Scholar

"Speak no secrets!  Here is a scholar in the Ancient Tongue."

For you, knowledge makes the Wild a less threatening place.  Strangers become friends if addressed properly, yellowed maps in old books replace a fear of the unknown with curiosity and wonder of places you have yet to explore, songs composed in ages past strengthen the weariest of hearts.  A love of learning guides your every step and illuminates the way for you and those who listen to your advise.

A Scholar is always learned, always wise, but learning takes many forms.  In civilized times, Scholars gather books of lore and pore over rustling parchments.  In Wilderland, in rustic communities or in times of war and want, a Scholar might be a master of folk-lore and secrets passed from teacher to apprentice over long years.

Many Scholars are also healers, for a knowledge of herb-lore and the healing arts is prehaps the most useful (and, some would say, most respectable) field of study.

The most important thing to keep in mind when creating your Scholar is to think of where and how you gained your knowledge.  Did you study under a master, learning as an apprentice?  Is your Scholar a dabbler, flitting from one obsession to another, or do you learn all there is to know about one field of lore before moving on?  Finally, why have you left your home to take on a dangerous life as an adventurer?

Play a Scholar if you want to…

  • Uncover ancient secrets and use their power against the Enemy.
  • Master the art of healing and restore your injured friends to full health.
  • Be admitted into the councils of the Wise, and know much that is hidden.

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

Armor: Light Armor
Weapons: All simple weapons
Tools: Healing kit or herbalism kit, a choice of artisan's tools or a pipe
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom

Skills: Medicine, Lore; plus choose one from History, Riddle, Traditions, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, and Survival.

Equipment

You start with the following extra equipment, in addition to equipment granted by your Standard of Living.

  • A simple weapon
  • A leather jerkin

Shadow Weakness

Lure of Secrets

Hands of a Healer

You know how to treat wounds and illness and poison.  You have a pool of healing tricks and techniques that replenishes when you take a short rest.  You have one Healing Die (1d8) per level in the Scholar class.

If you can touch a creature, you may expend one Healing Die per action, instantly granting them hit points equal to 1d8 plus your wisdom modifier, up to their maximum.  If instead you tend the creature for at least 10 minutes, binding their wounds, treating them with herbs and poultices, and offering soothing words, then you may multiply the 1d8 by your proficiency modifier.  Then add your Wisdom modifier.

Alternatively, you can spend a Healing Die to cure one disease, neutralize one poison, or remove one condition affecting a single target.  Conditions are removed instantly, but poisons and diseases require the creature to take a long rest before they are removed.

The types of conditions you can cure are limited when you first gain this feature.  You can remove the Frightened, Paralyzed, Stunned, or Unconscious conditions.  At higher levels, you can cure other conditions, described below.

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.

Scholars always know a little bit about everything and the Loremaster should regularly give you rumors or information based on your appropriate Passive ability checks.  For more clarity you can always make an active ability check to learn more about a person, place, or event.  Once per Adventuring Phase you can add + 5 to one of these active ability checks.

Tongues of Many Peoples

You know a little of many languages.  You can hold a simple conversation in any of the tongues of Men or Elves, and know a few common phrases in the tongues of the other peoples – enough to offer a greeting, shout a warning, or insult someone.

The Path of Wisdom

At 2nd level choose either Medicine and one skill proficiency, or Medicine and proficiency with a herbalism kit.  Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability checks that use either of your choices.

Whenever you gain a new skill proficiency, you may move your doubled proficiency bonus to the new skill, to reflect your change of focus.

Speciality

At 3rd level you choose a speciality that determines the focus of your study.  Choose Master Healer or Master Scholar (both are detailed at the end of the class description).  The speciality you choose grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 7th, 10th, 14th, and 18th 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.

Webs of Deceit

At 5th level, your insight and learning is sufficient to manipulate others with well-timed words (or theatrics and cheap tricks).  At the start of any interaction, you may make an Intelligence (Insight) test against a DC of 15 + the target's Wisdom modifier.  If successful, then at any point in the conversation, you may gain advantage on any one skill check through your scholarship and preparation.

You might, for example, make a cryptic reference to some secret known only to a few people, or remind the person you're talking to about the deeds of their forefathers, or raise your staff to dramatically startle a flock of crows to underline your words.  You might palm a firework, or arrive in just the nick of time.

Shadow of the Past

At 6th level, you find deeper meaning in the long history of Middle-earth.  If you remind another player character of a relevant tale from the history of their people, then that character gains one Scholarly Inspiration die, a d6, which they may use to add to any roll.  Once you have used this feature, you cannot use it again until you have taken a long rest.

Physician

At 9th level your use of the Hands of a Healer feature improves to cover a greater number of conditions.  Now you can cure Blinded, Charmed, or Deafened conditions.  Additionally, by expending a Healing Die, you may remove the Petrified condition or a level of exhaustion.

Hidden Paths

At 11th level, your mastery of lore is such that you know of secret paths, alternative routes and hidden entrances and passageways in the most unlikely of places.  You may grant advantage to an ally on any one ability check related to one of the journey roles (Guide, Scout, Hunter, or Look-Out) by describing how your knowledge of obscure places and secret lore aids you.  For example, you might lead the Company down a hidden valley when serving as Guide, or discover a secret dwarf-door as a Scout.

The paths you take often have their own perils or encounters; often, this ability takes you out of the frying pan and into the fire.  You may only use this ability once per Adventuring phase.

Hope Unlooked-For

At 13th 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 characters, but that have now come to light.  You must then make a suitable skill check to determing how successful preparations were.  The Loremaster is entitled to veto or modify 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 defenses 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."

Habits of the Wise

At 15th 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.  You may spend Inspiration to gain another use of a feature that typically requires a long rest before you can use it again, or is usable only once per Adventuring phase.  Habits of the Wise is itself only usable once per Adventuring phase.

Words Unspoken

At 17th 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, your knowledge on one subject approaches absolute and the Wise widely recognize you as the preeminent authority on matters pertaining to your chosen lore.  Choose one Intelligence or Wisdom skill – you automatically succeed at all ability checks using that skill.

Additionally, you may spend Inspiration to learn something completely hidden about your chosen lore.  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 specialize in.

Master 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.

Improved Healing

When you choose this speciality at 3rd level you become an expert at treating injuries.  Whenever you use the Hands of the Healer feature to restore hit points, you roll 2d8 in place of 1d8.

Healing Lores

Also at 3rd level, you make a discovery in your quest to understand the mind and body.  You gain another discovery at 7th, 10th, 14th, and 18th levels.

When you learn a new discovery you may also replace one discovery you already know with a different one.

Choose from the following discoveries:

1) Healing Herbs

You have studied herb-lore in great depth, and know secret techniques to cure illness and poison.  A creature now only needs a short rest to recover from disease or poison when you use your Hands of a Healer feature.

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.

  • Athelas: Burned into a powder and then boiled, this herb produces a cloud of vapor that removes a level of exhaustion from a number of creatures equal to your Scholar level.
  • Hagweed: Ground into a paste, dried and smoked in a pipe, hagweed eases the spirit and cures 1 Shadow point.  A Master Healer can only cure 1 Shadow point using hagweed per year.
  • Kingcup: A poultice of kingcup applied to a poisoned wound draws the poison out and heals any damage the poison has caused.
  • Reedmace: Dried, powdered and inhaled, reedmace allows a person to stay awake and aware for three days without the need for sleep or food.  After that, the character gains two levels of exhaustion.
  • Shadow-thorn: Once double brewed and strained, shadow-thorn produces a wet residue of plant matter that can be used to perfectly mask a creature's scent, giving them advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) ability checks for three days.
  • Water-lily: If dried and ground into a fine powder, white water-lily can be baked into sweet cakes.  These cakes invigorate and revivify, allowing a single person to gain the advantages of a long rest while taking a short rest, provided the character also gets a good night's sleep.  If boiled down to a syrup, red water-lily creates a potent but evil-smelling liquid.  Few who know of this use readily produce this remedy, for while it does grant the character + 2 to attack and damage rolls for an hour, it also generates red anger and 1 Shadow point.

2) Healer's Staunching Song

The words of this song and its special tune can help wounds close and help heal injuries.  Once you have learned this song, during a short rest you may perform it for a number of companions equal to your Scholar levels.  Those benefiting from this song may each recover one of their Hit Dice worth of damage + their Constitution modifier without expending any of their Hit Dice.

3) Friend to All

A Master Healer is welcome nearly everywhere, and even bitter foes will hesitate to attack such a person.  Your reputation and skill precedes you.  You gain advantage on any rolls to convince a person to give you shelter or food for a night.  Additionally, 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.  Additionally, if you do not have it already, gain proficiency in the Traditions skill.

4) Softer Underneath

Your studies of the anatomy of various creatures and beings have granted you an intimate knowledge of their weaknesses.  If you spend an action studying a target, you gain a Precision die that may be applied to a single attack that hits the creature.  This die is a d6 at 3rd level, and increases to a d8 at 6th, a d10 at 12th, and a d12 at 20th level.

5) Relief From Long Burdens

You have learned how to heal even the wounds of the heart and mind.  If you spend a long rest doing nothing but resting and talking with a willing creature, you may remove a Shadow point from that creature.  The number of Shadow points healed increases to two points at 10th level and three points at 20th level.  You cannot use this ability on yourself, nor can another Master Healer assist you.

6) The Weapons of the Enemy

You know how to counteract the various poisons Orcs use.  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, if you do not have it already, gain proficiency in the Shadow-lore skill.

House of the Healer

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.

Seen and Unseen

Once you reach 18th level, even if you have never been there, the light of the Blessed Realm shines in your eyes.  You have advantage on all tests against Corruption, and can see invisible creatures and spirits.

Master Scholar

You have studied ancient books and scrolls in the treasured libraries of the great cities, or you learned rhymes of lore and secrets unwritten from some older master.  You know much that is hidden or lost.

Bonus Proficiency

When you choose this speciality at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in a single Intelligence or Wisdom skill of your choice.

Secret Lores

Also at 3rd level, you learn one branch of obscure or hidden lore.  You gain another secret at 7th, 10th, 14th, and 18th levels.

Choose from the following Secrets:

1) Ancient Lore

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 the stolen halls of the Dwarf Lords, 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.

2) Birds & Beasts

You have learned the secret speech of a specific breed of animal, such as the speech of eagles or foxes.  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 Master 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 secret a second time.  If you do, your knowledge expands from a specific breed to all creatures of a similar kind and you gain Advantage on your Charisma skills regarding them.  For example, when you first select this secret, you learn the hooting speech of owls; with your second, you learn the tongues of all birds and gain their favor.

3) Dark Knowledge

Dark and terrible is the lore of the Enemy and you, perhaps, know more of it than is safe.  Upon selecting this secret, you learn the Black Speech of Mordor and can make ability check about information regarding the Shadow and its followers without penalty.  Additionally, if you do not already possess it, gain proficiency with Shadow-lore.

Finally, when you learn this Secret, you gain 4 Shadow points.

4) Natural World

You know the secret properties of many plants, for good and ill, readily identifying natural poisons.  You can tell if a beast is natural or not just by looking at it.  While you may not have met them, you know of the existence of the Shepherds of the Trees, the Ents of Fangorn Forest.  With a successful DC 15 Intelligence (Nature) ability check you can 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 have it already, gain proficiency with the Nature skill.

5) Runes

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!).

6) Works of Elder Days

You know of the wondrous creations of the Elven-smiths of Eregion and the other great smiths and craftsmen of yore, and know some of the ways their works can be employed by those with the right knowledge.  You can identify the properties of wondrous artifacts by making a DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) ability check.  On a success, you can identify one Blessing and make a decent guess at other abilties that might be hidden within such an item.

In addition, gain proficiency in three artisan's tools 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.

Words of Command

At 18th level, your mastery of lore gives you authority over the world around you.  Once per short rest you may speak a word of command.  When you do so, choose a target related to one of the secrets you have mastered and make the appropriate skill check against a DC set by the Loremaster (typically at least a DC 20).  If successful, you may give a short but irresistible command to your target.  For example:

  • Ancient Lore: Command a door made by the Elves of Eregion to open.
  • Birds and Beasts: Order a fearsome wolf to fly back to its den.
  • Dark Knowledge: Command a wraith to return to its tomb.
  • Natural World: Order a pile of firewood to burst into flame.
  • Runes: Command moon-letters to reveal themselves in the full light of day.
  • Works of Elder Days: Wrench control of a palantir from the will of the Dark Lord.

 


 

   

 

 

 

 

 

Scholar

Leaf and Land MichaelPerry