creature spellcaster

Skin Caster

(5e homebrew by Roll-a-1 inspired by @Robofeather’s tattoo system)

Skin casters are often belittled as mere artists rather than mages, however, they prove to be worthy adversaries in battle. Some have mastered their work to the point that some warriors even seek them out. They are all mute as not to share their secrets and so their magic remains enshrouded. Rumors have it that there are clans of skin casters that have opposing beliefs as they treat their craft as something sacred.

Hit dice: 1d6

Proficiencies

Armor: none

Weapons: all simple weapons

(Double proficiency on daggers)

Tools: Poisoner’s kit, Painters supplies, Brewer’s supplies, Calligrapher’s supplies, Alchemist’s supplies, Tattooist’s tools (advantage and proficiency)

Skills: choose 3

Intimidation, Arcana, Religion, Persuasion, Survival, Medicine, Deception and Stealth

Saving throw: Charisma, Wisdom, Constitution

Casting ability: Charisma

Starting Equipment:

A)  2 daggers B) any simple weapon

Explorer’s pack, tattooist’s tools, and medical equipment

Features

Innate Focus
Skin casters have an innate casting focus. It comes in the form of a birthmark in the shape of a glyph usually appearing at the nape or the palm. Skin casting clans often have oracles called “Readers” that predict the births of new skin casters. Clans would have a race against time to claim the baby. The baby’s parents are slaughtered and the child is taken back to their clan to study their arts. When they have successfully mastered these arts they have a graduation ceremony where their tongues are tattooed with a restraining glyph which renders them mute (they somehow can still cast verbal spells…weird.) unless they speak to other skin casters (always in a low hushed tone to protect their secrets). Use the wizard spell list.

Magic Grafting
Skin casters manipulate the weave into their special ink which they can imbue into others temporarily. This can also serve as extra spell slots. All grafted spells are tattooed onto you and serve as single use until reapplied. You can only graft up to 3 spells. This increases to 6 spells at 6th level and 9 spells at 9th level.

Unarmored Defense
From prolonged use of sacred ink, your skin has grown thicker and tougher. Without armor you have an armor class of (10 + dexterity modifier + constitution modifier). You can hold a shield and still have this effect.

Jack of all Trades
In their clans, skin casters are trained in almost everything. They refer to non-magical activities as “The Mundane Arts”. You can add half of your proficiency bonus to rolls you aren’t proficient in.

Pre-Cast Rituals
Beginning 3rd level you can pre-cast ritual spells into magic grafts when needed.

Artistic Mastery
Your artistic mastery grants different feats at level 3, 7, 12, and 17

Refined Concentration
You can now pre-cast concentration spells without conflicting them and requiring constant concentration (unless they require finer control like controlling beasts and telekinesis). They instead have a set duration of 1d10 + charisma modifier minutes per level of casting.

Natural Camouflage
The ink that you’ve constantly used has now melded with the skin and acts like a chromatophore of sorts. When you stand completely still you are almost invisible and can choose to roll for stealth with advantage. Situations that give you an advantage on stealth instantly succeed and disadvantages roll regularly.

Inky Tendrils
You can summon tendrils of ink from your body equal to your level and have a reach equal to your base speed. These tendrils can act as regular appendages but are not considered proficient in anything other than grappling and unarmed strikes that deal 1d4 necrotic damage. These tendrils give 1 exhaustion point after use and cannot be used until the next short rest.

Danger Sense
Your tattoos give off a faint glow that grows stronger as you approach danger. You have advantage on Dexterity saving throws against effects that you can see, such as traps and spells. To gain this benefit, you can’t be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated.

 Assassin’s Gaze
When you are hidden, you can hold your gaze on a particular target dealing (5d8 + charisma modifier) damage of your choice between Necrotic, Psychic, or Piercing.

 Ink Dimension
You can choose to send yourself and up to 8 other creatures into an ink void where the only damage that can be dealt is physical and necrotic from ink. All spell casting is rendered null except for cantrips. The world is free to manipulate as well; you can create constructs of ink that last for 1d4 minutes/5 sq. ft. The effect ends when you will it or when you’re incapacitated. You cannot use the ink dimension for a number of days equal to 1d4 per creature you send there. (Requires constant concentration inside the void).

Artistic Masteries 

Beast Mastery
You get double proficiency with animal handling.At 3rd level you can summon up to 5 ink beasts per long rest (read monster manual for stats). You must have slain or tamed the beast at least once to summon it.

Beast Graft:
At 7th level you can gain the ability to graft aspects of beasts (including special attacks) similar to your magic grafting ability. 

Abomination:
At 12th level you can choose to create abominations from summoned beasts. Summoning an abomination is equal to summoning one of each beast you combine. Their abilities are all intact but their stats are averaged (rounded up). 

Void:
Once a day you can choose to send up to 5 creatures to the ink dimension where all your ink beasts run amok. They must make a death saving throw at the start of each turn. After three successes they emerge back in your dimension at half of their total hit points and immune to necrotic damage and all your ink related attacks.

Combat Mastery
You gain proficiency on all weapons, armor, and shields

Feat Graft:
Your magic grafting ability can now graft feats for single use. 

Enhancements:
You can now select tattoos to enhance a particular ability score or give proficiency in place of your magic grafting

War Paint:
(Full body) For 1 battle a creature that dons war paint has advantage on actions and saving throws that make use of their highest ability score. Attacks made with that ability score don’t get advantage but gain a double attack bonus instead. Using this takes a toll on the user’s body, the caster takes 3d6(+1 for every creature using it) psychic damage and the user takes half of that. They both suffer 3 points of exhaustion as well. 

Call to Arms:
Once every long rest you may summon the silhouette a great hero to fight alongside you in battle. You must have some knowledge on the hero you summon, therefore you require an intelligence check equal to your spell save dc. 

Puppet Mastery

 Bind:
At 3rd level you can bind a creature to you once every long rest. A bound creature must make a wisdom saving throw or fall under your command. They can only follow one command and will drop to 0 hit points after they have followed your command. On a successful save, they can resist your command but take 5d4 necrotic damage. 

Caster’s Link:
You can now choose to grant 1 creature with a temporary spellcasting ability. They use the same number of spell slots and only spells you’ve prepared. They may choose among Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma for their spellcasting ability. Their spell slots cannot be replenished, and they lose this ability after they use all their spell slots; during which the tattoo must be reapplied. You cannot use this on creatures that already have spellcasting abilities. You cannot use your magic grafting ability when this is in use.

Reader’s Foresight:
You can concentrate for one minute and gain precognitive abilities. When used in battle, you have a +5 to your armor class. For every time a hostile creature misses you gain an opportunity to attack once and for every successful hit, you take half damage. In this state, you are vulnerable to psychic attacks. 

Puppet Show:
(Pre-requisite: Inky Tendrils)
You can choose to mark up to five creatures when you attack with your tendrils. These creatures will be bound to you and can be manipulated to your liking even when they are incapacitated, unconscious, or dead so long as they bear the mark and have their bodies intact. This ability requires concentration up to 3 minutes and can only be used once every 1d4 days for each creature you manipulate. These creatures take no damage in this state, you take a fourth of whatever damage they are meant to take rounded up. 

Mother of All

Like a algal tumor, the mother of all is a nightmarish vegetative monstrosity that slowly but surely spreads its mass across the open ocean.

A mother of all is a twenty-foot-tall heaving pile of rotting seaweed only barely in the shape of a humanoid. Numerous bulbous red eyes stare out both above and below its tooth-filled maw, and razor-sharp claws tip its lashing vine-like arms. A mother of all is constantly bloated with gestating vine horrors, their ropy arms clawing at the air outside their mother’s womb. A mat of stinking sargasso spreads outward from the mother, forming its domain.

Mothers of all possess human intelligence but concern themselves primarily with propagating more vine horrors. Vine horrors never grow into new mothers of all, but instead constantly shed spores that continually pollinate their mother. When a mother’s sargasso mat grows large enough–five to ten miles–it breaks off and a new mother spontaneously forms at its center. Mothers of all are not actively malevolent, but still encourage their offspring to attack and devour intruders for her and their protection.

As a side effect of the growth of their seaweed mats, mothers of all are a persistent obstacle to marine travel. Countless ships have unwittingly blundered into a sargasso field only to be mired down by the entangling seaweed and slaughtered by vine horrors, leading to whole graveyards of wrecked ships. Mothers of all often choose the holds of such wrecks as their lairs and retreat there when overwhelmed in combat.

Mothers of all can be found throughout the warmer seas of Golarion, but are most common in the western reaches of the Arcadian Ocean beyond the ruins of Azlant, where they proved a persistent menace to Chelaxian explorers for decades before they learned to navigate around the sargasso seas. They are vastly more common on the mist-shrouded oceans of sweltering Castrovel, and whole seas are choked with huge specimens of these malignant plants.

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