20 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
21 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
22 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
23 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
24 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
25 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
* While there are no 10th level spells, the darkmage can use these slots to apply metamagic feats to lower-level spells.

In addition to casting spells, the darkmage can use spell slots to power the abilities listed below. A spell slot used to power a special ability is expended, and cannot be used to cast a spell. All of these are supernatural abilities.

Spell Shield: As an immediate action, the darkmage gains a deflection bonus to AC equal to 10 + the level of the slot used to power this ability. This lasts until the start of the darkmage's next turn.

Infernal Health: As a swift action, the darkmage regains lost hit points equal to 10 x the level of the slot used to power this ability. His hit points cannot go above his normal maximum.

Baleful Insight: As an immediate action, the darkmage gains an insight bonus to his next skill check equal to 10 + the level of the slot used to power this ability. The skill check must be made before the start of his next turn.

Nullify Magic: As an immediate action, the darkmage gains spell resistance equal to 10 + twice the level of the slot used to power this ability. This is effective against the next spell or spell-like effect that affects him.


Possessions

The darkmage is equipped with gear appropriate to a master of arcane magic. The following magic items are those commonly found on darkmages; others may be substituted at your discretion. The total value of the darkmage's items should not vary significantly from the DMG guidelines for NPC equipment by level.

From 6th level, the darkmage has a headband of intellect +2, which improves to +4 at 12th level, +6 at 18th level and +8 at 24th level. From 7th level he has gloves of Dexterity +2, which improve to +4 at 13th level, +6 at 19th level and +8 at 25th level. From 8th level he has an amulet of health +2, which improves to +4 at 14th level and +6 at 20th level.

The darkmage is armed with a weapon that he is proficient with. From 4th level this weapon becomes +1, increasing to +2 at 8th level, +3 at 12th, +4 at 16th and +5 at 20th.


Variants

Darkpriest

Make the following changes:


Complete Tables

For convenience, the following tables give precomputed baseline statistics for darkmages from 1st to 25th level. All static bonuses from class abilities and the default magic items have been added in. Bonuses from feats and other customised effects are not included, however.

Table 1: Stats and attributes by level

Level Init AC (t, ff)

hp

Fort Ref Will BAB Grap Mel atk Rng atk Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
1 +2 16 (12, 11) 7 +1 +2 +3 +0 +0 +0 +2 10 14 12 16 12 10
2 +2 16 (12, 12) 11 +2 +3 +5 +1 +1 +1 +3 10 14 12 16 12 10
3 +2 16 (12, 13) 16 +3 +4 +5 +1 +1 +1 +3 10 14 12 16 12 10
4 +2 16 (12, 14) 20 +4 +5 +7 +2 +2 +3 +5 10 14 12 18 12 10
5 +3 18 (13, 15) 25 +4 +6 +7 +2 +2 +3 +6 10 16 12 18 12 10
6 +3 19 (13, 16) 35 +7 +8 +9 +3 +3 +4 +7 10 16 14 20 12 10
7 +4 21 (14, 17) 41 +7 +9 +10 +3 +4 +5 +8 12 18 14 20 14 12
8 +4 22 (14, 18) 54 +9 +10 +12 +4 +5 +7 +10 12 18 16 22 14 12
9 +4 23 (14, 19) 61 +10 +11 +12 +4 +5 +7 +10 12 18 16 22 14 12
10 +5 25 (15, 20) 67 +11 +13 +14 +5 +6 +8 +12 12 20 16 22 14 12
11 +5 26 (15, 21) 85 +12 +13 +14 +5 +6 +8 +12 12 20 18 22 14 12
12 +5 27 (15, 22) 92 +14 +15 +16 +6 +7 +10 +14 12 20 18 26 14 12
13 +6 29 (16, 23) 100 +14 +16 +16 +6 +7 +10 +15 12 22 18 26 14 12
14 +6 30 (16, 24) 121 +16 +17 +18 +7 +8 +11 +16 12 22 20 26 14 12
15 +7 32 (17, 25) 130 +17 +19 +18 +7 +8 +11 +17 12 24 20 26 14 12
16 +7 33 (17, 26) 154 +19 +20 +20 +8 +9 +13 +19 12 24 22 28 14 12
17 +7 34 (17, 27) 164 +19 +20 +21 +8 +10 +14 +19 14 24 22 28 16 14
18 +7 35 (17, 28) 173 +21 +22 +23 +9 +11 +15 +20 14 24 22 30 16 14
19 +8 37 (18, 29) 183 +21 +23 +23 +9 +11 +15 +21 14 26 22 30 16 14
20 +9 39 (19, 30) 212 +23 +25 +25 +10 +12 +17 +24 14 28 24 32 16 14
21 +9 40 (19, 31) 244 +25 +26 +25 +10 +12 +17 +24 14 28 26 32 16 14
22 +9 41 (19, 32) 255 +26 +27 +27 +11 +13 +18 +25 14 28 26 32 16 14
23 +9 42 (19, 33) 267 +26 +27 +27 +11 +13 +18 +25 14 28 26 32 16 14
24 +9 43 (19, 34) 278 +28 +29 +29 +12 +14 +20 +27 14 28 26 36 16 14
25 +11 46 (21, 35) 290 +28 +31 +29 +12 +14 +20 +29 14 32 26 36 16 14

Table 2: Skill bonuses by level

Level Conc Know (all) MartL Intim Listen Splcrft UMD
1 +5 +7 +7 +1 +5 +7 +4
2 +6 +8 +8 +2 +6 +8 +5
3 +7 +9 +9 +3 +7 +9 +6
4 +8 +11 +11 +4 +8 +11 +7
5 +9 +12 +12 +5 +9 +12 +8
6 +11 +14 +14 +6 +10 +14 +9
7 +12 +15 +15 +8 +12 +15 +11
8 +14 +17 +17 +9 +13 +17 +12
9 +15 +18 +18 +10 +14 +18 +13
10 +16 +19 +19 +11 +15 +19 +14
11 +18 +20 +20 +12 +16 +20 +15
12 +19 +23 +23 +13 +17 +23 +16
13 +20 +24 +24 +14 +18 +24 +17
14 +22 +25 +25 +15 +19 +25 +18
15 +23 +26 +26 +16 +20 +26 +19
16 +25 +28 +28 +17 +21 +28 +20
17 +26 +29 +29 +19 +23 +29 +22
18 +27 +31 +31 +20 +24 +31 +23
19 +28 +32 +32 +21 +25 +32 +24
20 +30 +34 +34 +22 +26 +34 +25
21 +32 +35 +35 +23 +27 +35 +26
22 +33 +36 +36 +24 +28 +36 +27
23 +34 +37 +37 +25 +29 +37 +28
24 +35 +40 +40 +26 +30 +40 +29
25 +36 +41 +41 +27 +31 +41 +30

Sample Darkmages

5th level

Human darkmage 5: CR 5; Medium humanoid (human); HD 5d6+8 (28 hp); Init +3; Spd 30 ft; AC 18 (touch 13, flat-footed 15); BAB +2; Grap +2; Atk +3 melee (1d8+1/x3, +1 spear) or +6 ranged (1d8/19-20, masterwork light crossbow); S/R 5 ft/5 ft; SA Spells; SQ DR 5/adamantine, darkmage abilities; AL CE; SV Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +7; Str 10, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 10.

Skills: Concentration +9, Knowledge (all areas) +12, Martial Lore +12, Intimidate +5, Listen +9, Spellcraft +12, Use Magic Device +8.

Feats: Toughness, Great Fortitude, Fiery Burst* (3d6, DC 17), Spell Focus (evocation).

Spells: 2 1st, 2 2nd, 1 3rd, caster level 5th (6th for fire spells), save DC 14 + spell level (15 + spell level for evocation spells).

Spell Shield: As immediate action, convert a spell slot to gain 10 + spell level deflection bonus to AC until next turn.

Infernal Health: As swift action, convert a spell slot to regain 10 x spell level hit points.

Baleful Insight: As immediate action, convert a spell slot to gain 10 + spell level insight bonus to next skill check.

Nullify Magic: As immediate action, convert a spell slot to gain SR 10 + 2x spell level against one spell.

Possessions: +1 spear, masterwork light crossbow, 20 bolts.

10th level

Human darkmage 10: CR 10; Medium humanoid (human); HD 10d6+30 (67 hp); Init +5; Spd 30 ft; AC 25 (touch 15, flat-footed 20); BAB +5; Grap +6; Atk +8 melee (1d8+3/x3, +2 spear) or +12 ranged (1d8+2/19-20, +2 light crossbow); S/R 5 ft/5 ft; SA Spells; SQ DR 10/adamantine, darkmage abilities; AL CE; SV Fort +13, Ref +13, Will +14, Str 12, Dex 20, Con 16, Int 22, Wis 14, Cha 12.

Skills: Concentration +19, Knowledge (all areas) +19, Martial Lore +19, Intimidate +11, Listen +15, Spellcraft +19, Use Magic Device +14.

Feats: Great Fortitude, Skill Focus (Concentration), Touch of Distraction* (5 rounds, DC 21), Spell Focus (enchantment), Heighten Spell, Sickening Grasp* (5 rounds, DC 21).

Spells: 2 1st, 2 2nd, 2 3rd, 2 4th, 2 5th, caster level 10th (11th for enchantment and necromancy spells), save DC 16 + spell level (17 + spell level for enchantment spells).

Spell Shield: As immediate action, convert a spell slot to gain 10 + spell level deflection bonus to AC until next turn.

Infernal Health: As swift action, convert a spell slot to regain 10 x spell level hit points.

Baleful Insight: As immediate action, convert a spell slot to gain 10 + spell level insight bonus to next skill check.

Nullify Magic: As immediate action, convert a spell slot to gain SR 10 + 2x spell level against one spell.

Possessions: +2 spear, +2 light crossbow, gloves of Dexterity +2, amulet of health +2, headband of intellect +2, 20 bolts.

15th level

Human darkmage 15: CR 15; Medium humanoid (human); HD 15d6+75 (130 hp); Init +7; Spd 30 ft; AC 32 (touch 17, flat-footed 25); BAB +7; Grap +8; Atk +11 melee (1d6+4, +3 quarterstaff); S/R 5 ft/5 ft; SA Spells; SQ DR 10/adamantine, darkmage abilities; AL CE; SV Fort +19, Ref +19, Will +18, Str 12, Dex 24, Con 20, Int 26, Wis 14, Cha 12.

Skills: Concentration +23, Knowledge (all areas) +26, Martial Lore +26, Intimidate +16, Listen +20, Spellcraft +26, Use Magic Device +22.

Feats: Great Fortitude, Skill Focus (Use Magic Device), Winterís Blast* (8d6, DC 26), Spell Focus (evocation), Empower Spell, Spell Penetration, Invisible Needle* (8d4, DC 26), Clutch of Earth* (slow 40 ft, DC 26), Quicken Spell.

Spells: 2 1st, 2 2nd, 2 3rd, 2 4th, 2 5th, 2 6th, 2 7th, 1 8th, caster level 15th (16th for cold, force and earth spells), save DC 18 + spell level (19 + spell level for evocation spells).

Spell Shield: As immediate action, convert a spell slot to gain 10 + spell level deflection bonus to AC until next turn.

Infernal Health: As swift action, convert a spell slot to regain 10 x spell level hit points.

Baleful Insight: As immediate action, convert a spell slot to gain 10 + spell level insight bonus to next skill check.

Nullify Magic: As immediate action, convert a spell slot to gain SR 10 + 2x spell level against one spell.

Possessions: +3 quarterstaff, gloves of Dexterity +4, amulet of health +4, headband of intellect +4.

20th level

Human darkmage 20: CR 20; Medium humanoid (human); HD 20d6+140 (212 hp); Init +9; Spd 30 ft; AC 39 (touch 19, flat-footed 30); BAB +10; Grap +12; Atk +17 melee (1d6+7, +5 quarterstaff); S/R 5 ft/5 ft; SA Spells, greater metamagic; SQ DR 10/adamantine, darkmage abilities; AL CE; SV Fort +25, Ref +25, Will +25, Str 14, Dex 28, Con 24, Int 32, Wis 16, Cha 14.

Skills: Concentration +30, Knowledge (all areas) +34, Martial Lore +34, Intimidate +22, Listen +26, Spellcraft +34, Use Magic Device +25.

Feats: Great Fortitude, Widen Spell, Storm Bolt* (10d6, DC 31), Spell Focus (evocation), Empower Spell, Spell Focus (necromancy), Sickening Grasp* (10 rounds, DC 31), Heighten Spell, Spell Penetration, Dimensional Jaunt* (50 ft), Quicken Spell.

Greater Metamagic: 1/encounter reduce metamagic cost of a spell by 1 level.

Spells: 2 1st, 2 2nd, 2 3rd, 2 4th, 2 5th, 2 6th, 2 7th, 2 8th, 2 9th, 2 10th, caster level 20th (21st for electricity, necromancy and teleportation spells), save DC 21 + spell level (22 + spell level for evocation and necromancy spells).

Spell Shield: As immediate action, convert a spell slot to gain 10 + spell level deflection bonus to AC until next turn.

Infernal Health: As swift action, convert a spell slot to regain 10 x spell level hit points.

Baleful Insight: As immediate action, convert a spell slot to gain 10 + spell level insight bonus to next skill check.

Nullify Magic: As immediate action, convert a spell slot to gain SR 10 + 2x spell level against one spell.

Possessions: +5 quarterstaff, gloves of Dexterity +6, amulet of health +6, headband of intellect +6.

* See Complete Mage.


Last modified: 5 June 2007

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