Tag Archives: Magic

Free-Magic Elemental – Inspired by the Abhorsen Trilogy

Mogget, a Free-magic Elemental

Free-magic Elemental

Elemental, CN, 40’ Flying, 8 / 12 / 16 HD, AC 2 / 0 / -2, 1d8 / 2d6 / 3d8 + 1d6 to Magic Users, F8 / F12 / F16, Mo 10, xp 2560 / 3600 / 5100

A Free-magic Elemental is an agent of pure chaos and possess a mind of burning raw magic. They don’t care about concepts like good or evil; they delight mainly in the havoc caused by possessing a magic item and using its powers in interesting ways and the frustration instilled in magic-users when their magic goes haywire.

They hunger for magic items to feed upon and may ally with a mortal for a time if it’s promised a choice magic item in payment, though it may decide, when the job is done, that it was not enough (or that his other magic items look tasty too).

They hate sentient magic items and those who ally with them. Oddly enough, the reason for its enmity is that the elemental sees the wielder as a slave-master of its kind, though it sees the sentient item as a rival to be consumed, rather than released.

Free-magic elementals are capable of speech and they know Common, Auran, Ignan, and the Chaotic alignment language.

Elemental Resistances:

An Elemental is immune to Sleep effects, paralyzation, and critical hits (if your game uses them).

A Free-magic Elemental appears as a very bright, energetic fire or smoke with a thin, spindly, vaguely humanoid form. Its color is usually white, electric blue, or neon green. It is 1’ tall and 3” in diameter per HD it has.


Free-magic’s chaotic nature causes feedback when a magic-using character is struck. They take an extra 1d6 damage as a result. Generally, only those who use arcane magic are affected; divine magic-users like clerics and druids are not affected.

Free-magic Aura:

A Free-magic Elemental has a 40’ aura surrounding it that causes all magic to go awry. Whenever any spell is cast within this aura, the spellcaster must make a Save vs Spells or roll a d% as if a Rod of Wonder had been used to determine the spell’s effect. Those who Save against this effect are still subject to this effect on future spells.

The aura can be dispelled with a successful Dispel Magic, but the Free-magic Elemental can reassert this aura as a free-action on its next turn.

In general, this aura affects both arcane and divine spells, spells cast from scrolls, wands, and rods (though the Save is that of the item’s wielder), but not the personal or inherent effects of permanent magic items. For example, a Dancing Sword‘s dancing ability or a Rod’s transformation abilities would still function normally.

Possess Magic Item:

A Free-magic Elemental can enter any magic item (like an enchanted ring, suit of armor, a wand, or a sword, but not single-use items like scrolls or potions) and may animate it in a limited fashion if it has moving parts, depending on its form. A possessed item cannot move any unmoving parts, so a cloak could billow or crawl, a suit of armor could walk, or a sword swing if held by an appendage, but a ring or amulet would be immobile. Possessing an item takes an entire round.

Items held or worn by a creature receive a Saving Throw vs Spells to resist being possessed. This Save is based on the creature’s Save plus the item’s + bonus, if any (so a Longsword +2 would receive a +2 bonus to the Save). A loose magic item receives no Saving throw (unless it’s a sentient item).

When possessing an item, the Free-magic Elemental has an Ego score like a sentient magic item does and can influence (or hide from) anyone who picks up or wears the possessed item. Generally, the possessed item has an Ego score of 11 + half the elemental’s HD (or 15 / 17 / 19). The Free-magic Elemental cannot use its Free-magic aura or cause any direct damage to the wielder (setting off a Wand of Fireball’s effect at close range, for example, works fine).

A possessed item will, as a general rule, glow the same color as the Free-magic Elemental. This glow cannot be turned off by the Elemental. The smaller the item is, the brighter the glow. For example, the glow of a Maul of Titans would be barely noticeable in the dark, a suit of armor would be as bright as a candle, a ring would be almost too bright to look at (and likely quite hot). An Identify spell will determine that the glow is not a natural property of the item.

The Free-magic Elemental can leave the item any time, though it takes a full-round to do so, during which the Free-magic Elemental is vulnerable. It can also be forced out via an Exorcism or a targeted Dispel Magic. Forcing it out of an item stuns it for 1d4 rounds (cannot move or attack). Once a Free-magic Elemental has left an item, it cannot repossess it for 1 week; the item’s “magical matrix” is under too much flux to allow it.

A Free-magic Elemental feeds on the magic items it possesses. For every week the item is possessed, it loses 5 charges (also lowering its maximum number of charges), one ‘per day’ use of an ability, a + bonus or similar power. The previous list is also the order of preference for which power the Elemental drains first. If the Elemental was damaged when it possessed the item, it heals 5 hp per magical power drained. Drained powers cannot be restored except through a Wish spell.

Once drained of all magical power, the Free-magic Elemental will leave the item immediately, as the item can no longer support it. The Elemental has the option to leave the item intact as a mundane item or destroy it (by melting, burning, shattering, etc). Only drained items can be destroyed in this way.


Scribe Profession

Scribe being distracted by the Demon of Typos

Scribe Profession

The scribe is, of course, incredibly useful for any spell-caster profession to create scrolls and wards, but any class can benefit from learning the first few Ranks. However, since the profession is geared more towards casters, they’re unlikely to benefit from learning Rank 4.

Major Stat: INT or WIS        Minor Stat: none

Apply INT or WIS depending on whether the spell is Arcane or Divine, respectively. If one is creating a forgery or a Ward scroll, only INT should be used.

Rank 1: Requires a desk, sheets of paper, vellum, parchment, quill, inks. 50gp initially.

  • At Rank 1, choose to also specialize in Forgery or in Wards.
  • Can create illuminated texts at a rate of 1 page / day without a skill check.
  • Forgery: Make a skill check to create a forgery of a simple document. Requires materials equal to 200gp divided by level. The DM will decide how much time is required to create the forgery, but it must take at least one day of effort. Failure means that the forgery is immediately discovered by anyone who examines it.
  • Examples include a letter from someone with mild importance, a writ of passage from a minor noble from a very distant location, or a fake item that would normally be worth the base value above (200gp).
  • Wards: Make a skill check to create a Scroll of Protection Against Evil. Failure means that, once cast, the spell fails automatically.

Rank 2:

  • Make a skill check to create magical scrolls based on 1st level spells. The Scribe must be able to cast the spell. Failure means that the time and money spent are wasted.
  • Forgery: Make a skill check to create a forgery of a more complex document. Requires materials worth 500gp divided by level. Examples include a licence to practice magic, a letter from someone of significant authority, or a fake item worth as much as the base value above (500gp).
  • Make a skill check to create a message that will appear to be something else, but will only become visible to the recipient.
  • Wards: Make a skill check to create a Ward Against Undead, a Ward Against Lycanthropes, and a Ward Against Elementals.
  • Creating a Scroll of Protection from Evil does not require a skill check.

Rank 3:

  • Make a skill check to create magical scrolls based on any spell he can cast.
  • Can create scrolls of 3rd level or lower without a skill check.
  • Forgery: Make a skill check to create a forgery of a complex nature. Requires materials worth 2000gp divided by level. Examples include a pardon written by another city’s magistrate, a letter written by a high nobleman, or a fake item normally worth the base value above (2000gp).
  • If the Scribe is a caster capable of casting Illusion spells, all those trying to disbelieve one of his illusions does so at a -2.
  • Ward: Make a skill check to create any Ward Scroll. In addition, a Ward Against Demons and a Ward Against Devils can be created.

Rank 4:

  • Can create magical scrolls with no skill check at a 25% discount to time and money required.
  • Make a skill check to create a scroll case that will protect your scrolls from harm for 2000gp and 1 week of creation time.
  • Forgery: Make a skill check to create a forgery of a very complex nature. Requires materials worth 5000gp divided by level. Examples include a royal pardon, a letter written by someone of legendary fame, or a fake item normally worth the base value above (5000gp).
  • If the Scribe is a caster capable of casting Illusion spells, all those trying to disbelieve one of his illusions does so at a -4.
  • Wards: Can create Rank 2 Wards with no skill check. All Wards are created at a 25% discount to time and money required.
  • If the Scribe is a caster, he can prepare a Ward in any spell slot (during his spell-preparation) and cast it without retrieving the scroll, though it is used up as normal.

Alchemist and Animals Trainer profession

Training a Bear

Here’s the first article on how to make a Skill Check and create items.

And here’s the second article on how to improve and learn new skills.

Alchemists are very useful additions to the party, since they can create useful potions and curatives for the party during downtime. An experienced Alchemist can even create potent poisons and combine the effects of potions safely. It’s also one of the few crafting professions that replicate magical effects that one doesn’t need to be a caster to be useful. An Alchemist just needs to deduce the method of brewing of a potion in order to replicate it.


Major Stat: INT                Minor Stat: WIS

Rank 1: Requires a laboratory with tools and equipment that costs 150gp initially. Further Ranks require upgrades to the lab.

  • Make a skill check to create non-magical curatives. It takes one day of work per curative. If you work for a week making curatives, it counts as two weeks of training towards Rank 2.
  • Can create alcoholic spirits. Beers require no check, but strong liquors require a skill check. The creation time varies, but at least a week.
  • Make a skill check at -1 to learn a magic potion. Must destroy a potion of that type as a sample and spending twice the normal time and money to replicate it the first time. Cannot brew additional magic potions yet.
  • Curatives are derived from a pdf I use sometimes called Esoteric Equipment.

Rank 2:

  • Can create curatives and alcoholic drinks without a skill check. The time required is still the same.
  • Make a skill check to learn a magic potion. This is done by destroying a sample, spending twice the time and money to replicate it the first time. Further replications of that potion are created as normal and requires a skill check.
  • If the character casts spells, can create a potions using 1st level spells, as appropriate, by spending twice the time and money to create it the first time. Further replications of that potion are created at half the time and money. Creating potions requires a skill check.

Rank 3:

  • Make a skill check to create potions using any appropriate spell they can cast. As usual, creating it the first time requires twice the time and money.
  • All learned potions require half the time and cost.
  • Potions based on spells 3rd level or lower require no skill check to create.
  • At the DM’s discretion, the Alchemist can create poisons with a skill check. If an 8 is rolled on the skill check, the Alchemist is exposed to the poison and he must Save vs Poison to avoid the effect. Of course, an Assassin has no chance of exposure. Learning a poison works the same as learning a potion.

Rank 4:

  • Can learn and create any potion without a skill check. Learning a potion requires the no additional time and money to replicate or research and doesn’t destroy the original sample.
  • Make a skill check to combine two potions together so they provide both effects. The check is done secretly by the DM and failure may be disastrous or beneficial (see Mixing Potions in the SRD). 
  • At the DM’s discretion, the Alchemist can make a skill check to create a potent poison that has an additional -2 to Save against. The poison costs twice as much and takes twice as long to make. In addition, he can no longer be exposed when making an ordinary poison.

Animal Trainer

Animals Trainers are useful in dealing with wildlife and in improving the behaviors of animals the party might make use of. In the long term, they are the most likely to be riding an exotic mount or make a fortune training one for someone else.

Major Stat: CHA         Minor Stat: STR

Rank 1:

  • Can train a dog, cat, horse, or bird a few basic tricks with no check.
  • Make a skill check to train a dog or horse to fight or a bird to be a messenger.
  • Make a skill check to calm down an angry or frightened domesticated animals.
  • Make a skill check at -1 to calm down an angry or frightened wild animal.

Rank 2:

  • Can train a dog to fight (and other combat tricks), a bird to ferry messages, and a horse to charge without a check.
  • Make a skill check to calm a wild animal or to tame a wild horse, dog, or other normally domesticated animal.
  • Make a skill check at -1 to calm down an angry or frightened magical animal.

Rank 3:

  • Choose a type of animal, even fantastical ones like griffon or dragon. You are an expert in training that sort of animal from birth to fight and/or accept a mount.
  • Make a skill check to calm down any animal, common or magical.

Rank 4:

  • Choose another type of animal to specialize in.
  • Make a skill check to cut the training time of any animal in half.
  • 1/day, the Trainer may Speak With Animals. Does not require a check.