Wu-Jen (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Wu jen are variants wizards with a far eastern theme. Wu jen crave magical power outside organized colleges of wizardry. They are seldom found living with the rest of human society. Instead, they live as hermits in the wilderness, purifying their bodies and minds to contact the various natural and supernatural powers of the world. From these entities they learn their spells—magical means to control the invisible forces of the world.

Class Information

This is a wizard archetype.

Alignment: Any nonlawful. Wu jen tend to stand apart from the lawful societies predominant in most cultures, flouting the rules and norms of decent folk. They have a strong tendency toward chaos, but in any event they cannot be lawful.

Background: Wu jen crave magical power outside organized colleges of wizardry. Their thirst drives them to seek out others like themselves— hermits, recluses, or exiles who have gained the secrets they seek. Most wu jen are trained by a single mentor in this fashion, outcast from proper society and set apart by their fearsome supernatural powers. Some gained their power on their own, trough the aid of spirits or monsters, or as dropouts from magical schools. Wu jen starting age is in the middle age bracket for their race.

Hit Dice: d6.

Class Skills

A wu jen’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Fly (Dex) Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Perform (Cha), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

This archetype has all normal class features, except as noted.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Wu jen are proficient with all simple weapons and with the longsword. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a wu jen’s arcane gestures, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail. This replaces the wizard's normal weapon and armor proficiencies.

Arcane School

Wu jen have the same arcane school class ability as regular wizards. They tend to specialize in one of the elemental schools of magic, but this is not a restriction, just a trend.

Bonus Languages

A wu jen add Draconic and Giant to the bonus languages available to the character because of his race, since many ancient tomes of magic are written in these languages and apprentice wu jen often learn them as part of their studies. This replaces the wizard's normal bonus languages.

Power Secrets

A wu jen can ferret out an advantage from supernatural creatures that he (or his companions) defeat. The creature must be killed (within the last minute), rendered helpless, or surrender. A certain creature can only offer its power to one wu jen once per day - multiple wu jen working together must share. The rite to gain a power secret takes a full-round action. In this ritual, the wu-jen can prepare a spell of a level no higher than half the defeated creature's challenge rating and of a school depending on the creature type. Spells prepared this way are still limited by the wu jen's capacity to prepare spells per day, but this is a handy way to replace used spells or to exchange prepared spells for others that seem more useful. A wu jen that conquers a creature can choose what spell to recover from it, using either school or elemental school, regardless of any school specialization he may or may not have. Spells of opposition schools still take up two spell slots of their level. The spells must be in the wu-jens spellbook, which gives the Wu-Jen an incentive to learn many spells of varied schools.

Creature spell secrets, by school
  • Abjuration - Ooze
  • Conjuration - Outsider
  • Divination - Aberration
  • Enchantment - Fey
  • Evocation - Humanoid with giant subtype
  • Illusion - Monstrous humanoid
  • Necromancy - Undead
  • Transmutation - Magical beast
  • Universal - Fey, magical beast, humanoid with giant subtype, monstrous humanoid, outsider, or undead
  • Air elemental arcane school - Air subtype
  • Earth elemental arcane school - Earth subtype
  • Fire elemental arcane school - Fire subtype
  • Metal elemental arcane school - Construct
  • Void elemental arcane school - Augmented subtype
  • Water elemental arcane school - Water subtype
  • Wood elemental arcane school - Plant creatures
Spell schools by creature type
  • Aberration - Divination school
  • Construct - Metal elemental arcane school
  • Fey - Enchantment, Illusion, or Universal schools
  • Humanoid with giant subtype - Evocation or Universal schools
  • Magical Beast - Transmutation or Universal schools
  • Monstrous humanoid - Illusion or Universal schools
  • Ooze - Abjuration school
  • Outsider - Conjuration or Universal schools
  • Plant - Wood elemental arcane school
  • Undead - Necromancy or Universal schools
  • Augmented subtype - Void elemental arcane school
  • Air subtype - Air elemental arcane school
  • Earth subtype - Earth elemental arcane school
  • Fire subtype - Fire elemental arcane school
  • Water subtype - Water elemental arcane school

The second column is the first column sorted by creature type (and subtype) - it contains the same information, presented differently.

Dragons are special in this regard, a dragon can give up a power secret of any school. Animals and humanoids without racial hit dice (like player races) do not hold power secrets to wu jen. Nor do summoned monsters, eidolons, familiars, or animal companions.

Example: Dong Pui and his companions defeat an Efreet. This is an "outsider (extraplanar, fire)" with a challenge rating of 8. Dong Pui can gain a conjuration school or fire elemental arcane school spell of 4th level or lower, assuming no other wu jen in the party lays claim to the power first.

Learning Spells: Instead of preparing a new spell from his spellbook when he uses power secrets, a wu-jen can prepare a spell he does not yet know. If he does so, he cannot cast this spell, but can use the knowledge of the spell to scribe it in his spellbook, just as if he used a scroll of the spell. The prepared spell is lost when scribed this way, even if the attempt to scribe the spell fails. The wu-jen can only write spells he could cast in this way, they must be of suitable level and on his class spell list.

Power Secrets replaces the wizard's arcane bond.

Watchful Spirit

Once per day, a wu jen can reroll an initiative roll he has just made before he knows his place in the initiative order. He takes the better of the two rolls. This replaces the Scribe Scroll bonus feat wizards receive at first level.

Spell Secrets and Taboos

At 4th level, and 2 levels thereafter, a wu jen can choose one spell known to him that then becomes permanently modified as though affected by any one metamagic feat. If the metamagic feat has a variable level increase, you must choose how much to increase it when learning the spell secret. The spell’s level does not change. As the wu jen goes up in level, he can choose the same spell to be modified in different ways with multiple spell secrets. He does not need to know the Metamagic feat he applies to the spell. Alternatively, the wu jen can learn the Spell Mastery feat applicable to the selected spell as a spell secret.

When casting a spell, the wu jen chooses which of its spell secrets to use - all, none, or some. A single spell can be modified so that its spell level + total metamagic modifiers are no higher than half the wu jen's class level. A spell with a spell secret counts as its original level for the purpose of other metamagic feats, and the wu jen can apply any such feats he knows to the spell - this means a wu jen can apply a certain metamagic feat twice to one spell - once as a spell secret and once in the normal fashion.

The wu jen accepts taboos in order to placate the spirits and to anchor his spell secrets in the world. Depending on the level increase of the chosen metamagic feat, the wu jen must accept a taboo of varying intensity. The more powerful the rating of the taboo, the more debilitating it is for the wu jen. A 1-point metamagic increase in spell level is paid with a 1-point taboo, and so on. Applying Spell mastery or a Metamagic feat with a spell level modifier of zero does not require the wu jen to take a taboo.

The table below lists common wu jen taboos, their strength, a description, and the game effects of each. Except as noted, each taboo can only be picked once. Overlapping and conflicting taboos are allowed but make the wu jens life very difficult. Breaking a taboo costs the wu jen the use of all spell secrets until he next prepares spells.

Wu Jen Taboo Table

Rating Taboo Notes
1 Cannot bathe. Eccentricity 1.
1 Cannot cut his hair. Eccentricity 1.
1 Cannot cut his nails. Eccentricity 1.
1 Cannot eat eggs. Eccentricity 1.
1 Cannot eat rice or grain. Eccentricity 1.
1 Cannot eat salt. Eccentricity 1.
1 Cannot eat spiced food. Eccentricity 1.
1 Cannot sit facing in a certain cardinal direction. Eccentricity 1.
1 Must not restrain body gasses (burps, farts). Eccentricity 1.
2 Can only sit facing in one cardinal direction. Eccentricity 4.
2 Can only use simple gear. Cannot use masterwork items - Magic items do not count.
2 Cannot use alcohol. -5 on Craft and Heal checks.
2 Cannot eat meat. +5 on Survival DC to forage for food.
2 Cannot handle non-magical fire. +5 DC on Survival rolls to avoid natural hazards.
2 Cannot touch wounds or infections. Cannot heal or perform first aid.
2 Cannot use metal armor. Can only use cloth, leather, and hide armor.
2 Must not sleep indoors. +5 DC on Survival rolls to avoid natural hazards.
2 Wear only clothes of one color. Eccentricity 2, cannot use certain items.
3 Cannot own more than personal possessions. All possessions must be carried along by the wu jen or companions.
3 Cannot speak to one gender. Creatures the wu jen summons will never be of this gender.
3 Cannot touch a dead body. Cannot loot the fallen, inspect bodies for clues and so on.
3 Cannot touch one gender. Prohibits touch spells, Heal checks etc. Creatures the wu jen summons will never be of this gender.
3 Cannot use metal weapons. Non-metal weapons the wu jen is proficent in are the club and quarterstaff.
3 Day time taboo. Can only begin spell preparation one specific hour each day.
3 Must loudly announce the name of each spell cast. Makes spell identification automatic.
3 Must make an offering when preparing spells. Spell preparation takes an additional hour. Sacrifice are of insignificant cost (flowers, food, incense).
4 Ally spell taboo May not cast spells on allies.
4 Can only eat food he gathers himself. Must use Survival to gather food or starve (normally DC 15).
4 Cannot handle money. All wealth must be handled by comrades or an assistant.
4 Cannot touch flowing water. Besides the obvious, +5 on Survival DC to forage for food and drink.
4 Cannot touch other creatures. Prevents touch spells, Heal checks etc.
4 Cannot walk normally. Land speed is ½ normal. Examples include constant dancing, walking backwards, hopping, tiptoe-walking.
4 Ensorcelment taboo May not cast non-damaging spells on enemies.
4 Lethal damage taboo Must never inflict lethal damage - stun damage is ok. Creatures immune to stun damage are extempt.
4 Magic school taboo Must not cast spells of one school of magic chosen when the taboo is taken.
4 Self spell taboo Cannot cast spells on yourself.
4 Vow of silence. Cannot communicate with other creatures. Can speak to cast spells with verbal components and to command creatures under his magical control.
4 Week day taboo. Can only prepare spells one specific day of the week.

Certain taboos have little effect besides making the wu jen seem more eccentric to outsiders. This is measured in eccentricity rating. Total the wu jen's eccentricity rating from taboos; this number is a bonus to any Diplomacy check to gather information about the wu jen as his notoriety increases. If the total exceeds the wu jen's Charisma, he has become obnoxiously eccentric and suffers a -4 penalty on all Bluff and Diplomacy checks. Wu jen players are encouraged to come up with alternate quirky 1-point taboos whose sole game effect is to add eccentricity.

At level 7 and each 4 levels thereafter, the wu-jen can replace one of his old spell secrets and taboos with a new one. This is the only way a spell secret can be changed.

This replaces the bonus feats the wizard receives at level 5 to 20.

Table: The Wu-Jen

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 Arcane school, cantrips, power secrets, watchful spirit 3 1
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 4 2
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 4 2 1
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Spell secret 4 3 2
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 4 3 2 1
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Spell secret 4 3 3 2
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 4 4 3 2 1
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Spell secret 4 4 3 3 2
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 4 4 4 3 2 1
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Spell secret 4 4 4 3 3 2
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Spell secret 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 Spell secret 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Spell secret 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Spell secret 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Spell secret 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Summary of Changed Class Abilities

These abilities of the original class are lost or modified in this archetype:

  • Weapon and Armor Proficiency
  • Class Skills
  • Bonus Languages
  • Scribe Scroll bonus feat
  • Arcane Bond
  • Bonus feats

External Links

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