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Old 08-30-2017, 01:31 AM   #33
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Default Re: [DFRPG] The Scholar, Revised

Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
I think Kromm is overstating a bit, which is why I disagree with his definition.

I'm playing in a campaign where that niche isn't necessary. However, the GM is more than willing to let that Support be useful, just not vital.

Mostly I think the GM is happy to have a PC that can exposition dump world info on the party... as well as explain the plot. When he remembers that not everyone speaks or reads all the languages he does (it a Play-by-Post and I sometimes forget I'm the only one that can read those 'secret' messages).
I think the Sage is about more than plot exposition. When I run dungeons, I tend to run them holistically. You don't go "room to room," you tackle a broader conundrum, and I like building mysteries into my dungeon, using the same sort of logic that I use in my gumshoe games: you always have enough information to make it through the dungeon, but if you have superior problem-solving skills, you can bypass a lot of problems and gain access to superior things.

To me, this is the role of a character like a thief. He can find the hidden passages that let you bypass the well-guarded room, or slip in to steal the key from the sleeping guard captain, thus allowing people to achieve success without killing monsters and taking their stuff. I know that's not necessarily the standard model, especially since D&D and its culture has moved towards all combat all the time, but it was definitely an acceptable older model, and it's one I personally like to use.

Intellectual classes, like the Wizard or Cleric, beyond their magical abilities, tend to be good at deciphering texts or knowing a monster's weakness, or knowing some vital historical fact that will let the players accomplish something. This goes beyond informing the players of useless background information like "This dungeon is really the tomb of Argon the Awful, who is rumored to have become undead," and into things like finding a way to appease the spirits of the place, or even get them as allies against some other threat in the dungeon. It's the same sort of logic you see in a Monster Hunters game, but where in a Monster Hunter's game it's what the game is all about, in DF, it's one of many themes you can employ.

The Sage represents a purity of this particular thing. If a swashbuckler is part fighter and part thief, then a wizard is part magic and part sage. The sage, by contrast, is pure sage. And his ability to shift his skills around means he always has highly pertinent skills. Perhaps your wizard knows about the past and the undead, and thus can help you with Argon the Awful, and the Sage can too, but in the next adventure when the problem is Allura the Alluring and her faerie court, the wizard's lore is less useful (though is magic remains useful), but the sage can shift to Fae lore and know what's up.

I love these sorts of games, where things like language and history and secret lore really matter, so the sage works well for my games. I've played in other games where these were seen as a hassle, mere background info not worth points, so I can understand where Kromm argues this is very dependent on the GM and his campaign style.
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