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Domenico Fetti (1588-1623) Title Archimedes Thoughtful Year 1620

Ink and Quill

Author Thomas Knauss

Series Dragonwing Games/Bastion Press

Publisher DWBP

Publish date 2002

While playwrights and poets dominate literature’s fictional works, the prolific writing of scholars inspire a myriad of new ideas, thoughts and inspiration in its broad based readership. Scholars pen a vast assortment of non-fictional texts ranging from complex scientific journals to inflammatory political treatises. Unlike their literary counterparts, scholars use their mastery of language to inform their audience rather than entertain. Most of civilization’s accumulated knowledge results from the tireless research conducted by scholars.

Scholars always possess at least a rudimentary education, although the vast majority acquire advanced degrees from accredited universities. Because of their intellectual nature, many scholars remain at their alma mater, frequently serving as a professor or in an administrative capacity. Despite the demands of their employment, scholars consider publishing their ideas paramount above all other tasks. For this reason,  many university scholars take yearly sabbaticals to conduct research and author their books. However, a small minority of scholars abandon their academic heritage and obtain employment from governments and wealthy patrons intrigued by their theories. Bereft of the scholastic responsibilities of the university, these scholars devote all of their energies to their writing. Usually well funded and handsomely compensated, scholars working outside of a university’s sphere of influence produce some of society’s most innovative and controversial ideas and philosophies. While collegiate scholars concentrate their efforts on historical, arcane and scientific principles, non-affiliated individuals delve into the more radical arenas of thought such as political and religious theory. Despite their differences, the ideas espoused by both circles circulate throughout all classes, sparking heated debate and ponderous contemplation among their readership.

In addition to their occupational duties, many scholars also conduct freelance research upon demand. Often pressed into service by needy adventurers, scholars unlock the mysterious secrets of ancient ruins, lost civilizations and legendary figures and artifacts. Some scholars, however, choose to take an active rather than a passive role in the accumulation of knowledge. Leaving the security of their academic world behind them, they venture side by side with hardy adventurers, contributing their vast wealth of information and expertise to the task at hand. Most adventuring scholars are bards, sorcerers or wizards, complementing their knowledge with a formidable repertoire of arcane spells and magical abilities.

Hit Die: d6


To qualify to become a scholar, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +2
Race: Any humanoid
Alignment: Any non-chaotic
Alchemy: 6 ranks
Concentration: 4 ranks
Knowledge (any): 7 ranks
Scry: 4 ranks
Spellcraft: 4 ranks
Other: The character must be literate and able to cast 2nd level arcane spells.

Class Skills

The scholar’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Alchemy (Intelligence), Concentration (Constitution), Decipher Script (Intelligence), Gather Information (Charisma), Knowledge (any) (Intelligence), Scry (Intelligence) and Spellcraft (Intelligence).
Skill points at each level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

ClassBase Attack BonusFort.Ref.WillSpecial
1st+0+0+0+2Draft Scholarly Work, Spells
2nd+1+0+0+3Call Upon Knowledge
3rd+1+1+1+3Vast Intellect
4th+2+1+1+4Identify Written Work
5th+2+1+1+4Word Traps
7th+3+2+2+5Determine Vulnerability
8th+4+2+2+6Course of Action
9th+4+3+3+6Mystical Insight
10th+5+3+3+7legend lore

Class Abilities

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Scholars are proficient with all light armors and simple weapons. They are not proficient with shields.

Draft Scholarly Work (Ex): A scholar may create one book every three months, not to exceed two per year. The book does not require her undivided attention; however, any absence greater than two weeks increases the time necessary to write the book by one month or the duration of the absence, whichever is longer. The scholar chooses a specific topic for the book, including a working title and brief summary of
the book. Unlike fictional works, writing a scholarly text requires extensive amounts of research, costing the scholar gold pieces equivalent to 30 minus her Knowledge ranks in the particular field of study. For example, a scholar with nine ranks of Knowledge (the planes) writes a book
about The Abyss. The cost of writing the book is twenty-one gp. (30 – 9 = 21). When book is complete, the player rolls a Knowledge check in the specific field, modified by any circumstance bonuses awarded by the GM for the book’s innovate topic and title. The book generates income equal to the character’s scholar level multiplied by her modified Knowledge check.

For instance, a 3rd level Scholar with eleven ranks in Knowledge (local) and an 18 Intelligence authors a work called Public) Knowledge, a review and critique of local taverns. Because of the clever title, the GM awards the player a +2 circumstance bonus to her Knowledge check. The player rolls a ’10’ on her Knowledge check. Adding all of her bonuses, the work receives a final score of twenty-seven. [10 (her roll) + 2 (her circumstance bonus) + 11 (her ranks) + 4 (her Intelligence modifier) = 27].

The book generates 81 gp. The scholar must retain a record of all her works including their titles, field of study and the modified Knowledge check result.

Spells: Scholars cast a limited number of arcane spells. In order to cast spells, her Intelligence score can be no less than 10 + the spell’s level. Her bonus spells are based on Intelligence, and saving throws against these spells have a difficulty class of 10 + the spell’s level + the scholar’s Intelligence modifier. When she gains 0 spells of a given level, the scholar receives only bonus spells, if she is entitled to any. The scholar’s spell list appears below the chart for her daily allotment of spells. Scholars prepare and cast spells as a wizard.

Scholar Spell List

Scholars choose their spells from the following list:

Spells per Day
Scholar Level1234

Call Upon Knowledge (Ex): A number of times per day equal to her Intelligence modifier, the scholar uses her knowledge and expertise to recall an important piece of information. Whenever this ability is used, the scholar automatically succeeds at any specific Knowledge check if the Knowledge result for her most recent scholarly work in that particular field of study equals or exceeds the difficulty class of the Knowledge check. It takes one minute to use this ability.

Vast Intellect (Ex): Scholars receive a +2 competence bonus to all skill checks with Intelligence as the key ability.

Identify Written Works (Su): Because of their exposure to countless books, scholars possess the ability to identify the general function of any magical written work. In order to ascertain the item’s abilities, the scholar rolls a d20 adding her scholar level and Intelligence modifier. Any modified result exceeding 25 accurately determines its general function. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to the scholar’s level.

Word Traps (Su): A scholar can find traps involving writing as if she were a rogue. The ability affects any trap triggered by the reading or speaking of any written word, or where a written word is inherent to the trap’s functioning. This includes spells such as explosive runes and glyph of warding. There are no limitations on its daily usage.

Renaissance (Ex): The scholar receives a competence bonus to her skill checks equal to her level, distributing the bonus in any manner that she wants. For example, a 9th level scholar receives nine points to distribute to any skill check. She can choose to add a +5 bonus to one skill check and a +4 bonus to another skill check.

Determine Vulnerability (Ex): A number of times per day equal to her Intelligence modifier, the scholar observes the actions of any visible opponent within her line of sight. Use of this ability is a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. Once completed, the scholar makes an Intelligence check against a DC 20 for each of the creature’s weaknesses or immunities. (Any vulnerabilities or immunities granted as a result of being a member of a particular subtype, such as undead or construct, do not require a check). For instance, a scholar observes his allies combating a mummy. After spending a round observing the fray, the scholar rolls two Intelligence checks, the first to discover the mummy’s resistance to blows, and the second to reveal its vulnerability to fire. The scholar already knows the abilities gained from the undead subtype; therefore no check is required. If the scholar used this ability to observe a creature without any specific weaknesses, it still counts as a usage toward her daily limit.

Course of Action (Su): Once per day, the scholar can attempt to determine the best course of action in a particular situation. Use of this ability is a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. After analyzing the situation for one round, the scholar rolls an Intelligence check against a DC 20. If successful, the scholar receives advice similar to an Augury spell without any chance of failure. However, unlike the Augury spell, the scholar receives a clear and easily understood response.

Mystical Insight (Su): Once per day, the scholar receives an insight bonus equal to her Intelligence modifier to her attack, AC, save or skill checks for one minute. Activating the ability is a free action.

Legend lore (Su): Once per day, the scholar can cast legend lore as if she were a cleric of the same level. The ability is subject to all of the spell’s limitations including casting time.


While some of the prestige classes rely exclusively on their creativity for income, several others work for another entity. This class receives their income on a monthly basis according to the following formulas.

University employee: (Scholar level x Intelligence modifier) x 1.5

Other: (Scholar level x Intelligence modifier)

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