Battlemages are a fusion of mage and soldier, selected early on from among those gifted with the Spiritual arts as well as having a propensity toward physical and martial prowess. Originally formed to serve their masters as enforcers of the laws of magic, they became known as Mage Wardens. They also serve in a variety of other capacities such as bodyguards for high ranking Mages or by providing battlefield services as a sort of living artillery piece.
The life of a Battlemage is typically one of service, as they live, study and train in the Mage Colleges alongside true Mages. They are often viewed as subservient to the Mages due to their reduced capacity for mastering the Spiritual arts. However, the truth is much different. If a Battlemage can reach the title of High Curator, they become the supreme commander of a particular branch of the Mage Wardens. In this role they command more authority, though less personal power, than even an Archmage. In the event that an Archmage reaches beyond the laws of magic to grasp even more power, it would fall to the High Curator of a College to enforce the laws of magic, sacrificing as many Mage Wardens as necessary in the process to suppress the corruption.
Typical Roles: Support/Utility, Melee Damage, Ranged Damage
Damage Types: Physical, Spirit (Arcane, Elemental, Natural)
Class Mechanic: Vigor and Spirit
Available Races: High Elf, Gnome, Human, Half-Elf, Orc, Half-Orc, Minotaur
Initial Gold: varies by race from 128.3 to 216.0
During Character Creation you may choose to use the Default Stat Line, before racial modifiers, instead of rolling for stats, or if after rolling ten sets of stats you don’t like the results
Natural Armor Proficiency: Cloth
Trainable Armor Proficiency: Leather
Natural Weapon Proficiency: Knives, Swords, Bludgeons, Axes, Staves
Trainable Weapon Proficiency: Swords (2-Handed), Bludgeons (2-Handed), Axes (2-Handed), Polearms, Bows, Crossbows, Wands
See Equipment section for details. When using a weapon that your class is not proficient with, see Combat Penalties. There is no level or title prerequisite to train in a new proficiency, however you must receive the appropriate Training.
Class Passive Skill: Adrenaline Casting
Class Secondary Skill: (choose one) Bodyguard, Military Training, or Weapon Specialist (of Battlemage’s choice)
note: If wishing to specialize in a weapon type that the Battlemage does not have as a starting proficiency, you may save the point to be spend at a later date
Dedicated School of Magic
While most Battlemages possess some innate or natural skill in magic, their skills are learned and developed though intensive training and formalized schooling. As such all Battlemages begin their schooling in Common Arcane magic, learning and wielding this School of Magic exclusively for the duration of Tier 1 powers.
Upon advancing to Tier 2 and beyond, Battlemages must dedicate themselves to a particular School of Magic for the remainder of their lifetime, or risk breaking the Laws of Magic and being labelled a Renegade. Though this system can be seen as restrictive, it also has its benefits. Unlike other practitioners of the spiritual arts, Battlemages are permitted to retain all Tier 1 Common powers throughout their career, regardless of which School they belong to, while simultaneously being granted access to Tier 1 powers of their chosen School as well.
The academic approach to learning new powers is utilized by Mages, Battlemages, and Wizards. In order to use the Academic method the Battlemage must have access to the appropriate Tier and School of the power, through their Mage College or choose the path of an outlaw (renegade or sorcerer). Either way, the Battlemage must then proceed though the following procedure:
- First the caster must find, purchase, or be given a scroll or text for that selected power. Scrolls are often awarded to students of the spiritual arts by their masters, in exchange for the completion of tasks or errands. Colleges also retain extensive libraries of source material that can be utilized, with permission of course.
- Then the caster must attempt to cast the power by consuming the scroll AND expending the Spirit cost.
- Next the caster must pass an Intellect test at -1 Disadvantage per Tier of the power they are attempting to learn.
- If failing: The scroll is destroyed and any damage and/or negative effects are inflicted on the caster or on a nearby (unintended) target.
- If succeeding: The power works as intended and is now available in the memory of the caster, and can now be used at will while it remains in the caster’s memory.
Alternately, if the power is taught by a Mage or Battlemage of the appropriate Title/rank (aka Spirit Teacher), no scroll is required and any failure is contained by the teacher.
Personal Spell Book
Personal Spell Books are used by Mages, Battlemages, and Wizards. While they may vary greatly in size and complexity, they remain the personal property of the Spirit user and typically cannot be read by anyone other than their owner, sometimes even driving an unauthorized reader mad. These casters use their Spirit Books as a means of simplifying the process of re-learning and over-writing powers currently in their memory. So long as a power is recorded in the caster’s Spirit Book, the Tier 0 power ‘Memorize Power’ can be used to successfully return a power to memory from the Spell Book without having to go through the process of learning the power (as outlined in the previous section). All rolls and requirements are waived. See the description of ‘Memorize Power’ in the Spirit Powers section for details on the frequency at which it can be cast.
Essentially this allows Mages, Battlemages, and Wizards to learn as many powers as they desire for the task at hand while using a Spell Book to store excess powers without having to re-learn them. Spell Books can store as many powers as there are pages available, where the number of pages required for a given power is equal to the tier of the power. To transcribe a power to a Spell Book the caster must have at least Rank1 Scholar (secondary skill). Transcribing takes a half rest and takes one known power from memory and permanently records it in the Spirit Book. Under no circumstances can Spell Books be used to directly cast powers. With the exception of Tier 0 powers, only powers stored in memory may be cast.
Incantation: Battle Tongue
In order to actually cast any of their powers, a Mage, Battlemage, or Wizard must speak out a memorized incantation while picturing the substance and form of the spell in their mind. This must be paired with a casting gesture of some kind to set the spell into motion (see Methods of Casting).
For battlemages, the focus is placed on efficiency over elegance, as they are far more likely to find themselves in close combat than their mage counterparts. As such, this incantation is usually a short form shouted in their native or most familiar tongue. This is sometimes referred to as the Battle tongue, and though it is looked down upon by most mages, it is far more functional when standing toe-to-toe with an Ogre, or facing down a cavalry charge. The accompanying casting gestures are equally as pragmatic as the Battle tongue. Simple but forceful, these gestures are often made with a weapon, though an empty fist works just as well.
A Battlemages training includes equal parts academics and physical drills. They train long and hard to fight with a variety of weapons and tactics. While the adrenaline of battle courses through their veins, a Battlemage can channel it to boost their casting prowess, particularly for defensive or melee oriented powers. However, as with any Vigor class, prolonged combat can tire out a Battlemage preventing them for using their physical training to full effect.
While learning new Spirit Powers is an intricate and involved academic process, learning new Vigor Skills is relatively simple, and follows the standard methods of training. Typically Battlemages train within a Mage College and therefore most often receive vigor training from Battlemage instructors. However, they could just as easily pick up new skills from an experienced warrior, soldier, marksman, or other vigor class. At times they may even just pay a Combat Trainer to learn a new skill. Once a skill is learned though, it can be improved simply though repeated use.
New vigor skills require training unless they are upgrades (i.e. Offensive Stance -> Improved Offensive Stance), see Learning New Vigor Skills for details.
Battlemages use the following chart for levelling up:
- Add bonus spirit gain from intellect bonuses if applicable
- Max Spirit Powers Known does not include Tier 0 powers
- Leveling up only increases the capacity for known Spirit Powers, to actually learn new powers see Learning New Spirit Powers for details
- Re-calculate Vigor Max each level
- New vigor abilities require training unless they are upgrades (i.e. Offensive Stance -> Improved Offensive Stance), see Learning New Vigor Abilities for details
Specializations are recommended for advanced players only, and are accomplished through the Secondary Skill system (see Specialist Skills). Battlemages may choose to specialize their skills in up to one weapon use, one combat style and/or one spirit study, but can not have more than two specializations in total.
- Max one Weapon Specialist skill (choose from: Knives, Swords, Bludgeons, Axes, Staves, Polearms, Bows, Crossbows, Wands)
- Max one Combat Specialist skill (choose from: Sword and Board, Freehand, Great Weapon, Paired Weapon, Freestyle, Sharp Shooter, Skirmisher, Peltast, Warder, Mounted)
- Max one Spirit Specialist skill (choose from: Devastation, Destruction, Conjuration, Alteration, Fortification)
Battlemages gain titles based on the prescribed promotions of their superiors at an institution dedicated to a particular School of Spirit Powers, also known as a Mage College. Battlemages do not typically run their own Colleges but rather live and study in a separate wing within a Mage College.
More than just an academic institution, the Mage Colleges see themselves as the guardians and enforcers of the laws of magic, even extending their influence towards other self governing practitioners of the Spiritual arts such as the Druidic Conclaves or the Colleges of Wizardry. Mage Colleges govern and restrict the flow of information and power available to practitioners of the spiritual arts. It is also the instructors and masters at the Mage Colleges that determine when a young apprentice is ready to be promoted and allowed access to increasingly potent Spirit powers.
While the Mage Colleges write and interpret the laws of magic, it is the Battlemages that enforce those laws. This requires a unique blend of magical ability and physical prowess. As such, while Battlemages live and study alongside mages to some extent, they forgo a large measure of the traditional training for Mages and instead learn the art of physical combat alongside their magic to allow them to deal with a multitude of threats.
Battlemages also often serve as bodyguards for high ranking Mages or as a sort of living artillery piece in armies. However most Battlemages ultimately aspire to become part of the Mage Wardens. The Mage Wardens are the watch dogs of all who possess the ability to tap into the Spiritual Powers. They are lead by a High Curator, who acts as Supreme commander of the Mage Wardens. Like the Arch-Mages they is only one for each of the Schools of Spirit powers in a given region. While their power generally does not exceed that of an Arch-Mage their authority does. In cases where more than one College exists for a given School of Spirit Powers, the most prominent of the Colleges will typically be home to the Battlemages.
The Battlemage titles awarded by a Mage College are as follows:
|Title||Level||Qualifications||Rewards & Consequences|
A Sorcerer (or Sorceress if female) is a Mage or Battlemage that still adheres to the most basic laws of magic, to use only a Single School of Spiritual Powers, but simply chooses to advance their knowledge outside of the confines of a College. While not a direct threat to the Colleges, they are still looked down upon and monitored to ensure they do not step outside laws of magic. Provided they maintain a low profile and do not directly contravene the laws of Magic, the Mage Wardens generally leave Sorcerer’s to their own devices.
Renegade Battlemages extremely uncommon as they are instructed early on in their training how to battle against Renegades, and thus know full well how dangerous the path of the Renegade can be. However for some this training gives them a taste for the forbidden, causing those of weaker will or greater ambition to break away from the College and pursue the unrestricted powers of magic. With such a vast array of spirit powers available to them, combined with their martial training, a high level Renegade Battlemage is extremely dangerous and as such the Mage Wardens are vigilant to ensure that any potential renegades are rooted out of their ranks early on.
In the rare occasion that a lower level renegade Battlemage is discovered to be ignorant of the existence of the laws of magic, whatever the motives or reasoning may have been, they are given one chance to join a College, forsaking any forbidden knowledge and coming into the fold. If they refuse they rarely escape with their mind intact, for if need be Mage Wardens will use an invasive and destructive method to burn all Spiritual Knowledge from their minds.
Higher level renegades are seldom even afforded this small mercy. They will be actively hunted all their days, and usually perish in combat with the Mage Wardens. Yet for some this is a reasonable price to pay for unrestrained access to the immense powers of the Spirit world, holding to the ambitious hope of surviving long enough to become more powerful that the combined might of the Mage Wardens. If a renegade ever were able to reach that level of power they would be almost unstoppable, and certainly more than a match for any single Archmage in a mage duel, due to the vast array of powers available to them. As such, the Colleges are ever vigilant to ensure this never happens.
|Outlaw Title||Qualifications||Rewards & Consequences|
Blood-brood the Cleaver
Battlemage of the Vestin College of Pyromancy, former Prisoner of the Bloodshrine of Cerabus. Hero of the War of the Twin Terrors in Western Gant, instrumental in the defeat of Cerabus the Bloodthirster. Promoted in the field to the rank of Warmage. Current wielder of Flamewake, “an axe so large that only a Minotaur could wield it, wreathed in flame and enchanted to empower its owner’s spiritual energies with every swing”.
Blood-brood the Cleaver