Metamage (3.5e Class)

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A metamage is a normal spell caster that had an inordinate amount of natural talent. As they learned more about the rudimentary basics of spell casting, a question began to resonate through their mind. "Are these really the only way that I can cast these spells?" Outside of the university, through curiosity and experimentation, they gain a natural disposition for manipulating spells on the spot. Although they severely limit their casting ability, they quickly learn to do more with less.

Making a Metamage[edit]

Metamages are able to deal damage with their magic, but get few spells. The spells they do gain are the spells that they're able to manipulate relentlessly.

Abilities: Intelligence is the most important ability to a metamage. Wisdom will also help increase a metamages' Arcane Bolt damage. Otherwise a high Constitution and Dexterity are good so the metamage won't be struck down right off the bat.

Races: Humans and gnomes like this class because it requires a certain aloofness that more serious, or less arcane-inclined races do not naturally have.

Alignment: Rarely are metamages any sort of lawful, seeing as how they are more for thinking outside of the normal. Metamages also tend not to be evil because of the limited selection of destruction, but it wouldn't be impossible if it was the patient sort of evil.

Starting Gold: 2d6×10 gp (65 gp).

Starting Age: Moderate

Table: The Metamage

Hit Die: d4

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Natural Talent, Arcane Bolt 1d4, Scribe Scroll, Spellbook 5 2
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Natural Talent, Metaweave, Meta-Divinity 5 3
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 6 3 2
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Natural Talent, Arcane Bolt 2d4, 6 4 3
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Improved Metamagic 6 4 3 2
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Natural Talent, Raw Talent 6 4 4 3
7th +3 +2 +2 +6 6 4 4 3 2
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Natural Talent, Arcane Bolt 3d4 6 4 4 4 3
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 6 4 4 4 3 2
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Natural Talent 6 4 4 4 4 3
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Overflow 6 4 4 4 4 3 2
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Natural Talent, Arcane Bolt 4d4 6 4 4 4 4 4 3
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 6 4 4 4 4 4 3 2
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 Natural Talent, Improved Raw Talent 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Natural Talent, Arcane Bolt 5d4 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 1
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Natural Talent 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 1
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 1
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Natural Talent, Arcane Bolt 6d4 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 1

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the metamage.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Metamages are proficient with all simple weapons. Metamages are not proficient with any sort of armor.

Scribe Scroll: At 1st level, the metamage gains Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat.

Spellbook: The metamage must study their comically large, and fashionable spellbook to make sure they're well studied on what they cast. The only spell they don't need their book to cast is read magic, which all metamages know from memory. A metamage can opt to use their spellcraft skill instead of their caster level when overcoming spell resistance.

Magic Table of Contents: All spells can be cast in any combination without exceeding spells per day.

A metamage starts out with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells, plus three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the metamage has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new metamage level, they gain two new spells of any spell level or levels that they can cast (based on his new metamage level) for their spellbook.

Magic is complicated, and there simply aren't enough hours in the day to master every school of magic there is. The metamage can only choose 3 schools of magic that they are able to learn. The book will only hold a maximum of 3 spells from each school for each spell level up to 5th level. These can only be swapped out for other spells when the metamage spends a week in study per spell they want swapped. At any time, a metamage can also add spells found in other metamages’ or wizards’ spellbooks to their own by means of the Spellcraft skill, but cannot exceed the 3 spells per school per level restriction.

The metamage must have direct access to their spellbook or will be unable to cast anything.

Spells: A metamage casts arcane spells which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. A metamage must choose their spells ahead of time (see below).

To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the metamage must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a metamages’ spell is 10 + the spell level + the metamages’ Intelligence modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a metamage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Their base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Metamage. In addition, they receive bonus spells per day if they have a high Intelligence score.

Natural Talent (Ex): The metamage is naturally gifted at fiddling with the laws of magic. They are able to cast their spells using one metamagic feat without causing the spell to use a higher spell slot. At 1st and every 2 levels afterward, the metamage can choose a metamagic feat. The Metamage is only able to cast a number of metamagically affected spells equal to their class level plus their Wisdom modifier per day. A metamage must still meet all prerequisites for metamagic feats, including ability score and caster levels. The metamage can choose metamagic feats from the following:

Empower Spell—Increase spell’s variable, numeric effects by 50%
Enlarge Spell—Double spell’s range
Extend Spell—Double spell’s duration
Heighten Spell—Cast spells as higher level
Maximize Spell—Maximize spell’s variable, numeric effects
Quicken Spell—Cast spells as free action
Silent Spell—Cast spells without verbal components
Still Spell—Cast spells without somatic components
Widen Spell—Double spell’s area
Energy Substitution—Change the elemental effector.

For a more indepth list, see

Arcane Bolt (Sp): The metamage is able to simply expel raw magical energy at-will as a standard action in its most basic form to attack. The Arcane Bolt is a ranged touch attack, with a range of 60 ft. It is subject to spell resistance, but there is no saving throw for it. At first and fourth level, and every four levels afterward, it's damage increases by 1d4. The metamage adds his Wisdom modifier to the damage.

Applying a metamagic feat to Arcane Bolt requires a 0 level spell slot. See Metaweave for adding any more. This counts as the first feat added.

Meta-Divinity: The metamage made a colossal break through, they figured out how to scribe divine spells into an arcane spellbook! However, they doubt anyone else in the world would understand the techniques they used to do it but themselves. Probably because they made most of them up. They are able to cast one selected cleric domain spell list that do not count against the limit of 3 spells per school per spell level. The metamage does not gain the granted powers from the domain. The spells use the same spells per day as the metamages arcane ones. Once they choose it, they can't change it. Metaweave affects these spells as normal.

Metaweave (Su): The metamage is easily able to weave two or more metamagic effects to the same spell without preparing ahead of time. In fact, metamagic feats only cost half as many spell slots as they do normally. The first metamagic feat applied does not count, so long as the increase is no more than +4 spell levels. All metamagic feats cannot be reduced below +1 spell level.

The metamage also can weave some of their own metamagic into the spells. By increasing the casting time of a spell (free to move, move to standard, standard to full, and so on) they can eliminate the cost of one spell level. Quicken Spell cannot be applied to these.

Also, by making a Knowledge (arcana) check at the time of casting, (DC 25 + original spell level), the metamage can eliminate yet another cost of a slot, or cast the spell normally at one slot lower. A failed check means the spell is casted normally.

Improved Metamagic: The metamage gains the Improved Metamagic feat regardless if they meet the prerequisites.

Overflow: The metamage has met their match. No matter how comically large or fashionable their spellbook is, it simply is running out of space. For 6th level spells and above, there is only room for 1 spell per school per level.

Raw Talent: The metamage chooses one school of magic, and any metamagic feat applied to that school only increases the spell slot requirement by one per feat. A metamage may also have 1 extra spell in this school per spell level.

Optionally, the metamage can simply add an additional school they are able to cast, gaining an initial number of spells in that school equal to half of their intelligence modifier rounded down.

Improved Raw Talent: The metamage selects another school as per the affects of Raw Talent.

Epic Metamage[edit]

Table: The Epic Metamage

Hit Die: d4

Level Special
21st Perfecture, Bonus Feat
23rd Bonus Feat
26th Bonus Feat
29th Bonus Feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Perfecture: The metamage's ability to alter spells is practically perfected. The metamage can apply 3 feats to a spell before it costs a higher spell level.

Bonus Feats: The epic metamage gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic metamage bonus feats) at and every 3 levels after 20th.

Epic Metamage Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Augmented Alchemy, Blinding Speed, Damage Reduction, Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Epic Rod, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Efficient Item Creation, 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, Legendary Climber, Legendary Leaper, Penetrate Damage Reduction

Human Metamage Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Short sword (1d4, crit 19–20/×2, 1 lb., light, piercing).

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

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Concentration 4 Con
Decipher Script 4 Int
Knowledge (arcana) 4 Int
Spellcraft 4 Int

Feat: Maximize Spell.

Bonus Feats: Quicken Spell.

Gear: Adventurers Kit.

Gold: 65.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Metamage[edit]

Religion: The set traditions and rigid customs might put a metamage off from religion. They would lean more towards churches that are more relaxed with their dealings.

Other Classes: Metamages may have a slight superiority complex to Wizards, and especially Sorcerers, having devoted much more of their energy and time to doing everything they do, but better.

Combat: The metamages spells are powerful, but limited. They're best left in the back, showering the opposition with spells. They should also be on the look out for other types of advantages they can use to shift the tide of battle, being much more capable to tailor spells to their situation.

Advancement: The metamage might benefit from multiclassing into a melee class, in order to have a back up once their spells run out.

Metamages in the World[edit]

Personally, I think I cast it better.
—Jerome, Human Metamage

Metamages seek a fundamental understanding of magic. Although, instead of taking cues from any 'reputable and proven' sources, they would rather figure it out themselves. If someone is messing with spells in ways they shouldn't be, a metamage will seek them out to shake their hand. Which means that they can also be easily misinterpreted as a conspirator and blamed should that magic go awry.

Daily Life: Tossed out on his ass, Jerome collects his scrolls and plans for a unique spell of his that was proclaimed 'dangerous and irresponsible' by the so-called top mage authorities of the city. Curse words leave his mouth on the sighs of exasperation. "They got no vision" a female voice peeps from behind him, "Not like you." "Oh really?" Jerome says, "I got more where this came from, much more." The lady crosses her arms and smirks, "Meet me by the docks at midnight, I'm sure some friends of mine would love to take a look at what you're packing."

Notables: Jerome the Short-lived.

Organizations: Metamages tend to stick around places where magic is studied.

NPC Reactions: They would react to a metamage as they would a sorcerer or wizard, because there it is very hard to distinguish them at first glance.

Metamage Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research metamages 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 Metamages are casters, frail and dangerous.
10 Metamages have done away with tradition, and at times, safety.
15 Specific known locations of currently practicing metamages.
20 Specific metamages; their names, general level of ability, and past accomplishments.

Metamages in the Game[edit]

Wizards view sorcerers and warlocks as people who took the easy way out for their magic. Metamages view all other mage classes as people who settle for mediocrity. Their pride in their magic is only surpassed by their dedication.

Adaptation: If you are using the spell point system in Unearthed Arcana (pg. 153), the metamage is effectively a wizard, not a sorcerer.

Sample Encounter: A town has had mysterious and very intrusive magical occurences that quickly got on the whole towns nerves ever since a metamage and his assistant moved into the dramatic abandoned tower on the hill north of the town. A certain head scribe wants a certain group of adventurers to investigate under the radar, and wouldn't mind 'misplacing' some inventory to give them some incentive.

EL : <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.

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