Protective Mage, by Annika Maar

prot_mage1Protective Mage, by Annika Maar

Support casters are kind of an underrated class-type, in my view. No one wants to play them because the damage casters get all of the cool area-of-effect spells, illusionists can create all manner of tricky befuddlements to create confusion and misdirection, while the necromancers and summoners get to evoke demons and zombies and celestial triceratops. The poor support mage casts a few buffs at the beginning of the battle, but once those buffs are cast, she doesn’t have much to do. (S’why I recommend equipping support characters with a sling or a crossbow, just so she can add a bit of ranged damage to her repertoire.)

In terms of strategy, party-balance, and problem-solving, the protection mage can be a lot more fun than people realize, however. She allows players to combine and stack interesting enchantments on their allies. Casting Stoneskin and Haste on a barbarian with a claymore can open up some interesting combat possibilities, as can magically enhancing a rogue’s already-poisoned daggers. Creative players can have a lot of fun with mixing and matching spells and enchantments before and during battle.

prot_mage2I love that Annika’s lovely mage knows how to dress for the road. Where some wizards and sorceresses are so out of touch with pedestrian travel that they seem to regard their scholarly robes or lingerie as appropriate travel attire, our protection mage wears a smart, utilitarian cool-weather travel dress. I’m a huge supporter of head protection when traveling, so I like that she wears a furred hood to keep her head warm and protected in the wind or rain. Her green dress is a durable linen or cotton to stand up to the rigors of combat or dungeon crawling I like as well that it’s not so long as to drage the ground or get hung up on foliage.

It’s hard to tell from the lighting, but our mage also wears quilted or leather chest-padding to protect against torso hits. Additionally, she wears a padded sash to cushion her hips against disabling attacks. Under her dress our heroine wears woolen trousers for riding or forest treks. Lastly, those leather boots look light but durable for running, traveling, or kicking some impertinent rogue in the shins.

I like as well that our heroine’s dress and clothes are colored to blend with the woods and wilderness. As with any spell-caster, it’s important to remember that any part of her outfit could have hidden magical properties. Her dress may very well be warded against scrying. Her staff may be merely a focus, or it may cast Mage Armor three times per day. Her diadem increases her intellect or concentration. The two medallions on her cloak look identical, but one increases her armor while the other increases her casting skills, allowing her to swap between them depending on the situation.

Hugest of thanks to Annika for letting me use her mage for the blog. Feel free to check out her Facebook page as well. As always, thanks so much for reading, folks! Take care and stay awesome!

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