Friday, May 17, 2013

White Mage Class for ACKS

The next classes I will tackle for my conversion of Averoigne to ACKS are some of the alternate magic-users suggested by Tolkien’s rainbow of wizards (white, grey, brown and blue). You can see my original post on the subject here. I will begin with the color white.

This is the first major conceptual bump on my journey to converting Averoigne to ACKS. It is possible to interpret Holmes so that only magic-users can use cleric scrolls. This, in turn, suggests that the cleric spells can be both divine and arcane. I took full advantage of this with my Tolkien homage.

ACKS, however, makes a much clearer distinction between the two types of magic. Indeed, should a custom class wish to cast magic from the other spell list, the proficiency that accomplishes this (4 spells at a time) is called Apostasy and the custom power is called Forbidden Spells.

If I were to follow this internal logic, it is possible to create a mage class that can expand their spell list by 12-16 spells, but can cast fewer spells than a normal mage and gains the ability to do magical research later than a normal mage. Personally, I don’t think the trade-off is worth it.

Alternatively, I can provide a number of interesting powers, including 4-8 spells from the cleric spell list. Among these is the ability to Turn undead as a cleric half the current level of the character. Again, however, this class would cast fewer spells than a normal mage and wouldn’t get to do magical research until higher levels. I am much more intrigued by this possibility than the first; however, I still don’t know if it is worth it.

Finally, it is possible to have the mage be able to Turn undead (which could be traded in for 1 or 2 custom powers) and cast cleric spells at half the character’s current level. This would allow not only for a wider spell selection, but the ability to cast more spells and do magical research in the same way a normal mage would.

From a mechanical point of view, this last option is the most optimal and the one that most closely emulates my original Holmesian class. From a conceptual point of view, however, the water is rather muddy. The divine spells are actually divine in nature, not arcane. The spell lists and spell progressions are two different entities. This does not accomplish what I set out to do.

There is one caveat, here, and therefore hope. If I take the ACKS credo every campaign is a law unto itself at its word, I can ignore the differentiation, marry the two spell lists and spell progressions together and call it good. I just wish that the rules themselves weren’t so clear about the differentiation so that my hand-waving it away didn’t feel like I was making such a big exception. Indeed, in the description below, I can’t bring myself to completely hand wave it away:

The White Mage Class for ACKS

Prime Requisite: INT
Requirements: Must be Lawful and a member of both the Church and the Mage’s Guild
Hit Dice: 1d4
Maximum Level: 14
White Mages are men and women of faith who wish to use arcane magics in concert with their faith and the Church, sometimes even within the Church structure. Like normal mages (aka Grey Mages), White Mages begin the game with a repertoire of arcane spells modified by their INT; however, once they have proven themselves faithful to both the Church and the Mage’s Guild, the White Mage gains access to a second repertoire of spells.

At 3rd level, the character receives a second spell book filled with spells that duplicate the effects of various divine spells. These are prepared in the same way as normal arcane spells; however, due to the different way in which White Mages study magic, their spell progression and spell choice differ from normal mage progression:

What follows is a list of numbers representing the numbers of spells a White Mage can prepare each day per level. The numbers outside of brackets represent the amount of normal arcane spells that can be prepared. Numbers inside brackets represent the amount of divine-like arcane spells that can be prepared. The numbers are read left to right in terms of spell level with the furthest left being first level.

  1. 1
  2. 1
  3. 2[1]
  4. 2[1] 1
  5. 2[2] 2
  6. 2[2] 2
  7. 2[2] 2[1] 1
  8. 2[2] 2[1] 1
  9. 2[2] 2[2] 2
  10. 3[2] 2[2] 2 1
  11. 3[2] 2[2] 2[1] 1[1]
  12. 3[2] 3[2] 2[1] 2[1]
  13. 3[2] 3[2] 3[2] 2[1] 1[1]
  14. 3[2] 3[2] 3[2] 2[1] 1[1]

As do normal (Grey) Mages, at 5th level White Mages can begin doing arcane research, scribe scrolls and brew potions. At 9th level they can create greater magical items. In addition, they have the following Custom Powers:

  • Aura of Protection: Due to their chosen path of faith coupled with the arcane, beginning at 2nd level, White Mages have a +1 bonus to AC and saving throws against chaotic (evil) creatures and effects. This appears as a golden aura when viewed with Detect Good, Detect Magic or Trueseeing.
  • Divine Aura: At 12th level, the White Mage begins to project an aura of light that awes, bedazzles and persuades. The White Mage receives a +2 bonus to reaction rolls to people encountered. If this total is 12 or more, the subject acts as if charmed while in the presence of the White Mage. [This is the same as the Glamourous Aura custom power.]

White Mage Proficiency List: Alchemy, Battle Magic, Beast Friendship, Collegiate Wizardry, Craft, Diplomacy, Divine Blessing, Divine Health, Elementalism, Elven Bloodline, Engineering, Familiar, Healing, Illusion Resistance, Knowledge, Language, Loremastery, Magical Engineering, Mapping, Naturalism, Quiet Magic, Performance, Prestidigitation, Profession, Prophecy, Sensing Power, Theology, Unflappable Casting

White Mages fight and save as Mages and use the Sanctum rules to build a Stronghold at 9th level.

XP progression looks like this:

  • Level 2: 2,125
  • Level 3: 4,250
  • Level 4: 8,500
  • Level 5: 17,000
  • Level 6: 34,000
  • Level 7: 68,000
  • Level 8: 136,000
  • Level 9: 272,000
  • Level 10: 422,000
  • Level 11: 572,000
  • Level 12: 722,000
  • Level 13: 872,000
  • Level 14: 1,022,000

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