One of the constraints of general d20 is the lack of a cross-realm caster like Rolemaster’s archmage. By cross-realm I mean conversant in the use and knowledge of all types of magic. In d20 this is arcane, divine and psionics. In Rolemaster (RM) it was Essence, Channelling and Mentalism.
It might be easy to say that a character could multi-class their way to approximate the RM archmage. But what if you want to start from level-1 and take the various hits to your powers so that you can stay true to your concept?
Eclipse: the Codex Persona, to the rescue.
Sejanus is an archmage. A caster of any types of magic. He is a member of the esoteric order of Ogham Divina. Part of order membership is various duties. They members are respected and privileged as scholars and lawyers. They are often expected to adjudicate legal matters. Members also must contribute 20% of their monies to the order or to certain charities is the order is not present in that area. To even join the order one must have the aptitude to learn magic (Fast Learner: Magic) and to absorb knowledge quickly (Fast Learner: Skills). Most of his time is spent tracking down obscure parts of old books, rumours of magic, and testing formulae or potential members.
Sejanus is in late middle-age (tends to overlook simple things like catching a carriage instead of walking to the next town), blocked from learning martial feats, and a terrible liar (bluff –5, incompetent).
The cross-realm magical abilities have restricted the way Sejanus can learn spells. He must make a Spellcraft check to recognise the spell he wants to learn. If he fails, he misses out on learning that spell/ability. However, he can use Spellcraft as Psicraft and vice versa. At low-levels this is not a big risk of missing a known spell. At higher levels it becomes more likely that powers will not be learnt (DC=[Spell Level + 1] times 5)
Sejanus’ main magical usefulness is in preparing powers and having them available to Triggering. He can “programme” a string of spells if need be and they can be activated based on his wherewithal in the preparation.
Here’s the gritty bits.
Sejannus: Archmage, level-4
Human: racial bonus feat, fast learner (skills), fast learner (magic), bonus feats (L-1/3/6/9 etc.), bonus attributes (+1 L-4/8, etc.)
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +3
Hit Points: 17 (4d4 + Con)
Proficiencies: all simple weapons
Decipher Script +3
Gather Info. +3
Know: Arcane +2
Know: history +2
Know: religion +2
Move Silently +2
Prof: Lawyer +4
Sense Motive +3
+4 Base Caster Levels: for all magic types
L-4 Psion: specialised, spellcraft check to learn new powers
L-4 Wizard: specialised, spellcraft check to learn new powers
L-4 Cleric (no package): specialised, spellcraft check to learn new powers
This means Sejanus has a lot of powers (if he made his Spellcraft checks). The odds are that he’ll know most of those powers listed. Still, he is only one person and has quite a few limitations that are permanent. Ie. they can’t be overcome later with “feats that create exceptions”. I can see for some GM’s they’ll balk at this but I’d be happy to run such a PC because there’s so much control over it via the Duties.
SR/PR Improved, 10 + Level, 14
Privilege: loremaster, lawyer, minor legal powers, receive hospitality
Aged (does silly things, like walk instead of ride unless reminded), Blocked (martial feats), Incompetent (bluff –5)
Metamagic: Amplify (once have SL4 slots), Mana, BCL Increase, Magic Progressions increase, SR/PR Improved, Conversion (evasion/location spells), Spell Pool (wiz/clr), Skill Emphasis (sense motive), Persistent (metamagic)