Faerûnian Prestige Class : Zhentarim Skymage
Every Zhentarim caravan is said to be watched over by a spellcaster of some skill. Many mages join the Zhentarim for the political power it offers and the access to a large library of spells. Some of these sorcerers and wizards become Zhentarim skymages, powerful spellcasters who ride strange flying beasts and serve the Zhentarim by performing acts of espionage and causing unrest on the frontiers of civilization.
A Zhentarim skymage is an arcane spellcaster who serves the Zhentarim as a spy or armed deterrent. Easily recognized by their strange and exotic flying mounts, skymages blast their foes from extreme range, can read the minds of possible enemies, and frequently spy on foes or summon monsters to harass settlements without drawing attention to the Zhentarim.
Most Zhentarim skymages are wizards, with a good number of sorcerers in the ranks. A small number of bards become skymages, despite the rigid lawful nature of the Zhentarim.
There are few rivalries among the skymages, mostly focused on the merits of different flying steeds. Owners of larger mounts brag about their size and power, while those who ride smaller creatures tout the better speed and maneuverability of their pets.
To qualify to become a Zhentarim Skymage, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Skills: Diplomacy 2 ranks, Handle Animal 2 ranks, Knowledge (geography) 2 ranks, Ride 2 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks.
- Feats: Combat Casting, Iron Will, Mounted Combat.
- Spellcasting: Must be able to cast detect thoughts, invisibility, and suggestion, plus one summon monster spell of 3rd level or higher.
- Special: Member in good standing of the Zhentarim.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All the following are Class Features of the Zhentarim skymage prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Zhentarim skymages gain no proficiency in weapons, armor, or shields of any type.
Spells per Day: A skymage continues training in magic while developing a bond with a flying monster and making political advances within the Black Network. Thus, when a new skymage level is gained, the character increases his spellcasting ability as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bardic knowledge, metamagic or item creation feats, and so on). This essentially means that he adds the level of skymage to the level of some other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day, spells known (if appropriate), spells added to his spellbook, familiar abilities, and caster level accordingly. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before he became a skymage, he must decide to which class he adds each level of skymage for purposes of determining spellcasting when he adds the new level.
Bonus Scrolls (Ex): At each level of Zhentarim skymage gained, the Zhentarim awards the character a scroll of two spells of any level he could cast. If the character has a spell book, he may instead add these spells to his spellbook immediately at no cost or time spent.
Flying Mount (Ex): A Zhentarim skymage can call a flying monster to serve as his personal mount. The mount cannot have more Hit Dice than the Zhentarim skymage's class level + his Charisma modifier + 1. The mount serves the skymage loyally as if it were a druid's or ranger's animal companion, and carries the skymage into combat if desired (if the creature is strong enough to carry the skymage). Should a flying mount die, the character can replace it after gaining two levels in any spellcasting class. Necromancer skymages sometimes use undead monsters as mounts (including the animated corpse of a slain flying mount), and certain powerful conjurer skymages even have enslaved fiends as mounts.
If the skymage suffers permanent Charisma damage or loses enough levels that he could no longer have his flying mount, the mount flees at the first opportunity, often attacking its former master before doing so.
Suitable mounts (and Hit Dice) include chimera (9), criosphinx (10), dire bat (4), dragonne (9), dragons (varies), giant eagle (4), giant owl (4), griffon (7), hieracosphinx (9), hippogriff (3), manticore (6), nightmare (6), peryton (5), roc (18), sinister (4), spider eater (4), wyvern (7), and yrthak (12).
Flying Feat (Ex): The skymage gains one of the following feats: Flyby Attack, Mounted Archery, Ride-by Attack, Spirited Charge, or Trample. The skymage must meet all prerequisites for the feat before it can be selected. The Flyby Attack feat applies to the mount, not to the skymage, and cannot be used if the skymage is flying without a mount (such as with a fly spell).
Spell Focus (Ex): The skymage gains the Spell Focus feat.
Share Spells (Su): The skymage can share spells with his flying mount as if the mount were his familiar. This ability only works if the skymage is riding the mount, and a shared spell ends for the mount instantly if the skymage is no longer riding it.
Skill Focus (Ex): The skymage gains the Skill Focus feat, which must be applied to one of the Zhentarim skymage class skills.
Enlarge Spell (Ex): The skymage gains the Enlarge Spell feat.
|Zhentarim Skymage||Hit Die: d4|
|CL||BAB||Fort||Ref||Will||Special||Spells per day|
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+0||Bonus scrolls, flying mount||+1 level in existing class|
|2nd||+1||+3||+0||+0||Bonus scrolls, flying feat, Craft Wand||+1 level in existing class|
|3rd||+1||+3||+1||+1||Bonus scrolls, Spell Focus, share spells||+1 level in existing class|
|4th||+2||+4||+1||+1||Bonus scrolls, Skill Focus, flying feat||+1 level in existing class|
|5th||+3||+4||+1||+1||Bonus scrolls, Enlarge Spell||+1 level in existing class|
Source: Lords of Darkness
Older Prestige class adapted to 3.5