Prestige Classes


"If I should fall, I will only arise again in a new body. The flame that is my soul cannot be quenched."

-Kuthar of Ironhame, Mage of the Jade Phoenix

Long ago, a fellowship of swordsages known as the Masters of the Jade Phoenix took up the study of arcane magic in search of a new martial discipline. They discovered that the mental austerity and economy of action each swordsage had cultivated in his martial studies opened the door to a powerful and unique form of arcane mastery. Properly applied, the stances and maneuvers of a martial discipline provided the mage with exceptional power and control in his arcane spellcasting - and by channeling the arcane energy of his spells into his martial maneuvers, he achieved supernatural perfection in his chosen disciplines.

For years, this secret society defended the land against evil, perfecting this new path that wove together martial disciplines and arcane power. Then a terrible abomination, known only as the Souldrake, descended on the world, wreaking unthinkable destruction across the land. The realm defended by the masters of the Jade Phoenix was swept into ruin, but the arcane swordsages gathered together and confronted this fearsome enemy. Many masters died, but at the end of the struggle, the awful Souldrake was bound and imprisoned in a hidden vault. To ensure that their foe would never break free, the thirteen surviving members of the Jade Phoenix fellowship swore a mighty oath to walk the world for all eternity, maintaining the Souldrake's prison with their own unceasing vigilance. Such was the power of their oath that these spirits have been reborn again and again in the world, keeping the Souldrake immured in its secret prison.

Today, thirteen Jade Phoenix mages walk the earth - no more, no less. The instant one dies, a new one is born somewhere in the world. As he grows and learns, he is inevitably drawn to both the Sublime Way and the magical arts - for he was a master swordsage and a mighty wizard in previous lives he has now forgotten. In time, another Jade Phoenix master discovers the new incarnation of his old companion. In an age-old rite, the existing master awakens his newfound comrade to awareness of his past lives, renews the oaths of vigilance that bind the Souldrake in its prison, and reveals to him the ancient secrets of the order. Both Jade Phoenix brothers then go their own way, their ancient duty discharged until once again a Jade Phoenix mage dies and is reborn.


Most Jade Phoenix mages begin their careers as sorcerers, warmages, or wizards. From this beginning, two paths lead to membership in the fellowship of the Jade Phoenix - multiclassing in a martial adept class (crusader, swordsage, or warblade), or choosing Martial Study and Martial Stance feats to master the required number of martial maneuvers. The latter path is costly, since the number of feats you must spend to pursue this path is high, but that option is advantageous in that you do not need to take a level in a class that will not improve your arcane spellcasting ability.

As with any spellcaster, your primary spellcasting ability remains your most important ability score. After that, you will find good Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores highly useful, since you will risk melee combat much more frequently than most arcane spellcasters. Of these, Dexterity and Constitution are most important - your class abilities and martial maneuvers provide you with ways to compensate for a mediocre Strength score.

If you choose to take a level in this prestige class, you can safely assume that you are the reincarnation of one of the thirteen ancient guardians whose lives keep the Souldrake bound in its prison. Your Dungeon Master might require you to seek out an existing member of the order to determine if this is true. Alternatively, if you have earned fame and renown for your deeds, the Jade Phoenix masters might come looking for you.


You have lived through a dozen lifetimes. You have roamed the world from one end to the other, you have learned and forgotten countless pieces of information and names, you have built empires, and you have fallen in abject, ignominious defeat. While other heroes struggle to find their place in the world or wrestle with the consequences of their actions, you view all things with equanimity. Whatever the danger, whatever the injustice, whatever the evil that rises up to threaten the world - it too shall pass.

Given the long, wearying journey passing through lifetime after lifetime, some Jade Phoenix mages become dispassionate and distant. Why form attachments to people, places, or causes, when sooner or later all will be lost again and a new life begun somewhere else? Other members of the fellowship grow arrogant and insufferable, coming to think of other mortals as lesser beings because they are limited to the experience and wisdom of a single lifetime. But most Jade Phoenix mages learn compassion, humility, and a wry sense of humor over their long journeys. Who else can better understand the magnificent jest of existence than someone who has lived and died dozens of times?

Regardless of whether your long existence has left you wise or weary, you are a clever and patient enemy of evil. You despise tyranny and cruelty in any form, for these things blight the world - and you fear that a world whose spirit is poisoned by too much wrong will be defenseless against the Souldrake. In her dark, dreaming prison she grows strong on the terror and misery of the innocent, and the day might come when she awakens and breaks free. To prevent her return, you fight oppression, injustice, and savagery wherever you find them.


Your combination of martial maneuvers and spellcasting gives you the ability to fight well in melee as well as at range. In fact, many of your defining abilities require you to prepare an arcane attack by executing martial maneuvers or use your untapped spell energy to add power to your martial strikes. A battle in which you mix your martial strikes with your arcane spells allows you to get the most out of your suite of abilities. Remember, you are not a front-line fighter; you must rely on magic and guile to avoid your enemies' attacks when you close to melee to use your martial maneuvers.

You can easily adapt your tactics to the foes you face. If you find yourself confronting enemies who are highly resistant to magic, use your arcane spell energy to add power to your martial strikes and defeat them with the Sublime Way. If you face enemies who are formidable in close combat, use your martial strikes to set up devastating magical attacks.

Although most of your combat prowess resides in your martial maneuvers and spellcasting ability, don't overlook your highly useful stance-related abilities. The mystic phoenix stance helps you survive close battles, and the firebird stance can make you a dangerous target for enemies who rely on melee attacks. However, be careful with your arcane spell slots. If you expend slots routinely on arcane wrath or to add power to your stance abilities while slinging spells every round, you will find that you burn through your spell slots faster than you might like.


You already possessed some skill with magic and some mastery of the Sublime Way before you came to the attention of the other Jade Phoenix mages. When you are ready to accept the truth of who and what you really are, a Jade Phoenix master seeks you out, even if doing so takes years. Once you are found, the master typically observes you for a time to determine if you are in fact one of his ancient comrades. Many masters feel that the best way to be sure of your readiness is to challenge you to a contest of martial and magical skill, but not all masters hold to this view. As long as you acquit yourself reasonably well in such a duel, you will be told the truth about who you are; you do not need to win. If you fight with courage but little skill, you will be left to go your own way for a time in the hope that in a year or two you might prove more ready. If you demonstrate cowardice or treachery, the testing master might elect to kill you - a stain of evil would weaken the Souldrake's prison, and after all, your spirit will be reborn. You might be a better person in your next incarnation.

Once you are awakened to your previous lives and your sacred trust, you are left to resume your own affairs. You are expected to aid another Jade Phoenix mage on the rare occasions you meet with one, and should you discover that one of your old comrades has been reborn and awaits the Rite of Waking, you are expected to bring him to a master or bring a master to him. When you reach the title of master, you normally address the matter yourself without seeking the advice or consent of your peers - you know the fellowship's responsibilities because you have discharged them for a dozen lifetimes.

As you continue to gain levels, you might alternate between your arcane spellcasting class, your martial adept class (if any), and your Jade Phoenix levels. Most practitioners of this tradition follow the Jade Phoenix path exclusively for time - at least until they attain the level of mastery they had in their previous life. Feats, spells, and maneuvers that make it easy for you to switch between melee attacks and arcane spellcasting are extremely useful. Consider learning feats such as Combat Casting or Spring Attack; spells such as fly; or martial maneuvers such as salamander charge or wind stride. Ranks in Concentration or Tumble might also prove helpful.


Jade Phoenix mages are few and far between. Most wander the world engaged in their own personal quests and struggles, interacting with their peers only through chance and happenstance. Even mortal peril is not always sufficient to gain the aid or sympathy of a fellow Jade Phoenix mage, since your death is, after all, nothing more than a momentary inconvenience in the eyes of the other masters. Sooner or later, you will meet again.

Ironically, one of your more interesting and useful resources is yourself - specifically, yourself in a past life. Some Jade Phoenix mages make a point of secreting useful things such as treasure, magic items, or simple information in hidden caches all over the world, not knowing when or if they might ever need them again. The location and value of these old caches are up to your DM, but magic items totaling 1,000 gp or less in value that you "remember" no more than once per Jade Phoenix mage level would be reasonable. Of course, your caches might not be located anywhere nearby when you decide you need one, and you might have left traps or guardians to protect them.


"You seem to have me at a disadvantage, human. You say that we have met, but I am certain that I have never laid eyes on you before today."

-Arexakarius, red dragon

The Jade Phoenix mage serves as a mystic wanderer, free-roaming troubleshooter, champion, and teacher who travels the world with few ties to any place, person, or cause. Most are willing to share their arcane knowledge or martial enlightenment with any apt student they encounter, whether or not that person harbors the spirit of an ancient comrade. A Jade Phoenix mage might therefore appear as an ally or mentor to player characters who study magic or follow the Sublime Way.

Since a Jade Phoenix mage is exceptionally well traveled and familiar with the people and events of times long gone by, he can also serve as a living witness to historic events. Adventurers in search of hard-to-find information about events that happened long ago might find that a Jade Phoenix mage recalls the events in question much more accurately than any scribe has ever set them down. A Jade Phoenix mage can therefore serve as a sage of sorts, aiding the player characters by passing along information they might otherwise have no way to discover.

Daily Life (and Death)

A Jade Phoenix mage is free to pursue his own interests and do whatever he wishes with his life, so long as he honors the basic tenets of the fellowship: Aid his fellows when asked, stand against corruption and tyranny, and keep the sacred watch alive by waking newly reincarnated fellows to their ancient oaths and true identities when necessary. In practice, most Jade Phoenix mages become wanderers. Some choose to live and teach for a time at a monastery or temple of like-minded students of the Sublime Way, becoming renowned masters in the process.

Because the spirit of a Jade Phoenix mage is bound to the world and fated to be reborn, death is a different sort of experience for him. The spirit of a Jade Phoenix mage does not voyage on to the afterlife in the planes, nor does it instantly reincarnate at the moment of death. The spirit simply slumbers for a time, remaining discorporate for a few hours or days before it is drawn back to the world and reborn. During this time, raise dead and resurrection spells cast on the deceased character function normally. If a dead Jade Phoenix mage is not brought back to life within this period of slumber, the spirit reincarnates and is born again as a new person somewhere else. After this time, no resurrection magic can bring him back to his previous existence. In other words, if a player intends for his character to be raised, he has time to be brought back; if a player chooses for his character to remain dead, his spirit quickly reincarnates and begins life again elsewhere.


All Jade Phoenix mages fall into one of three categories: candidates, initiates, and masters. Candidates are those individuals who harbor one of the thirteen ancient spirits, but simply don't know it yet. While they grow to adulthood and take up the study of magic and martial prowess, other members of the group might keep an eye on their progress, but the candidates are not told of their true calling or ancient duty until such a time as they are ready to accept these truths. Most candidates might come to realize that a mysterious sorcerer or wizard is interested in their progress, and a few might even be tutored directly by a Jade Phoenix mage who deems it necessary to return his old comrade to full wakefulness in a hurry.

Initiates are fully awakened Jade Phoenix mages - characters who have taken at least one level in this prestige class and undergone the Rite of Waking. All initiates signify their allegiance to their ancient order by tattooing the emblem of a green phoenix prominently on their bodies - usually the chest or the back of the hand, but sometimes the face or head.

Masters are Jade Phoenix mages who have reached a level of significant magical and martial power in their current incarnation. The title is one that has little weight. The group does not recognize any lasting precedence of rank or position, since each spirit must begin anew with each rebirth. At any given time, one Jade Phoenix mage might be a 15-year-old candidate struggling to master her first spells while another is a 60-year-old archmage with command of epic spellcasting, but both spirits are the same age and share the same ancient duty. For a short time, the spirit in the younger body owes some deference to the spirit who has experienced more and accomplished greater things in its current incarnation, but in a few short years the candidate will be the archmage, and the archmage will struggle to recall his old skill at magic.

NPC Reactions

Jade Phoenix mages are so rare that very few NPCs have any preconceived notions about the fellowship. Most of the time, they are treated as any skilled warrior-mage might expect to be treated. However, itinerant Jade Phoenix masters have opposed tyrants, monsters, and villains all over the world, so any particular master contends with the possibility that one or another of his twelve fellow mages might have made a name for the society in some land or another. More than one Jade Phoenix mage has wandered into a new land only to discover that generations ago one of his old companions battled some mighty evil there, and is remembered by the people he fought for - or against.


Characters with the Knowledge (history) skill can research the fellowship of the Jade Phoenix to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: I've heard old tales of strange sorcerers who mark themselves with the image of an emerald phoenix. No one knows who they are, where they come from, or where they go when they leave.

DC 15: These individuals are known as the order of the Jade Phoenix. They're an elite society of warrior-mages who know powerful secrets of both martial and arcane lore.

DC 20: The group has only thirteen members at any one time. When one dies, they find another mage to join their order. They oppose the workings of evil wherever they find it.

DC 25: The reason the group has only thirteen members is because each Jade Phoenix mage is reborn when he dies. These are the same thirteen masters who have made up the society for hundreds of years. Long ago they swore an oath to protect the world against some terrible demiurge known as the Souldrake, who is imprisoned in a hidden magical vault. As long as they are faithful to their oaths, the Souldrake cannot escape.

DC 30: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn important details about a specific Jade Phoenix mage in your campaign, including the areas where he operates, the kinds of activities he undertakes, and at least one identity of his previous incarnation, as well as some of his greater accomplishments in that life.

The fellowship of the Jade Phoenix does not maintain any sort of temple, sanctuary, or stronghold. However, at any given time it's not unusual for one or two masters to settle down in a monastery or arcane guildhouse, and teach students who seek to learn both the Sublime Way and the arcane arts. A character must succeed on a DC 25 Gather Information check to locate a Jade Phoenix master who has chosen to settle down for a time.


Jade Phoenix mages are more often allies than enemies. Even if no character in the party is particularly likely to join the prestige class, a Jade Phoenix mage can serve as an interesting mentor who appears from time to time, offering cryptic advice and guidance to heroes in need.

As a player character, a Jade Phoenix mage appeals to players who like the challenge of creating innovative tactics combining spells and melee attacks. Other players might be attracted to the possibilities of describing the adventures, friends, and enemies of lifetimes now long past; if any character can say, "I've seen something like that before" in almost any situation, it's the Jade Phoenix mage.


The most interesting way to adapt the Jade Phoenix mages to your own campaign is to define a specific evil power they keep imprisoned. In the Forgotten Realms setting, the Jade Phoenix mages might play a role in keeping Dendar, the Night Serpent, asleep in her vast prison beneath the Peaks of Flame. In the world of the Eberron campaign, the Jade Phoenix fellowship might keep some monstrous offspring of Khyber immobile and insensate. As long as they still live, the demonspawn remains trapped in the underworld.

For a real twist, consider making the Jade Phoenix fellowship into the Ebon Phoenix. The thirteen ancient swordsage-wizards were not servants of good, but instead the chosen champions of some evil god-king. As long as they still survive, the evil overlord cannot be wholly expunged from the world, and so these terrible ancient spirits keep alive the hope of returning their dark master to power someday. Destroying all thirteen Ebon Phoenix mages would require an epic quest to find and ultimately imprison or destroy each spirit before it can reincarnate.

Sample Encounter

A Jade Phoenix mage is appropriate in any encounter where you might want to introduce a nonevil sorcerer or wizard as an advisor, rival, or foil to the heroes.

EL 10: When the PCs decide to explore an ancient tomb, Kuthar of Ironhame (NG male human warblade 1/wizard 5/Jade Phoenix mage 4) intervenes, telling the heroes that they must not open the crypt. He knows that a powerful demon is trapped within the tomb, because long ago Kuthar trapped him there. He dares not take any chance of allowing the demon to escape. This encounter works best if the PCs intend to explore the tomb no matter what Kuthar says - for example, if the characters need to retrieve an ancient book or key from within the tomb to solve another pressing challenge, their mission will put them squarely at odds with the Jade Phoenix mage.

Rather than fight to the death against the whole party, Kuthar offers to duel the party's best to resolve the question of whether or not the tomb will be opened. It might also be possible for the PCs to persuade Kuthar to allow the tomb to be opened if they offer to help him destroy the demon should they encounter the creature.

Hit Die: d6.


To qualify to become a Jade Phoenix mage, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any nonevil.

Skills: Concentration 9 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 2 ranks, Knowledge (history) 2 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 2 ranks.

Martial Maneuvers: Must know at least two martial maneuvers, including one strike.

Martial Stances: Must know at least one martial stance.

Spells: Ability to cast 2nd-level arcane spells.

Class Skills

The Jade Phoenix mage's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Martial Lore (Int), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Jade Phoenix Mage

Level Base
Special Spellcasting
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 1 0 0 Arcane wrath, rite of waking
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 0 0 0 Mystic phoenix stance +1 level arcane spellcasting class
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 1 1 0 +1 level arcane spellcasting class
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 0 0 0 Empowering strike +1 level arcane spellcasting class
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 1 0 1 +1 level arcane spellcasting class
6th +6 +5 +2 +2 0 1 0 Firebird stance, Jade Phoenix master
7th +7 +5 +2 +2 1 0 0 +1 level arcane spellcasting class
8th +8 +6 +2 +2 0 0 0 Quickening strike +1 level arcane spellcasting class
9th +9 +6 +3 +3 1 1 0 +1 level arcane spellcasting class
10th +10 +7 +3 +3 0 0 0 Emerald immolation +1 level arcane spellcasting class
Class Features

The Jade Phoenix class features focus on improving your arcane spellcasting ability, but they also vastly improve your capabilities in melee combat by focusing your arcane energies into increased melee damage and through the acquisition of new maneuvers.

All of the following are class features of the Jade Phoenix mage prestige class.

Spellcasting: At each level except 1st and 6th, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a Jade Phoenix mage, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Maneuvers: At each odd-numbered level, you gain a new maneuver known from the Desert Wind or Devoted Spirit disciplines. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. You add your full Jade Phoenix mage levels to your initiator level to determine your total initiator level and your highest-level maneuvers known. At 3rd level, 6th level, and 9th level, you gain an additional maneuver readied per day.

Stances Known: At 5th level, you learn a new martial stance from the Desert Wind or Devoted Spirit disciplines. You must meet a stance's prerequisite to learn it.

Arcane Wrath (Su): You can spontaneously channel stored spell energy (prepared spells or spell slots) into your melee attacks. As a swift action, you can lose any prepared arcane spell or spell slot to gain a +4 bonus on a single attack or martial strike, as well as an extra 1d10 points of damage per spell level expended. Both bonuses can be applied only on an attack made before the beginning of your next turn. For example, if you lose a 3rd-level spell slot or prepared spell, you gain a +4 bonus on an attack roll you make before your next turn, and you deal an extra 3d10 points of damage if your attack is successful.

Rite of Waking (Ex): When you become a Jade Phoenix mage, you participate in the Rite of Waking with the master who accepted you into the society. This rite takes 10 minutes, but requires nothing other than the presence of a Jade Phoenix master and a suitable candidate. On completion of the rite, you gain awareness of your previous lives. You now remember places you visited, people you knew, and things you did in lifetimes long past. You gain a +2 bonus on Knowledge checks, and you can attempt a Knowledge check even if you are untrained in the appropriate Knowledge skill. You also gain a +2 bonus on saving throws against death effects and fear effects.

Mystic Phoenix Stance (Su): At 2nd level, you learn how to channel the energy from one of your stances in a new way. While you are in a stance from any discipline you know, you can forgo its normal benefit as a swift action to gain the effect of mystic phoenix stance. This ability lasts as long as you would maintain the stance, or as described below. You can also stop using mystic phoenix stance and resume gaining the normal benefit of the stance as a swift action.

While you use this ability, your caster level when you cast arcane spells increases by 1, and you gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC. In addition, when you first activate this ability, you can choose to expend an arcane spell slot. If you do, you also gain damage reduction against all but evil-aligned attacks as long as you maintain the stance. The value of your damage reduction is equal to 2 × the level of the spell you expend (maximum damage reduction 10/evil for expending a 5th-level spell).

Empowering Strike (Su): Beginning at 4th level, when you successfully attack an enemy with a martial strike, an arcane spell that you cast before the end of your next turn is empowered (as by the Empower Spell metamagic feat). Casting a spell that has been empowered through this ability does not increase the effective level of a spell you cast. You do not need to know the Empower Spell feat to use this ability. You can use this ability once per encounter.

Firebird Stance (Su): At 6th level, you learn another application for a stance you know. While you are in a stance from any discipline you know, you can forgo its normal benefit as a swift action to gain the effect of firebird stance. This ability lasts as long as you would maintain the stance, or as described below. You can also stop using firebird stance and resume gaining the normal benefit of the stance as a swift action.

While this ability is active, you gain resistance to fire 10, and your caster level when you cast any fire spell increases by 3. In addition, you can choose to expend an arcane spell slot when you activate the ability. If you do, you gain an aura that deals 1d6 points of damage per spell level to any creature within 10 feet (Reflex half, DC 14 + key spellcasting ability modifier). Half the damage dealt by the aura is fire, and the other half is raw arcane energy (untyped damage). The aura deals damage each round at the beginning of your turn. Once you activate this ability, the fiery aura lasts for 1 minute, after which time the effect ends and the normal effect of your stance resumes.

Jade Phoenix Master (Su): When you attain 6th level, you earn the right to call yourself a Jade Phoenix master. You can now perform the Rite of Waking for someone else, provided he or she is a suitable candidate and embodies the reincarnated spirit of one of the ancient masters. (The DM decides if this is true for any given NPC.) You gain the ability to sense the direction and distance to the nearest Jade Phoenix mage, master, or candidate simply by meditating for 1 minute without interruption.

Quickening Strike (Su): Starting at 8th level, when you successfully attack an enemy with a martial strike, an arcane spell of 5th level or lower that you cast before the end of your next turn is quickened (as by the Quicken Spell metamagic feat). Casting a spell that has been quickened by this ability does not increase the effective level of the spell you cast. You do not need to know the Quicken Spell feat to use this ability. You can use this ability once per encounter.

Emerald Immolation (Sp): At 10th level, once per week you can perform the awesome emerald immolation. You explode in a searing blast of green fire that deals 20d6 points of damage in a 20-foot radius (Reflex half, DC 19 + key spellcasting ability modifier). Half the damage the blast deals is fire, and the other half is raw arcane energy (untyped damage). Extraplanar creatures that fail their saves must immediately succeed on a Will save (DC 19 + key spellcasting ability modifi er) or be dismissed to their native planes. This blast utterly destroys you, but 1d6 rounds later, you re-form in the exact spot where you were when you employed this ability. You are dazed for 1 round after you reappear, but you are healed of all damage (including ability drain or damage), blindness, deafness, disease, paralysis, or poison. Any equipment you were wearing or objects you were holding or carrying when you used this ability re-form with you, exactly as they were. This ability is the equivalent of a 9th-level spell.