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5e Character Archetypes: Azure College (Wizard)

Azure College

When a wizard takes up study in the Azure College, there is not often a physical department or school that they have enrolled in. Pursuing this line of knowledge requires the mage to explore the world. This college is a euphemism for those wizards which have seen the power of the mighty beasts and creatures of the world, a power they want for themselves. Some find vicarious excitement exposing themselves to all manner of dangers, hoping to learn through trials by fire, some of them literal. Others hope to bridge the gap between esoteric knowledge and the innate magic so many creatures wield by living with an among magical beasts. Whatever their method or intent, wizards of the Azure College seek to copy the abilities of the creatures around them, translating those powers into their own spellbooks and memory. The fiery breath of a dragon, the biting venom of the spider, a giant’s strength, and more are just so many more magical talents to be studied, uncovered, and commanded.

Monstrous Savant

The Azure College is less of a strict curriculum or specialty but is more of an approach to learning the intricacies of magic from the natural world’s creatures, monsters, and horrors. A wizard that specializes in azure magic can learn spells from creatures’ inherent abilities. ‘Blue spells’ are treated as having a spell level of ½ of the CR of the monster they are learned from, rounded up. The wizard’s spell DC is substituted for the creature’s normal save DC if the ability has one, while the other characteristics of the ability remain the same. These spells are treated as having the verbal, somatic, and material components the creature would normally require. For example a dragon’s breath would need the verbal and somatic components to mimic fire-breathing while a water elemental’s water whip requires the somatic movement to control the whip and the material component of the water to use. At first, the wizard can only copy the abilities of beasts and monstrosities.

A wizard of the Azure College can add a blue spell to their spellbook in place of any spell knowledge gained by leveling. They can also copy blue spells from other wizards’ spellbooks. However, to use any given blue spell, the wizard must have been subjected to it at least once in the case of a hostile ability or studied the ability being used by the living creature at least three times. Researching a new blue spell rather than copying an existing one costs twice as time and money and must be spent on studying, dissecting, and running the target creature through ‘test fires’, or by having it attack you. Blue spells acquired on a level increase are not subject to research costs but are still limited to the direct experience of the wizard.

Creature’s with natural, passive abilities can similarly be copied. This includes any racial or monstrous bonus, ability, or effect the creature has, not including statistic modifiers. The equivalent blue spells last for as long as the wizard maintains concentration and then for one minute per CR of the creature the ability is copied from, with fractional CR lasting proportionally less time. A CR ½ creature’s ability to blend into outdoor areas would only last 5 rounds and would be cast as a 1st level spell. A CR 9 ability to fly would last 9 minutes and would be cast as a 5th level spell. Passive ability blue spells can only be targeted on the wizard themselves.

Thick Skin

The Azure College requires its practitioners to be much more hands on in their approach to learning, and this tends to toughen up its users. Upon reaching 2nd level and selecting this school, the wizard can begin to rely on their experience in toughing out the hurt, curses, and magical damage slung their way. The wizard gains a 1d6 Grit die that they can roll to reduce the damage of an attack or expend to add a +1 bonus to a saving throw or concentration check. The saving throw bonus must be used before the results are known. Each Grit die returns after a short rest and at 5th, 10th, and 15th level the wizard gains an additional Grit die.

Magical Appropriation

Beginning at 6th level, a wizard of the azure college can copy spell-like and supernatural abilities of other creatures. This does not confer the ability to copy spells that creatures cast as part of any class abilities or spell-like abilities they have from non-species sources. Additionally, the wizard may now learn their blue spells from plants, elementals, and dragons.

Wizards of the Azure College must fight and cast in the worst conditions, including in some cases from inside the belly of the monsters they study. When the wizard casts a blue spell, they have advantage on concentration checks during the casting of that spell. Their usage of their adopted abilities comes as naturally to them as to the creatures they study. Also, their absorption of these abilities manifests in slight changes to their physical appearance. Practitioners at this level begin to show small cosmetic transformations related to their currently prepared blue spells, such as scaly patches, oddly shaped pupils, or body temperature swings. A wizard of the Azure College gains one temporary hit point per blue spell prepared when they prepare their spells. These temporary hit points remain until lost or when the wizard prepares new spells.

Monstrous Mimicry

Starting at 10th level, the wizard’s research into the abilities of monsters has given them true insight into the workings of the body and mind. This wizard of the Azure College is in a constant state of transfiguring themselves to wield the powers of the creatures they study. This allows them to select any number of passive blue spells to be permanently active, with these spells having no more than 2 spell levels total. At 15th level and 20th level, this limit increases by 1 spell level. The caster may call upon the scaly hide of an alligator, the corrupting presence of an aberration, or natural dual water and air  breathing abilities of the mer. These passive effects adopted into the blue wizards system add small behavioral quirks related to the creature being copied with the blue spell: mumbled growls in their speech, obsessions with particular valuable, or a taste for gross foods.

The wizard can now learn their spells from aberrations, celestials, fey, and fiends.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

At 14th level, the wizard’s study have broken the last flimsy justifications men use to set themselves apart from the rest or reality’s creatures. Blue spells may be researched from any type of creature.

Once each long rest, the wizard can polymorph themselves into the form of any creature from which they currently have a blue spell prepared. The wizard can maintain concentration on this spell freely and can cast other spells normally in this form, even ones that require concentration. They gain advantage on concentration checks made to maintain the polymorph effect. This change bypasses the normal restrictions of the polymorph spell regarding the type of creature but not the HD or CR of the creature.

“Blue Spells”

Below are a sample selection of abilities that a wizard of the Azure College may study in order to copy. Each is included with a brief description of how that wizard casts and uses that spell, but any number of different flavors the player may choose work as long as they fit in the constraints of being activated and used in the same manner as the original monster.

-Direct attacks become touch attacks, while ranged attacks keep the range and area sizes the same.

-Natural attacks retain the same damage dice but are scaled up or down die sizes to suit the caster’s size.

-Unless the ability is a spell-like ability, blue spells are treated as their own school of magic. Copied spell like abilities are both their default school of magic as well as a blue spell.

-Blue spells have a casting time of one action unless the monster’s ability takes more time to activate than 1 action or is a spell-like ability, in which case the casting time of the blue spell defaults to the activation time of the copied ability.

A player should always confirm their spell choices with the DM to ensure it fits within the spirit and relatively appropriate power level of spells of the same level. In general, flight, teleportation, and similar abilities should be gauged relative to spells that grant similar abilities.

 

Adult Silver Dragon’s Cold Breath CR 16

“The dragon exhales an icy blast in a 60 foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw, taking 13d8 cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one”

Adult Silver Dragon Cold Breath Spell

8th level blue spell

Casting Time: 1 action

Components: V, S

Duration: Instantaneous

The blue mage takes in a lung full of air then breathes out a massive cone of cold. This 60 foot cone of cold deals 13d8 cold damage, or half that much damage to any creature in its area that succeeds on a Constitution saving throw.

 

Fire Giant’s Strength CR 9

Fire giants have a strength score of 25 for a modifier of +7.

Fire Giant’s Strength

5th level blue spell

Casting Time: 1 action

Components: S, M (a small bit of ash or coal that is smoldering)

Duration: Concentration + 5 minutes

Releasing this magic then igniting and crushing the bit of coal or ash sends a fiery surge through the caster’s body. Their base strength becomes a 27 for the duration, granting them a strength modifier of +7.

 

Quaggoth’s Wounded Fury CR 2

While it has 10 hit points or fewer, the quaggoth has advantage on attack rolls. In addition, it deals an extra 2d6 damage to any target it hits with a melee attack.

Quaggoths Wounded Fury

1st level blue spell

Casting Time: 1 action

Components: V, S, M (a recent scrape, cut, or scab)

Duration: Concentration + 1 minute

The blue mage pulls open a wound or smears their own blood on their face before belting out a furious shout. Their eyes go bloodshot and their pupils narrow. For the duration, if they have 10 or fewer hit points, they have advantage on attack rolls and deal an additional 2d6 damage with a melee attack.

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