The blue mages, warrior-wizards who master the techniques of monsters, comprise an organization called the Azure Academy. Their motto is "fight fire with fire." When not performing undercover missions or adventuring in an area where doing so would endanger them unnecessarily, they prefer to wear blue—they claim that this is the color of monsters' souls. Blue mages are invariably those who have had close calls with monsters and learned from them, intuitively figuring out how to predict, evade, and finally replicate monsters' attacks. The Azure Academy observes particularly observant adventurers and attempts to recruit the cream of the crop. After training for at least a month at the Academy's headquarters, a new recruit is ready to go out and begin amassing his own arsenal of monster techniques.
This blue mage is based on the Final Fantasy job.
Role: The blue mage's role will largely depend on which monsters he's fought. If he fights dragons, he's likely to be a blaster; if he fights demons, he's likely to be a front-line fighter, dishing out crippling blows. With his decent base attack bonus and the spellstrike ability, the blue mage is more then capable of getting up front and personal. And if he manages to trick his enemies into using their less offensive abilities on him, he can learn them and become a support character.
Hit Dice: d8.
To qualify to become a blue mage, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Weapon Proficiency: Must be proficient with at least 1 martial weapon.
Feat: Blue Mage Initiate.
Skills: 5 ranks each in Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (planes), and Knowledge (religion).
Spells: Able to cast 1st-level arcane spells.
The blue mage's class skills are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Survival (Wis).
Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the blue mage prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Blue mages are proficient with all martial weapons and with light armor. A blue mage can cast blue magic while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a blue mage wearing medium or heavy armor or carrying a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. Blue mages incur the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.
Spells per Day: At 1st level, the blue mage selects one arcane spellcasting class to which he belonged before adding this prestige class. This is his entry arcane class. At each level, he gains new spell slots as if he had also gained a level in his entry arcane class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained, not even an increase in caster level or spells known. He only gains new spell slots, allowing him to prepare more and higher-level blue magic (see below) as he levels up.
Because a blue mage's caster level in his entry arcane class is never increased by his blue mage levels, he cannot continue learning higher-level spells from that spellcasting class unless he takes more levels in it or enters a prestige class that doesn't have this restriction.
Blue Magic: A blue mage casts arcane spells drawn from the blue mage spell list. A blue mage must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time.
To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, a blue mage must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. His level in the blue mage prestige class must also equal or exceed the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a blue mage's spell is 10 + the spell level + the blue mage's Intelligence modifier. A blue mage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily allotment and bonus spells are both determined by his entry arcane class. The blue mage's caster level for all blue magic is equal to his character level.
A blue mage may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the blue mage decides which spells to prepare.
A blue mage can prepare blue magic he has learned in any spell slot granted by his entry arcane class, provided the spell slot is of an appropriate level. Blue magic spells universally require somatic components, and incur arcane spell failure as normal if the blue mage is wearing medium armor, heavy armor, or carrying a shield. Blue magic never requires material or focal components, and only rarely requires vocal components.
Learning: At 1st level, the blue mage gains the ability to learn from his opponents' attacks. If he is hit or otherwise affected by a monster's special attack or ability, and it is one that he is capable of learning (see the blue magic spell list, below) at a spell level he can cast (see blue magic, above), he can make a Knowledge check as an immediate action (DC = the monster's CR + 10). If he succeeds, he learns the attack, even if it kills him or otherwise debilitates him. He then has 12 hours to copy the newfound knowledge into his spellbook. If he succeeds, he has gained the new blue magic spell, and can thereafter prepare it normally. If he fails to copy down his knowledge within 12 hours, it is lost, and he must be affected by the attack again in order to gain another chance at learning its secret.
Additionally, the blue mage can analyze a foe for potential learnable attacks. With a move action, the blue mage can make a Knowledge skill check against the monster's CR. If he succeeds, he learns if the monster has any special attacks that are on the blue magic spell list. For every 5 by which he beats this check, he learns the name and effect of one such special attack.
Spellbooks: The blue mage uses a spellbook like a wizard's to keep track of his blue magic. Spells and abilities cannot be cross-pollinated between a blue mage's spellbook and that of a wizard or magus. The blue mage also cannot add arcane spells to his spellbook normally; he can only add blue magic that he has learned (see above). The blue mage prepares his blue magic, even if his previous spellcasting experience has been spontaneous. He can use spell slots from a spontaneous casting class to prepare his blue magic; he then cannot use those slots to cast spells spontaneously. This does not allow a blue mage to prepare any spontaneous arcane spells he might know: this only applies to blue magic. A blue mage who leaves spell slots open when preparing spells can fill them in over the course of the day as a wizard can, so long as he can refer to his spellbook.
Blue Defense (Ex): At 2nd level, the blue mage gains a +2 bonus to all saves against monster special attacks that are in his spellbook. This bonus increases by +2 at 5th and 8th levels.
Spellstrike (Su): At 3rd level, the blue mage gains the ability to deliver blue touch spells through his weapons as a magus does. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a blue mage can make one free attack with a melee weapon or natural attack (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. This attack uses the weapon's critical range (20, 19-20, or 18-20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals x2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier.
Improved Learning (Ex): At 4th level, the blue mage receives a +2 bonus on all Knowledge checks made as part of his learning ability, be they to analyze a foe or to learn an attack. This bonus increases by +2 every three levels thereafter, to a maximum of a +6 bonus at 10th level.
Blue Counter (Su): Starting at 6th level, a blue mage can attempt to counter a monster's special attack. If the blue has that attack prepared, he may expend it as an immediate action. He must make a caster level check against a DC of 11 + the monster's CR. If he succeeds, the monster loses its action.
Easy Learning (Ex): At 9th level, the blue mage can take 10 on all Knowledge checks made as part of his learning ability.
Blue Focus (Su): At 10th level, the blue mage increases the DC for every blue magic spell he casts by 1. He also adds this bonus to caster level checks made using his blue counter ability.