Eclipse d20 – The Blue Mage

And for today, it’s a quick answer to a question…

I’m curious. You’ve done a lot of builds that would work for Final Fantasy,. but I can’t come up with a way to do the Blue Mage given that it’s pretty setting-specific. How would you do it?

-Editorial0

Well, the defining feature of a Blue Mage seems to be the ability to copy monster powers after being exposed to them – in d20 terms, being affected by an ability and either surviving it or being brought back.

It’s very hard to say what this covers. Unlike Final Fantasy, d20 doesn’t have a limited list of effects that you are only exposed to as you’re ready for them. Would this only cover Spells? Spells and Spell-Like Abilities? How about exotic powers that might be partially represented by spells or which could inspire a related spell effect?

Can you be “affected” by a dinosaur stepping on you and develop a “multi-ton stomp” ability?

I’m going to say “yes”. A Blue Mage COULD develop a multi-ton stomp effect after being stepped on. It would have to be a version that fit into an available open slot though; if all you had was a level one slot… you might get a version of the “Stomp” psionic power. If you had a third level slot open? You might get an 8d6 radius stomp that also knocked people down.

I’ll buy this ability as…

  • Charisma-Based 3.0 Psion Power Progression, Corrupted / learns specific powers inspired by effects that he or she is hit with, whether from a character or from an item. Turning any given ability into a Power requires a Psicraft or Spellcraft check at a DC of (10 + 2 x the level of the slot being filled). This ability may be used up to (Cha Mod + 1, 1 Minimum) times daily and may be used to “overwrite” currently filled slots if the power currently occupying a slot has not been used for at least a week (8 CP/Level).

Many of the various versions of the Blue Mage that I’ve just taken a quick look at give them some extra defenses against the list of powers they currently have copied. This can be bought as:

  • Improved Spell/Power Resistance (10 + Level), Specialized and Corrupted / only versus effects currently occupying your Power Slots (4 CP). This applies against spells and spell-like effects that are affected by Spell Resistance.
  • Damage Reduction 3/-, Specialized for Increased Effect (6/-), Corrupted for Reduced Cost / only versus effects currently filling your power slots. Thus, for example, if you have a slot filled with “hit opponent with big axe for a fair amount of damage”, you will be resistant to Axes. This applies to more-or-less conventional physical and energy attacks that do not offer saves. (4 CP).

This can be very handy to adapt on the fly. If you’re up against a swarm of goblins armed with swords… It may be worth putting Spiritual Weapon (Sword) in one of your slots and picking up DR 6/anything but swords. Sure, it’s pretty specialized – but you can always trade it out once it is no longer convenient.

  • Specialty Resistance +4, Specialized for Increased Effect (+8) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / only for non-spell or spell-like abilities which you currently have power slots filled with that do offer saves, such as – say – Drow sleep poison (4 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus, adds (Cha Mod) to (Dex Mod) for AC purposes, against supernatural effects that bypass Spell Resistance, and Saves by requiring a roll to hit, Corrupted/only versus effects currently occupying your power slots (4 CP).

That’s 24 CP at level one, and 8 CP per further level.

Other First Level Stuff:

  • Proficient with Simple and Rogue Weapons (6 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus: Adds (Cha Mod) to (Con Mod) for Hit Point Purposes for levels 1-6 (6 CP).
  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skill Points for Double Effect (6 CP). Normally taken at L0 for +4 SP at level one and +2 SP/Level thereafter.
  • Occult Talent: 4 Level Zero Effects / Cantrips, One First Level Effect (Starting abilities, 6 CP). These are a permanent part of your repertoire – although, to be fair… probably not a particularly important one after the first few levels.

Later Abilities:

Each Level:

  • +1 level of their spell progression (8 CP)
  • +2 on Saves (6 CP)
  • +1 Skill Point (1 CP) (+3 with Fast Learner)
  • +1/2 BAB (3 CP)
  • +1 ability from below:

Optional Level-Based Abilities:

  • Aquamarine Panoply: Medium Armor Proficiency (6 CP). Prerequisite: Naval Blue.
  • Aquamarine Lore: Mystic Artist (Perform  skill of choice) with Echoes, Specialized for Reduced Cost, Corrupted for Increased Effect (Includes the Emotion ability (Inspiring Allies) as a bonus effect on top of whatever other inspiration ability is used) / only to use the inspiration abilities, the duration is only derived from the Echoes modifier. only to provide bonuses in combat against specified enemies (6 CP).
  • Azure Ward, Greater: Upgrade Fortune abilities to Improved Fortune, with the same conditions (+6 CP). Prerequisite: Azure Ward (Below).
  • Azure Ward: Fortune (All three varieties), Specialized and Corrupted / only works against effects in your current list of powers (6 CP).
  • Azure Memory (Level 3+): May summon a glowing blue ectoplasmic construct based on the creature from which he or she learned the ability occupying a current slot (Astral Construct, 3 CP), and Psionic Repair Damage (3 CP). Unlike a Blue Mages normal slot based abilities these may be augmented normally and these abilities become a permanent part of his or her repertoire.
  • Blue Of Steel (Level 3+): Channeling (+2 Power Required) version of Augmentable Astral Construct (3 CP), plus Augmentable Animal Affinity (3 CP). These effects become a permanent part of your repertoire, over and above your slots.
  • Blue Of The Deeps: Spell Formula (Level 5+): Dispel Magic/Psionics (2 CP), Conjurer’s Tricks (L3 variant, 1 Hour/Level, 2 CP), Wizards Pocket (L3 version, 2 CP). These become a permanent part of your repertoire, over and above your slots.
  • Bonus Feat (Four Maximum).
  • Cerulean Ward: Countermagic with Reflexive, Specialized for Reduced Cost and Corrupted for Increased Effect (can “counter” nonmagical effects) / only allows you to counter effects that you currently have occupying your power slots (6 CP). Thus, if you had “hit opponent with an axe” in a first level slot, you could counter someone hitting one of your friends with an axe. You have a “Volley of Arrows” effect? You can counter a Volley of Arrows – as well as things like Fireball, or Dragon’s Breath.
  • Cerulean Infusion (Level 7+): Spell Formula: Personal Eldritch Armor (L3, 2 CP), Personal Eldritch Weapon (L4, 2 CP), and Haste (L3, 2 CP). These effects become a permanent part of your repertoire, over and above your slots.
  • Cobalt Radiance: Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Saving Throws (6 CP).
  • Cyan Fortune: Luck with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only for Psicraft, Spellcraft, and Knowledge Checks (6 CP).
  • Eyes Of Violet: Occult Sense/Detect Magical Abilities: You can spend a round to get a list of the Supernatural Spell-Like, and Spell abilities of a single creature within 60′ (6 CP).
  • Naval Blue: Light Armor Proficiency with the Smooth Modifier (6 CP).
  • Strength Of Sapphire: Advanced Improved Augmented Bonus (Level 13+): Continue adding (Cha Mod) to (Con Mod) for HP indefinitely (+6 CP).
  • Turquoise Durability: Improved Augmented Bonus (level 7+): Continue adding (Cha Mod) to (Con Mod) for HP through level 12 (+6 CP).
  • Ultramarine Rite: Absorbing Power: Rite of Chi with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized / only to restore Power, must have a source of power to tap into which will be temporarily depleted. Thus another character with Power could let you tap into it, a charged psionic item would lose charges, and a permanent psionic item would be temporarily nullified (6 CP).

This version of the Blue Mage isn’t outrageously optimized and (pretty much by definition) won’t normally have any of the overly-broken abilities since they generally aren’t deployed against the player characters. They generally won’t have much metamagic (or metapsionics) either – but their ability to rapidly adapt to changing situations and variable ability load-out should still keep them interesting in play.

Besides. Who can resist a chance to counterspell a volley of arrows?

2 Responses

  1. Talking about Final Fantasy, there’s also this:
    http://www.finalfantasyd20.com/
    Though those classes have a lot more class features than normal classes, so… balance is probably not a factor you can rely on. Especially with the Freelancer.

    • That was one of the sources I took a quick look at – and (since I’ve never played “Final Fantasy”) is quite likely to be a bit truer to the source material than my version here, which is slanted towards what I might find entertaining to play.

      Balance is always iffy of course, but at least in Eclipse there’s only one major book to consult and – as long as you spend your points and refrain from either gross stupidity or exploitation – you usually come up with something playable.

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