Bloodmages—are arcanists who believe there’s literal truth to the old aphorism that “magic runs in the blood.” Bloodmages are consummate spellcasters, often operating as heavy artillery in battle, but their potential to run amok when strained can make them nearly as dangerous to their friends as to their enemies.
Alignment: Bloodmages have no particular alignment, but their single-minded focus on the goal of attaining greater magical ability (and the general public’s prurient abhorrence of their ritualistic self-mutilation) tends to make them at least partially neutral.
Hit Die: d6.
To qualify to become a bloodmage, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Spells: Able to cast 3rd-level arcane spells.
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the bloodmage prestige class.
Bloodmages gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
When a new bloodmage level is gained, the character gains new spells as if she had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class she belonged to before adding the prestige class. She does not, however, gain other benefits a character of that class would have gained, except for additional spells per day, spells known (if she is a spontaneous spellcaster), and an increased effective level of spellcasting. If the character had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a bloodmage, she must decide which class she adds the new level to for the purpose of determining spells per day.
Does a wizard (or other character that uses a spellbook), receive bonus spells to add to his spellbook when he gains a level in a prestige class that grants an increase to spellcasting?
No. The increase to his spellcasting level does not grant any other benefits, except for spells per day, spells known (for spontaneous casters), and an increase to his overall caster level. He must spend time and gold to add new spells to his spellbook.
At 1st level, a bloodmage gains a pool of blood points, representing an overload of her system with excess blood to extend her arcane abilities beyond their normal level. A bloodmage’s normal pool of blood points is equal to her bloodmage level. Blood points can be spent at the time of casting to cast a spell without using that spell’s spell slot. The spell slot remains unused (for spontaneous casters), or the spell is recalled as if it had not been cast (for spellcasters who prepare spells). Retaining a spell or spell slot in this manner costs a number of blood points equal to the spell’s level, and these points must be spent at the time of casting. Blood points do not give spellcasters access to spells they don’t already know or have prepared.
In addition, the bloodmage may push herself via her bloodsurge ability in order to gain a number of extra blood points, but such exertion is a dangerous gamble. If the bloodmage’s current number of blood points is greater than her class level but less than or equal to twice her class level, she gains the sickened condition. If her exertions push her beyond twice her normal blood point level, she immediately flies into a homicidal rage, striking out randomly with her most damaging attacks and abilities at friends and foes alike for 1d6 rounds or until her blood pool is reduced to 0 (whichever comes first). At the end of the rage, her blood points drop to 0, her hit points drop to –1, and she begins dying.
Each day, when the bloodmage rests to regain spells, she regains blood points up to her class level but not beyond (so if her bloodmage level is 5 but she currently has 8 points, she remains at 8 until she spends the extra points).
Some bloodmages conduct constant rituals involving leeches or exsanguination in an attempt to regulate their systems. These rituals, which must be undertaken daily during spell preparation, give the bloodmage the option of subtracting 1 point from any surging rolls (see below) after the results are known, but at the price of a non-cumulative –2 penalty to Constitution. This penalty cannot be removed, save by the bloodmage abandoning the rituals for a day (also during spell preparation), which removes it immediately.
A bloodmage can exert herself as a free action to instantly gain extra blood points, but doing so puts her at risk of a dangerous collapse. At 1st level, the bloodmage can bloodsurge once per day to gain 1d4 points. At 4th, she can surge twice per day, and the die roll becomes 1d8. At 8th, she can surge three times per day, and the roll becomes 1d12.
On the Bloodsurge class ability chart it goes from 1d4 to 2d4 to 3d4 but the text progresses from 1d4 to 1d8 to 1d12. Normally “Text trumps table” but is it true in this case?.
After discussing this with James, we like the 1d4/1d8/1d12 option in the text better, as it makes it a little more risky for the reckless character–which makes the class more appealing if you’re a player who likes to take risks.
Note that if you play the class carefully, you’ll probably never rage if you use this ability. But sometimes an adventure requires you to push yourself a little harder than you’d planned….
Bloodmages are particularly susceptible to bleed effects, and the DC of any Heal check made to stop a bleed effect is 5 higher than normal. In addition, anytime a bleeding wound is inflicted on a bloodmage, she loses 1 blood point. This loss of blood points is cumulative for multiple bleed attacks, but not each time she takes damage from the same attack.
At 3rd level, a bloodmage becomes so massive that her rolls of fatty, blood-laden flesh grant her a +1 natural armor bonus. At 7th level, this bonus increases to +2 but reduces her speed by 10 feet. This penalty stacks with the penalty from the Bloodmage Initiate feat. This reduction in speed can never reduce the bloodmage’s speed below 5 feet, nor does it affect magical flying effects.
At 10th level, a bloodmage can temporarily access all of the bloodline powers of a given sorcerer bloodline as if she were a sorcerer of a level equaling her total arcane spellcaster level (including bloodmage levels) by consuming blood tied to that bloodline. By drinking 1 pint of fresh blood (which inflicts 1 point of Constitution damage) from a sorcerer with the given bloodline or from a creature affiliated with that bloodline, the bloodmage gains the ability to use the bloodline powers (but not bonus spells, proficiencies, and so on) as appropriate to her level for 1 hour. This ability is usable once per day and drinking the blood normally requires a full minute, but bloodmages with the Brew Potion feat can distill the blood into a potion-sized draught that can be stored and consumed as a standard action.
Any bloodlines absorbed are in addition to the original bloodline of a bloodmage with sorcerer levels. Though the bloodmage gains no physical nourishment from drinking blood, this practice is likely responsible for many of the stories linking bloodmages and vampires.
In addition to sorcerers of the given bloodline, the following list presents a few examples of creatures whose blood is considered affiliated to a bloodline. There may be others who work equally well, at the GM’s discretion.
Pathfinder Chronicles: City of Strangers. Copyright 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: James L. Sutter.