Really starting to bug me about Scholars

Mark Dunder

Everytime I read some thread on Scholars, someone mentions how they must have some way to protect them at low level. DB or what have you.

Really starting to bug me. If they were Priests of Mitra or some other god, they wouldn't be having so much trouble. In most of the Hyborian countries Priests of Mitra are respected, and no one is going to attack them without very good cause. Particularly when those attacking may just be worshippers of Mitra themselves. Even so, many Priests are respected or even feared not because they personally can do the attacker any harm themselves, but because their gods or other more powerful Priests will do them harm. It is not something to take on lightly.

Just call it "Fear of Reprisal," if you will. The Attacker has to overcome their Fear of Reprisal and this Fear of Reprisal level is the DC modifier perhaps.

Something I would do in my game.
Mark Dunder said:
Even so, many Priests are respected or even feared not because they personally can do the attacker any harm themselves, but because their gods or other more powerful Priests will do them harm. It is not something to take on lightly.

Just call it "Fear of Reprisal," if you will. The Attacker has to overcome their Fear of Reprisal and this Fear of Reprisal level is the DC modifier perhaps.

This is something I've thought of, too. Instead of Defensive Blast, 1st-level scholars could get an ability similar to the noble's Do You Know Who I Am? ability, to represent others' innate fear of sorcerers and priests.

The DC should be 10 + half scholar level + Charisma bonus. Other scholars/sorcerers, demons, undead, etc. should get a +4 bonus to the saving throw.

- thulsa
I'd link that with the priest feat rather than the scholar class.

A scholar who leaves the safety of the cloister in order to seek fame and fortune deserves evertyhign he gets.
Very cool idea - instead of blasting your opponents, make them think twice before attacking a priest/sorcerer.
You know, I was thinking of something along these lines.

My idea is that perhaps characters who use magic in front of other non-scholars should cause the others to make a will save or be frightened like the terror of the unknown rules.

I mean, how much does your average barbarian or soldier know about magic? IMHO, to them, a simple Conjuration would probably be terrifying. And a sorceror doing something else more severe, like Draw Forth the Heart? In alot of the Conan stories Ive read, most of the characters regard evil sorcerors as monsters for being able to do what they do. And a rule like this would enable lower level scholars to be able to have more of a chance to get out of a situation.
You're right Scorpion13, only bad role-players could trounce a Scholar without worry. DB I am guessing, is a way of "forcing" the players to be careful around Scholars. Give them a tangible fear. I just don't feel DB is really part of Conan. But fear of magic is. Even if you really know as a player that you can't come to harm attacking a sorcerer, if you are role-playing in a world where the characters do fear the unknown, you had better role-play that somehow. But you need some mechanism to check how much your character does fear the unknown or fear reprisal.
I was toying with an idea for the defensive blast whereby the scholar could essentially tailor the ability to his liking depending on the situation and his background.

He could change elements of the attack while keeping a few parts of it static.

The changeable elements could be:
-type of damage (ie. cold, fire, acid, electricity, sonic, bludgeoning, slashing, piercing, etc.)
-type of effect (ie. poison, blinding, deafening, stunning, sickening, etc.)

The static elements would always be:
-area of effect is always the same
-PP cost is always the same
-range is always the same
-saving throw is always the same (always a Fort save)

You can get lots of ideas from the SRD 3.5 rules of different spell effects that you could easily incoporate into this ability.

Some good ideas I had were a stygian priest conjuring up huge ghostly serpent around him (10 ft. radius) that would bite everyone for poison damage, or a priest of mitra that could conjure up a ring of blinding light.
I'm getting rid of DB entirely. Not genre, ripe for abuse and generally annoying to gameplay. I tried using a 'Final Strike' option but that playtested poorly. So Scholars just have to be clever- or take a level of soemthing other than Scholar once in a while. I remember a number of Marvel Conan sorcerers picking up sword and shield and crying "in my youth I studied swordplay..." or some such comment.
I guess I'm lucky-DB has never been a problem with our group-although it could be that our scholar player found out the hard way what happens when you suddenly run out of PP....
I think DB is fine, personally. I mean, the party magician would have to be insane to use it in a non-absolute-emergency situation seeing as how intra party murder is a favorite pastime of my players.
Don't be silly citizen. The Computer does not condone the waste of clones in petty violence. Oh, he was a commie mutant traitor citizen? well that is alright then.
Well, its nothing that complex.

1. He's a creepy bastard.

2. They want to sell his sorcerous accountrements for ale and whores.

But he's good when theyre facing a demon, so they usually keep him around, but they are notoriously short-sighted.
Have the next demon secretly offer the sorcerer a better deal to wipe out the party and see if he takes it....8)

Seriously though thulsa created an alternate version of DB I might add as an option rule to Raven's Rules for Sorcery v 1.2. He made a topic about that elsewhere but here's the link to the rules again:
I am actually toying with the idea of using more d20 SRD content with my Scholars in my game. Obviously things like healing spells, or magic missiles will not get included. But if I want my PC's fighting a 3rd level Scholar who can summon a minor demon to help out then I think something will need to be changed.

The player in my group who plays his Scholar uses his Stygian bow more than he casts spells. That just doesn't sit right with me. He should at least have some way to defend himself in melee, similar to mage armour or shield spells that could provide him with some sort of DR.

I also realize that many Scholars are supposed to rely on Alchemy to produce offensive effects, which I like, so I'll also not be allowing flashy spells that do things like that. No fireballs or lightning bolts, etc.

The defensive blast ability is a subject for much debate in my group as well, and I must say that I don't really like it either.
One of the reasons I created Raven's Rules for Sorcery was to make a more balanced Sorcery system for the Conan engine that didn't leave Scholars so vulnerable and narrowly defined. After putting out some ideas in version 1.1 and little playtesting by several parties I am starting to draw together version 1.2 as a complete system. It'll be a while though- I have several other projects going too so I am thinking that the end of Summer is an optomistic goal. In the meantime you can see what I have done with v 1.1 by sending a pm with your e-mail to me for the collected Word Document or see the whole creative mess as it began so long ago on the relevant topic here:
Yes, I like her system of organization, the names are very similar to the one's I'm familiar with using the Talent system in my game. Her lists of magic spells are truely impressive.

Someone needs to publish her work and give her some credit. Unfortunately, too many greedy people don't want to share the wealth.

Pitiful wretches. Good thing many of us are motivated by love of the Hyborian Age and not love of money. And don't even try to justify the cost of production runs to me. I was trained in graphic arts, offset printing and worked for print houses for ten years, most of those years as a salesman.

Might explain why few people write stories for the fan fiction forums, they want there flowery stories published.

Did I rant?
It appeares that I'm the only one on this board who likes Defensive Blast anymore. I wonder when that happened? :?

Where did this idea come from that scholars have to be soft targets at close range anyway? In all the stories I can think of sorcorers are always seen as fearsome opponents that most people are afraid to even come near.

I like DB. I'm fine with sorcorers who can kill with a gesture. After all, its not a challenge to kill them otherwise. :wink: