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[3.5 Base Class] The Scholar (PEACH)Scholar
"The most important laws that govern our world are magical ones. They are also some of the most ephemeral, difficult to define, sometimes seemingly contradictory laws that exist. To understand magic is to understand the nature of the world. What, I ask, can be more important than that?" -Emblem Arkstone.
Adventures: Most scholars adventure for the chance to expand their knowledge and experience. They seek out ancient tomes, forgotten rituals, and potent magical items to study, developing their own skills all the while. While many do have other motivations driving them as well, few can truly say that the possibility to expand their base of knowledge and power was not a factor in their decision.
Characteristics: Scholars are spellcasters first and foremost, but they have a much narrower pool of magic to draw from. They have only the most limited access to the truly world-altering spells that high-level wizards, clerics, druids, and psions command. However, they are quite competent in general utility and combat casting, masters of augmenting their lower-level spells with metamagic, and adept ritualists.
Alignments: Scholars can come from all walks of life, and seek knowledge for any reason. Scholars have no tendency towards any alignment.
Religion: Scholars can often be found among the priesthood, students of the magic and lore of all manner of deities. Scholars not directly affiliated with a faith often worship gods of magic and knowledge.
Background: Most scholars have at least some manner of an academic background, whether being taught by a mentor, or in a guild or university. They do tend to be more common among structured institutes. Some scholars, however, are prodigies, and their aptitude with magic comes from natural affinity. In these cases, the scholar is often someone who had great potential as a full-fledged wizard, but lacked the ambition or dedication to strive for ever stronger magic.
Races: Scholars are most common among the races with traditions of magical education, with humans, elves, and gnomes being by far the most common. Other races rarely have large groups of scholars, but in a cosmopolitan city with a dedicated magical organization, the class could easily be filled by members of any race.
Other Classes: Other classes of all sorts tend to look upon scholars as academic dabblers. This can lead to a sort of mentoring relationship (from more powerful casters) and a sort of bemused protectiveness (from more martial classes), to disdain and outright bullying.
Role: The scholar is a primary spellcaster, but somewhat more focused than the norm. Limited to a specific set of spells, and to only low level spells, they don't have the sheer versatility of most full casting classes. However, their rituals give them the potential for lots of utility, and with their wider range of basic skills, potent metamagic, renewable resources, and personal shields, they can become quite powerful battle mages.
Adaptation: The scholar is a flexible class, and with the right choice of Major, Minor, Powers, and spells, can fit a broad range of magical archetypes. It can easily replace full spellcasters in low-to-mid magic games. It can also be built as a solid theurge-type character or warrior/mage right out of the box.
Additionally, the class can have its magical access tweaked by shifting which of the rank features grant full new spell levels, and which grant single mastered rituals. A really low magic game might have Sophomore or even Junior only providing a mastered ritual, limiting actual spellcasting to third or even second level spells.
As a further option, the DM may require that any or all of the ritual abilities be exchanged for their variations. This sharply curtails the potential versatility of the class and reduces or even removes its limited access to actual high-level spells, which could be preferable in particularly low-magic games.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Scholars have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Some degree of mental prowess is important for all scholars, though how this manifests can vary. Intelligence is most common, as it also improves the scholar's access to skills and knowledge, and helps with the Spellcraft checks that are important for rituals, but less academic scholars do also exist. An adventuring scholar is likely to want a high Constitution to endure the rigors of its travels.
Hit Die: d6.
Starting Age: As wizard.
Starting Gold: As wizard.
The Scholar's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are...
Craft (Int), Concentration (Con), Knowledge (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha). In addition, to represent their diverse studies, all scholars may choose ten additional class skills. They may only select those commonly available in the campaign (in most cases, this means PHB skills, but if other rule sources that involve additional skills are commonly used, their skills can be added to the list at DM discretion).
Skill Points at First Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special 1st+0+0+0+2 Spellcasting, Major and Minor, Freshman, Power. 2nd+1+0+0+3 Arcane Shielding. 3rd+1+1+1+3 Ritual Magic. 4th+2+1+1+4 Sophomore, Silver Shield. 5th+2+1+1+4 Uncapped. 6th+3+2+2+5 Sapphire Shield. 7th+3+2+2+5 Junior. 8th+4+2+2+6 Emerald Shield. 9th+4+3+3+6 Multiple Metamagic. 10th+5+3+3+7 Senior, Golden Shield. 11th+5+3+3+7 Thesis. 12th+6+4+4+8 Ruby Shield. 13th+6+4+4+8 Bachelor. 14th+7+4+4+9 Diamond Shield. 15th+7+5+5+9 Rejuvenation. 16th+8+5+5+10 Master, Adamant Shield. 17th+8+5+5+10 Permanence. 18th+9+6+6+11 Crystal Shield. 19th+9+6+6+11 Doctor. 20th+10+6+6+12 Epic Metamagic.
All of the following are class features of the scholar.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Scholars are proficient with simple weapons, light armor, and shields (except tower shields).
Spellcasting: Scholars are able to cast a limited number of spells. Their spellcasting has numerous differences compared to traditional spellcasting classes.
SpoilerCasting Score: At first level, the scholar chooses a mental ability score, called its casting score, that drives its magic. It may also choose any nine-level list of spells (or similar effects, such as psionic powers) that it can draw from. It casts those spells following the rules of the class that gives the list its name (so if it chose the Wizard list, it would cast spells following the rules for wizards - making it subject to arcane spell failue, for example). The scholar only gains spells on the list itself; a scholar using the cleric list, for example, would not receive domains. However, the scholar follows unique rules for learning spells and determining how often it can cast them.
Spells Known: All scholars learn a number of spells equal to their class level, plus their casting modifier, and in addition automatically know all 0-level spells on their chosen list, with the exception of Cure Minor Wounds. Each time the scholar gains a level, in this or any other class, it may swap out a number of spells equal to its casting modifier for other spells. These spells need not be of the same level. Initially, as a Freshman, the scholar is limited to first-level spells. As it advances through scholarly ranks, it gains access to progressively higher spells, capping at fourth level spells as a Senior. Further ranks offer different benefits.
Mana: Although a scholar progresses more slowly than a dedicated spellcaster, and will never be able to command the levels of advanced magic that such spellcasters possess, their understanding of the basics of magic is exceptional, combining the focus of a spontaneous spellcaster with the dedicated training of a prepared caster. This gives them a high amount of spellcasting flexibility.
Scholars have a pool of Mana equal to twice its class level + its casting modifier. Casting a spell costs an amount of Mana equal to the spell's level (0 level spells have a base cost of 0 Mana, usable at will if not enhanced by metamagic or other means). If the scholar has access to psionic powers, its Mana becomes equal to Power Points for all purposes, with one Mana equal to two Power Points. Mana recovers at the rate of one point per hour, and resets to full after eight hours of rest.
Additionally, in situations of stress, danger, or strong emotion (always during combat, though the DM may call out other situations at its discretion), the scholar can tap into its reserves to generate excess magical energy. During this time, it gains a second pool of Mana, equal to its class level + its casting modifier, referred to as its Active pool. Each situation that triggers its Active pool allows it to begin with a full pool of Mana. While its Active pool is available, the scholar can recover Active Mana equal to half its casting modifier as a full-round action. Once the situation ends, the Active pool can no longer rejuvenate, and fades entirely over the course of the next minute. Generating an Active pool happens instinctively, and it cannot be purposefully called upon by the scholar. While the character has an Active pool, it cannot spend Mana from its base pool; it draws on Active mana subconsciously.
Scholars cannot use their Active pool to create permanent matter. When casting from their Active pool, the scholar's spells cannot exceed Long range or last longer than one round per Scholar level; greater ranges and durations are brought down to those levels. Scholars also cannot use their Active pool to cast any spell with a casting time of greater than one full round.
Metamagic: Although a scholar doesn't generally learn spells of higher than 4th level, it still has fully level-appropriate casting power. A scholar can spend a maximum amount of Mana on any given spell equal to half its character level, rounded up. In addition to augmenting psionic powers, this additional Mana can be used to apply Metamagic to its spells, with each level of Metamagic costing one Mana. Due to the scholar's more detailed study of the fundamentals of magic, it lowers the spell slot adjustment of all metamagic feats by 1, to a minimum of +0 spell levels. However, a scholar cannot benefit from any other effects that lower the cost of Metamagic feats.
Metapsionic feats do not have their costs reduced, but instead no longer require expending the character's psionic focus.
Metamagic feats that have a variable spell level increase or can apply multiple times receive this reduction only once, to the total spell level increase caused by the feat.
Metamagic feats that increase the effect of a spell (such as Empower or Maximize) or that cause the spell to take effect multiple times (such as Twin or Energy Admixture) only apply to the base effect of the spell; an Empowered Twinned spell would deal X2.5 damage, not X3.
Persistence: Although scholar's can't tap into their deeper reserves at will, they can use the more renewable nature of their energy to maintain persistent spell effects, keeping a trickle of Mana constantly flowing to maintain the spell. This process is called persisting the spell.
Setting up persisted spells takes ten minutes, or the combined casting times of all spells persisted, whichever is longer. If the scholar wishes to change its persisted spells, it must go through the full process of persisting its new set of spells. Once this process begins, all persisted spells are ended.
The scholar may suppress all of its persisted spells, foregoing their effects temporarily, as a swift action. It may resume its persisted spells as a full round action.
Only spells with a duration of at least one round per level or one minute can be persisted, and the scholar can only persist spells on itself or its gear (spells on gear are suppressed if they leave the scholar's possession, and resume when it recovers the item). If a persisted spell is expended, its benefits are lost until the scholar performs the persistence anew. The scholar can persist spells with a costly material component, but to do so it must possess a focus worth at least fifty times the component value. The scholar cannot persist spells with an XP cost.
Persisted spells are measured in points; spells with a duration measured in rounds cost four points, minutes cost three, tens of minutes cost two, and hours cost one. Spells measured in days or longer cost half a point. If the duration does not scale with level, the point cost increases by 1 (or to 1, for spells with a duration of one day).
A scholar can persist a number of points worth of spells equal to its casting modifier without difficulty. Past that, and each additional point of spells persisted lowers the scholar's maximum Mana and Active Mana by 3.
A persisted spell lasts as long as it is persisted, regardless of its usual duration. Persistence only ends with the death or will of the scholar. If a persisted spell is dispelled, it automatically renews itself, but this causes the scholar's current Active Mana (if any) to lower by the point value of the spell. This can result in negative Active Mana. Persisted spells that directly increase the scholar's stats (but not those that cause other effects or grant abilities) are imbued into the scholar's body directly enough to even remain active in an antimagic field or dead magic area. However, this requires pulling far more energy from the scholar, resulting in a -1 penalty on all rolls, checks, AC, and DCs per point of such spells.
Prestige Classes: Any time a scholar receives a level in a class that advances its scholar casting, it gains additional Mana, and also treats its scholar level as one higher for purposes of its rank abilities (Freshman, Sophomoe, etc) and for determining if it gains access to the Uncapped and Multiple Metamagic abilities. Other scholar abilities are not improved.
Major and Minor: Scholars study all manner of things. In addition to magic, most adventuring scholars learn at least the basics of personal defense, as well as a number of useful skills. All scholars can choose two of the following areas to focus its aptitude on. The same option can be taken multiple times unless otherwise stated.
SpoilerCombat Training: The scholar is more capable at physical combat. The first time it is taken, the scholar gains proficiency with martial weapons and all armor, may add its casting modifier to attack and damage rolls (in lieu of its Strength or Dexterity modifier where applicable), gains an Average BAB progression, and increases its HD by one step. The second time it is taken, the scholar improves its Fortitude save to the good progression, its HD by another step, and its BAB to full, and also gains the ability to cast a spell through its weapon (or weapons, if dual-wielding). As a standard and swift action, it can make a single attack and cast a spell through its weapon; a successful hit delivers the spell, while a miss wastes it. The attack roll replaces any touch attack or Reflex save allowed, but other saves are made normally. As a full round and swift action, it can make a full attack, charge, or (if it possesses the relevant feat) spring attack or whirlwind attack, delivering the cast spell upon each enemy hit by at least one attack. When channeling a spell that affects multiple targets or an area, only the struck targets are affected.
Skill Training: The scholar has a broader knowledge of skills. The first time the scholar takes this, its skill points per level increase to 6, it may choose four additional class skills, it may substitute its casting modifier for the normal ability modifier applied to three skills of its choice, and it gains the Trapfinding ability. The second time the scholar takes this, the scholar improves its Reflex save to the good progression, its skill points per level to 8, gains four more class skills, and also gains the ability to use its magic to assist its skills in a variety of ways, allowing it to spend 1 Mana when making a skill check to roll the check twice, taking the better result.
General Training: The scholar gains a bonus feat of its choice at first level, and every four levels thereafter. Taking this option twice instead grants a feat at first level, second level, and every three levels thereafter.
Defensive Training: The scholar is adept at defending itself from magical attack. This option may only be taken once. The scholar gains a good Fortitude and Reflex save, improves its HD by one step, and gains the ability to Counterspell as an immediate action. Additionally, when readying an action, it may take the action it readied multiple times per round (against a separate trigger each time), spending an attack of opportunity each time beyond the first.
Magical Diversity: The scholar has studied multiple fields of magic. It may learn spells from an additional spell list. It may choose which list it uses for purposes of its basic spellcasting rules. Alternately, it can gain access to all sub-lists for its originally chosen list (such as cleric domains or psion disciplines).
Magical Versatility: The scholar knows a wider variety of spells. It may learn a number of additional spells equal to its casting modifier.
Magical Flexibility: The scholar has more Mana available. It gains additional Mana equal to its class level and additional Active Mana equal to half its class level, rounded up.
Magical Understanding: The scholar has a broad magical education. By spending eight hours in a location appropriate to its spellcasting style (studying in a library, praying at a temple, communing with nature in a druidic grove, etc) it may change out a number of spells equal to half its casting modifier for other spells. Multiple applications of this ability let it swap more spells at once, and also halve the time required.
Freshman: Starting at first level, the scholar may learn first level spells from its scholar spell list.
Power: At first level, the scholar may choose two Powers from the list below, giving it an option to use when it does not wish to spend Mana. The same Power may be chosen up to twice.
SpoilerAnimal Companion: The scholar gains an animal companion as a Pathfinder druid of its character level. By taking this power a second time, the companion gains the Intelligence and abilities of a Familiar of a wizard of its character level.
Compulsion (Su): As a standard action, the scholar can attempt to force a target in Medium range to do something against its will. The target must make a Will save; if it fails, on its next turn, the scholar may choose what it does with any one of its actions (its other actions may be taken normally). The scholar may choose whether to allow the target to take its actions before or after it compels an action. This is a mind-affecting compulsion. By taking this power twice, the scholar may choose two of the target's actions.
Debilitate (Su): As a standard action, the scholar can attempt to weaken a foe. The scholar chooses an ability score; the target must make a Fortitude save (if the ability score is a physical one), or a Will save (if mental) or sustain a penalty to that ability score equal to the scholar's casting modifier. This penalty lasts for one round per scholar level and does not stack with other Debilitate attempts. By taking this power twice, the scholar can penalize two scores at once.
Energy Bolt (Su): As a standard action, the scholar can unleash a bolt of arcane energy as a ranged touch attack with Medium range, dealing 1d6 points of damage per two character levels, plus additional damage equal to the scholar's casting modifier. If the scholar is wielding a magic weapon, it can fire the bolt from the weapon, adding the weapon's enhancement bonus to the attack and damage roll and applying any valid special effects on the weapon to the bolt (not all effects are useful; for example, a Speed enchantment won't do anything, since this is a supernatural ability, not a full attack). The scholar can choose the form of energy the bolt takes when it gains this power, selecting from the following list. At the cost of two Skill Points, the scholar may select an additional form of Energy Bolt that it can use.
Whenever casting a spell or using an ability that deals energy damage, the scholar may choose to substitute an energy type it knows for the spell's normal energy type, applying the listed effects and changing the damage type. It may likewise fire its energy spells through its magic weapon as with its normal Energy Bolt.
By taking this power a second time, the scholar may select a second energy type, and use two energy types at once, applying the benefits of both, exploiting vulnerabilities to either, and bypassing immunities or resistances that only apply to one. It may also shape the effect into one of the following areas on use: a 10' radius burst, a 5' radius cylinder 50' high, a 20' cone, or a 40' line. In these cases, it does not require a touch attack, but all targets get a Reflex save for half damage.
If the case of energy types that cause conditions to the target, a successful saving throw negates the effect. If no save is allowed (as with the default Energy Bolt), the target may make a Fortitude save to resist the condition.
Fire: The energy bolt deals one additional point of damage per die.
Cold: The target of the energy bolt is Slowed for one round (a successful saving throw, if allowed, negates the effect).
Electricity: Rolling the maximum on any die of damage allows rerolling and adding the die (if the effect is maximized, it deals +1 damage per die).
Acid: The energy bolt deals additional damage each round for the next three rounds equal to the number of dice rolled.
Sonic: The target of the energy bolt is Deafened for one round per level, and the bolt ignores Hardness.
Force: The energy bolt can affect ethereal and incorporeal creatures without a miss chance.
Positive: The energy bolt deals double damage to the undead. When a living ally is affected by the energy bolt, the scholar can choose to grant the target non-stacking temporary hit points equal to 1/3 the bolt's normal damage, rather than dealing damage. These last for one hour.
Negative: The energy bolt heals undead rather than damaging them. If the scholar desires, it can instead subject an undead creature struck to a Rebuke attempt as if by a cleric of the scholar's level. The energy bolt cannot be used to control undead, only to rebuke.
Water: The target of the energy bolt suffers the Prone condition.
Wind: The target of the energy bolt suffers the Blown Away condition.
Earth: The energy bolt deals physical Slashing, Piercing, and Bludgeoning damage (subject to DR, but treated as a magic weapon), and does not allow Spell Resistance.
Poison: The target of the energy bolt is affected by a poison with an initial damage of 2 points to a chosen ability score and no secondary damage.
Light: The target of the energy bolt loses any Concealment it possesses for one round. A creature particularly susceptible to bright light is also blinded, and a creature to whom sunlight is harmful takes maximum damage.
Dark: The target of the energy bolt is Blinded for one round.
Holy: The energy bolt deals +2 damage per die against Evil creatures.
Unholy: The energy bolt deals +2 damage per die against Good creatures.
Axiomatic: The energy bolt deals +2 damage per die against Chaotic creatures.
Anarchic: The energy bolt deals +2 damage per die against Lawful creatures.
Telekinetic: The target is subject to a Bull Rush, Trip, Grapple, or Disarm attempt, substituting the scholar's class level for its BAB, its casting modifier for its Strength modifier, and its caster level for its size modifier.
Telepathic: The energy bolt does not require line of sight (it does still require line of effect) and ignores concealment. It does not require a touch attack, but a Will save is allowed to negate (when used to alter a damaging spell, also replace Reflex saves with Will saves).
Mana: If the energy bolt beats a target's Spell Resistance, that target loses its Spell Resistance for one round.
Imposition (Su): As a standard action, the scholar can impose a certain condition on a target in Medium range. The target is entitled to a saving throw to resist, and the effect lasts for three rounds. The scholar may choose the kind of condition it can inflict from the list below, choosing when it gains the power. The save required is based on the condition. For two Skill Points, the scholar can choose an additional option, which it may select from when using the power. By taking this power twice, the scholar can attempt to affect a number of targets equal to its casting modifier, but this lowers the duration to one round.
Confused: Will (Mind Affecting).
Dazed: Will (Mind Affecting).
Panicked: Will (Mind Affecting, Fear). Target is instead Shaken one round on a successful save.
Inspiration (Su): As a standard action, the scholar can create a display of magical power that strengthens its allies for the encounter. The scholar, and all allies who can see and hear it, receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls and base weapon damage, or a +1 bonus on AC and DR 1/-, chosen when the scholar gains this Power. Multiple Inspirations don't stack with each other. Once the ability is active, the scholar may take a standard action to double the bonus for one target for one round. For each five character levels, the bonuses increase by +1. The scholar may select this power twice to gain both effects (though it must activate each one separately). While inspiring, the magical displays shed light as a torch.
Puppetmaster (Su): As a standard action, the scholar can allow an ally to take an immediate standard or move action of the scholar's choice. The ally must spend an immediate action to do so; if it cannot or does not wish to spend this action, the scholar's action is wasted to no effect. Any resources that must be expended for this action are; the scholar merely provides the necessary action. By taking this power twice, the scholar may instead spend a full-round action to allow the ally to take a full round action (or a standard and move action).
Soothing Presence (Su): As a standard action, the scholar can grant a target in Close range 1d6 temporary hit points per character level. These temporary hit points do not stack. By taking this power twice, the scholar can choose to halve the temporary hit points granted to grant them to all allies in Close range, rather than just one. This power can channel either positive or negative energy; if it channels positive energy, it damages undead creatures rather than granting temporary hit points. If it channels negative energy, it damages living creatures instead of granting temporary hit points. If it uses neither, it provides temporary hit points to both. A character damaged by this ability may halve the effect with a Will save.
Summoner (Su): As a full-round action, the scholar can summon a creature from the Summon Monster or Summon Nature's Ally list of creatures, as if casting the appropriate spell of a level equal to half its character level, rounded up. The scholar may only have one such application of the spell active at any time. Creatures summoned by this ability last for a number of rounds equal to the scholar's character level + its casting modifier. By taking this power twice, the scholar grants its summoned creatures a bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, AC, and saving throws equal to half its character level. While it has summoned creatures on the field, the scholar can take a standard action to give all active summons an additional standard or move action.
Telekinetic (Su): As a move action, the character can telekinetically lift and move a single object or willing creature in Medium range. Its total carrying capacity is calculated as if it had a Strength score equal to twice its character level + its casting modifier. It can move the targets up to five feet per character level. Additionally, as a standard action, the scholar can buffet a single foe with strong telekinetic force, dealing 1d6 points of damage per character level, plus its Casting Modifier. The target must make a Reflex save (it may substitute a Strength check if it wishes). If it succeeds, it avoids the damage. For each point it fails by, the scholar can cause one of the following effects: Lower its speed for that round by 5'; impose a -1 penalty on attack rolls, AC, or Reflex saves that round; impose a -1 Armor Check Penalty that round; impose a -2 penalty on weapon damage rolls that round; move the target 5'; disarm one item; render the target prone; or deal two additional points of damage. Targets get a +2 bonus on the save per size category above Medium, and -2 per size category below. By taking this power twice, the scholar's effective Strength is doubled, and the scholar may also spend a swift action to affect a number of targets equal to its casting modifier, although when lifting and moving, all targets affected count against the scholar's carrying capacity.
Arcane Shielding (Su): Adventuring scholars quickly learn to use their magic to protect themselves and their allies. Starting at second level, the scholar may create a fleeting shield of magical energy as an immediate action, protecting a single target in Close range. The shield lasts for one round, and can absorb an amount of damage equal to the scholar's casting modifier for each point of Mana spent when creating the shield. Once it has blocked that amount of damage, it shatters, and any further damage affects the target normally. As the scholar gains levels, it gains the ability to weave more complex shields. The scholar's limit on Mana per spell does not apply to the Mana it can spend for Arcane Shielding.
Some advanced shields have effects based on the damage that gets through. In these cases, total all the damage that applies to the target on the initiative count that the shield breaks, and treat it as a single attack for purposes of calculating results. If multiple characters attacked the shield on that initiative count and results apply to the attacker, divide the total among them.
Ritual Magic (Sp): A third level scholar has gained proficiency with ritual spellcasting procedures. Rituals are complex, time consuming, and draining to cast, but can be incredibly useful in the right situation.
A ritual is basically a spell, but scholars don't learn and cast them normally. A scholar must learn a ritual before it can perform it; scholars may learn rituals of any level. Learning a ritual requires a cumulative day of study and practice per spell level (one day for a first level ritual, three for second level, six for third level, etc), with a Spellcraft check, DC 15 + three times the spell level, made each day. A failure wastes that day, and three failures in a row resets all progress. Rituals must be learned from existing sources or teachers; they are generally only developed by scholars of at least eleventh level, through the Thesis ability. If the scholar has a teacher who knows the ritual and spends at least an hour per day on instruction, it may treat the Spellcraft checks as if it rolled an automatic 20. Scholars may also take 10 on these checks.
A scholar with the Scribe Scroll feat can create scrolls of rituals it knows. These take normal time to create, but cost no XP. They can be used by characters who don't know the ritual but are high enough level to cast it (even non-spellcasters can use such scrolls). Performing a ritual by scroll requires a Spellcraft check, DC 15 + twice the spell level, or the ritual fails. The scroll does not make the ritual any easier to perform than normal, cannot be used to permanently learn the ritual, and is expended when the ritual is performed like a normal scroll.
Few rituals are commonly available, especially the powerful ones. The DM decides how widely available rituals are. In general, first and second level rituals are fairly easily to acquire in cities with a reasonable magical population, while third and fourth level rituals are typically available to those with good standing in dedicated arcane organizations, such as a magical university or wizard's guild. Higher level rituals of any given spell may or may not even exist, and almost certainly require dedicated effort to learn about and acquire.
Once a ritual is learned, the scholar can perform it. The scholar can only perform rituals with a spell level less than or equal to half its class level, rounded up. Performing a first or second level ritual takes one minute. Third or fourth level rituals take ten minutes. Fifth or sixth level rituals take one hour. Seventh or eighth level rituals take one day. Ninth level rituals take a full week to perform. Performing a ritual also lowers the scholar's maximum Active Mana by the spell level (for 1st-3rd level rituals), twice the spell level (for 4th-6th level rituals), or three times the spell level (for 7th-9th level rituals). The ritual also costs an equal amount of Mana from the scholar's normal pool. A scholar whose maximum Active Mana is at least 3/4 normal recovers one point per hour. If at least half normal, this changes to one per day. If at least one-quarter normal, one per week. If less than one-quarter normal, it recovers at the rate of one Mana per month. Thus, multiple or high-level rituals must be used incredibly sparingly, as they can seriously degrade the scholar's reserves for a prolonged period. Rituals cannot be persisted or improved with metamagic.
In addition to the costs, all rituals have a number of components at least equal to the spell level. Rituals may have more components, with each additional component lowering the Active Mana reduction by 1. The scholar who develops the ritual determines the components. Aside from rituals developed by the character using the Thesis ability, the components for a given ritual are decided by the DM.
Each component can be selected from the following options. The same component can be chosen multiple times. Options that have numbers separated by slashes use the first number for 1st-3rd level rituals, the second for 4th-6th level, and the third for 7th-9th level. Components the double with multiple applications double fully (two doublings is quadruple, not triple).
- Assisted: Performing the ritual requires additional aid. The aid required is a total EL of creatures equal to twice the spell level, +2 per additional application of this component. Willing characters can aid the ritual by spending equal time and either expending magical energy (spell slots, PP, Mana, etc) sufficient to cast a spell of the ritual's level, or by making a Spellcraft check, DC 15 + 2 per spell level. Scholars can also receive "aid" from unwilling characters by killing them during the ritual (any character who dies within 10' per scholar level during the performance of the ritual can be used to power aid requirements). This is generally a purely evil act, but non-evil scholars can sometimes get away with it for rituals performed in major battles, siphoning the energy from fallen soldiers, although even then, it's a gruesome option.
- Backlash: Everyone performing the ritual takes 1d6 damage per spell level at the end. This cannot be prevented, mitigated, or converted to nonlethal damage.
- Depleting: Everyone performing the ritual suffers a negative level at the end.
- Difficult: The character must make one Spellcraft check to perform the ritual per application of this component. The DC is the same as learning the ritual, +1 per application of this component. The character may not take 10. Failing any one of the checks causes the ritual to fail (though time, Mana loss, and components are still expended).
- Draining: Increase the Active Mana reduction and basic Mana cost by 1/2/3.
- Expensive: Performing the ritual requires general components costing 50/250/1,000 gold. Such components are consumed.
- Invested: Performing the ritual costs 10/50/200 XP.
- Location: The ritual must be performed in a specific type of location - a hallowed temple, prepared spellcasting chamber, druid grove, etc.
- Slow: The ritual takes twice as long to perform per application of this component.
- Unique: Performing the ritual requires some unique item or circumstance. For this to count, it must be something that restricts the ritual's utility or requires effort to acquire. Generally, higher-level rituals should have commensurately more difficult requirements.
- Withering: The ritual causes anyone performing it to take 1/2/3 points of damage to an ability score. The damage is doubled if the score chosen is not Constitution or the scholar's casting modifier.
If desired, rather than gaining the ability to perform rituals, the scholar can choose to gain another Major.
Sophomore: Starting at fourth level, the scholar may learn second level spells from its scholar spell list.
Silver Shield (Su): A fouth level scholar who spends at least two Mana on Arcane Shielding can create a shield of silvery power. The silver shield is very efficient, especially against multiple attacks; the first point of the shield's absorption to apply against a given attack also reduces the attack's damage by the scholar's class level.
Uncapped: A fifth level scholar is proficient enough to coax the maximum power from even low-level spells. The scholar extends any caps on effects that scale with caster level by a number of caster levels equal to its casting modifier, and the save DCs for all its spells changes to 10 + 1/2 character level (rounded up) + casting modifier. For example, a Fireball cast by a scholar with a 22 casting score would deal 1d6 damage per caster level, to a maximum of 16d6.
In this case of psionic powers, it no longer needs to spend extra Mana on augments that simply scale numerical effects (such as damage, duration, area, stat bonuses, etc); for such purposes, treat the power as augmented to 1 PP per scholar level. Augments that add actual new effects to the power must still be paid normally.
Additionally, the scholar can spend extra Mana (up to its normal maximum) to enhance the damage or healing caused by its spells. Each additional point of Mana raises the spell's damage or healing total by +1 per caster level. This bonus damage is not affected by Metamagic feats, and does not carry over to duplications of the spell caused by Metamagic feats (such as Twin or Repeat spell). This bonus applies once per target affected by the spell, regardless of the number of times a character is targeted. If the spell lasts for multiple rounds, half the bonus applies the first time the spell affects a target each round in successive rounds.
Sapphire Shield (Su): A sixth level scholar who spends at least three Mana on Arcane Shielding can create a shield of azure power. The sapphire shield strikes back at attackers, backlashing damage equal to the scholar's caster level on anyone who attacks it. A given attacker can only receive backlash damage once per round.
Junior: Starting at seventh level, the scholar may learn third level spells from its scholar spell list.
Emerald Shield (Su): An eighth level scholar who spends at least four Mana on Arcane Shielding can create a shield of bright green power. The emerald shield suppresses powerful attacks. If the shield breaks, the damage that gets past the shield is halved.
Multiple Metamagic: A ninth level scholar is reaching the limits of its basic spellcasting knowledge, and turning its focus more to metamagic. The scholar can now apply the same metamagic feat multiple times to the same spell (as before, feats that improve variable numeric effects or duplicate the spell apply to the base). Feats that scale spell parameters (such as Extend, Enlarge, and Widen) fully multiply; two Widens will quadruple the spell's area, for example.
The reduction in spell level increase to metamagic feats only applies to the first application of the feat to a given spell.
Senior: Starting at tenth level, the scholar may learn fourth level spells from its scholar spell list.
Golden Shield (Su): A tenth level scholar who spends at least five Mana on Arcane Shield can create a shield of golden power. The golden shield absorbs damage and redirects it to heal either the scholar or the shield's target for half the damage it blocks.
Thesis: An eleventh level scholar is able to develop its own rituals. This takes the normal amount of time to learn the ritual, and requires the normal Spellcraft checks, but does not require access to references or a teacher. The scholar may develop a ritual for any spell on its spell list, with a maximum level of one-third its class level, rounded up, although the DM may veto rituals it deems inappropriate to its campaign. It chooses the components the ritual requires.
Developing a ritual requires effort, dedication, and insight. Such a process is not merely a matter of time. Each time the scholar successfully develops a ritual, it permanently lowers its spells known by one. In effect, it develops a ritual in place of learning a spell. However, upon gaining this class feature, the Scholar may develop one ritual without lowering its spells known.
As an alternative to this ability, the scholar may gain another Major.
Ruby Shield (Su): A twelfth level scholar who spends at least six Mana on an Arcane Shield can create a shield of crimson power. The ruby shield punishes foes who bypass it. If the shield breaks, the attacker takes damage equal to half the damage that got through.
Bachelor: A thirteenth level scholar may choose a single ritual it knows of up to 5th level. It may perform this ritual using the spell's normal casting time, and without lowering its maximum Active Mana. The ritual may be cast using the Active Mana pool rather than the base Mana pool when applicable. All components for the ritual must still be provided.
Additionally, the scholar can perform impromptu rituals of first level spells drawn from its scholar spell list; in effect, allowing the scholar to perform any first level spell as a ritual ritual with its choice of components, without spending time learning the ritual (this does not lower its spells known). All normal rules for performing the ritual still apply.
If the scholar cannot perform rituals, or simply does not wish to progress its capability with them, it may forego this ability in favor of increasing its spells known, Mana pool, and Active Mana by 2, and gaining another Power. If it makes this choice, it receives the same effect when it would normally gain the Master and Doctor abilities.
Diamond Shield (Su): A fourteenth level scholar who spends at least seven Mana on an Arcane Shield can create a shield of pure white power. The diamond shield reflects damage back on the attacker; the full damage that is blocked by the shield is reflected, applying to the attacker rather than the shielded target.
Rejuvenation (Su): Starting at fifteenth level, the scholar's ability to recover Active Mana improves. It now recovers one Active Mana per round passively, as long as it has a current Active Mana pool.
Master: A sixteenth level scholar can master another ritual. This ability functions like the Bachelor ability, but the chosen ritual may be up to sixth level, and the scholar can perform impromptu rituals of up to second level.
Adamant Shield (Su): A sixteenth level scholar who spends at least eight Mana on an Arcane Shield can create a shield of solid black power. The adamant shield is incredibly difficult to penetrate; unless broken, its absorptive potential resets to full on each initiative count.
Permanence (Su): A seventeeth level scholar gains the ability to create a personal suite of protective or augmentative spells constantly in effect upon it. It gains additional points for persisting spells equal to its class level, which can only be used to persist spells upon itself.
Crystal Shield (Su): Also called the Prism Shield, this mightiest defense is particularly costly, requiring the expenditure of at least fifteen Mana. Available only to scholars of at least 18th level, the crystal shield flashes between the various colors, and applies all of the relevant effects of lesser shields.
Doctor: A nineteenth level scholar can master another ritual. This ability functions like the Bachelor ability, but the chosen ritual may be up to seventh level, and the scholar may perform impromptu rituals of up to third level.
Epic Metamagic: A twentieth level scholar is capable of unloading massive amounts of magical energy in short bursts. A number of times per day equal to its casting modifier, it may lower the Mana cost of a spell it is casting by 1, for purposes of both the Mana spent and maximum Mana it may spend. It may do this multiple times to the same spell, as long as it has daily uses available. Alternately, it may spend uses of this ability to add metamagic to a ritual, with each use adding one level of metamagic.