-I have nine players average level 7
-I have two E-mages, One Illusionist with my Black Mage Theme and the other Pyromancer pursuing my Order of Haldred paragon.
Wizard players are notorious for dabbling in black magic and I wanted that to be an option for my players as well. In the tradition of Conan the evil characters are generally those who wield magic and they are typically opposed by knights and paladins in the Arthurian tradition. These are themes I wanted and am generally happy with. The facilitate these, I gave my mages access to the Black Mage theme, allowing them to pursue the dark forms of arcane magic at a cost to their souls.
We measure the degeneracy of a character in Corruption Points, borrowed from Star Wars DSpoints. A character with 10 Corruption Points dies if they make use of a black magic ability in some gruesome way appropriate to the ability. This allows my black mages to attain a lot of power in the Heroic tier, at the cost of never actually seeing Paragon in most cases.
My friend commented that I'd done a good job- perhaps too good a job- at making black magic a seductive, perilous road to easy power. As a result, almost EVERY mage is seeking to become one of the Nihrim ("black folk"). For the Order of Haldred and the Wizard of the Winter Winds, I wanted to create a player option for the Paragon tier that would give them significant incentive to avoid the pitfalls of evil magic and strive to walk the line between good and evil. I'm curious for thoughts on the Theme, Path, and Destiny design and also on any ideas you might have for how to encourage this intent: the heroic mages are not evil, but they're perilous and pragmatic individuals who take an "ends justifies the means" view.
You have tapped into the powers of Hell and sought out knowledge in forbidden tomes. You have walked the paths of the Shadowfell and haunted the depths of the Underdark searching for the most vile spells and secrets of blood magic available, and your efforts have been rewarded with the power to wield evil and corruption directly. You are one of the greatest of evil sorcerers to walk the earth, the Black Mages, the Nihrim.
Level 1: You add “–nihr” to the end of your name, altering it otherwise as you need in order to make it roll off the tongue in menacing fashion. You gain a point of Renown as a Nihrim. You also gain access to the Black Magic Aura: Encounter Utility- until the end of you rnext turn, you and allies within burst 1 gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls with arcane attacks. These attacks count as Black Magic.
Level 5: You have learned the principles of blood magic from forbidden tomes best left unnamed. You can now use the blood of sacrifice in order to power rituals, spending healing surges from yourself or others or even direct hit points in order to power your magic rituals. Rituals powered by your blood magic techniques are considered black magic. You also gain a +2 bonus to Arcana.
Surge: 25 gp in components, 35 and 45 at levels 11 and 21 respectively.
1 HP: 3gp in components
Level 10: “Black Strike”-You have mastered the dark arts that will propel you to greatness and infamy. Once per encounter as a minor action, you can add a bonus to the next damage roll that you make before the end of your next turn equal to twice your Corruption Point value. Magic missile and other spells that automatically hit do not invoke the fury needed for this power to function. The augmented attack counts as Black Magic.
Level 2: “Dread Gaze”- level 2 encounter utility: Trigger: You make an Intimidate check and dislike the result. Effect: You re-roll the check with a +4 bonus.
Level 6: “Dark Whispers”- Daily Utility: Trigger: You hit a target with an arcane, Black Magic, or Blood Magic attack. Effect: The target takes a penalty to Will defense equal to your Corruption Point value, and the attack counts as Black Magic.
Level 10: “Will of the Ice Tyrant”- One of the greatest Nihrim and the earliest on record, the Ice Tyrant had the power to destroy his enemies with the force of his raw malice. With this potent charm, you too can wield such power. Daily Utility: Trigger: You hit an enemy with an arcane, Black Magic, or Blood Magic attack. Effect: The target must make a Death saving throw with a penalty equal to your Corruption Point value. Standard monsters are slain outright, Elite enemies lose ½ of their current hit points and Solo monsters lose ¼ of their current hit points. Player characters accrue a death strike as usual.
You have trained at the Shrine of the Red Angel, the point on earth at which the old wizard Haldred ascended to serve Ignus as an exarch of his might. As a red mage, you are privy to the lost teachings of the Redcloak school of wizardry taught in the ruined Hillcrest Academy. Red Mages strive to reflect the art of their magic in the perfection of their physical bodies, and you spent your training ready for anything at any time: in the morning there might have been a lecture on evocation or a five mile run, you distinguished yourself by excelling in both to become a Red Mage. As a Red Mage, you are sworn to defeat evil where you find it and oppose black magic in all it’s forms: using the unbridled power of pyromancy and evocation. Red Mages can fight from afar, but prefer to dive into the fray and explode, sending enemies reeling and burnt in all directions.
Prerequisite: No Corruption Points, not a Black Mage, Wizard, Evocation and Pyromancy Schools OR Staff of Defense and at least two fire daily attack spells, ability to cast the Fireball spell
Level 11 Action Point Property
Flare of Power: Whenever you spend and action point to take an extra action, all creatures within burst 3 of you take fire damage equal to your intelligence modifier.
Level 11 Property
Nimbus of Flame: As a when you charge regardless of if you hit or miss, all creatures adjacent to you take fire damage equal to your intelligence modifier+2 and are pushed 2 squares.
Level 11 Attack Spell
Secret of Fire: Encounter attack spell range 10, intelligence versus will of one creature: 3d6+intelligence modifier fire damage, if the creature moves before the end of your next turn it takes 1d6+intelligence modifier psychic damage. The creature is unaware of the psychic trap the spell delivers unless it succeeds on a saving throw when you hit it with the attack, if it does, it is aware that movement will bring it further harm.
Level 12 Utility Spell
Full Force of the Mind: Minor Action, The next fire attack spell you cast before the end of your next turn gains a bonus to hit and damage equal to your intelligence modifier. This effect does not act on abilities that require no direct attack roll (it cannot be stacked with Nimbus of Flame or used on a fire-infused Magic Missile, but your Fireball now gets intelligence modifier x2 to attack roll and damage).
Level 16 Property
Pyrokinetic Disruption: When you hit an enemy with an at will fire spell, the target loses any fire resistance or immunity it had and gains Vulnerable Fire equal to your intelligence modifier until the end of your next turn. The effect applies to the triggering power.
Level 20 Attack Spell
Haldred’s Final Word: Daily Standard Action, area burst 5 within 20 sqaures; intelligence+2 vs. reflex, 10d6+intelligence modifier fire damage, ongoing 10 fire (save ends). Miss: half damage.
Wizard of the Winter Wind
You have donned your frost-silk robe, taken up your staff, honed your body and mind in the blizzards that lash the Pinnacle of Frost, and spent years studying lore, sorcery, and making offerings to the Owl Goddess. Ioun has blessed you and you have been inducted into the order of War-Enders, the Bringers of Ice, the Wielders of Snow: you have become a Wizard of the Winter Wind. Your charge from Ioun is to gather all history to you, and to seek out and destroy the cult of Zehir wherever it springs up. You are gifted with the power of cold as granted by the dryads of the Everfrost Glades, and your very touch is enough to freeze the unwary from the inside out, while your mastery over rituals has given you the power through your order’s hidden rituals to bring on an unlooked for winter that stops whole armies in their tracks, cuts off supply lines, and destroys morale- yet yours is to be the observer of Ioun’s law: history must be allowed to unfold as it will, and your might is only to be wielded when the word of good is in its most dire need.
When your time as an observer of history has passed, you will retire to Everfrost to spend the rest of eternity in the Wizard’s Sleep, where you will slumber, your mind still contemplating the infinite possibilities of history and nature. You will remain in this state of dryad-induced hibernation until the world has need of your legendary might again…
Prerequisites: Wizard, Ray of Frost Spell (named as Blades of the Winter Winds, in order to master this manifestation of the spell the character must have trained in Ioun’s shrine in Everfrost) Ability to cast arcane rituals, History and Nature skills trained, Multiclass Druid, No Corruption Points, Unaligned alignment
Level 21 Property
Favored of the Dryads: You ignore difficult terrain in natural settings and icy terrain hazards. You gain resist 15 cold and when you make a basic attack you may choose to deal the damage as cold damage. Finally, if you hit an enemy with an arcane attack power with the cold keyword they become slowed. If the target is already slowed, they become immobilized (save ends).
Level 24 Property
Shroud of Winter: When you are hit by a melee attack, all enemies in close burst 3 take cold damage equal to your intelligence modifier and are slowed. In addition, slowed enemies grant you combat advantage and cannot make opportunity attacks against you.
Level 26 Utility Spell
Deathly Cold: Encounter, immediate reaction: a non-dragon enemy without a destined place in history that is slowed or immobilized becomes bloodied. Effect: the target freezes and dies.
Level 30 Property
Wrath of Ioun: Any time in which you render a target slowed or immobilized, they begin taking ongoing 10 cold damage (save ends). This damage is in addition to any other ongoing damage inflicted by your attacks.