The magister is a hybrid spellcaster, combining arcane spells drawn from power within herself and the faith needed to also call upon divine spells. A magister may be a church wizard, a priestess of magic who has studied the arcane arts, or a dynamic spiritualist who sees no difference in the two traditional forms of magic. Magisters may be called bruxa, church mages, ecclesiathurges, ovates, spell lords, thaumaturges, white wizards, or other titles that suit the needs of your campaign.
A magister is considered both an arcane and divine spellcaster (and can count as either for purposes of requirements and prerequisites). The magister is similar to a sorcerer in that she draws spell power from within herself, casting a limited list of spells known with no need for advanced preparation. Unlike a sorcerer, a magister can draw from both arcane and divine spell lists when selecting spells known, allowing magisters to be prepared for a broader range of circumstances. This is important as the magister’s focus is spells to the exclusion of nearly everything else, even more so than other spellcasting classes. Depending on the mystic bond a magister makes, she may not have powers beyond her spells, but instead she’ll learn new ways to use the spells she knows to maximum benefit.
Many magisters belong to orders within or associated with churches. Much as paladins are seen as warriors of the church, magisters are often seen as mages of the church and, for religions worshiping arcane magic, magisters may be as revered as clerics. Such magisters often study arcane magic in their youth but find themselves called to serve the god of magic more directly as they grow older. But groups of magisters outside of religion also exist, and in some lands they are common as sages and wise women, with master-to-student traditions stretching back for generations.
Role: The role filled by a magister is heavily dependent on what spells she selects. While this is true for any spellcaster, it is especially true for magisters because they can draw from nearly any spell list. A magister that selects spells almost exclusively from the spell list of one class can easily execute the most common roles that class is called on to fill. Magisters have a very small selection of spells known, but can be experts at getting the most out of the spells they do know. In that regard, the magister could be merely another minor variety of arcane or divine spellcaster, similar to how sorcerers and wizards can both be built to fill the high-damage or broad utility functions of spellcasters. Of course, treating the class this way ignores one of the magister’s greatest assets—the ability to learn spells from different class lists.
The more a magister takes advantage of her ability to know disparate kinds of spells, the less she is able to fill the role normally taken by a dedicated spellcaster. While a magister concentrating on wizard spells won’t become useless by taking cure light wounds as a single 2nd level spell, the fact that a magister knows so few spells makes each spell chosen significantly affect the character’s focus. However, a broad-based magister makes an excellent backup spellcaster, and may be the best option for a “third caster” in a group that already has the primary roles covered.
A magister is also very useful for filling in gaps in a group’s abilities. Even if a party includes a cleric and wizard, those two casters may not always have access to spells that augment other party members and remove common afflictions. Because a magister can draw from any spell list, she is well equipped to cover any gaps in the abilities of her allies. This pushes a magister towards a varied list of spells known, and as she gains levels her role within the part is unlikely to resemble those of the more traditional spellcasting classes.
Hit Die: d6.
Starting Wealth: At 1st level a magister begins play with 4d4 x 10 gp.
The magister’s class skills are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perform (oratory) (Cha), Perform (sing) (Cha), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the magister.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Mastering two sources of magic leaves little time for weapon training—a magister is proficient with only the club, dagger, light crossbow, and quarterstaff. A magister is also proficient with light armor, but not with any shields. Due to her mix of arcane and divine power sources, a magister can cast class spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance (even if casting a spell from an arcane spell list). However, a magister wearing medium or heavy armor incurs a chance of spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component (even if casting a spell from a divine spell list). A multiclass magister still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes, and suffers no additional penalties when casting divine spells received from other classes.
Choosing spells is a more complex process for the magister than for other spellcasting classes. To begin with, there is no set “magister spell list.” As a practitioner of both arcane and divine magic, a magister will be able to choose spells from the list of any base class (though not spells only available to prestige classes). However, a magister’s choices begin with her primary spell list.
Primary Spell List: A magister must designate the class spell list of a devoted spellcasting class as her primary list. Devoted spellcasting classes are those that receive spells at 1st level, and have 0–9th level spells on their spell lists. (This includes the cleric, oracle, death mage, druid, sorcerer, witch, and wizard.) At least half of all the spells a magister knows at each spell level must come from her primary spell list. Even if a magister chooses to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows, she must maintain this ratio at every spell level. Some mystic bonds (see below), can also add bonus spells to a magister’s primary spell list.
A magister can select spells from her primary spell list as known spells with no penalties or restrictions.
Other Devoted Spellcasting Classes: A magister may select spells known from the list of any devoted spellcasting class other than her class list. If that class draws from the same magic source as the magister’s primary spell list—arcane or divine—she may choose these spells with no penalties (though she is still under the restriction that at least half the spells she knows at each spell level must come from her primary spell list). So, for example, a magister who has selected the cleric spell list as her primary spell list could, upon reaching 7th level, decide to make flame blade her new known 2nd-level spell, since it is from the druid spell list—a devoted spellcasting class with the same magic source. However, the magister can only do this if both her other known 2nd-level spells are from the cleric spell list (her primary spell list).
A magister may also select spells known from a devoted spellcasting class that draws from the magic source opposite to that of her primary spell list. However, for the magister such spells have an effective spell level one higher than usual. Thus the magister from our example above, who selected the cleric spell list as her primary spell list, may select acid arrow as a spell known. But because that is a 2nd-level spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list—a devoted spellcasting class with a different magic source—this magister must count it as a 3rd-level spell known. For her, acid arrow is treated in all ways as a 3rd-level spell.
Non-Devoted Spellcasting Classes: A magister may also select spells known from the spell list of a non-devoted spellcasting class (a class that either does not receive spells at 1st level, or that does not include 0-level through 9th level spells on its spell list).
For the magister, such spells have an effective spell level two higher than usual, regardless of their magic source. Thus a magister could, upon reaching 7th level, decide to select bless weapon as a spell known. Since this is from the paladin spell list (non-devoted spellcasting class), the magister counts it as a 3rd-level spell known. For her, bless weapon is treated in all ways as a 3rd-level spell.
If a spell appears on more than one class spell list, the magister may treat it as being from whatever class list is most beneficial to her. For purposes of using magic items and meeting prerequisites, a magister’s spell list is considered to include all spells from her primary spell list, plus any other spell that the magister currently knows. Thus a magister can use a wand of magic missiles freely if she has taken the sorcerer/wizard spell list as her primary spell list or if she has a different primary spell list but has selected magic missile as a spell known. Otherwise, she must make a Use Magic Device check to use the wand.
Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: A magister can’t cast or choose to know spells of an alignment opposed to her own (even if they are arcane spells). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaotic, evil, good, and lawful descriptors in their spell descriptions.
A magister casts arcane and divine spells drawn from any class’ spell list (see “Choosing Spells”, below). She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a magister must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a magister’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the magister’s Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a magister can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Magister. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score. A magister need not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.
The magister’s potential range of spells is extremely broad, but she may only know a limited total number of spells. A magister begins play knowing four 0th-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the magister’s choice (see “Choosing Spells”, below). At each new magister level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Magister Spells Known.
Upon reaching 3rd level, and at every other magister level after that (5th, 7th, and so on), a magister can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the magister “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s effective level (see “Choosing Spells”, below) must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least one level lower than the highest level class spell the magister can cast. A magister may swap only a single spell at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.
A magister functions as both an arcane and a divine spellcaster, qualifying as either for purposes of prerequisites and magic effects. (but only counts as one of the two for any specific requirement). Similarly, a magister’s spells can act as either arcane or divine spells (but not both at the same time). For example, while both a cleric 3/magister 4 and a magister 4/wizard 3 qualify for the mystic theurge prestige class, a magister 7/sorcerer 1 does not. (In no case should a GM allow things clearly designed for multiclass arcane/divine spellcasters to apply to a single-class magister character in a disruptive
Magisters learn a number of cantrips and orisons, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table: Magister Spells Known. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again.
At 1st level, a magister forms a bond with the powers of magic. This bond can take one of eight forms listed below:
The magister gains an arcane pool, as if she was a magus of the same level as her magister level. The magister does not naturally gain any magus arcana, but may select magus arcana instead of a bonus feat when she gains magister bonus feats. The magister treats her magister level as her magus level for all magus arcana, and must meet their prerequisites. The magister does not gain any other magus class feature (such as spell combat, spellstrike, or spell recall), and cannot select magus arcana that affect or depend on these abilities.
This represents a strong connection to one kind of magic, granting the magister a wizard school or elemental school specialization of her choice. The magister gains the granted powers of this specialization. When determining the powers granted by this specialization, the magister’s effective wizard level is equal to her magister level. A magister that selects this option receives no additional spell slots to prepare spells of her specialization (unlike a wizard), and does not have to pick opposition schools.
This represents a close tie to the divine supernatural world, granting the magister one of the following cleric domains: Air, Artiface, Charm, Chaos, Darkness, Destruction, Earth, Evil, Fire, Good, Knowledge, Law, Luck, Magic, Nobility, Rune, Sun, Travel, or Water. The magister gains the granted powers of this domain. When determining the powers granted by this domain, the magister’s effective cleric level is equal to her magister level. A magister that selects this option receives no additional domain spell slots (unlike a cleric) and does not receive the domain’s spells as bonus spells known. However, the domain’s bonus spells are added to the magister’s primary spell list (see “Choosing Spells”, above).
This represents some force of the universe has taken an interest in the magister and her actions. This grants the magister one of the following oracle mysteries: Ancestor, Bones, Dark Tapestry, Flame, Heavens, Lore, Nature, Time, Waves, Wind, or Wood. The magister gains the class skills of the selected mystery. A magister that selects this option does not receive the mystery’s spells as bonus spells known (unlike an oracle). However, the mystery’s bonus spells are added to the magister’s primary spell list (see “Choosing Spells,” above). When she gains magister bonus feats, she may select them from the normal list of magister bonus feats, or take a revelation from her selected mystery. She must meet the revelation’s prerequisites. For purposes of the revelation’s effect and prerequisites, she treats her magister level as her oracle level.
The magister’s studies have shown her that martial skill is its own kind of magic. The magister receives one less spell known and spell per day of each spell level. Her base attack bonus, Fortitude saves, and hit points are determined as if she were a cleric of the same level as her magister class level. If she later selects the Second Bond advanced mystic talent, she has additional options of what choices to take with some bonds, as noted on the following list. Divine Heritage: Magister may select the Destruction, Glory, Strength, or War domain. Divine Inspiration: Magister may select the Battle or Metal mystery. Sorceress Bloodline: The magister may select the Aberrant, Deep Earth, Destined, Draconic (any), Orc or Pestilence bloodline. Patron: The magister may select the Agility, Endurance, or Vengeance patron.
A magister selecting this option gains a bonus feat at 1st level (which must be a metamagic feat that shifts the level of a spell’s required spell slot by no more than 1) and has a pool of metamagic points equal to her magister class level. A magister regains her metamagic points when she regains her spells for the day.
When casting a spell, a magister may use her metamagic points to add metamagic effects from feats she knows to the spell without increasing the spell slot required to cast it. She expends one metamagic point for each extra level of spell slot the metamagic feat would normally require her to use. A magister may not partially reduce the cost of a metamagic feat, nor reduce the cost of only some of multiple metamagic effects added to a spell—she must spend enough metamagic points to counteract all metamagic changes to the spell’s spell slot. The magister may apply multiple metamagic feats to the same spell as long as she reduces the spell slot cost of each with metamagic points. The total (before reduction) of the level of a spell cast plus all metamagic points used may never exceed the highest level spell the magister can cast.
A spell cast with metamagic points has its normal casting time, rather than the increased casting time a magister normally requires when adding metamagic to her spells. A magister with the metamagic pool mystic bond may select metamagic feats as magister bonus feats.
A magister with a metamagic pool may still choose to use metamagic feats normally, casting spells as full-round actions and using a higher-level spell slot.
This represents an affinity for arcane power, which may be part of the magister’s background or may have been bestowed by a ritual when the magister first gained magic powers. This grants the magister one of the following sorcerous bloodlines: Abyssal, Aquatic, Arcane, Celestial, Djinni, Dreamspun, Efreeti, Elemental (air, earth, fire, or water), Infernal, Maestro, Marid, Oni, Shadow, Starsoul, or Stormborn. The magister gains the class skill, bloodline arcana, and bloodline powers of the selected bloodline. When determining the powers granted by this bloodline, the magister’s effective sorcerer level is equal to her magister level. A magister that selects this option does not receive the bloodline bonus spells as bonus spells known (unlike a sorcerer). However, bloodline’s bonus spells are added to the magister’s primary spell list (see “Choosing Spells”, above). When she gains bonus magister feats, she may select them from the normal list of bonus magister feats, or from the bonus feats of her sorcerous bloodline.
The magister forges a bargain with a vague and mysterious force, granting the magister power for reasons that she might not entirely understand. The magister gains a familiar, treating her magister level as her witch level for purpose of the familiar’s advancement and any familiar-related prerequisites. The magister also selects one of the following patron themes; ancestors, animals, death, elements, enchantment, light, moon, occult, portents, shadows, spirits, stars, time, water, winter, or wisdom. The magister adds the bonus spells from this patron theme to her primary spell list (see “Choosing Spells,” above).
As a magister gains experience, she learns a number of talents that assist her in manipulating spells and other forms of magic. At 3rd level, and again at 7th, a magister gains one mystic talent. A magister cannot select an individual talent more than once.
Talents marked with an asterisk add effects to a magister’s spellcasting ability. Only one of these talents can be applied to an individual spell and the decision must be made before the spell is cast.
Dazzling Spell (Su)*: As a swift action, the magister adds an element of bright energy to a spell she is casting. Only spells with a casting time of 1 standard action that allow a saving throw may be augmented in this way. Any target that fails its save against the spell is dazzled for 1 round per level of the spell. The magister may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Wisdom modifier.
Mystic Accuracy (Ex)*: When the magister casts a spell with an area, as a free action she may exclude a single target that would normally be affected. The magister must be able to see the target to exclude it. She may do this a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Wisdom modifier.
Mystic Training: The magister may select a bonus feat from her list of available magister bonus feats.
Spell Guard (Su)*: Whenever the magister casts a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action, she may instead cast it as a full round action. The magister channels some of the energy of the spell into a defensive shield around her, giving her a deflection bonus to her AC equal to the level of the spell being cast. This bonus lasts until the beginning of the magister’s next turn.
Spell Restraint (Ex)*: Whenever the magister cast a spell with an area described as a radius, she may decide to make the radius smaller. She may reduce the radius down by any number of 5-foot increments, to a minimum of a 5-foot-radius.
At 5th, 9th, 13th and 17th level, a magister gains a bonus feat. The magister must meet all the prerequisites for a bonus feat, including caster level minimums. These bonus feats are in addition to the feats that a character of any class gets from normal advancement. A magister’s bonus feats must be selected from the following list: Any feat with ‘Arcane’ in the title, Armor Proficiency (medium), Augment Summoning, Combat Casting, Effective Caster, Eschew Materials, Expanded Arcana, Extra Spells Known, Far Caster, Greater Spell Focus, Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Counterspell, Lasting Caster, Magister’s Channel Energy, Magister’s Companion, Magister’s Eidolon, Magister’s Familiar, Magister’s Focus, Magister’s Hex, Magister’s Performance, Magical Aptitude, Parry Spell, Plait Incantation, Spell Focus, and Spell Penetration.
A magister’s choice of mystic bond may also expand her bonus feat options.
At 11th, 15th, and 20th level, a magister learns further talents to assist her in manipulating spells and other forms of magic. She may gain one of the abilities described in the “Mystic Talents” entry or, if she prefers, one of the abilities described below. Advanced mystic talents follow the same rules as mystic talents.
Talents marked with an asterisk add effects to a magister’s spellcasting ability. Only one of these talents can be applied to an individual spell and the decision must be made before the spell is cast.
Augment Spell (Ex)*: Any spell the magister knows that has a variable that increases by caster level which has a maximum, that maximum is increased by the equivalent of one additional caster level. Thus a magister with this talent heals a maximum of 1d8+6 hit points with cure light wounds, and deals a maximum of 11d6 fire damage with fireball.
Metamystic (Su): A magister must have the metamagic pool mystic bond to select this advanced talent. The magister gains additional metamagic points equal to her Wisdom bonus.
Mystic Counter (Su)*: When the magister uses dispel magic or greater dispel magic to counterspell, she gains a +4 competence bonus to her dispel check. This stacks with the +4 bonus granted by greater dispel magic. A magister must know dispel magic or greater dispel magic to select this talent.
Mystic Discovery: The magister selects one wizard’s arcane discovery for which she meets the prerequisites. For purposes of this discovery’s effects and prerequisites, the magister’s effective wizard level is equal to her magister level.
Mystic Focus (Su)*: When the magister casts a spell with an area, as a free action she may choose to focus the entire might of the spell on a single target. The spell’s save DC is increased by +2, but only one target is affected by the spell. She may do this a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Wisdom modifier on a single target within that area.
Mystic Power: The magister may learn one additional spell known. This must be from the magister’s primary spell list, and cannot be of the highest level spell she can cast. A magister may never know more spells at a given level than she knows at the spell level below it.
Spell Diligence (Su)*: As a swift action the magister may focus all her attention on casting a single spell. Only spells with a casting time of 1 standard action and a range of personal or touch may be cast in this way. The magister adds her level to any concentration check made to cast a spell when using spell diligence. The magister may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Wisdom modifier.
Steal Spell (Su): The magister can attempt to gain the benefit of a spell currently active on another creature. The magister must successfully dispel the spell to be stolen, using the mage’s disjunction, dispel magic or greater dispel magic spells. If the spell is lower level than the highest level spell the magister could cast, has a duration greater than 1 round, and the magister could theoretically have selected it as a spell known (it does not have prerequisites the magister does not meet and is not available only to a prestige class the magister does not belong to), the magister gains the benefit of the spell. It lasts for one round per 2 magister levels or until its original duration expires, whichever comes first. A magister may attempt this a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Wisdom modifier.
Transfer Spell (Ex)*: The magister can cast some spells with a range of “personal” and a target of “you” as if they had a range of “touch” and a target of “1 willing creature.” Only spells that do not increase the target’s attack bonus or armor class and have a duration longer than 1 round may be cast in this way. The magister can only use this talent on spells with a spell level no greater than half of the highest level spell the magister knows. The magister may use this ability a total number of times per day equal to 3 + her Wisdom modifier.
Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have magisters as their Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.
When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.
A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.
Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.
The Genius Guide to the Death Mage. Copyright 2010, Super Genius Games. Author: Owen K.C. Stephens
Genius Guide to the Magister. Copyright 2011, Super Genius Games, LLC. Author: Owen K.C. Stephens
The Genius Guide to: Expanded Favored Class Options. Copyright 2011, Super Genius Games. Author: Michael Kenway