Magic is a part of life in Eberron. Arcane energy suffuses the world. Those with sufficient knowledge can channel and shape this power with word and gesture. Once this gift was rare and mysterious, and the greatest spells are still the stuff of legend. Over the course of centuries, however, the people of Khorvaire worked minor magics into everyday life, finding ways to use arcane power to improve communication, transportation, warfare, and general labor. The use of magic in Eberron is a broad topic that will be explored over the course of many future articles. This column focuses on the most common form of arcane spellcaster, the class whose existence transformed Khorvaire: the magewright.
The Meaning of "Magewright"
Arcane power is invisible and omnipresent. Ritual allows a magic user to draw on this energy and use it to reshape reality. The process of spellcasting is considerably more complicated than wiggling a finger and shouting a word. Mastering a spell requires intense mental discipline. In addition to complex gestures and incantations, a spellcaster uses thought and will to transform and shape mystical energy. A true wizard is a master of this art, able to grasp the principles behind any spell he can find or create. This level of talent is a rare gift. Still, most common folk can learn to cast one or two minor spells, if they work hard enough. While they lack the diversity or raw power of the wizard or sorcerer, these lesser spellcasters bring simple magic to the marketplace and into the world. These are the magewrights.
Just like the expert, "magewright" is a generic term encompassing dozens of professions. "Magewright" describes a character's magical skill but it tells you nothing about the actual trade she practices. A commoner seeking to learn magic wouldn't go to "magewright school." Instead, he would become an apprentice wordsmith or seek out a traveling tinker who might share the secrets of her trade.
The vast majority of magewrights only have a single level in the class. These are primarily commoners or experts who took a magewright level in order to learn a single useful spell. The most common choice is magecraft, a ritual that guides an artisan's hands and infuses his work with a touch of magic. An innkeeper might take a single level of magewright to gain access to prestidigitation or unseen servant, while a translator could take one level in the class to learn comprehend languages. These dabblers are not defined by their mystical knowledge; instead, they know a single trick that enhances their mundane skills.
The DM should bear this potential for magic in mind when creating scenes in an Eberron game, especially in a major metropolis or large town. An artisan producing masterwork materials may use magecraft to enhance her work, and the tailor could use mending for especially difficult jobs. Magic is a part of life in the Five Nations. Magewrights make up approximately 1% of the adult workforce, and their spells should be seen in action on a regular basis.
Many trades have evolved around the magewright class, combining Craft, Profession, and a handful of spells to fill a specific economic niche. A few of these are described below but they are only springboards for the DM's imagination. A player creating a bard or sorcerer should also consider these ideas when selecting spells. While your PC sorcerer is unlikely to want to be a lamplighter, do the spells you possess have a logical economic role? Might you have been trained for a mystical profession before becoming an adventurer?
All of the professions described below are based off the model of a 4th-level magewright. Many members of these professions would work for one of the Dragonmark guilds but there are also independent operators in the world, also, especially in smaller communities.
Skilled Magewright: Human magewright 4; CR 3; Medium humanoid (human); HD 4d4-4; hp 7; Init +1; Spd 30 ft.; AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 10; Base Atk +2; Grp +1; Atk +1 melee (1d4-1 19-20/x2, dagger) or +2 ranged (1d4-1 19-20/x2, dagger); Full Atk +1 melee (1d4-1 19-20/x2, dagger) or +2 ranged (1d4-1 19-20/x2, dagger); AL N; SV Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +4; Str 9, Dex 11, Con 8, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 10. As a result of his Magewright levels, this character has two levels of Spell Mastery and gained 1 spell at 1st level and 2 spells at 4th level.
The augur is a professional seer. In addition to her divinatory magic, she is familiar with a variety of nonmagical traditions of divination and may use cards, runes, or the movement of the moons to foretell events from romance to the weather. While she is generally consulted about the future, she can also use her talents to identify magical objects or decipher unknown writings. Higher-level augurs may learn arcane sight, clairvoyance/clairaudience, divination, scrying, or contact other plane.
Skills and Feats: Knowledge (arcana) +7, Knowledge (history) +2, Knowledge (the planes) +9, Profession (fortune teller) +11, Sense Motive +7, Spellcraft +4; Skill Focus (Profession -- fortune teller), Skill Focus (Sense Motive), Spell Mastery.
Spells (3/3/1): 0-level -- detect magic; 1st-level -- comprehend languages, identify; 2nd-level -- augury.
The tinker is a jack-of-all-trades. He has a basic grasp of many crafts and can use his mystical powers to repair damaged items. A tinker might travel from place to place in search of work or he may settle in one small community where his talents make him invaluable. While anyone can pursue the path of the tinker, the magewrights of House Cannith dominate this trade because of the power of the mark.
Skills and Feats: Appraise +4, Craft (choose five) +6, Knowledge (arcana) +4, Knowledge (geography) +3, Knowledge (nobility) +5, Spellcraft +4; Craft Wondrous Item, Spell Mastery, Least Dragonmark of Making (make whole 1/day, +2 to all Craft checks).
Spells (3/3/1): 0-level -- mending; 1st-level -- magecraft; 2nd-level -- make whole. Select one additional 0 or 1st-level spell because of the tinker's additional Spell Mastery feat; he will generally use this in conjunction with Craft Wondrous Item. The Least Mark power could be changed to repair light damage 1/day or mending 2/day; repair is common among tinkers who worked with military units during the Last War.
Anyone can run an inn but the spells of the hosteler make the job much easier. A hosteler can use his spells to clean clothes and rooms, to prepare food, transport items, understand guests from distant lands, repair minor damage, and create mystical locks for his doors. While most hostelers are trained by House Ghallanda and have ties to that house, Ghallanda employ people of all races, both marked and unmarked. A hosteler can be an excellent source of gossip and local information, but it may not always be reliable.
Skills and Feats: Gather Information +4; Knowledge (local) +7, Knowledge (nobility) +3, Profession (brewer) +5, Profession (cook) +5, Profession (innkeeper) +8, Sense Motive +6; Skill Focus (Sense Motive), Spell Mastery (comprehend languages), Spell Mastery (unseen servant). For a Ghallanda halfling, replace Skill Focus and one Spell Mastery feat with the Least Mark of Hospitality.
Spells (3/3/1): 0-level -- prestidigitation; 1st-level -- comprehend languages, unseen servant; 2nd-level -- arcane lock, make whole.
Between war and adventurers, there's a major market for healing potions. Apothecaries come in all shapes and sizes but those of House Jorasco are the masters of healing; without the dragonmark, an apothecary must have levels in some other spellcasting class to produce potions of healing. The apothecary represents a secular alternative to the Jorasco healer presented on page 232 of the Eberron Campaign Setting, one that relies on her dragonmark and her potions to aid those in need. If she advances further, she might take expert levels to improve her Heal skill.
Skills and Feats: Craft (alchemy) +9, Heal +6, Knowledge (arcana) +3, Knowledge (local) +3, Profession (apothecary) +8, Profession (herbalist) +6; Brew Potion, Least Mark of Healing (cure light wounds 1/day).
Spells (3/3/1): 0-level -- mage hand; 1st-level -- magecraft, unseen servant.
(This sample apothecary is a halfling. Because of her size, the apothecary receives a +1 bonus to AC and a +1 bonus to hit, and she possesses all of the halfling racial abilities. Her small dagger inflicts only 1d3-1 points of damage.)
Magical light has had a tremendous impact on the culture of the Five Nations, allowing the citizens of Khorvaire to work through the night. Lamplighters produce everburning torches,everbright lanterns, and other sources of light. Given the long life of an everbright lantern, however, a lamplighter will eventually run out of work in a small community. As a result, most lamplighters are wanderers who live lives much like those of the tinkers.
Skills and Feats: Craft (gemcutting) +8, Craft (woodworking) +7, Craft (any three) +5, Knowledge (arcana) +5, Knowledge (geography) +5, Knowledge (local) +5; Craft Wondrous Item, Spell Mastery (mending), Spell Mastery (prestidigitation).
Spells (3/3/1): 0-level -- light, mending, prestidigitation; 1st-level -- magecraft; 2nd-level -- continual flame (this spell has been added to the magewright spell list).
Most wardens learn their trade with House Kundarak but a few part ways with the house and work as independents. Paranoid lords occasionally hire full-time wardens to secure manors and vaults. A higher-level warden may learn detect magic, dispel magic, false vision, fire trap, glyph of warding, symbol of pain, or symbol of sleep.
Skills and Feats: Craft (locksmithing) +9, Craft (trapmaking) +12, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +6, Listen +5, Spellcraft +5, Spot +5; Alertness, Skill Focus (Craft -- trapmaking), Spell Mastery (hold portal). To make a dragonmarked House Kundarak warden, remove Alertness and Spell Mastery and add the Least Mark of Warding.
Spells (3/3/1): 0-level -- detect magic; 1st-level -- alarm, hold portal; 2nd-level -- arcane lock.
Wordsmiths are professional scribes and translators. While many work for the Speakers' Guild of House Sivis, wordsmiths can be found at any of the major universities or arcane institutions of Khorvaire. Higher-level wordsmiths may know illusory script, secret page, sending, or tongues. A wordsmith who intends to serve as a mediator or advocate will probably have expert levels to enhance her Diplomacy and Sense Motive skills.
Skills and Feats: Craft (calligraphy) +9, Diplomacy +5, Profession (scribe) +8, Sense Motive +8, Speak Language (one additional language), Spellcraft +5; Negotiator, Skill Focus (Sense Motive), Spell Mastery (arcane mark). For a dragonmarked House Sivis wordsmith, remove Skill Focus and Spell Mastery and add the Least Mark of Scribing.
Spells (3/3/1): 0-level -- arcane mark, read magic; 1st-level -- comprehend languages; 2nd-level -- whispering wind.
About the Author
Keith Baker has been an avid fan of Dungeons & Dragons since grade school. His life took a dramatic turn in 2002 when he submitted the world of Eberron to the WotC Fantasy Setting Search. In addition to developing the Eberron Campaign Setting and Shadows of the Last War, he has worked for Atlas Games, Goodman Games, and Green Ronin.