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The Scholar Class

The Scholar Class


Unlikely heroes though they are, scholars leverage their impressive genius and prestigious educations to overcome challenges that would thwart less prepared adventurers. Whether they’re analyzing an enemy for weaknesses or giving sagacious advice to their allies, a scholar’s keen powers of reasoning and deduction can clutch victory from the jaws of defeat.

All scholars specialize in a field of study. Fields of Study in the full version of the scholar class include: Culinarian, Diplomat, Physician, Ritualist, Tactician, and Theologian.

Play a Scholar if you want to...

  • be a know-it-all who really does know it all
  • rely on staggering genius, rather than strength or sorcery
  • often give unsolicited advice to party members

You can find a free trial version of the class here.

Like the Scholar class? You can find other Sterling Vermin products on DM's Guild!

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Reviews (2)
Discussions (5)
Customer avatar
Gage R April 02, 2019 8:05 am UTC
This class for the most part is absolutely amazing!

However, most of the culinarian's abilities as well as the physician's capstone are way too overpowered. There is a reason that Inspiring Leader as a feat did nothing except grant temporary HP, and limited to the character's level plus charisma. The physician grants temp hp equal to HALF the patient's max hp AND grants resistance on top of that while the hitpoints last.

The culinarian can abuse his abilities by hoarding high CR ingredients and then preparing them all at once once they get their capstone. This will make most boss fights trivial. Heck, a culinarian and a physician together will turn the remaining party members into curbstomp dispensers.

Much like how your pugilist evolved over time, I think the key is to make the abilities thematically fitting, interesting enough to want and look forward to, but limited enough that the DM doesn't have a heart attack when he has to try and figure out how his boss is going to...See more
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Benjamin H April 02, 2019 9:58 pm UTC
By the time you reach 20th level and can combine two ingredients in one dish, I don't think a +40 hit point boost is going to make a boss fight trivial. I'd also guess that by that level most bosses are doing magical damage which obviates the resistance the 20th level physician feature grants.

All that said, when you look at these features in the context of what other classes are capable of doing I think you'll see they are in no way overpowered. Are either of those abilities more potent or even anywhere near as potent as the spell *wish*? Or, for that matter, most other 9th level spells? I'm pretty confident they aren't. They are good features, for sure, but they aren't going to break the game - especially given that they only come online at 20th level.
Customer avatar
Damian F March 27, 2019 2:17 pm UTC
There's one noticeable error in this for the Theologian:

Under "Preparing and casting spells" it states that the number of spells you can prepare is based on the "Spells Prepared" column. However, there is no Spells prepared column. It also has a "Spells Known" column despite not learning spells.

I assume the Theologian's spellcasting is supposed to be like a Cleric's.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H March 27, 2019 2:26 pm UTC
Ah - thank you! The Ritualist's spell chart got duplicated so the Theologian didn't get it's own. I will work on fixing that.
Customer avatar
Damian F March 27, 2019 2:50 pm UTC
Glad I could bring it to your attention. Having just finished reading through the whole thing, I absolutely love the class.
Customer avatar
Thomas W March 27, 2019 1:38 pm UTC
I'm a little confused with the Academic Discourse ability. The text states that "[o]nly another creature that knows
academic discourse understands messages spoken or written in this language...It takes ten times longer to convey
a message in academic discourse than it does to speak the same idea plainly." Does this mean that the DM can rule certain books or spoken discourses beyond the comprehension of non-scholar characters? Does the DM have to decide what is considered academic or non-academic discourse. I understand the 10x reading speed, but the rest of the test has me a little confused.
Customer avatar
Damian F March 27, 2019 2:18 pm UTC
From my perspective, it's like Thieves' Cant, except more in line for politicans and academics.

For example, try watching just about any 1980s British comedy. :P
Customer avatar
Benjamin H March 27, 2019 2:22 pm UTC
Damian has the right of it - think of it like Theives Cant or Druidic. If you speak in Academic Discourse you are speaking a language related to other languages but apart from them. Without magic you aren't going to understand what someone in AD is saying, just that it is taking them an awful long time to say it.
Customer avatar
Christopher H March 27, 2019 1:15 am UTC
The name of the class caught my attention, but the Culinarian subclass got me to purchase the book. Now that I've read it, I have some opinions. :-)
Obviously, you can chuck out everything I say, but I'm trying to be supportively critical.

The first thing that hit me was that Analyze Enemy and the culinary arts don't mesh thematically. I don't have a solution though.
I also think the bonus to attack AND damage rolls might be too potent.

Having proficiency in all three saving throws also feels too potent.

Culinary Craft - I like that it's simple (feels in line with 5th Ed's level of accessibility), but it feels way too potent for a 3rd level ability. Adding to Max and Current HP feels way too good, and adding Scholar Level means it's always good (especially if your also taking Adventurous Appetizers). I'd suggest 2d8+Proficiency Bonus to Max HP as one of your options (invites synergy with other healers/potions) if not straight Temp HP. I also...See more
Customer avatar
Tristan V March 26, 2019 8:21 pm UTC
Is this different than this Scholar class? I notice a couple of the subclasses are named the same, so wonder if its related.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H March 26, 2019 8:37 pm UTC
This Scholar class has been developed independently of that class. 3 or 4 years ago when that author revealed a draft of the class I contacted them and said I really liked the idea but had different ideas about how to execute it. They gave me their blessing to develop my own iteration of the class and that's the product here. I believe there is very minimal, if any, mechanical overlap in terms if implementation of the class but truthfully I don't know for sure because I haven't seen any iteration of his version for the past 4ish years.
Customer avatar
Timothy P April 02, 2019 4:32 pm UTC
It seems odd to not credit them. I was very confused to find both versions that were so similar in concept with neither author acknowledging it.

It is nice to see the different implementations.
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File Last Updated:
April 08, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on March 26, 2019.