Alternate Scholar

The place for discussion of Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games' "Adventures in Middle-earth" OGL setting.
Michebugio
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:55 pm

Alternate Scholar

Post by Michebugio » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:33 pm

Premise: I observed that the Scholar, and in some measure the Warden, may have a true problem in terms of game balance regarding their abilities. Especially the Scholar, which is the only "original" class (all other classes are, more or less, rip-offs of D&D core classes), suffers some bad design, making its usefulness very marginal and much determined by the Loremaster's capability to create valid plots to let it shine.

So, I decided to create my own version, hoping to correct some design problems and make it more attractive and useful overall. Please comment, criticize if necessary, and if you decide to use it, just give me credit ;)

NOTE/disclaimer: this version is, quite strictly, based on the Bard. In D&D, the Bard is a master of lore, and in terms of game abilities, a jack-of-all-trades and usually the group's skill-monkey, along with the Rogue. So it seemed the natural base for the Scholar.
The main problem is that in AiME, the Bard has been already taken as a base for the Warden class: so I simply decided to "merge" the two classes (the Scholar and the Warden), to avoid ending up with twin classes, either disallowing the Warden class entirely if a Scholar is also present, or using a completely different Warden (which I've been working on, see my other topic).

The result is a Scholar that has the Counsellor and Herald specialities from the Warden (Scholars are often advisors, in my opinion more so than Wardens), along with the Master Healer. The Master Scholar's abilities are now included in the base class' abilities, because, well, a high-level Scholar is to be considered a Master Scholar, right? Also, I didn't want for all Scholars to be healers (Gandalf didn't seem such a great healer, even if he knew a trick or two), so I removed the Hands of a Healer feature and made it a feature (Herbal Healing) for the Healer speciality. Now, if you want to be a Scholar healer, you have to take the right speciality.

Have a good reading!


THE SCHOLAR

Image

CLASS FEATURES
As a Scholar, you gain the following class features.

HIT POINTS
Hit Dice: 1d8 per Scholar level
Hit Points at 1st level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per Scholar level after 1st

PROFICIENCIES
Armour: Light armour
Weapons: Simple weapons, broadsword, longsword, short sword
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Tools: Choose any one
Skills: Choose any four from History, Insight, Investigation, Lore, Medicine, Nature, Performance, Persuasion, Riddle, Shadow-lore, and Traditions

EQUIPMENT
You start with the following extra equipment, in addition to equipment granted by your Standard of Living.
Poor or Frugal: Any simple weapon, a short bow with a quiver of 20 arrows, a leather jerkin.
Martial: A broad-, long-, or short sword, a short bow with a quiver of 20 arrows, a leather corslet.
Prosperous or Rich: A broad-, long- or short sword, a short bow with a quiver of 20 arrows, a leather corslet, ink and parchment.

SHADOW WEAKNESS
Lure of Secrets

Additional Tongues
You know the languages of many people. At 1st level, you know two additional tongues of your choice from the following list: the Dalish, the Drûg (the language of the Drúedain of Brethil and of the Woses of Drúadan Forest), the Balchoth tongue (an Easterling dialect related to the tongue of the Wainriders), the Hobbitish (the ancient Hobbit tongue, now all but gone save for a few unique words), the Rohirric, the Sindarin, the Southern Mannish (includes the Dunlendish and the Haladin), the Vale of Anduin tongue, the Woodland tongue (the old language of the Elves of Mirkwood), or the secret speech of a specific breed of animal (such as the speech of eagles or foxes). You learn additional tongues of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Additional Tongues column of the Scholar table.

Your insight and learning of a language is sufficient to impress others with well-timed words (or proverbs and wise sayings). During any interaction with a native speaker of a tongue you know, at any point in the conversation you may gain advantage on any one Charisma, Intelligence (Traditions) or Wisdom (Insight) check through your scholarship and preparation. The advantage does not apply when dealing with Dwarves, high-level Scholars, High Elves, Dúnedain or other folk of power.
You may also choose one of the starting languages of your own Culture as an Additional Tongue, gaining the same bonuses: in this case, it represents an especially in-depth knowledge of your folk’s vocabulary and aphorisms. You cannot choose Westron as an Additional Tongue.

If you choose to learn the secret speech of a breed of animal, you can communicate with them using skills such as Deception, Insight, Intimidation and Persuasion. Animals may be persuaded to carry messages, spy on areas or even lead a Scholar to food and water. The communication is limited to the knowledge of the animal in question and animals tend to care only about the things of their world, such as food, shelter and predators, paying little attention to the goings-on of larger creatures; however, a great deal of knowledge can be gleaned from their speech, and while a songbird might not be able to tell an Orc from a Hobbit, she will note which is despoiling the forest.
You may choose this tongue a second time. If you do, your knowledge expands from a specific breed to all creatures of a similar kind. For example, when you first select this tongue, you learn the hooting speech of owls; with your second, you learn the tongues of all birds and gain their favour.

News From Afar
You know many things that are hidden from most and tidings of distant events tend to reach you with astonishing speed. The source of your knowledge is obscure and you do not explain how you know the things you do to others – it is enough that what you know is true.
At the start of each adventuring phase or after spending time in a Sanctuary, the Loremaster should inform you of one or two events of importance occurring somewhere in Wilderland.

Scholarly Inspiration
You can inspire others through stirring words and tales from the history of the Free People. To do so, use a bonus action on your turn. Choose one creature other than yourself that is within 60 feet of you and who can see or hear you. That creature gains one Scholarly Inspiration die, a d6.
Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the Inspiration die and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll or saving throw it attempts. The creature can wait until after it rolls the d20 before deciding to use the Inspiration die, but must decide before the Loremaster says whether the roll succeeds or fails. Once the Inspiration die is rolled, it is lost. A creature may have only one Inspiration die at a time.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum once). You regain any expended uses after a long rest.
Your Inspiration die increases in size when you reach certain levels in this class. The die becomes a d8 at 5th level, a d10 at 10th level and a d12 at 15th level.

Unarmoured Defense
Beginning at 1st level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.

Campfire Tales
Beginning at 2nd level, you can help revitalise your wounded allies during a short rest. If you tell tales during a short rest, then you and any nearby friendly creatures listening to your tales gain an additional 1d6 hit points per Hit Die spent.
The number of extra hit points gained increases as you gain Scholar levels: to 1d8 at 9th level, to 1d10 at 13th level and to 1d12 at 17th level.

The Path of Wisdom
Scholars tend to know a little bit about everything.
Also starting at 2nd level, you can add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to any ability check you make that doesn’t already include your proficiency bonus.

Expertise
At 3rd level, choose two of your skill proficiencies. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies.
At 10th level, you can choose another two skill proficiencies to gain this benefit.

Scholar Specialty
Also at 3rd level, you choose a speciality that determines the focus of your study. Choose Counsellor, Healer or Herald (all three are detailed at the end of the class description). The speciality you choose grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 6th and 14th level.

Character Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1, or you can take a Cultural or Open Virtue.
As normal, you cannot increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Shadow of the Past
Beginning at 5th level, you find deeper meaning in the long history of Middle-earth. You regain all of your expended uses of Scholarly Inspiration when you finish a short or long rest.

A Song For Heart And Soul
At 6th level, you gain the ability to use words of power to disrupt mind-influencing effects. As an action, you can start a performance that lasts until the end of your next turn. During that time, you and any friendly creatures within 30 feet of you have advantage on saving throws against being frightened or charmed.
A creature must be able to hear you to gain this benefit. The performance ends early if you are incapacitated or silenced or if you voluntarily end it (no action required).

Hope Unlooked-For
At 7th level, you may make preparations in advance and only reveal them when the time is right. Once per Adventuring phase, you may activate this ability and describe actions you took in the past that were unknown to the rest of the player-heroes, but that have now come to light. You must then make a suitable skill check to determine how successful these preparations were. The Loremaster is entitled to veto any unreasonable suggestions.
Example uses of this ability might include:
• “I found this ancient map on another adventure, and I reveal it now.”
• “I sent word to our allies in Rohan a week ago, and they are going to arrive to bolster our defences just before the Orcs attack.”
• “I guessed the King would imprison us, which is why I bribed the jailer a week ago to hide a key behind this loose brick.”
• “I just happened to bring along these fireworks.”

Reliable Talent
By 11th level, you have refined your chosen skills until they approach perfection. Whenever you make an ability check that lets you add your full proficiency bonus, you can treat a d20 roll of 9 or lower as a 10.

Ancient Tongues
Also by 11th level, you have plundered vernacular knowledge from ancient and secret tongues. You add the following languages to the list of the additional tongues you may learn: the Adûnaic (the Númenórean language, spoken by the Men of Westernesse), the Black Speech of Mordor, the Entish (the ancient language of the Shepherds of the Trees, the Ents of Fangorn Forest), the Khuzdul (the secret language of the Dwarves), and the Quenya (the Ancient Tongue of the Elves).

If you choose to learn Adûnaic or Quenya, you may gain advantage on any one Charisma, Intelligence (Traditions) or Wisdom (Insight) check also when dealing with High Elves and Dúnedain. In addition, your knowledge stretches back to the Elder Days. You know the names of the Two Trees, the Tale of the Three Jewels and the terror of the Great Enemy Morgoth. You’ve heard the tales of the Elven Kingdoms of Beleriand, now lost beneath the sea, and you know of the rise and fall of the Dúnedain. You may make Intelligence (History) ability checks without penalty regarding ancient matters. Additionally, if you do not have it already, gain proficiency with History.

If you choose to learn the Black Speech of Mordor, you gain advantage on any one Charisma, Intelligence (Traditions) or Wisdom (Insight) check when dealing with servants of the Enemy. Dark and terrible is the lore of the Enemy and you, perhaps, know more of it than is safe. Upon selecting this tongue, you gain 4 Shadow points and can make ability checks about information regarding the Shadow and its followers without penalty. Additionally, if you do not already possess it, gain proficiency with Shadow-lore.

If you choose to learn the Khuzdul, you gain advantage on any one Charisma, Intelligence (Traditions) or Wisdom (Insight) check when dealing with Dwarves. In addition, you know the secrets of reading old runes, from the ancient Tengwar to the Alphabet of Daeron – the Angerthas Moria. You are adept at finding lore hidden within cunning texts and have advantage on Intelligence (Lore) ability checks regarding all such matters. Finally, you can automatically discern where Dwarven moon-letters have been inscribed (though you cannot read them without the correct moon!).

If you choose to learn the Entish, you gain the ability to communicate with trees using skills such as Deception, Insight, Intimidation and Persuasion. You can question trees about events in the area within the past day, gaining information about creatures that have passed, weather, and other circumstances. You can also correctly identify a Blighted area, and can guess roughly what caused it to become blighted. If you travel through an area whose blight you successfully deduced, you have advantage on your Wisdom saving throw against Corruption. In addition, if you do not have it already, gain proficiency with the Nature skill.

Habits of the Wise
Starting at 14th level, your learning is such that you know there are few who can understand your concerns and worries, and so you must look to yourself for wise counsel.
When you make an ability check, you can expend one use of Scholarly Inspiration. Roll an Inspiration die and add the number rolled to your ability check. You can choose to do so after you roll the die for the ability check, but before the Loremaster tells you whether you succeed or fail.

Words Unspoken
At 18th level, you may convey your thoughts without speaking aloud. When dealing with high-level Scholars, Elves, Dúnedain or other folk of power, you may hold a full conversation, speaking mind to mind. Others have a sense or intuition of your words, but cannot reply, and may misinterpret your thoughts as their own. You cannot read the minds of others with this ability. Once per long rest, you may send brief snatches of your thought over great distances, conveying a single word or short message in dreams.

Great among the Wise
At 20th level, when you roll initiative and have no uses of Scholarly Inspiration left, you regain one use.
Additionally, you may spend Inspiration, or one use of Scholarly Inspiration, to learn something completely hidden. Whether by shrewd guess or seemingly chance insight, you learn a useful secret that most could have no way of knowing. You must take a long rest in a Sanctuary before you use this feature again.


SCHOLAR SPECIALITIES
"I once knew every spell in all the tongues of Elves or Men or Orcs that was ever used for such a purpose. I can still remember ten score of them without searching in my mind."

Even the Wise cannot see all ends, or master every branch of lore. There are always more secrets to discover, and so a Scholar must choose a field of study to specialise in.


COUNSELLOR
Your voice is your weapon. You have the ear of heroes and lords, and can accomplish more with a whispered word than with a drawn sword.

Bonus Proficiencies
When you choose this speciality at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in three of the following skills of your choice: Deception, History, Insight, Intimidation, Performance, Persuasion, Riddle or Traditions.

Webs of Deceit
Also at 3rd level, you learn how to use your wit to distract, confuse, and otherwise sap the confidence and competence of others. When a creature that you can see within 60 feet of you makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a damage roll, you can use your reaction to expend one of your uses of Scholarly Inspiration, rolling an Inspiration die and subtracting the number rolled from the creature’s roll. You can choose to use this feature after the creature makes its roll, but before the Loremaster determines whether the attack roll or ability check succeeds or fails, or before the creature deals its damage. The creature is immune if it can’t hear you or if it’s immune to being charmed.

Additional Tongues
At 6th level, you learn two additional tongues of your choice.

Deep Knowledge
At 14th level, your accumulated knowledge over the years has given you bits and pieces about people, locations, objects and events that you are likely to encounter. Much of this information is stored in your head, but even more is contained in scrolls and books that you have access to, as well as others among the Wise whose counsel you can ask for.
When you first encounter a person, object, location or event, you may ask the Loremaster three questions about it, for which they will provide truthful answers. If you do so, in addition to the lore you learn, you have advantage on any subsequent ability checks directly regarding that person, object, location or event for the rest of the Adventuring phase. Due to the sometimes intense nature of recalling such information, you may not use this feature again until you have taken a long rest in a Sanctuary.


HEALER
You have studied anatomy, physiology and all manner of curative arts. You know how to use healing herbs and poultices, how to let blood to purge a wound and how to bind one, and how to fight sicknesses that assail the spirit as well as the body.

Bonus Proficiencies
When you choose this speciality at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in Medicine, Nature and with the herbalism kit.

Healing Herbs
You have studied herb-lore in great depth, and know secret techniques to cure illness and poison.
Also at 3rd level, when you use your Campfire Tales feature, you tend your allies, binding their wounds, treating them with herbs and poultices, and offering soothing words, granting them additional hit points per Hit Die spent equal to your Wisdom modifier, up to their maximum.
Alternatively, instead of granting hit points, you can cure one disease, neutralize one poison, or remove one condition affecting a single target per Hit Die spent. Conditions are removed at the end of the short rest, but poisons and diseases require the creature to take a long rest before they are removed.

The types of diseases, poisons, and conditions you can cure are limited when you first gain this feature. You can remove the Blinded, Deafened, or Paralysed conditions, cure a common ailment (such as a flu), or neutralize a natural toxin (such as mushroom poison, or the venom of snakes and spiders).

At 6th level, you learn how to counteract the various poisons Orcs use, the venom of Great Spiders, and cure maladies and illnesses from Blighted Places.

At 14th level, you can cure certain terrible wounds inflicted by the evil spells or weapons of the Enemy, such as Morgul-knives or the Black Breath of the Nazgûl. Additionally, you may remove the Petrified condition or a level of exhaustion per two Hit Dice spent.

In addition, you have learned far more than the common uses of healing herbs and are capable of using them in more potent forms, or in new ways. When using medicinal herbs, use these effects instead of the normal effects of the herb. (see the Player’s Guide)

Softer Underneath
Starting at 6th level, your studies of the anatomy of various creatures and beings have granted you an intimate knowledge of their weaknesses. You can use your Intelligence modifier instead of Dexterity for the attack and damage rolls when attacking with a finesse or ranged weapon you are proficient with. The weapon also counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Houses of Healing
A Healer is welcome nearly everywhere, and even bitter foes will hesitate to attack such a person. Your reputation and skill precedes you.
At 14th level, if you reside in a place for more than a year, it becomes a Sanctuary as long as you remain there. Once you leave, this blessing persists for one month per Scholar level. Additionally, you gain advantage on any rolls to convince a person to give you shelter or food for a night. Finally, if you do not make an attack during combat, intelligent foes that do not serve the Shadow will not attack you.
However, you have sworn to use your skills to help all who need your aid, so refusing or neglecting to treat any potential patient counts as a Misdeed for you.


HERALD
Heralds are warriors as well as scholars, advocating for a cause that can motivate others and fighting for their beliefs. Heralds seek to witness great deeds of valour first hand and sing of what they have seen to others, to inspire them in turn.

Bonus Proficiencies
When you choose this speciality at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with medium armor, shields, and martial weapons.

Songs of Battle
Also at 3rd level, you learn to inspire others in battle. A creature that has a Scholarly Inspiration die from you can roll that die and add the number rolled to a weapon damage roll it just made. Alternatively, when an attack roll is made against the creature, it can use its reaction to roll the Scholarly Inspiration die and add the number rolled to its AC against that attack, after seeing the roll but before knowing whether it hits or misses.

Extra Attack
Starting at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

An End Worthy Of A Song
Starting at 14th level, your stirring words help your allies stand against any challenge, even if it is to be their last stand. You can use a bonus action to speak words of hope and valour that move you and all of your allies within 30 feet, granting each of you a +2 bonus on all attack rolls, a pool of temporary hit points equal to your Scholar level and immunity to being Charmed or Frightened. This effect lasts for 1 minute. When this ability ends, all those affected lose any remaining temporary hit points they gained from this ability and suffer one level of exhaustion. You must take a long rest in a Sanctuary before you can use this ability again.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Alternate Scholar

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:48 pm

The AiMe Scholar also fills the role of either the Healer or a Sage. Add the background of Magician and you have elements of the Bard or the option of Folk Healer skilled in 'headology' (as Discworld's Granny Weatherwax might say) and you could optionally give the Scholar some minor magical abilities. I don't think that the class as it stands is broken.

While I'm not entirely happy with the AiMe take on the Warden, it still fulfills a different function from the Scholar and I don't see any pressing need or desire to combine the two.

BookBarbarian
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Re: Alternate Scholar

Post by BookBarbarian » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:57 pm

I'll give it an in depth look later, but the first thing that caught my eye was unarmored defense. I do not think this belongs on a Scholar.

It worked on D&D monks because they are supposed to have very specialized training for for fighting in Melee combat, What type of fighting school are all these scholars coming out of?

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Morgoth
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Re: Alternate Scholar

Post by Morgoth » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:23 pm

Overall I like it. I also wasn't very happy with the Scholar or the Warden class as they were, so I also made heavy revisions to both. Some my changes were actually pretty similar to yours like unarmored defense and being able to use intelligence for attack or damage.

One thing I don't like about your scholar is the healer subclass. I agree that the original scholar class had way too much healing to make it feel like it belonged in ME, but I think you might have overcompensated. Your healer honestly isn't very good at healing. It gives them a small bonus to healing from HD (hit dice) and it let's you use your HD in more ways, but it might be nice to be able to tend creatures without having to take a rest. Maybe it could have a limited number of healing dice that refresh on a long rest. Or maybe it could use its scholarly inspiration to heal a character. Anyway, I think it would be good to give it some sort of healing that is not completely dependent on HD. It wouldn't even have to be healing that only takes one action. Instead it could take 1 minute. That seems a more feasible time to patch some up.
I smashed down the light and dared Valinor
I smashed down the light, revenge will be mine

Michebugio
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Re: Alternate Scholar

Post by Michebugio » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:15 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:The AiMe Scholar also fills the role of either the Healer or a Sage. Add the background of Magician and you have elements of the Bard or the option of Folk Healer skilled in 'headology' (as Discworld's Granny Weatherwax might say) and you could optionally give the Scholar some minor magical abilities. I don't think that the class as it stands is broken.

While I'm not entirely happy with the AiMe take on the Warden, it still fulfills a different function from the Scholar and I don't see any pressing need or desire to combine the two.
Thanks for your comment, OS. You followed me also on the other thread (Alternate Warden), so maybe you're starting to understand that I'm actually looking to bring the classes as close as possible to the original One Ring style, and I've felt that both the Warden and the Scholar were a bit "off".
While the other class adaptations seem perfectly fit (Slayer=Barbarian, of course!; Treasure Hunter=Rogue, obviously!; Warrior=Fighter, no-brainer; Wanderer=Ranger, undoubtedly yes), I found the Warden adaptation quite bizarre (Warden=Bard... um, what?), and the Scholar has been repeatedly commented as sub-par if compared to the other classes, especially in combat encounters (while in my TOR campaign, the Elf Scholar is actually a nasty fighter).
So I simply asked myself: what class in D&D would better model the Scholar? Well, I found the answer very quickly: the Bard, especially since one of its archetypes is the College of Lore (and remember the Bardic Knowledge of past editions of D&D?).

The idea came also from the fact that the Scholar in AimE already has a feature that is, in practice, a Bardic Inspiration, which is Shadow of the Past. So I thought, why not making a full progression for the Scholarly Inspiration die, instead of keeping it a single d6? Once again, I was stepping towards the Bard as a model for the Scholar.

But the Bard is, evidently, the model for the Warden: ok, then what class in D&D would better model the Warden? I think, as explained in the other topic, that the Paladin is the closest in terms of role and class concept.

So, in conclusion: I've never planned to combine the Warden and the Scholar, or make the Warden disappear completely. I've simply found that the role and abilities that have been given to the Warden are, to some extent, features that I would have expected to find in the Scholar, while on the other hand I would have expected a more "Paladin-like" Warden. I then said in the Disclaimer that this Scholar requires a complete re-write of the Warden as well, at least if there are both a Warden and a Scholar in the Company (otherwise, it wouldn't be necessary).
BookBarbarian wrote:I'll give it an in depth look later, but the first thing that caught my eye was unarmored defense. I do not think this belongs on a Scholar.

It worked on D&D monks because they are supposed to have very specialized training for for fighting in Melee combat, What type of fighting school are all these scholars coming out of?
No fighting school, actually. The Scholar is simply wise enough to not stand in the way of blades and arrows, counting more on his awareness and tactical reasoning (read: Wisdom) than on actual fighting prowess.

There's another reason why I've chosen Unarmored Defense, and that's quite funny. Since I picture Gandalf as a high level Scholar with innate magical abilities, I always wondered why he never seems to wear armour.
One could argue that the reason is that he is a Maiar, and/or he has some degree of magical protection: but still, I wanted that my players could play that "unarmored guy with a staff, a sword and a pointy hat". :D
Morgoth wrote:Overall I like it. I also wasn't very happy with the Scholar or the Warden class as they were, so I also made heavy revisions to both. Some my changes were actually pretty similar to yours like unarmored defense and being able to use intelligence for attack or damage.
Thanks, Morgoth! I've never read yours, you can share it here if you want! You're more than welcome to pick ideas from mine as well ;)
Morgoth wrote:One thing I don't like about your scholar is the healer subclass. I agree that the original scholar class had way too much healing to make it feel like it belonged in ME, but I think you might have overcompensated. Your healer honestly isn't very good at healing. It gives them a small bonus to healing from HD (hit dice) and it let's you use your HD in more ways, but it might be nice to be able to tend creatures without having to take a rest. Maybe it could have a limited number of healing dice that refresh on a long rest. Or maybe it could use its scholarly inspiration to heal a character. Anyway, I think it would be good to give it some sort of healing that is not completely dependent on HD. It wouldn't even have to be healing that only takes one action. Instead it could take 1 minute. That seems a more feasible time to patch some up.
Point taken, but my Healer IS very good at healing, only that it's not instant healing. The bonus to healing is 1d6 + Wisdom modifier for every Hit Die spent by the ally, which increases to 1d12 at higher levels. This is practically double the normal healing from Hit Dice expenditure, with the aditional possibility to cure poisons, diseases and conditions.
My simple thought on the matter is that tending creatures without having a rest is... not very Middle-Earth-ish. You don't see heroes quaffing potions of healing, applying Athelas in less than 6 seconds, or casting Cure Wounds. In this regard, the Lord of the Rings is quite grim and gritty, with people suffering wounds and dying in battle.

But still, your point intrigues me, and in terms of game mechanics, not having the possibility for instant healing perhaps makes the game much more difficult than originally intended by D&D developers. Maybe I should give the possibility to heal in 1 action, or 1 minute. I'll work on it, and thanks for the suggestion. :)

Please keep commenting!

BookBarbarian
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Re: Alternate Scholar

Post by BookBarbarian » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:40 pm

Michebugio wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:15 pm
No fighting school, actually. The Scholar is simply wise enough to not stand in the way of blades and arrows, counting more on his awareness and tactical reasoning (read: Wisdom) than on actual fighting prowess.

There's another reason why I've chosen Unarmored Defense, and that's quite funny. Since I picture Gandalf as a high level Scholar with innate magical abilities, I always wondered why he never seems to wear armour.
One could argue that the reason is that he is a Maiar, and/or he has some degree of magical protection: but still, I wanted that my players could play that "unarmored guy with a staff, a sword and a pointy hat". :D
Awareness might be Wisdom, but I think Tactical Reasoning is Intelligence. Which is actually a bit of a stickler for me, I think all the Scholars best bits should run off of Intelligence, because I view it as the one class that is defined by studying and knowing things.

This in part influences why I see unarmored defense as a bad fit. The kind of awareness to know how to get out of they way of arrows and blades wont come from studying lost lore or the speech of animals.

I get you're point about Gandalf. I am actually thinking about a different direction for that where all versions of light armor are some type of Clothing/robes, Medium armors are Leather, and Heavies are Chain.

Back to your Scholar, I still haven't had time to go through the bulk of it yet, but I hope to have more feedback soon.

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Morgoth
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Re: Alternate Scholar

Post by Morgoth » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:45 pm

Michebugio wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:15 pm
Morgoth wrote:Overall I like it. I also wasn't very happy with the Scholar or the Warden class as they were, so I also made heavy revisions to both. Some my changes were actually pretty similar to yours like unarmored defense and being able to use intelligence for attack or damage.
Thanks, Morgoth! I've never read yours, you can share it here if you want! You're more than welcome to pick ideas from mine as well ;)
Here's a few of my changes:
They get Lore, Medicine plus two other skills from the list instead of just one.
Path of Wisdom gives double prof bonus to Lore, Medicine and one other skill that uses Int or Wis. At 9th and 17th it gives another.
Cunning Defense: At 2nd level their AC is 10 + Int + Dex if they aren't using armor.
Studied Strike: At 5th level they can add their Int modifier to their damage once per round.
Shadow of the Past is usable 1/short rest.
Softer Underneath only works for you, but if it hits the attack is a critical hit.
Dark Knowledge only gives one Shadow Point.
Instead of quick heals and long heals, I made it somewhere in between. It takes one minute and heals d8+prof+wis. Also healing dice refresh on a long rest instead of a short rest.

There's a bunch of other small changes. Overall, my version of the scholar (compared to the original) has made them better at skills and made them less of a liability in combat, however it also reduces their massive amount of healing to a more reason level to compensate.

Michebugio wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:15 pm
Morgoth wrote:One thing I don't like about your scholar is the healer subclass. I agree that the original scholar class had way too much healing to make it feel like it belonged in ME, but I think you might have overcompensated. Your healer honestly isn't very good at healing. It gives them a small bonus to healing from HD (hit dice) and it let's you use your HD in more ways, but it might be nice to be able to tend creatures without having to take a rest. Maybe it could have a limited number of healing dice that refresh on a long rest. Or maybe it could use its scholarly inspiration to heal a character. Anyway, I think it would be good to give it some sort of healing that is not completely dependent on HD. It wouldn't even have to be healing that only takes one action. Instead it could take 1 minute. That seems a more feasible time to patch some up.
Point taken, but my Healer IS very good at healing, only that it's not instant healing. The bonus to healing is 1d6 + Wisdom modifier for every Hit Die spent by the ally, which increases to 1d12 at higher levels. This is practically double the normal healing from Hit Dice expenditure, with the aditional possibility to cure poisons, diseases and conditions.
My simple thought on the matter is that tending creatures without having a rest is... not very Middle-Earth-ish. You don't see heroes quaffing potions of healing, applying Athelas in less than 6 seconds, or casting Cure Wounds. In this regard, the Lord of the Rings is quite grim and gritty, with people suffering wounds and dying in battle.

But still, your point intrigues me, and in terms of game mechanics, not having the possibility for instant healing perhaps makes the game much more difficult than originally intended by D&D developers. Maybe I should give the possibility to heal in 1 action, or 1 minute. I'll work on it, and thanks for the suggestion. :)

Please keep commenting!
Well, you can say it's "good at healing" in the amount that in can heal. Although even in this, it's probably a lot less than the original scholar or a healing class from D&D. But that's a good thing.

However, it does nothing to increase a player's opportunity to heal. Basically it only increases the healing done by other sources (HD) but it's really not a new source of healing in itself. In other words, characters will still heal whenever they would have healed, they just heal more when they heal. And it's nice that they can use their HD to heal other conditions, but then this uses up the HD that the characters would be using to heal. This is definitely more realistic to ME than clerics or even the original scholars. But ultimately I wonder how useful it will be. How often to your players run out of HD in your campaign? If they are constantly running out halfway through the adventure, then this will be a huge boon to help them extend their HD over a longer period. But if they're not using all their HD as it is, this will have little effect on them. Ultimately, this way of healing is very dependent on the style of play that is in your campaign.

And I totally agree: I don't want to see people patching someone up in a couple seconds or quaffing potions of healing in ME. But I think there is a middle ground between the 1 action heals and the spending HD heals. That's just my 2 cents anyway.
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Re: Alternate Scholar

Post by Michebugio » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:50 pm

BookBarbarian wrote:Awareness might be Wisdom, but I think Tactical Reasoning is Intelligence. Which is actually a bit of a stickler for me, I think all the Scholars best bits should run off of Intelligence, because I view it as the one class that is defined by studying and knowing things.

This in part influences why I see unarmored defense as a bad fit. The kind of awareness to know how to get out of they way of arrows and blades wont come from studying lost lore or the speech of animals.
That's why I've chosen Wisdom instead of Intelligence, since it's more a matter of awareness, intuition and careful positioning on the battlefield than of study of martial tactics. Also, notice that Wisdom is not the main attribute of the class, which relies more on Intelligence for Scholarly Inspiration, so a Scholar who focuses only on Intelligence won't have such an advantage to go around unarmored. Unarmoured Defence also serves as an incentive to raise Wisdom as well as Intelligence, even if you don't choose the Healer speciality.

Plus, I like to have a "mind over brawn" character that backs-up the motto with actual combat advantage ("you're fast and strong, but I'm smart and wise!").
Morgoth wrote:And it's nice that they can use their HD to heal other conditions, but then this uses up the HD that the characters would be using to heal.
It's not how it works, but maybe the description I've made might generate confusion. The conditions, poisons and diseases are healed in addition to the hit points recovered through expenditure of Hit Dice. In other words, if any ally spends Hit Dice to heal during a short rest, the Scholar may, on top of the expenditure, increase the healing by 1dX + Wisdom per Hit Die, or cure a poison/disease/condition for every Hit Die spent.

For example, if a 3rd level Warrior with Constitution 14 spends 2 Hit Dice during a short rest, he regains 2d10+4 hit points. His Scholar companion with Widom 14 may additionally increase the healing by 2d6+4, or cure him of 2 poisons/diseases/conditions, or increase the healing by 1d6+2 and cure him of 1 poison/disease/condition. At 14th level, the Scholar might also have chosen to remove a level of exhaustion or the Petrified condition.
Morgoth wrote:But ultimately I wonder how useful it will be. How often to your players run out of HD in your campaign? If they are constantly running out halfway through the adventure, then this will be a huge boon to help them extend their HD over a longer period. But if they're not using all their HD as it is, this will have little effect on them. Ultimately, this way of healing is very dependent on the style of play that is in your campaign.
The Healer simply helps to run out of HD later (on average, 2 times later), so the adventurers need less time to recover and may face more combat encounters in shorter periods. It doesn''t augment survivability during combat, but this is more realistic - even the combat medics are not there to make the injured soldier keep fighting, they're there just to make them live and maybe face another fight after they have healed in a hospital.

Still, as I commented above, I agree that there should be something that lets the player heal "in real time", but that should be proportionately low. Also, in case a character has lost just a few hit points, but not enough to make him spend Hit Dice to heal, maybe the Healer should be there to do something.
The use of Scholarly Inspiration to heal is prone to abuse, since it recharges every short rest, so the players may declare that they simply make short rests spending Scholarly Inspiration to heal until they fill their maximums.
Usually, effects that let characters regain hit points during combat tend to be "morale" effects, like a battle cry to rally your companions, not actual "patching-up". And this should be the dominion of Warriors and Wardens.

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Re: Alternate Scholar

Post by Morgoth » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:50 pm

Michebugio wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:50 pm
Morgoth wrote:And it's nice that they can use their HD to heal other conditions, but then this uses up the HD that the characters would be using to heal.
It's not how it works, but maybe the description I've made might generate confusion. The conditions, poisons and diseases are healed in addition to the hit points recovered through expenditure of Hit Dice. In other words, if any ally spends Hit Dice to heal during a short rest, the Scholar may, on top of the expenditure, increase the healing by 1dX + Wisdom per Hit Die, or cure a poison/disease/condition for every Hit Die spent.
Oh ok, thank you for clarifying. That's a bit more useful.

Where it says "Alternatively, instead of granting hit points, you can cure one disease, neutralize one poison, or remove one condition affecting a single target per Hit Die spent" I would say "Alternatively, instead of granting these additional hit points, you can cure one disease, neutralize one poison, or remove one condition affecting a single target per Hit Die spent." I think that would be much more clear.

Michebugio wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:50 pm
The Healer simply helps to run out of HD later (on average, 2 times later), so the adventurers need less time to recover and may face more combat encounters in shorter periods.
Right, it does extend your HD quite a bit. I'm not questioning that. What I am questioning is if HD running out is a problem in the first place. In my campaign, the characters very rarely run out of HD. I think it's only happened once to one character. So a feature that doubles their HD would be of little use to my party, because they never run out to begin with.
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Re: Alternate Scholar

Post by Michebugio » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:58 pm

First of all, thanks everybody for the comments, and especially to Morgoth for his kind suggestions (I've noted down everything, and I'm already working on some changes!).

For a better understanding and validation, I decided to provide a reading guide for the class, that will serve as an aid for any other who will read and comment. So here we go.


As I said, the class is based on the Bard; so, as a general rule, this Scholar can do everything a Bard can do, except for spellcasting. Any feature that is not present in the Bard's Class Features list, is to compensate the loss of spells.

Scholarly Inspiration: it's Bardic Inspiration, except that its uses are determined by Intelligence, not Charisma.

The Path of Wisdom: it's simply Bard's Jack of all Trades, I just thought the name would fit better, although it might create confusion for those who are familiar with the original Scholar (there, The Path of Wisdom essentially mimics Expertise but focused on Medicine, so in practice I'm using the name for a completely different effect).

Campfire Tales: it's Song of Rest, except that it works per Hit Die spent, not just once per short rest, which makes it significantly more powerful. I originally wanted to name it Hands of a Healer to maintain the original class specularity, but it was essentially the same ability of the Warden so I decided for the same name. Still not sure about it, maybe I'll go with Hands of a Healer anyway...

Expertise: same as Bard.

Shadow of the Past: it's Font of Inspiration. In the original Scholar, this was actually the feature that was giving the Scholarly Inspiration dice, so I just took the name and the description, changing the effect since it wasn't applicable anymore.

A Song for Heart and Soul: it's Countercharm, and the name is a quote from the Song of the Lonely Mountain (We must awake and make the day / To find a song for heart and soul).

Habits of the Wise: this is actually 14th level's Peerless Skill from Bard's College of Lore specialization. Here, it's a core class ability instead of a speciality feature, which you also take at 14th level. The homonymous feature from the original Scholar has an entirely different effect (once per Adventuring Phase, you can recharge a feature that requires a long rest with a short rest), which was no more applicable since my new Scholar doesn't have any ability that recharges after a long rest; but the description of the feature, which I've also kept ("your learning is such that you know there are few who can understand your concerns and worries, and so you must look to yourself for wise counsel") seemed perfect to describe this new effect (you're essentially giving Scholarly Inspiration dice to yourself).

Great Among the Wise: this is Bard's Superior Inspiration, merged with the secondary effect of the original Scholar feature. The original feature's main effect (auto-success with a skill check) seemed obsolete, since this Scholar at 20th level could routinely succeed at DC 25 checks thanks to Expertise and Reliable Talent, and buff the result up to an astonishing 35 (and more!) using Habits of the Wise. So, really, no need for that part.


What's new compared to the Bard?

As I've said, there had to be something that compensates the absence of spells, so here it is:

News from afar and Unarmoured Defense: the first is the homonymous, original feature from AiME's Scholar, while the second is an option for high-Wisdom Scholars that is for flavour. Both are additions, but none is terribly powerful.

Additional Tongues and Ancient Tongues: this is something that ended up being at the core of the class. We all know how important are the tongues and the languages in Tolkien's writings, so I wanted to expand the original Scholar's Tongues of Many People feature to give it more depth and feel: music and words are the real "magic", in Middle Earth, so it seemed the more obvious, and main, replacement for spellcasting.
Now, you can decide which tongues you know, and you also get tangible effects on game mechanics (the advantage on skill checks that somehow mimic the original Scholar's Webs of Deceit feature, which is now the name for a speciality feature of the Counsellor). Even more so when you access the Ancient Tongues feature, that absorbs the Secret Lores feature of the Master Scholar Speciality, essentially "integrating" the Master Scholar into the Scholar class itself.

So, in a certain way, the ancient tongues are your "spells".

Hope Unlooked-For: no counterpart in the Bard, which gives no features at 7th level, except for access to 4th level spells. I needed a filler, so I took this ability from the original Scholar and left it unchanged, except that you gain it at 7th level instead of 13th (fair enough to me: it's a cool and fun ability, and having it earlier means enjoying it more).

Reliable Talent: again, the Bard has an empty space at 11th, so I took the Rogue's ability with the same name to fill it. Seemed like the perfect choice, since I wanted the Scholar to be the skill-monkey of the company, and strangely enough the Treasure Hunter (which is based on the Rogue) replaced this ability with Luck Winner, so in practice we didn't have the Reliable Talent fearure in any of AiME's classes.

Words Unspoken: again, a filler. The Bard doesn't give any feature at 18th level besides Magical Secrets (which is inapplicable), so I've taken the feature from the original Scholar and put it here.


What's missing from the original Scholar?

Hands of a Healer: I didn't want that all Scholars could heal wounds with a simple touch, also the Campfire Tales feature already allows for some healing (and I'm also thinking about renaming it "Hands of a Healer"). Still, the absence of spells could justify the addition of some instant-heal feature, but I'm not sure about it.

Webs of Deceit: while the feature is gone, its effects remain, with some limitations, thanks to Additional Toungues (you get advantage on any one skill check if you know the tongue of your interlocutor, which is kinda the same as the original Webs of Deceit). Also, the feature name now represents the Counsellor's 3rd level speciality feature, which is taken straight from Bard's College of Lore Cutting Words. The name of the original Scholar's feature seemed perfect for this new effect, even though it's now completely different.

Physician: now this is a Healer's speciality feature.

Hidden Paths: given the fact that you can already buff any of your companion's skill checks thanks to Scholarly Inspiration, it seemed unnecessary to add a feature that also give advantage to Journey rolls. Still, this could be re-added to make up for the absence of spellcasting, but meh.


Keep commenting! :)

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