Joined: Oct 18, 2002 Posts: 92 Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:34 am Post subject: [Gd20] Core classes: Sage.
"Knowledge is power. And I know everything."
The Sage is no ordinary scholar. They delve deeply into the secrets of cultures, people, places, history and things with an interest that borders on the obsessive. They are curious about everything and spend vast amounts of time learning the minutia of anything they can, through whatever means they can. But more, because of their training and devotion, they gain keen insights into the things that they study, which provide benefits that make them a valuable asset on many levels.
Adventurers: Sages are not mere voyeurs of life. They wish to experience the things that they study in order to understand them better. Often Sages explore ancient areas hoping to uncover some lost secret, or simply to stand in the footsteps of history. A Sage will often write about their experiences in order to share them with their order and in fact, this can sometimes be a requirement of joining a Sage guild, university or other type of Sage collective.
Background: Remarkably, Sages come from all walks of life. However, to become a Sage, one must undergo special training at an institute or guild of Sages under the watchful gaze of a mentor. The special abilities which a Sage develops over time are a result of learning special methods of disseminating and assimilating information. Without having a wrote ability in these skills, one is merely a dilletante, or at best, after years of exhaustive study without the aid of a guild, a local expert in a single field. Often, a travelling Sage will spot a likely candidate for training and may issue them a test, approved by their guild. If they pass, their travel expenses are paid for and their families are recompensed for the loss of a worker, and the person may travel to the guild or institute to be trained to become a Sage.
Races: Elves could be said to be natural Sages given their long lifespans, and indeed, there are many puissant Sages amongst their number, in both Celene and Highfolk as well as major multi-cultural centres of civilization such as Greyhawk City. However, like in most things, it is humans who excel at being Sages. Their inherent drive to know what makes things work, and their limited life-spans gives them the needed motivation to embark on the demanding road that becoming a Sage requires. Halflings, whilst curious, tend to lack the discipline required to become a true Sage. Having said that, there are one or two known to exist, including a curious individual who helps maintain the library at the University of Magical Arts in Greyhawk, and is said to be consulted by even the most wizened of magi. For the most part, though, few Sages would be caught dead training a halfling as it's just not done. Furthermore, for half-orcs, the social stigma of having orc-blood almost completely denies them access to this class, and their diminished intellect only serves to act as the nail in the coffin. It is no wonder, however, that half-elves find comfort in the solace of this craft, as it serves as a bridge between the two cultures, who respect such learned people. A Sage can gain social favour in both elven and human society, whilst not suffering the indignities of repression from either.
View of Magic: Sages have no real understanding of the complexities of magic. Some have merely accumulated so much knowledge in arcane areas of study that they can manage to piece together enough information to cast a spell now and then. They in no way see themselves as serious magicians or wizards but despite this, both classes tend to look down on them as dangerous dabblers.
Other Classes: For the most part, a Sage will get along with all classes, however an unfortunate consequence of knowing a little bit about everything is that they can end up inadvertantly, or sometimes maliciously, stepping on everybody elses toes. Nobody likes to be shown up in their chosen area of expertise, especially by someone who hasn't actually trained in their field and has only read about it from a book. Having said that, Sages are a valuable asset to any group and act best as advisors. Their vast array of skills and talents allows them to help out in almost every situation and often the counsel of a Sage is sought before pursuing any serious matter.
Society: Sages are widely respected by all communities. It would be silly of a society to put down their most knowledgable person, and so instead they place great status on such individuals and tend to give them the respect that is worthy of such an asset. However, having said that, there is a certain subservience that is built into the class that can never truly be overcome. A Sage is expected to answer questions put to them, and so they tend never to rise in social status much beyond that of a comfortably well off businessman at best. A few, however, do gain positions at universities, institutes or guilds and as such can command high prices for their services. Some even become advisors to Kings or lesser nobility, however such within the craft are usually looked down upon by their peers and are considered of only minor import within the cloistered confines of Sage society.
Cultures: for the most part, Sages from one culture are much like Sages from any other. They are bookworms and their dress is either that of the guild, their liege, or whatever is fashionable at the moment, or more likely, whatever they can afford from their adventures and by selling their skills. There is no major cultural differences between Sages and as such, a Sage from one culture who meets a Sage from another, often finds a mutual kinship that breaks down cultural barriers. Beyond all such limitations, knowledge is their one passion and pursuit and given the need to discuss and work with others to further their knowledge, they are not above putting petty disputes aside in order to learn more about something.
NPCs: When seeking knowledge on any topic, one only has to consult with a Sage and answers shall be forthcoming. Most NPC Sages are permanent residents at a guild or a university, or are supported in their studies by a local lord and thus board with them. Some can be found just wandering through towns, often hawking their skills at a local inn, in the quiet of their rooms.
Prerequisites: It requires a keen mind and the will to be disciplined with their studies in order to glean a benefit from what they learn. Also, it requires that one be ameniable enough to work with others and learn from the work of others. Thus this class requires a minimum of 14 Intelligence, 12 Wisdom and 10 Intelligence.
Hit Die: d4.
Class Skills: The Sages class skills (and the ability for each skill) are Appraise, Concentration (Con), Craft (alchemy)(Int), Decipher Script (Int), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Int), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually)(Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Sage)(Wis), Search (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (10 + Intelligence bonus) x 4.
Skill Points at Higher Levels: 10 + Intelligence bonus.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: One of the things few Sages master is the use of weapons and armour. Therefore to begin with, they can only use simple weapons.
Sage Knowledge (Ex).
Description: The very essence of the Sage is their thirst for knowledge which sends them on quests for lore. Whether that quest is in a library, or to study a person or thing, or to journey to a place where history was made, this quest is never-ending for the Sage. A Sage's life begins with a passion for knowledge that is cultivated by being taught the art of disseminating and analysing information. This can be achieved in any one of the many prestigious academies, universities, institutes or guilds of lore across the Flanaess. This is the very meat and bread of the Sage, and as such, they can recall in exquisite detail many bizarre and interesting facts about all manner of things.
Benefit: At 1st-level, a Sage may make a special check with a bonus equal to his level + his Intelligence modifier to see whether he knows some relevant information about notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places. This takes a round of concentraton where the Sage focuses their mind and attempts to access latent memories stored deep within their sub-conscious. Perhaps they saw something out of the corner of their eye, heard something at the edge of hearing, or once skimmed through a relevant book for other, at the time, less important information. This check can be attempted once per day per class level. This check will not reveal the powers of a magic item but may give a hint as to its general function. Unlike the bard, the Sage may take 10 (but not 20) on this check due to their increased exposure to and intense study of volumes of lore, discussion amongst their peers and the tutelage given by their mentors. The DM determines the Difficulty Class of the check by referring to the table below.
DC Type of Knowledge
10 Common, known by at least a substantial minority of people.
20 Uncommon but available, known by a few people in the area.
25 Obscure, known by few, hard to come by.
30 Extremely obscure, known by very few, possibly forgotten by most who once
knew it, possibly known only by those who don't understand the significance
of the knowledge.
35 Exceptionaly rare knowledge, possibly only ever recorded in one place, always
cryptic in nature.
+1 Based on knowledge possessed more than 100 years ago.
+5 Based on knowledge possessed more than 500 years ago.
+10 Based on knowledge possessed more than 1,000 years ago.
+10 Knowledge directly involves one of the Chosen or the actions of a Chosen.
Remarkable Insight (Ex).
Description: Sages can examine a particular problem, situation or task and gain remarkable insight into what is required to overcome, determine or accomplish the matter before them. Sometimes this comes in the form of a tidbit of information that they recall from some previously read material which happens to apply to the particular instance before them. It can equally, however, come from several bits of information pieced together by the analytic ability of the Sage and their perception and intuition which combines to give them an insight into the problem, situation or task that needs resolving.
Benefit: The Sage gains the benefit of a bonus which they can apply to any check or roll except saving throws. This includes a single attack roll, damage roll, defense roll or skill check, as long as the skill doesn't require training. The higher the roll, the more of an insight is gained into the situation. The bonus can only apply to one situation, and only one roll can be made to determine the bonus for any situation. However, the Sage has unlimited opportunities to gain insights into as many seperate and, more importantly, unrelated situations per day as they wish. Each check is made using a Knowledge skill that is related in some way to the task. The Sage does not need to have ranks in the Knowledge skill in order to attempt the roll. The attempt requires concentration and thus is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. A Concentration check can be attempted as a free action in order to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity, however failure indicates that no further attempt can be made to gain an insight into that particular situation. The DC of the Concentration check is 15. The insight bonus must be used within one round per Sage level, or it is lost. Due to the essentially random nature of this ability, the Sage cannot take 10 or 20 on this check, even though there is no penalty for failure. Below is the list of DC's required to gain each bonus. The higher the check, the greater the bonus, however each bonus has a Sage level requirement to be able to attain. These are also listed below.
1st-level DC 15 +2
3rd-level DC 20 +4
5th-level DC 25 +6
7th-level DC 30 +8
9th-level DC 35 +10
11th-level DC 40 +12
13th-level DC 45 +14
15th-level DC 50 +16
17th-level DC 55 +18
19th-level DC 60 +20
Example: The party has made it to Lord Fobbergill's Inner Sanctum. Only a door stands between them and their revenge. The deft rogue of the party examines the lock and determines that it's a very well made lock that will require incredible skill to pick and is not sure he's up to the task. The Sage takes a look at the lock and the door and muses for a moment, only to suddenly smile as if a light went off inside his head. He goes on to explain that he recalls reading of Lord Fobbergill's ancestor who built the castle and who insisted that the architect, one Pinder Monce of Upper Farthington, use the best dwarven locksmiths in the land for all his doors. Though the budget for the castle didn't stretch that far, he did manage to convince a dwarven locksmith friend of his to make some locks for the inner sanctum. The dwarven locksmith was named Gerig Grenberg, who was famous for a three-tumbler locking mechanism that could only be thwarted by the use of a particular tool, which just happened to be the one on the left of the tweezers in the rogue's lock-picking toolset. If used in such a way, it could easily be unlocked.
Skill Knowledge (Ex).
Description: By researching and analysing texts on all manner of things, it is inevitable that the Sage learns the basics of a remarkable amount of various skills that would otherwise require training. Due to their mnemonic skills and analytical abilities, they can often put into practice what they've only ever read about.
Benefit: At 3rd-level, the Sage can add the Remarkable Insight bonus even to skills that normally require training and can thus make a check against that skill. Due to the fact that there is no chance of failure, this effectively gives the character the Tongues spell-like ability. This is intentional, however, there is still room for DM adjudication on this matter. If the language is not one that a Sage can have learned of through study, then they cannot possibly have enough knowledge in it to speak it or write it. On top of that, one should introduce the concept of dialects. Just because the Sage can speak orc or goblin, doesn't mean he can understand everything, every orc or goblin says. Assume that when speaking, writing or listening to a language they do not actually have any ranks in, that they can speak, write or understand approximately the same amount, as a percentage multiplied by ten, that they got as a bonus. For instance, if they rolled to see if they could communicate in goblin and got a +4 bonus, then they can understand and communicate roughly 40% of what they read or hear.
Description: Due to their intense study of all things, they logically come across many texts of arcane lore, and so without even really trying, they pick up many aspects of spellcasting and learn of many spells. If it were just this, then they would probably only be fairly knowledgeable in arcana and maybe spellcraft, however the Sage practices numerous mnemonic tricks and utilizes many forms of analysis in their studies. It is thus through perception and intuition that they can cast a small number of spells per day, from a small pool that they learn as they happenstance across, or search out, texts, scrolls, manuscripts and the like from the musty libraries of wizards, magi, bards and other Sages across the Flanaess.
Benefit: A Sage casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the Sage spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a Sage must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Sage's spell is 10 + the spell level + the Sage's Wisdom modifier. Like some spellcasters, a Sage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Sage. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score. When Table: Sage Spells Known indicates that the Sage gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Intelligence score for that spell level. The Sage's selection of spells is extremely limited. A Sage begins play knowing four 0-level spells of your choice. At most new Sage levels, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Sage Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a Sage knows is not affected by his Intelligence score; the numbers on Table: Sage Spells Known are fixed.) Upon reaching 5th level, and at every third Sage level after that (8th, 11th, and so on), a Sage can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the Sage "loses" the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell's level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level Sage spell the Sage can cast. A Sage may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level. As noted above, a Sage need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell's level.
Spell Insight (Ex).
Description: Sages collect within their minds vast repositories of knowledge, including much that is to do with the arcane. As a spin-off benefit of this, they gain some small manner of spell-casting ability. However, their failure to delve deeper into the mysteries of magic, primarily because of their curiosity in so many other areas, can occassionally benefit them in the long run. When pressed into a tight situation, or when in greatest need, they can realize a spell to benefit them in that situation. By piecing together various bits of arcane lore in a moment of stress, they gain an epiphany which allows them to cast a new spell as if it were already a part of their known repetoire. This spell then becomes a permanent addition to their known spell list.
Benefit: Once per level, at any time the Sage is in a moment of stress due to imminent danger, but as a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, they can gain a sudden insight into the workings and required components of one simple spell of a level they can cast, and of which they have a spare spell slot in which to cast it. Like Remarkable Insight, a Concentration check against a DC of 15 can be attempted to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity, however failure on this check means the spell is lost and does not get added to the Sage's repetoire of known spells. The spell must be cast in the following round or much like failing the Concentration check, it is lost. Any disruption, like taking damage from provoking an attack of opportunity due to casting, means also that the spell is lost. A lost spell means that it can be attemped again at a later date. If it is successfully cast, it is then added to the Sage's known spell list permanently.
Example: The Sage Armion Constance is pressed up against a dead end, with several orcs bearing down on him slowly, as if languishing in the moment of their victory and in order to prolong and increase the fear they were inducing in Armion. Closing his eyes for a moment, he desperately tries to recall something, anything from his studies which will aid him in this moment of terror. Suddenly, he has it! Like a thunderbolt from the blue, he just knows how to cast Summon Minor Elemental! Without hesitating, he weaves the required components in the required manner, and a fiery being erupts into existance just as the orcs were within striking distance and attacks them. Later on, after escaping the battle by the skin of his teeth, thanks to the aid of his summoned creature, he dwells on how he managed to recall the details of the spell. He remembers studying a text by a famous conjurer and how all summoning spells had similar components with but subtle variations to control the ebb and flow of the conjuration. He recalls analysing that very structure and in the way he was trained, committing it to the vaults of memory, to be recalled at a later date.
Description: With their constant efforts at learning all that they can from any source that they find, whether that be a book, person, object, choice, nature or whatever contains a mystery and is willing to reveal it in some way, and with the disciplines and methods taught to them by their mentors, a Sage has a greater capacity for learning than an ordinary person.
Benefit: At 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th-levels, the Sage gains a bonus feat that can be selected from the following options - Affinity with Skill, Aid Spellcasting, Attune to Magic Item, Combat Casting, Defensive Move, Defensive Roll, Defensive Stance, Eidetic Memory, First Strike, Modify Combat Style, Skill Application, Skill Focus, Skill Mastery, Slippery Mind, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, Track.
Description: A Sage is, by nature, a teacher. It is not in their nature to hoard their knowledge as to do so prevents others from learning. They may be haughty, and they may even think others aren't deserving of the knowledge they have, due to the arduous task of gaining it, however if it weren't for the ability to communicate what they learn, then they never would've learned what they know. So in turn, all Sages tend to have some degree of ability in training, or passing on their knowledge to others. In times of great need, they can provide a 'crash course' in a particular situation which can help others overcome the situation that they face.
Benefit: At 2nd-level, a Sage can confer half their Remarkable Insight bonus, to their companions. To do so, however, requires that they convey information about the situation and what their friends have to do in order to benefit from the insight. This requires a Perform check against a DC of 10 + the amount of the bonus gained from the Remarkable Insight ability, not the actual bonus conveyed to others in the Sage's party. So if the Sage gained a +6 insight bonus to a situation, the DC required to convey this to the other party members, would be 16, even though the bonus gained by the rest of the members would only be +3. Conveying this bonus to others requires a standard action which does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The characters must be able to see and here the directions being given and cannot be actively involved in combat or spell-casting whilst doing so. If any of these conditions are not met, the people not meeting the condition must make an Intelligence check (DC 10), in order to understand the instructions given. The bonus given is considered a competence bonus and lasts until used, the situation has changed significantly, or three rounds have passed since the instructions were given.
Example: Armion watches his companions struggling against the being known as an Otyugh. A disgusting creature that feeds off of slime and refuse. His spells exhuasted and his attempts at shooting the creature with his crossbow proving fruitless, he struggles to remember some minor, previously innocuous detail that may help them in this situation. Thinking for a moment, he suddenly gains a burst of insight into the situation. He knows that the tentacled arms and eyes and the vicious, toothy maw are the least vulnerable parts of the creature. If they were to target the areas behind the appendages, where the flesh is soft and unarmoured, they would significantly increase their chances of harming the creature. Leaping to one side, he hoists his crossbow and points it in the direction where he thinks will cause the most damage. Yelling to his companions, he instructs them to target the area he is pointing at, as it is far more vulnerable. Some don't seem to understand, but two of them dart to the side and plunge their swords deep into it's fleshy sides, and he follows suit with a well aimed crossbow bolt which fells the creature.
Description: When the study of knowledge is ones passion and discipline, one eventually garners so much information on so many topics, that one may be a font of knowledge themselves. When combined with the mental disciplines of a professional Sage, these valuable insights into all manner of things eventually manifests a significant benefit. One that applies to all things that a Sage endeavours to accomplish.
Benefit: At 7th-level the Sage can apply their Intelligence bonus to all skills, even those one is untrained in or in which they have no ranks. For Intelligence based skills, this effectively doubles their Intelligence bonus to that skill.
Note: This overrides the Remarkable Insight bonus when applied to languages. Assume that the Sage knows every language that is in common use or is used enough that it doesn't require special teaching or involvement in a group. For instance, they could not know the Druidic tongue, or Ferral, but they know Abyssal, Amedi, Ancient Suloise, etc.
Emulate Feat (Ex).
Description: By this stage in their career, the Sage knows a great deal about almost everything. From the texts of Sages, mages, wizards, experts, wanderers, bards, gleemen, kings, poets and even gods, they have garnered a little bit of wisdom and insight into most everything there is to know. Due to this expansive knowledge base, they can draw on it in time of greatest need to emulate a required feat to overcome a certain situation.
Benefit: Once per day, from 9th-level onwards, the Sage can emulate a feat as if they had the feat. They must fulfill the prerequisites and ability requirements, and the benefit from the feat only lasts one round. A list of feats that can be emulated follows:
Description: The Sage, at 11th-level, has now reached a peak in the honing of their mental abilities. After years of practicing analytical methods that wizards would balk at, mnemonic techniques that would twist a bards mind for a loop, and having developed insights into things that mortals were best left not knowing, they have developed such a strong mind that few can penetrate it, let alone manipulate it.
Benefit: The Sage gains a +2 saving throw bonus against any mind-influencing effect, and may make a second saving throw to negate the effect if a first one is failed. If there is an effect on a successful saving throw normally, the Sage suffers no effect at all. In addition to this, if the save is passed by more than five (including the +2 bonus), the Sage knows immediately who cast the spell and their exact location (if on the same plane of existance as the Sage).
Gift of Boccob (Sp).
Description: The Sage has impressed Boccob with their dedication to the pursuit of knowledge and thus grants them benefit of his omniscience.
Benefit: At 13th-level, the Sage may, once per day, ask one question of Boccob and get an answer, as per the rules of the Commune spell.
Magnum Opus (Sp).
Description: Years of research into numerous fields and exhaustive study into all manner of things has resulted in the culmination of this knowledge opening up the secrets of the universe to the Sage. This manifests in the form of the ability to construct a tome, or manual which allows them to increase their ability scores.
Benefit: At 17th-level the Sage may create any of the Tomes or Manuals without requiring the Miracle or Wish spells (and thus the components of either) at the base cost to craft the item.
Description: Through their dedication to the study, preservation, and spreading of knowledge, they achieve a state of being that is beyond that of mortal men. They have achieved enlightenment through the pursuit of knowledge. Some say that Boccob himself rewards them with a spark of divinity.
Benefit: At 20th-level... _________________ In more modern times, only Delglath of Rinloru is known to have crafted any items from the stone of this atrocious place. Even masters of the dark arts such as Xaene and Karoolck would hesitate to follow.
Last edited by Delglath on Wed Nov 24, 2004 10:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
Joined: Oct 18, 2002 Posts: 92 Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:54 pm Post subject:
Updated 22nd of the 11th.
All it really needs now is tweaking for balance. _________________ In more modern times, only Delglath of Rinloru is known to have crafted any items from the stone of this atrocious place. Even masters of the dark arts such as Xaene and Karoolck would hesitate to follow.
Joined: Oct 18, 2002 Posts: 92 Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 3:39 am Post subject:
Secrets of the Tomes (Sp).
Is this not a little overpowered? How about at levels 15, 17 and 19 the Sage can increase Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma?
Including the physical stats seems too much....
Ah, well, this is the million dollar question, isn't it?
Is it too powerful? Does it unbalance the class? I just finished off the 20th-level ability and have fine-tuned the 11th and 13th-level abilities and am working on putting the level chart together. Once that's done, I'll post it and it will be a bit clearer as to what needs to be tweaked. I find that the level chart helps immensely when trying to balance a class as it puts everything together in one spot where you can mentally juggle the abilities and weigh them against other classes. _________________ In more modern times, only Delglath of Rinloru is known to have crafted any items from the stone of this atrocious place. Even masters of the dark arts such as Xaene and Karoolck would hesitate to follow.
Joined: Oct 18, 2002 Posts: 92 Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 10:11 pm Post subject:
Updated again, 25th of the 11th.
I'm still not happy with it. It both lacks something and at the same time has too much. Plus, Legend Lore and Contact Other Plane really should be in there as well, but where to put them and how?
I did manage to get Tongues in there, essentially, and I quite like how it works so I'll be keeping that in. Magnum Opus kinda sucks. And I can't for the life of me think of an appropriate 20th-level ability and I REALLY want there to be a good one as too many classes neglect 20th-level as there is an assumption that one will multi-class or get PrC's. I think there should be an appropriate reward for going all the way. _________________ In more modern times, only Delglath of Rinloru is known to have crafted any items from the stone of this atrocious place. Even masters of the dark arts such as Xaene and Karoolck would hesitate to follow.
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