Wu-Jen (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Wu-jen are wizards with an East Asian theme who crave magical power outside organized colleges of wizardry. They live as hermits in the wilderness, purifying their bodies and minds to contact 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 Eas Asian cultures, flouting the rules and norms of decent folk. They have a strong tendency toward chaos. A wu-jen that somehow gains a lawful alignment retains all class abilities and can continue to advance in the class.

Background: A prospective wu-jen's thirst for power drives them to seek out others who hold the secrets they seek—recluses, exiles, even monsters. Many wu-jen are trained by a single mentor in this fashion. Some find power from a tome, inscription, trough the aid of spirits or monsters, or as dropouts from magical schools. A 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 (any) (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.

Trophy Spells

A wu-jen can ferret out magic from supernatural creatures that he (or his companions) defeat. The creature might be dead (the ritual must begin within one minute of death), rendered helpless, or surrendered. A certain creature can only give a trophy spell to one wu-jen once per day—multiple wu-jen working together must share. The rite to gain a trophy spell takes one minute. After the 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's type. Spells prepared this way are still limited by the wu-jen's capacity to prepare spells per day, but can replace spells already cast. The spell prepared must be in the wu-jen's spellbook, which gives an incentive to learn many spells of varied schools.

Creature trophy spells, by school
  • Abjuration - Ooze
  • Conjuration - Outsider
  • Divination - Aberration
  • Enchantment - Fey
  • Evocation - Humanoid
  • Illusion - Monstrous humanoid
  • Necromancy - Undead
  • Transmutation - Magical beast
  • Universal - Dragon
  • 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 type
Spell schools by creature type
  • Aberration - Divination school
  • Construct - Metal elemental arcane school
  • Dragon - Any
  • Fey - Enchantment or Illusion schools
  • Humanoid - Evocation school
  • Magical Beast - Transmutation school
  • Monstrous humanoid - Illusion school
  • Ooze - Abjuration school
  • Outsider - Conjuration school
  • Plant - Wood elemental arcane school
  • Undead - Necromancy school
  • 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.

A dragon can give a trophy spell of any school. Animals and humanoids without racial hit dice do not offer trophy spells 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 prepare 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.

Trophy spells arcane school.

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.

Metamagic 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, the wu-jen must choose how much of an increase to use when learning the metamagic secret. The spell slot needed to prepare the spell does not change. As the wu-jen advances in level, he can choose the same spell to be modified in different ways with multiple metamagic secrets. He need not know the Metamagic feat he uses. Alternatively, the wu-jen can learn the Spell Mastery feat applicable to the selected spell as a metamagic secret.

When casting a spell, the wu-jen chooses which of that spell's metamagic secrets to use—all, none, or some. A single spell can only use metamagic secrets so that its spell level + total metamagic modifiers of all secrets used are no higher than the highest level wu-jen spell the caster can use. A spell cast using metamagic secrets cannot also be modified by normal metamagic.

Wu-jen must accept taboos in order to gain metamagic secrets. Depending on the level increase of the chosen metamagic feat, the wu-jen must pick 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, a 2 level increase by a 2-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.

Table: Wu-jen Taboos lists common wu-jen taboos, their strength, and the game effects of each. Each taboo can only be picked once. Overlapping and conflicting taboos are allowed but can make the wu-jen's life very difficult. Breaking any taboo costs the wu-jen the use of all metamagic secrets until he next prepares spells.

Table: Wu-jen Taboos

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 when facing in a specific cardinal direction Eccentricity 4
2 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 in a house or tent
2 Wear clothes of only one color Eccentricity 2, cannot use certain items
3 Cannot own more than personal possessions All possessions must be carried by the wu-jen
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 or inspect bodies for clues
3 Cannot touch one gender Creatures the wu-jen summons will never be of this gender
3 Cannot use metal weapons Non-metal weapons the wu-jen is proficient in are the club and quarterstaff
3 Hour taboo Can only begin spell preparation one specific hour each day
3 Must shout the name of each spell cast Makes spell identification automatic
3 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 targeted spells on allies
4 Can only eat food he gathers himself Must use Survival to gather food (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
4 Cannot touch other creatures Prevents touch spells, Heal checks etc
4 Sacred stance Speed is ½ normal Examples include constant dancing, walking backwards, hopping, or tiptoe-walking
4 Target taboo May not cast targeted spells on enemies
4 Lethal damage taboo Must never inflict lethal damage - stun damage is ok Creatures immune to stun damage are exempt
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 more eccentric. 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 each 4 level, the wu-jen can replace one of his old metamagic secrets and taboos with a new one. This is the only way a metamagic secret can be changed.

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

Table: 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 bond, cantrips, trophy spell, watchful spirit 3 1
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 4 2
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 4 2 1
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Metamagic secret 4 3 2
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 4 3 2 1
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Metamagic secret 4 3 3 2
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 4 4 3 2 1
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Metamagic secret 4 4 3 3 2
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 4 4 4 3 2 1
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Metamagic 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 Metamagic 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 Metamagic 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 Metamagic 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 Metamagic 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 Metamagic 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
  • Arcane School
  • Scribe Scroll bonus feat
  • Bonus feats

External Links

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