Clad in dark robes and floating through the shadows of the graveyard a spectral human unleashes silent magic to hold a terrified Fallen cultist in his shadow grip.
A maaji is a member of a highly respected cult within The Church of The Moons. They are spellcasters dedicated to Draíocht and the arcane arts to such as degree that their physical abilities suffer greatly as their arcane abilities are greatly enhanced.
This cult was the only group on Talamh given a dispensation to practice magic on Talamh by The Church. Until recently the cult was only allowed to practice under the supervision of the Grand Vizier of Az-Ylar. Since then the cult’s headquarters has been moved to The Grand Temple in Bigany and they have thrived under the new arcane friendly regime.
POTENT MAGIC WIELDER
A Maaji is a highly versatile and complex magic wielder with unrestricted access to a massive amount of arcane and divine knowledge. They can choose spells from both the clerical and wizard spell lists. They can channel spells together in order to increase their potency when needed and they weigh the magical authority of Draíocht.
A Maaji will never perform a physical task if a mental or magical alternative is possible. They believe in the Cerebral philosophy of Draíocht so strongly that they strive to eventually eschew their material form entirely. Many take on the form of shadow, other reject even form itself.Because they eschew the material they prefer to use spells that do not create substance. For this reason they value force damage above all, then thunder, lightning and necrotic. Cold and fire spells are used sparingly and are seen as spells used by the unimaginative. They view acid and poison spells and the conjuring of physical beings with disdain. Radiant magic is insubstantial but rarely used due to the cults affinity with shadow, many maaji feel uncomfortably exposed when radiant magic is used.
The Cerebral philosophy at the heart of The Church of Shale means that all of it’s followers wish to one day transcend their physical limitations to attain a perfect intellectual state. The maaji travel proudly down this path, getting closer to intellectual perfection and neglecting their physical form. For the greatest among them this means attaining a state of virtual immortality and great power. But the journey is perilous and the risks to his physical form as a Maaji nears the peaks of intellect are considerable. Few are deterred by this, because to set foot on the path of the maaji is to embrace the power of the mind above all else.
RESPECT FOR BALANCE
While the Maaji Order is steadfastly dedicated to the Cerebreal philosophy, they are keenly aware that this focus could lead to imbalance in the universe. To them the material and the physical are a necessary if distasteful part of the universe. The hierarchy of The Church accepts a level of tension between The Church of Shale and The Church of Charon but takes a dim view of open hostility or disruption of The Balance. When adventuring, maaji are happy to seek out the company and protection of physically focused companions, for both practical and philosophical reasons. The extremely successful alliance between Lord Boghadoir of Elledrin and The Lord Maaji Halmonde Mome is an often quoted example of this. Many Maaji would note that Lord Boghadoir embraced magic and Lord Mome embraced brandy too eagerly to be the perfect example.
You can make a Maaji quickly by following these suggestions. First, Intelligence should be your highest ability score, followed by Charisma and then Wisdom. Second, choose the sage background. Third, choose the Maaji missile and Shale beam cantrips, and the following 1st-level spells: command, cure wounds, shield, sleep. No armour, no weapons, no tools. Proficiency in Arcana, Religion, Perception, Deception and Intimidation
|Proficiency||Cantrips||-- Spells Slots per Spel Level --|
|1st||+2||Cerebral caster, Mind palace, Unseen Servant||3||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2nd||+2||Signature Spell, Reactive Protection, Cerebral Attunement||3||3||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|3rd||+2||Cult ability (partial damage type)||3||4||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|4th||+2||Spectral glide, Ability Score Increase||4||4||3||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|6th||+3||Cult ability (subtle casting)||4||4||3||3||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|8th||+3||Cult ability (form), Ability Score Increase||4||4||3||3||2||-||-||-||-||-|
|10th||+4||Cult ability (damage type and movement)||5||4||3||3||3||2||-||-||-||-|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Increase||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||-||-||-|
|14th||+5||Cult ability (incorporeal form)||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||-||-|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Increase||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||-|
|17th||+6||Cult Ability (incorporeal spells)||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||1|
As a Maaji you gain the following features.
Hit Dice: 1d8 per Maaji Level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution Modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) = your Constitution Modifier per Maaji Level after 1st
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma
Skills: Choose any three from Arcana, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, Religion, Stealth.
You start with no equipment, and are unlikely to carry any trinkets granted by your background.
You can cast spells from both the wizard and the cleric spell lists, but can use no magic of any kind while wearing any armour or being in possession of any item that could be used as a physical weapon.
A maaji may not use material components to cast spells, instead your spell focus is your mind palace. To cast a spell where the component has a gold piece cost, you must donate an equivalent amount to The Church or sacrifice it to directly to Draíocht. The sacrifice can be performed as part of the spell casting.
Due to your maaji vows, made to all the Gods of Shale, you may not engage in physical combat or wear physical armour.
If you break this vow no magic will function for you, you will be unable to use any of your class abilities and you will have disadvantage on all intelligence, wisdom and charisma based rolls until you atone. Usually you may atone by praying for an hour. If you repeatedly break your vow, a dreadful fate will befall you.
The maaji order instruct all followers of shale that train with them in the use of 'The Mind Palace', which allows them to meditate to retrieve information with extremely high levels of accuracy. A spellcaster can change a prepared spell by using 1 action per spell level for spells of fifth level or lower, and a short rest for spells of sixth level or higher.
Meditating for 1 minute grants advantage on intelligence checks to recall information and allows a second attempt after an initial failure.
A maaji that casts the Find Familiar spell can choose the form of an unseen servant in addition to the normal forms. This creature of pure force, carries out all physical activity on behalf of the maaji. A maaji can summon a familiar in unseen servant form as an action.
At 2nd level you choose a first level spell to be your signature spell. It can’t have an acid or poison damage type, require a melee attack or conjure physical beings and it should not be radiant. You can use any spell slot you have from any source to cast your signature spell. You gain a +1 bonus to hit and damage rolls and save DCs when casting the signature spell. You can change you signature spell at 4th, 7th, 11th, 15th and 19th level.
At 4th level you gain a bonus first level signature spell slot that can only be used to cast your signature spell. You regain the use of this slot after a short rest.
At 7th level the bonus signature spell slot is second level.
At 11th level the signature spell may be a second level spell and the slot is third level, at 15th the slot is fourth level and at 19th the signature spell may be a third level spell and the slot is fifth level.
Level Spell level Bonus slot level
2 1 -
4 1 1
7 1 2
11 2 3
15 2 4
19 3 5
At 2nd level you can briefly reinforce magical protection with the power of Shale.
When you are hit with an attack you can use your reaction to increase the AC granted by any protective magic affecting you by an amount equal to your proficiency bonus. This spell can be used in tandem with the shield spell. The ability does not work if you are wearing any armour. You can use this ability a number of times equal to you intelligence bonus. The uses of this ability are reset when you take a short rest.
At 2nd level you are so dedicated to Shale’s Cerebral philosophy and your training is so vigorous that you are able to improve upon the nature of your existence. You become more attuned to the Cerebral and so you become a less physical and more intellectual entity. As a result your ability scores are modified as follows: strength -1, constitution -1, intelligence +1, charisma +1 to a maximum of 21.
At 4th level you no longer need to touch the ground. You may float above a solid surface that can bear your weight it at the height of 1 foot and move at your normal walking speed. Your weight is still pushing against the ground so it will trigger traps and cause surfaces that cannot bear you weight to collapse. At 11th level you as you improve your ability to manipulate your existance, you no longer affect the ground below you. At 15th level the height restriction 20’ and if you are higher than this you glide to the ground as if under the effect of a featherfall spell. At 19th level you can glide your speed as a bonus action.
At 5th level you speak with the authority of Draíocht. You can impose Draíocht’s authority in contests with other wielders of magic. You may add your proficiency bonus to dispel checks and magical contests such as opposed caster level checks. The bonus is doubled against Fallen magic.
At 9th level as a bonus action you can sacrifice a spell slot to make your magic irresistible.
You can use the sacrificed slot to:
- increase the saving throw DC of a spell you cast by the level of the sacrificed slot.
- add an additional 1d6 force damage to the spell per level of the sacrificed slot.
- negate a creatures magic resistance against a spell you cast if the sacrificed slot level is the same level or higher.
At 13th level you can use your reaction to absorb a spell that is cast at you or whose area of effect you are in. You must succeed on a caster level check to absorb the spell, on failure the attack roll against you has advantage and you make any saving throws against it with disadvantage.
If the spell is absorbed you can either recast on your next turn as a bonus action, store it to your mind palace or to recharge a spell slot of equivalent level or lower.
If you recast it, you use your own magic ability modifier and cast it as if you had it prepared. If you store it to your mind palace you can subsequently scribe it to a spellbook or use it in the creation of a magic item. If it is on any of your spell lists then you instantly learn it. You can use this ability once per long rest.
At 18th level you have finally mastered your intellectual form and become more confidently Cerebral. Your physical self becomes less relevant.
You use your intelligence modifier for initiative checks and armour class and your charisma modifier to calculate hit points and for concentration.
Your intelligence modifier is now used for dexterity saving throws, charisma for constitution saving throws and wisdom for strength.
While material you are vulnerable to poison and acid, as well as bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage from magical or kellum weapons and you have disadvantage on strength, dexterity and constitution checks. You also have disadvantage on saving throws against disease. You have advantage on stealth, sleight of hand and intimidate.
Your ability scores are further adjusted: strength -4, dexterity -4, constitution -4, intelligence +1, charisma +1, wisdom +1, to a minimum of 3 and maximum of 24.
At 20th level you no longer require a physical form. You can cast spells as normal without a physical presence. When you interact with physical beings you use a your residual self image, a perfect illusion of your previous form made seemingly solid by magical force. Your residual self image is an idealised but recognisable version of your former self. You master your material form and overcome the disadvantages and vulnerabilities it had, while retaining it’s advantages. Your intelligence, wisdom and charisma scores no longer have a maximum value.
The maaji can choose the path of the ascendant to try to shed their physical form and become the perfect example of mind over matter or they can choose the covert path of the fearsome shadow master. Ascendants tend to be arrogant and aloof while shadow masters are quiet and intimidating.
The ascendant strives to remove physical elements from his magic and shed his material form completely. Worshippers of Aer and those who strive for increased cerebral attunement favour this path.
At 3rd level half of the damage from any spell you cast can be changed to force damage.
At 10th level the entire spell may be changed to force damage and can move a single target 10’ in addition to other effects.
At 6th level an ascendant maaji can cast a spell without using any components and without having a physical form. The material components required by the spell cannot be worth more than 10gp. This ability cannot be used again until the maaji finishes a short rest.
At 8th level your attunement to the Cerebral philosophy becomes stronger. Your ability scores change as follows: intelligence +2, charisma +2, strength -2, constitution -2.
At 14th level you gain the ability to turn ethereal. You can remain in this form for up to 1 hour. You regain the use of this ability after a long rest.
At 17th you can cast spells while ethereal but doing so requires concentration.
The shadow master is often a terrifying agent for the Inquisition, operating unseen, gathering intelligence and spreading fear throughout the enemies of The Church. Worshippers of Aisneis favour this path.
At 3rd level half of the damage from any spell you cast can be changed to necrotic damage.
At 10th level the entire spell can be changed to necrotic damage and you can move through shadow up to half your movement as a bonus action.
At 6th level you can use your bonus action to cast an illusion, to mask your spell casting or give you an opportunity to hide.
You must succeed against an opposed deception check to mask your spell casting. If you succeed on an opposed deception check to allow you to hide you gain advantage on the stealth check.
At 8th level you can move up to 60’ along any shadow you can see as a bonus action. You can ignore any barrier that doesn’t completely block light. You can use this power to escape the prone, grappled and restrained conditions. You can use this ability as a reaction to falling or taking damage. You can use this ability once per short rest.
At 14th level you gain the ability to turn into a living shadow. You can remain in this form for up to 1 hour. You regain the use of this ability after a long rest.
At 17th you can cast spells while ethereal but doing so requires concentration.