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    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default The Perpetual Student (Gramarie Prestige Class)

    The Perpetual Student

    ”Really? What are you doing reading? It’s Saturday night!
    I’m reading a goddamn book, thank you very much.”

    -Image credit PeteAmachree of Deviantart.

    Some people just don’t look forward to graduation. Or they enjoyed it so much they want to do it again, as soon as possible. These people learn for the sake of learning – if you ask them “why” they study what they do, they’ll probably tell you “because it’s interesting” and be vaguely offended you had to ask. They really, really like to know the answer to any question you can ask. Among Gramarists, specialising in General Studies is sometimes scoffed at as being unfocused, and the great works produced by specialists and the leading experts in each field are pointed to as proof of this. But for the Perpetual Student of Gramarie, it’s never been about doing one thing perfectly – it’s about doing whatever catches their fancy that morning when they get out of bed. They come in all shapes and sizes, all personalities, but if there’s one thing they share, it’s a tendency to get bored of doing the same thing day-in and day-out.

    Requirements: To become a Perpetual Student you must meet all of the following requirements. (someone to pay the bills, heh).

    Feats: Research or Skill Focus: Any Knowledge.
    Gramarie: Must know one principle from at least 6 disciplines.
    Skills: 10 ranks in at least 3 Knowledge skills and 5 ranks in 4 different discipline key skills.
    Special: Must be a current member of a university, college, library or other institute of learning or organisation of academics, and must an annual tuition of 100gp. Failure to do so prevents advancement in this prestige class until your balance is settled with the Bursar.
    Specialisation: Must be specialised in General Studies, majoring in the Universe, or some other euphemism for know-it-all.

    Hit Die: d4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 8 + Int modifier

    Class Skills: The Perpetual Student's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (any) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis) and Use Magic Device (Cha).

    Comments on Skills:
    I switched Profession for Craft, because your student might be a mechanical whizz but he’ll never have a job. I added Move Silently for getting back into dorms without disturbing other students after a long night in the library.

    The Perpetual Student
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |
    Principles/Bonus Feat
    I Remember This!

    1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Spectroconstruction (4/day), Multitasking |
    Non-Euclidean Geometry

    2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|First In Your Class|
    Appeal to Facts

    3rd|+1|+1|+1|+3|Spectroconstruction (5/day), My Roommate Knew Kung-Fu |
    Temporal Causation

    4th|+2|+1|+1|+4|First In Your Class|

    5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Spectroconstruction (6/day), Universally Applicable|
    Neuronal Activity of Unconsciousness

    6th|+3|+2|+2|+5 |First In Your Class|

    7th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Spectroconstruction (7/day), Peeking Over Your Shoulder |
    Materials Science

    8th|+4|+2|+2|+6|First In Your Class|
    Pathogens, Poisons and Fatal Conditions

    9th|+4|+3|+3|+6|Spectroconstruction (8/day), Know It All|
    Quantum Mechanics

    10th|+5|+3|+3|+7|First In Your Class|

    Weapon and Armour Proficiencies: As a Perpetual Student, you don’t gain any additional weapon or armour proficiencies.

    Principles of Gramarie: Studying Gramarie is your main focus, but sometimes you get distracted and spend a term learning something totally obscure. But you’re always learning. At every odd numbered level, either gain a bonus feat or learn a new Principle you qualify for. At every even level, learn a new Principle you qualify for. At 7th level you gain access to Doctorate-level Principles, and can refer to yourself as a Doctor in any discipline you attain that level of knowledge in.

    Multitasking (Ex): Yes, you are able to have a conversation, listen to music and write a dissertation all at the same time. By comparison, preparing two principles of Gramarie simultaneously is easy. Whenever you prepare a principle, you can choose to prepare another principle at the same time. The time it takes to prepare both principles is half the time taken to prepare both principles consecutively + 50%, because frankly multitasking isn’t magic.

    I Remember This! (Ex): A Perpetual Student is a treasure-trove of knowledge, and they know how to apply this laterally across fields of study. The longer you study, the more you learn.

    • Non-Euclidean Geometry: A difficult concept to understand, but key to many notions in Yddratecture. The trick is getting that to work elsewhere. Whenever you prepare a principle which targets a volume of material, you may choose to reduce the volume of that material by half. Its weight remains the same (and so its density doubles), and you must still provide the normal volume of material to prepare the principle. Any use of ALCH 325 to affect density is twice as effective.
    • Appeal to Facts: It’s a lot easier to be convincing when you know what you’re talking about. Whenever you make a Diplomacy, Bluff or Intimidate check, you can also make a Knowledge check. The exact type of Knowledge doesn’t matter – if you need to threaten someone by observing you know just how to knock down a castle, do it. If the check exceeds a DC of 20, add a +1 circumstance modifier to your Diplomacy, Bluff or Intimidate check. For every 5 points by which you beat the DC, add another +1. However, if you roll a natural 1 on either check, you automatically fail – it’s easy to talk totally over someone’s head when you know this much.
    • Temporal Causation: A little bit of metaphysics goes a long way. You have considered whether causation only works in one direction in the time stream. You automatically succeed on all skill checks to alter or add new principles (such as Biollurgical grafts) to a principle you made earlier. It’s basically the same as if you’d made it like that all along, after all.
    • Leverage: A basic principle of engineering presents itself as an old friend in combat. You can substitute a Knowledge: Architecture and Engineering check for the d20 roll to make a Bull Rush, Disarm or Trip attempt (but not for the melee touch attack).
    • Neuronal Activity of Unconsciousness: Through an in-depth understanding of sleep from a biological standpoint (and a few too many all-nighters to meet assignment deadlines), you’ve found a way to keep a portion of the brain operating despite unconsciousness. You can prepare principles while asleep (or trancing or whatever other odd things you do). Each hour of work asleep is equivalent to 15 minutes awake. If you don’t sleep at all, well, lucky you – you can get a full 8 hours work done in that time!
    • Pidgin: You know a mish-mash of languages that allows you to communicate with just about anyone. Even foreign students. You gain the benefits of a permanents Tongues spell as an extraordinary ability, but cannot make any skill checks requiring you to understand language you only know through this feature.
    • Materials Science: Materials science teaches you about properties, like hardness and density, and ways to alter them. Applying this knowledge in abstract concepts leads to more resilient Gramarie. Any principle you prepare treats your skill check as double for the purpose of hit points or resisting effects that would destroy them. This includes YGGD and KALD principles, but also any material targeted by another principle (such as Geoccult poles).
    • Pathogens, Poisons and Fatal Conditions: Maybe you spent too long studying the tissue of the recently deceased in the lab, or maybe you had food poisoning one too many times. However you gained your insightful understanding of all the ways a mortal can fall sick and die, it allows you to use your Int modifier instead of your Con modifier on Fortitude saves.
    • Quantum Mechanics: Quantum physics “is exciting science is!” Understanding how to quantum entangle particles allows you to widen your principle’s influence. Whenever you prepare a principle whose effect is a bubble, excepting YGGD 353, you can create a second bubble tethered to a point in space or an object within your line of sight. The effects within this bubble are the same as within the original, and any changes to the function of one affects the other. If one bubble is destroyed or suppressed, so is the other. Puissance and logical decisions which do not change the function of the bubble may not be transferred between the two bubbles.
    • Heartbreak: More of a life lesson than something you can learn from a book. If you don’t get your heart broken at least once at university, you’re not doing it right. The problem with staying there forever is it can happen a few times before you get used to it. Having done so, you become immune to all [Enchantment] and [Fear] affects.

    Spectroconstruction: Your continued studies mean you keep improving your ability to summon spectral labourers. Your number of uses of Spectroconstruction improves as shown on the table above. After all, someone’s got to find all those books in the library for you.

    First In Your Class (Ex): The Perpetual Student learns a little bit about everything his contemporaries do, and can do it as well as them, but he will never have the depth of knowledge they have. At second level, and every two levels after that, you learn a new discovery. Discoveries are chosen from other Gramarie prestige classes, listed below. You can only learn one discovery from each prestige class. You must still meet any prerequisites (such as 10th level) for a discovery, and you don’t gain access to any other principles or abilities the discoveries affect (making some of them useless).
    Alternatively, you can spend some of your extra-curricular study time on extra-curricular sport. Instead of learning a new discovery, you can gain proficiency with all martial weapons and medium armour.

    • The Lode-Bearer: Pick one discovery from the Mother Lode ability list.
    • The Prime Mover: Pick one discovery from the Elder Kinetic ability list.
    • The Graughtsman: Pick one discovery from the Master Grafter ability list.
    • Shadowright: Pick one discovery from the Colour of Magic ability list.
    • The Masinist: Pick one discovery from the Endless Possibilities ability list.
    • The Apogineer: Pick one discovery from the Earthlore ability list.
    • The Arcanitect: Pick one discovery from the Energy Equations ability list.
    • The Ayuscientist: Pick one discovery from the Thesis Animae ability list. This requires you to have the ability bind chakras.
    • The Contractor: Pick one discovery from the Alchemastery ability list. These are only useful if you have somehow acquired the ability to prepare ALCH 364.

    My Roommate Knew Kung-Fu: You’ve seen a few combat tricks here and there. It’s a shame you never really learned how to do any of them. Once per encounter from 3rd level, you can gain the benefits of one feat for one round, even if you don’t meet the prerequisites.

    Universally Applicable: All Gramarie is really just variations on a theme, at least from where you’re standing. From 5th level, if you use Knowledge: Architecture and Engineering to replace a Discipline Key Skill check, you reduce the penalty to the roll suffered by an amount equal to your class level.

    Peeking Over Your Shoulder: You may not exactly be specialised, but you’ve watched plenty of people who are and found been intrigued. From 7th, you may prepare Specialist principles from any discipline or tier using a Blueprint.

    Know It All: Maybe specialisation is for insects after all. You’ve been studying so long that if you don’t know something, you know how to find it out. Once per week from 9th level, you may perform research to make a blueprint of any principle you don’t know with 24 hours’ work. This requires a skill check of the same DC as if you were trying to prepare the principle from a blueprint (20 for 100-tier, 40 for 200-tier and 60 for 300-tier). This check is made at the end of time, and failure means this week’s attempt is wasted. This also requires access to research facilities, as follows:
    • Baccalaureate Principles: A local or general-purpose library is usually sufficient to cover the gaps in your knowledge for this sort of principle.
    • Magisterial Principles: A library devoted to a relevant specific topic (usually owned by amateur collectors or organisations devoted to a particular interest) is needed to prepare a blueprint of this sort of principle.
    • Doctorate Principles: A comprehensive collection, only available in the largest churches, large cities, universities and select organisations, lets you find what you need to imitate a Doctor of another discipline.
    • Specialist Principles: Increase the type of library needed by one step, and the time needed by 12 hours. Specialist Doctorate principles require a master collection. These are exceptionally rare – some larger royal collections, the most powerful organisations or families and world-famous libraries may be able to provide the sorts of books to cover your needs.

    So, there you have it – a Universalist prestige class. I tried to add a few abilities that were less Gramarie-specific, not because Kellus was wrong to make them kinda suck in combat (I totally agree it works well), but because I feel that a student who really wants to study anything and everything probably picked up a few other things along the way, and university/college offers a lot of real-life lessons above and beyond whatever it is you’re supposed to be studying.
    I gave them a Principle/bonus feat every level, because I feel they have more time (and need) for learning lots of principles than a specialist Gramarist. They also get a couple fewer features than the other Prestige Classes, and the added flexibility helps to balance this.
    I imagine the one thing people will be biting their lips over is the flexibility from First In Your Class and Know It All. First In Your Class *does* add a lot of flexibility, but as it requires you to add one power to 5 different disciplines, I think it stays balanced because you’ll never even be close to a specialist in their own discipline. As for Know It All – the chief thing stopping Gramarists from taking over the world is time in any case, and this adds yet another restriction on their time (and one they usually can’t avoid through Quicksilver and Timeless demi-planes, because they need other people’s resources). Plus, they need access to the library in question, and for Comprehensive and Master collections this will almost certainly require a quest to earn that right.
    Last edited by Cogidubnus; 2013-03-23 at 06:45 AM.
    Homebrew: Ghost Rider, a 3.5e Base Class inspired by Marvel's Comics.

    So guys, the new Iron Man trailer, huh?


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