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In Ilysador Wizards are known as Mages. They are a powerful force in the land, especially in a world filled with magic. Though they have the skill and intellect to understand how to yield magic, they do not have the inherent energy in their blood. They must use a foci (an object that acts as a receiver ,generator and container for magical energies). This foci is what allows them to cast spells. These foci are bonded to them in special rituals and become an aspect of the mage. In time the foci develops intelligence and grows in power as the mage.

Mages can also choose to have a familiar. See Familiars section under the Wizard class.

Arcane foci (Sp): At 1st level, mages form a powerful bond with an object. This bonded object is known as an Arcane foci or foci. The foci is what mages use to hold and cast their spells. Once a mage makes his choice on a foci, it is permanent and cannot be changed. Rules for foci are given below.

Mages begin play with one at no cost. Objects that are the subject of an arcane foci must fall into one of the following categories: amulet, ring, staff, wand, or book. These objects are always at least masterwork quality. If the object is an amulet or ring, it must be worn to have effect, while staves, wands, and books must be wielded. The mage can not cast a spell without a foci (except Read Magic). If the object is a ring or amulet, it occupies the ring or neck slot accordingly. The foci is given the mages arcane mark as part of the bonding process.

The magic abilities of a foci, including magic properties of the object, only function for the mage who owns it. If a foci's owner dies the object reverts to being an ordinary masterwork item of the appropriate type.

If a foci is damaged, it is restored to full hit points the next time the mage rests (via Mending). If the foci is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced after 1 week in a special ritual that costs 500 gp per mage level plus the cost of a new masterwork item. This ritual takes 8 hours to complete. Items replaced in this way do not possess any of the additional magical properties of the previous foci, nor its spells and must be re-scribed. A mage can designate an existing magic item as his foci to replace a lost or destroyed one. The new foci retains its original magical properties while gaining the abilities of a foci.

A mage begins play with his arcane foci containing all 0-level Wizard spells (except those from his prohibited schools, if any; see Arcane Schools) plus any 1st-level spells of his choice. From this point on the mage must magically scribe new spells into his arcane foci. He can only do this of spells of his appropriate caster level. He can gain new spells from another mages foci or a scroll. Most mages seek out their cabal’s libraries to stock their foci with spells.

The Mage’s Arcane foci follows similar rules as a familiar. An arcane foci gains new abilities and becomes more powerful as the mage grows in power. An arcane foci may be enchanted magically. +3 to Spellcraft OR Knowledge: Arcana.

Only mage levels count for the purpose of determining any arcane foci abilities that depend on the mages level.

Arcane Foci Basics

An arcane foci has the following abilities. These special abilities apply only when the mage is wearing or yielding the arcane foci. 

Grants a +3 to either Spellcraft or Knowledge Arcana

Class Level







Self Mastery , Mage Hand, Scribe, Arcane fire




Locate Object




Detect Magic
















 Arcane Recall













Hardness: Hardness equals 5 + the hardness modifier found on the table below

Hit Points: The foci has 5 plus one-half the mage’s total hit points (not including temporary hit points), rounded down.

Saving Throws: For each saving throw, use the mage’s (as calculated from all his classes)

INT: All foci start out with a 3 intelligence (Human Like Intelligence). They communicate telepathically with their creators as the spell Telepathic Bond.

Self Mastery: The Arcane foci has an intelligence and is not only able to communicate with its owner on a very basic level at first but also has the ability to use certain powers on its own or by command. A foci’s allegiance is always to its creator and is completely loyal. A foci only uses its abilities to either aid the castor or for self preservation.

Scribe: As Scribe Scroll. Mages must scribe spells into their foci. Scribing a new spell into a foci takes one hour x its spell level. 

Enhancement: You must also continue to enhance your foci.  For each new spell level imbued into it, you must add a certain amount worth of material components to the foci. 

 Level    Cost
1st        1000gp
2nd        3000gp
3rd        5000gp
4th        8000gp
5th       12000gp
6th       15000gp
7th       18000gp
8th       21000gp
9th       25000gp             

Mage Hand: The foci can use Mage Hand on itself at will.

Arcane Fire: Similar to faire fire, the foci glows and sparkles with a magical light, imbuing its viewers with a sense of awe and wonder.

Locate Object: The foci has a built in Locate Object, like a LO-JACK. If for what ever reason the foci is lost of stolen it will send out a signal up to 500’ away consistently that only its master can detect.

Detect Magic: As the spell. The foci will show only its creator magical auras.

Identify: As the spell. The foci will identify magical items, It can not identify artifacts.

Arcane Recall : By placing a specialized arcane mark upon your foci you can summon the item by speaking a special word (set by you when the spell is cast).The item appears instantly in your hand. If the item is in the possession of another creature, the spell does not work, but you know who the possessor is and roughly where that creature is located when the summons occurs. If the item is being masked magically it will not work. The inscription on the foci is invisible. It is also unreadable, except by means of a read magic spell, to anyone but you. The item can be summoned from another plane, but only if no other creature has claimed ownership of it.

Stasis: if the creator of the staff is near death or in major harm the foci can transport the creator into itself as a Temporal stasis spell.

Scribing an Arcane Foci

Mage Spells and Tomes

A mage can choose to embody his spell knowledge into a variety of foci and when a mage either passes on or meets an untimely end his body of knowledge of spells is lost with him. In Ilysador most mages are members of Cabals. Like Mage universities and fraternities, not only for teaching future mages but to further the research and use of magic. A Cabals libraries are ripe with dissertation’s on magic and spells; variations, formulations and design. Most Cabal alumni are encouraged to share their knowledge with other alumni and students and so many scrolls and tomes are housed in the  cabals vast libraries. Student, member or alumni mages may access these to scribe from.

A mage can use tomes or scrolls to scribe a spell, but preparation success is not assured. First, the mage must decipher the writing in the book using Read Magic. Once a spell from Tome or scroll is deciphered, the reader must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell's level) to scribe the spell. If the check succeeds, the mage can scribe the spell. If the check fails, he cannot try to scribe the spell from the same source again until the next day. However, as explained above, he does not need to repeat a check to decipher the writing.

Adding Spells to a foci

Mages can add new spells to their foci through several methods. A mage can only learn new spells that belong to the mage spell lists.

Spells Gained at a New Level: Mages perform a certain amount of spell research between adventures. Each time a character attains a new mage level, he gains two spells of his choice to add to his foci. The two free spells must be of spell levels he can cast. If he has chosen to specialize in a school of magic, one of the two free spells must be from his specialty school.

Spells scribed from Another's Tome or a Scroll: A mage can also add a spell to his foci whenever he encounters one on a magic scroll or in a magic tome. He must spend 1 hour x the spell level studying the spell. At the end of the study period, he must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell's level). A mage who has specialized in a school of spells gains a +2 bonus on the Spellcraft check if the new spell is from his specialty school. If the check succeeds, the mage understands the spell and can scribe it into his foci. The process leaves a magic tome that was scribed from unharmed, but a spell successfully scribed from a magic scroll disappears from the parchment.

If the check fails, the mage cannot understand or scribe the spell. He cannot attempt to learn or scribe that spell again for 24 hours. If the spell was from a scroll, a failed Spellcraft check does not cause the spell to vanish.

In most cases, mages charge a fee for the privilege of scribing their spells from their magic tomes. This fee is usually equal to half the cost to scribe the spell into a foci Rare and unique spells might cost significantly more. The Mage usually is part of a Cabal and has access to their spell tome library.  The Mage must still pay for the opportunity to scribe spells at each level. 

Independent Research: A mage can also research a spell independently, duplicating an existing spell or creating an entirely new one. The cost to research a new spell, and the time required, are left up to GM discretion, but it should probably take at least 1 week and cost at least 1,000 gp per level of the spell to be researched. This should also require a number of Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana) checks.

Writing New Spells into a foci

Each time a Mage gains access to a new spell casting level they must scribe the new spell matrixes into their foci.  In order to do this they must have access to a Mage Cabal Library.

Time: The process takes 1 hour per spell per spell level. Cantrips (0 levels spells) take 30 minutes to scribe.

Space in a foci: A spell matrix takes up space in a foci based on spell level. Even a 0-level spell (cantrip) takes up some. A foci can usually hold about 100 spell matrixes of various levels. That is why a mage must continue to add materials to the foci. 

Materials and Costs: The cost for scribing a new level of spells (20)  into a foci depends on the level of the spell, as noted on the following table. Note that a mage does not have to pay these costs in time or gold for spells he gains for free at each new level.

Spellcraft & Knowledge Arcana: The Mage must be able to manifest the energy for the new spells and also have the understanding to craft the spell matrixes.  This process is represented by two rolls the castor makes.  A Spellcraft Roll and a Knowledge Arcana Roll.  If the Mage fails either roll it adds an additional week to their study time.  The Mage must reroll until they succeed on both rolls consecutively. 


Spell Level


Scribing Cost






Arcana DC













 5 days

DC 17




 7 days





10 days





12 days





15 days





17 days





20 days





23 days