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Task Mage

Spells are infallible, but spellcasters are not. It is this principle that drives some mages to learn some of the more basic skills an adventurer needs. By training in non-magical techniques that make them less reliant on the normal trappings of arcane magic, these 'task mages' become consummate adventurers, and often more in demand than some of their more erudite peers.
    Task mages can come from any walk of life, but many belong to younger races. Humans and halflings are the most common task mages, and gnomes are not unheard of either. Elves, and other races with strong arcane traditions rarely become task mages; their training is far too bookish for them to even consider a more earthly alternative.
    In places where magic is more common, task mages may establish colleges which teach a combination of arcane lore and practical knowledge. These schools produce spellcasters that are extremely self-reliant and are often courted by both adventuring parties and local militaries.
    Practically any arcane spellcaster can become a task mage, although spellthieves and bards find it the easiest to enter this prestige class. Many wizards, sorcerers and even the occasional warlock supplement their abilities with a level of rogue or factotum before entering the class.
    Adaptation: The idea of a practical spellcaster with a well-rounded education should be universal to most campaign settings and likely doesn't need any special adaptations. You can give this prestige class a divine or psionic flavor by switching out the spellcasting requirement to a divine caster or manifester level and change the spells per day to specify either divine spells or psionic powers. In both cases, you should likely exchange the armored spellcaster class ability with one that would be more attractive to characters that aren't hampered by armor, such reducing armor check penalties by 1.
    Hit Dice: d6.

To qualify to become a task mage, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
    Skills: Decipher Script 4 ranks, any two Knowledge skills 4 ranks, Open Lock or Sleight of Hand 2 ranks, Spellcraft 8 ranks.
    Arcane Caster Level: 4th.

Class Skills
The task mage's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Open Lock (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex) and Spellcraft (Int).
    Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All the following are class features of the task mage prestige class.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Task mages gain proficiency in a single martial weapon of their choice and with light armor. They do not gain proficiency with any type of shields.
    Armored Spellcasting (Ex): When travelling through dangerous locales, it seems rather silly that a wizard, who is often the most fragile member of an adventuring party is often the least protected. Task mages train their spellcasting techniques while armored in order to become comfortable when doing so. A task mage does not incur an arcane spell failure penalty when wearing light armor. This benefit does not extend to medium or heavy armor or to shields.
    Worth in Battle (Ex): At 1st level, a task mage gains Weapon Focus as a bonus feat. Task mages have learned never to rely on magic to destroy one's enemies and train themselves in more mundane forms of combat.
    Spells per Day: At 2nd, 3rd and 4th level, the task mage gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class that they belonged to before adding the prestige class. They do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus metamagic or item creation feats, hit points beyond those they receive from the prestige class, and so on), except for increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a task mage, they must decide to which class they add the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.
    Helpful (Ex): At 2nd level, the task mage becomes more attuned to the needs of those around them and they are more capable of assisting when help is required. When successfully aided on a skill check or attack roll by an ally, or when aiding another, the task mage either receives or provides (depending on the circumstances) a +3 bonus on their check or attack roll. This replaces the +2 bonus usually provided by aiding another.
    At 4th level, this bonus increases to +4.
    Arcane Insight (Su): Starting at 3rd level, the task mage can, as a swift action, spend one of their uncast spells or spell slots to grant themselves an insight bonus to all skill checks with a single skill for 1 round. The bonus equals the level of the spell spent to power this ability. The skill to which this bonus is applied must be chosen at the time the uncast spell is spent and must be one in which the task mage possesses at least 1 rank.
    For example, Kroc can expend a prepared casting of fireball to receive a +3 insight bonus on Open Locks checks for 1 round, provided he has at least 1 rank in Open Locks. Many task mages dabble in skills outside their normal scope in order to better take advantage of this ability.
    Emergency Casting (Su): At 5th level, the task mage has learned the value of being prepared for an emergency that may immediately threaten their lives. Once per day, they may apply the effects of the Quicken Spell metamagic feat to any one spell they cast without increasing the level of the spell. This cannot be prepared beforehand and is applied as a free action when the spell is cast.

Table 1-01: The Task Mage
Level Base Attack
Special Spells per Day
1st +0
Armored spellcasting, worth in battle -
2nd +1
Helpful (+3) +1 level of existing class
3rd +2
Arcane insight +1 level of existing class
4th +3
Helpful (+4) +1 level of existing class
5th +3
Emergency casting -

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