Competitor Games

We are the Competition

Sylvan Scribe [3.5 Archivist/Druid PrC] PEACH

Game design for the d20 system

Sylvan Scribe [3.5 Archivist/Druid PrC] PEACH

Postby Hyooz » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:01 am

THE SYLVAN SCRIBE

"This forest has stood for thousands of years. Your ancestors planted this very grove. That you now seek to tear it down now is curious. I will make note of it." Syrina - Elven Sylvan scribe

Sidebar: The Bookkeeper
In life, the Bookkeeper was much like any archeologist. Throughout his career, he spanned numerous worlds looking for all manner of ruins and the documents therein. It wasn't until he was nearly on his deathbed that he stopped to catalog all of his findings did he stop his search. Secreted away at the edge of existence, he locked everything he had discovered into one apparently blank book before his passing.

However, sometime after his death unmarked books and scrolls found their way into libraries and collections around the world, detailing some of the Bookkeeper's early works and findings. Some say that he somehow managed to transcend death with what he complied. Some say he found divinity in his methods.

Whatever may have begun it, the Bookkeeper has formed a following. These individuals, dedicated to recording existence as it is, forgo their own ideas of how the world should turn. That is not to say they do not fight when they must, or hold their own opinions. They simply recognize the purity of the Bookkeeper's work, and strive to live up to the example of removed-ness he set. Bookkeeper's disciples, sometimes called Bookmen, can be seen following great armies, recording the details of their conquests, or even smaller groups of individuals he thinks will be highly influential in the world, and will be worth recording.

Bookmen dedicate themselves to recording on a variety of subjects, and each tailors his abilities to better suit his position. War Chroniclers specialize in following great armed combat. Urban Scholars dwell in the great cities, noting the day to day politics and occurrences therein. The keepers of the natural world, the Sylvan Scribes, are described here.


BECOMING A SYLVAN SCRIBE
Followers of the Bookkeeper's ideals worship knowledge and the collection of knowledge above all else. Sylvan Scribes in particular must possess a high level of dedication to the natural world, and creating a record of all that occurs within their perception. Archivists are uniquely qualified for this position, but veneration of nature does not come naturally to them. Most druids lack the dedication to simple knowledge, but some can be tempted by its pure neutrality.

Above all, a follower of the Bookkeeper must hold no preference to the forces of Good, Evil, Law, or Chaos. Their sole allegiance is to information, and the accurate preserving of it.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Class Feature: Dark Knowledge (puissance), Prayerbook
Spellcasting: Able to cast at least two 1st level Druid spells
Alignment: True neutral

OR

Class Feature: Dark Knowledge (tactics), Prayerbook
Spellcasting: Able to cast 3rd level Druid spells
Alignment: True neutral

Class Skills
The Class Name's class skills are Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (all skills, taken individually), Profession, Ride, Search, Survival, and Spellcraft
Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + Int

Hit Dice: d6

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st
+0
+2
+0
+2
Bookman's Tome (Records), Sylvan Knowledge, Identify Bookmen
2nd
+1
+3
+0
+3
Sylvan Knowledge (Hidden Prey)
3rd
+1
+3
+1
+3
Bookman’s Tome (First Stratum)
4th
+2
+4
+1
+4
Sylvan Knowledge (Impassioned Hunter), Word of the Natural World
5th
+2
+4
+1
+4
Bookman’s Tome (Knowledge)
6th
+3
+5
+2
+5
Sylvan Knowledge (Nature’s Friend)
7th
+3
+5
+2
+5
Bookman’s Tome (Second Stratum)
8th
+4
+6
+2
+6
Word of the Natural World
9th
+4
+6
+3
+6
Bookman’s Tome (Forgotten Lore)
10th
+5
+7
+3
+7
Bookkeeper's Sage, Sylvan Prescription


Weapon Proficiencies: The Sylvan Scribe gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Spellcasting: At every level except for 1st, the Sylvan Scribe gains spells per day, and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in the spellcasting class you belonged to before you added the prestige class. You do not, however, gain any other class benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Sylvan Scribe, you must choose which class you wish to advance. Additionally, if you choose to advance Archivist spellcasting, you may learn spells from the Druid spell list in addition to the Cleric’s spell list.

The Bookman's Tome (Su): The Sylvan Scribe's prayerbook is much more than a listing of incantations and material components. A chronicler, if he is to properly perform his role, must have something in which to chronicle. For all bookmen, this takes the form of a unique tome which, for the Sylvan Scribe, is an evolution of their prayerbook.

As a standard action, the Sylvan Scribe can activate his Tome with a unique incantation that connects its pages to the Bookkeeper's legendary chronicle. Even if the prayerbook is full, new, blank pages appear within the book, starkly clean, ready to recieve the Scribe's ink. Deactivating the mystic link to the Bookkeeper's chronicle is a free action, and any Bookman's Tome that is not in the possession of a Bookman instantly deactivates. The fresh new pages vanish, taking with them the Scribe's words to be stored with the rest of the Bookkeeper's collection.

At first, the Sylvan Scribe can merely record his own chronicles within the Bookman's Tome.

At third level, the Sylvan Scribe begins to access the vast stores they are bound to, but is limited to languages of his time period, also known as the “First Stratum” of the Bookkeeper’s records. When his Bookman's Tome is activated, he gains a +3 bonus to all knowledge checks.

At fifth level, the Scribe’s mastery of his Tome has grown, and he has grown to understand the ancient languages contained in the Bookkeeper’s lore. Using his Tome, he can divine a great amount of knowledge of the current state of things. Whenever his Tome is active, the Sylvan Scribe can make a special knowledge check, as the Bardic Knowledge ability. His bonus to this check is equal to his Intelligence modifier plus his most relevant Knowledge skill bonus (i.e. history or local for knowledge of a town's royalty's lineage, nature to know where a cave might be located in the Deep Wood, etc).

At seventh level, the Scribe’s studies have developed to the point where he can delve deeper into the secrets of the Bookkeeper, to knowledge that would be considered ancient by any others: the “Second Strata.” Upon gaining access to such an incredible abundance of knowledge, his bonus to knowledge skills increases to +7, and the Scribe gains the ability to read and write all languages.

At ninth level, the Sylvan Scribe can peer into knowledge of a past forgotten by even the most devoted archaeologists. Secrets so old, even the creatures and places they describe are unaware of them, more often than not. His Dark Knowledge abilities are improved, their limits removed. All Dark Knowledge abilities with a linear progression of benefits for how much you beat the knowledge check can now be improved beyond their listed limits. A Sylvan Seer using his Foe Dark Knowledge ability, and beating the DC by 30, for example, would increase bonus damage by 4d6, and increase bonus damage by 5d6 by beating the DC by 40, and so on. Affected abilities include Tactice, Puissance, Foe, and Foreknowledge.

Sylvan Knowledge: Levels of Sylvan Scribe stack with levels of Archivist to determine Dark Knowledge abilities and uses per day. Additionally, the Sylvan Scribe can use Dark Knowledge to affect animals, humanoids, and plants. The Sylvan Scribe can, instead of Knowledge (Local), use Knowledge (Nature) to affect humaoids.

Also, the Sylvan Seer gains access to unique Sylvan Knowledge abilities, that only affect animals, humanoids, and plants, but otherwise function identically to Dark Knowledge, listed below.

Hidden Prey: The perils of nature are many, and the Sylvan Scribe must survive through them all to perform his duties. His studies of creatures with similar survival needs grants him the knowledge to disguise himself from creatures of the wilds. If the Sylvan Scribe succeeds on his knowledge check, he and his allies gain a Displacement effect versus all creatures of a specific race for that encounter. If he succeeds on his Knowledge check by 10 or more, he and his allies also vanish as if he had cast an Invisibility spell on himself. If he succeeds by 20 or more, this improves to Improved Invisibility. (Base DC 20)

Impassioned Hunter: Sometimes a creature needs to go on the hunt to find what he needs, and the Sylvan Scribe understands that. A Scribe who passes his knowledge check can track the targeted race as if he had the Track feat and Scent ability for 1 hour. By passing his knowledge check by 10 or more, he can also identify them through Mindsight (LoM) out to 500ft. A Scribe who succeeds by 20 or more almost never loses the creatures he tracks, discovering them as if he had Lifesense (LM) and Mindsight out to 1000ft. (Base DC 20)

Nature’s Friend: A Sylvan Scribe must live among the creatures of the natural world, peacefully if at all possible. He gains the ability to interact with creatures of the affected race as the Druid’s Wild Empathy class feature. A Scribe that succeeds by 10 or more is addressed by creatures of the affected race as if he had successfully cast Charm Animal on each of them. A Scribe that succeeds by 20 or more can manipulate affected creatures as if he had successfully cast Dominate Animal on them. (Base DC 25)

Identify Bookmen (Ex): Each Bookman has a unique Tome, and a unique manner of recording their information within the Book. From penmanship to field of research to style of writing, a Bookman can identify the writer of information simply by reading it, and has an innate sense for other Bookmen, as they are all so intimately connected through the Book. Bookmen can identify each other on sight; and, through a process taking an hour of uninterrupted study, discover the last location of a specific Bookman.

Words of the Natural World (Su): The Words of Creation are known to some well studied scholars, but the Sylvan Scribes have access to a preponderance of natural knowledge beyond any ivory tower scholar. They discover, deep in the annals of the Bookkeeper’s collection, certain Words of the Natural World that grant him marvelous abilities within nature.

At fourth and eighth level, the Sylvan Scribe can choose one of the Words of the Natural World listed below. These are supernatural abilities, activated by speaking the word as a standard action. Each of these can be spoken once per encounter.

Mecroch: The Sylvan Scribe bolsters his animal companion with an ancient word buried within the creature’s racial memory. For 1d6 rounds, the targeted creature gains abilities and increased scores as if it belonged to a Druid of the Scribe’s character level +3.

Yynglis: If spoken in a natural form (if he is Wild Shaped, Shapeshifted, or polymorphed into an animal or elemental, for example) the Scribe can bolster his form with the ancient power of the Nymph’s forgotten language. His form gains 3 bonus hit dice, the commensurate number of temporary hit points (apply the target’s Constitution modifier, if any, to these bonus Hit Dice), a +2 competence bonus on attack rolls, and a +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves. The bonus Hit Dice count as regular Hit Dice for determining the effect of spells that are Hit Dice dependant. These HD endure for 1d6 rounds.

Iggnil: The word of elements, this Word of the Natural World gives the Scribe control over the basic components of the natural world. A Scribe speaking this word gains the ability to manipulate elements once a round, as a swift action, for 1d6 rounds, as if using the spell Move Earth, Control Winds, or Control Water.

Seronoth: With this word, the Sylvan Scribe is never alone in the natural world. He can summon the elements to his aid, as the Summon Elemental reserve feat, except he does not need to have a conjuration spell still uncast, and with the duration determined by the highest spell level he is able to cast. When the Sylvan Scribe reaches 15 HD, the size of the summoned elemental increases to large.

Bookkeeper’s Sage: At the peak of his power, the Sylvan Scribe has access to all the works of his brothers, past and present. While his deepest knowledge is limited to the natural world, his ability to read of other aspects is far from unimpressive. His bonus to knowledge checks while his Bookman’s Tome is active increases to +10. Additionally, with an hour of intense, uninterrupted study, can make a special Knowledge (Nature) check to learn something specific within his domain, gaining a +25 bonus to the check, on top of the +10 bonus he normally receives.

Sylvan Presciption (Su): The Bookkeeper’s mystical book contains records of all that is, and all that has been. Powerful Bookmen, with access to the deepest strata of his chronicle, however, have discovered that it is possible to inscribe what will be, and somehow, through the latent influential power of the Bookkeeper, it comes to pass. This is, however, considered heresy among Bookmen, antithetical to their purpose, and an act of desecration against the Bookkeeper’s legendary text.

Typically, a Bookman so incensed as to actually use this ability will need to rewrite the Book to allow those of alignments other than True Neutral to retain their powers as Bookmen, as he is in danger of aligning himself with the world. Any use of this ability, however, will earn the user the ire of all other Bookmen who have not so ‘fallen,’ and such hatred is considered the Bookmen’s only allowable vendetta, as acts against the truth contained within the Book are unforgivable.

In a process that takes a day of uninterrupted scribes’ work and 1000g worth of writing materials, the Sylvan Scribe can perform one of three miraculous tasks:

  • He may remove the alignment requirement for this prestige class.
  • He may bring into reality any effect possible through a Miracle spell.
  • He may direct occurrences within the natural world. He might prescribe that a forest shrivels or grows anew; though this process may take decades, or implant suggestions in animals or plant creatures to act a certain way. This ability has the potential to be very powerful, and should be watched very closely by the DM.

Keep in mind that any use of this ability is considered, effectively, a crime against reality by any that understand what he is doing. This ability should not used lightly, and its use should not go unrealized or unpunished.

PLAYING A SYLVAN SCRIBE
Keep in mind your role in the world. You are not here to change it, as your travelling companions might be, but to record the changes they might bring about. You might fight alongside them, and aid them, but their destiny is not yours to realize. Maintaining your neutrality may be difficult, but it is necessary to perform your task. Perhaps you will heal your comrades, but make no effort to restore them to life should they fail in their task. Their failure is worth noting, and that is all. Your duty is to the Bookkeeper and his Book. To reality as it occurs. No allegiance is higher. You are, of course, most at home in nature, and your study and training as a Bookman is focused around it. A great number of things can affect the natural world, however, so do not be afraid to venture outside of it, even though another Bookman may be more suited to the task.
Combat: Your spells will remain your primary ability to influence combats, but do not forget your Dark and Sylvan Knowledge abilities. They provide unique boosts and abilities that act, in a small way, to turn the tide of battle. Your role as a Bookman does allow you to fight alongside allies, as long as you remember your role in the world.
Advancement: The primary choices in your career as a Sylvan Scribe are your Words of Natural Power. They seem like small effects, but each can be very potent used correctly. Do not write off your Bookman’s Tome as a fun trick, but without real application. Knowledge, is, of course, power. Use it, and treasure it.
Resources: The Bookman’s Tome is an incredible resource in and of itself, but as a Bookman, your fellows can always be counted on, assuming you are in good graces with the organization in general. The natural world also offers a great deal to the Scribe, through his own knowledge and understanding of it, as well as through his Dark and Sylvan Knowledge abilities.

SYLVAN SCRIBES IN THE WORLD
”I thought she was a druid at first, and thought we might have a fight on our hands, but she just jotted down a few things in her queer little book, and wandered off. I’m not sure actual druids are too fond of her… though I did see that hunter down the street asking her for goings-on in the forest. Can’t say I get it.” – Talon Hawke, woodsman

The world at large does not entirely understand Bookmen in general. Few can fathom what it takes to dedicate yourself to knowledge as they do, and the Sylvan Scribe is no exception. Most simply consider them odd druids, and they aren’t entirely wrong. Proper druids, however, turn their noses up to them. As merely recorders of nature, and not necessarily defenders or lovers of it, the Sylvan Scribes are not well loved in the druid community.
Daily Life: Sylvan Sages will typically spend their day wandering whatever area they have assigned themselves to, making note of anything worth recording within their Tome. If they travel with companions, they will spend more time recording their exploits, and how they have affected the natural world, while travelling alongside them.
Notables: The first Bookman to break the sacred vow not to alter the Book was Myra Cowl, a human Scribe, who had attached herself to a particular druid coven within a great forest. A necromancer and his army was marching through, destroying the forest as he went, and she altered the Book to allow herself to prescribe the events that led to his eventual demise at the heart of the mighty wood. After that, she was plagued until her death by bounty hunter hired by her former allies, as well as other Bookmen seeking to prevent her from further perverting the Book.

The second to break the vow was Samuel Bantien, who changed the Book back to its original phrasing after Myra changed it. He was surprised when his fellows turned on him, unaware that their passion for keeping the Book pure carried over to all forms of alteration, including righting ‘wrongs’ perpetrated against it. The rewriting was, after all, an occurrence of great note that must be preserved within the Book alongside every great war and death of a mighty ruler. So he willingly went to his demise at the hands of his fellows after realizing his mistake. His execution is now recorded within the Book’s pages.
Organizations: The Bookmen all have unique abilities, and any one can be a great boon to another. Their unique knowledge and experiences can be very helpful.

NPC Reaction
Generally, unless they spend a lot of time with the Scribe, they simply consider him a druid, or a ranger who loves writing in his journal. They often have a hard time understanding their particular cause, but generally hold no prejudice against them.

SYLVAN SCRIBES IN THE GAME
A Sylvan Scribe won’t affect a campaign any moreso than a druid or artificer would on their own. In fact, played properly, they might not affect it at all. The greatest change to the world they bring would be the existence of the Bookkeeper, the Book, and the Bookmen organization.
Adaptation: The Bookkeeper and the Book are not entirely necessary. They can be replaced with any kind of repository of information or ideal for the preservation of it. It may be entirely possible to drop the Bookman angle entirely, and simply make the Scribes great seers of the forests or what-have-you. You could also simply alter the Bookmen to be more flexible or be collecting information for a different reason. There are numerous possibilities for this idea, and this class.
Encounters: Typically, encountering a Sylvan Scribe will be entirely peaceful, as attacking random strangers isn’t exactly a part of the Bookman’s ideal. He may ask many questions of the group, and request to follow them for a time, to get to know them and what they will do to record them in his Tome. If attacked, they will defend themselves, but in a manner primarily designed at escape, rather than mass murder.
Hyooz
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:23 am

Return to d20 Design

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron