Learned scholars dedicated to their fields are less common amongst the ranks of adventurers than fighters and rogues and sorcerers, but nevertheless they exist. Their motivations are sundry: to explore, to widen their experiences, to chase down evidence, to perform experiments, etc. The adventuring scholar is one willing to take risks—sometimes extraordinary risks—in order to gain even the tiniest nugget of knowledge. Units of culture and the connections between them are the primary interest of the scholar, and he pursues the further weaving of his information web at all costs, obsessing over detail and refusing to back down until he has the full picture.
Role: Scholars are middling spellcasters, and completely irrelevant in physical combat. Where they shine the brightest depends on their field, but their talents usually lie more heavily in interaction and skill use. "Knowledge is power" to the scholar—he can use his bonuses on information acquisition to benefit his allies both in and out of combat.
Hit Dice: d6.
The scholar's class skills are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.
The following are class features of the scholar class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A scholar is proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield.
Notes (Su): A scholar's research unlocks powerful magic-like effects as he increases in level. If a scholar pores over the studies recorded in his notebooks, he is able to distill the essentials of various spell effects into efficient notes on thumbnail cards. In many ways, notes behave like spells in scroll form, and as such their effects can be dispelled by effects like dispel magic using the scholar's level as the caster level.
A scholar can create only a certain number of notes of each level per day. His base daily allotment of notes is given on Table 1–1. In addition, he receives bonus notes per day if he has a high Intelligence score, in the same way a wizard receives bonus spells per day.
When a scholar scribes a note, he uses various mnemonic tricks to supplement the information on the note. A note is useless to anyone besides the scholar who created it. A note, once created, remains potent for 1 day before the scholar loses focus on the mnemonic devices specific to that note, so a scholar must re-prepare his notes every day. Preparing a note takes 1 minute of work—most scholars prepare many notes at the start of the day or just before going on an adventure, but it's not uncommon for a scholar to keep some (or even all) of his daily note slots open so that he can consult his notebooks and prepare notes in the field.
Although the scholar doesn’t actually cast spells, he does have a study list that determines what notes he can create (see "Study List," at the bottom of this page). A scholar cannot utilize spell-trigger items or spell-completion items of spells that appear on his study list unless he uses Use Magic Device to do so. A note is “cast” by reading it, as if using a scroll—the effects of a note exactly duplicate the spell upon which its study is based, save that the spell's components are always verbal (an incantation to unlock the note's mnemonic devices) and material (the note). A scholar can draw and read a note as a standard action. The scholar uses his level as the caster level.
Creating notes entails lab-work which consumes raw materials, but the cost of these materials is insignificant—comparable to the valueless material components of most spells. If a spell normally has a costly material component, that component is expended during the use of that particular note. If a spell normally has a focus component, be it inexpensive or costly, the scholar must use it when preparing his note—it is not needed on hand to use the note.
A scholar can prepare a note of any study he knows. To learn or use a note, a scholar must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the note's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a scholar's note is 10 + the note level + the scholar's Intelligence modifier. A scholar may know any number of studies. He stores his studies in any number of tomes called notebooks. He must refer to these notebooks whenever he prepares a note, but not when he uses it. A scholar begins play with two 1st- level studies of his choice, plus a number of additional studies equal to his Intelligence modifier. At each new scholar level, he gains one new study of any level that he can create. A scholar can also add studies to his notebooks just like a wizard adds spells to his spellbook, using the same costs, pages, and time requirements. A notebook costs as much as a spellbook. A scholar can examine a wizard’s spellbook to learn any study that is equivalent to a spell the spellbook contains. A wizard, however, cannot learn spells from a notebook.
For the purposes of qualifying for feats and prestige classes, the scholar is treated as an arcane caster able to cast arcane spells of the highest level at which he can prepare notes. If a level in a prestige class improves a scholar's spellcasting ability, he gains an increase to caster level and additional note slots per day as though he had gained a scholar level.
Field: At 1st level, the scholar has completed his training in a particular field, and is ready to begin his own research and innovation. Each field has an associated skill, as well as a number of abilities to which the scholar gains access as he gains levels. At 1st level, the scholar receives a bonus to checks using his field's skill equal to his level, and may take 10 on such checks even under duress. In addition, he receives the first ability from his field. At 3rd, 9th, 15th, and 20th levels, his field grants him another power.
At 2nd level, and every four levels thereafter, a scholar receives one bonus feat, chosen from a list specific to each field. The scholar ignores the base attack bonus requirements for these bonus feats, but must otherwise meet their prerequisites.
At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, a scholar adds an additional study to his notebooks, derived from his field. These studies are in addition to the studies gained at every level.
Info Gatherer (Ex): A scholar is skilled at accumulating data. He adds half his level (minimum 1) to Knowledge skill checks when consulting a book or library, as well as Diplomacy skill checks made to gather information or convince someone to explain something.
Published (Ex): Scholars begin their adventures having completed and published a significant thesis in their fields. At 1st level, a scholar gains 1 rank in Profession (Scribe). This does not count against his normal allotment of skill ranks. In addition, he counts as having sold a work for 50 gp or more for the purposes of entering the pathfinder chronicler prestige class.
Scribe Scroll (Ex): At 1st level, scholars receive Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat. A scholar can scribe scrolls of any study he knows, using his scholar level as his caster level.
Canny Defense (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, when wearing light or no armor and not using a shield, a scholar adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per scholar class level to his Dexterity bonus to modify Armor Class. If a scholar is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus, he also loses this bonus. Levels in this class stack with levels in any other class that grants a similar ability.
Decipher Script (Ex): At 2nd level, a scholar gains a +2 bonus on Linguistics skill checks made to decipher writing. This bonus increases to +4 at 5th level, and then again to +6 at 8th level.
Confident Erudition (Ex): The scholar is brilliant, and he knows how vital his work is. By convincing others of its worth, he can improve their opinions of him. At 4th level, he may use his field skill in place of a Diplomacy check to improve a creature's attitude. When substituting in this way, the scholar uses his total field skill bonus, including class skill bonus, in place of his Diplomacy bonus.
Findings: Occasionally, scholars complete hobby research extracurricular to their fields. At 4th level, and every four levels thereafter, the scholar selects one finding from the list thereof, receiving the noted perk to represent the fruits of his research. Unless otherwise noted, a finding cannot be selected more than once.
Boost: You gain an additional finding.
Breadth of Experience: At 5th level, the scholar receives Breadth of Experience as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet its prerequisites.
Decipher Magic (Ex): At 7th level, the scholar may use Linguistics in place of Spellcraft and Use Magic Device skill checks involving scrolls and other arcane magical writings. When substituting in this way, the scholar uses his total Linguistics bonus, including class skill bonus, in place of his Spellcraft or Use Magic Device bonuses.
Lore Master (Ex): At 7th level, the scholar is so well-read that he can choose to take 10 on any Knowledge skill check if he has ranks in that skill. In addition, once per day, the scholar can take 20 on any Knowledge skill check as a standard action. He can use this ability one additional time per day for every six levels he posses beyond 7th, to a maximum of three times per day at 19th level.
Cipher Master (Ex): At 10th level, a scholar can take 10 on Linguistics skill checks made to decipher writings, even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so. Also, a 10th-level scholar qualifies for the lore master prestige class, even if he doesn't meet the normal prerequisites.
Second Field: No true scholar constrains himself to one field of study. At 11th level, the scholar gains access to the skill and 1st-level power of a second field, as though he had selected that field at 1st level. He never gains any of his second field's bonus feats, bonus studies, or higher-level powers.
Didacticism (Ex): At 13th level, the scholar can explain the mnemonic devices associated with his notes to his allies. If he hands a note to a creature and spends 1 minute explaining it, that ally can henceforth use the note as though he were the scholar who had created it. The caster level and DC of the note's effects are the same as though the scholar had used it himself, though it is the character actually using the note who determines the note's targets. Non-scholars are less adept at remembering the complex methods of the scholar's magic, however. A non-scholar retains the knowledge to use a note for a number of minutes equal to his Intelligence bonus (minimum 1 minute) before becoming unable to use the note.
Compulsive Pursuit (Ex): After many years of extensive research, the scholar has fixated on one object or entity. At 14th level, he chooses a place, person, thing, or concept related to the field he selected at 1st level, subject to the GM's discretion. Henceforth, the scholar receives a +2 bonus on skill checks relating to the focus of his compulsive research, though he receives a -2 penalty on Will saves if his focus is involved.
Third Field: At 17th level, the scholar accesses the skill and 1st-level power of a third field. As with the second field ability, the scholar never receives any other benefits from this selection.
World Librarian (Ex): At 19th level, the scholar has seen and heard everything. He doubles his bonuses from the Breadth of Experience feat.