Sage (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Sages are the ultimate seekers, preservers and disseminators of knowledge. They are most commonly encountered as NPC specialists, but occasionally they venture out with adventuring parties to explore the world and provide on-the-spot guidance.
Becoming a Sage
There is considerable overlap in the abilities of Sages and Loremasters: these classes differ mostly in their magical aptitude. Loremasters are primarily spellcasters who are good at divination magic, whereas Sages have no spellcasting requirement and many cannot cast spells at all: even those with spellcasting abilities usually develop them as a sideline, an offshoot of their general quest for knowledge. Instead, Sages have more skill points and the ability to pursue advanced studies in various fields that Loremasters don't have time to study due to their ongoing magical research. Most NPC Sages start as Experts, and many Sages go on to become Loremasters if they meet the requirements: conversely, some Loremasters find that the pursuit of knowledge is more interesting than the pursuit of magical power, and become Sages.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+3.|
|Feats:||Skill Focus (Knowledge [any TWO individual Knowledge skills]).|
|Saving Throws||Special||Spellcasting or Manifesting|
|1.||+0||+0||+0||+2||Lore, Secret||+1 level of exsisting class|
|2.||+1||+0||+0||+3||Advanced Study||+1 level of exsisting class|
|3.||+1||+1||+1||+3||Secret||+1 level of exsisting class|
|4.||+2||+1||+1||+4||Advanced Study||+1 level of exsisting class|
|5.||+2||+1||+1||+4||Secret||+1 level of exsisting class|
|6.||+3||+2||+2||+5||Advanced Study||+1 level of exsisting class|
|7.||+3||+2||+2||+5||Secret||+1 level of exsisting class|
|8.||+4||+2||+2||+6||Advanced Study||+1 level of exsisting class|
|9.||+4||+3||+3||+6||Secret||+1 level of exsisting class|
|10.||+5||+3||+3||+7||Advanced Study||+1 level of exsisting class|
Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level)
|11th||Epic Lore, Epic Secrets|
|12th||Epic Advanced Study, Spells|
|13th||Epic Secrets, Sneak Attack|
|14th||Epic Advanced Study, Spells|
|15th||Epic Secrets, Bonus Feats|
|16th||Epic Advanced Study, Spells, Sneak Attack|
|18th||Epic Advanced Study, Spells|
|19th||Epic Secrets, Sneak Attack|
|20th||Epic Advanced Study, Spells, Bonus Feats|
All of the following are class features of the Sage:
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Sages gain no proficiencies with weapons or armour.
Lore: Sages have the ability to know legends or information regarding various topics, just as a bard can with bardic knowledge. The Sage adds his/her Sage level and Intelligence modifier to the lore check, which functions otherwise exactly like a bardic knowledge check.
Secret: At 1st level and every two levels higher than 1st (3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th), the Sage chooses one secret from the table below. The character's Sage level plus Intelligence modifier determines which secrets can be learned. He/she can’t choose the same secret twice. Note that this is identical to the Loremaster ability: for a character with both classes, Sage and Loremaster levels stack.
|Level + Int modifier||Secret||Effect|
|1.||Instant Mastery||4 ranks of a skill in which the character has no ranks|
|2.||Secret health||+3 hit points|
|3.||Secrets of inner strength||+2 bonus on Will saves|
|4.||The lore of true stamina||+2 bonus on Fortitude saves|
|5.||Secret knowledge of avoidance||+2 bonus on Reflex saves|
|6.||Weapon trick||+1 bonus on attack rolls|
|7.||Dodge trick||+1 dodge bonus to AC|
|8.||Applicable knowledge||Any one feat|
|9.||Newfound arcana||1 bonus 1st-level spell*|
|10.||More newfound arcana||1 bonus 2nd-level spell*|
- As if gained through having a high ability score.
Advanced Study: At 2nd level and every two levels thereafter (4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th), the Sage chooses one Advanced Study topic (described below). These can be learned in any order, provided that the Sage meets the entry requirement for each topic, 8 ranks in the appropriate skill. It is permitted to attain the 8 ranks and choose the Advanced Study during the same level rise (i.e. unlike qualifying for the class in the first place, it is not necessary to meet the requirements beforehand in previous levels). Also, where an Advanced Study bestows a new class skill, this benefit can be exploited during the same level advance: for instance, a character could spend some skill points on raising Knowledge (Nobility & Royalty) to the required 8 ranks to take Politics (which makes Diplomacy a class skill) and spend the remainder on Diplomacy as a class skill.
- ALCHEMY: requires 8 ranks in Craft(Alchemy)
- This advanced study topic bestows a Skill Focus feat in Craft(Alchemy) and the Brew Potion feat (even if the Sage doesn't meet the usual spellcaster level requirement). The Sage doesn't have to be a spellcaster to make alchemical items. Furthermore, creating a potion costs half the usual experience requirement (making the XP cost equivalent to preparing a scroll), and the maximum spell level that can be incorporated into a potion is raised from 3rd to 5th level.
- ANATOMY: requires 8 ranks in Heal
- This advanced study topic bestows a Skill Focus feat in Heal and a 2d6 Sneak Attack (as the Rogue ability). Sneak Attack then improves by a d6 for every three Sage levels gained thereafter. Also, the usual requirements for the Improved Sneak Attack feat (epic level and 8d6 Sneak Attack) are waived for a Sage who has studied Anatomy, allowing the use of bonus feats to purchase an extra d6 Sneak Attack damage per feat. Furthermore, if the character is capable of 5d6 or better Sneak Attack damage, the Crippling Strike ability of Rogues can be taken as a feat (it isn't gained automatically).
- ANTHROPOLOGY: requires 8 ranks in Gather Information
- This advanced study topic bestows Skill Focus feats in Gather Information and Sense Motive, and knowledge of three extra languages. Furthermore, Sense Motive becomes a Sage class skill thereafter. Also, the usual requirements of epic level and 25 Intelligence for the Polyglot feat (which confers knowledge of all languages) are waived for a Sage who has studied Anthropology, and the three bonus languages count towards the "Speak Language (5 languages)" requirement, though this feat isn't gained automatically.
- ARCHAEOLOGY: requires 8 ranks in Knowledge (History)
- This advanced study topic bestows Skill Focus feats in Appraise, Decipher Script, Forgery, Knowledge (History) and Search. Furthermore, Forgery and Search become Sage class skills thereafter. Forgery is normally used by archaeologists to detect forged historical documents and suchlike, but knowledge of the techniques involved can be used for nefarious purposes too. Sages do not automatically get the Rogue's ability to use the Search skill to find magical traps, though this could be gained by taking a level of Rogue: alternatively, if the Sage has also learned Magical Theory, this could be taken as a feat.
- ASTROLOGY: requires 8 ranks in Knowledge (Astronomy)
- This advanced study topic bestows a Skill Focus feat in Knowledge (Astronomy) and the ability to prepare horoscopes for people. Preparing horoscopes requires the ability to observe the night sky for at least one hour plus half an hour per horoscope subject, followed by another half-hour of paperwork per subject (calculations and so forth), typically carried out the following morning, then a DC 20 Knowledge (Astronomy) check for each subject (failures cannot be retried until the following night). If successful, a three-day horoscope for that person will be produced, starting on the morning after the observations were made. For each day of each person's horoscope, roll a d6: a 1 or 2 is an "inauspicious" result, a 3 or 4 is neutral, a 5 or 6 is an "auspicious" result. An inauspicious result confers a -2 Luck penalty on all saving throws and skill checks and a -1 Luck penalty on attack rolls, AC, Spell Resistance (if the character has it), opponent save DC's versus spells cast by that person, and caster level checks to overcome an opponent's Spell Resistance. An auspicious result has the opposite effect, bestowing equivalent Luck bonuses. Multiple successful horoscopes will always produce the same results per day for each subject. Typically, a party might use this information to take a day off on an inauspicious day for most of the party (if circumstances permit), or prepare extra protective spells on such a day, while embarking on risky ventures on a predominantly auspicious day. Specialist equipment is required (spyglass, sextant, star charts) and the astrologer must be familiar with the night sky of the world he/she is operating on: furthermore, the subject's date and place of birth must be known. The subject must be a native of that world, and cannot be a native outsider. The effect of an inauspicious horoscope cannot be avoided: characters should assume that the fluctuating effect of "good days" and "bad days" are normally smothered by the randomness of fate but would happen regardless. At the DM's discretion, an astrologer might also become aware of major imminent events such as natural disasters or the death of kings.
- ENGINEERING: requires 8 ranks in Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering)
- This advanced study topic bestows Skill Focus feats in Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering), Open Locks, and Disable Device. Furthermore, Open Locks and Disable Device become Sage class skills thereafter.
- MAGICAL THEORY: requires 8 ranks in Knowledge (Arcane)
- This advanced study topic bestows Skill Focus feats in Knowledge (Arcane), Spellcraft and Use Magic Device, the Scribe Scroll feat, and the spellcasting abilities of a 1st level Wizard. Thereafter, he/she will gain one level of Wizard spellcasting ability for every two Sage levels gained. This stacks with any actual Wizard levels the character has. The character cannot choose to become a specialist Wizard, but will remain one if he/she already has at least one level as a specialist.
- METALLURGY: requires 8 ranks in Craft (Weaponsmithing)
- This advanced study topic bestows Skill Focus feats in Craft (Weaponsmithing) and Craft (Armoursmithing), and the ability to recognize metals and metal ores. Furthermore, the Sage can make masterwork metal items at half the usual masterwork cost (other than the cost of exotic metals such as mithral or adamantite, which is fixed), and no metal is wasted on a failed Craft check, as it can be re-smelted. Crafting times for metal objects are also halved.
- NATURAL HISTORY: requires 8 ranks in Knowledge (Nature)
- This advanced study topic bestows Skill Focus feats in Handle Animals, Knowledge (Nature) and Survival skills, and the Track feat. It also grants the spellcasting abilities of a 4th level Ranger. Thereafter, he/she will gain one level of Ranger spellcasting ability for every Sage level gained. This stacks with any actual Ranger levels above 3rd that the character has. Furthermore, the Sage becomes eligible for the Woodland Stride ability of Druids and Rangers, though not automatically: it can be taken as a feat.
- PHILOSOPHY: requires 8 ranks in Knowledge (Religion)
- As an expert in the features and failings of alternate worldviews, the Sage is resistant to mental influence, gaining the Iron Will feat and the Slippery Mind ability of Rogues (a second chance at a failed save versus enchantment spells or effects, on the following round).
- POLITICS: requires 8 ranks in Knowledge (Nobility & Royalty)
- This advanced study topic bestows Skill Focus feats in Diplomacy, Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (History) and Knowledge (Nobility & Royalty). Furthermore, Diplomacy becomes a Sage class skill thereafter.
- THEOLOGY: requires 8 ranks in Knowledge (Religion)
- This advanced study topic bestows Skill Focus feat in Knowledge (Religion) and Knowledge (The Planes), and the spellcasting abilities of a 1st level Adept. Thereafter, he/she will gain one level of Adept spellcasting ability for every Sage level gained. This stacks with any actual Adept levels the character has.
Skill Replacement: When taking Advanced Study, if a Sage is entitled to receive a Skill Focus feat in a Knowledge or Craft skill but already has this feat, he/she will receive a replacement Skill Focus feat in another Knowledge or Craft skill on reaching the next Sage experience level. This rule prevents players being penalised (by wasting feats) for taking Skill Focus feats in skills which relate to their future studies, such as Knowledge (Nature) for a character intending to study Natural History.
Epic Lore: Add the Sage’s class level + Intelligence modifier to all Lore checks, as normal.
Epic Secrets: The Epic Sage can continue to learn a secret every odd-numbered level until all ten are known.
Epic Advanced Study: The Epic Sage can continue to learn an Advanced Study topic every even-numbered level until all twelve are known.
Spells: Epic Sages who know Magical Theory will continue to gain one Wizard spellcasting level every two Sage levels, those who know Natural History will continue to gain one Ranger spellcasting level every Sage level, and those who know Theology will continue to gain one Adept spellcasting level every Sage level.
Sneak Attack: Epic Sages who know Anatomy will continue to gain a d6 Sneak Attack die every 3 Sage levels.
Bonus Feats: The Epic Sage gains a bonus feat every five levels above 10th, but these are not confined to a limited list. Epic Sages can learn any bonus feats that they meet the requirements for.
Playing a Sage
Sages in the World
Characters with ranks in can research to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
Sages in the Game