This class was originally called “Scholar,” and the rename should express something important about what it represents: you don’t need to have formal training, much less formal book learning, to take the Sage class. Poet-nomads and horror dungeon guides can be sages as easily as a learned professor.
Special: You do not start with a proficiency in any weapons.
Starting Equipment: clothes, book or other mnemonic device (e.g. knotted ropes)
Starting Skill: Choose one or roll 1d8—1 Alchemy, 2 Foreign Parts, 3 History, 4 Law, 5 Medicine, 6 Poetry, 7 Poison, 8 Religion.
- Behold!, Deep Learning, Flighty
- Physical Evasion, Rhetorical Evasion
- Obscure Knowledge, Pronouncement
- Reputation for Wisdom, Well Actually
With a shout, a clang of falling armor, or the waving of a great big flag, you can make sure that everyone in range (which depends on how you’re attracting attention) takes notice of you. This includes animals! They may not pay attention for more than a few seconds, but sometimes that’s all you need.
Gain three extra skill slots, and fill one of them with some kind of skill which you learned from academic study or could otherwise be considered “book learning” in some sense, even if you didn’t learn them from a book (the options in “Starting Skill” are good examples).
So long as you do not act offensively during combat, you get +4 Defense. This does not stack with armor or a shield.
Once per session, you can declare that an attack that hit you missed you instead. This won’t save you from falls or landslides, but traps will fail and spells will turn away.
You can never be beaten in an argument if it is at least loosely connected to one of your skills (though you may not win the argument either). You can always retreat to authority, throw up textual obstacles, or deploy dogma. No one can make you admit something in conversation that you did not intend to admit; any accidental disclosures are retroactively fixed, if possible.
Once per session, you can declare that something is true because you found it in a book or some other deep well of knowledge (e.g. listening to old legends told by the local elders for a week). There has to be a plausible way you could know about it (new discoveries, minor details, and personal secrets are unlikely).
The base chance of the thing actually being true is 50%. If you have access to a library of at least 50 books (or an appropriate equivalent thereof), the base chance increases to 80%.
You don’t know whether it is true right away; the GM will roll when it matters. You might only be partially correct, but you will never be catastrophically wrong.
You can speak for up to 3 hours without pause on a given topic. No tests required. Sensible people will hear you out politely, unless they’ve got something better to do. Monsters will still devour you. Dragons might argue with you.
Reputation for Wisdom
If there’s a weird problem, people will go to you first. Once per session, you can give a command to someone who knows you (personally or by reputation) and they must Save or obey it.
Once per session, you can declare that something which an NPC said is untrue because you found it in a book or some other deep well of knowledge. You must lay out the actual facts of the matter, and there must be a plausible way you could know about them.
The base chance of the original claim being false is 50% and, if it is false, the base chance of your counter-claim being true is 75%. It is possible for both of you to be wrong, in which the GM is encouraged to begin the revelation by saying, “Well, actually…”
You don’t know who’s correct (if, indeed, either of you are correct) right away; the GM will roll when it matters.
The sage is a little bit of a bullshit artist. They bob and weave through physical combat as easily as through social situations. I wouldn’t say that the sage is a tank, per se, but any attack that’s aimed at the sage is an attack that didn’t go somewhere else, and Flighty is comparable to chain armor (or slightly better, actually, since it doesn’t confer Encumbrance). At level 4, the sage can (occasionally) just declare that a hit doesn’t land, which is mechanically a lot like their ability to just declare something to be true and (maybe) be right.
I’m tempted to smash them together with the Thief, but I’m going to hold off on that for now.
The sage has not been playtested.