Whether neutral or evil (or even good) a mad scientist prizes the pursuit of knowledge above all other things. They may not care what must be done to acquire information, the dangers of learning forbidden secrets, or frequently the consequences of experimentation (particularly when the consequences are for creatures other than themselves). Adventuring and exploration go hand in hand to provide stimulating new insights into a wide variety of fields. Moreover, groups of adventurers make for great pack animals if treated with enough respect and can provide a measure of safety when delicate research is required at a hostile site.
- 1 Requirements
- 2 Class Features
- 2.1 Mad Science
Society repels those who follow unapproved scientific pursuits, disbarring them from study at institutions of higher learning and carefully watching expelled students long after their education has ended. Already cast as pariahs, it is difficult for mad scientists to truly reform and properly become a part of any community yet to survive and continue their work they must befriend others whether to acquire some obscurity from inquisitors, find esoteric and rare resources, gather test subjects, or effect a quick means of getting out of town. After the usually unexpectedly unfair treatment received at the hands of higher powers it comes naturally to them to keep these associations a secret, ever watchful for potential agents of government, religions, rival inventors and guilds, or any other potential rivals lurking nearby.
Mad scientists are often wicked souls that have managed to survive capture and reformation or imprisonment at the hands of law and order, hidden and aided by technology much harder to detect and track than magic. Some seek out private sanctums to continue their research undisturbed, but others join with revolutionary movements rising against the established order, relying on their cunning and intellect where others would turn to strength of arm or flee in cowardice. That is not to say they don’t appreciate weaponry, however–in order to survive and ultimately enact justice on the society that has cast them out for their intellectual pursuits, devices of both defensive and offensive intent are of the utmost importance.
Creating a Mad Scientist
The first thing to decide when making a mad scientist is the field of study which most interests your character. Do you seek to understand how things are understood? Work the flesh of creatures in ways both terrifying and wondrous?
Manipulate technology to maximize its offensive potential? Bend the divine machines of civilization to your will?
Knowing the area of science that most interests you can be further explored to give your maniacal master of machines more depth. Why have they decided their field of study is superior to the others? What ultimate truth to they hope to learn in their intellectual pursuits? Or were you left with no choice by a haunting spirit or a lack of opportunity? Did circumstance force your hand into mastering science? Either way you must have some ideas on where your studies will go- -what grand experiments do you hope to undertake?
Alignment. Mad scientists cannot be of either lawful or good alignment. A mad scientist whose alignment becomes lawful good, neutral good, chaotic good, or lawful neutral cannot level in this class again until their alignment changes back to an alignment that is either not lawful or not good.
As a mad scientist, you gain the following class features.
Armor: Light armor and shields
Weapons: Simple weapons and martial weapons
Tools: Tinker’s tools
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence
Skills: Science, Technology, and two from Acrobatics, History, Investigation, or Nature.
You begin play with the following equipment, in addition to any gear acquired through your background.
- (a) wrench that can also be used as a club or (b) a hammer that can also be used as a greatclub
- light crossbow and 20 bolts
- studded leather
- tinker’s tools
- an explorer’s pack
|Level||Proficiency Bonus||Features||Cantrips||Known Spells||Known Spell Slots||Known Slot Level||Gadgets Known|
|1st||+2||Mad science, weaponized spellcasting||2||2||1||1st||–|
|4th||+2||Ability score increase||3||5||2||2nd||2|
|8th||+3||Ability score increase||3||9||2||4th||4|
|12th||+4||Ability score increase||4||11||3||6th||6|
|13th||+5||Diviner of secrets||4||12||3||6th||6|
|14th||+5||Hardened by experimentation||4||12||3||6th||6|
|16th||+5||Ability score increase||4||13||3||7th||7|
|19th||+6||Ability score increase||4||15||4||7th||8|
Multiclassing Prerequisite: Intelligence 15; Proficiencies Gained: Science and Technology
At 1st level, you learn how to craft a technological weapon that can produce scientific effects identical to spells. When you cast spells, you do so by activating your technological weapon, making it a requirement for the casting of all spells as though it were an arcane or divine focus. Only you are able to use your technological weapon. It has an AC equal to 10 + double your proficiency bonus and 5 hit points per mad scientist level.
At 9th level, the spells you cast using Weaponized Spellcasting and any technological items you craft are immune to the effects of counterspell and dispel magic. At 18th level, they become immune to the effects of antimagic field.
You learn two cantrips of your choice from the mad scientist spell list. You learn additional mad scientist cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of Table 1: Mad Scientist.
Table 1: Mad Scientist shows how many spell slots you have. The table also shows what the level of those slots is; all of your spell slots are the same level. To cast one of your mad scientist spells of 1st-level or higher, you must expend a spell slot. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a short or long rest. For example, when you are 5th level, you have two 3rd-level spell slots. To cast the 1st-level spell thunderwave, you must spend one of those slots, and you cast it as a 3rd-level spell.
Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher
At 1st level, you know two 1st-level spells of your choice from the mad scientist spell list. The Spells Known column of Table 1: Mad Scientist shows when you learn more mad scientist spells of your choice of 1st-level and higher. A spell you choose must be of a level no higher than what’s shown in the table’s Slot Level column for your level. When you reach 6th level, for example, you learn a new mad scientist spell, which can be 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-level. Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the mad scientist spells you know and replace it with another spell from the mad scientist spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your spells, since you learn your spells through careful application of honed techniques derived from centuries of accumulated knowledge. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
You can use your technological weapon a spellcasting focus for your mad scientist spells.
Mad Scientist Spells Known
- Cantrips acid splash, eldritch blast, fire bolt, mage hand, poison spray, produce flame, ray of frost
- 1st burning hands, color spray, faerie fire, fog cloud, grease, guiding bolt, hunter’s mark, magic missile, sleep, thunderwave
- 2nd acid arrow, blindness/deafness, calm emotions, create or destroy water, darkness, gust of wind, heat metal, hold person, knock, levitate, ray of enfeeblement, scorching ray, shatter
- 3rd bestow curse, daylight, fireball, haste, lightning bolt, remove curse, sleet storm, slow, stinking cloud
- 4th banishment, compulsion, confusion, ice storm, phantasmal killer, wall of fire
- 5th cloudkill, cone of cold, flame strike, hold monster, planar binding, telekinesis, wall of force, wall of stone
- 6th chain lightning, circle of death, disintegrate, eyebite, flesh to stone, forbiddance, freezing sphere, harm, irresistible dance, sunbeam, wall of ice
- 7th finger of death, fire storm, forcecage, plane shift, prismatic spray
At 1st level, you choose a field of mad science: an engineer of evil, fleshworker, trickster, or unholy technologist. Mad scientists are masters of technology but tend to focus their efforts on one or another aspect. This specialization makes you peerless in your field of expertise, granting special features that reflect your superior understanding of analysis, fleshcraft, offensive devices, or inaequa-powered machines.
The mad science you choose grants you features at 5th level, 11th level, and 17th level.
While learning to harm with magic you have learned a few other miraculous tricks as well. At 2nd level, you gain two scientific gadgets of your choice. Your gadget options are detailed at the end of the class description. When you gain certain mad scientist levels, you gain additional gadgets of your choice, as shown in the Gadgets Known column of the Mad Scientist table. Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the gadgets you know and replace it with another gadget that you could learn at that level.
Your scientific gadgets weigh 1 pound per spell level. The AC of a gadget is equal to your AC while it is on your person and it has a number of hit points equal to twice your mad scientist level. While not in your possession, one of your gadgets has an AC equal to 10 + spell level. Other creatures are unable to understand how your gadgets function and only you are able to use them.
In addition, you gain proficiency with alchemist’s supplies.
At 6th level, you gain a second ritual feat or sinful feat.
When performing a ritual, if you have access to an anvil and smithery you may spend an additional hour building an insane contraption to incorporate the effects of one of your scientific gadgets into the casting of the ritual spell.
Starting at 7th level, you are able to create technological items that duplicate the effects of magical items without the need for inaequa. You are only able to craft one technological item at a time. You are able to craft a common technological item over the course of a week of tinkering for 25 gold. You may craft an uncommon technological item over the course of a month for 500 gold (or more, at the GM’s discretion).
At 14th level, you are able to craft a rare technological item over the course of 3 months of tinkering; the cost in materials is at the GM’s discretion.
On a success, you learn the attacks, immunities, features, and resistances granted by the target’s race or type. You must be able to see or hear the target and the full breadth of what you learn is at the discretion of the GM (particularly obscure monsters may reveal very little and a hidden weapon remains hidden). You can only use this feature against an individual target once every 24 hours.
At 10th level, you can cast the find familiar spell as a ritual, summoning (i.e.: activating) a number of drones equal to your proficiency modifier. The drone familiars you create are constructs with the appearance and abilities of any of the animals listed under the spell, or drones with an appearance chosen by you. Drones that are not duplicating the appearance and abilities of an animal use the Homunculus stat block. As a construct, the drones do not need to eat, sleep, or breathe, and are immune to both poison damage and the poisoned condition.
Your drones may not be dismissed as the spell. You may share senses with the drones or communicate with them while they remain within distance of your radio transmitter (a device that broadcasts 50 feet per mad scientist level).
Diviner of Secrets
Hardened By Experimentation
Starting at 14th level, you gain advantage on checks made with alchemist’s supplies. In addition, you gain resistance to acid, lightning, and poison damage.
At 15th level, you learn how to craft grenades. Each day when you prepare your spells, you may make a number of grenades with a total price equal to 20 times your mad scientist level.
These grenades do not cost you gold to produce but do require a part of your essence to remain unignited, causing them to explode 1d6 rounds after being given to another creature. The saving throw DCs for grenades you create using this feature use your spell save DC.
In addition, you may throw up to 3 grenades at different squares within range as a single attack action.
Price varies, Weight 1/2 lb.
This small, cylindrical explosive can be thrown at a target within 60 feet as an action (or further with the use of a weapon with the launcher quality). Any creature within the grenade’s area of effect (20 feet) makes a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or takes the grenades damage (a successful save halves this damage).
- Bang (20 gp) Creatures that fail a DC 15 Constitution saving throw gain the stunned condition until the start of the wielder’s next turn and gain the deafened condition for 1d4 rounds.
- Bio (75 gp) Creatures that fail a DC 15 Constitution saving throw gain the poisoned condition until they take a short rest or receive healing in excess of 5 hit points.
- Concussion (60 gp) Deals 4d6 bludgeoning damage.
- Cryo (75 gp) Deals 4d6 cold damage.
- Flash (45 gp) Creatures that fail a DC 15 Constitution saving throw gain the blinded condition for 1d4 rounds.
- Frag (65 gp) Deals 4d6 piercing damage.
- Gas Grenade (15 gp) A nonmagical effect identical to fog cloud, except that the fog dissipates after 2d4+4 rounds.
- Lethal Gas Grenade (150 gp) A nonmagical effect identical to cloud kill, except that the fog dissipates after 1d4+2 rounds.
- Lightning (75 gp) Deals 4d6 lightning damage.
- Plasma (125 gp) Deals 6d6 fire and lightning damage.
- Scorcher (70 gp) Deals 4d6 fire damage.
- Slasher (80 gp) Deals 4d6 slashing damage.
- Tear Gas Grenade (85 gp) A nonmagical effect identical to stinking cloud, except that the gas dissipates after 2d4+2 rounds.
- Thunder (75 gp) Deals 4d6 thunder damage.
At 18th level, you gain advantage on spell attacks using your technological weapon.
At 20th level, your mastery over technology is remarkable.
Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses advanced technology and you have advantage on Intelligence (Technology) checks. In addition, so long as they are able to hear you, you may advise an ally on how to activate one of your scientific gadgets after you have altered it for their use. You may keep a number of these altered devices equal to your Intelligence modifier.
Mutants and Mad Scientists (5E) © 2018, Legendary Games; Authors: Jason Nelson, Mike Myler, and Clinton J. Boomer.