Vivi Ornitier

A Black Mage with a shocking past and tragic future, Vivi is a poppet with something to prove.

Who Is Vivi Ornitier?

Who Are Vivi Ornitier?

Black Mages have been a thing since the very beginning of Final Fantasy. They are typically the most offensive-magic oriented class, and historically have been identified by their tall hats, blue cloaks, and bright eyes shining out of a shadowed face.

Final Fantasy IX took the Black Mage job, personified it, then unravelled it back to its origins with Vivi Ornitier, one of the most tragic characters in the Final Fantasy universe. From the very first time we meet Vivi, tripping over his long blue jacket on the street, we know he's a Black Mage. And from pretty much that point on, it's punch after punch for the little guy – including the harrowing revelation that he is a creation, intended as a weapon.

As a Final Fantasy fan, seeing Vivi for the first time was very fun; a Black Mage personified. To have the idea of a powerful magic user then be upended in the tragedy of the character was unexpected and great.

My Final Fantasy parties are pretty straightforward. In the entries that offer a four-person party, I go Tank, White Mage, Black Mage, Melee Damage. I always have the most fun with the Black Mage, especially finding different combos to stack onto them as sub-jobs and alt abilities. Usually that is a Time Mage, or other complementary magic.

Keys to the Character

Black Mage clones

You're My Prototype

It's tough to find out you're a clone-like creation, meant to be used as a weapon of mass destruction. But it might make it a little easier to find out you're the FIRST clone-like creation, meant to be used as a weapon of mass destruction.

Vivi's staff

Staff Discount

In Final Fantasy IX, characters earn their skills through using equipment. Vivi gets most of his spells from different staves. Maybe if he used it as a walking stick, he wouldn't trip so much.

Vivi enchanting a sword with fire

Sword + Sorcery

Vivi's teammate Steiner has a lot of reverence for the Black Mage. When they're on the same lineup, Vivi returns the favor by giving him Sword Magic to power up his strikes.

Vivi entering a trance

Trance Trance Revolution

Call it a Limit Break, call it a Overdrive, call it a Desperation Attack... When Vivi reaches his limit, he goes into a Trance and can cast his spells twice.

Building Vivi Ornitier

Compared to some of the complex builds here, Vivi was a breeze. Take a clone-like ancestry, make them a Wizard, then try to figure out Sword Magic and Trances.

That last part was the only nuance. There is not that much "enchanting an ally weapon" magic available in Pathfinder, so Vivi needs to make a lot out of a little.

Similarly, the Echoing Magic metamagic is available for high-level sorcerers, not wizards. Luckily, it is available as part of the Time Magic archetype, which fits the Final Fantasy flavor perfectly.

On the battlefield, Vivi focuses as many rounds as possible blasting enemies to oblivion – sometimes twice.


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Poppet - Stuffed Poppet

Vivi makes a shocking discovery about his own ancestry – he's a creation, meant as a weapon. A stuffed poppet is the next best thing.

Level Feat Notes
1 Helpful Poppet Hey, Vivi does want to help his friends as much as possible.
5 Histrionic Injury Enemies just feel bad after hitting him.
9 Nothing But Fluff Who knows what these Black Mages are really made from?
13 Squirm Free Run, Vivi, run!
17 Cunning Tinker Vivi can repair Poppets. Wait, that means him too?


Magical Misfit

Magic is somewhat rare in the world of Final Fantasy IX – rare enough that people generally are either afraid of Black Mages or revere them (like Vivi's pal Steiner). As a Black Mage learning to fit in, Magical Misfit is perfect.


Evocation Wizard - Staff Nexus Thesis

A Wizard focusing on the Evocation School is about as Black Mage as you can get. They go pew pew, turn after turn.

The Staff Nexus Thesis gives Vivi his own staff to begin crafting with at level one, which improves over time.

Finally, adding a Time Mage dedication at level six will fill out his feats toward his eventual trance double-spell blast powers.

Level Feat Notes
2 Cantrip Expansion By using his equipment, Vivi learns spells forever
4 Reach Spell Blast from further away
6 Time Mage Dedication For Trance, down the road
8 Advanced School Spell Focus on blasting
10 Chronomancer’s Secrets - Stasis Some battlefield support as the Trance builds
12 Forcible Energy Even more Black Magic
14 Quickened Casting Free metamagic!
16 Effortless Concentration Keep AOEs blastin’ away
18 Infinite Possibilities Steal some of that Sorcerer shine
20 Echoing Spell TRANCE!

Skills & General Feats

Bad news for the rest of the team, Vivi is NOT that skilled. He isn't athletic, or acrobatic, or even diplomatic.

What he does is blast things with Arcana, and he does it better than most.

Legendary: Arcana, Crafting, Occultism
Master: -
Expert: -

Level Feat Notes
2 Alchemical Crafting As a crafted being himself, Vivi understands how things work
3 Diehard It’s a bit harder to kill a clone (before their 1 year expiry)
4 Dubious Knowledge Vivi’s memory is suspect
6 Magical Shorthand Learn spells faster, to double later.
7 Numb to Death You can't kill what's already emotionally dead.
8 Aura Sight See beyond the physical.
10 Magical Crafting Keep improving that staff buddy
11 Incredible Investiture A tinker like this should have lots of room for magic items.
12 Schooled in Secrets The mystery of Vivi’s past is unravelling
14 Bizarre Magic No one knows what the heck Vivi is casting.
15 Unified Theory Vivi's magical expertise extends to other sources of magic.
16 Crafter’s Appraisal It's esay to know what something costs if you know how it's made.
18 Craft Anything Move beyond just staves
19 Disturbing Knowledge Vivi's entire journey is about discovering some disturbing knowledge. Like being a cloned poppet for instnace.
20 Oddity Identification If only Vivi could have identified himself.

Attribute Increases


Suggested Starting Equipment

Vivi Ornitier's Signature Items

Key Spells

Level Spells Notes
Cantrip Electric Arc Black
Cantrip Produce Flame Mage
Cantrip Ray of Frost Strikes
Cantrip Acid Splash Again!
1 Magic Weapon The first version of Sword Magic Vivi can help with
1 Echoing Weapon Another way to enchant an ally’s weapon for a Sword Magic turn
6 Halcyon Infusion Sword Magic at it’s finest: just let your ally cast the enchantment themselves!


Vivi Resources