Blood Mage by Elfdaughter

Class Description Edit

Taught in the shadow, Blood Magi practice the art of fueling spells with the essence of life, blood. A Blood Magus is a powerful individual, schooled in the profane and knowledgeable of the darkest secrets of magic. A powerful Blood Magus is capable of extending her life, sacrifice her lifeforce or the lifeforce of others to power her spells and an array of bloody rituals. In civilized areas the use of such magic is frowned upon and considered barbaric as well as dangerous because of the harm its diciples often inflict upon others to fuel their horrid spells and rituals. Students of this profane form of magic often do so in isolation for fear of discovery although the ability itself it is not innately evil.

The most common forms of blood magic encountered are monstrous rituals of sacrifice practiced by Orcs and Goblins or the more benign forming of blood bonds and promises between warriors by cutting their hands and shaking it or by consuming their comrade's blood. In some backward regions it is also still custom to sign important contracts and deeds in blood or to drink the blood of slain enemies to take their strength. Blood has always been indelibly linked to the supernatural. It represents fertility, strength and life itself. The giving up of life force or life energy, whether voluntary or not, is a sacrifice of great potency.

Blood Magic can be exceptionally evil and corrupting because of the 'easy' power it offers, for this reason it is outlawed and shunned in all civilized societies regardless of alignment. Those that have attempted to regulate the practice have historically ended up with power crazed cabals of Blood Magi which (attempt to) sacrifice their patrons, apprentices, colleagues and other Mages. Another notable drawback to the practice of this profane form of magic is that it only works creatures that have blood. In light of this the position of Blood Magic in the realms has been relegated to being both exotic and dangerous in favor of the reliable traditional tenets of Arcane study. Finding a practicing Blood Magus can be considered extremely rare as they have almost always given in to the inherent malign-capriciousness their abilities promote.

Practicing any sort of visible Blood Magic means consenting to be killed on sight by other players and civilzed NPCs regardless of their heritage or alignment. It does not give licence to kill others however, the Blood Magus must still observe the PvP rules.
Exceptions to discovery are: Blood Component because it is a tiny pin-prick, Scarification and passive abilities. Use of Bloodwalk or Bloodseeking spell is almost guaranteed to end in being 'outted'.

Background Edit

Blood Magic is very old, as old as life and magic. It is a form of specialized necromancy that focuses on the manipulation of life's vital element: blood, through which magic can be empowered and the normally required ingredients may be substituted. For blood magic to be potent the sacrifice must be voluntary (the way spirit shamans use it on themselves if they have the feat), which is why victims are often manipulated or enspelled. Potent power can also be drawn from spilled blood and bleeding wounds, whether internally or external so long as the magic can access it. This is how Blood Magi normally power their spells, by injuring victims and drawing on their blood, reserving the more demanding sacrifices for rituals.

Because of how Blood Magic works the specialized field of the Blood Magus is a moral slippery slope. Despite not being inherently evil it produces many power crazed madmen and women, contributing to the bad reputation necromancy in general is known by. The fact that many evil monster races practice crude forms of blood magic and associated ritual sacrifice cements this reputation as practically beyond redemption.

Ever since the Mulhorandi people and their pantheon arrived on Faerun Blood Magic has been the domain of Set and has been almost exclusively practiced in the far east. With the ascension of Bhaal as part of the dead three Blood Magic has however begun to become less rare in the rest of Faerun, largely because Bhaal has been competing with Set to draw it into his portfolio. Blood Magic is now shared between the deities' portfolio's, neither possessing it exclusively. This is a source of continuous strife between Set and Bhaal, through it will not prevent them from allying temporarily if expedient. Finding practicing Blood Magi among Bhaal's faithful is quite common these days as those with a talent for the arcane are encouraged to take the easy path power that it promises. Blood Magic is still also practiced by those unaffiliated with Set or Bhaal, but these practitioners find themselves under their deific manipulations to tempt them into acts of wanton evil and lust for power or mayhem. <

In the eastern nations of Mulhorand, Unther and Thay Blood magic is considered especially barbaric and unstable because of its more public historical record. Instead of having been largely restricted to use by monster races there have been repeated historical incidents involving power-crazed cabals of Blood Mages. In Mulhorand the practice is considered an unforgivable sin and implies links to Set. In Thay there are known cabals of mages who practice blood magic though the field of study is excluded from the school of Necromancy by ancient decree. <

Thayan Blood Magi are not affiliated with any school of magic and are normally evicted once their dabbling becomes known, or is not immediately abandoned. Such Red Wizards normally live on the fringe of thayan society and are considered unsavory company at best. While most Thayans are perfectly happy to do business with Blood Mages it is always the sort of business others shouldn't know about. As a consequence many Blood Mages work as assassins or spies and face the risk of disappearing themselves if their employer wishes to tie up any loose ends. A particular animosity exists with the school of Necromancy, which wishes to eradicate the practice of Blood Magic for the unsavory reputation it attaches to necromancers and because of the mages which the promise of power tempts from its ranks.

Due to Set's initial exclusive incorporation of Blood Magic into his portfolio many literary sources are Mulhorandi in origin. Cabals of blood mages are outlawed in Mulhorand and barely tolerated in Thay because of their tendency towards wanton slaughter and the ritual sacrifice of fellow mages.

It is likely for that reason that students of Blood Magic on the Sword Coast may procure access to old Mulhorandi or Thayan sources, be it independently, through the manipulations of Bhaal, or of Set.

Blood Magic remained relatively obscure in ancient Netheril, the craft having been cataloged in Xinnizer's guide to the obscure Art which details exotic forms of magic, including Elven, but focusing in particular on primitive humanoid races. Xinnizer catalogued Blood Magic as being a form of ritual sacrifice practiced by various Orc and Goblin tribes in his day.

More detail is provided in Khuzon Delvind Dachar's account of Mulhorandi sects undermining the moral fabric of the Empire. In his account, known as Khuzon's warning, he describes blood magic in considerable detail, which led some to question whether the author had been involved first hand and was a remorseful reformist. While insightful and revealing a link to Set as well as some of the underlying magical principles the book does not provide any detail on the necessary preparation for the described (horrific) rituals and vile deeds. It is by this book that most Faerunian scholars know of the subject as it has been remarkably well preserved and copied many times by later generations seeking to strengthen the empire against Set's depredations. Such copies have inevitably also made their way to the Sword Coast, and though rare they are not impossible to acquire for people of means.

Requirements Edit

Race: Any

Alignment: Any non Lawful

Skills: Concentration 4 ranks

Feats: Toughness

Spell level: Able to cast 3rd Circle Arcane spells or higher

Class Features Edit

- Hit Die: d6

- Base Attack Bonus: Low

- High Saves: Fortitude

- Weapon Proficiencies: A blood magus gains no weapon proficiencies.

- Armor Proficiencies: blood magus gains no armor proficiencies.

- Skill Points: 2 + Int Modifier.

- Class Skills: Bluff, Concentration, Heal, Spellcraft

- Spells per Day/Spells Known: At every level except 5th & 10th the Blood Magus gainst more spells per day. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a blood magus, he must decide which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day

- Class Feats

1: Blood Component, Stanch, Skill Focus Concentration
2: Scarification
3: Deathknel
4: Blood Draught
6: Blood Seeking Spell
7: Thicker Than Water
8: Awaken Blood
9: Infusion
10: Bloodwalk

No bonus feats.

Abilities Edit

Blood Component
Type of Feat: Class Ability
Prerequisites: Blood Magus 1st level
Specifics: A blood magus may use a drop of his own blood as a spell's material component. The pinprick to draw the requisite blood is a free action that becomes a normal part of casting the spell. Using this ability deals the blood magus 1 point of damage but raises spell's save CL by 1.
Use: Selected

Note: This stacks with Bloodseeking Spell and other spell power or casterlevel increases.

Type of Feat: Class Ability
Prerequisites: Blood Magus 1st level
Specifics: The blood magus automatically stabilizes his wounds when his hit points drop below 0. He still passes on if he reaches -10 hit points or below.
Use: Automatic

Type of Feat: Class Ability
Prerequisites: Blood Magus 2nd level
Specifics: The blood magus learns to inscribe spells on his own skin for future use. Effectively, he gains the Scribe Scroll feat using an alternative medium. All rules, XP costs, and expenses that apply to Brew Potion also apply to this ability, with the following exceptions. Likewise, "reading" a scar follows the same rules as reading a scroll, but only a blood magus can decipher his own scars. A blood magus may only have six active scars at any one time. Scars store the Blood Magus' full casterlevel.
Use: Selected

Note: You can only have one scar per spell level, so no storing of six level nine spells for example.

Type of Feat: Class Ability
Prerequisites: Blood Magus 3rd level
Specifics: Two times per day the Blood Magus can use Deathknel as a spell-like ability. The target takes 2d4 points of negative energy damage. If this damage is lethal, the target decomposes and you gain 1d8 temporary hit points and a +2 bonus to Strength. You can only benefit from one casting of this spell at a time; its effects do not stack with itself.
Use: Selected

Blood Draught
Type of Feat: Class Ability
Prerequisites: Blood Magus 4th level
Specifics: The blood magus learns how to store spells of up to 3rd level in his own blood. Effectively, he gains the Brew Potion feat using an alternative medium. All rules, XP costs, and expenses that apply to Brew Potion also apply to this ability, with the following exceptions. Once "brewed", a blood draught remains in circulation within the magus's body. The maximum number of draughts stored at one time is equal to his levels of blood magus plus his Constitution score, but if he is slain, they are all immediately ruined.
Use: Selected

Note: These are effectively potions but they cannot be traded.

Type of Feat: Class Ability
Prerequisites: Blood Magus 9th level
Specifics: The blood magus prepares a special one time distillation of his own blood. Partaking of the infusion, he permanently gains 2 points of Constitution.
Use: Automatic

Bloodseeking Spell
Type of Feat: Class Ability
Prerequisites: Blood Magus 6th level
Specifics: The Blood Mague can imbue his spells with the ability to draw blood from their targets. To use this ability, a blood magus must inflict a wound upon himself; this is a free action that deals 3 points of damage to the blood magus and becomes a normal part of casting the spell. Damage reduction doesn't apply. A bloodseeking spell fuels itself on the blood of it's target increasing the casterlevel by 2. This ability is positively reviled throughout civlized lands because it is almost always associated with the ritual sacrifice of unwilling victims. Orcs and other monstrous races are known to practice such profane forms of magic but power crazed cabals are not unheard of in human domains either. Bloodseeking spells are an easy way to gain power but they start the Blood Magus down a path of profane corruption. Use of this ability marks the Blood Magus as having consented to be killed on sight by civilized races of any alignment.
Use: Selected

Note: This stacks with Blood Component and other spell power or casterlevel increases.

Thicker than Water
Type of Feat: Class Ability
Prerequisites: Blood Magus 7th level
Specifics: The blood magus's vital fluids are partially under his conscious control. When he is injured, his blood withdraws from the wound, preventing 1 point of damage. Effectively, the blood magus has a "hardness" of 1. (Damage reduction 1/-)
Use: Automatic

Type of Feat: Class Ability
Prerequisites: Blood Magus 10th level
Specifics: The blood magus attains the supernatural ability to transport himself over great distances via the blood of living creatures. Once per day, as a standard action, he can seamlessly enter any one living creature whose size equals or exceeds his own and pass any distance to another living creature in a single round, regardless of the distance separating the two. If he desires, the blood magus may attempt to make a "bloody" exit from the destination creature. He bursts forth explosively from the creature's body, dealing 16d6 points of damage unless the target passes a fortitude save. (10 + Class Level + Blood Magus's con modifier)
This ability can be used to mark a person, to travel to this person as if by teleport or to attack a person.
Use: Selected

Note: Cooldown is 5 minutes, an hour for the actual in-between areas teleport.

Awaken Blood
Type of Feat: Class Ability
Prerequisites: Blood Magus 8th level
Specifics: The blood magus gains the supernatural ability to bestow momentary consciousness on an opponent's blood. Once per day, he can make a melee touch attack against a living foe. If he hits, the opponent's blood attempts to get free - all at once. The hydrostatic pressure disrupts the victim's tissues, dealing 10d10 points of damage. If he misses, the blood magus can try again until he is successful against an opponent. "Conscious" blood returns to its natural state after 1 round.
Use: Selected

Note: Cooldown is 5 minutes.

Class curtesy of Rasael, thorough testing by the Quality Control Team. Implementation on the server by Luna.