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Pen Mage

Language has power. None are more aware of this than the pen mage. Whereas a normal black mage gets her power from wielding arcane power, the pen mage gets her power from the proper use of language. The incantations are neat and orderly, not merely because she enjoys the proper usage of grammar, but because failing to satisfy the laws of language will result in disastrous consequences, the least of which being misunderstood.

The pen mage is an archetype of the black mage class.

Limit Break (Su)

At 1st level, the pen mage receives the Limit Break (Rewrite Scene).

Rewrite Scene (Su): This Limit Break allows the pen mage to reroll a single d20 die roll. As an immediate action, the pen mage may reroll a single d20 roll from herself, an ally, or an enemy. If rerolling for herself or an ally, she or the ally gains a +2 bonus to the roll, plus an additional +2 bonus per four black mage levels after 1st. If rerolling for an enemy, he must make a Will save (DC 10 + half of the black mage’s level + her Intelligence modifier) or he receives a -2 penalty instead, with an additional -2 penalty per four black mage levels after 1st. In addition, if the d20 roll results in a 20 or higher (from the natural roll plus the Limit Break bonus), it is counted as a natural 20 instead. Likewise, if an enemy rolls a 1 or lower (from the natural roll plus the Limit Break penalty), it is counted as a natural 1 instead. This limit break lasts for a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four black mage levels after 1st. The pen mage may only affect one roll per round.

This ability replaces one of the black mage’s standard Limit Breaks.

The Power of Grammar (Su)

At 1st level, and every four levels thereafter (5th, 9th, 13th and 17th) the pen mage gains a better understanding of correct grammar, spelling and examples. This improvement allows the pen mage to better craft her spells and documents, gaining a +1 to all DCs of her spells as well as a +1 to Craft (Calligraphy).

This ability replaces black magery.

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (Su)

At 2nd level and every other level thereafter (4th, 6th, 8th, etc.) the pen mage learns that writing a document can kill thousands in 1 stroke, while a sword must kill 1 at a time, though sometimes, a sword must be crossed along the way. The pen mage can imbue any writing utensil with her magic, as long as she has 1 MP remaining and is not within an anti-magic field. The writing utensil is then granted a damage die above that of a normal pencil.

At 2nd level, the pen mage’s writing utensil is considered a magical dagger (of her size) of 1d4, this damage increases by 1 die step at every other level. This writing utensil works just like a dagger mechanically, and does not gain any additional strength through two-handing. If the pen mage wants to enchant her utensil like a normal weapon, she can, however, it retains the HP and Hardness of a dagger. Hardness 10, HP 2. The utensil still gets +2 to Hardness and +10 to HP for every enhancement bonus it has.

Table: Pen Damage

LevelDamage of
Utensil (Pen)
4th1d6
6th1d8
8th1d10
10th2d6
12th2d8
14th3d6
16th3d8
18th4d6
20th4d8

This ability replaces elemental shield.

Writing Talents

As a pen mage gains experience, she learns a number of talents that assists her in manipulating her formulae as well as that of professions. At 2nd level and every two levels thereafter, a pen mage can gain a mage talent or a writing talent from the list below. A pen mage cannot select an individual talent more than once unless stated.

Apprentice Writer (Ex): The pen mage gains a familiar in the form of an Imp, Goblin or small sized outsider (bipedal only, hands/claws only), the pen mage’s expertise in writing attracts all sorts. The alignment of the familiar is the same as the pen mage, doing almost any task given to them. This familiar can aid another with the pen mage for skill checks outside of combat.

Arcane Calligrapher (Ex): The pen mage has an exceptional understanding of the grammar behind creating magical scrolls. She creates scrolls 25% faster than normal, and gains a +4 bonus on Spellcraft checks.

Corrective Teaching (Su): The pen mage gives an insight bonus to allies within range when they cast spells. She can increase the saving DC of spells cast by a single ally within 30-feet by 2. This ability is an immediate action and can be done a number of times per day equal to her Intelligence modifier.

Emboldened Teaching (Su): The pen mage gives an insight bonus to allies within range when they cast spells. She can increase the number of damage dice of spells cast by a single ally within 30-feet by 1, increasing beyond past the normal cap. This ability is an immediate action and can be done a number of times per day equal to her Intelligence modifier. Prerequisite: Corrective Teaching

Learned Reader (Ex): The pen mage adds her level to all Spellcraft checks made to decipher scrolls, spellbooks and magical writing.

Peculiar Writer (Ex): The pen mage gains another follower, in the form of a Mime, Mimic or animated object of sentience (Hands/Claws only), the pen mage’s immense knowledge of all things writing attracts the most astute students. The alignment of the follower is the same as the pen mage, doing almost any task given to them. This follower can make skill checks and gains/gives aid another with the pen mage for skill checks outside of combat. Prerequisites: Apprentice Writer, Black Mage Level 6.

Signature Skill: The pen mage gains the Signature Skill feat as long as it applies to a Craft, Profession or Linguistics skill. This can be selected several times, applying to different skills.

Skilled Focus: The pen mage gains the benefit of a single Skill Focus feat, as long as it is to do with writing. The most common are: Linguistics, Profession: Stenographer, Craft: Calligraphy. This can be selected several times, applying to different skills.

Tax Write-Off (Su)

At 3rd level, a pen mage can make a numerable amount of purchases without paying or without paying much. A pen mage writes a single note, handing it to a vendor to pay for a purchase, equal to 100 gil per black mage level. If the note does not pay for the purchase fully, the pen mage must pay the difference. If the note pays above what is needed, the excess is lost. A purchase can be several items, but must be from the same shop. A pen mage may use this ability once per day and cannot be used during downtime. This magical note transmutes into gil for the vendor after the purchase is complete, but cannot be transmuted among the party.

This ability replaces dark affliction.

Perfected Formulae (Ex)

Beginning at 4th level, a pen mage can increase the save DC of her next spell as a swift action, as long as the casting time of the spell is 1 standard action or less. The next spell the pen mage casts gains the Persistent Spell metamagic effect of forcing the target to make 2 rolls against the save, this change does not affect the Spell Level. This ability can be used once per day plus an additional time per day for every four black mage levels after 4th.

This ability replaces focused caster.

You Spelt That Wrong! (Su)

Beginning at 6th level, the pen mage sees the faults in all her opponent’s spells and proceeds to correct them. The pen mage can counterspell, as if using a targeted Dispel spell, any caster within 60-feet as an immediate action. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Intelligence modifier.

This ability replaces innate spells.

Detailed Description (Su)

At 18th level, a pen mage can write so many words it takes the target longer to fully read or understand them. As a swift action, the pen mage gives their next spell an increase in spell duration, turning rounds to minutes, and minutes to hours. This does not affect the level of the spell and can only be done once per day.

This ability replaces 1 MP spell.

Death Note (Su)

At 20th level, once per day, if the pen mage knows the name of a target, both first and last, along with a clear vision of the target’s face (this can be seen through divination but not through art), she can force that target to die. Writing down how the target dies is up to the pen mage, but it cannot be done by another character, it must be a bodily affect such as a heart attack or suicide. The target will die within their next turn, or up to 5 turns depending on the pen mage’s wish. The target gets a Will save (DC 20 + the pen mage’s Intelligence modifier) to resist the effect. This effect works like a death effect, and those immune to death effects are also immune to Death Note.

This ability replaces black wizard.