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The geomancer is unique form of spellcaster who channels energy from the earth itself. It appeared in Dungeons & Dragons third edition as prestige class.[1]

The geomancer should not be confused with geomancy, a form of divination involving interpreting patterns;[2] the geometer, a magician who represents spells in geometric shapes; and the geomancer-explorers of Spelljammer who study planets. Confusingly, the term is also applied to various earth elementalists who may or may not experience geomancer drift.

Abilities and traits

Ley lines

A geomancer possesses a connection to one or more types of physical terrain. When they are in such terrain, they may draw on the energy of that place to empower their spells.

Blended magic

The geomancer has a unique understanding of the nature of magic. Most spellcasters make a distinction between arcane magic, which is learned or innate, and divine magic, which is granted by the gods or nature.

The geomancer considers this distinction meaningless. Harnessing the earth's energy, they treat the two as the same, and are unfettered by the limitations perceived by normal spellcasters. For example, a geomancer might cast the spell fireball while wearing heavy armor, even though such arcane magic while encumbered with armor is considered impossible by most wizards.

Appearance and personality

Drift

Geomancers undergo a gradual physical transformation as they become one with the spirit of nature. Some druids who spend a great deal of time communing with nature are known to undergo a similar change. The geomancers refer to this change as drift.

The geomancer's body begins to grow more like the animals or plants of nature. Each geomancer's transformation is personal and unique. They may begin by growing fur, wings, or a tail. With time they may gain the ability to photosynthesize like plants, grow antlers as a deer, gain eyesight as sharp as an eagle, or their blood flows as slowly as tree sap.

The most ancient and powerful geomancers might grow batlike wings, gain skin like tree bark, or learn to sense movement through the earth.

Society and culture

Relationships

Geomancers often maintain connections with the societies they were part of before becoming a geomancer. For example, a geomancer who was a wizard may continue to perform arcane research, though the geomancer understands the division between arcane and divine magic to be much more fluid than is understood by their academic peers.

Organization

Geomancer groups are unknown, but some may yet exist.

Religion

Geomancers most commonly follow the path of the druid. The class relies on a strong connection to nature. Clerics of other faiths may become geomancers, and at their number includes least one member of the cult of Vecna. After druids, the geomancers are next most commonly clerics of nature deities.

Notable geomancers

For a full list of geomancers, see Category:Geomancers.

  • Rendela, the iconic geomancer described in Complete Divine
  • Clang, a copper dragon from the world of Krynn who practices the art
  • Mere, a reclusive mage from the world of Oerth[3]
  • Tiboquoboc, an orc ghost geomancer[4]

Related classes

A similarly named class is the geometer, an arcane spellcaster who draws power from geometric shapes.

Publication history

AD&D 1st edition

Geomancy is briefly mentioned in the Oriental OA3 Ochimo: The Spirit Warrior (1987) as a science alongside astronomy and alchemy. Geomancers served the Black Leopard cult.

AD&D 2nd edition

A powerful cult of ancient geomancers are described in the Al-Qadim sourcebook Ruined Kingdoms (1994). Further lore appeared in Secrets of the Arch-Geomancer, printed in Dragon #250 (Aug 1998).

The name "geomancer" is also used in CGR1 The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook (1992) to describe explorers in the Spelljammer setting who study planets.

D&D 3rd edition

The geomancer prestige class appeared in Masters of the Wild (2002), p.60-63. A version updated for the v3.5 revision of the D&D ruleset appeared in Complete Divine (2004), p.41-45. This prestige class requires the ability to cast 2nd-level spells in both an arcane and a divine spellcasting class. Spellcasting progression is only granted in one of those classes, but the character gains greater versatility, such as the ability to cast arcane spells in armor.

D&D 4th edition

The dao geomancer appears in Dungeon #199 as a level 26 controller. Dao geomancers are powerful nobles of their kind who possess unparallelled ability to control the earth around them, and pursue political advancement before all else. However, it is unrelated to the D&D character class.

Creative origins

Geomancy is a traditional form of divination magic which involves interpreting a pattern of dots drawn by a person in a trance.[5]

However, D&D's geomancer prestige class more closely resembles the geomancer class from the Final Fantasy computer RPG series. In that series, "geomancer" is the official translation for the Japanese fuusuishi, meaning "feng shui warrior", and represents a magic-user who deploys effects from the terrain. The Geomancer appeared in Final Fantasy Tactics, released in 1998, and Final Fantasy V, which received a US release in 1999.

Reception and influence

The geomancer lends its name to the character Meepo the Geomancer from the video game Defense of the Ancients (2003). Meepo also shares a name with the kobold Meepo, appearing in the Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition module The Sunless Citadel (2000).

References

  1. Complete Divine (2004), p.41-45.
  2. Van Richten's Guide to the Vistani (1995), p.78.
  3. The Doomgrinder (1998), p.18-19.
  4. The Thunder Below (2004), Wizards of the Coast web adventure.
  5. Religion and the Decline of Magic, chapter 8.
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