YAOREN (Sorcerer)

Yaoren create magic the way a poet creates poems, with inborn talent honed by practice. They have no books, no mentors, no theories—just raw power that they direct at will. Some Yaoren claim that the blood of dragons courses through their veins. That claim may even be true in some cases—it is common knowledge that certain powerful dragons can take humanoid form and even have humanoid lovers, and it’s difficult to prove that a given Yaoren does not have a dragon ancestor. It’s true that Yaoren often have striking good looks, usually with a touch of the exotic that hints at an unusual heritage. Others hold that the claim is either an unsubstantiated boast on the part of certain Yaoren or envious gossip on the part of those who lack the Yaoren’s gift.

The typical Yaoren adventures in order to improve his abilities. Only by testing his limits can he expand them. A Yaoren’s power is inborn—part of his soul. Developing this power is a quest in itself for many Yaoren, regardless of how they wish to use their power. Some good Yaoren are driven by the need to prove themselves. Marked as different by their power, they seek to win a place in society and to prove themselves to others. Evil Yaoren, however, also feel themselves set apart from others—apart and above. They adventure to gain power over those they look down upon.

Since Yaoren gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that Wu-Jen go through, they don’t have the background of arcane knowledge than most Wu-Jen have. However, they do have more time to learn fighting skills, and they are proficient with simple weapons.

For a Yaoren, magic is an intuitive art, not a science. Sorcery favors the free, chaotic, creative spirit over the disciplined mind, so Yaoren tend slightly toward chaos over law.

Yaoren develop rudimentary powers at puberty. Their first spells are incomplete, spontaneous, uncontrolled, and sometimes dangerous. A household with a budding Yaoren in it may be troubled by strange sounds or lights, which can create the impression that the place is haunted. Eventually, the young Yaoren understands the power that he has been wielding unintentionally. From that point on, he can begin practicing and improving his powers.

Sometimes a Yaoren is fortunate enough to come under the care of an older, more experienced Yaoren, someone who can help him understand and use his new powers. More often, however, Yaoren are on their own, feared by erstwhile friends and misunderstood by family. Yaoren have no sense of identity as a group. Unlike Wu-Jen, they gain little by sharing their knowledge and have no strong incentive to work together.

A Yaoren tends to define his role based on his spell selection. A Yaoren who focuses on damage-dealing spells becomes a center of the party’s offensive power. Another may rely on more subtle magics, such as charms and illusions, and thus take a quieter role. A party with a Yaoren should strongly consider including a second spellcaster, such as a Reijin, Bokushi, Shaman, or even a Wu-Jen, to make up for the Yaoren’s lack of versatility. Since a Yaoren often has a powerful presence that gives him a way with people, he may serve as the “face” for an adventuring party, negotiating, bargaining, and speaking for others. The Yaoren’s spells often help him sway others or gain information, so he makes an excellent spy or diplomat for an adventuring party.

 

DOMAIN-LEVEL INFORMATION

RP Collection: Yaoren collect RP from the following holding types at the following rates:

-          Province: Full

-          Law: Half

-          Source: Full

 

Class Action: Research or Rule Source.

 

CHARACTER-LEVEL INFORMATION

Alignment: Any.

 

Hit Die: d4.

 

Class Skills: The Yaoren’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

 

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.

 

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

TABLE: THE YAOREN

Level

Base Attack Bonus

Fort Save

Ref Save

Will Save

Special

Spells per Day

0

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

1st

+0

+0

+0

+2

Summon, familiar

5

3

2nd

+1

+0

+0

+3

 

6

4

3rd

+1

+1

+1

+3

 

6

5

4th

+2

+1

+1

+4

 

6

6

3

5th

+2

+1

+1

+4

 

6

6

4

6th

+3

+2

+2

+5

 

6

6

5

3

7th

+3

+2

+2

+5

 

6

6

6

4

8th

+4

+2

+2

+6

 

6

6

6

5

3

9th

+4

+3

+3

+6

 

6

6

6

6

4

10th

+5

+3

+3

+7

 

6

6

6

6

5

3

11th

+5

+3

+3

+7

 

6

6

6

6

6

4

12th

+6/+1

+4

+4

+8

 

6

6

6

6

6

5

3

13th

+6/+1

+4

+4

+8

 

6

6

6

6

6

6

4

14th

+7/+2

+4

+4

+9

 

6

6

6

6

6

6

5

3

15th

+7/+2

+5

+5

+9

 

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

4

16th

+8/+3

+5

+5

+10

 

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

5

3

17th

+8/+3

+5

+5

+10

 

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

4

18th

+9/+4

+6

+6

+11

 

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

5

3

19th

+9/+4

+6

+6

+11

 

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

4

20th

+10/+5

+6

+6

+12

 

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

 

Table: Yaoren Spells Known

Level

Spells Known

0

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

1st

4

2

2nd

5

2

3rd

5

3

4th

6

3

1

5th

6

4

2

6th

7

4

2

1

7th

7

5

3

2

8th

8

5

3

2

1

9th

8

5

4

3

2

10th

9

5

4

3

2

1

11th

9

5

5

4

3

2

12th

9

5

5

4

3

2

1

13th

9

5

5

4

4

3

2

14th

9

5

5

4

4

3

2

1

15th

9

5

5

4

4

4

3

2

16th

9

5

5

4

4

4

3

2

1

17th

9

5

5

4

4

4

3

3

2

18th

9

5

5

4

4

4

3

3

2

1

19th

9

5

5

4

4

4

3

3

3

2

20th

9

5

5

4

4

4

3

3

3

3

 

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Yaoren.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Yaorens are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armour, tessen or tate. Armour of any type interferes with a Yaoren’s gestures, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Arcane Spells and Armour

Yaorens do not know how to wear armour effectively.

If desired, they can wear armour anyway (though they’ll be clumsy in it), or they can gain training in the proper use of armour (with the various Armour Proficiency feats—light, medium, and heavy—and the Shield Proficiency feat), or they can multiclass to add a class that grants them armour proficiency. Even if a Yaoren or Yaoren is wearing armour with which he or she is proficient, however, it might still interfere with spellcasting.

Armour restricts the complicated gestures that a Yaorens or Yaoren must make while casting any spell that has a somatic component (most do). The armour and shield descriptions list the arcane spell failure chance for different armours and shields.

By contrast, Reijin not only know how to wear light armour effectively, but they can also ignore the arcane spell failure chance for such armour. A Reijin wearing armour heavier than light or using any type of shield incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance, even if he becomes proficient with that armour.

If a spell doesn’t have a somatic component, an arcane spellcaster can cast it with no problem while wearing armour. Such spells can also be cast even if the caster’s hands are bound or if he or she is grappling (although Concentration checks still apply normally). Also, the metamagic feat Still Spell allows a spellcaster to prepare or cast a spell at one spell level higher than normal without the somatic component. This also provides a way to cast a spell while wearing armour without risking arcane spell failure.

 

Spells: A Yaoren casts arcane spells which are drawn primarily from the Yaoren/wizard spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a wizard or a cleric must (see below).

To learn or cast a spell, a Yaoren must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Yaoren’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the Yaoren’s Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a Yaoren can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Yaoren. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.

A Yaoren’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A Yaoren begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of your choice. At each new Yaoren level, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Yaoren Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a Yaoren knows is not affected by his Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Yaoren Spells Known are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the arcane spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the Yaoren has gained some understanding of by study. The Yaoren can’t use this method of spell acquisition to learn spells at a faster rate, however.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered Yaoren level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a Yaoren can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the Yaoren “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level Yaoren spell the Yaoren can cast. A Yaoren may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.

Unlike other spellcasters, a Yaoren need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. He does not have to decide ahead of time which spells he’ll cast.

 

Familiar: A Yaoren can obtain a familiar (see below). Doing so takes 24 hours and uses up magical materials that cost 100 gp. A familiar is a magical beast that resembles a small animal and is unusually tough and intelligent. The creature serves as a companion and servant.

The Yaoren chooses the kind of familiar he gets. As the Yaoren advances in level, his familiar also increases in power.

If the familiar dies or is dismissed by the Yaoren, the Yaoren must attempt a DC 15 Fortitude saving throw. Failure means he loses 200 experience points per Yaoren level; success reduces the loss to one-half that amount. However, a Yaoren’s experience point total can never go below 0 as the result of a familiar’s demise or dismissal. A slain or dismissed familiar cannot be replaced for a year and day. A slain familiar can be raised from the dead just as a character can be, and it does not lose a level or a Constitution point when this happy event occurs.

A character with more than one class that grants a familiar may have only one familiar at a time.

 

FAMILIARS

A familiar is a normal animal that gains new powers and becomes a magical beast when summoned to service by a Yaoren or Yaoren. It retains the appearance, Hit Dice, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, skills, and feats of the normal animal it once was, but it is treated as a magical beast instead of an animal for the purpose of any effect that depends on its type. Only a normal, unmodified animal may become a familiar. An animal companion cannot also function as a familiar.

A familiar also grants special abilities to its master, as given on the table below. These special abilities apply only when the master and familiar are within 1 mile of each other.

Levels of different classes that are entitled to familiars stack for the purpose of determining any familiar abilities that depend on the master’s level.

Familiar

Special

Bat

Master gains a +3 bonus on Listen checks

Cat

Master gains a +3 bonus on Move Silently checks

Hawk

Master gains a +3 bonus on Spot checks in bright light

Lizard

Master gains a +3 bonus on Climb checks

Owl

Master gains a +3 bonus on Spot checks in shadows

Rat

Master gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves

Raven1

Master gains a +3 bonus on Appraise checks

Snake2

Master gains a +3 bonus on Bluff checks

Toad

Master gains +3 hit points

Weasel

Master gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves

1. A raven familiar can speak one language of its master’s choice as a supernatural ability.

2. Tiny viper.

 

Familiar Basics: Use the basic statistics for a creature of the familiar’s kind, but make the following changes:

-          Hit Dice: For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the master’s character level or the familiar’s normal HD total, whichever is higher.

-          Hit Points: The familiar has one-half the master’s total hit points (not including temporary hit points), rounded down, regardless of its actual Hit Dice.

-          Attacks: Use the master’s base attack bonus, as calculated from all his classes. Use the familiar’s Dexterity or Strength modifier, whichever is greater, to get the familiar’s melee attack bonus with natural weapons.

-          Damage: Damage equals that of a normal creature of the familiar’s kind.

-          Saving Throws: For each saving throw, use either the familiar’s base save bonus (Fortitude +2, Reflex +2, Will +0) or the master’s (as calculated from all his classes), whichever is better. The familiar uses its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesn’t share any of the other bonuses that the master might have on saves.

 

Skills: For each skill in which either the master or the familiar has ranks, use either the normal skill ranks for an animal of that type or the master’s skill ranks, whichever are better. In either case, the familiar uses its own ability modifiers. Regardless of a familiar’s total skill modifiers, some skills may remain beyond the familiar’s ability to use.

Master Class Level

Natural

Armour Adj.

Int

Special

1st–2nd

+1

6

Alertness, improved evasion, share spells, empathic link

3rd–4th

+2

7

Deliver touch spells

5th–6th

+3

8

Speak with master

7th–8th

+4

9

Speak with animals of its kind

9th–10th

+5

10

11th–12th

+6

11

Spell resistance

13th–14th

+7

12

Scry on familiar

15th–16th

+8

13

17th–18th

+9

14

19th–20th

+10

15

Natural Armour Adj.: The number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armour bonus.

 

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score.

 

Special Abilities: All familiars have special abilities (or impart abilities to their masters) depending on the master’s combined level in classes that grant familiars, as shown on the table below. The abilities given on the table are cumulative.

-          Alertness (Ex): While a familiar is within arm’s reach, the master gains the Alertness feat.

-          Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a familiar takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.

-          Share Spells: At the master’s option, he may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) he casts on himself also affect his familiar. The familiar must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit.

If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the familiar if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the familiar again even if it returns to the master before the duration expires. Additionally, the master may cast a spell with a target of “You” on his familiar (as a touch range spell) instead of on himself.

A master and his familiar can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the familiar’s type (magical beast).

-          Empathic Link (Su): The master has an empathic link with his familiar out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The master cannot see through the familiar’s eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content can be communicated.

Because of this empathic link, the master has the same connection to an item or place that his familiar does.

-          Deliver Touch Spells (Su): If the master is 3rd level or higher, a familiar can deliver touch spells for him. If the master and the familiar are in contact at the time the master casts a touch spell, he can designate his familiar as the “toucher.” The familiar can then deliver the touch spell just as the master could. As usual, if the master casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates.

-          Speak with Master (Ex): If the master is 5th level or higher, a familiar and the master can communicate verbally as if they were using a common language. Other creatures do not understand the communication without magical help.

-          Speak with Animals of Its Kind (Ex): If the master is 7th level or higher, a familiar can communicate with animals of approximately the same kind as itself (including dire varieties): bats with bats, rats with rodents, cats with felines, hawks and owls and ravens with birds, lizards and snakes with reptiles, toads with amphibians, weasels with similar creatures (weasels, minks, polecats, ermines, skunks, wolverines, and badgers). Such communication is limited by the intelligence of the conversing creatures.

-          Spell Resistance (Ex): If the master is 11th level or higher, a familiar gains spell resistance equal to the master’s level + 5. To affect the familiar with a spell, another spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the familiar’s spell resistance.

-          Scry on Familiar (Sp): If the master is 13th level or higher, he may scry on his familiar (as if casting the scrying spell) once per day.

 

Based on the Sorcerer class from The Player's Handbook.