Friends and fellow adventurers, a while back, I got to thinking about how to do a magician class without using spell slots or memorization. I came up with the Gray Wizard class. Let me know what you think. This is an untested alpha, so let me know if you use it in your game.
The gray wizard is a strange creature, seemingly human but with an inscrutable, alien air. He claims to know magic, but can cast no spells. What is he? What is his destiny? Only time and trial can answer such questions!
Starting Abilities: Health 4, Will 4. Use Human nature questions.
Starting Skills: Lore Master 4, Scholar 3, Persuader 2, Scout 2, Alchemist 2, Arcanist 2
Starting Wises: Choose either Judge of Character-wise, Stench of Magic-wise, or Fools-wise. Plus one additional wise of your choice.
Starting Weapons and Armor: None.
Mysterious: No one knows what thoughts are held behind your inscrutable brow, making your motives impossible to guess, but you also speak in a strange manner and have difficulty expressing ideas to those who are not wizards.
Not of this World: Change one Nature descriptor to Wandering, Concealing or Disappearing. May not use weapons or wear armor. However, the gray wizard can always use a staff as a weapon or tool. Staff provides no bonus, but eliminates the unarmed penalty. It also can act as tools for Pathfinding and as supplies for a variety of dire situations.
Friend of Fire: Once per phase, you may conjure a small magical flame to your hand that can light candles, torches and campfires. It can act as a candle for two turns. In addition, you can extinguish or douse a flame (candle, torch, lantern, etc) with a gesture of your hand so long as you can see it. Test Arcanist. Factors: conjure flame, extinguish candle, extinguish torch, extinguish lantern.
Child under the Wind: Inclement weather has no effect on the wizard: cold, rain, snow, heat, all leave her inconvenienced but otherwise unperturbed. Test Arcanist. Factors: resist heat or cold, remain dry in rain, remain unaffected by ice and snow.
Mage Light: Once per phase, create a candle light that can only be extinguished if the wizard earns the angry or afraid conditions, otherwise it burns for the whole phase. Increase the power of the ability by one step per level to 5th level: 4th level mage light is equivalent to a torch; 5th level is equivalent to a lantern. Test Arcanist, Ob 3.
Necessity: Ignore class restrictions for weapons and armor as necessity demands, but you can never have more than you strictly needâ€”and must discard whatever was used after the battle (unless the item is a unique artifact).
Low Speech: Can speak to animals and similar creatures. Use the Persuader skill to convince said denizens to reveal paths, trails and hidden locations in their domain. Increase obstacle to recover from Exhaustion while in the forest by 1. The voices never stop.
Traveler: Use Arcanist in place of Pathfinder. If you should ever be lost, you accidentally stumble on a bauble, sign or creature that will be of some use in the future (but not for finding your way now).
Spell Breaker: Make an Arcanist versus test or a test equal to the obstacle to cast +1 to banish or dispel a spell or prayer.
Spellbinder: Strengthen any spell (+2D to help when using Arcanist to help Arcanist or Ritualist). Increase the duration of any spell by one step after itâ€™s been cast. Test Arcanist, Obstacle equal to duration factor or 2, whichever is higher.
Destroyer: Once per session, use Arcanist in a Kill, Capture or Drive Off conflict in place of Fighter. You may use Sorcerous Fire as your weapon: A +1s D: -1D F: -1D M: +1D. Ignores armor. Equip when choosing weapons. Duration lasts the whole fight.
Maker: Use Arcanist in place of Armorer, Mason or Carpenter. When creating something, you may imbue the object with the power of one of your level abilities (except Not of this World, Necessity or Maker). Imbuing magic into something increases the skill test obstacle to make the item by level of the benefit. For example, making a sword glow with Mage Light is a +3 obstacle when creating it.
True Nature Unfolds: Increase Might by 1.
Ageless: The gray wizard stops aging and will never die from old age. Increase Health max to 7, and Health can never be reduced below 1 by injury, sickness, poison or curse.
The Interposing Hand: You may place yourself between your friends and their danger. You shield them from harm, taking on the full force of an attack (or even whole conflict) yourself.
The Voluminous Cloak: You have no limit to your inventory when placed in your cloak. Objects up to three spaces big may be placed within it, without creating any burden on you. However, items placed in the cloak become jumbled and mixed up. To retrieve something from your inventory takes 0-5 turns. Roll 1d6-1. The cloak is a physical item that may be lost, given as a gift, stolen or used as a tent to shield you from the rain. It cannot be destroyed by any means currently known.
Immortal Companion: You bond with another immortal creature who also wearily wanders this world. You two agree to aid one another in times of peril. You may summon your companion. It takes one phase for them to arrive. Choose an immortal horse god, a dragon, leviathan or something similar. The creature is Might 5. Pick and appropriate Nature Descriptor: Galloping like the Wind/Flying/Striding Oceans
To Walk Unseen: While traveling from place to place, you appear to be humble traveler. You are never waylaid, never stopped to be questioned and rarely even seen. Neither can you be detected by magic when walking unseen. Twists for such effects can be avoided with a tip of the hat and a wink of the eye. This effect lasts until you cast a spell (use a level benefit) or otherwise reveal yourself. The effect only applies to you and not your companions. Once this illusion is broken, it can only be reactivated in the next adventure phase. Thus, if reveal yourself in the adventure phase, you must spend the camp (and/or town!) phase as visible and available to be bothered.
Transformation If killed while in service of a goal appropriate to your alignment, and you choose the Terrible Price, your wizard is reborn in a new form. Change Health, Will, Nature or Arcanist to heroic level (3+ for success). However, all wises and traits (aside from Mysterious) are lost. Only may be transformed once. Subsequent deaths are final!
The Lawbreaker: You may instill life into inanimate matter, be it once living or forever dead. This level benefit calls forth spirits to bring life to inanimate objects or corpses. Meeting the obstacle animates one object or corpse. Margin of Success may be spent to animate additional beings, up to a maximum equal to the wizard’s Will. These animated servants have Might, Nature and a single nature Descriptor according to the type of object. Additional descriptors raise the obstacle by +1 (max: three Nature descriptors). Once animated, the object will follow the wizard’s orders (each action costs a turn). Test Arcanist with the following factors:
Forever dead (start at 3): clothing or tool, weapon, cart or boat, construct (q.v. guardian statue)
Once-living (start at 4): zombie, tomb guardian, skeletal honor guard (see The Dread Crypt of Skogenby)
Suppose the wizard desires to animate a broom to sweep the floors. The obstacle is 3 for this simple task. If the wizard wished the broom to fetch water, this raises the ob by +1 to 4.
Animated Broom: Might 1, Nature 2 (Sweeping, Fetching)
At the end of each phase after being animated, the objects may return to their inanimate state: the wizard must test Will against an obstacle equal to the number of phases the object has been animated. This test does not cost a turn. Failure indicates the object reverts to inanimate/dead state or may break free of the wizard’s control. As long as the wizard remains in control, this unnatural life may be revoked at any time.
Return to Whence He Came: You return to the land across the sea, and into bosom of the gods you’ve served these long years - never to be seen in these lands again. Leave your next character a mysterious gift from your inventory.
Left to Wander: The wizard will roam the world, gently enacting his will. Even if killed, his spirit will wander and attempt to do his will. You may mentor your next character (or anyone who would have such a strange sort as you).