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As a black mage gains experience, he learns a number of talents that assist him in manipulating spells and other forms of magic. At 2nd level and every two levels thereafter, a black mage gains one mage talent. A black mage cannot select an individual talent more than once. Talents marked with an asterisk (*) add effects to a black mage’s spellcasting ability. Only one of these talents can be applied to an individual spell and the decision must be made before the spell is cast.

Table: Mage Talents

Mage TalentPrerequisitesBenefits
Ambuscading Spell (Su)During a surprise round, the black mage's opponents that have not yet acted take a –2 penalty on saving throws against spells he casts. Creatures that have already acted take a –1 penalty during the surprise round.
Arcane Builder (Ex)The black mage has an exceptional understanding of the theory behind creating magical items. He can select one type of magic item (potions, wondrous items, and so on); he creates items of this type 25% faster than normal, and gains a +4 bonus on Spellcraft checks (or other checks, as appropriate) to craft items of this type. He may select this talent multiple times; its effects do not stack. Each time he selects this talent, it applies to a different type of magic item.
Arcane Fighter (Ex)The black mage’s levels stack with any warrior levels he possesses for the purposes of meeting the prerequisites for feats that specifically select his spells, such as Weapon Specialization (ray). The black mage treats his spells as weapons for the purposes of taking feats like Improved Critical, or using feats like Arcane Strike.
Arcane Pool (Su)Must not have an Arcane Pool.The black mage gains an arcane pool, as if he was a red mage of the same level as his black mage level. The black mage does not naturally gain any ruby arcana, but may select extra ruby arcana feat. The black mage treats his black mage level as his red mage level for all ruby arcana, and must meet their prerequisites. The black mage does not gain any other red mage class feature (such as spell combat, spellstrike, or spell recall), and cannot select ruby arcana that affect or depend on these abilities.
Elemental Blessing (Su)Black Mage 6The black mage casts any elemental spells that appear on both the black mage and geomancer spell lists at +1 caster level and with +1 to the save DC.
Empowered Magic (Su)The black mage can cast one spell per day as if it were modified by the Empower Spell metamagic feat. This does not increase the MP cost or the level of the spell.
Extended Magic (Su)The black mage can cast two spells per day as if they were modified by the Extended Spell metamagic feat. This does not increase the MP cost or the level of the spell.
Faith Magic (Su)Black Mage 6The black mage selects one spell granted by a domain belonging to the god he worships. This spell must be at least 2 levels lower than the highest-level black mage spell he can cast. Once per day, he can cast this spell as a spell-like ability. This talent can be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, he can either gain 2 additional uses of a spell-like ability from this talent or a new domain spell.
Familiar (Ex)Caster Level 2nd. Must be chosen at 2nd level.The black mage who selects this talent gains the Familiar feat.
Golem Constructor (Su)Black Mage 10The black mage has learned the art and craft of creating a single type of golem (such as stone golems or iron go-lems). When creating a golem of this type, he counts as having the Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, and Craft Construct feats. He must meet all other construction requirements for the golem as normal. He may select this talent multiple times. Each time he selects this talent, it applies to a different kind of golem.
Innate Spell (Sp)Black Mage 6The black mage learns to cast a small number of spells without spending magic points. A black mage may select one black magic spell that is at least 2 spell levels lower than his highest spell level he may cast. He may now cast this spell once per day as a spell-like ability without needing to spend MP. The caster level for this spell is equal to the black mage’s caster level. This talent may be selected multiple times allowing the black mage to use this talent an additional time per day each time.
Knowledge is Power (Ex)The black mage’s understanding of physical forces gives him power over them. He adds his Intelligence modifier on combat maneuver checks and to his CMD. He also adds his Intelligence modifier on Strength checks to break or lift objects.
Mage TrainingThe black mage may select an item creation or metamagic feat. The black mage must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including caster level minimums. This talent may be taken more than once. Each time, a different feat must be selected.
Magic Aid (Su)As a standard action, the black mage can spend MP up to his maximum spell level to grant additional magic energy to an allied spellcaster within close range (25 feet + 5 feet/2 levels). If that ally casts a spell of an equal or lower MP cost before the beginning of his next turn, all level-dependent calculations and caster level checks the spell requires are made as if the ally’s caster level were 2 higher. If MP spent is at least twice the MP cost of the spell his ally casts, his ally’s caster level is treated as 4 higher instead. If his ally is able to cast more than one spell before the beginning of his next turn, only the first spell cast gains this bonus.
Mana Ward (Su)Black Mage 6As a standard action, once per day, the black mage can spend MP up to the highest level spell he can cast to gain a barrier of mana. The black mage gains temporary hit points equal to 5 times the total MP spent. This temporary hp lasts until the black mage recovers MP the next morning.
Meteor MagicAbility to cast 4th-level spellsAdd Comet to your list of known black mage spells. When you can cast 6th-level spells, also add Cometra. When you can cast 9th-level spells, add Meteor.
Powerful Grab (Su)Ability to cast Grab, Spellcraft 3The black mage increases the weight of objects that he can move with Grab by 5 pounds for every 3 ranks he has in Spellcraft.
Reach Magic (Su)The black mage can cast two spells per day as if they were modified by the Reach Spell feat. This does not increase the MP cost or the level of the spell.
Reaching Grab (Su)Ability to cast Grab, Spell Proficiency class feature or Reach Spell featThe black mage can focus as a swift action before casting Grab to increase its range to 50 ft. + 5 ft. per caster level. If the target of his Grab spell is outside of the spell's standard range at the start of his turn, the black mage must spend another swift action to focus again or the spell immediately ends.
Reserve TrainingThe black mage may select a Reserve feat as a bonus feat. The black mage must still meet all prerequisites for this bonus feat.
Ritual Lore (Ex)The black mage is privy to the rituals of the occult. He gains Practiced Ritualist as a bonus feat without needing to meet the prerequisites. In addition, he can apply the benefits of the feat to Spellcraft checks in order to tap into leylines for a ritual.
Selective Magic (Su)The black mage can cast two spells per day as if they were modified by the Selective Spell metamagic feat. This does not increase the MP cost or the level of the spell.
Silent Magic (Su)The black mage can cast two spells per day as if they were modified by the Silent Spell feat. This does not increase the MP cost or the level of the spell.
Spell FocusThe black mage gains Spell Focus, Elemental Focus, or Dark Focus as a bonus feat. The black mage must still meet all prerequisites for this bonus feat.
Spell Lore (Ex)The black mage adds his level to all Spellcraft checks made to identify a spell being cast. (This is most often useful when attempting to counterspell.)
Spell Sage (Ex)When the black mage attempts a Use Magic Device check to cast a spell from a materia, he gains a +4 competence bonus to the check.
Still Magic (Su)The black mage can cast two spells per day as if they were modified by the Still Spell feat. This does not increase the MP cost or the level of the spell.
Surecast (Su)Combat Casting feat The black mage exercises caution when in danger, casting his spells with more care. While in a threatened square, he may choose to spend a full-round action to cast a spell, with a casting time of standard action or less. Doing so allows him to cast the spell without needing to cast defensively.
Think on It (Ex)One per day, the black mage can re-attempt any previously failed Knowledge check. On this attempt, he adds a +5 competence bonus on the check. At 10th level, this bonus increases to +10.

Spellcasting ability*

Talents marked with an asterisk (*) add effects to a black mage’s spellcasting ability. Only one of these talents can be applied to an individual spell and the decision must be made before the spell is cast.
Creative Destruction (Su)*The black mage has learned how to use destructive energy to empower himself. When he casts an elemental spell that deals damage, he gains a number of temporary hit points equal to the total number of dice used to determine the damage caused by the spell. Temporary hit points gained from this talent disappear after 1 hour.
Dazzling Spell (Su)*As a free action, the black mage adds an element of bright energy to a spell he is casting. Only spells with a casting time of 1 standard action that allow a saving throw may be augmented in this way. Any target that fails its save against the spell is dazzled for 1 round per level of the spell. The black mage may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Intelligence modifier.
Defensive Feedback (Su)*Rather than dissipate damaging energy, the black mage can redirect some of it back to its source. When an enhancing spell the black mage casts prevents damage (with damage reduction or energy resistance), if the attacking creature is within 30 feet of the protected creature, the foe takes 1d6 points of damage (of the same element or damage type that was prevented) for every 10 points of damage prevented.
Spell Guard (Su)*Whenever the black mage casts a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action, he may instead cast it as a full round action. The black mage channels some of the energy of the spell into a defensive shield around him, giving him a deflection bonus to his AC equal to the level of the spell being cast. This bonus lasts until the beginning of the black mage’s next turn.
Spell Restraint (Ex)*Whenever the black mage cast a spell with an area described as a radius, he may decide to make the radius smaller. He may reduce the radius down by any number of 5-foot increments, to a minimum of a 5-foot-radius.

Advanced Mage Talents

At 12th, and every two levels thereafter, a black mage learns further talents to assist him in manipulating spells and other forms of magic. He may choose one of the following advanced mage talents in place of a mage talent. Talents marked with an asterisk (*) add effects to a black mage’s spellcasting ability. Only one of these talents can be applied to an individual spell and the decision must be made before the spell is cast.

Table: Advanced Mage Talents

Advanced Mage TalentPrerequisitesBenefits
Augment Spell (Ex)*Any spell the black mage knows that has a variable that increases by caster level which has a maximum, that maximum is increased by the equivalent of one additional caster level. Thus, a black mage with this talent deals a maximum of 1d6+6 fire damage with fire, and deals a maximum of 11d6 fire damage with fira.
Dark Elemancy (Su)Dark Focus featWhenever the black mage casts a spell of an elemental school, he may split the spell's normal damage with so that half deals shadow damage. Doing so applies the dark school to the spell.
Elemental Balance (Su)Greater Elemental Focus (any) or Greater Elemental Penetration (any) featsSelect one element that opposes the element for which the black mage has chosen for Greater Elemental Focus or Greater Elemental Penetration. The penalty to the DC for casting spells of the opposing element is reduced by 1. The elemental resistance of a creature that resists the opposed element is considered 2 less. This talent may be selected multiple times; its effects do not stack. Each time he selects this talent, it applies to another element.
Energetic Recharge (Su)Once per day, as an immediate action, when the black mage would take damage from earth, fire, ice, lightning, water, or wind damage, he can convert the damage into MP, at a rate of 1 MP per 10 damage. He suffers none of the converted damage, but may not gain more than his spell level in MP. For example, if a 14th level black mage suffers 80 points of ice damage, he may convert up to 70 points of that damage into 7 MP. He takes the remaining 10 points of ice damage as normal.
Immortality (Ex)Black Mage 20The black mage discovers a cure for aging, and from this point forward, he takes no penalty to his physical ability scores from advanced age. If he is already taking such penalties, they are removed at this time.
Improved Counter Magic (Ex)Counter Magic class feature, Improved Counterspell featWhenever the black mage uses Counter Magic, he may cast a spell of the same school that is one or more spell levels higher than the target spell.
Mage Counter (Su)*Dispel spellWhen the black mage uses dispel to counterspell, he gains a +4 competence bonus to his dispel check.
Mage Focus (Su)*When the black mage casts a spell with an area, as a free action he may choose to focus the entire might of the spell on a single target. The spell’s save DC is increased by +2, but only one target is affected by the spell. He may do this a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Intelligence modifier.
Maximized Magic (Su)The black mage can cast one spell per day as if it were modified by the Maximize Spell feat. This does not increase the MP cost or the level of the spell.
Quickened Magic (Su)The black mage can cast one spell per day as if it were modified by the Quicken Spell feat. This does not increase the MP cost or the level of the spell.
Spell Diligence (Su)*As a free action, the black mage may focus all his attention on casting a single spell. Only spells with a casting time of 1 standard action and a range of personal or touch may be cast in this way. The black mage adds his level to any concentration check made to cast a spell when using spell diligence. The black mage may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Intelligence modifier.
Staff-Like Wand (Ex)Craft Staff featThe black mage’s research has unlocked a new power in conjunction with using a wand. Similar to using a magic staff, he uses his own Intelligence score and relevant feats to set the DC for saves against spells he casts from a wand, and he can use his caster level when activating the power of a wand if it’s higher than the caster level of the wand.
Steal Spell (Su)The black mage can attempt to gain the benefit of a spell currently active on another creature. The black mage must successfully dispel the spell to be stolen, using the dispel spell. If the spell is lower level than the highest level spell the black mage could cast, has a duration greater than 1 round, and the black mage could theoretically have selected it as a spell known, the black mage gains the benefit of the spell. It lasts for a duration of one round per two black mage levels or until its original duration expires, whichever comes first. A black mage may attempt this a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Intelligence modifier.
Transfer Spell (Ex)*The black mage can cast some spells with a range of “personal” and a target of “you” as if they had a range of “touch” and a target of “1 willing creature.” Only spells that do not increase the target’s attack bonus or armor class and have a duration longer than 1 round may be cast in this way. The black mage can only use this talent on spells with a spell level no greater than half of the highest level spell the black mage knows. The black mage may use this ability a total number of times per day equal to 3 + his Intelligence modifier.
Twincast (Ex)*Once per day, the black mage may cast two spells as a standard action, but the combined MP cost cannot exceed his caster level. The two spells must have the same casting time and if they have a target, the targets for the spells may be different.