Wizard as a Race

I have been thinking about this for a while, so today I decided to put it all together. In Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons the wizard is a character class you pick after your race. But I was thinking about how magic got into my game world, where there is a lot of magic mainly, because I use Pathfinder RPG rules, and it seems there are a lot of spell like abilities and spell casting classes to go around for every player. I also have a lot players that don’t like to play spell casters, but always wish there was one in the party. The true wizard is my answer. You can be dwarf looking and you can pick fighter as your class, but when things go sour in the game, having acces to a spell may help turn the tide; I think a true wizard can do this. This is still a rough draft I will let my players decide if the race can be added to the game.

Here it is the Alidor True Wizard race:

True Wizard Race

True wizards are rare humanoids that walk amongst us; magic comes easy to them, almost too easy. Some say magic exists in The World of Alidor due to the existence of true wizards; others blame them for all the hardships in their life. Many true wizards walk the world, staff in hand, helping when they can with strange and powerful spells that seem to come out of thin air with little to no effort.

Physical Description: True wizards are born into a race, but do not have the same racial traits and almost always have radically different hair color, eye color and skin color than their parents; for this reason they seldom survive to adult hood, especialy in less civilized areas of Alidor. They can appear most often as human, but could be halfling, gnome, dwarf or even elven in appearance. What sets them apart are three birth marks in the shape of the waxing gibbous always no farther apart than the distance from the tip of a the thumb to the first joint of the thumb, based on the apparent race the true wizard was born into. These marks fade as the true wizard uses up her spell energy. Once a true wizard casts all the 1st through 3rd level spells one birthmark disappears; the same happens for 4th-6th and 7th-9th level spells; once the true wizard has used up one bonus spell from each level, 1-9, all evidence of the birthmarks are gone from her body. If a true wizard dies and is returned back to life, she loses a birth mark representing the highest spell range still left, starting with 6th-9th; if another death occurs, then 4th-6th; a third death and return, would result in the loss of 1st-4th birth mark. She would still have all other racial abilities like access to cantrips. A true wizard that slays another true wizard with her bonus spell gains back birthmarks equal to the highest level range the deceased true wizard had, any spell availability returned can never exceed one spell per level, but may allow the true wizard to cast a spell that she had already cast prior. Evil true wizards exist that seek out weaker true wizards and slay them to gain back lost spell power.

Roll 2d6 to see how many birthmarks a true wizard has left before they started their adventuring carrier.
2-8: 1-3, 4-6, 6-9 You never realized you had this potential until the day you decided to leave home, or you were found early by a true wizard of the guild who took you in as an apprentice.
9-10:1-3, 4-6 You are from a wealthy family and died once under the care of the Church of Yol, fortunately they were able to raise you from the dead, for a considerable price, of course.
11-12 1-3 Unlucky you, death seems to follow you, and perhaps one particularity evil wizard asked to see your birth marks, after you obliged him, he slew you with magic for no reason at all.

Society: In some cultures, true wizards use their abilities to seek out newborns of their kind and attempt to protect them and teach them the art before they start casting spells on their own so they can learn self control, barbarians being the most dangerous since they can cast these spells without preparation and forethought.

True wizards are never half-breeds; when a true wizard has children, they are always more magically adept than others, but in all cases take on the traits of the true wizard’s partner’s race these children are never half-breeds. Two true wizards cannot make children. Sages believe True wizards to be divine gifts from the gods of magic that help keep magic in the world. This may also explain why they can easily learn either Divine or Arcane spells.

Relations: Sometimes outcasts, sometimes students to great masters, true wizards gravitate toward magic no matter what vocation they first attempted in life. True wizards almost always hide their identity from others to protect themselves from being harvested by more powerful, less ethical, true wizards. They work well with others and especially enjoy the company of other magic using beings.

Alignment and Religion: Most true wizards are neutral in alignment and nearly all follow the deities known to favor magic. Because there are so few true wizards in the world, they tend to be drawn to great academies of magic where they usually take on leadership roles later in life.

Adventurers: True wizards are a curious lot, and are lured out into the world seeking knowledge either of magic or about their origins as most of their life they never quite fit in their home towns; they tend to believe there is more to their existence than tending sheep, or working the harvest.

True Wizard Racial Traits
-2 Strength -2 Constitution Being a true wizard, your reserve spell energy takes a toll on the body. A true wizards is not really native to the culture you were born into also affects your constitution; the food never digested well; you were sick often.
Size: same as race born into.
Speed: same as race born into.
Low-Light Vision: can see twice as far as humans in dim light conditions.
True Wizard Magic: They can cast one of any spell, arcane or divine, level 1-9, once in their lifetime, unless they slay another true wizard with one of these spells, in which case, they may get a second chance at casting the spell.
Spell DC 10+spell level+the true wizard’s Intelligence modifier. An 18th level true wizard barbarian can cast a 9th level meteor storm even if his intelligence is 3, in which case, the DC would be 10+9-4=15. Duration of a true wizard spell is equal to her hit dice. If the barbarian above cast Cloak of Chaos lvl 8 Divine abjuration spell would last 18 rounds. Material components are never required to by True Wizards as long as they have their staff in hand. Ture wizards must use verbal and somatic components if they are part of a spell, otherwise this is a Spell-Like ability with respect to dispel magic and counter spelling rules (p221 PFRPG CR)

Magic Devices: a true wizard can use any magic staff of any known class without penalty.

Spells: This list shows minimum level required to cast spells as a True Wizard, based on character level.
1st & 2nd level Any 1st level spell is available Arcane or Divine to be cast only once in a lifetime based on a particular school chosen at 1st level. Abjuration School, Conjuration School, Divination School, Enchantment School, Evocation School, Illusion School, Necromancy School, Transmutation School.
3rd-4th level Any 2nd level spell is available depending on school chosen to be cast once in a lifetime.
5th-6th level Any 3rd level spell is available depending on school chosen to be cast once in a lifetime.
7th-8th level Any 4th level spell is available depending on school chosen to be cast once in a lifetime.
9th-10th level Any 5th level spell is available depending on school chosen to be cast once in a lifetime.
11-12th level Any 6th level spell is available depending on school chosen to be cast once in a lifetime.
13th-14th level Any 7th level spell is available depending on school chosen to be cast once in a lifetime.
15th-16th level Any 8th level spell is available depending on school chosen to be cast once in a lifetime.
17th-18th level Any 9th level spell is available depending on school chosen to be cast once in a lifetime.

Weapon Familiarity: A true wizard is innately proficient with the quarterstaff and may specialize in quarterstaff once a base attack bonus of +6 is reach regardless of whether or not, the true wizard has any fighter levels.

Languages: same as race born into may switch out one starting language for Celestial or Draconic if those are not already present.

I have to play test this to see if it can work in my home game.

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About shent_lodge

Shent_lodge, AKA Jon, started this website, in 2000, initially as a player's guide to his home game. He has run through, and run for, hundreds of players of the Dungeons and Dragons game since 1980. These days he plays, or runs games using the WORST RPG rules set.


  1. Do they really have to slay another wizard? Can’t they just be nice and do an act of random altruist kindness to get their birthmark/ spell power back?

  2. I thought it would balance the race if they lost ability due to untimely death and create adventure opportunities for players if there was a villain taking out young true wizards, where the players could track them down and bring them to justice, or something. I suppose the class will get abused and will most likely be a NPC race in the game.

  3. compubacter says:

    I am curious about your Undermountain conversion for Pathfinder. Send me an email.

  4. The post about Undermountain was written by a friend I don’t think his game or notes got far before he switched to a Pathfinder Adventure path I think it was Kingmaker.