Jul 132012

remember to thank all the books you haven’t read over the past three years by osiatynska on Flickr


Books are the light that warms the human race. Whether paper or electronic, it is our shared knowledge that allows us to stand among gods.

Knowledge drives these characters, and its their knowledge that makes them feel safe. They may be ordinary people – such as a scholarly student or brilliant professor. Others still are linked to the fantastic, such as a paranormal expert or a sage of the occult.

While they might start out as introverted and bookish, they soon find themselves flung into adventure where they put their learning to good use.

Examples include Rupert Giles, Henry Jones Sr., and Temperance “Bones” Brennan.

Starting Feature

Research is the key to your success. You’re always reading when you have the chance, and find the best resource is from the source. To that end you’ve committed yourself to learning new languages, a task that you continue to work at throughout your career.

Your skills at research also help you find the most helpful pieces of information quickly. Using what books you have on hand, and your vast stores of knowledge, you come up with a quick tip to give your allies the advantage they need.

Benefit: You gain a new language. In addition, whenever you make a successful Monster Knowledge check against a creature, you and your allies gain combat advantage against that creature until the end of your next turn.

Additional Features

Level 5 Feature
Your continuous studies have gained you a wealth of knowledge, even picking up bits and pieces from the fields that are not your focus.

Benefit: You gain a new language. In addition, you gain a +2 to bonus to all of the following skills if they are untrained: Arcana, Dungeoneering, History, Mechanics, Nature, Religion, Science and Streetwise.

Level 10 Feature
Using knowledge to fight the strange and fantastic has become second nature to you now. While things may seem frightening at first, you know the only fear is the unknown. A little knowledge makes things much more manageable.

Benefit: You gain a new language. In addition, whenever you make a successful Monster Knowledge check against a creature, you and your allies gain +2 versus Fear attacks and saves from that creature.

Optional Powers

Level 2 Utility Power
You have a knack for figuring things out. When things are at their most critical, and failure seems imminent, that is often when you get your true inspiration.

Applied Knowledge                                                    Academic Utility 2
You pour over the clues, straining your mind to get the answers you need. In your distracted state you spill a vial of acid, and all seems lost until the chemical reaction takes you in a surprisingly new direction.
Encounter * Martial
Free Action                                                                      Personal
You roll a skill check and dislike the result.
You roll the check again taking the new result.

Level 6 Utility Power
In your pursuit of knowledge social skills were not often prioritized. You recognize the power of words however and can showcase your knowledge to win people over.

Confounding Facts                                                    Academic Utility 6
When the chief investigator finally turned to you, you turned to science, spilling out a list of information that bewilders the inspector into respecting you.
Encounter * Martial
Standard Action                                                           Personal
You make either an Arcana, Dungeoneering, History, Mechanics, Nature, Religion, Science or Streetwise Check and use the result in place of a Diplomacy check.

Level 10 Utility Power
Your allies really should read more. Instead, they depend on you to shout out that they’re doing it wrong when trying to ward off the latest ill effect via flailing their arms.

Insightful Suggestion                                             Academic Utility 10
“Stop! Drop! And Roll!”
Daily * Martial, Reliable
Immediate Reaction                                                Close
burst 10
An ally in the burst fails a save against an effect.
Make a Monster Knowledge check against the creature who applied the effect. If successful, your ally rerolls the save with a bonus equal to your highest ability score modifier.

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Brian Liberge

Brian Liberge is a father of one, living in Boston, MA. Introduced to AD&D at an early age, he’s continued to update with the editions, and new games. He loves home-brewed ideas, is honest to a fault, and thinks that ideas and mechanics should absolutely be shared between systems. With a B.S. Degree in Theatre Arts, a job in Information Technology, and a love of strategy gaming, he tries to bring the best of each into his new creations for StufferShack. Check out his latest book the Midgard Bestiary for 4e, available now. Profile Page / Article Portfolio

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