Blood Magus

Drawn to darkness and violence by nature, orcs and half-orcs raised in orcish culture have, on occasion, been known to rise beyond the normal expectations of their culture. These warriors empower not only their bodies but their minds, mastering battle magic through an ancient ritual that binds blood and magic with a mighty blade.


The blood magus is an archetype of the magus class, available to orc and half-orc magi.

Class Skills

A blood magus gains Survival as a class skill, but loses Use Magic Device.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

In addition to the normal weapon proficiencies gained by the magus class, the blood magus is proficient with the greataxe and falchion. A blood magus learns how to cast spells while using either of these weapons, incorporating the weapon’s movements into the somatic components of their spells. This modifies the normal magus weapon and armor proficiency feature.

Diminished Spellcasting

Blood magi cast one fewer spell of each level than normal. If this reduces the number to 0, he may cast spells of that level only if his Intelligence allows bonus spells of that level. This alters the magus’ normal allotment of spells known.

Spell Scars

A blood magus’ knowledge of spells is stored deep within his own blood, accessible through the connection with his weapon. The blood magus goes through a daily ritual, lasting one hour, during which he etches scars on his arms and upper body. These scars represent his daily selection of spells.

This ability replaces the magusspellbook and spell preparation.

Blood Magic Specialization

The blood magus attains a greater understanding of blood-related magic. He adds the following spells to his spell list. Blood armor—2nd, blood biography—3rd. Additionally, any magus spell containing “blood” in the title is cast as one level higher.

Sanguine Blade

At 3rd level, the blood magus gains the knowledge of an obscure arcane ritual, binding themselves to a mystically empowered weapon through their blood. During this ritual, the blood magus forges and enchants a falchion or greataxe with arcane sigils, quenching the blade in three pints of his own blood. The dark magic binds both weapon and wielder, granting the blood magus the ability to wield a powerfully mystical weapon. This does not come without sacrifice, as the blood required for the ritual results in 1 point of permanent Con drain that cannot be healed or restored while the magus maintains levels in the blood magus archetype. Once complete, the weapon seems to constantly exude the tang of blood, as the arcane sigils pulse with blood-red light.

While not truly sentient, the blood magus’ weapon does possess some rudimentary intelligence, almost palpable malice, and an uncanny awareness of potential enemies. While a magus is wielding his sanguine blade, he gains the Alertness feat. A magus with this class feature cannot take the familiar magus arcana, and cannot have a familiar of any kind, even from another class.

As a free action, the magus can spend a point from his arcane pool to grant his sanguine blade a +1 bonus on damage rolls for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, this ability gives the sanguine blade another +1 on damage rolls. At 10th level, the blood magus gains the ability to completely absorb his blade into his body, transforming his weapon into blood that flows into his veins. This process is a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. While the sanguine blade is contained within the magus’ body, he regains the lost point of Constitution, gaining any hit points that would be obtained by a change in ability modifier. At will, the blood magus may manifest his sanguine blade, sacrificing the point of Constitution as his blood coalesces into his mighty weapon. Manifesting the sanguine blade is a move action.

This ability replaces the magus arcana gained at 3rd level.


At 5th level, the blood magus can spend a point from his arcane pool to empower his weapon as a swift action, coating the blade in roiling, razor-sharp tendrils of blood, dealing an additional 1d6 points of damage. By spending 2 points, he can empower his blood to wend its way into the opponent’s wounds. Any opponent wounded by his weapon while so empowered must succeed on a Fort save (DC 10 + 1/2 magus level + Int modifier) or be sickened for 1 minute. An opponent making a successful save becomes immune to the effect for 24 hours.

This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 5th level.

Greater Bloodstrike

At 14th level, the blood magus’ bloodstrike ability deals an additional 3d6 points of damage. By spending 2 points from his arcane pool, he can empower his blade to nauseate his opponent on a failed save.

This ability replaces greater spell combat.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Art of Magic: Magic and Melee, © 2021, Publishing; Author: Mark Thomas

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