Thus, I have three concepts that I would like to float and get a general reaction to (with an emphasis on which of the following would you prefer to play):
Option One: Water Elemental Specialist
Blue Mages focus on the self discipline of water elemental magic. As a result, they only cast arcane magic at 2/3 of their level (slower spell progression); however, spells using the water element do an extra +1 to each Hit Die. Blue mages can also do minor magic research on water elemental spells at 5th (all others at 7th) and major magic research at 11th (all others at 13th). Their study with water elemental magic begins with a mastery of the movement of water within their own body. This control has two effects:
- A blue mage is better at fighting than other mages, fighting with the same progression as a cleric. Though, like other mages, they cannot use armor, they are able to use daggers, pole arms, short bows, spears and staffs.
- The blue mage has a natural +2 to AC and may reduce non-magical damage by 1 point per die. This increases to +4 AC and 2 points per die at 7th level and +6 AC and 3 points per die at 13th level. These bonuses stack with rings of protection and similar effects. Attacks from monsters of 5HD or more are considered magical. [This is the same as the Flesh Runes custom power.]
XP necessary for 2nd level would be 2375.
Option Two: Illusionist via Custom Powers
This concept follows the template of the brown and white mages. They cast at 2/3 of their level (slower spell progression); however, they are Masters of Illusion.Targets of their illusion spells are at a -2 to the save. Blue mages can also do minor magic research on illusion spells at 5th (all others at 7th) and major magic research at 11th (all others at 13th). In addition, they gain several Custom Powers:
- At 1st level, a blue mage can blend into any environment. They always receive at least a 12+ proficiency roll to hide. [Same as wearing an elven cloak.]
- At 3rd level, a blue mage can cast Ventriliquism at will.
- At 5th level, a blue mage never quite appears exactly where they actually are. Therefore, they gain +2 to all saves. [Same as Divine Blessing custom power.]
- At 7th level, a blue mage can cast the Alter Self spell once per 8 hours. [Alter Shape custom power.]
XP necessary for 2nd level would be 2075.
Option Three: Borrow Spells from the AEC
This option uses the same basic rules as a regular mage with the following alterations:
- The arcane spell list is switched out with the Illusionist spell list from the AEC for Labrynith Lord.
- By giving up the Two-handed fighting style, they gain the custom power Innate Illusion Mastery. Thus, targets of illusions are at -2 to save and illusion spell research happens as if 2 levels higher (which, could be interpreted to mean that minor magic research can start at 3rd level).
As with grey mages, this version of blue mage would be required by law to belong to the Mages Guild and would be closely monitored.
So, which option would you rather play?