Cyphermages are students of ancient history and runic lore. They are respected for their depth of knowledge about history, yet some people find them dangerously stubborn in their pursuit of secrets best left lost, or their borderline obsession with any scrap or fragment of carven rubble. Cyphermages are dogged in their pursuit of knowledge, often secretive not only with outsiders but with one another, as each strives to uncover a forgotten scrap of lore, or present a triumphant dissertation to his peers or to academics half a world away.
Hit Die: d6.
To qualify to become a cyphermage, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Spells: Able to cast arcane spells.
The cyphermage’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Climb (Str), Disable Device (Dex), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
The following are class features of the cyphermage prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A cyphermage gains no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.
Spells: When a cyphermage gains a level, he gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefits a character of that class would have gained. This essentially means that he adds the level of cyphermage to the level of whatever other arcane spellcasting class he has.
If the character had more than one arcane spellcasting class before he became a cyphermage, he must choose which class he adds each cyphermage level to for the purposes of determining spells per day.
As a cyphermage gains levels, he begins mastering written magic such as scrolls, glyphs, and symbols. He also begins to discover ancient magics that further bolster his power. These discoveries are known collectively as cypher lore. Each level, the cyphermage learns a new way to enhance his magic, chosen from the list of cipher lores given below.
Analyze Scroll (Su): As a free action, a cyphermage can automatically discern the contents of a magic scroll, as if he were using read magic. He gains an insight bonus equal to his cyphermage level on Use Magic Device checks made to cast spells from scrolls.
Bypass Symbol (Su): When a cyphermage makes a save against a magical glyph, symbol, sigil, or similar written trap, as an immediate action he may attempt a Spellcraft check against the same DC to delay the trap’s effects for 1d6 rounds. Once the delay is over, the trap has its normal effect. The cyphermage must be at least 8th-level to select this lore.
Enhance Scroll (Su): As a swift action, a cyphermage can cause any scroll spell he reads to function using his caster level rather than the scroll’s caster level. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1/3 his cyphermage level (minimum 1).
Extended Scroll (Su): As a swift action, a cyphermage can double the duration of any scroll spell he reads as if the spell were modified by Extend Spell. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1/3 his cyphermage level (minimum 1).
Focused Scroll (Su): As a swift action, a cyphermage can add a bonus equal to twice his Intelligence modifier on any caster level checks made with a scroll spell, including checks to overcome SR. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1/3 his cyphermage level (minimum 1).
Giant’s Master (Ex): The cyphermage has unraveled several methods of commanding and controlling giants. As a swift action, whenever he uses a mind-affecting spell or effect on a humanoid with the giant subtype, he increases his spell DC by +2. The cyphermage must be at least 6th-level to select this lore.
Glyph Finder (Ex): A cyphermage can locate glyphs of warding, symbols, and similar magical spell traps that utilize writing as if he were a rogue. He can use Perception or Knowledge (arcana) to notice such traps, and can use Disable Device or Spellcraft to disable these types of traps.
Insightful Scroll (Su): As a swift action, a cyphermage can alter a spell he’s casting from a scroll to use his own spellcasting ability score (Intelligence for wizards, and so on) and relevant feats to set the DC for the spell. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1/3 his cyphermage level (minimum 1).
Rune Trap (Ex): Whenever the cyphermage casts a spell that creates a trap that uses magical writing (such as explosive runes, illusory script, sepia snake sigil, or a symbol), as a swift action he may include runes in the writing. This adds +4 to the Perception DCs to notice it, Disable Device DCs to disarm it, and caster level DCs to dispel it. The cyphermage must be at least 6th-level to select this lore.
Swift Scrivener (Ex): The cyphermage may scribe up to two scrolls per day, so long as the total market price of all scrolls scribed that day does not exceed 1,000 gp. The cyphermage reduces the casting time of all symbol spells to 1 minute.
Swift Scroll (Ex): The cyphermage does not provoke attacks of opportunity when retrieving a stored scroll. If the cyphermage moves at least 10 feet, he may retrieve a scroll as a free action as part of his move.
Cypher Summoning (Ex): The cyphermage has learned how to summon strange creatures to his aid when he casts certain summon monster spells. He adds sinspawn to the list of monsters he can conjure with summon monster III, lamia to the list of monsters he can conjure with summon monste VI, and shining child to the list of monsters he can conjure with summon monster IX. The cyphermage must be at least 6th-level to select this lore.
At 10th level, a cyphermage gains a +5 insight bonus on saving throws against the effects of magical symbols, glyphs, sigils, and similar writing-based spells and traps. He selects one of his cypher lore abilities that requires a swift action to activate; thereafter, he may activate that ability as a free action.