Sole Practitioners

The last post on specialist wizards was based on the D&D 2e rules. This one on sole practitioners is taken from HackMaster, and – as is typical for that game – pushes things one step further (although I’ve toned it down somewhat here).

(You’ll need the HackMaster SpellSlinger’s Guide for the specific spell lists, but even if you don’t have that fine supplement the idea itself should provide some inspiration.)

Sole practitioners are specialists who focus further on a particular niche in their chosen school – such as fireballs within the school of Invocation/Evocation, or anti-magic effects from the school of Abjuration. They delve far into their unique style of magic, concentrating their understanding on one particular area of practice.

Unless otherwise stated, all game rules for specialist wizards (level progression, spells per day, etc.) also apply to sole practitioners.

Game Rule Information

Prime Requisite: A sole practitioner’s prime requisite is Intelligence and a score of 13 or higher is required. In addition, each type of sole practitioner must meet their own specific requirements, as provided below.

Alignment: In general, sole practitioners may be of any alignment, though some areas of practice have specific alignment requirements.

Hit Dice: Like most magic-users, sole practitioners start with a “hit point kicker” of 4 hp and gain 1d4 hit points + CON mod per class level.

Combat Ability: Sole practitioners have a poor Base Attack Bonus progression and are proficient with staff, dagger, club, and sling only. They are not proficient with any armour or shields.

Saving Throws: Sole practitioners have relatively poor saving throws, but gain +2 on all saves vs. magic with an additional +2 bonus vs. spells from their sole practitioner specialty.

Multiclass Restrictions: Because of the degree of focus required in their studies, a sole practitioner cannot multiclass.

Special Abilities

Read Magic: Same as magic-users/specialist wizards.

Arcane Spellcasting: As per the magic-user/specialist wizard class ability, except as noted below.

Opposition Schools: Most sole practitioners will have one or more additional opposition schools compared to a ‘typical’ specialist (indicated in italics under Areas of Practice, below).

Also, sole practitioners will not use spells or magic items that achieve effects that are directly opposed to their own area of practice. A shadow weaver, for example, cannot cast light- or electrical-based spells. These opposed effects are listed with each area of practice (below). The referee is the final adjudicator on whether a given spell qualifies as an ‘opposed effect’.

Advanced Learning: As per specialist wizards. In addition, within his area of practice a sole practitioner reigns supreme – even above his specialist brethren. When casting spells from his area of practice, a sole practitioner is treated as two levels higher for the purposes of duration, area of effect, damage, and any other level-dependent abilities.

Bonus Spells: A sole practitioner gets two bonus spells, but both of these must be selected from his area of practice.

Cantrips: Same as magic-users/specialist wizards. However, most sole practitioners look down on cantrips as minor ‘hedge’ magic.

Saving Throws: Compared with a standard magic-user, sole practitioners gain an additional +2 bonus against magic effects from his area of practice (+4 total). Similarly, foes suffer a -2 penalty when making saving throws against a sole practitioner casting spells within his area of practice.

Craft Magic Items: Because of their degree of specialization, sole practitioners may reduce the time and cost to craft magic items from within their area of practice by 10%. However, crafting items from outside their school specialization requires 25% more time and effort (in terms of cost). They are unable to craft items using magical energies from his opposition schools or opposed effects.

Areas of Practice

(In all cases, refer to the Hackmaster Spellslinger’s Guide for spell lists associated with each area of practice.)

Abjuration:

  • Anti-Mage: Area of practice – counter-magic. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, WIS 15+. Opposition schools – Alteration, Divination, Illusion. Opposed effects – boosting magic.
  • Guardian: Area of practice – protecting places and objects. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, WIS 15+. Alignment – Lawful or Neutral. Opposition schools – Alteration, Divination, Illusion. Opposed effects – demolishing/breaking stuff.

Alteration:

  • Constructor: Area of practice – fixing/mending/fabrication. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, WIS 10+, DEX 15+. Alignment – Lawful or Neutral. Opposition schools – Abjuration, Conj/Summ, Necromancy. Opposed effects – spells causing direct destruction.
  • Metamorpher: Area of practice – polymorphing others/changing objects in major ways. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, DEX 16+. Alignment – Neutral or Chaotic. Opposition schools – Abjuration, Conj/Summ, Necromancy. Opposed effects – fleeting spells.
  • Transporter: Area of practice – affecting travel/locomotion. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, DEX 16+. Opposition schools – Abjuration, Conj/Summ, Necromancy. Opposed effects – stationary effects like Hold Person, Close Portal, Statue, etc.

Conjuration/Summoning:

  • Conjurer: Area of practice – conjuring things/objects. Minimum Attributes – INT 14+, CON 15+. Opposition schools – Alteration, Divination, Invoc/Evoc. Opposed effects – power word spells.
  • Truenamer: Area of practice – power words. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, WIS 13+, CON 15+. Opposition schools – Alteration, Divination, Invoc/Evoc. Opposed effects – conjuration spells.

Divination:

  • Detective: Area of practice – detection-type. Minimum Attributes – INT 14+, WIS 16+. Alignment – Lawful or Neutral. Opposition schools – Abjuration, Conj/Summ, Illusion. Opposed effects – concealment spells.
  • Seer: Area of practice – seeing and sensing the future. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, WIS 15+, DEX 10+. Opposition schools – Conj/Summ, Ench/Charm, Illusion. Opposed effects – darkness-related spells.

Enchantment/Charm:

  • Itemist: Area of practice – placing/hiding auras and magical energies within objects. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, CON 10+, CHA 15+. Opposition schools – Divination, Invoc/Evoc, Necromancy. Opposed effects – affecting people directly.
  • Puppeteer: Area of practice – mind-controlling spells, manipulating emotions. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, CHA 16+. Alignment – Neutral or Chaotic. Opposition schools – Divination, Invoc/Evoc, Necromancy. Opposed effects – improving his image.

Illusion:

  • Hypnotist: Area of practice – manipulating perceptions. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, DEX 15+, CHA 13+. Alignment – Neutral or Chaotic. Opposition schools – Abjuration, Invoc/Evoc, Necromancy. Opposed effects – making things/people disappear.
  • Shadow Weaver: Area of practice – creating quasi-real stuff out of shadow. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, WIS 10+, DEX 16+. Alignment – Neutral or Chaotic. Opposition schools – Abjuration, Invoc/Evoc, Necromancy. Opposed effects – light- or electrical-based spells.

Invocation/Evocation:

  • Demolitionist: Area of practice – concussive-clas spells. Minimum Attributes – STR 10+, INT 13+, CON 15+. Alignment – Neutral or Chaotic. Opposition schools – Conj/Summ, Ench/Charm, Illusion. Opposed effects – protecting objects/creatures.
  • Icer: Area of practice – cold-based water/ice spells. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, DEX 11+, CON 15+. Opposition schools – Conj/Summ, Ench/Charm, Illusion. Opposed effects – fire-based spells.
  • Pyrologist: Area of practice – fire-based evocation spells. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, DEX 10+, CON 16+. Alignment – Neutral or Chaotic. Opposition schools – Conj/Summ, Ench/Charm, Illusion. Opposed effects – water- or cold-based spells.
  • Sniper: Area of practice – Magic Missile and similar spells. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, DEX 12+, CON 15+. Opposition schools – Conj/Summ, Ench/Charm, Illusion. Opposed effects – protecting others (protecting self is permitted).

Necromancy:

  • Animator: Area of practice – animating dead bodies and magic related to undead. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, WIS 15+, CON 13+. Alignment – Chaotic. Opposition schools – Alteration, Illusion, Ench/Charm. Opposed effects – life-boosting, aid to living creatures.
  • Exterminator: Area of practice – instant/rapid death/damage or death-related spells. Minimum Attributes – INT 13+, WIS 15+, DEX 10+. Alignment – Chaotic. Opposition schools – Alteration, Illusion, Ench/Charm. Opposed effects – life-boosting, aid to living creatures.

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About K-Slacker

Gamer and referee for online gameblogs.
This entry was posted in Classes, House Rules and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sole Practitioners

  1. K-Slacker says:

    This post on sole practitioners is partially inspired by my recent experience with Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. There are many obscure magic-using specialists available in this game, and they mirror the obsessive focus of the HackMaster sole practitioners.

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