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The Scholar

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The Scholar - Xanathar's Update

This expansive update brings a wealth of changes and additions to the Scholar that make it better than ever. Many old abilities have been changed slightly or been updated with clearer language, but the big story here is the addition of three new subclasses and a slew of practica (there are 50 now!) that will allow you to differentiate your scholar more than ever.

Joining the original scholarly Pursuits are the Inventor, the Philosopher, and the Planar Sage.

Inventors are masters of tools and technology. They possess the ingenuity to improvise in even the most dire of circumstances, but they are at their most formidable when armed with their unique inventions. With five invention types and thousands of permutations, the Inventor allows you to bring something truly unique to the party.

Philosophers know that ideas have consequences. They employ their ideas, their philosophies, to exert their will on and off the battlefield, and to offer guidance and support totheir allies.

Planar Sages are rare amongst scholars in their use of magic. Knowledge of magic is essential to their area of expertise: the outer planes and the remarkable beings that inhabit them. They employ magic from all sources and philosophies, from the divine to the arcane as they cross paths with extraplanar beings, and travel the planes themselves.

For those returning to the scholar, or playing one now, there are some changes to be aware of. The Expertise feature has been removed, and expertise can instead be achieved through the use of practica. New features and an additional available practica have been introduced to fill the void. You may also find that you are losing some proficiencies here and there. Proficiencies and languages have been scaled back in places to a more reasonable level, though new practica have been added that will allow you to reclaim them.


Allow me to introduce the scholar.

Intelligence is not solely the domain of the wizards. Scholars are experts in the ordinary, masters of the so-called "mundane." They are doctors and generals, archaeologists and diplomats. In combat, scholars of all stripes specialize in creating and exploiting opportunities. Off the battlefield, they bring knowledge and expertise that is unrivaled.

The three original subclasses, or Pursuits, for the scholar are the Explorer, the Physician, and the Tactician.

Explorers brings unmatched adaptability to the table. As they travel the world, discovering forgotten knowledge and reclaiming artifacts (they belong in a museum), they can alter their strategy to suit any conditions, and come equipped with the tools to make sure their party makes it safely back to civilization.

Physicians are skilled healers. Their medical knowledge makes them capable of feats usually only possible through magic. They use this understanding to keep their party in fighting shape, as they maneuver across the battlefield.

Tacticians are students of the art of war. They approach battle like chess grandmasters, using their intellect to shift the odds in their favor. While skilled with all manner of weapons, they know the deadliest weapon of them all is the mind.


The first draft of the scholar was finished in June of 2015. In the time since, it has undergone numerous revisions and has seen hundreds of hours of actual play. I hope it serves your table as well as it has served mine.

 
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Reviews (7)
Discussions (14)
Customer avatar
Richard M August 20, 2018 7:59 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I do love this class, but it needs a little bit of modification in play; specifically, the damage is a little lacking past level 5-ish. I modified it by making a pseudo Hexblade's Curse that's based on spending and rolling your intellect dice against a target creature, and if you get a result higher than the creature's CR, you get similar bonuses to Hexblade's Curse. I also homebrewed a few new Practicum for Extraplanar Sage, since one of my players is playing one of those (she's level 10, currently).

And, because it amuses me, I wrote/stole mechanics to make an Alchemist pursuit, which is part FMA alchemist and part historical alchemist.
Customer avatar
Jacob B July 23, 2018 5:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I love this class and everything about it! The only minor gripe I feel is warranted is the abilities feel like realllllyyyy long blocks of texts, especially for the inventor, if they could be made into tables like they are for the weapon inventions I would be much more comfortable letting my players play and look through it without having to stop and reread things and answer questions. Thanks for the great product!
Customer avatar
Jeremy A May 18, 2018 12:57 am UTC
PURCHASER
Started using this recently with a group that I've been playing with for a couple months. I had two questions though.
1 - Fool Me Once (p6) looks like it has a typo as it references "Insight die" which is never mentioned anywhere else within the Class. Perhaps should be "Intellect die"?
2 - For Invention Type: Weapon - Though they aren't Martial/Simple and only can be used by the Inventor (initially), do they use the ability modifier that's associated with a normal weapon of their type, or use Intellect?
Customer avatar
hello G January 09, 2018 2:36 am UTC
PURCHASER
fantastic addition though there are a few things. Fool me never seems over powered. Reducing damage by d10+level*2 seems overpowered 5/short rest. Perhaps change double to half?
Customer avatar
Alfred A December 05, 2017 8:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
This is brilliant. I have seen another scholar class previously but this one is far more developed. I do question the 'practised practitioner' feature as it could apply to the triage treatment giving free healing meaning that with enough time, you can fully heal people at no cost. It's the same reason there are no healing cantrips. Otherwise great and I hope to see more in the future
Customer avatar
Alfred A December 05, 2017 8:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
This is brilliant. I have seen another scholar class previously but this one is far more developed. I do question the 'practised practitioner' feature as it could apply to the triage treatment giving free healing meaning that with enough time, you can fully heal people at no cost. It's the same reason there are no healing cantrips. Otherwise great and I hope to see more in the future
Customer avatar
Louis D August 11, 2017 1:58 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hello!
Thank you for this superb class! I'm currently translating it into french, do you mind? I can email you the document if you want (I've a few things to translate yet, should be over within a week). Please let me know if you're interested.
Also, what do you think about christopher M's scholar pursuits? (https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?789365-5e-Scholar-class-additional-pursuits&p=20423495#post20423495)
Customer avatar
Louis D November 15, 2017 11:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
My translation is done by now. I can send you the document if you want.
Customer avatar
Kyle G November 30, 2017 8:47 pm UTC
CREATOR
I wouldn't be able to read it, but sure! I'm afraid I've created a bit of new work for you with the latest update!
Customer avatar
Louis D December 01, 2017 10:25 am UTC
PURCHASER
Yes, I can see that^^. I'm going to translate it soon, I'll keep you informed. Still, I can post the old version (2.04 I guess) for you to have a look.
Customer avatar
hello G October 12, 2016 7:33 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Any chance of getting a new edition of scholar?
Customer avatar
Kyle G November 30, 2017 8:48 pm UTC
CREATOR
Better late than never? Version 3.4 is up now with many changes, including three new Pursuits.
Customer avatar
Jackson B September 25, 2016 6:33 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm a bit confused by Painkillers. It says it increases maximum and current HP by 5 "for the duration", but the duration is listed as Instantaneous. Can you clarify?
Customer avatar
hello G September 15, 2016 9:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
It would be nice if there were a few more practicas. There are only a few choices, especially at lower levels. Steal some from Warlock invocations and give them scholoary names. Also, the Shaman homebrew class which someone posted on DMsguild has some good invocation type abilities which scholar could barrow.
Customer avatar
christopher M September 13, 2016 4:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is there a place for fan made scholar pursuits? I posted two on RPG.net (https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?789365-5e-Scholar-class-additional-pursuits&p=20423495#post20423495) but was wondering if there is a better place to post them? I made a diplomat (suggestion like abilities, but not magical and adjusted for it and the admired (gains a cohort companion).
Customer avatar
christopher M September 06, 2016 12:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
Will there be more archetypes? A Diplomat would be pretty cool!

My main interest in this is to have only the three mundane classes in a historical fantasy campaign, so my interest in this is high!

Awesome work so far, I like what I read and hopefully I'll get to use it in a campaign.
Customer avatar
Rodolfo M August 29, 2016 10:13 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I quite like it, but there might be a few things to polish.

Physician

Treatments require the kit "in hand" but does it require a free hand ?

Infecting solution does not specify the type of action required to make AND imbue a weapon. How long does it take to make it? An action to coat a weapon too? Lasts for a hour after created or after used?
Double shift recovers "medicine" points

Tactician
Study foe: spend one bonus action each turn and make an ancient dragon useless for ~4 turns. Perhaps more balanced would be that the target loses an attack, not the action. Multiattack is a single action

Practica:
Fool me never implies fool me once reduces damage from triggering damage normally when it doesn't. It should not say "additional"

Treatments
Painkillers: lasts for the duration, it's instantaneous


Overall a great concept I'm looking forward to try it.
Customer avatar
Kyle G August 30, 2016 9:54 pm UTC
CREATOR
Excellent notes, thank you! Several of those are already on a list of typographical errors that will be corrected in the next draft.

I'll look at Study Foe. I think that a tweak is in order, and your suggestion seems like a good one.

Fool Me Once does reduce damage normally, but only by the amount rolled on your insight die. I double checked to make sure that the text correctly reflects this, and it looks like it does.
Customer avatar
Rodolfo M August 31, 2016 12:47 am UTC
PURCHASER
You are correct! I missed that
I do think, then, that 1 minute is too long, perhaps it should last for a couple rounds but I'm unsure how long. Perhaps several "charges" or instances of damage instead, for a minute. "the next two times you are attacked by the same creature, take damage from the same type, trigger the same saving throw"

Also consider perhaps limiting the class like the old swordmage, some abilities working only while wearing light or medium armor and no shield, etc. Having one level in Fighter is almost a given when playing this class as it is, and you should probably plan accordingly.
Customer avatar
hello G August 26, 2016 10:59 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I really liked the class. Well balanced. Mixed bardic inspirations and skills with warlock invocations. Study foe and unsticky the situation both seem overpowered. For study foe, maybe instead of permanent disadvantage use the mechanic from lore bards 3rd level feature. Inspiration dice to AC for the 1 attack.
Customer avatar
Rodolfo M August 31, 2016 1:31 am UTC
PURCHASER
Perhaps this could be more balanced

Unsticky the Situation
When you roll a saving throw, you can use your reaction and expend an insight die to add it to the roll, before the DM tells you if you were successful.
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File Last Updated:
December 04, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on August 25, 2016.