UA:Tainted Sorcerer

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Tainted Sorcerer

Tainted sorcerers find an easy path to tremendous magical power. Young wizards frustrated at the slow pace of their studies, old scolars chafing at the limitations of conventional magic, peasant folk-magic practitioners, even those who wage endless battle against unspeakable evil and thus succumb to taint- for all these spellcasters, taint offers a way to overcome obstacles that the sanctioned magic of the world cannot provide. At the mere cost of the character's soul....

Tainted sorcerers come from a variety of backgrounds. Many are sorcerers or wizards- some inexperienced, some quite advanced- who stumble across or seek out the forbidden secrets of taint in arcane libraries. Others are adepts who learn tainted magic from an old practitioner. Some are clerics or druids of evil cults who learn from their elders, in the same way that their cult has passed on knowledge for years.

NPC tainted sorcerers are everywhere, though they usually hide very carefully.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become a tainted sorcerer, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any nongood.

Base Will Save: +4.

Skills: Concentration 8 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks.

Spells: Ability to cast 1st-level spells.

Taint: Character's taint score must be 4 or higher.

Special: Must have learned the basics of taint magic from tainted sorcerer of at least 4th level, or must have summoned a demon or devil to gain instruction.

Class Skills

The tainted sorcerer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Disguise (Cha), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), and Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features

The following are class features of the tainted sorcerer.

Weapon and armor proficiency: Tainted sorcerers are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a tainted sorcerer's arcane gestures, which can cause her spells to fail (if these spells have somatic components).

Spells per Day/Spells Known: When a new tainted sorcerer level is gained, the character gains new spells known and spells per day as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. This essentially means that she adds the level of tainted sorcerer to the level of whatever other spellcasting class she has, then determines spells known, spells per day, and caster level accordingly.

Blood component: a tainted sorcerer must use blood in place of any spell's material component (if the spell has no material component, ignore this cost). She has two choices for a source of blood: herself or someone else.

If she uses her own blood, the minor knife cut to draw the requisite blood is a free action that becomes a normal part of casting the spell. Using this ability deals 1 point of damage to the tainted sorcerer, but the character does not need to make a Concentration check to successfully cast the spell, despite the wound.

Substituting blood for a costly material component requires drawing a greater amount of blood. A tainted sorcerer deals more damage to herself when drawing a large amount of blood, as shown on the table below. Also, when using blood to replace a costly component in this way, the tainted sorcerer must make a Concentration check (DC 10 + damage taken + spelllevel) to successfully cast the spell.

Component Cost Damage dealt
50 gp or less 5
51 gp-300 gp 11
301 gp-750 17
751 gp or more 23

If the tainted sorcerer draws someone else's blood to use as a material component, the rules given above generally apply. If the source of the blood is willing (or helpless) and is adjacent to the tainted sorcerer, she can make a minor knife cut to obtain a small amount of blood as a free action during the casting of the spell. (If the source is not willing or helpless and not adjacent, how long it takes to draw blood depends entirely on the cicrumstances.)

No single source of blood can be used to replace a costly material component unless the character or creature's current hit point total is high enough to absorb all the damage without falling below -10. For example, the blood of an orc with 6 hit points remaining is not sufficient to replace a component that costs 301 gp or more, because the orc cannot take the necessary 17 points of damage before it is dead.

Taint Suppression: While a tainted sorcerer is likely to accumulate a high taint score over the course of her life, this taint is not immediately obvious to onlookers. A tainted sorcerer's taint manifests in mental effects- insanity, rage, and nightmares- and in internal physical effects. If a tainted sorcerer is split open, the character's internal corruption is obvious: Her body is full of bloody pus and strange growths, even internal limbs. If a tainted sorcerer enters a tainted area, her corruption immediately manifests externally as well. Barring these two conditions, it is impossible to detect a tainted sorcerer based on appearance.

A tainted sorcerer no longer applies her taint score as a penalty to her Constitution, and only applies one-half her taint score as a penalty to her Wisdom.

Tainted Metamagic: A tainted sorcerer who learns metamagic feats can apply them by paying an additional cost in blood. By draining blood, a tainted sorcerer can enhance her spells without using a higher-level spell slot. The cost is a number of points in Constitution damage equal to the spell slot adjustment of the metamagic feat. Thus, casting an empowered vampiric touch spell costs 2 points of Constitution damage, because an empowered spell uses up a spell slot two levels higher than normal. A tainted sorcerer cannot enhance a spell to a level higher than she can cast by this means. For example, a tainted sorcerer must be at least a 9th-level caster to cast an empowered vampiric touch spell (or at least 10th-level, if the character is casting as a sorcerer), since the empowered spell requires a 5th-level spell slot.

A tainted sorcerer without a Constitution score cannot use this ability.

Tainted Spellcasting (Su): Rather than using a key ability score for spellcasting, a tainted sorcerer uses her taint score. To cast a spell, a tainted sorcerer must have a taint score at least equal to the spell's level. Tainted sorcerer bonus spells are based on a number equal to the character's taint score + 10, and saving throws against tainted sorcerer spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + the tainted sorcerer's taint score.

A tainted sorcerer accumulates taint for casting her spells. All spells a tainted sorcerer casts are evil spells. She must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + spell level) or increase her taint score by 1.

Level Advancement: The power of taint is seductive. Once a character has tasted its attractions, it is hard to resist. Whenever a tainted sorcerer gains a new level and wishes to advance a level in some other class, she must succeed on a Will saving throw (DC 10 + taint score). If she fails the saving throw, she must advance her tainted sorcerer level. If she succeeds on this saving throw, she can advance a level in some other class.

Table 6-3: The Tainted Sorcerer
Level Base
Special Bonus
1st +0 +2 +0 +0 Blood component, taint suppresion, tainted metamagic, tainted spellcasting +1 level of existing spellcasting class
2nd +1 +3 +0 +0 - +1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rd +2 +3 +1 +1 - +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th +3 +4 +1 +1 - +1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th +3 +4 +1 +1 - +1 level of existing spellcasting class
6th +4 +5 +2 +2 - +1 level of existing spellcasting class
7th +5 +5 +2 +2 - +1 level of existing spellcasting class
8th +6 +6 +2 +2 - +1 level of existing spellcasting class
9th +6 +6 +3 +3 - +1 level of existing spellcasting class
10th +7 +7 +3 +3 - +1 level of existing spellcasting class

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