Magus (3.5e Class)

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The Magus[edit]

Magic is viewed in as many different ways as there are magic practitioners. To some, it is a scholarly science. Others view magic as a natural force they have an innate knack for. To a select few, magic is literally a part of them. The magus differs from other arcanists in that he is actually a creature of magic, not a creature that practices magic. No one studies to become a magus, magi are born with their gift—for better or worse.

Often times, their powers will usually manifest themselves at a very young age, often well before the magus is even capable of speech. There have been many dangerous, some even fatal, instances of young magi’s uncontrolled power harming another or themselves. Many are raised to fear and deny their power, some even cast out as demons, while others are taught to cultivate and refine it. The magus’ true nature almost always wins out, though, and if he is in a setting where his gift is not appreciated, or worse, reviled, he will most often leave to pursue a place where he will be free to hone his abilities.

Game Rule Information[edit]

Magic is difficult for the mind to grasp. In fact, for the mind of a creature which is not essentially magical, it is impossible. Even sorcerers, with their natural talent for magic, are unable to view it in an unfragmented way; their minds are unable to comprehend it without dividing it. Magi manipulate magic in a much more intuitive way than wizards or even sorcerers. They have more control over their spell usage, and even become able to use some minor spells at will. Being creatures of magic, magi also have certain weaknesses absent in other spellcasters, and radiate magic.

Magi have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Charisma determines how powerful a spell a magus can cast, how much mana he has, and how hard those spells are to resist. Like a wizard or sorcerer, a magus benefits from high Dexterity and Constitution scores.

Races: Elves and half-elves seem to be the most common magi, although there have been human, halfling, and other known races of magi. They are unheard of among dwarves and half-orcs, as well as savage races not known for their magical aptitude. It is truly unknown what genetic features create magi, as many have learned to pass themselves off as sorcerers and wizards, but they tend to be more common in areas where there is a great deal of arcane magical energy present, such as the location of some long-ago magical battle or catastrophe.

Alignment: Any. Magi have no particular alignment inclination, as they are born with their powers.

Starting Gold: 2d4 x 10

Starting Age: Simple

Table: The Magus
Hit Die: d6

Level Base Attack
Cantrips Mana Special
1 +0 +0 +0 +2 5 3 Faint Magical Aura (+1), Vulnerabilities (all), Spell Combat, Bonus Feat
2 +1 +0 +0 +3 6 4 Spellstrike
3 +1 +1 +1 +3 6 5 Power Surge (+1), Bonus Feat
4 +2 +1 +1 +4 7 12 Innate Magic
5 +2 +1 +1 +4 7 14 Aura Control, Bonus Feat
6 +3 +2 +2 +5 7 28 Moderate Magical Aura (+2)
7 +3 +2 +2 +5 8 33 Power Surge (+2), Bonus Feat
8 +4 +2 +2 +6 8 52 Innate Magic
9 +4 +3 +3 +6 8 59 Bonus Feat
10 +5 +3 +3 +7 8 86 Mana Shield
11 +5 +3 +3 +7 9 95 Power Surge (+3), Bonus Feat
12 +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 9 127 Innate Magic
13 +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 9 137 Strong Magical Aura (+3), Bonus Feat
14 +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 9 176  
15 +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 9 189 Power Surge +4, Bonus Feat
16 +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 10 233 Innate Magic
17 +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 10 248 Bonus Feat
18 +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 10 298  
19 +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 10 315 Power Surge +5, Bonus Feat
20 +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 10 331 Overwhelming Magical Aura (+4), Arcane Vision, Innate Magic

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level (x4 at first level))
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Survival (Wis)

Table: Magus Spells Known
Level ————————Spells Known —–———————
0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st 4 2
2nd 5 2
3rd 5 3
4th 6 3 1
5th 6 4 2
6th 7 4 2 1
7th 7 5 3 2
8th 8 5 3 2 1
9th 8 5 4 3 2
10th 9 5 4 3 2 1
11th 9 5 5 4 3 2
12th 9 5 5 4 3 2 1
13th 9 5 5 4 4 3 2
14th 9 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
15th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2
16th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 1
17th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 2
18th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 2 1
19th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 2
20th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 3
Magus Bonus Mana
Charisma Level
1-3 4-5 6-7 8-9 10-11 12-13 14-15 16-17 18-20
12-13 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
14-15 1 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
16-17 1 3 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
18-19 1 3 7 12 12 12 12 12 12
20-21 2 4 8 13 20 20 20 20 20
22-23 2 6 10 15 22 30 30 30 30
24-25 2 6 14 19 26 34 43 43 43
26-27 2 6 14 24 31 39 49 60 60
28-29 3 7 15 25 38 46 56 67 80
30-31 3 9 17 27 40 57 66 77 90
32-33 3 9 20 31 44 60 80 91 103
34-35 3 9 20 36 49 66 85 107 120
36-37 3 10 21 37 57 73 92 114 140
38-39 3 12 23 39 59 83 103 125 150
40-41 3 12 27 43 63 87 116 138 163
42-43 3 12 27 48 68 92 121 154 180
44-45 4 13 28 49 75 100 129 162 200

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the magus.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Magi are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a magus’ arcane gestures, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Spells: A magus casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a wizard or cleric must. When the magus learns a spell the knowledge of this spell is permanently etched into his mind, he needs no spell book. He has the same limited spell selection of a sorcerer, and learns spells at the same rate.

To learn or cast a spell, a magus must have a Charisma score equal to 10 + the spell level. The difficulty class for a saving throw against a magus’ spell is 10 + the spell level + the magus’ Charisma modifier.

The magus is not as adept at using metamagic as a wizard because of the spontaneous nature of his magic. Spells which take a standard action to cast take a full-round action when metamagic feats are applied, and spells with casting times longer than standard actions take an extra full round action to complete when metamagic feats are applied. Metamagic feats add 2 points of mana per spell level they add, and the cost for these spells (not including points paid to increase caster level for damaging spells) cannot exceed the magus' caster level -1.

Unlike other spellcasters, a magus does not have a set limit to the number of spells he can cast per spell level. Instead, a magus casts spells using mana. Mana is the internal reserve of spellpower a magus has flowing through his veins, which is represented by the points he has remaining in his mana reserve. A first level spell has a base cost of one point of mana; higher level spells cost an additional 2 points of mana for every spell level above 1st.

Spell Lvl Mana
0 0
1st 1
2nd 3
3rd 5
4th 7
5th 9
6th 11
7th 13
8th 15
9th 17

The magus can cast a certain number of 0 level spells per day without spending mana, but thereafter he may expend one point of mana per 0 level spell he wishes to cast. A magus may not cast a spell that costs more mana than he has remaining in his reserve. When a magus casts spells in the heat of battle, they can often cost more mana. Whenever initiative order is determined for the magus, for the duration of the combat ( until initiative ends ) any spell he casts is cast at the caster level he first gained access to that spell level. The magus must pay one additional point of mana per effective caster level he wishes to increase the spell by, not to exceed his current caster level (for example, when a magus in battle pays the standard 5 mana to cast a fireball it is cast as if he was a 6th level caster, regardless of his actual caster level. If the magus in question was a level 10 caster he could pay an additional 4 mana to increase the fireball’s effects to that of a 10th level caster, making the total mana cost 9).

Using solely his own essence to repeatedly channel high-powered magic can harm the magus. The magus may only cast his highest level known spells a number of times per day equal to 1/2 of his Charisma score without ill effects. Each spell cast of the highest level the magus knows counts against this limit, and any spell of 9th level or above always counts against this limit. After this limit is reached, any spell cast of his highest level (or any spell of 9th or greater level) has a chance to cause him to suffer the spell level in Charisma damage. The spell is always cast as intended, but immediately after the spell is cast there is a 5 x spell level % chance of the magus suffering Charisma damage. This special damage cannot be healed by magical means (treat as ability burn, per XPH) and must be healed naturally.

To replenish his daily mana reserve a magus must get a good night’s rest and spend 15 minutes meditating. Any spells cast in the 8 hours preceeding his meditation are deducted from his daily mana allotment that he regains upon meditation. A magus may never regain daily mana more than once in a 24 hour period, regardless of time spent sleeping or meditating.

Magical Aura: The magus has a magical aura depending upon his class level. From 1st to 5th level he has a faint (wild magic) magical aura (+1), from 6th to 12th a moderate aura (+2), strong from 13th to 19th (+3), and overwhelming at level 20 and beyond (+4). When his aura is active (not suppressed) the magus receives the indicated bonus to saving throws against spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. The magical aura is considered a spell-like ability, and any dispelling or suppression effect will cause the aura to be suppressed for 1d4 rounds. If the magus has aura control he may reactivate the aura at any time.

Spell Combat: At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.

Spellstrike: At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the magus makes this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks. This attack uses the weapon’s critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier.

Aura Control: Beginning at level 5 a magus learns to suppress his magical aura. As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity he can completely suppress his magical aura. The aura stays suppressed until the magus loses consciousness in any way, at which point the aura resumes. The magus may also voluntarily reactivate his magical aura as a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

Dispel Magic Vulnerability: The magus literally has magic in his blood. Dispel Magic effects not only have their usual effects when cast on him, but he is essentially treated as a magic item in addition. The dispeller makes the usual dispel check against 11 + the magus’ caster level. If the dispeller succeeds the magus loses the use of all spells and spell-like abilities for 1d4 rounds.

Anti-Magic Vulnerability: Anti-magic effects not only suppress the magus, but in addition cause him to be nauseated while in the area of effect.

Disjunction Vulnerability: When cast on a magus Mordenkainen’s Disjunction, in addition to its usual effects, also has the effects of the Harm spell. The magus receives a saving throw with the DC of the Will save for Mordenkainen’s Disjunction to resist the Harm effect.

Power Surge: Beginning at level 3, a magus may choose to invoke a power surge whenever he casts a spell. When he does so, he gains +1 caster level for the effects of that spell (increasing to up to 2 at 7th, up to 3 at 11th, 4 at 15th, and 5 at 19th). The magus does not pay the mana point cost for the 'extra' caster level of these spells, if applicable (only the extra 1-5 points that would be required from the surge, regular caster level increases are paid for normally). This mana is effectively supplied by the surge. A power surge may raise the caster level for a spell above the actual caster level of the magus, but cannot exceed the maximum level-dependent effects for the spell. This virtual caster level increase has no other effects. The magus may decide to add between 1 and his maximum allowable surge caster levels.

Magical Enervation: A power surge can be dangerous for the magus to invoke. For every caster level added by the power surge, there is a 5% cumulative chance of magical enervation occurring. When this occurs, the magus is dazed for one round and loses his caster level in mana from his reserve. This effect is applied immediately after the surge occurs, the spell is cast with the surge effects taking place.

Innate Magic: At every 4th level the magus gains a 1 level spell-like ability. He may choose any 1 level spell he knows and may use it at will without paying the mana cost or spending any mana to use it as a spell-like ability it counts as a cantrip. Any innate magic cantrips with durations longer than one round require the magus to maintain concentration for every round after the first, until their duration expires.

Mana Shield: At level 10 the magus learns to use mana to counteract his vulnerabilities. When targeted by Dispel and Disjunction effects he may choose to immediately spend his caster level in mana to negate the special vulnerability effects. He may choose to use mana shield after his save / the dispel check is resolved. Also, he may spend 5 mana per round to ignore the nauseating effect of anti-magic fields. This mana must be spent before he takes any other action that round in the case of anti-magic.

Arcane Vision: At level 20 the magus has become so attuned to magic that he can constantly see magical auras unaided. This functions exactly as a permanent Arcane Sight. From this point on the magus' eyes glow, equivalent to strong candle-light. This glow can be any color of the magus' choosing, alterable at will, so long as it always remains clearly visible.

Epic Magus[edit]

Table: The Epic Magus

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
22nd Bonus Feat
24th Bonus Feat
26th Bonus Feat
28th Bonus Feat
30th Bonus Feat

2 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Bonus Feats: The Epic Magus gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of Epic Magus bonus feats) every 2 levels after 20th.

Epic Magus Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Blinding Speed, Damage Reduction, Energy Resistance, Epic Fortitude, Epic Reflexes, Epic Speed, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Prowess, Fast Healing, Great Charisma, Great Constitution, Great Dexterity, Great Intelligence, Great Strength, Great Wisdom, Improved Combat Reflexes, Penetrate Damage Reduction

Elven Magus Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Longsword (1d8 slashing, 19-20/x2)

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Concentration 4 Con
Craft 4 Int
Knowledge (Arcana) 4 Int
Profession 4 Wis
Spellcraft 4 Int
Survival 4 Wis

Feat: Spell Penetration

Bonus Feats: Martial weapon proficiency (Longsword, Rapier, Longbow, Shortbow).

Gear: Adventurer's Kit.

Gold: 3d4 gp

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Magus[edit]

Religion: Magi tend to have a little less reverence for the gods than most people, as their own body is a source of supernatural wonder. However, magi attitudes can vary widely. Some have even claimed their power was a gift from their god.

Other Classes: Magi get along well with most other classes, though they are usually baffled by and sometimes openly scorn wizards’ “unnatural” magic. Magi are often curious about the sorcerer’s, bard’s and Spellfire Warrior magical abilities, as they are less artificial than the wizard’s. They often feel they have the most in common with druids, as they are largely self-taught and often live on the outskirts of society. However, attitudes regarding other classes can also vary widely depending upon which magus you speak to.

Combat: The magus’ role depends mainly upon his rather limited spell selection. Some magi are war machines, dishing out spell after damaging spell. Other magi function as support, providing constant enhancement to other members of the party. Still others have utilitarian spell selections that provide solutions to problems that often can’t be solved by mundane means.

Advancement: <-Typical advancement options for characters with this class. Include desirable multiclass options->.

Magi in the World[edit]

I didn’t ask for this, but who's complaining?
—Douglas, Human Magus

"we all know you will die so just give up"

Notables: Douglas the Brilliant.

Organizations: On very rare occasions, a magus is actually apprenticed to a more experienced magus. More often than not, however, the magus, either by choice or necessity, pursues greater magical understanding alone. The path to power for a magus is often a harrowing journey of self-discovery. As their skills develop, they often come face-to-face with aspects of themselves they are ashamed or even afraid of.

NPC Reactions: NPCs might very well be afraid of an innately magic creature. They might go as far as to shun the character if they learn that an arcane nexus is woven throughout their blood. However, magic circles and councils might instead welcome the magus, and view him more as a thing of reverence or study.

Magus Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcane) can research Magi to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Arcana)
DC Result
5 Magi are innately magic.
10 Magi are vulnerable to anti-magic effects.
15 Magi are rarely ever dwarven.
20 Magi use a mana pool instead of spells per day.

Magi in the Game[edit]

The reasons for magi to adventure are many and varied. Some abhor a simple mundane life, feeling their magic must be put to suitable use. Others wish to adventure to develop and refine their magical skill. Still others have been cast out of their homes as monsters, feared and reviled by simple-minded townsfolk. A number of these magi adventure purely to one day take revenge on their peers who alienated them.

Magus Feats[edit]

Improved Mana Shield

It is less draining for you to protect against dispelling, disjunction, and anti-magic effects.

Prerequisite: Mana shield class ability.

Benefit: When using your mana shield ability you must pay only half of your caster level in mana, instead of the full caster level, rounded down.

Extended Innate Magic

Your innate magical spell-like abilities are easier to maintain.

Prerequisite: Innate magic class ability.

Benefit: Your innate magic spell-like abilities no longer require concentration to extend the duration beyond a single round, unless specifically stated in the spell description.

Faint Tangible Magical Aura

Your magical aura has a tangible force, providing you with some protection from attacks.

Prerequisite: Magical aura class ability.

Benefit: When your magical aura is not suppressed you may apply its listed bonus (up to +1) to armor class in addition to its magical protection. Consider this bonus an armor bonus, as it is a magical force effect.

Moderate Tangible Magical Aura

Your magical aura has a tangible force, providing you with some protection from attacks.

Prerequisite: Magical aura class ability, Faint Tangible Magical Aura.

Benefit: When your magical aura is not suppressed you may apply its listed bonus (up to +2) to armor class in addition to its magical protection. Consider this bonus an armor bonus, as it is a magical force effect.

Strong Tangible Magical Aura

Your magical aura has a tangible force, providing you with some protection from attacks.

Prerequisite: Magical aura class ability, Moderate Tangible Magical Aura.

Benefit: When your magical aura is not suppressed you may apply its listed bonus (up to +3) to armor class in addition to its magical protection. Consider this bonus an armor bonus, as it is a magical force effect.

Overwhelming Tangible Magical Aura

Your magical aura has a tangible force, providing you with some protection from attacks.

Prerequisite: Magical aura class ability, Strong Tangible Magical Aura.

Benefit: When your magical aura is not suppressed you may apply its listed bonus to armor class (up to +4) in addition to its magical protection. Consider this bonus an armor bonus, as it is a magical force effect.

Magical Energy Buffer

Your magical aura has gained resistance to an elemental type.

Prerequisites: Tangible Magical Aura, Magus level 9.

Benefit: Your magical aura provides you with energy resistance equal to half of your magus level against one energy type when your aura is active. Forevermore, whenever your magical aura is active there is a minor manifestation of this energy type in a 5 ft. radius around you. For example, a very small amount of static electricity, abnormal amount of heat or cold in the air, a strong chemical smell, etc. This minor manifestation has no game mechanic effect. This feat may be selected multiple times, choosing a different element each time. The minor manifestation effects occur simultaneously in the case of multiple energy selections, and cannot be selectively suppressed.

Magical Energy Affinity

Prerequisites: Magical Energy Buffer

Benefit: You have learned to utilize your energy buffer to enhance the power of energy spells. When casting spells using energy types which correspond to your Magical Energy Buffer feat(s) your caster level is +2 (you do not pay 2 points to raise the caster level, if applicable). Your magical aura must be active in order for this ability to function.

Magical Force Weapon

Prerequisites: Magus level 3rd

Benefit: Choose one weapon you are proficient with. You are able to sculpt your magical energy into the form of this weapon (and this weapon only, unless this feat is chosen again for an additional weapon). The weapon is composed of magical force, and attacks with it are resolved as normal attacks (not touch attacks) but are subject to spell resistance. However, this weapon acts as if it had the ghost touch property, and has an enchantment bonus equal to your aura bonus. Manifesting this weapon is a move equivalent action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and the weapon remains for 24 hours or until dismissed. The weapon dissipates if anyone but the magus wields it, if it does not overcome spell resistance, or if the magus wills it to disappear (a free action), but can be manifested again normally. The Magical Force Weapon cannot be enchanted or enhanced by any normal means (spells, etc).

Empowered Force Weapon

Prerequisites: Magical Force Weapon

Benefit: You may substitute weapon special abilities for the appropriate market price modifier enhancement bonus to your magical force weapon. You may add any combination of special abilities so long as they do not exceed the total enhancement bonus of the weapon -1. Adding special abilities to the weapon takes 8 hours of concentration, and costs 5x the enhancement market value of the special abilities in mana (paid at the end of the 8 hours of concentration). The special abilties persist until changed (even if the weapon is dismissed) but may be dismissed as a free action. The ability to add special abilities extends only to your magical force weapon.

When you take this feat choose your Charisma modifier in weapon special abilities. These are the abilities eligible to be assigned to the weapon. Every two levels after you take this feat you gain an additional special ability you may choose to apply to the weapon. For any special ability that has subtypes that may be chosen (such as bane) you must specify the subtype upon choosing the ability. More subtypes can be chosen with additional special abilities selections.

For example, Larkulo the level 6 magus has the Empowered Force Weapon feat. His class-based aura bonus is +2, making his unmodified force weapon (a quarterstaff, in his case) function as a quarterstaff +2. Upon gaining the feat, he chooses the defending, flaming, and giantbane qualities. If he chooses to spend 8 hours of concentration and pay 5 mana at the end of this period, he may add the defending quality (or flaming or giantbane) to his quarterstaff, making it a +1 defending quarterstaff. It will remain a +1 defending quarterstaff until he changes the special ability, or dismisses the special ability.

Special: Magi who have the Magical Energy Affinity feat add an extra +1d4 of the appropriate energy damage when they add special abilities that correspond to their chosen energy type(s) (such as flaming, shocking, etc)

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