General Prestige Class : Gray Sage
A gray sage is a silent, watchful figure of terrible devotion. These spellcasters give up their lives in the sunlit world and eventually sacrifice their sight to the cause of war against the dark elves.
Gray sages are trained in total darkness and drilled night and day in the tactics and methods of their enemy. On a crusade, every gray sage is assigned to a squad of troopers as magical support. Their role is to protect their squad against summoned demons and vermin, keep them free of the normal spells cast by the drow, and to maintain a cloak of illusion or invisibility around them. In more dire situations, gray sages unleash powerful offensive magic on the front lines. Gray sages are usually humans or elves, and the majority begin their careers as wizards and sorcerers. Clerics and druids also make good gray sages. A small number of bards are allowed to train as gray sages, but these jacks-of-all-trades typically fare better as gloomblades.
To qualify to become a Gray Sage, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Skills: Blind-Fight, Silent Spell, Spell Penetration.
- Spells: Able to cast any 4th-level Conjuration spell.
- Special: Must speak Undercommon.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the gray sage prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Gray sages gain no new proficiency in any weapon or armor.
Spells Per Day: When a new gray sage level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of controlling or rebuking undead, metamagic or item creation feats, and so on), except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a gray sage, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.
Improved Counterspell: Gray sages spend much of their first year training to counter spells commonly cast by the dark elves. They gain the Improved Counterspell feat as a bonus feat. In addition, if the target spell is dancing lights, darkness, or faerie fire, the gray sage gains a +2 bonus to his Spellcraft check.
Handreading (Ex): As part of their immersion training, gray sages spend months in total darkness while they hone their craft. One side effect of this is the preternatural ability to read script with the tips of their fingers. This allows wizards to study their Spellbooks without a light source, and allows all casters to use scrolls in the darkness of the drow kingdoms. This does not impart any ability to read additional languages or to decipher previously unreadable script. Glyphs of warding and other similar spells activate normally when read "by hand."
Blindsight (Ex): When a gray sage is judged worthy, he is brought before the high council of aboleths and mind flayers who dwell in the depths of the academy. These creatures are well disguised as humanoid magicians, and thus, the gray sage has no reason to suspect that anything is amiss. The gray sage is placed into a trance, and then the mind flayers excise and cauterize portions of his brain. This horrific procedure leaves the character completely blind, but with a new ability to sense the world through magic vibrations. He suffers the effects of blindness, but gains blindsight with a range of 30 feet. This increases to 60 feet at 7th level. The surgery has no other effects, and the character's memories of the event are mercifully wiped clean before he wakes.
The gray sage can be cured of his blindness with cure blindness, heal, or other powerful curative magic. However, such healing causes the gray sage to lose any blindsight granted by this class and prevents further advancement as a gray sage.
Greater Counterspell (Ex): At 5th level, a gray sage's counterspell ability improves so that when counter-spelling, he may use any spell of the same school that is of equal level to The target spell. In addition, if the target spell is dancing lights, darkness, or faerie fire, the gray sage gains an additional +4 bonus to his Spellcraft check. If the target spell is a Conjuration (Summoning) spell, the gray sage gains a +2 bonus to his Spellcraft check.
Improved Spell Penetration (Ex): Gray sages receive intense training on how to overcome the dark elves' potent spell resistance. As a result, they gain a +4 bonus on caster level checks (1d20 + caster level) ro beat a creature's spell resistance. This bonus does not stack with the bonus from the Spell Penetration or Greater Spell Penetration (forgotten realms Campaign Setting) feats. At 8th level, this bonus increases to +6.
Improved Silent Spell (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, the gray sage can cast a spell silently with no verbal components. This ability is similar to the Silent Spell feat, except that it does not use a spell slot one level higher than the spell's actual level. For example, the gray sage could cast a silent fireball as a 3rd-level spell instead of a 4th-level spell. He can use this ability twice per day at 3rd level, 4 times per day at 6th level, and 6 times per day at 9th level.
Mordenkainen's Disjunction (Sp): Highly skilled and successful gray sages catch the attention of their aboleth and mind flayer instructors. These few students are taken aside for special training, where they learn to harness the power of their minds to disjoin magical effects and magic items. Once per day, a 10th level gray sage can cast Mordenkainen's disjunction as a 20th-level wizard.
|1||+0||+0||+0||+2||Improved Counterspell, handreading||+1 level of existing class|
|2||+1||+0||+0||+3||Blindsight 30 feet||+1 level of existing class|
|3||+1||+1||+1||+3||Improved silent spell 2/day||+1 level of existing class|
|4||+2||+1||+1||+4||Improved spell penetration +4||+1 level of existing class|
|5||+2||+1||+1||+4||Greater Counterspell||+1 level of existing class|
|6||+3||+2||+2||+5||Improved silent spell 4/day||+1 level of existing class|
|7||+3||+2||+2||+5||Blindsight 60 feet||+1 level of existing class|
|8||+4||+2||+2||+6||Increased spell penetration +6||+1 level of existing class|
|9||+4||+3||+3||+6||Improved silent spell 6/day||+1 level of existing class|
|10||+5||+3||+3||+7||Mordenkainen's disjunction||+1 level of existing class|
Source: Dragon #298