As promised, I've finished my Scholar Character Class . Although designed for Castles & Crusades, he may be able to be ported to other d20 offerings without much ado. Bottom line, not great Hit Points, more of a role-playing than hack n' slash hardcore class, but handy in a number of traditional "skill monkey" roles without the annoying "hey nonny nonny" of the Bard. The scholar gets a modest but useful selection of weapons, but pretty much eats it in armor. Not a front line troop, you'll want to protect the scholar so he parley with barbarian tribes, wow them with predicted eclipses, fire off a few scrolls, translate the ancient runes guarding the Lost Tomb, and figure out exactly how that mechanical apparatus with all the shiny, swinging blades in the middle of the dungeon works. All while remembering the answer to the dragon's riddle from some moldy old book of bad gnomish poetry! Not the sneak the rogue is or the motivator/charismatic dynamo the bard is, the scholar boasts more learning than either, and must rest on that and his wiles to mark his worth to the party.
I've received some nice feedback from the Troll Lord forums, and so am releasing this pdf download as sort of a 2nd revision. The particulars are below for those who don't feel like clicking:
The Scholar is an individual of great learning, often employed by nobility or other wealthy interests as part of a patronage system. Scholars may be found adventuring as employed translators, cultural liaisons, or seeking powerful artifacts and items of lore for themselves or their masters.
Decipher Script (Int): This ability allows the scholar to decipher writing in an unfamiliar language, a message written in an incomplete or archaic form or a message written in code. If the check succeeds, the character understands the general content of a piece of writing. It takes 2d4 turns to decipher each page of a script. The attempt may be made only once per writing per day. A scholar may use this ability to decipher and then use an arcane scroll, as a wizard or illusionist would.
Identify Object (Int): This ability gives the scholar a chance to ascertain the purpose or manner of an object’s workings. Upon a successful check, the scholar knows what the item would ideally be used for, time frame of construction, and originating culture.
Scholar’s Learning (Int): This ability represents the vast breadth and depth of a scholar’s knowledge. Upon a successful check, the scholar will know the answer to a query regarding lore, history, linguistics, the sciences, religion, and culture. Characters should pick one of the above as a specialty; any checks that pertain to this field of knowledge will receive a +2. At level 4, a second specialty bonus may be chosen for an additional +2 bonus. A third and fourth may be chosen (also at +2) at levels 6 and 8, respectively.
Prime Attribute: Intelligence
Typical Races: Any
Starting Gold: 1d4x20
Hit Die: d6
Weapons: Sword, bows, club, sling, dagger, staff, spear
Armor: Padded, leather coat, leather, leather laminar, mail shirt
Abilities: Decipher Script, Identify Object, Scholar’s Learning
Scholar Level Progression
Level HD BtH EPP
1 D6 0 0
2 D6 +1 1501
3 D6 +1 3250
4 D6 +1 7501
5 D6 +2 15001
6 D6 +2 30001
7 D6 +2 60001
8 D6 +3 120001
9 D6 +3 240001
10 D6 +3 450001
11 +2 +4 625001
12 +2 +4 800001