Sha'ir (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Sha'ir is a sorcerer variant that doesn't have a fixed list of known spells, instead rebuilding that list each day.

Class Background

The sha'ir is an arcane spellcaster with an Arabian Nights bent, a wise person and friend of the genies. Unlike a wizard, the sha'ir does not get spells from either innate talent or mysterious study and spell books but rather has a special familiar, called a gen, to fetch spells for her somewhat like a witch's familiar. However, unlike a witch, the gen does not have a limited repertoire of spells - instead it delves deep into the elemental planes to find any secrets its master may require. The sha'ir is a self-educated class and uses the youngest starting age bracket.

Sha'ir are also friends and confidantes of the genies, and gain the ability to treat with and control genies as they progress in level. Not all sha'ir choose to use such abilities tough, for genies are dangerous and quick to anger.


The sha'ir can be of any alignment. They tend to have an alignment either in agreement or opposition to the genies they work with. If the sha'ir is opposed to the genie's alignment, he tends to bind them and use them mercilessly. If he is in agreement with them, he has less direct power but also can expect more voluntary cooperation.

Hit Die


Class Skills

The sha'ir's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Any) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survial (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The sha'ir

Level Base
Special Spells per Day
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Zhyen 3 1
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Detect genies 4 2
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 4 2 1
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Gen touch spells 5 3 2
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 5 3 2 1
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Craft genie seal 5 3 3 2
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 6 4 3 2 1
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Gen spell resistance 6 4 3 3 2
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 6 4 4 3 2 1
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Genie prison 6 4 4 3 3 2
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 6 5 4 4 3 2 1
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Task jann 6 5 4 4 3 3 2
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 6 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 Task genie 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 6 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Genie ruler audience 6 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Task noble genie 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 6 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 3
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Ultimate task 6 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the sha'ir.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Sha'ir are proficient with the dagger, dart, and whip. They do not have proficiency with any armor or shields.


A sha'ir prepares and casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. To prepare a spell, the sha'ir must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a sha'ir's spell is 10 + the spell level + the sha'ir's Charisma modifier. A sha'ir must choose and prepare his spells in advance (see below).

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

A sha'ir has access to all spells on the sorcerer/wizard spell list and can prepare any of them that she knows of. She must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour communing with her gen. While communing, the sha'ir decides which spells to prepare and sends the gen to fetch these spells. A sha'ir is assumed to know about most spells, but for uncommon or esoteric spells, the GM may require a Spellcraft Check DC 5 + 3 per spell level, +5 for spells not on the sorcerer/wizard spell list. Some spells might be judged so secret that no roll is allowed, but this should only happen in special cases, such as when a secret order has created a new spell.


Sha'ir can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Sha'ir under "Spells per day". These spells are treated like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.

Bonus Languages

A thaumaturge's bonus language options include auram, aquam, ignan, and terram (the languages of air, water, fire, and earth elementals respectively). These choices are in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of his race.


All sha'ir can call upon elemental familiars, known as a Zhyen. Summoning a Zhyen is a 1-hour ritual and each sha'ir can only have one Zhyen at a time. If a Zhyen is slain or dismissed, a new one can immediately be summoned, but a sha'ir must wait one week before summoning a Zhyen of the same type as one who died. If several Zhyens die in quick succession, it is possible for the sha'ir to run out of options.

There are four kinds of Zhyen, each tied to one of the classic four elements. Dinnlings (air Zhyens) are playful and mischievous and tend towards chaos and good. Ifri (fire Zhyens) are energetic and aggressive and tend toward law and evil. Maridans (water Zhyens) are humorous and eloquent and tend towards chaos. Chit (earth Zhyens) are artistic but greedy and tend towards law.

While in contact with their master, Zhyens provide a +2 bonus on saving throws of the Zhyen's type and the save DC of the sha'irs own spells of the same type increase by +2. Dinnlings give this bonus against spells of the air subtype or that deal electricity damage. Ifri provide this bonus against spells of the fire subtype or effects that deal fire damage. Madidans provide this bonus against spells of the water subtype or effects that deal cold damage. Chit provide this bonus against spells of the earth subtype or effects that deal acid damage. A Sha'ir gets a +2 bonus on Charisma skills and Charisma rolls to Bind Zhyenies tied to the same element as his Zhyen.

Besides serving the sha'ir as a companion, messenger, spy, and pet, the Zhyen also provides the sha'ir with spells. When preparing spells, the sha'ir sends the Zhyen to scourge the elemental planes to find the effect sought. This is automatic during normal spell preparation. The spells the Zhyen finds are packets of magical energy that it delivers to its master as spells when it comes back. The Zhyen cannot use these spells itself, nor can it store them except as a part of spell preparation or as noted in other sha'ir abilities. All Zhyen can use the plane shift ability on themselves, but solely to track down spells and return to the sha'ir, always returning in the masters square.

The sha'ir can send his Zhyen to fetch additional spells besides normal spell preparation. This takes 1 round for a spell the Sha'ir could normally prepare, 1d6 + spell level rounds for spells the sha'ir could not normally prepare (due to class and/or level). At the end of this period, make a Concentration check (normally d20 + class level + Cha modifier) against a DC depending on the spell sought.

Condition DC Modifier
Base Difficulty 5
Each level of spell +3
Spell is of the Zyhen's element or damage type -2
Each earlier attempt since the last spell preparation +2
Spell is higher level that the Sha'ir can normally prepare +10
Spell is not on the sorcerer/wizard spell list, but is on the cleric, druid, or witch spell list +10

If the roll succeeds, the Zhyen returns with the desired spell, which must be cast within the next minute, or it is lost. Casting this spell does not use up any spell slots. If this roll fails, the Zhyen returns empty-handed. If this roll fails by a margin of 10, the Zhyen is killed looking for the spell, and never returns.

Detect Genies (sp)

The sha'ir can detect genies and the works of genies at will. This works like detect undead except that it detects genies or the lingering area of places they have been or had an effect on. A sha'ir can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is a genie or has been in contact with genies, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the sha'ir does not detect genies in any other object or individual within range.

Gen Touch Spells

If the master is 4th level or higher, a gen can deliver touch spells for him. If the master and the gen are in contact at the time the master casts a touch spell, he can designate his gen as the "toucher". The gen can then deliver the touch spell just as the master would. As usual, if the master casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates.

Craft Genie Seal

At 6th level, the sha'ir learns to create genie seals. This is a limited version of the Craft Wondrous Item feat. The sha'ir can craft any item that fits in the genie seal item slot as if she had the Craft Wondrous Item feat. Other prerequisites may still need to be fulfilled before a specific seal can be crafted.

Gen Spell Resistance (Ex)

If the master is 8thlevel or higher, a gen 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 gen's spell resistance.

Genie Prison (sp)

This is the signature ability of the sha'ir, upon which much of their control of genies is based. At level 10, sha'ir can use binding at will, but only against genies. Each attempt is a full-round action and the save DC is 10 + ½ the sha'ir's class level + the sha'ir's Charisma modifier. Note that this save DC is reduced for the more portable kinds of binding. A genie the sha'ir attempts to bind automatically becomes hostile, but once its willingness to serve increases; add +4 to the sha'ir's Charisma checks to negotiate with a bound genie. A genie prison also eliminates the genie's daily chance to escape inherent in a planar binding-type spell.

Using this power affects your standing among genies; for each genie of a particular element you have ever imprisoned this way, you suffer a -1 modifier on Charisma rolls to bind all other genies tied to that element. This modifier does not apply to imprisoned genies, who are desperate for release and anyway cut off from the rumor mill. The count of bound genies can only be reset by using the genie ruler audience ability.

Task Jann

At 12 level, when using lesser planar binding to compel the services of a genie, the service can last up to one week per level.

Task Genie

At 14th level, when using planar binding to compel the services of a genie, the service can last up to one week per level. When using lesser planar binding to compel the services of a genie, the service can be permanent. A genie in permanent service must always have an escape clause, but this can be something that never happens, like "when the sun sets in the east". Genies are very good at ferreting out situations where such impossible conditions come to pass, and enjoy this kind of challenge.

Genie Ruler Audience

At 16th level, a sha’ir can seek and receive an audience with the rulers of jann, djinn, shaitan, marid, or efreet — truly a great honor. A sha’ir can seek an audience only once per month, whether the reason is great or small. Only one type of genie can be contacted at a time. A sha’ir who wishes to speak with genie rulers must journey to the plane of choice. Within 1 to 10 hours, a procession of genies will appear and automatically grant the sha’ir an audience. A genie procession comprises 1 to 3 noble genies and 10 to 100 ordinary genies. Genies will not appear at the scene of a battle. If the procession is attacked, they will attempt to destroy the attacker(s) for 10 rounds, then vanish. Sometime later, the same genies or their agents will return to deal with the characters who affronted them.

Genie rulers can answer questions with a Knowledge (Planes) bonus of +30, focused on their elemental plane and are glad to advise those who are seeking to deal with genies. They can issue rulings on the actions of other genies of their element. If the sha’ir reports a crime committed by a lesser genie, a genie ruler can summon that creature for immediate judgment, provided the lesser genie’s name or description is known.

Characters who stand before the noble genies and make an appeal should note that they, too, will be judged — especially in regard to their other dealings with genies. A noble genie will generally forgive characters who have slain genies in the heat of combat and those who have imprisoned a malicious spirit; such applicants will be granted a chance to explain their actions. Applicants who have ambushed genies, imprisoned genies, violated agreements, slain genie-kind without quarter, behaved ignobly to genies — or simply have been party to any of these actions — will find themselves in great danger and suffer a negative modifier on the negotiation equal to the number of such transgressions.

If the sha'ir risks judgement, this is handled as a negotiation. Subtract one from the sha'ir's Charisma roll for each serious transgression or genie imprisoned of the ruler's element. Add +0 to +6 depending on how well the Sha'ir pleads his case. Additional modifiers can be gained for the right kind of gen, services rendered, bribes offered, impressive accouterments or companions, and impressive threats or promises made. Each such tactic successfully employed gives a +2 bonus. Genie rulers have a Charisma modifier of +10. On a success, all crimes are forgotten - the sha'ir's slate is wiped clean and all modifiers for past transgressions or imprisonments are cancelled. Of a failure, the sha'ir is imprisoned for a day, and may then plead his case again. A sha'ir who fails to be exonerated after three days is condemned to death and executed - most sha'ir prefer to escape after the second day and try their luck, but this is as bad as having imprisoned a genie in the eyes of genies of this element..

Task Noble Genie

At 18th level, when using greater planar binding to compel the services of a genie, the service can last up to one week per level. When using planar binding or lesser planar binding to compel the services of a genie, the service can be permanent.

Ultimate Task

At 20th level, any planar binding spell can be used to compel a genie to permanent service.

Gen Attributes

Unlike familiars, that are creatures in their own right, gens are more like reinfections of the caster trough the lens of the elemental planes. All gens are elementals and have attributes identical to their master except as noted here. They have half their master's hit points and have an ability similar but superior to evasion; when attacked by an area attack that allows any type of saving throw for reduced damage, they take half damage on a failed save and no damage on a successful save. They are of Tiny size (but this does not influence their attributes except as outlined here), have a carrying capacity 1/10 of that of their master, suffer a -5 modifier on Strength checks and melee damage, and gain a +8 size modifier to stealth. They make a ranged touch attack that does 1d6 damage of a type appropriate for their element (Geno do piercing damage), using the same touch attack modifier as their master. All gens can use plane shift as a swift action to travel to other planes to look for spells for their master, and when they return to the master they appear in his square. They can also remain in the elemental planes, seeking shelter there. If they ever end up more than 100 ft. from their master, they automatically plane shift to an elemental plane. All gens also have unlimited range telepathy with their masters, which is so complete that the gen can barely be said to have a mind of its own at all.

In addition to these common features, each type of gen has its own features. Dinnlings fly at a speed of 60 ft. Ifri have a climb speed of 30 ft. Maridans have a swim speed of 60 ft and can breathe water or air. Chit can use meld into stone at will as a move action - this is a supernatural ability. Geno have a land speed of 60 ft.

Gens appear as miniature humanoids, animals, genies, or dragons with a colors scheme appropriate to their element. Djinnlings are pale blue and white. Ifri are reddish, brick red to bright orange. Maridans are deep sea greens and blues, with dark green or white details. Chit have earth colors, ranging from pale dun sand to various gayly colored semiprecious stones. Geno have naturalistic colors, but glitter and reflect light.

Changed Class Abilities

These abilities are removed or changed from the base sorcerer.

  • Class Skills
    • Skill points per level
  • Spells known
  • Bloodline
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