Court Astrologer

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COURT ASTROLOGER

‘The planet Astrophel will be excellently dignified in the first decan of the sign of the Centaur, while simultaneously the moon is quincunx with Ashedii, portending victory by water: The heavens have declared it, sire: you should invade Cannovia on the eighth day of the month, preferably around four o’clock in the afternoon.’

To many of the questions which mortals struggle with, the answer is written in the heavens. Monarchs, emperors and governors throughout history have sought the counsel of astrologers to determine the best times for their undertakings. A court astrologer has steeped himself in the lore of the skies and has built up such a reputation for accuracy that the crowned heads of the land are prepared to trust him with the fate of their dominions.

Although court astrologers do not often go off on adventures, it is not unknown for a wizard or sorcerer who is taking a break from roving for a while to take up the astrologer’s path as a way to earn some safe money and make some useful contacts in the royal court. Conversely, if a mission is of paramount importance to a royal or noble house, a court astrologer may be sent along to keep an eye on its progress and give day-by-day advice.

Hit Die: d4

Requirements

To qualify to become a court astrologer, a character must fulfil all the following criteria.
Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 10 ranks, Search 5 ranks.
Read Language: Elven & Draconic.
Feats: Any one metamagic feat.
Spellcasting: Ability to cast at least 2 arcane divinations and 2 arcane enchantments of level 3 or higher.

Class Skills

The court astrologer’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int - exclusive skill), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills - taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language, Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha, exclusive skill). See Chapter 4: Skills in the SRD for skill descriptions.

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

The Court Astrologer

Class Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spellcasting
1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Astrological Studies +1 Spellcaster level
2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Night Casting +1 +1 Spellcaster level
3 +1 +1 +1 +3 Heavenly Lore
4 +2 +1 +1 +4 Astrological Studies +1 Spellcaster level
5 +2 +1 +1 +4 Night Casting +2 +1 Spellcaster level

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the court astrologer prestige class.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Court astrologers gain no additional training with weapons or armour. Note that armour check penalties for armour heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand and Tumble.

Spellcasting: At the indicated levels, the court astrologer gains the ability to cast a number of new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in the arcane spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (such as an improved chance of controlling or rebuking undead, metamagic or item creation feats, hit points beyond those he receives from the prestige class, and so on) except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a court astrologer, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.

Whilst the number of spells of a given level that are available per day is determined as above, ‘Spells Known’ is handled differently. The character does not learn new spells from the standard lists for his former class. For example, if a wizard, he does not gain access to two new spells for his spellbook from the standard list; if a sorcerer, he does not gain the ability to use the single new spell as standard. Instead, he gains access to new spells as indicated in the Astrological Studies ability below.

Astrological Studies (Ex): At the indicated levels, the court astrologer must select one astrological feature from which he gains his learned magical abilities. This grants the court astrologer knowledge of a total of nine spells associated with the heavenly body or astrological feature studied.

Night Casting (Su): Empowered by the stars above, whenever casting spells under the night sky, the level 2 court astrologer increases the DC of all saves against his spells by one. This bonus increases to +2 at level 5 and +3 at level 8. This does not apply when the character is underground or in a building, as he must be exposed to the night sky.

Heavenly Lore (Ex): The knowledge gathered through the stars is diverse indeed. At third level, members of the court astrologer prestige class gain the ability to uncover legends and information regarding various topics as a bard with the Bardic Knowledge ability. The court astrologer adds half his level and his Intelligence modifier to the Bardic Knowledge check, as per the ability description for the bard class in the SRD.

Lesser Conjunction (Su): Once per night, a level 6 court astrologer may cast a single spell, spontaneously using a known metamagic feat on it without increasing the level of the spell slot required. The metamagic feat used cannot be one that would increase the spell slot by more than two levels. Using this ability increases the casting time of the spell to a full round action.

Greater Conjunction (Su): Once per night, a level 9 court astrologer may cast a single spell, spontaneously using any known metamagic feat on it without increasing the level of the spell slot required. Using this ability increases the casting time of the spell to a full round action.

Astrological Studies of the Society

Each planet and constellation is given its own spell list of nine spells. Herein are included the classic 12 signs of the zodiac familiar to Terran astrology along with several planets in the solar system and the sun and moon. The Games Master is encouraged to customise these for use in her own campaign, renaming the constellations and planets or even reassigning their associated spells based on the perceived personalities of these heavenly bodies.

When creating new spell lists for alternate heavenly bodies, the best method is to select domains that best suit the supposed personas of these luminaries and use these, leaving out the granted power from the domain spell list.

Aquarius

1. Endure Elements. Ignore 5 points of damage per round from one energy type.
2. Soften Earth & Stone. Turn stone to clay or dirt to mud.
3. Water Breathing. Subjects can breathe underwater.
4. Solid Fog. Blocks vision and slows movement.
5. Commune with Nature. Learn about terrain for one mile/level.
6. Freezing Sphere. Freezes water or deals cold damage.
7. Control Weather. Changes weather in local area.
8. Horrid Wilting. Deals 1d8 damage / level within 30 ft.
9. Summon Monster IX. Water elementals only.

Aries

1. Pass without Trace. One subject / level leaves no tracks.
2. Bull’s Strength. Subject gains ld4+1 Str for 1 hr / level.
3. Meld into Stone. You and your gear merge with stone.
4. Stoneskin. Stops blows, cuts, stabs, and slashes.
5. Wall of Stone. 20 hp / 4 levels, can be shaped.
6. Summon Nature’s Ally VI. ld3 dire boars or earth elementals.
7. Summon Nature’s Ally VII. Earth elementals only.
8. Earthquake. Intense tremor shakes 5 ft / level radius.
9. Summon Nature’s Ally IX. Earth elementals only.

Cancer

1. Mage Armour. Gives subject +4 armour bonus.
2. Bull’s Strength. Subject gains 1d4+1 Str for 1 hour I level.
3. Magic Vestment. Armour or shield gains +1 I 3 levels.
4. Sleet Storm. Hampers vision and movement.
5. Stoneskin. Stops blows, cuts, stabs, and slashes.
6. Summon Monster VI. Fiendish Chuul only.
7. Iron Body. Body becomes living iron.
8. Regenerate. Subject’s severed limbs grow back.
9. Implosion. Kills one creature / 1 round.

Capricorn

1 . Magic Fang. Natural weapon gets +1 bonus.
2. Speak with Animals. Communicate with natural animals.
3. Summon Nature’s Ally III. Calls creature to fight.
4. Greater Magic Fang. Natural weapon gets +1 / level (max +5).
5. Animal Growth. One animal I two levels doubles in size, HD.
6. Summon Nature’s Ally VI. Calls creature to fight.
7. Liveoak. Oak becomes treant guardian.
8. Animal Shapes. One ally/level polymorphs into chosen animal.
9. Summon Nature’s Ally IX. Calls creature to fight.

Gemini

1. Charm Person. Makes one person your friend.
2. Mirror Image. Creates decoy duplicates of you.
3. Charm Monster. Makes one creature your friend.
4. Scrying. Spies on subject from a distance.
5. False Vision. Fools scrying with an illusion.
6. Mislead. Turns you invisible and creates illusory double.
7. Shadow Walk. Step into shadow to travel rapidly.
8. Reverse Gravity. Objects and creature fall upward.
9. Shapechange. Transform into any form, change form 1/round.

Leo

1. Faerie Fire. Outline subject with light.
2. Flame Blade. Touch attack deals 1d8+1 per 2 levels.
3. Flame Arrow. Shoots flaming projectiles or fiery bolts.
4, Summon Nature’s Ally IV. Lion.
5. Summon Nature’s Ally V. 1d3 lions, 1 dire lion or fire elemental.
6. Commune with Nature. Learn about terrain for one mile / level.
7. Fire Storm. Deals 1d6 fire damage / level.
8. Incendiary Cloud. Cloud deals 4d6 fire damage / round.
9. Summon Monster X. Fire elementals.

Libra

1. Magic Weapon. Weapon gains +1 bonus.
2. Bull’s Strength. Subject gains 1d4+1 Str for 1 hr. / level.
3. Keen Edge. Doubles normal weapon’s threat range.
4. Divine Power. You gain attack bonus, 18 Str, and 1 hp / level.
5. Righteous Might. Your size increases and you gain +4 str.
6. Heroes’Feast. Food for one creature / level cures and blesses.
7. Sword. Magic blade strikes opponents.
8. Symbol. Triggered runes have array of effects.
9. Summon Monster IX. Calls creature to fight.

Pisces

1. Know Direction. You discern north.
2. Invisibility. Invisible for 10 mid level or until attacks.
3. Haste. Extra attack.
4. Dimension Door. Teleports you and up to 500 lb.
5. Ice Storm. Hail deals 5d6 damage / level.
6. Find the Path. Shows most direct way to a location.
7. Plane Shift. Up to eight subjects travel to another plane.
8. Horrid Wilting. 1d8 damage / level within 30 ft.
9. Astral Projection. Project self and companions to the astral.

Sagittarius

1. Goodberry. 2d4 berries each cure 1 hp (max hp/24 hours).
2. Warp Wood. Bends wood (shaft, handle, door, plank).
3. Speak with Plants. Talk to normal plants and plant creatures.
4. Antiplant Shell. Keeps animated plants at bay.
5. Commune with Nature. Learn about terrain for one mile/level.
6. Ironwood. Magical wood is strong as steel.
7. Changestaff. Staff becomes a treant on command.
8. Sunburst. Blinds all within 10 ft., deals 3d6 damage.
9. Storm of Vengeance. Storm rains acid, lightning, and hail.

Scorpio

1. Chill Touch. 1 touch / level deal 1d6 damage / level.
2. Summon Swarm. Swarm of small crawling or flying creatures.
3. Poison. Touch deals 1d10 Con damage, repeat in 1 minute.
4. Giant Vermin. Turns insects into giant vermin.
5. Insect Plague. Limits vision, inflicts damage, creatures flee.
6. Acid Fog. Fog deals acid damage.
7. Creeping Doom. Carpet of insects attacks at your command.
8. Horrid Wilting. Deals 1d8 damage / level within 30 ft.
9. Implosion. Kills one creature / round.

Taurus

1. Bless. Allies gain +1 attack and +1 saves against fear.
2. Bull’s Strength. Subject gains ld4+1 Str for lhr / level.
3. Magic Vestment. Armour or shield gains +1 / three levels.
4. Divine Power. Gain attack bonus, 18 Str, and 1 hp per level.
5. Wall of Stone. 20 hp / four levels; can be shaped.
6. Stoneskin. Stops blows, cuts, stabs, and slashes.
7. Earthquake. Intense tremor shakes 5 ft / level radius.
8. Shield of Law. +4 AC, +4 Resistance, & SR 25 vs Chaos.
9. Crushing Hand. Provides cover, pushes, or grapples.

Virgo

1. Charm Person. Makes one person your friend.
2. Detect Thoughts. Allows “listening” to surface thoughts.
3. Charm Monster. Makes monster believe it is your ally.
4. Emotion. Arouses strong emotion in subject.
5. Dominate Person. Controls humanoid telepathically.
6. Mass Suggestion. As suggestion, plus one / level subjects.
7. Sympathy. Object or location attracts certain creatures.
8. Antipathy. Object or location repels certain creatures.
9. Dominate. Monster. As dominate person, but any creature.

Planets

The planets have each been assigned a clerical domain that best suits each planet. As with the constellations, when converting a domain into a spell list for the court astrologer, remove the ‘granted power’ of the domain.

Mercury - Travel domain spells
Venus - Love domain spells
Mars - War domain spells
Saturn - Plants domain spells
Jupiter - Storms domain spells
Neptune - Water domain spells
Uranus - Destruction domain spells
Pluto - Death domain spells
Sun - Sun domain spells

Moon

1. Faerie Fire. Outline subject with light.
2. See Invisibility. Reveals invisible creatures and objects.
3. Charm Monster. Makes monster believe it is your ally.
4. Emotion. Arouses strong emotion in subject.
5. Shadow Evocation. Mimics evocation less than 5th level.
6. Permanent Image. Includes sight, sound and smell.
7. Insanity. Permanent confusion on one target.
8. Animal Shapes. One ally/level polymorphs into chosen animal.
9. Gate. Connects two planes for travel and communication.

Classic Play

This is a complicated variant on the standard spellcasting classes but one with the weight of myth behind it. It is easy to see how astrology can be incorporated into a fantasy game setting; indeed, it is surprising to find it done so infrequently, perhaps because it seems like a fairly daunting task to dream up one’s own Zodiac. Court astrologers need not be tower-locked greybeards endlessly poring over their books. Younger and more adventurous characters may take up the profession. As they are especially effective after dark, a wizard or sorcerer who has levels in rogue (and perhaps pursues two careers, one far more respectable than the other) would do well to consider adding astrological magic to his talents.

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