Red Mage, 3rd Variant (3.5e Class)
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Everyone wants to do something. Some people want to heal & help others, whether by magical or nonmagical means. Some wish to become great warriors, forging their names in battle & increasing their martial prowess. Some wish to become better magicians, learning new spells or having better control over powers they already have. Others wish to to become more skillful, learning new skills & becoming better at the skills they already have. But there are a rare few who wish to do everything at once. These skilled individuals are known as Red Mages. They are Jacks & Jills of all trades, but masters of none.
Making a Red Mage
Intelligence determines how powerful a spell a red mage can cast, how many spells she can cast per day, & how hard those spells are to resist. Charisma gives bonuses to various class skills & certain special abilities. A Red Mage also benefits from a high Constitution, Dexterity, & Strength scores.
Human & half-elf Red Mages are common because humans & half-elves, like red mages, are very diverse. Elves & drow usually take up the class, though drow-elves (half elf, half drow) become Red Mages more often than the other elven subraces. Gnomes & halflings often become red mages for various reasons. Bugbears, dwarves, orcs & half-orcs rarely become red mages.
Any. No two Red Mages are alike, so each individual Red Mage has his/her own ideas on morality & ethics.
6d4×10 gp (150 gp).
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Doublecast 1/dayMinor Mastery||4||2||—||—||—||—||—|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Red Mage.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Red Mages are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the longsword, rapier, sap, short sword, firearms, shortbow, and whip. Red Mages are also proficient with light armor and light shields and suffer no Arcane Spell Failure when casting Red Mage spells while using them. However, like all arcane spellcasters, they still incur the arcane spell chance failure while wearing medium and heavy armor or using a shield. A multiclass red mage still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.
The red mage casts arcane spells which are drawn primarily from the red mage spell list (see below). Red mages have a fixed list of spells that they cast spontaneously. A first-level Red Mage begins play knowing all 0- and 1st-level spells on her list. When she gains access to a new level of spells, she adds all the spells on the Red Mage spell list of that level to her spells known. Essentially, her spells known list is equivalent to the Red Mage spell list (with one exception; see the Advanced Learning class feature below). In order to cast a spell, the Red Mage must possess an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the spell's level. The save DC for Red Mage spells is 10 + spell level + Int modifier.
Doublecast (Su): Once per day, a red mage can imbue two spells she knows into a single casting. To do so, she announces the two spells which she wishes to cast, both of which must be on her red mage spell list, available to cast, and have casting times of at most a standard action. She begins casting a new spell that has a full-round casting time, spell level equivalent to the higher spell level of the two spells (although the save DC of each is modified by the original spell's level), and has every descriptor that either of the two spells has. Both spells count against her spells per day, as normal. The new spell counts as a single spell, and as such, can be counterspelled as a single spell, or identified with Spellcraft as a single spell (when identified with Spellcraft, the observer is aware of both spells imbued in the casting). Metamagic feats and effects may not be applied to either spell individually nor the double-spell. The spells' effects resolve next round, immediately before the red mage's initiative count, in the order which he then specifies. If a spell effect has targets, those targets must be in range both at the beginning and end of the spell's casting in order for that effect to occur. The red mage may use Doublecast more often at higher levels, as described in the table.
Minor Mastery: At 2nd level and 6th level, a red mage chooses one of the following abilities to add to her list of class features:
"Arcane Channeling:" The Red Mage can deliver any spell he can cast through his weapon as a Standard action.
Summon Familiar: The red mage gains a familiar with this ability. Doing so takes 24 hours and uses up materials worth 100 gp.
Advanced Learning (Ex): The red mage can add a new spell to her list with a level of her highest known spell level or lower. The spell chosen must be an Evocation or Illusion wizard spell, or a Conjuration or Necromancy cleric spell.
You may select this special ability multiple times, each time you add a different spell to your spells known.
Weapon Bond (Ex): Select one weapon that you are proficient with. You gain Weapon Focus with this weapon, even if you do not meet the prerequisites for it. This feat only applies if the red mage wears light or no armor.
Bonus Metamagic Feat: The red mage gains a bonus metamagic feat she meets the prerequisites for.
Moderate Mastery: At 11th and 15th levels, the Red Mage may add one of the following abilities, or a Minor Mastery ability, to her list of class features.
Arcane Resilience (Su): With this ability, a red mage can add her Intelligence modifier as a bonus (minimum +1) on saving throws against spells & spell—like effects.
Improved Weapon Bond (Ex): The Red Mage selects a weapon type for which she has the Weapon Bond ability. She is treated as having the Weapon Specialization feat for that weapon, even if she does not meet the prerequisites, and any weapon of the chosen type wielded by the Red Mage counts as a +1 magical weapon.
Skill Mastery: Upon gaining this ability, the red mage selects a number of skills equal to 3 + her Intelligence modifier. When making a skill check with one of these skills, she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.
Major Mastery: At 18th level, the Red Mage may add one of the following abilities, or a Moderate or Minor ability, to her list of class features.
Innate Spell (Sp): A red mage with this ability selects one Red Mage spell that she knows. She may now cast that spell as a spell-like ability three times per day. If the spell chosen has an xp component, or a material or focus component worth more than 10 gp, the Red Mage must still provide the component. You may select this ability multiple times, each time you select another spell that you know.
Quick Cast: The red mage gains the Sudden Quicken Spell feat even if she does not meet the prerequisites. If she already has the feat, she may use it two more times per day.
Greater Weapon Bond (Ex): The Red Mage selects a weapon type for which she has the Improved Weapon Bond ability, and chooses a weapon bonus with +2 modifier or less. Whenever a Red Mage wields the chosen weapon type, it operates with the chosen bonus in addition to all its other abilities.
Triplecast (Su): Beginning at 14th level, a Red Mage's power to entwine spells in a single casting increases frighteningly. She may now cast three Red Mage spells in a single round. Other than the number of spells being cast at once, the rules for triplecasting are analogous to those for Doublecasting, except that the sum of the spells' levels that the Red Mage uses in a triplecasting cannot exceed 12. At 20th level, a Red Mage may use this ability twice per day.
Red Mage Spell List
Acid Splash, Arcane Mark, Create Water, Cure Minor Wounds, Daze, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Ghost Sound, Guidance, Inflict Minor Wounds, Light, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Read Magic, Resistance.
Burning Hands, Color Spray, Cure Light Wounds, Inflict Light Wounds, Kelgore's Fire BoltPHB2, Magic Missile, Magic Weapon, Orb of Acid/Cold/Electricity/Fire/Force/Sound (lesser)CAr, Shocking Grasp, Silent Image, True Strike
Cure Critical Wounds, Inflict Critical Wounds, Fire Shield, Illusory Wall, Invisibility (Greater), Orb of Acid/Cold/Electricity/Fire/Force/SoundCAr, Shadow Conjuration, Spell Immunity, Wall of Fire, Wall of Ice
Epic Red Mage
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
The red mage’s caster level is equal to his or her class level. The red mage’s number of spells per day does not increase after 20th level.
The epic red mage can doublecast an additonal time per day at 22nd level and every 8 levels thereafter.
The epic red mage can triplecast an additonal time per day at 26th level and every 8 levels thereafter.
The epic red mage gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic red mage bonus feats) at 21st level and at every 4 levels beyond 20th.
Epic Red Mage Bonus Feat List
Augmented Alchemy, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Energy Resistance, Enhance Spell, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Familiar Spell, Fast Healing, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Master Staff, Master Wand, Multispell, Perfect Health, Permanent Emanation, Spell Knowledge, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity.
Studded Leather (+3 ac, armor check penalty -1, speed 30 ft, 20 lbs)
Morning Star (1d8, crit x2, 6 lbs, one handed, bludgeoning & piercing), 1 martial weapon (red mage's choice), light musket (1d8, crit x3, range inc 80 ft, 4 lbs, piercing)
Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Skill Focus (Spellcraft)
Backpack with waterskin, one day's trail rations, bedroll, sack, flint and steel. Hooded lantern, 3 pints of oil. Quiver with 20 bolts.
Playing a Red Mage
As a red mage, you best serve the party as a support character, helping the other characters via magical & nonmagical means. Although you are not as good as a dedicated healer or mage, you are still somewhat skilled at both, and your ability to cast two spells in one round allows for A) a fairly effective healer/mage combo & B) a good asset to the party.
Red Mages worship whatever deity they want, though deities of magic, war, & healing are most common, but a lot of Red Mages are impious.
Your interaction with other classes varies, but you relate to other characters with dual natures, such as hybrid classes & multiclass characters.
Due to your low hit dice & poor armor proficiency, you may want to stay out of melee combat if you can. You fit in best behind tougher characters, (such as fighters, paladins, barbarians, etc) doing things such as healing wounded allies, buffing fighting charters, & blasting enemies. Since the red mage has a large reliance on dexterity, you can make a fairly good ranged combatant.
Like the sorcerer, you face a crucial decision: what spells to select when gaining new spells known. It is best to take healing spells, to help heal yourself & your comrades, plus spells that enhance & protect as well. You should definitely take Magic Missle, since an arcane spellcaster without Magic Missile, is like binge drinking with only one kidney: it can be done, but it is not a good idea.
Due to the fact that your doublecast ability is very dependent on Spellcraft, put as many ranks in Spellcraft as you can. Concentration is another important skill for any arcane spellcaster, so put some ranks in it. if you intend to use the Advanced Learning special ability, put ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) or Knowledge (Religon). For feats, consider taking metamagic feats, & take Practiced Spellcaster if you multiclass. For special abilities, take Innate Spell if you want to use your spells more often, plus Arcane Resilience is good for an intelligent red mage.
Since the red mage are very dependent on Dexterity, your main weapon should be finessable to take advantage of this. The heaviest armor you should get, if your are willing to take the armor check penalty, is Mirthal Breastplate; although a Mirthal chain shirt is better if you choose to be more dependent on skills that have an armor check penalty. On magic items, spend most of your budget on wands & scrolls, but also get items that boost Intelligence, Dexterity, & Constitution.
Your combination of several abilities will make you a very versatile character if optimized properly. The red mage can fulfill multiple roles, but is not as good in each individual role as a specialist.
Red Mages in the World
|“||Why can't they just pick one thing and stick to it?||”|
|—Arvinus Turak, aasimar fighter/rogue/sorcerer/spellsword/daggerspell mage|
Red Mages are a combination of mage, healer, & supporter. Their multitude of abilities & options, both magical & nonmagical, makes them a great asset to anyone who has them as an ally. The red mage's Reroll & Doublecast abilities make them a very potent ally or enemy.
Each red mage is different, so their daily lives differ from red mage to red mage. Some red mages are incredibly focused & self-discipled, training and studying before other characters get up, and continuing their work well after everyone else falls asleep. There are also some red mages that are incredible lazy, getting up well after everyone else has gotten up, spending their days screwing around, goofing off, and doing nothing productive. But each red mage is different, so no two red mages spend their days exactly in the same manner.
Their are a multitude of red mages who have done things worthy of being remembered. One of the most notable red mages is Jack the Red, who was one of the earliest known red mages and the whole reason red mages are referred to as "red mages". Jack the Red was a human red mage who, along with a party containing an elf rogue, a human fighter, & a half-elf healer, helped saved the world from the demon-knight Garland. Another notable red mage was Fradino the Scourge, an evil Aasimar red mage who ruled the Ullastian Empire with an iron fist. Deborah was another notable red mage, who grew so powerful & mighty that she became a goddess.
Several organizations have red mages in their ranks, except for those which are extremely magephobic. There have also been several cases where red mages have founded their own organizations, recruiting other red mages & other dual nature characters. Some of the most notable organizations founded by, controlled, or involved with or by red mages are The Cloak & Staff Society, The Mages of Scarlet, Nightcasters United, & The Order of Radut.
Each NPC has a different reaction to red mages. Most common folk don't really care about red mages unless they need healing or a red mage is destroying their homes. Magephobic NPCs view & treat red mages with the same hatred, fear & disgust that they have for every other spellcaster. Adventurers often bring along a red mage or two as a backup healer & a support character.
Each race reacts differently to red mages, since not all red mages are the same.
The way Red Mages treat other classes, & how other classes treat Red Mages, varies, though Red Mages get along best with Bards, Duskblades & Mystic Warriors, due to their dual natures.
Red Mage Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) can research red mages and find out more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
Red mages are jacks and jills of all trades, but masters of none
Red mages can be a great asset to their allies, if used properly.
Those who follow down the path of the red mage have several abilities, both magical & nonmagical, both helping & damaging, at their option.
The red mage is a mage capable of casting 2 spells at once and can occasionally snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Red Mages in the Game
Red mages can fit into a campaign just fine due to their versatility & adaptability. If you are doing a Final Fantasy style campaign, this class is absolutely required. Red mage NPCs can act anyway you want towards the party, whether it is friendly, antagonistic, or indifferent to them.
There are several ways to adapt the red mage. One way is to make a red mage that is a divine spellcaster instead of an arcane spellcaster. Another way is to have a red mage that focuses more on one attribute than others, such as a red mage that focus more on spellcasting, with acess to a higher spell level, but at the expense of their base attack bonus plus their weapon & armor proficiencies, or a red mage that focuses more on combat, with better hit dice, base attack bonus, and/or better weapon & armor proficiencies, but with less spells per day & known, & possibly a inability to cast some of the higher level red mage spells.
Since the red mage has low hit dice & poor weapon & armor proficiencies, a red mage should keep his enemies at a distance, attacking them with spells & keeping minions between him & his enemies. A red mage of the right level can be a tricky foe, sich she can heal herself & damage her enemies at the same time.
|Female half-drow red mage 8|
|N Medium Humanoid (Elf)|
|Init/Senses||+3/Darkvision 60 ft; Listen +2, Spot +2|
|Languages||Common, Elvish, Sylvan, Undercommon|
|AC||18, touch 13, flat-footed 18|
(+4 armor, +3 dex, +1 shield)
|hp||45 (8d8+16) (8 HD)|
|Fort/Ref/Will||+4/+10/+8 (+10 against enchantments, +9 against spells and spell-like abilities)|
|Speed||30 ft. (6 squares)|
|Melee||cut & trust sword +4 (1d8/17-20) or|
|Ranged||light musket+4 (1d8/x3)|
|Space/Reach||5 ft./5 ft.|
|Special Actions||Doublecast 3/day, Reroll 1/day|
|Combat Gear||healing potion|
|Spell-Like Abilities||(Cl 8):|
5/day—cure moderate wounds
|Abilities||Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 14|
|Feats||Weapon Finesse, Skill Focus (Spellcraft), Cure Boost, Augment Healing|
|Skills||Spellcraft+18, Knowledge (Arcana)+15, Heal+12, Balance+12, Diplomacy+11, Listen+2, Spot+2, Search+2|
|Possessions||combat gear plus mithral chain shirt, +1 keen cut & trust sword, +1 light musket, 35 gp|
|Arcane Resilience (Su)||With this ability, a red mage can add her Intelligence modifier as a bonus (minimum +1) on saving throws against spells & spell—like effects. You must have a Intelligence score of 13 or higher plus a will saving throw of +4 in order to get this special ability. This special ability does not stack with the Hexblade's Arcane Resistance or the Paladin's Divine Grace.|
Cassandra comes from a family which has a long tradition of red mages. She now travels the world, in search of power and loot. She can either be a friend or a foe to the characters. If she is a foe, She will use her abilities to her advantage and exploiting the character's weaknesses. If friend, she will do what she can to help the party, unless it is excessively dangerous or foolish.