Traditional wizards find magic in books, sorcerers in blood, and bards in music. The most powerful magical creatures of the Material Plane—dragons—find magic in color. Ignoring the traditional schools of magic, mosaic mages define spells by associated color. Red magic is violent and aggressive, but it also heals and loves. Both black magic and white magic are death, but one is also evil while the other good. Blue is mysticism, utility, and knowledge. Yellow is energy, enigmas, and light.
Mosaic mages prefer to identify themselves by the color in which they specialize. A mosaic mage who specializes in yellow magic, for example, prefers to be known as a yellow mage. So attuned to the color of magic in which they specialize, mosaic mages emanate a translucent aura that tints their skin and clothes. Although this tinted aura is not perceived any more powerfully by detect magic, it is obvious to the naked eye.
Ridiculed by the ignorant and magically sterile, mosaic mages of every color possess unique access to spells that are the envy of their bookish brethren. Red mages, for example, are among the few arcane casters with healing powers but who can also throw fire around better than divine healers. A minority among the already rare ranks of the mosaic mages are those who blend colors together to expand their access to magic, such as green mages, who can benefit from all magic associated with the mystical blue and enigmatic yellow spell spectrums. By studying the lessons of great wizards and historic artists, mosaic mages see magic in a different light.
This pdf is 13 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial & SRD, leaving 11 1/3 pages of content for the mosaic mage, so let's check it out!
What are the Mosaic Mages? Essentially, they are a variant of the regular specialty wizard that gets access to a certain selection of sub-schools of wizardry as well as abilities based on the colors (or combination thereof) of their specialization. Fluff-wise, a magical tint may accompany them, infusing their very being with the color of their magic. Every 4th level, the mage gets a spectrum power.
Each of the primary spectrums the mosaic mage can choose has 2 subspectrums and preparing spells from these schools take up 2 slots instead of one. In addition to this, Mosaic Mages can e.g. specialize in mixed spectrums instead of the primary ones, choosing 5 of the 9 schools and sub-schools of the component spectrums, a green mosaic mage e.g. choosing from yellow and blue.
Each of the spectrums gets access to a kind of energy associated with the color (if you know the color-code of chromatic dragons, then you know what kind of energy the color gets access to) and depending on the color, other sub-schools. Unsurprisingly, e.g. Black gets access to Necromancy and Illusion (Shadow), Abjuration, Enchantment (Compulsion), Illusion (Phantasm) and Evocation spells with the [Acid]-descriptor, while Blue gains access to Illusion (Glamer), Abjuration, Conjuration (Teleportation), Divination (Scrying), Transmutation (Polymorph) and Evocation [Electricity]. In case you're wondering: Yellow gets [sonic]-spells, while white gets actually access to Conjuration (Creation) and Conjuration (Healing)-spells, making the mosaic mages a rather interesting choice in that the white mages may provide healing without being divine casters.
Each of the spectrums gains access to a selection of spectrum powers (And advanced spectrum powers starting at 12th level), which replace essentially Arcane Discoveries and range from Darkvision to a tar-like, slowing aura up to a multitude of improved mage-hands and the ability to spontaneously convert spells into associated energies.
The pdf also includes 4 different feats, two of which grant you access to additional spectrum and advanced spectrum powers, one that grants you access to another spectrum and one to suppress your mosaic aura.
Editing and formatting are not up to SGG's usual standard, there are more editing glitches in this pdf than usual. The pdf has no bookmarks and features neat artworks. layout adheres to SGG's 3-column standard.
The Mosaic Mages per se are an interesting concept in that their spell-selection is at once very wide and very limited - having access to both healing and arcane battle magic is interesting and might make the "Cleric/Druid-is-necessary" obsolete while still providing access to devastating battle-spells. On the other hand, the limitation to one energy-type (at least without taking feats/dual-spectrums) is a major drawback and I'm not entirely sold on the idea or the in-game balance of the different spectrum powers among the respective selections. The fact that the aura makes being a mosaic mage VERY obvious might make the class problematic for low-magic settings unless you make the color-aura only pop up when casting. The Mosaic Mages are not necessarily too versatile and the color-coding makes them a bit more predictable than I personally enjoy. While the Mosaic Mages do succeed in providing a distinct playing experience, their spectrum powers and overall potential fall a bit short of what they could have been. Combines with the editing glitches, my final verdict will thus be 3 stars.
I'm not gonna lie: the big thing that drew me to this latest Genius Guide was the cover. I mean, seriously! The mage on the front is a beautiful, Asian-inspired character. She's gorgeous. But don't go thinking I only bought this because I liked the cover. Oh no. Super Genius Games provides a rather interesting new concept for an arcane spell caster. I like the concepts behind each of the color spectrums, how individual mosaic mages can mix and match colors to create unique characters, and the subtle nostalgia the ideas bring to mind (I'm thinking of a certain video game series, no prize for guessing which one). ^_^
Like Kolokotroni mentioned, there is no real spell list given for the mosaic mage. Instead, there's specific schools and subschools of spells that mosaic mages can take. While I don't feel like this is as big a drawback as Kolokotroni says (at least, not for all gamers; I never leave home without my laptop, which has all my pdfs and usually gets internet), it is somewhat of a drawback. However, I feel like this is something that can be modified by GMs to their liking, and it allows characters to get super creative with their characters. The concept of the spellprism was cool but slightly confusing. I'm gonna need to read this over a couple times to completely understand it.
Still, this is a class I would love to play or add to a campaign, and it was definitely worth falling in love with the chick on the cover. 4/5 stars. ^_^ (I'd give 4.5, but doesn't look like half stars are available)
I think most of us can look on the concept of red mage, black mage, and white mage with some nostalgia. The idea that certain kinds of magic are associated with a certain color has been around for a long time. A certain collectable card game may have made it famous, but it certainly didnt start there.
The Genius Guide to the Mosaic Mage brings this concept to pathfinder. There are 5 primary colors or spectrusm, red, black, white, blue and yellow. Each has their own 'spectrum powers' associated with the themes, as well as their own area of spells. The colors are well themed and the concept that certain colors complement each other I like a lot.
The problem comes with the spells for the class. You have access to ALL spells that fit certain school/subschool list for each spectrum. For instance, yellow has conjuration (summoning), Conjuration (teleportation), evocation (no energy type), Evocation (sonic),Illusion(patern), Tranmutation(with no subschool). You have access to ANY spell that fits these schools.
There however is no useful listing in any of the books of spells in a format that would allow you to easily look through them for the above schools. And here in lies with the problem with this product. Thankfully if you head over to the pathfinder srd website, their spells db will help ALOT, but I dont really like relying on a computer and a website to be able to create a character. Sometimes these things are not available (I keep a print copy of all my gaming pdfs that moves with my other books).
I never thought i'd say this but I like unique spell lists better then I like this method of creating guidelines for spell lists. It is just too much work to go through all the spells to find which ones match the criteria to make it worth it to use the class (particularly as a dm making an npc which is what I was considering using this class for).
For that, I give it 4 stars instead of 5. I really do like the class, but it probably would have been better served with its own spell list(s) in my opinion.