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THAUMATURGE

The thaumaturge has in-dwelling power, magical strength to bend, or persuade, the elements to her will.

 

Thaumaturges come in many sorts, from elementalists bending fire and lightning to their will, to witches twisting minds and fate to their desire.

 

Hit Die: d6

 

Class Skills

Bluff, Craft, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (nature), Linguistics, Perception, Profession, Sleight of Hand, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device

 

Skill Ranks per Level: 6

 

Lvl   BAB   F     R     W     Special                                                               

1     +0    +0    +0    +2    Path, spell ability, the Gift, focus, spell-weaving 1

2     +1    +0    +0    +3   

3     +1    +1    +1    +3    Spell-weaving 2

4     +2    +1    +1    +4   

5     +2    +1    +1    +4    Spell-weaving 3

6     +3    +2    +2    +5    Spell-weaving 4

 

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: All simple weapons.

 

Path

There are three rough groups of thaumaturges: elementalists, witches, and enchanters.

A beginning thaumaturgist can select one, and only one, path.

A character may take several different forms of  thaumaturgy, such as an elementalist 2/witch 3. However, these are treated as separate classes, with separate caster levels.


Elementalists deal more with the mundane world, drawing on the elements to produce dramatic displays of power. The spells they are attuned to generally come from the sorcerer/wizard list, mostly limited to abjuration, conjuration, and transformation.

 

Witches draw on the natural world in a mystical way, having more power over nature, the mind, and fate. Their power draws from the druid list (summons are limited to plausible appearance, and is more a calling to local creatures).


Enchanters focus on perception and the mind, able to bend others to their will. Enchanters generally draw from the sorcerer/wizard list, particularly enchantment, illusion, and necromancy.

 

Spell Ability

After choosing a path, the thaumaturgist then picks an approach to her magic; mainly, which mental ability score applies to magic and what skills govern its use. The ability score determines any saves.

Formulaic thaumaturges have a formalized, scholarly approach to magic, recording and detailing the formulae that shape it. Intelligence is the ability score used for wizardry. Spellcraft is very commonly used to shape the art of formulaic thaumaturgy.

Formulaic elementalists are often called wizards, and are the most common formulaic thaumaturge. Wizards use Knowledge (arcana) to understand magic.

 

Formulaic witches record recipes and observations of nature. They use Knowledge (nature) to understand magic.

 

Formulaic enchanters learn the secret words and mandalas that can bend perception and thought. They use Knowledge (local) to understand magic.

 

Intuitive thaumaturges have a knack, an innate understanding that guides their magic. Intuitive thamaturges may select either Wisdom or Charisma as their spellcaster ability score. The skills necessary to understand intuitive thaumaturgy are usually Wisdom-based, while those that shape are usually Charisma-based.

Intuitive elementalists are often called sorcerers. Sorcerers use Knowledge (arcana) to understand magic, and Perform (usually oratory) to shape it.

 

Intuitive witches innately grasp the powers flowing through the natural world. They use Perception to understand magic and Perform (often singing or dance) to shape it. Witches with an Animal focus may use Handle Animal to shape.

 

Intuitive enchanters have a knack for understanding and twisting the perceptions and minds of others. They use Sense Motive to understand their enchantments and Bluff to shape it. Some enchanters of the Eye may use Perform, creating dazzling artwork or hypnotic movements.

 

 Focus

The focus of a thaumaturge determines where her power and understanding is concentrated.

 

Elementalists pick from Air (electricity, divination), Water (cold, conjuration), Fire (fire, transformation), or Earth (acid, abjuration). These associations aren’t completely literal, and there is some overlap.


Witches pick from Animal, Plant, Ground (affairs of the earth), and Sky (affairs of the air).


Enchanters pick from Eye (perception, illusion, some necromancy) and Tongue (influence, enchantment, necromancy).

 

Focus benefit: Thaumaturges have a +2 to all skill checks when performing ritual magic and weaving that fall within their focus. Focus provides other benefits for weaving.

 

The Gift

The thaumaturge gains a single cantrip per level, usable at-will. A thaumaturge can pick any cantrip that falls within her path. Cantrips that are part of her focus gain a +2 to save DC or to touch attack.

 

This common magic is easily discounted, but the innate power cantrips offer can be quite useful. A thaumaturge can perceive magical forces, distract enemies, move objects, and toss elemental power with a gestures.

 

Spell-Weaving (Sp)

Thaumaturgists can perform a version of lesser rituals called weavings. Details are outlined in the section on ritual magic.

The spell-weaving rating limits the spell level possible with weaving.

EXAMPLES

Lenelda, sky witch, wise and bright-eyed. She is intuitive, seeing the forces of the airy realms (Perception) and then calling them down (Perform (sing, dance)). Her magic is focused around Wisdom.

 

As part of her art, she can speak with and call down birds and bats, she can conjure up a mist, and can ward off the depths of cold or oppressive heat. More powerful effects include producing blasts of wind, calling down clouds of bats, and shaping up larger masses of fog and cloud.


With greater power, she can summon daylight, fly, put out fires, create small storms, and breathe underwater.

 

Weaving example 1, animal messenger
She spies a bird, an eagle, flying high above. She wishes to send a message to allies, over the next ridge, that unexpected bandits have entered the valley, and this is a perfect opportunity.


This lesser invocation emulates animal messenger, a 2nd-level spell (24 DC). In this case, the bird is rather high up, a few hundred feet, so she decides to add modifiers to Range, raising difficulty (+4 DC, or 28). The bird will be bound for 1 minute per level.
Lenelda decides she’s going to really pour herself into this attempt, so will take 4 points of Wisdom damage (-4 DC) and become exhausted (-2 DC). The spell is already going to involve multiple skills, so that's another -1 DC, for a final weaving DC of 21.

Lenelda needs to get two successes (and not get two consecutive failures). Since this weaving fits her focus, she gets +2 to her skill checks to bind the eagle.

With any luck she’ll pull it off before the bandits arrive and interrupt her actions, leaving her almost helpless.

Backlash will call down the eagle... to attack her.

 

Weaving example 2, fog cloud
Later, Lenelda, pursued by bandits and exhausted, decides to get some cover to help her double back and evade her pursuers. She cuts her arm, spilling some blood to the winds and summons up a fog cloud.

 

This is another 2nd-level effect (fog cloud, DC of 24). She reduces duration from hours to minutes (-2 DC, 22), as she only needs a little leeway. The toll is 2d6 damage (-1 DC, 21), with another -1 due to multiple skills (DC 20), but failure will cause her to drop to -1 hp.

She only needs two successes at DC 20 and gets +2 due to her focus, but her Wisdom damage from earlier is a bit of a hindrance. If she fails, she will be unconscious when the bandits reach her.

 

Weaving example 3,  fly

Much later, a happier Lenelda decides to celebrate the liberation of the valley with a perhaps ill-considered flight. She has a specially made focus, a flying broom, worth 5000 gp.


This is a weaving of fly, a 3rd-level spell (starting DC of 26). The toll is fatigue (-1), there are multiple skills (-1), and a broom focus (-1), or a final DC of 23. Backlash means the spell is unstable and will fail at some random point (roll based on total duration). Alternately, the DM may have the failure occur at a dramatic moment, but give the character an action point.

 

The weaving requires three successes at DC 23, with the initial check being Perception as she feels the forces of the air and then Perform (dance or sing) to stir the broom into power. She has, as usual, +2 due to this being her focus.

(non-focus example?)