The iron mages are the warriors of the metallic mages. Their ability to mix spellcasting with combat abilities makes them uniquely suited to act as bodyguards and explorers for the other metallic mages. Gold mages in particular make use of the iron mages when the retrieval of some lost artifact or library might be especially dangerous. Many iron mages that aren’t in the permanent employ of another metallic mage are adventurers, seeking to test their worth against the worst that the world can throw at them.
While any class can meet the prerequisites, bards are the most likely to become iron mages. Wizards and sorcerers that want to have some combat skill to fall back on when their magical reserves run low are likely candidates for the iron mages. Likewise, fighters and barbarians that want to enhance their already formidable combat abilities with the benefits of magic may also become iron mages.
Hit Die: d4
Skills: Concentration 8 ranks
Feats: Combat Casting
Special: Able to cast 2nd level arcane spells
The gold mage’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int),Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all) (Int), Profession (Wis) and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points per Level: 2 + Int modifier.
|1||+1||+0||+0||+2||Combat quickness||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|3||+3||+0||+0||+3||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|5||+5||+1||+1||+4||Combat focus||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
All the following are class features of the iron mage class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An iron mage gains proficiency with a single simple, martial, or exotic weapon of his choice. An iron mage gains no proficiency with any armor or shield.
Spells per Day/Spells Known: Beginning at 1st level and every other level thereafter, an iron mage gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class to which he belonged before adding the prestige class level. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (such as bonus metamagic feats). If he had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming an iron mage, he must decide to which class to add each level for the purposes of determining spells per day and spells known.
Combat Quickness: The real difficulty an iron mage faces is the trade-off between effective combat ability and spell failure due to wearing armor. As the iron mage’s training progresses, he learns how to anticipate and evade incoming attacks. An iron mage gains a dodge bonus to his armor class equal to his class level.
Combat Focus: As the iron mage grows into his role as a battlefield combatant, he is exposed to a great deal of training in the arts of war. At 2nd level, the iron mage may choose proficiency in all simple weapons, or Martial Weapon Proficiency (to be applied to two separate weapons), Exotic Weapon Proficiency, or Weapon Focus as bonus feats. At 5th level, the iron mage can again choose one of the previous options or gain Weapon Specialization as a bonus feat. Any prerequisites for Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization must be met, except that the iron mage need not have previously acquired 4 levels of fighter before taking Weapon Specialization.