Leyseers in the Metagame
The leyseer is a character class within the wizard group. Combining spellcasting ability with a bit of martial prowess (though they are not nearly as bulky and skilled as clerics or even druids), oracles excel at damaging and incapacitating single targets without the risk of “friendly fire” scenarios caused by some more infamous wizard spells. As a leyseer grows in experience, he or she becomes gradually more skilled in melee combat and fosters a more intimate understanding of the elemental basis for all of Existence. Truly powerful leyseers are described as “dancing” in combat, able to weave and evade opponents’ attacks while unleashing their magics even as they strike with their own weapons.
Race: Human or Riichna
Minimal Statistics: INT 11, DEX 9
Hit Dice: d6
THAC0: As Thief
Saving Throws: As Thief or Wizard, whichever is better
Base Weapon/Nonweapon Proficiencies: 2/4.
Weapon proficiencies are gained 1/4 levels; nonweapon 1/3. Leyseers may choose nonweapon proficiencies from the General and Wizard tables without penalty. Oracles gain a bonus nonweapon proficiency: Spellcraft (Oracular). All leyseers also speak and read the Riichna language regardless of INT score.
Allowed Alignment: Any
Weapons: Staves, rods, daggers, claws, short spears, short bows, darts
Armor: Padded robes
Leyseers may use any magic items usable by wizards, provided they do not invoke wizardly spell effects (i.e. magical wands, staves, rods), unless usable by all classes. Rings of wizardry do grant bonus castings to the spell level in question. Oracles may not read magical scrolls unless they can be used by all classes.
Spellcasting and Learning New Spells
Oracles channel energies directly through manipulating the elemental building blocks of Existence. They are like druids in that all their available spells are “potential” for a given spell level and may be cast as many times as allowed by available spells per day; i.e. a third level leyseer may cast 2 first-level and one second-level spell per day from any of the spells he or she knows without prior memorization, provided at least 8 hours of rest and meditation has taken place. Leyseer spells have (initially; see below) somatic and verbal components; all of them lack material components.
They gain their spells through months of study with a higher-leveled oracular tutor who knows the spell they wish to learn. This process takes two weeks per spell level, after which a spell learning check is made. If successful, the spell is fully committed to memory and may be cast from then on. Leyseers must learn a lower-level spell of a particular element before learning one of a higher-level; an oracle must have learned the first-level spell Shadowbind before learning Leeching, for example.
Oracular Spellcasting: A leyseer begins with two memorized first-level spells; one of these must match the oracle’s elemental alignment (if he/she has one). The oracle has one casting of a first-level spell at first level. Each time an oracle gains access to a new spell level, he or she gains knowledge of the spell of that level that matches his/her elemental alignment; in all other instances, an oracle must be trained in the casting of these spells. The training time is approximately two weeks per spell level per spell, cumulative; learning of a third-level spell would require six weeks of training. An oracle with an elemental alignment is unable to utilize spells of an opposite alignment, but automatically “unlocks” the next-highest spell in his or her elemental “chain” when a given spell level is attained.
Quickened Casting: The casting time of all oracular spells is reduced by 1 per spell level; a second-level spell that had a casting time of 8 has it reduced to 6.
Somatic Mastery: The leyseer no longer needs to include somatic components when casting an oracular spell.
Combat Casting: The oracle is able to cast and begin casting spells even when in melee combat without suffering penalties. Furthermore, the oracle does not lose his or her DEX bonuses to AC (if applicable) to evading incoming attacks while casting a spell.
Reduced Casting: The casting time of all oracular spells is reduced by a further 1 per spell level; a third-level spell that had a casting time of 12 now has a casting time of 9.
Verbal Mastery: The leyseer no longer needs to include verbal components when casting an oracular spell, so long as he or she is of clear mind and able to see the target. This also allows the oracle to cast spells while magically silenced for any reason.
Reflexive Casting: The oracle controls magic reflexively when in combat and can cast any first- or second-level oracular spell against a given target while making an attack against that target. The spell and attack resolve simultaneously; both the attack’s and spell’s initiatives are additive. If the attack misses, the spell’s effects still carry through, though the target gains a +2 bonus to any relevant saves.
Auric Shielding: The leyseer gains a permanent -2 bonus to AC by weaving a cocoon of protective energies about his or her body. This stacks with AC bonuses from other sources (rings of protection, bracers of armor, enchanted padded robes, etc.).