The death mage is a new core class designed for use with the Pathfinder RPG. It is an arcane spellcasting class that focuses on powers drawn from the dead, dying, and undead. Death mages are not just specialist wizards or variant sorcerers, but an entirely new kind of arcane spellcaster with different types of powers and a unique spell list. A death mage is designed to allow characters to draw deeply on the iconic forces of death, spirit and shadow, without requiring them be evil or focus on undead (though both are options).
Though often mistaken for necromancer-specialist wizards, undead-bloodline sorcerers, or clerics of gods of death and repose, death mages are truthfully closer in function and training to druids. While a druid is servant to and master of the forces of nature—calling upon them for instruction, aid, and power—the death mage is similarly linked to the spirits and powers of the dead. This is an intellectual link rather than a spiritual one, for a death mage has chosen to immerse herself in the trappings of the dead and their graves. The first thing a death mage learns is to listen to the faint echoes left behind by spirits of the dead. While wizards learn spells from dusty tomes, and sorcerers are empowered by their bloodlines, death mages are taught by the shades of the departed.