"Sure, study, introspection and perserverence are good enough for some people. Me? Magic comes to me naturally. I'd rather be out there blasting a few orcs than inside blowing the dust off some ancient tome, anyday."
The Rivenmage is one who seeks to harness his own internal energies, and focus those energies in a release of magical power. They tend to be outside of society, living very unique and individualistic lives. They shun guilds, and "average" mages, and consider most spellcasters as "dabblers" in the magical arts.
Unlike traditional mages, rivenmages seem to have an innate aptitude for magic. They do not study spells, and indeed, few even know how to read. Instead, they seem to gather magical energies to themselves, and learn new spells as time goes by without ever having studied to learn them.
Requirements: Rivenmages must have a minimum Intelligence of 16 and a Constitution of 15.
Proficiencies: No special hindrances or benefits.
Special Benefits: Rivenmages do not need spell books - instead, they harness the spell energies, and truly master the spell. Unlike mages, Rivenmages do not have much choice in the spells they get. A Rivenmage learns his new spells randomly, and must take those spells, like it or not! This must be emphasized - the DM must NOT change a spell, despite how he feels about it's usefulness. Re-rolling is only acceptable if the Rivenmage already has the spell rolled.
The Rivenmage gains new spells every level. If the new level would indicate a new spell casting level, then the first spell gained is automatically of that level. All other spell levels are determined randomly. Rivenmages need not memorize their spells, and can pick and chose when to cast. However, the mage uses his own life essence to power the spell, and thus may pay a price. Each time the Rivenmage casts a spell, he must make a system shock roll with a 10% penalty. The roll is further penalized by 5% per level of the spell (i.e. a first level spell would impose a -15% penalty, while a 9th level spell would have a 55% penalty).
If the system shock roll is successful, then the mage has properly channeled the spell energy, and suffers no ill effects. Should the roll fail however, then the mage has failed to harness the spell properly, and is weakened. Each failed roll lowers the Rivenmage's Constitution score by 1 point.
This Constitution loss is not permanent, however. Lost points return at the rate of 1 per every night's adequate sleep (at least 6 hours of sleep per night). While the Constitution score is lowered, the mage must use all modified ability-related statistics (i.e., using a new system shock roll, possibly losing bonus hit points, etc.).
Due to their special understanding of their spells, Rivenmages have half the casting times listed for the spell (minimum of 1 segment), rounding down. Also, any saving throws or magic resistance allowed against a Rivenmage's spell is rolled with a -1 or 5% penalty.
Rivenmages gain experience as per paladin's experience table. In all other ways, they use mage abilities and statistics (for instance, they cannot cast while wearing armor). Rivenmages also gain certain special abilities, each use of which may drain the wizard. If more than one ability is listed at a level, the Rivenmage may chose which one he prefers. Rivenmages may chose any ability from previous levels.
When a Rivenmage uses a special ability, he must make a system shock roll (with a -10% penalty), with additional penalties listed below.
Special Hindrances: Rivenmages devote themselves to magical meditation, ignoring other aspects of life. As such, they may not be multi or dual classed. Any Rivenmage who attempts to dual class will immediately lose 4 experience levels, and become a standard mage. Note, the Rivenmage will now have to obtain a spellbook, and study and learn spells as per the Lesser Path.
Rivenmages cannot use scrolls, and are completely and totally unable ever to learn to read magic (one of their few barred spells). Rivenmages themselves are slightly magical, and register as such if a detect magic spell is cast in their vicinity. Experienced spellcasters can accurately judge a Rivenmage's level by examining the intensity of this glow.
In order to determine the chance of a mage doing this, add the mage's level to his intelligence, then double this number. This is the percentage chance he has of accurately judging a Rivenmage's level.
Money: As per standard mage.
Races: As per standard mage.