Wu-jen are sorcerors, men of mysterious powers. They command the elements, spirit forces, and the very powers of nature. They are seldom found living with the rest of human society. Instead, they live as hermits and anchorites. Living in the wilderness they purify their bodies and minds and contact the various natural and supernatural powers of the world. From these, they learn their spells—magical means to control the invisible forces of the world.
Like the shukenja, the wu jen has dedicated his life to a single goal requiring great mental discipline. To reach it the wu jen must sacrifice his ties to family and his concern for honour. They are also little concerned with honour. While wu-jen have integrity, they are unconcerned with the codes of honour that preoccupy samurai and other characters. Bonuses and penalties of honour are halved for wu jen.
Wu jen tend to stand apart from the lawful societies in which they live, flouting the rules and norms of decent folk. They have a strong tendency toward chaos, but in any event, cannot be lawful.
Wu jen crave magical power in a world where no organized colleges of wizardry exist. Their thirst drives them to seek out others like themselves, hermits, recluses, or exiles who have gained the secrets they seek. Nearly all wu jen are trained by a single mentor in this fashion, outcast from proper society and set apart by their fearsome supernatural powers. To this end they deal also with the spirit world and gain Tengu and Oni as bonus languages. These races also do not necessarily attack a wu jen on site (providing a +2 on Diplomacy and Persuasion checks with these races).
Since wu jen draw their power from supernatural sources, they must operate under special taboos that do not affect other characters. Indeed, these taboos may seem silly or insignificant to other characters. However, they are vitally important to the wu jen since violating them results in the loss of spells, illness, or other evil events. At 1st level, a wu jen character must have one taboo. Thereafter an additional taboo must be selected upon gaining every five levels. Some possible taboos are suggested below. The DM may create additional taboos, so long as they are similarly restricting.
- Cannot eat meat.
- Cannot have more treasure than the character can carry.
- Must make a daily offering (of food, flowers, incense, etc.) to one or many spirit powers.
- Cannot bathe.
- Cannot cut one’s hair.
- Cannot touch a dead body.
- Cannot drink alcoholic beverages.
- Cannot wear a certain colour of cloth.
- Cannot light a fire.
- Cannot sit facing to the east (or north, south, etc.)
See Mystical Taboos below for mechanical effects (this is a variant and not required).
The wu jen is also proficient in the use of the calligrapher tools as these are required to inscribe spells.
Finally, wu jen have their own spell list and familiar options (see further on).
WAY OF THE WU JEN
Wu-jen are the arcane spellcasters of Oriental Adventures. As with wizards, their spells are their primary class feature and assume an all-important role in a wu-jen’s life. Many wu-jen spells draw on the power of the four elements – earth (including wood and metal), fire, water, and air – and a wu-jen who masters all the spells of one element gains additional power with those spells. Finally, wu-jen are adept at manipulating their spells, increasing their range, duration, or effect, or eliminating verbal or somatic components through permanent metamagic effects.
Beginning when you select this path at 2nd level, once per day, you can focus your ki to burst into sudden action. This lets you move first for that encounter.
ELEMENTAL RING MASTERY
Beginning at 2nd level, you can master a particular elemental spell: earth (wood and metal), fire, water (blood), and air. When you learn all the spells of a single element up to the highest level of spells you can cast, you are considered a master of that element. Thereafter, whenever you cast a spell of that element, the saving throw DC is increased by 1, and you get advantage on saving throws against spells of that element. Note that when you gain the ability to cast higher-level spells, you lose your mastery until you learn all the spells of that element at the new spell level. Certain spells on the wu-jen spell list are designated “All”; this means they belong to all elemental groups, and a wu-jen must learn these spells in order to achieve mastery of any element. Cantrips are not included as a prerequisite for elemental mastery.
Also, all elemental spells the wu-jen casts are enhanced if there is a large amount of that element at hand to be included in the spell as a component. This enhances the DC or range spell attack of the spell by +1. If the spell has no saving throw and is not a range spell attack you may add your Intelligence modifier to the damage roll. Spells are also affected by certain other natural phenomena – full moon makes water spells more powerful, a storm makes air more powerful, a comet or being in the desert improves fire and so on.
An updated spell list can be found here.
Starting at 6th level, you gain your second ki power — the ability to summon massive magical energies. This allows you to cast any one spell that is three or more spell levels lower than your highest spell level you are capable of casting with maximum effect. The spell automatically has all its variables maximised (if desired). The first time you do so, you suffer no adverse effect. If you use this feature again before you finish a long rest, you take 2d12 necrotic damage for each level of the spell, immediately after you cast it. Each time you use this feature again before finishing a long rest, the necrotic damage per spell level increases by 1d12. This damage ignores resistances and immunity.
EMPOWERED ELEMENT RING
Beginning at 10th leveI, you can add your Intelligence modifier to the damage roll of any spell you have mastered with the Elemental Mastery special ability.
RING OF THE VOID
Of all the elemental forces that make up the universe, the most powerful and the most difficult to control is the one that lies between and joins the others: Void. Most shukenja can call upon and direct only the individual forces of specific elements, while wu-jen use them all. But Void disciples understand that everything in the world contains all the basic elements, held together by the least tangible essence. Void is like the silence between notes of music, giving rhythm and shape to the whole. You have mastered the void.
Once per day starting at 14th level, you can make a melee attack using your spell attack bonus to bestow 1d6 levels of exhaustion on a target. You gain 5 temporary hit points for each level of exhaustion you bestow. If the target gains six levels of exhaustion it is entitled to an Intelligence saving throw to reduce it to five levels otherwise it dies.
To maintain their supernatural power, and because culture and tradition dictate it, wu-jen must abide by certain taboos that might seem inconsequential to other characters but are vitally important to the wu-jen. You must choose at least 1 taboo at 3rd level when you take this arcane tradition. You may also take a taboo at 6th level, 10th level, and 14th level. You can only choose a taboo once and your DM decides which taboos are available for you to choose from.
Adventuring Life. Apart from magical items that you are attuned to, you cannot own more than you can carry. If you own something that for any reason isn’t on your person, somebody else will take ownership of it. If it is a piece of land, there might be a filing error, transferring ownership to somebody else. If you drop a coin, a bird might scoop down and pick it up. Somehow, the universe simply doesn’t allow you to own anything, not on your person. However, you gain the ability to open or close a hole into your personal pocket dimension. The dimension works exactly like a bag of holding.
A Game of Words. When in a conversation, your first word must always be the last word that was spoken by the creature that spoke before you. It must be incorporated into your sentence in such a way, that it makes sense. When doing so, which you must always attempt, you always know if the creature you converse with is lying to you.
Cold Shoulder. You cannot light a fire or cast spells that deal fire or radiant damage. In fact, all fire within 5 ft. of you simply goes out or bends around you. Your skin is always icy cold to the touch.
Colour Repellent. Choose a colour. You can never wear or touch that colour. No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot, as it moves just past you as if with magnetism. This includes spells and weapons of a certain colour as well.
Corpse Aversion. You can never move closer to a corpse than 10 feet. If you try, you are met with an invisible and unbreakable barrier. Spells that try to teleport you closer fail. The same is true for corpses trying to get near you.
Directional Restriction. Choose a direction: north, east, south, or west. You can never face that direction or target anything in that direction. You simply physically can’t. However, as a bonus action, you can magically teleport 60 feet in the direction opposite of the direction you chose.
Eldritch Stutter. No matter how hard you try, you cannot utter sentences
that contain more than five words. Whenever you speak, a faint whisper repeats your every word, giving people around you the creeps. You have disadvantage on Charisma (persuasion) checks but advantage on Charisma (intimidation) checks that involve speech. Additionally, if you cannot speak, the faint whisper continues to work, allowing you to fulfil verbal components for spells even while silenced.
Questionable Hygiene. You cannot bathe. In fact, water is like solid matter to you, no matter its temperature. The rain feels like hail, and you can walk on water. You can never swim or dive.
Special Diet. You cannot eat the meat of any sort. Attempting to do so sickens you, and you are poisoned until you finish a short or long rest. Luckily, your jaw and teeth are harder than steel, allowing you to eat anything else and gain sustenance. Anything else.
When using the find familiar spell the wu jen may also select one of the following options: a small kami/oni version of any clan animal (so lon as they belong to that clan). Other options include the ancestral spark, lesser nature spirit, lesser phoenix and void thing.