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The Scholar Class
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zacharythefirst
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:23 pm    Post subject: The Scholar Class Reply with quote

Hello all,

I just finished up a draft of the Scholar class for my C&C campaign. Coming from Rolemaster and a few other systems, we've traditionally had a scholar class--the bookish guy who can translate, knows the history of a region, and maybe has read enough about the customs of this particular barbarian tribe to know he can awe them by predicting the eclipse he knows should happen that very night.

It isn't the performer the bard is or the sneak the rogue is, and won't be a front-liner in combat, but some might find a place for it.

Anyhow, here's the link to the draft. Constructive feedback and commentary would be most welcome. Enjoy!

Cheers,

Zachary
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Last edited by zacharythefirst on Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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zacharythefirst
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For ease of reading, here it is:

Scholar


The Scholar is an individual of great learning, often employed by nobility or other wealthy interests as part of a patronage system. Scholars may be found adventuring as employed translators, cultural liaisons, or seeking powerful artifacts and items of lore for themselves or their masters.

Abilities

Decipher Script (Int): This ability allows the scholar to decipher writing in an unfamiliar language, a message written in an incomplete or archaic form or a message written in code. If the check succeeds, the character understands the general content of a piece of writing. It takes 2d4 turns to decipher each page of a script. The attempt may be made only once per writing per day. A scholar may use this ability to decipher arcane or divine script if a successful check is made at a penalty of -5.

Identify Object (Int): This ability gives the scholar a chance to ascertain the purpose or manner of an objectís workings. Upon a successful check, the scholar knows what the item would ideally be used for, time frame of construction, and originating culture.

Scholarís Learning (Int): This ability represents the vast breadth and depth of a scholarís knowledge. Upon a successful check, the scholar will know the answer to a query regarding lore, history, linguistics, the sciences, religion, and culture. Characters should pick one of the above as a specialty; any checks that pertain to this field of knowledge will receive a +2. At level 4, a second specialty bonus may be chosen for an additional +2 bonus. A third and fourth may be chosen (also at +2) at levels 6 and 8, respectively.


Prime Ability: Intelligence
Typical Races: Any
Alignment: Any
Starting Gold: 1d4x20
]Hit Die: d6
Weapons: Sword, bows, club, sling, dagger, staff, spear
Armor: Padded, leather coat, leather, leather laminar, mail shirt
Abilities: Decipher Script, Identify Object, Scholarís Learning

Scholar Level Progression
Level HD BtH EPP
1 D6 0 0
2 D6 +1 1501
3 D6 +1 3250
4 D6 +1 7501
5 D6 +2 15001
6 D6 +2 30001
7 D6 +2 60001
8 D6 +3 120001
9 D6 +3 240001
10 D6 +3 450001
11 +2 +4 625001
12 +2 +4 800001
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Treebore
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see him as a PC, but I will use him as a NPC. I like clear guidelines about such things. Which is why I am working up alchemy and a class derived from some other games I have liked over the years.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Treebore wrote:
I don't see him as a PC, but I will use him as a NPC. I like clear guidelines about such things. Which is why I am working up alchemy and a class derived from some other games I have liked over the years.


Cool! I'd like to see that, when complete.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd scale down his hit points to a d4, in my opinion. Otherwise, it don't look to shabby, sir!
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zacharythefirst wrote:
Treebore wrote:
I don't see him as a PC, but I will use him as a NPC. I like clear guidelines about such things. Which is why I am working up alchemy and a class derived from some other games I have liked over the years.


Cool! I'd like to see that, when complete.


I'll be submitting it to the Domesday Book. IT will pretty much be an alchemy system for your C&C game, much like the products I am using for my inspiration are for D&D in general.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Dynel wrote:
I'd scale down his hit points to a d4, in my opinion. Otherwise, it don't look to shabby, sir!


Not a bad idea by half! Thankee! Very Happy I may playtest both ways to see results.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd do the d6 for an Indiana Jones type of Scholar.

d4 would be for the type that stays in the library all their lives.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Treebore wrote:
I'd do the d6 for an Indiana Jones type of Scholar.

d4 would be for the type that stays in the library all their lives.


You know, that's interesting. Rolemaster had a Cloistered Academic and a Crusading Academic Training Package--the Crusading Academic being a little bit less of an egghead, but more robust.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's cool.
a Subtle class to play, but it could be fun in a role-paly heavy game, not a hack and slash heavy campaign.
i'd go with d4 HD also.

I like it
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Relaxo wrote:
I think it's cool.
a Subtle class to play, but it could be fun in a role-paly heavy game, not a hack and slash heavy campaign.
i'd go with d4 HD also.

I like it


I know generally the players who'd be into it would be more into that side of things. Thanks!
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it as a NPC, but for a PC....

Aka, the party might need to escort a scholar to ancient ruins, but I'm not sure what a PC scholar would do until they got there.... IMO, the scholar does not enough HP for front line fighter, not enough sneak for scout, no magic for that roll.

Bard seems to have enough of the knowledge skills while bringing more abilities to a party.

FWIW, for a bookish Scholar, as mentioned above, I'd look at d4 HP and more Magic-User limitations for Weapons & Armor. And maybe less XP requirements (not going to do much to gain XP anyways, but with long training time.... Wink

For a more adventuring type, did you consider options such as:

* Limited spell casing ability, with spells related to knowledge & divination.

* Creating a more explorer type "Scholar" (Field Researcher Wink, which I think of as kind of a Rogue/Bard combo:
- Knowledge skills mentioned above or Bard's Decipher Script & Legend Lore (Identify object doesn't work on Magic Items)
- Stealth, trap, lock, climb, of Rogue ("Stealth" does NOT include Back Attack / Sneak Attack.)
- Base to Hit of a Cleric
- Armor list from Ranger or Barbarian (although stealth has same rules as Rogue in terms of armor affects)
- Spot hidden doors as 1/2 Elf
- Rogue + Bard weapon list
- d8 HP
- 2001XP for lvl 2
- INT prime

I expect most would hate that second idea, as it takes some core skills from Bard & Rogue (or too much like a certain archeologist), but I like having options for core skills to an adventure (trap detection & lock opening), and figure in an environment with a lot of caves, dungeons, and ruins to explore, there would be such a skill set....
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the way, the scholar might entreat with native tribes, translate the inscriptions on old markings, complain to the eye-rolling warrior that the dwarf should have a care with his books, y'see, being they as invaluable as they are, and by the way, did you know that the Ironwood Forests around here are known for their valuable weapon-grade hardwood?

It's a way to go, to be sure. I kicked around giving them a tiny bit of magic ability from years of study, or ability to complete incantations. They do have Arcane/Divine on Decipher Script, which is a lead-in.

I always considered a Scholar class different from how the Bard is presented in C&C. He's a taleteller, or a performer. Make no mistake, this isn't a combat-heavy class, but perhaps giving another key ability???...I thought perhaps something tying into herbalism/poison...either way, definitely never going to be a front-liner. The herbalism side of things could make him a valid secondary healer role!
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd use any class who's selected an intelligence prime.

Honestly. I don't see enough of a distinctive archetype here to do anything else. Just IMHO it seems like this would be more like a background skill/class ability than a CLASS. Smile

If you want a class that can do what you have here, play a Bard. Plus, with the Bard, you can assail the other players ears with made up mawkish lyrics. Smile
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zacharythefirst
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input!

I do, however, have my reasons for wanting a class distinct from the Bard for a Scholar class. Something without the "hey and ho and a nonny nonny no". Very Happy A Scholar also isn't going to be performing or Exalting, or Fascinating, etc., or have their combat ability. I may need to buff up the Scholar's Learning ability vs. Legend Lore, as I want it clear that is their big thing.

Besides, much as I love the Bard (seemingly the only one in my group who does), people may want to not have that constant strumming lute. Wink Really, though, this is a class that's worked for us in other systems (most recently Rolemaster and Palladium Fantasy), and I'm sure we can get a successful iteration going in C&C.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of adding some knowledge of herbalism or the like as a skill. Basic-to-advanced knowledge that could have some ability in healing or treatment.
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