Cyphermages are students of ancient history and runic lore. They are respected in some ways for their depth of knowledge about the history of the region, yet some people find them dangerously stubborn in their pursuit of secrets best left lost and in their borderline obsession with any scraps or fragments of rubble with markings that even remotely resemble runes. Like the legendary Cyphergate itself (an enormous rune-carved arch), much of the labor of the Cyphermages seems to others to be wasted on pondering and searching for hidden meanings and sublime significance that simply may not exist. Nonetheless, Cyphermages are dogged in their pursuit of knowledge, often secretive not only with outsiders but also with one another, as each strives to uncover a forgotten scrap of lore, unearth a choice bit of architecture, or present a triumphant dissertation to his Cyphermage peers or to academics half a world away.
Hit Die: d6.
To qualify to become a Cyphermage, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Languages: Know two ancient languages like Aklo, Draconic, or Giant).
Spells: Able to cast arcane spells.
The Cyphermage’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Climb (Str), Disable Device (Dex), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+1||Cypher lore||+1 level of arcane spellcasting class|
|2nd||+1||+1||+1||+1||Cypher lore||+1 level of arcane spellcasting class|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+2||Cypher lore||+1 level of arcane spellcasting class|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+2||Cypher lore||+1 level of arcane spellcasting class|
|5th||+2||+2||+2||+3||Cypher lore||+1 level of arcane spellcasting class|
|6th||+3||+2||+2||+3||Cypher lore||+1 level of arcane spellcasting class|
|7th||+3||+2||+2||+4||Cypher lore||+1 level of arcane spellcasting class|
|8th||+4||+3||+3||+4||Cypher lore||+1 level of arcane spellcasting class|
|9th||+4||+3||+3||+5||Cypher lore||+1 level of arcane spellcasting class|
|10th||+5||+3||+3||+5||Cypherlord||+1 level of arcane spellcasting class|
The following are class features of the Cyphermage prestige class.
As a Cyphermage gains levels, he begins mastering written magic such as scrolls, glyphs, and symbols. He also begins to discover ancient Sin magics that further bolster his power. These discoveries are known collectively as cypher lore. At each level except for 10th, the Cyphermage learns a new way to enhance his magic, chosen from the list of cypher lore discoveries below.
Analyze Scroll (Su): As a free action, the Cyphermage can automatically discern the contents of a magic scroll, as if he were using read magic. He gains an insight bonus equal to his Cyphermage level on Use Magic Device checks to cast spells from scrolls.
Bypass Symbol (Su): When the Cyphermage attempts a saving throw against a magical glyph, symbol, sigil, or similar written trap, as an immediate action he can attempt a Spellcraft check against the same DC to delay the trap’s effects for 1d6 rounds. Once the delay is over, the trap has its normal effect. The Cyphermage must be at least 8th level to select this lore.
Enhance Scroll (Su): As a swift action, the Cyphermage can cause any scroll spell he reads to function using his caster level rather than the scroll’s caster level. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to one-third his Cyphermage level (minimum 1).
Extended Scroll (Su): As a swift action, the Cyphermage can double the duration of any spell he reads from a scroll as if the spell were modified by Extend Spell. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to one-third his Cyphermage level (minimum 1).
Focused Scroll (Su): As a swift action, the Cyphermage can add a bonus equal to twice his Intelligence modifier on any caster level checks attempted when activating a scroll spell, including checks to overcome spell resistance. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to one-third his Cyphermage level (minimum 1).
Giant’s Master (Ex): The Cyphermage has unraveled several methods of commanding and controlling giants. As a swift action whenever he uses a mind-affecting spell or effect on a humanoid with the giant subtype, he increases the DCs of spells he casts by 2. The Cyphermage must be at least 6th level to select this lore.
Glyph Finder (Ex): The Cyphermage can locate glyphs of warding, symbol spells, and similar magical spell traps that use writing as if he were a rogue. He can use Perception or Knowledge (arcana) to notice such traps, and can use Disable Device or Spellcraft to disable these types of traps.
Insightful Scroll (Su): As a swift action, the Cyphermage can alter a spell he’s casting from a scroll to use his own spellcasting ability score (for example, Intelligence for wizards) and relevant feats to set the save DC for the spell. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to one-third his Cyphermage level (minimum 1).
Rune Trap (Ex): Whenever the Cyphermage casts a spell that creates a trap that uses magical writing (such as explosive runes, illusory script, sepia snake sigil, or a symbol spell), as a swift action he can include Sin runes in the writing. This increases the Perception DCs to notice it, Disable Device DCs to disarm it, and caster level DCs to dispel it by 4. The Cyphermage must be at least 6th level to select this lore.
Swift Scrivener (Ex): The Cyphermage can scribe up to two scrolls per day, so long as the total market price of all scrolls scribed that day does not exceed 1,000 gp. The Cyphermage reduces the casting time of all symbol spells to 1 minute.
Swift Scroll (Ex): The Cyphermage does not provoke attacks of opportunity when retrieving a stored scroll. If the Cyphermage moves at least 10 feet, he can retrieve a scroll as a free action combined with his movement.
Sin Focus (Ex): The Cyphermage chooses one of the seven schools of Sin magic, (if the Cyphermage is a Sin Magic specialist, he must choose the same school of magic for his focus as he chose for his specialization). He gains a +2 insight bonus on all saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities from that school of magic.
Sin Incantation (Su): The Cyphermage has discovered a way to empower language-dependent spells when speaking an ancient language. When he does so, the save DCs of the spells increase by 1, but those targeted by such a spell’s effects must still be able to understand the ancient language to be affected by it. If the Cyphermage also has the rune trap cypher lore, the Cyphermage can include Sin runes in any spell he casts that creates magical writing (such as a symbol or explosive runes). Doing so doubles the spell’s casting time, but causes the spell effect to manifest at +1 caster level.
Sin Summoning (Ex): The Cyphermage has learned how to summon strange creatures to his aid when he casts certain summon monster spells. He adds sinspawn to the list of monsters he can conjure with summon monster III, lamias to the list of monsters he can conjure with summon monster VI, and shining children (Bestiary 2 245) to the list of monsters he can conjure with summon monster IX . The Cyphermage must be at least 6th level to select this lore.
At 10th level, a Cyphermage gains a +5 insight bonus on saving throws against the effects of magical symbols, glyphs, sigils, and similar writing-based spells and traps. He selects one of his cypher lore abilities that requires a swift action to activate; thereafter, he can activate that ability as a free action.