The following is a class built around…well, I’m sure you can figure that out. Arguably, this class is unnecessary and the normal mage can fill the role, but I was flush with my earlier success so decided to play with something that had things like Elementalism and spell-like abilities ‘baked-in’.
Prime Requisite: INT
Hit Dice: 1d4
Maximum Level: 14
While white mages learn to use arcane magic to heal, black mages focus on the destructive elemental aspects of arcane magic. While their specialization comes at a cost as far as the amount of magic they can use, few can argue with their results. Black mages are often mistrusted by others, due to their tendency to cause massive destruction wherever they go.
Like mages, black mages receive limited combat training. At first level, black mages hit an unarmored foe (AC 0) with an attack throw of 10+. They advance in attack throws and saving throws only two points every six levels of experience (i.e. the same progression as mages). They may only fight with daggers, darts, staffs, or whips. They are unable to use shields, fight with two weapons, use a weapon two-handed, or wear any kind of armor. For these reasons, black mages tend to avoid personally fighting, and many black mages prefer for their party members or minions to do the dirty work.
Black mages learn and cast arcane spells as mages of two thirds their class level. The number and levels of spells the black mage can use in a single day is summarized on the Black mage Spell Progression table. Like a mage, the black mage’s spell selection is limited to the spells in his repertoire. A black mage’s repertoire can include a number of spells up to the number and level of spells listed for his level, increased by his Intelligence bonus. A black mage can use any magic items usable by mages.
Every black mage begins play at 1st level skilled in battle magic. They are quick with their spells, an edge that wins many fights.
Upon reaching 2nd level, a black mage learns to channel his destructive magic into an arcane bolt. This ability acts like the spell, and can be used once an hour.
Starting at 4th level, a black mage masters a greater knowledge of destructive magic, learning elementalism. Note that he must choose fire, cold, or electricity as the element learned.
At 6th level, a black mage may channel his destructive magic into an arcane burst. This ability functions like the spell, and can be used once an hour.
At 7th level, the black mage may begin to research spells, scribe magical scrolls, and brew potions, as if he were a mage of 5th level.
Upon reaching 8th level, a black mage gains greater elemental knowledge in the form of an additional elementalism proficiency, which must come from the previous three.
At 9th level a black mage may establish a mages’ sanctum, usually in a remote and desolate location. If he does so, he will attract 1d6 apprentices of 1st-3rd level plus 2d6 normal men seeking to become black mages. Their Intelligence scores will be above average, but many will become fearful of the sacrifices involved and quit after 1d6 months. While in the black mage’s service, apprentices must be provided food and lodging, but need not be paid wages. If the black mage builds a dungeon beneath or near his coterie, monsters will start to arrive to dwell within, followed shortly by adventurers seeking to fight them.
At 10th level, the black mage can use arcane blast again an additional time an hour.
Upon reaching 13th level, the black mage gains the ability to create magic items such as weapons, rings, and staffs as a mage of 9th level. He may also cast ritual spells of a Blast or Transformation nature and create crossbred servants as a mage of 11th level.
Finally, at 14th level, a black mage unlocks the secret of the most destructive of all spells, Meteor. This terrible power can be used only once a month after a turn of concentration.
The black mage can then add these spells to his repertoire following the usual procedure (see Adding New Spells to the Repertoire in Chapter 5 of ACKS). Except for being arcane, these spells are identical to their divine counterparts. If a copy of these spells is found or placed on a scroll, the scroll will be useable only by divine casters who have the spell on their class list, or by 14th level black mages. (Lower level black mages or standard mages could not use the scroll or cast the spell because it is not on their class spell list.)
Black mage Proficiency List: Alchemy, Beast Friendship, Black Lore of Zahar, Collegiate Wizardry, Contemplation, Craft, Elementalism, Divine Blessing, Elven Bloodline, Engineering, Healing, Illusion Resistance, Intimidation, Knowledge, Language, Loremastery, Magical Engineering, Mapping, Mystic Aura, Naturalism, Quiet Magic, Performance, Prestidigitation, Profession, Sensing Power, Transmogrification, Soothsaying, Unflappable Casting
|Black mage Level Progression||Black mage Spell Progression|
|Experience||Level||Title||Hit Dice||Special Abilities||1||2||3||4||5|
|0||1||Apprentice||1d4||Battle Magic, spellcasting||1||–||–||–||–|
|65,000||7||Burner||7d4||Magic research (minor)||2||2||1||–||–|
|*Hit point modifiers from constitution are ignored|
Arcane Blast Range: 90’
Arcane 1 Duration: Instant
This spell creates a blast of energy that lashes out and strikes a target of the caster’s choosing. The spell inflicts 1d6 damage per level of the user, up to 4d6 but the target can make a save versus Blast for half damage. If the character possesses the Elementalism proficiency, they can change the damage of this spell into a type matching their proficiency.
Arcane Burst Range: 90’
Arcane 1 Duration: Instant
This spell creates a burst of energy that explodes in a 10’ radius sphere. The spell inflicts 1d6 damage per level of the user, up to 3d6. The targets can make a save versus Blast for half damage. If the character possesses the Elementalism proficiency, they can change the damage of this spell into a type matching their proficiency.
Meteor Range: 360’
Arcane 6 (Blackmage) Duration: Instant
This terrible spell summons a meteor from the sky and crashes it into a target. It inflicts 1d10 magic damage per level of the caster in a 20’ diameter sphere. It can be centred up to 360’ away. Otherwise it is similar to the fireball spell.