Who is John Constantine?


Thaumaturge Class


I have been reading everyone talking about how they want to use the thaumaturge to play John Constantine, but I didn't know who he was, so I looked him up and am unconvinced that he isn't some other class(though I wasn't able to glean much information about him). So:
Who is John constantine? What about this character makes him not some other class? What about him means that his so explicitly NOT A SPELLCASTER? What about him makes him a thaumaturge? Why is he so cool? Please explain. Thanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

John "Hellblazer" Constantine is an Occult Detective and Sorcerer from DC Comics who frequently battles against monsters, demons, and other dark entities. One of the tactics that he often employs in his work is wielding strange objects of power against the beings he fights against. He IS in fact a spellcaster and is capable of utilizing magic, being something akin to a Sorcerer with the Abyssal Bloodline as his body possessed Demon Blood in at some point. But, the comparisons everyone is pointing to is his use of occult objects and esoteric knowledge (that even other magic users don't know) in order to do what he does. That's a very simplified explanation of him.

So Class-wise, he would likely be a Thaumaturge with a Dedication in Sorcerer and maybe Wizard, as he does have learned knowledge of magic as well.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

To add on, like most long running comics characters he's iterated a lot over the years, but when I think of him I mostly think of the fact that any actual magical might he has is nowhere near the level of what he contends with, so he becomes an occult macguyver, finding loopholes, special solutions, magic items, alliances, and bits of knowledge he's picked up here and there to takedown his enemies.

In strict magical power, he's leagues behind Zatanna or Dr. Fate, who are real spell casters, but he's still top tier in terms of who and what he can take on. He's almost like a more grounded, bitter, occult doctor who figure in how he solves problems.

I recommend the animated Justice League Dark for a quick look at him relative to other magic in the DC Universe.


Similar to how Dresden is sighted as an inspiration and likely the only reason the familiar feats are in there but is most definitely a wizard (or dual class since novel protagonists can break the rules )


I've only seen Constantine tangentially in guest appearances, but he doesn't give me the impression that he is the one empowering the magic items he uses. I think this is why Esoteric Antithesis initially confused me. He was using magic that was already there, he just knows how to trick it to make it work. Hence my initial suggestions of switching the class to being build around Trick Magic Item. Essentially the class about casting spells without being a spell caster.

If the thaumaturge is about pulling out the hidden connections between all things, that seems less like Constantine and more a new thing. One I'm fully behind. But then the pacts, scroll usage, and familiar don't really fit.

But if the goal was Constantine, I don't think he should have the short cut of getting anything to work. Finding the weakness is part of the mystery. Building around using magic items that you can upgrade makes more sense here. Along with scrolls, pacts, and the familiar. So he still has to prepare and find the weakness, but whatever it is he can use it

This is my very limited opinion of course. Please tell me if I'm mistaken.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Constantine strikes me as all about the short cuts and cheating. He's the archetypical glorious bastard. He got out of dying of cancer by selling his soul to multiple lords of hell in such a way that any of them collecting would kick off a war with the other two.

The Doctor might be a similar significantly less grim dark equivalent. The Doctor has rather absurd intelligence but he rarely busts out major inventions, instead choosing to get by on his reputation, force of personality, and a signature gizmo he can use to undermine whatever crazy tech the bad guys are bringing to bear.


While I kinda see the flavor connection in the theme, the mechanics are more directly tied to creating or strengthening and exploiting conceptual weaknesses. Essentially attacking the idea of the creature more than anything else. Something like a ghost having a weakness to the way it was killed in life as reality encourages the repetition of its intended fate, or a numerological ritual to align your weapon to the cosmic essence of its designated target or where legend states the town sword once slew a monster and you use that to give the sword the property of slaying a similar creature etc.

Liberty's Edge

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John Constantine is always 2 steps ahead. He is a charming deceitful trickster. He gets on a huge lot by his reputation, to the point that he does not really need to use magic that much.

And he always has some trinket around that is just what is needed.

I think that is what the Thaumaturge tries to replicate through its features, while letting the player and the GM provide the specifics.

Check the thread about 101 connections for examples.


My thought is that his trinket solutions tie more into his intelligence than his charisma. He has charisma, no doubt. But he and the doctor are both prepared, which is based off their int.

As written, the thaumaturge cares nothing for your intelligence. It more wants to bluff a weakness into existence than always be prepared. I think I was trying, and failing, to make that distinction.


Ly'ualdre wrote:

John "Hellblazer" Constantine is an Occult Detective and Sorcerer from DC Comics who frequently battles against monsters, demons, and other dark entities. One of the tactics that he often employs in his work is wielding strange objects of power against the beings he fights against. He IS in fact a spellcaster and is capable of utilizing magic, being something akin to a Sorcerer with the Abyssal Bloodline as his body possessed Demon Blood in at some point. But, the comparisons everyone is pointing to is his use of occult objects and esoteric knowledge (that even other magic users don't know) in order to do what he does. That's a very simplified explanation of him.

So Class-wise, he would likely be a Thaumaturge with a Dedication in Sorcerer and maybe Wizard, as he does have learned knowledge of magic as well.

Witch seems like a better fit, imho, despite the familiar. Gaining power by trucking with higher powers seems to be his bailiwick.


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To my surprise, on comic book video comments I've seen Constantine called one of the most powerful people in the DC Universe. Keep in mind the many gods & godlike aliens saturating that setting!
It likely depends on the iteration and needs of the current narrative, but that statement's a bit beyond only using trinkets and deception. (And to be honest, it still surprises me since it seems so many could insta-kill him, but I guess there's more to him than I know.)

Why guess though?
Just looking up him on the DC fandom site:
"antisocial", "silver-tongued", "conman", "highly skilled sorcerer who had mastered all the magic Europe had to offer" (!),
Has cast many spells where others die in a mishap, including prominent DC characters and loved ones! It's a recurring theme.
Archenemies stole the power from John's artifacts, yet leader still lost to him. He went undercover as a new leader to undermine their cult.

There's an extensive list of his spells, many of which are suitable for direct magical attacks. It was his demon blood (now gone!) that enabled him to cast them without cost (they're black magic).
His martial prowess is called "basic" (though he does wield a deadly blade). He has other mundane abilities: "Deception", "Escapology", "Intimidation", "Investigation", "Singing", as well as extreme willpower (in a defensive fashion, though he doesn't seem particularly wise!) and occult knowledge (which would be broader in a DC context, covering all traditions).

Using spells he has cast a universe-wide illusion, stolen Shazam's powers, stopped time, opened dimensional portals, and he has a sigil capable of killing a god. Um-kay.

That's not a martial dependent on items for his magic, nor any kind of role model for the PF2 Thaumaturge! He's a full caster who'd happened to have accumulated lots of magic items (which the timeline doesn't mention him getting back yet). And he's using all of his mental stats in his magic at some point or other. (prep w/ Int, withstand feedback w/ Wis/Will, exert raw power from his blood w/ Cha.)

Quote: "When he possessed demon blood, John Constantine was considered the strongest of the "Magic Blood" classification, magic users who carried the blood of magical beings and are able to withstand a level of magic that a human body cannot normally handle."

So that's who, and what, John Constantine is.


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Yeah but all of that happened over the course of the comics. In the beginning he was kind of a mix between this thaumaturge and a rogue.


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I think the most iconic version of him (and what usually gets portrayed in animation/live action) is a smarmy cockney bastard/conman who knows a lot about the occult, who isn't very magically powerful himself (but always has some magical artefact equivalent of a reverse Uno card in his back pocket) but knows literally everyone in the broader occult community (most of them hate him), and gets by by making a lot of deals and double deals, and collects all kinds of weird magical gizmos (partially to keep them out of the wrong hands, partially to use them in a tight spot).


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Castilliano wrote:

To my surprise, on comic book video comments I've seen Constantine called one of the most powerful people in the DC Universe. Keep in mind the many gods & godlike aliens saturating that setting!

It likely depends on the iteration and needs of the current narrative, but that statement's a bit beyond only using trinkets and deception. (And to be honest, it still surprises me since it seems so many could insta-kill him, but I guess there's more to him than I know.)

Why guess though?
Just looking up him on the DC fandom site:
"antisocial", "silver-tongued", "conman", "highly skilled sorcerer who had mastered all the magic Europe had to offer" (!),
Has cast many spells where others die in a mishap, including prominent DC characters and loved ones! It's a recurring theme.
Archenemies stole the power from John's artifacts, yet leader still lost to him. He went undercover as a new leader to undermine their cult.

There's an extensive list of his spells, many of which are suitable for direct magical attacks. It was his demon blood (now gone!) that enabled him to cast them without cost (they're black magic).
His martial prowess is called "basic" (though he does wield a deadly blade). He has other mundane abilities: "Deception", "Escapology", "Intimidation", "Investigation", "Singing", as well as extreme willpower (in a defensive fashion, though he doesn't seem particularly wise!) and occult knowledge (which would be broader in a DC context, covering all traditions).

Using spells he has cast a universe-wide illusion, stolen Shazam's powers, stopped time, opened dimensional portals, and he has a sigil capable of killing a god. Um-kay.

That's not a martial dependent on items for his magic, nor any kind of role model for the PF2 Thaumaturge! He's a full caster who'd happened to have accumulated lots of magic items (which the timeline doesn't mention him getting back yet). And he's using all of his mental stats in his magic at some point or other. (prep w/ Int, withstand feedback w/ Wis/Will, exert raw...

Wikis are sort of a poor example when it comes to comic characters.

Comic Book Characters from the big 2 have gone through so many interations, written by so many different writers, and have had so many retcons that it can be hard to figure out a base level or typical M.O

For Instance Batman is listed as having had the Black Lantern Ring, a cosmically powered ring that lets him call upon the Undead.....But if you were to say Batman is a Necromancer, people will look at you funny. It also lists Batman as having the Mobious chair and the Hellbat two items that drastically upgrade his power way beyond what he typically deals with or his usual M.O

And Wikis in there need to portray everything, tend to lack context and nuance for feats and capabilities.

Constantine has been portrayed as a powerful sorcerer who can do all sorts of things like that. But he is just as likely or more likely portrayed as a trickster and a con artist relying on making deals, collecting esoteric items, and performing rituals that take quite a long time to cast. I will admit that the martial proficiency throughs a wrench in to things a bit, but he has been known to throw a punch of two or wield a blade if its the right thing for the job.

Constantine is a magical expert but is usually relying on objects or some other means to activate said magic.

Ritual Circles, Esoteric items, making pacts, its for the most part all there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Anna Thomas 798 wrote:
Ly'ualdre wrote:

John "Hellblazer" Constantine is an Occult Detective and Sorcerer from DC Comics who frequently battles against monsters, demons, and other dark entities. One of the tactics that he often employs in his work is wielding strange objects of power against the beings he fights against. He IS in fact a spellcaster and is capable of utilizing magic, being something akin to a Sorcerer with the Abyssal Bloodline as his body possessed Demon Blood in at some point. But, the comparisons everyone is pointing to is his use of occult objects and esoteric knowledge (that even other magic users don't know) in order to do what he does. That's a very simplified explanation of him.

So Class-wise, he would likely be a Thaumaturge with a Dedication in Sorcerer and maybe Wizard, as he does have learned knowledge of magic as well.

Witch seems like a better fit, imho, despite the familiar. Gaining power by trucking with higher powers seems to be his bailiwick.

John doesn't get his magic from deals, pacts, or the like as a Witch does. Depending on the exact origin, he comes from a long line of mages known as the Laughing Magicians. While they were known to trick gods and the like, that isn't the source of their power. They not only learn there magic as a Wizard would, but they also have a measure of innate mastery over it; particularly the Synchronicity. A later origin (from New 52) suggests he is taught his magic and, in an attempt to cast a spell to make himself stronger, inadvertently kills his family in a house fire. His demonic blood would also come later as a result of a transfusion from a demon, and the again thanks to a tryst with a succubus; resulting in more powerful magic.

Anyways, while Constantine is indeed a powerful mage, he relies less on his spells and more so on his cunning, occult knowledge, and an arsenal of magical relics and weapons. This is likely were the Thaumaturge relation comes in, alongside the real world concept of Synchronicity being basically the "apparent connections between circumstances that lack actual relation". The Esoteric Anithesis is basically the latter, with the Thaumaturge creating connections between objects, stories, and beings to create effects that otherwise don't exist. The comics explain it more so as an ability to create his own luck, which allows him to go against odds that would otherwise not be in his favor.


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Constantine also uses non-Vancian magic that extracts a price from its wielder. He used to ignore that price when he had demon blood, casting liberally, but the blood's been extracted (likely for narrative reasons to keep his uber-power in check and him relatable). So now naturally he'd rather not pay that price, much like Spawn has cosmic level power, but is drawing from a permanently limited energy supply he'd rather not deplete. It lets them (much like Batman re: what gear he carries) shift up or down the power curve as the story requires.

With that penalty looming, Constantine wants to use mundane trickery as much as possible, and he'd prefer to use an item when it suffices rather than risk backlash (which has killed many people around him!). Yet when those options fail, spells happens, as much magic as needed (w/ a later narrative penalty). Those are his strongest tools.

So despite being at the highest levels in DC he's a mediocre martial who can rely on items, but doesn't require them to do his strongest magic. One can pick and choose from his street-level stories to make a PF2 Thaumaturge, sure, but that's only a partial picture.
(And w/ the Thaumaturge having to clog up their skill advances w/ RK ones, it'd be hard to build a Constantine PC capable of his mundane exploits either.)

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