Shortymonster, who I readily acclaim to be a gentleman and a scholar, has cooked up some awesome flavor text in the form of a character profile for the new OSR class “Prodigal Apprentice”, which I described a little while ago. For the time being, he’s doing free NPC write-ups, so if you want one, you’d better ask him before he gets swamped. Last time he did it, he wrote up over 30 of them.
The Prodigal Apprentice
He’d been set up for a month before he started to worry about what would happen when the scrolls ran out, and the potion flasks ran dry. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time. Malefectus, although skilled in the arcane arts made for a terrible teacher. He was quick to anger, and when faced with a student as stubborn and willful as Crathe, he had lost his temper often.
Crathe had gone in with high hopes of mastering unknown forces before the end of his first year of study, and had done well to last six months. It wasn’t that he didn’t try; he just expected so much to come naturally to him that he was often frustrated and struggled to concentrate even more as result. He had picked up the language and pronunciation required to cast from a book or scroll, but couldn’t get the words written in a way that contained the magical power he sought to unleash. He knew which ingredients were needed to make the oils and unguents that were so desirable to the common folk, but never managed to get the proportions right.
And the more he got wrong, the angrier Malefectus became with him. Eventually it all spilled over into the kind of argument usually only seen been child and parent, and Malefectus demanded he be gone from the keep by the next sunrise. Crathe was happy to oblige, believing himself a naturally gifted that just needed some time away from the strictures of the classroom to get a feel for the magic. So he had done the only thing that made sense, and taken as much as he could carry in a couple of trips, and loaded the items into a waiting cart, then fled into the night.
So here he was, a newly established practicing Wizard, with no clue how anything worked, but enough knowledge to use the right words when hoodwinking his clients, and a stock of magic that would soon run dry. For now, the townsfolk trusted him, but if he was to keep up the charade without actually learning magic, he was going to need some help.
The life of the Magus is not for everyone. It requires immense amounts of discipline, training and study to become a successful wizard. As such, there’s always going to be a fair share of promising young wizardlings who wash out of their apprenticeships. Whether it is a propensity for drink or partying or normal human relationships, there is always something that calls these students out of their mentors’ libraries and into the wide world. Maybe studying is too hard. Maybe their teacher is insane and they can’t wait to get away. Maybe they just want their shadows back. Whatever the reasons, these would-be mages have taken leave (along with some scrolls) of their master, and sought other means of making their fortune.
Character Concept: Magic User
Prime Requisite: Int
Equipment: Restricted to Light Armor, no shield
Weapons: Any 1-handed
Save: As MU of Equivalent Level
XP Progression: Thief
To Hit: Thief
Class ability: Read Magic as per 1st level spell, can use magic items
Starting equipment: 3d4 random 1st level spell scrolls. Potions at DM’s discretion. No gold, weapon or armor.
The Prodigal Apprentice cannot ‘memorize’ spells, but may cast spells from scrolls. Once per day per level, the Prodigal Apprentice can use “Read magic” as per the spell to decipher a spell scroll or to copy an existing scroll that has already be deciphered (normal scroll costs apply). Treat caster level as level x 2/3 rounded down (but never below 1). When casting spells of spell levels above the Apprentice’s caster level (see Magic User Spell Progression Chart), roll 1d20 and add +1 for each caster level between the apprentice and the spell; if the total is below the caster’s intelligence score, the spell is successfully cast from the scroll.