Roleplaying > Character Creation

New Character class: Spellwriter

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The spellwriters power comes from inspiration. He must learn to dream, to have his thoughts open to the world. When a spellwriter imagines a spell, he may select an empty page of his magical book, then open his flow of magic into the book like a tap slowly filling a pool. It may take weeks, months and sometimes even years, but once completed the new spell may be stored not unlike a magical wand, never depleting until the spellwriter calls of it. When he does call upon this spell, it does not drain the spellwriter, but rather the book is drained of the spell. Once that spell is used, the spellwriter may open his reservior of magical energy into his book again, transferring his power to replenish the depleted page. Refreshing a spent spell takes anywhere between ten minutes and two to three days, depending on the complexity and potency.
The key of a spellwriter is his book. Without his book, he is nothing, weaker even than other magi. The book of the spellwriter is crafted by the masters of the spellwriting enclave, and given to initiates after they have proven they have the skill for spell creation by storing a spell on a magical parchment. The book is attuned to the specific spellwriter, and if anyone else tries to open the book, or if the book is opened by anything other than the spellwriters hand, the raw energies of the spells stored within will be released, usually with disastrous effects. This is a failsafe for thievery of a spellwriters book. Additionally, One spellwriter may only read and utilise another spellwriter's book if the owner of the book willingly lowers the magicks guarding it.
The only abilities a true spellwriter has is the ability to transfer raw magical energy to items, and to unlock those items and put them to their maximum use. Their talent and their true calling, however, is to travel the world for inspiration - a revelation which may cause them to conjure up a new idea for magic. As such they are often found where strange mysteries are to be found, or exciting adventures are to be had. Though not fearless, their devotion to magic often pushes them to and beyond the limits of emotion.

If they wish, Spellwriters may pass on the book of their magical findings to the head of the spellwriter enclave, who will review the spells contained within and translate those deemed acceptable for casting by wizards and mages.
Spellwriters are the source of many profound magical spells learned and cast by wizards and magi, and there is often tension between spellwriters and 'conventional' spellcasters over who is more 'attuned' with magic. The spellwriters say they are since they craft the spells in the first place, and casters believe they are the 'children of magic' because they are talented with casting spells with their own fonts of power.
Because of this segregation, many spellwriters choose not to pass thier spells on after their death, and many powerful works of art are lost.

At the end of his days, once a spellwriter passes on, the safeguards on his book are lowered, so if another spellcaster finds it, he may safely read and learn of the spells within. This is to minimise the loss of potentially beneficial spells in the event of a spellwriter's death.

Bieng a part of the spellwriters enclave is a privelige, and there are sacrifices one must make. One must keep their tome with them at all times - most spellwriters hold their book in their left hands every waking second, and store it in a secure sling across their chest while they sleep. The only physical weapon a spellwriter may touch is a dagger, to be used on the most dire of circumstances, and they are not to wear any visible armor. The reason behind this is that the enclave of spellwriters are supposed to be portrayed as seekers of magic, not seedy grunts who seek battles.
The true power behind the spellwriters is their tomes. How these tomes are created are known only to the highest order of the spellwriter enclave. Magicks woven into the book allow the heads of the enclave to know where the owner is at all times. If one wishes to leave the spellwriter's enclave they must hand in their book, and if a spellwriter is found to be sharing the enclave secrets and their spells without going through the heads of the order, they will be considered renegade and hunted down.

HP per level: 1d2
Minimum wisdom required: 12
Minimum Dexterity required: 10
Minimum Intellect required: 12

Proficient only in Daggers and light armor.

Starting items
Spellwriter Tome
- Wrapped in many enchantments which make its pages tough as steel, yet still pliable. The Spellwriter Tome is  highly resistant to fire, water and all the elements, and its pages are able to be written on in all sorts of adverse conditions. at night, the pages of the tome release a  faint luminescence when the book is opened; allowing writing in the dark, and also being useful as a torch.

Sacrificial Vellum Tabs
small scrolls of animal skin, tempered into a thin paper; used to mitigate damage.

With creating spellwriter spells: a spell for the Spellwriters Tome doesn't need any kind of 'mana' supply; nor does it drain the spellwriter in any physical or mental way. It does however need a 'recharge' time; the time it takes for the Spellwriter to replace the spell in the book.
The spellwriter does not need to write in the book to recharge his spells - it can be done mentally - but if they need a new spell or a recently used spell in a hurry, they can speed up the process drastically by lowering their guard and physically re-writing the spell in the book.

Regardless of talent or potential, there is one thing which Spellwriters MUST know before they are allowed to leave the enclave. That is the ability to create and utilize Sacrificial Vellum.
These are tabs of Vellum paper approximately two inches wide and four long, which the Spellwriter has inscribed with eldrich scrawlings and are worn, hanging from the belt. If and when the spellwriter was to sustain damage to their person, a small portion of the energy used by that which is dealing damage is instead redirected as heat energy to the vellum, causing it to go up in a puff of smoke and flame in an instant, leaving nothing but ash drifting away in place of the vellum, and mitigating a small amount of pain which the Spellwriter would have sustained.

These Sacrificial Vellum tabs are maintained unconsciously by the Spellwriter, and whenever something strikes him or her, one tab will be burned. However, if the Spellwriter anticipates damage coming to him in the near future, he is able to activate two or all three of these in preparation, and whether or not the attack comes, the vellums are soon burned, rendering them used.

The spellwriter is only able to maintain three of these at any time on his person, and creating new ones take a day of careful scribing, plus a material cost of a tab of vellum.

Class Skills
Sacrificial Vellum (lvl 1)
Passively mitigates 1d2 points of damage (+1 per/lvl) at the cost of one Vellum. Maximum 3 on a person. Damage is reduced to a maximum of sustaining 1 point of damage - the Spellwriter will always take a small amount of damage.

Activated: Pre-empting damage, additional vellums can be called on and activated. If damage is sustained in the next round, all activated vellums will reduce the damage by their combined amount. Regardless of whether or not an attack occurs, all activated Vellums will be burned away the next round.

Once at level 5, and once again at level 10, an additional 1 vellum is able to be used by the Spellwriter, to a maximum of 5 Vellums.

Signature Spell (lvl 1)
 - When the Spellwriter first leaves the Spellwriter's Enclave, he will know one signature spell which is a testament to who and what the Spellwriter is. Unlike all the other spells learned by the Spellwriter, his signature spell mutates and evolves as he gains experience.
[The Spellwriter may make up one spell based on who he is or something in his past. Each level gained this spell may be added to; either dealing more damage, lasting longer or creating additional effects. These upgrades are subject to the GM's approval. This spell will be slightly more powerful than other spells of equal level. This spell's level is always the same as the character's level.]

Spell study (lvl 3)
 - Starting at level 3, Spellwriters have a 10% (+2% per point of wisdom) chance to passively learn the intricacies of any spell they witness being cast. Doing this will allow them to then scribe that spell in their Tome at the end of the day and have it as their own.
 - If a spell is cast that directly effects or harms the spellwriter, he or she has a 40% chance of learning that particular spell.
 - Only spells equal or lower than the Spellwriter's maximum spell level are able to be studied.

Spellsteal (lvl 5)
 - The spellwriter's Counterspell: Once a Spellwriter has some experience in the real world, he will find that if he is fast enough, he is able to use his tome to intercept and steal a spell being cast. If the spellwriter is able to open his book and get in the trajectory of a targetted spell, the spell can be absorbed into a blank page. This spell is volatile and must be re-used in the next couple of rounds, or it will risk detonating within the book, expelling energy from the pages which will deal damage to the Spellwriter. The spellwriter is able to catch spells up to his current spell level and beyond, with a 30% increasing chance of failure for each level above his own maximum spell level. If a spellsteal fails, the Spellwriter is hit with a 50% mitigated effect of the spell - so damaging spells will deal half their normal damage to him, for example.
The dexterity of the Spellwriter aid in determining whether he is quick enough to intercept the spell.

Soulstore (lvl 8)
 - Once the Spellwriter has had significant experience in the creation of writing magics, they will find themselves insightful enough to be able to create a particular ward within their Tomes. When they find themselves mortally wounded and on deaths door, the ward will activate, sucking the Spellwriter's very soul into the confines of the book. Invocations within the book will act to cauterize wounds and mend arteries within the body of the Spellwriter, and if his flesh is not beyond repair, it will heal it enough over time to be inhabited once more by the soul.
Because a mortal soul is such a potent thing, once one is stored within the book it will burn away all the currently stored spells and leave the book blank.

 -An attack which would otherwise kill the Spellwriter will instead cause his soul to be stored, and the body healed back to 1d4 hp after 2 rounds after which the soul is returned to the body.

If the body is decimated, the soul may still be stored within the book for up to 24 hours until it fades away. Bringing the book back to a powerful healer in this time frame may be enough for them to bring the body back through divine intervention and restore the Spellwriter.

Spells should reflect the background of your character, as Spellwriters create spells based on their own experiences. Since unique spells can be created by the Spellwriter character, they must be presented to the GM on a case by case basis, and must be approved by the GM before they can be added to the Spellwriters spellbook. Because of this, players should show restraint with their spells so as not to make them too overpowered. If a unique spell is created, a small description as to the reason the spell was learned should be added with the spell. Spells already accepted in mainstream gaming may be used freely instead of creating your own.

Spellwriters start at level 1 with 5 spells at their disposal including their signature spell. They are also able to control Five pages of their book.

They can create two new spells per level, and each level they may control an extra two pages of their book.

Spellwriters may copy the same spell as many times as they want up to their controllable page limit, so instead of having five different spells which can only be cast once, they may have the same spell written five times if they wish.

Spell recharge -
The spellwriter is able to passively re-write his expended spells using only his mind and his link to the book; this is done overnight so effectively his spell supply is replenished daily. However, if the spellwriter finds himself without spells in a dire situation, he is able to physically rewrite a spell in his Tome - up to one level lower than his current level - using his quill. This takes two rounds and requires all the spellwriter's concentration, and so all defenses are lowered while he does this leaving him open, and he can move no faster than a walking pace, lest he make an error.

In special situations, the GM may grant the Spellwriter a new spell learned from roleplaying situations. Spells granted like this are considered 'freebies' and do not count as a spell learned when levelling.

(All numbers and dice in this post are not set in stone; feel free to adjust at your own whim.)

Ancient Gamer:
Is this DnD? Why I believe that anyone playing this class will die within 5 adventures. 1d2 per level is a death sentence.

I'd assume that this class would be added to existing ones (D20) or otherwise be an NPC.

Though I think the balance is somewhat too far swung in the direction of the helpless academic.

Mmm - I wanted the spellwriter to be considered weaker than a mage. Perhaps 1d4 hp would be better, hm?

Ancient Gamer:
Mages are already very, very weak. Believe me, in DnD it is hard to be a mage when the enemy hits you. Some critters even have area of effect damage types, like breath weapons and spells... The Spellwriter would be sure to die.

So, either higher dice, as you suggest, or some sort of arcane defence that protect their frail bodies.


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