David Kerven suggested having a tree of trainable magician's assitants,
which I thought was a good idea. Here is what I came up with:
peasant --- apprentice --- disciple --- battle priest
+----- aura deacon
I don't know what they all do yet (and if you can suggest some better
names, please do). I was going to have one kind of magic-man, the
battle priest, who has some use in combat. None of the others do.
I don't want the battle priest to be directly equatable with any of
the non-magical fighters. Perhaps, at the start of combat, each battle
priest gets one shot at taking out an enemy noble. Each priest has only
a 10% chance of success.
This shouldn't tip the outcome of large battles too greatly. But even
a greatly superior force would think twice before attacking some
battle priests, since they have the chance of cutting straight through
to the nobles right away.
There should be some sort of magical defense against the battle priest,
perhaps another battle priest, another kind of magic-man, or some spell
one could know.
-- Rich Skrenta <email@example.com>