Gemcasters are a rare breed who have learned to harness the inherent power of gemstones. These energies are remnants of the yearly ritual known as the Shedding, a time when the magi of Timaeus celebrate the start of a new Shard Year. The residents of the Underworld know nothing of the annual ritual, and who knows what would happen if the gemcasters of the Underworld gained direct access to the pentagram and the crystal shards of Timaeus.
A drow crushes a gem between his nimble fingers as he speaks the arcane words to cast a fireball. His opponent, a human wizard, trusts in his enchanted cloak to defend him from the blast, but the explosion of ice permanently captures the expression of shock on his face.
The laughter of the orc is cut short, when the undergnome lifts up his glittering, jewel-encrusted blade and strikes. Rather than the scratch the orc was expecting, the blade slashes through reality itself, and the powerful orc finds itself burning alive on the Elemental Plane of Fire.
Each of these gemcasters has mastered a different facet of gem magic. They have studied the secrets of precious stones and use them to amplify the effects of their spells. For gemcasters, precious stones are not baubles to hoarded or sold. They are spell components that refract, diffuse, and enhance their magic. Foolish surface dwellers see only the value of the stones in gold pieces, but the dwellers of the underworld know that these stones contain near limitless power in the hands of a skilled gemcaster.
- 0.1 The Facets of the Gem
- 0.2 Creating a Gemcaster
- 0.3 Quick Build
- 1 Class Features
- 1.1 Spellcasting
- 1.2 Spellcasting Ability
- 1.3 Appraisal
- 1.4 Gem Transmutation
- 1.5 Topaz Gem Magic
- 1.6 Gemcaster Facet
- 1.7 Semi-Precious Stones
- 1.8 Amethyst Gem Magic
- 1.9 Emerald Gem Magic
- 1.10 Diamond Gem Magic
- 1.11 Exquisite Gem Magic
The Facets of the Gem
Like sorcerers, gemcasters do not need spellbooks to cast their spells. Instead they draw their power from the strange energies of the Underworld. Because of the cost associated with becoming a gemcaster, few are wealthy enough to harness these skills. Most gemcasters become adventurers to earn or take the necessary gold to pursue their studies. What other profession offers the opportunity to divvy up a dragon’s horde of gems?
Creating a Gemcaster
When creating a gemcaster character, consider how your power first manifested. Talk with your GM about how your character mastered the skills of a gemcaster.
Did a mentor teach her how to exploit the inherent power of gems? Or, did your character learn the secrets of gem magic through trial and error? Because gemcasters require polished stones for their magic, most come from the large cities of the Underworld where stones are easier to acquire-whether stolen or purchased. Others may travel the tunnels of the Underworld finding and polishing their own gemstones.
Nevertheless, a gemcaster requires a ready access to a variety of cut stones, and the source of those stones should play an important role in a gemcaster’s tutelage.
Why did you leave behind your life to begin adventuring? Were you looking to explore the Underworld? Did some calamity or misfortune drive you from your home? Gemcasting is not a cheap profession, do you need to acquire more gold to further your study of the art? Did you join a mercenary band to earn honor and glory? Perhaps you just wanted to prove that gemcasting was the superior art and put those long-bearded wizards in their place.
You can make a gemcaster quickly by following these suggestions. First put your highest ability score in Charisma followed by Constitution. Second, choose the miner background. Third, choose the firebolt, mage hand, and prestidigitation cantrips, along with the 1stlevel spells mage armor and sleep.
Hit Dice: 1d6 per gemcaster level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constitution Modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution Modifier per gemcaster level after 1st.
Weapons: Daggers, darts, light hammer, quarterstaffs, hand crossbows
Tools: Jeweler’s tools
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Skills: Choose two from Arcana, Investigation, Insight, Nature, Perception, and Persuasion.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a hand crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
- (a) a component pouch or (b) arcane focus
- (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
- (a) a jeweler’s kit
|Level||Proficiency Bonus||Bonus Features||Cantrips Known||Spells Known||Spell Slots per Spell Level|
|2nd||+2||Gem Transmutation, Topaz Gem Magic||4||3||3||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||5||5||4||3||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|6th||+3||Gemcaster Facet Feature, Amethyst Gem Magic||5||7||4||3||3||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||5||9||4||3||3||2||–||–||–||–||–|
|11th||+4||Emerald Gem Magic||6||12||4||3||3||3||2||1||–||–||–|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||6||12||4||3||3||3||2||1||–||–||–|
|13th||+5||Gemcaster Facet Feature||6||13||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||–||–|
|14th||+5||Diamond Gem Magic||6||14||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||–||–|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||6||15||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||–|
|18th||+6||Gemcaster Facet Feature||6||15||4||3||3||3||3||1||1||1||1|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||6||15||4||3||3||3||3||2||1||1||1|
|20th||+6||Exquisite Gem Magic||6||15||4||3||3||3||3||2||2||1||1|
As a gemcaster, you gain the following features:
You have studied the special qualities of gems and learned to incorporate into your natural spellcasting abilities.
At 1st level, you know four cantrips of your choice from the gemcaster spell list. You learn additional gemcaster cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Gemcaster table.
The Gemcaster table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these gemcaster spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest. For example, if you know the 1st-level spell burning hands and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast burning hands using either slot.
Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher
You know two 1st-level spells of your choice from the gemcaster spell list. The Spells Known column of the Gemcaster table shows when you learn more gemcaster spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 3rd level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level. Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the gemcaster spells you know and replace it with another spell from the gemcaster spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your gemcaster spells, since the power of your magic relies on your ability to project your will and focus it into your gems. You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a gemcaster spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell Save DC: 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Spell Attack Modifier: = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
You can use an arcane focus as a spellcasting focus for your gemcaster spells.
Gemcasters select their spells from the Gemcaster spell list. Gemcasters may, subject to GM discretion, gain access to other spells.
- Cantrips (0 Level) acid splash, chill touch, dancing lights, firebolt, light, mage hand, mending, message, minor illusion, prestidigitation, ray of frost, shocking grasp, true strike
- 1st level alarm, burning hands, charm person, color spray, comprehend languages, detect magic, disguise self, expeditious retreat, false life, feather fall, fog cloud, jump, mage armor, magic missile, purify food and drink, shield, silent image, sleep, thunderwave
- 2nd level alter self, blindness/deafness, blur, darkness, darkvision, detect thoughts, enhance ability, enlarge/reduce, gust of wind, heat metal, hold person, invisibility knock, levitate, mirror image, misty step, scorching ray, see invisibility, shatter, spider climb, suggestion, web
- 3rd level blink, clairvoyance, daylight, dispel magic, fear, fireball, fly, gaseous form, haste, hypnotic pattern, lightning bolt, meld into stone, major image, nondetection, protection from energy, slow stinking cloud, tiny hut, tongues, vampiric touch, water breathing, water walk
- 4th level banishment, blight, confusion, conjure minor elementals, dimension door, dominate beast, greater invisibility, ice storm, polymorph, private sanctum, stone shape, stoneskin, wall of fire
- 5th level animate objects, arcane hand, cloudkill, cone of cold, conjure elemental, dominate person, hold monster, insect plague, legend lore, pass wall, seeming, telekinesis, teleportation circle, wall of stone
- 6th level chain lightning, circle of death, disintegrate, eyebite, find the path, flesh to stone, globe of invulnerability, mass suggestion, move earth, true seeing 7th Level delayed blast fireball, etherealness, fire storm, magnificent mansion, plane shift, prismatic spray, reverse gravity, teleport
- 8th level antimagic field, dominate monster, earthquake, feeblemind, incendiary cloud, maze, power word stun
- 9th level gate, meteor swarm, power word kill, prismatic wall, time stop, wish
Beginning at 1st level, you can accurately determine the value of any gemstone that you have the opportunity to study for at least one minute. This feature also allows you to determine if a gemstone is real or a fake. You do not require a magnifying glass for this appraisal.
You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks to notice well-hidden, small details in objects, provided you can study them for at least one minute.
At 2nd level you may transmute one or more cut gems of one type and value into any number of gems of a different type, so long as the total value of the gems remains the same. This process requires 10 minutes of uninterrupted concentration. For example, you may transmute 5 emeralds worth 10 gp each into a single emerald worth 50 gp or 2 diamonds worth 25 gp each.
You must complete a short rest before you can use this feature again.
Topaz Gem Magic
Beginning at 3rd level, you can create a topaz that you may use to enhance the power of one of your spells.
You spend one hour to focus your magical energies into a topaz worth at least 150 gp.
As a bonus action when you cast a spell, you may use the specially prepared topaz as part of the material components required to cast the spell to cast the spell as through you had cast the spell in a spell slot one level higher. You may only have one topaz prepared this way at a time. Once you use this topaz you may not use it again until you have completed a short or long rest. You may only supplement a spell you cast with one of your gem magic features.
When you reach 3rd level, you choose which facet of the gemcaster that best defines how you practice the magical abilities granted to you.
Your choice grants you new features at 3rd level and again at 9th, 14th, and 18th level.
At 5th level, you gain the ability to create a semiprecious stone that changes the damage type of your spells. You gain two of the following stones of your choice. You may use your gem transmutation feature to change gems into the semi-precious stones you have chosen. You gain another one at 10th level, and 17th level. Using one of these semi-precious stones while casting a spell not only changes the damage type but also the visual effects of the spell. You may only supplement a spell you cast with one of your gem magic features.
You can create a piece of amber that you may use to change the damage type of any spell to poison damage.
You spend one hour and focus your magical energies into a piece of amber worth at least 50 gp.
As a bonus action when you cast a spell, you may use the specially prepared piece of amber as an additional material component to change the type of damage from spell’s normal damage type to poison.
A spell thus modified does not induce the poisoned condition. Using the piece of amber in this manner does not destroy the gem.
You can create a crystal quartz that you may use to change the damage type of any spell to radiant damage.
You spend one hour and focus your magical energies into a crystal quartz worth at least 75 gp.
As a bonus action when you cast a spell, you may use the specially prepared crystal quartz as an additional material component to change the type of damage from spell’s normal damage type to radiant damage. Using the crystal quartz in this manner does not destroy the gem.
You can create a specially prepared obsidian shard that you may use to change the damage type of any spell to fire damage. You spend one hour and focus your magical energies into an obsidian shard worth at least 25 gp.
As a bonus action when you cast a spell, you may use the specially prepared obsidian as an additional material component to change the type of damage from spell’s normal damage type to fire. Using the obsidian shard in this manner does not destroy the gem.
You can create a onyx that you may use to change the damage type of any spell to necrotic damage. You spend one hour and focus your magical energies into an onyx worth at least 50 gp.
As a bonus action when you cast a spell, you may use the specially prepared onyx as an additional material component to change the type of damage from spell’s normal damage type to necrotic. Using the onyx in this manner does not destroy the gem.
You can create a pearl that you may use to change the damage type of any spell to cold damage. You spend one hour and focus your magical energies into an onyx worth at least 25 gp.
As a bonus action when you cast a spell, you may use the specially prepared pearl as an additional material component to change the type of damage from spell’s normal damage type to cold. Using the pearl in this manner does not destroy the gem.
You can create a turquoise that you may use to change the damage type of any spell to acid damage. You spend one hour and focus your magical energies into a turquoise worth at least 50 gp.
As a bonus action when you cast a spell, you may use the specially prepared turquoise as an additional material component to change the type of damage from spell’s normal damage type to acid. Using the turquoise in this manner does not destroy the gem.
Amethyst Gem Magic
Beginning at 6th level, you can create an amethyst that you may use to cause a spell to target additional creatures. You spend one hour and one spell slot of 4th level or higher to invest your magical energies into an amethyst worth at least 100 gp.
As a bonus action when you cast a spell that targets a specific number of designated creatures or objects greater than 1, you may use the specially prepared amethyst as an additional material component to hit additional targets determined by the level of the spell slot used to create the diamond. If a 3rd level spell slot is used when the diamond is created, your spell may target one additional creature. If an 4th level spell slot is used when the amethyst is created your spell may target two additional creatures. If a 5th level spell slot is used when the amethyst is created, the spell may target three additional creatures.
The spell that you cast using the amethyst must not have a range of self and may not target an area instead of specific creatures. You may only have one amethyst prepared this way at a time. Once you use this amethyst you may not use it again until you have completed a short or long rest. You may only supplement a spell you cast with one of your gem magic features.
Emerald Gem Magic
Starting at 11th level, you can create an emerald that you may use to maximize the results of one of your spells. You spend one hour and one 5th level spell slot to focus your magical energies into an emerald worth at least 200 gp.
As a bonus action when you cast a spell, you may use the specially prepared emerald as an additional material component to maximize all the random elements of the spell. This does not affect saving throws or opposed rolls. You may only have one emerald prepared this way at a time. Once you use this emerald you may not use it again until you have completed a short or long rest. You may only supplement a spell you cast with one of your gem magic features.
Diamond Gem Magic
Beginning at 14th level, your spells become nearly impossible to resist or avoid. When you cast a spell, you may expend 25 gp worth of diamond dust per spell level as an additional material component to add one of the following bonuses to the spell. You may increase the difficulty of the saving throws made to resist any spell you cast by 2 or you may add +2 to your spell attack bonus for the spell. At 18th level, saving throws made to resist spells you cast with diamond dust increase to 4 and the bonus to your spell attack bonus increases to +4. You may only apply one bonus to a spell cast, and you make the decision of which bonus to apply when you cast the spell. You may only supplement a spell you cast with one of your gem magic features.
Exquisite Gem Magic
Starting at 20th level, you may use more than one gem when casting a spell.
Underworld Races and Classes © 2017 AAW Games LLC; Designers: Thilo Graf and Mike Myler