View Full Version : Seeker of Knowledge [3.5 Base class PEACH]

2011-09-16, 04:33 AM
The Seeker of Knowledge

Alignment: Any

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|AC Bonus

1st|+0|+0|+0|+2| Tactical Genius, Trapfinding|+0
2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3| Studied Attack, Intelligent Personality|+0
3rd|+2|+1|+1|+3| Magical Insight|+0
4th|+3|+1|+1|+4| Language Mastery, Uncanny Dodge, Tactical Genius|+0
5th|+3|+1|+1|+4| Knowledge Mastery, Heightened Awareness|+1
6th|+4|+2|+2|+5| Augury, Knowledge Mastery, Language Mastery|+1
7th|+5|+2|+2|+5| Master of the Craft|+1
8th|+6|+2|+2|+6| Improved Uncanny Dodge, Tactical Genius, Language Mastery|+1
9th|+6|+3|+3|+6| |+1
10th|+7|+3|+3|+7|| +2
12th|+9|+4|+4|+8| Legend Lore, Language Mastery, Tactical Genius|+2
13th|+9|+4|+4|+8| |+2
14th|+10|+4|+4|+9| |+2
15th|+11|+5|+5|+9| Moment of Prescience|+3
16th|+12|+5|+5|+10|Tactical Genius|+3
18th|+13|+6|+6|+11| |+3
20th|+15|+6|+6|+12| Foresight|+4


Hit Die: d6

Class Skills:
Class Skills: Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis) Knowledge (All, taken separately) (Int), Listen (Wis), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (none), Spellcraft (Int) and Spot (Wis).

Skill Points at Each Level: 8 + Int modifier

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

The seeker is proficient with all simple weapons, and with light shields.

AC Bonus (Ex)

When unarmored and unencumbered, the Seeker adds her Intelligence bonus (if any) to her AC. In addition, a seeker gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five seeker levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).

This bonus to AC applies even against touch attacks or when the seeker is flat-footed. She loses this bonus when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

Tactical Genius (Ex)

The Seeker is excellent at analyzing his enemy’s weak points and pointing them out to his allies. By making a knowledge check (using the appropriate knowledge skill for the creature’s type), DC 15, the seeker and all allies who can see and hear him gain a +1 circumstance bonus on attack rolls and damage against creatures of that type until the end of the encounter. For every 5 points his check exceeds the DC by, the seeker and all allies gain an additional +1 bonus (+2 at DC 20, +3 at DC 25, etc). The seeker must be trained in the appropriate knowledge skill to use this ability.

At 4th level, the seeker may instead use this ability to grant an insight bonus on saves versus effects created by creatures of the appropriate type.

At 8th level, the seeker may instead use this ability to grant an insight bonus to AC against creatures of the appropriate type.

At 12th level, the seeker may use this ability to grant a bonus to any two of the three: Attack and damage, saves, or AC. Doing so raises the base DC to 20.

At 16th level, the seeker may use this ability to grant a bonus to all attributes (Attack, Damage, Saves, and AC). Doing so raises the Base DC to 25.


Seekers can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20.

Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

Seekers can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

A Seeker who beats a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with her party) without disarming it.

Studied Attack (Ex)

The Seeker is particularly effective against foes he has studied. By spending a standard action studying an opponent, the Seeker gains a +1 insight bonus to hit and damage. This bonus increases by 1 per 3 levels of the Seeker above 2nd (+2 at 5th, +3 at 8th, +4 at 11th, +5 at 14th, +6 at 17th, and +7 at 20th). The Seeker may only study one opponent at a time, and switching opponents takes another standard action. This bonus stacks with Tactical Genius.

Intelligent Personality (Ex)

At 2nd lvl, The Seeker may add ½ his intelligence modifier (rounded down) to any Charisma-based skill check.

Magical Insight (Su)

Starting at third lvl, the seeker may emulate many lower level arcane and divine abilities. By studying a piece of magical text for 1 hour, and making a DC 20 Knowledge (Arcana) check, the seeker may read the text as with the Read Magic spell (a decipher script check may still be necessary to understand its contents).

By spending 1 hour with a magical item and making a DC 25 Knowledge (Arcana) check, a seeker may gain some insight into its use. If the seeker’s check beats the DC by 5 points or more, the seeker gains full knowledge of the item’s abilities, as through Identify.

Additionally, by spending a full round action, a seeker can discern his allies location and health as the status spell. This ability is limited to a number of allies equal to the seeker's intelligence modifier and cannot be used for allies the seeker does not have line of effect to.

Language Mastery (Ex)

The Seeker is a master of languages. At 4th level, the Seeker may spend time studying a language he doesn’t know, that is being spoken. After 20 minutes of study, the Seeker can understand the language being spoken. After 1 day of study, the Seeker can speak it. This ability lasts only as long as the Seeker is with others who speak the language. If the Seeker goes 1 week without hearing the language, he loses all ability to understand it.

At 6th level, the Seeker may do the same with written language – taking 1 hour of study to understand the language and 1d4 days of study to write the language. However, the Seeker must know another language that uses the same alphabet as the language being studied. Through use of the Decipher Script skill, the Seeker may cut the required time in half by making a DC 25 check.

At 8th level, if a Seeker spends a week or more speaking and reading a language, he may add it to his list of languages known.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

At 4th level, a seeker retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a seeker already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

Knowledge Mastery (Ex)

At 5th level, the Seeker gains an inherent bonus to all knowledge skills she is trained in. This bonus is equal to half her Seeker level, rounded down.

Heightened Awareness

Starting at 5th level, a seeker is able to more accurately determine what is real and what is not. The seeker gains a +4 bonus on will saves versus illusion to disbelieve them, and a +4 bonus on sense motive checks made to resist a bluff.

Augury (Sp)

The Seeker’s insight is uncanny, and so he is able to accurately predict which course of action is best. Starting at 6th level, by spending one minute at study and thought, the Seeker may determine the result of a course of action as per the Augury spell with caster level equal to his class level. He may do this only once per day.

Master of the Craft

At 7th level, The seeker who has invested enough effort into a certain skill becomes an expert in its use. Any seeker who has at least 10 ranks in a skill gains a +2 competence bonus to that skill. Also, when making a skill check in a skill the seeker has at least 10 ranks in, the seeker may roll twice, taking the higher result.

Additionally, Seekers with at least 10 ranks in a skill may gain additional benefits depending on the skill:

Bluff: When making a bluff check to deliver a secret message, the seeker adds his class level to the check. Also, the seeker may feint in combat as a free action.

Craft: On a successful craft check, a seeker may multiply their result by 1.5 for purposes of determining progress made.

Disable Device: A seeker who fails his disable device check by 5 or more does not cause it to go off. The seeker is able to study the trap well enough that he can avoid the triggering mechanism.

Forgery: A seeker may add his Tactical Genius bonus to his forgery check.

Heal: Any living creature under the seeker's care regains hit points at twice the normal rate. Additionally, a seeker may use a heal check to stop poison (DC 20), restore ability damage (DC 25) and even remove curses (DC 30).

Search: A seeker may make a search check as a move action. Additionally, when they take 20 on a search check, they do so at twice the normal speed.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

At 8th level and higher, a seeker can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the seeker by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has seeker levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

Legend Lore (Sp)

Starting at lvl 12, the Seeker is able to learn information about legendary persons and items through lengthy study. This ability mimics the spell Legend Lore at caster level equal to his class level, but the times required are halved, and it has no xp cost. A seeker can use this ability once per week.

Moment of Prescience (Sp)

Starting at 15th lvl, the Seeker may spend a move action to grant himself a Moment of Prescience (as the spell) with a caster level equal to his class level. He may use this ability three times per day.

Foresight (Su)

At lvl 20, the Seeker’s ability to infer the future becomes legendary. He is treated as having the Foresight spell cast on him at all times, with Caster lvl 20. If this effect is dispelled, it returns in 1d4 rounds.

Still working on it, apparently.

2011-09-16, 05:26 AM
I love the idea of this class. Who decided all of the scholars in the world needed to study magic? There's gotta be at least a few bookworms out there that just don't have the knack for it.

The class seems pretty well put-together, though maybe a bit on the weak side. Off the top of my head, I'd say it could use an ability like bardic knowledge. These guys seem like trivia experts to me. If you want to go further down the "uncanny insight" path, you could add in some bonuses against illusions or enchantments or bluffs, maybe even a bonus to initiative.

I don't know what Knowledge Devotion does, but your text implies it adds an attack bonus against creatures that you have ranks in Knowledge about? You might be able to expand on this and grant certain feats or skills against these creatures in later levels (like Evasion or Uncanny Dodge or Improved Feint), or even do something similar to a ranger's favored enemy ability.

Anyway, the class looks pretty good so far, these are all just random suggestions from someone who is up way too early in the morning, so take with a grain of salt :smallsmile:

2011-09-17, 01:28 AM
I was going to wait until other people commented on it to make any changes, but it seems that no one else felt so inclined.

Personally, I think I'd like to playtest it a bit before making changes - it has some pretty good reoleplaying utility. However, I am always open to advice.

Dumbledore lives
2011-09-17, 01:39 AM
It looks like an alright class, with a different niche than factotum, though still a bit too similar. I'd suggest adding some more knowledge features or something, for examples maybe look at the Factotum and the Archivists dark knowledge class feature. As a final aside I'd say to give it 3/4 BAB, even if it doesn't make that much sense fluffwise, because knowledge devotion can only go so far.

Don't be afraid to add a bunch of abilities because as of right now it's pretty weak.

2011-09-17, 02:23 AM
Prefacing note: Have you seen the Archivist (in Heroes of Horror)? I'd check out the Dark Knowledge class feature there if you haven't, which seems well-suited to this.

I'd also probably give the Seeker 3/4 BAB, because they don't get many combat options from their class features other than Knowledge Devotion, and they need to be able to utilize that one better.

Bonus Feats

Literally every single one of those feats except maybe Improved Trip is either completely and totally worthless (the skill ones) or mediocre. Even Improved Trip is only useful you're focusing on that.

Unless you meant their bonus feats to really not be all that useful, it needs a better list.

Studied Attack (Ex)

Eh. Why not just flat-out swapping Intelligence for the relevant score, possibly with Int to damage coming later? Eating a full-round action at the start of every combat (which usually take 3-5 rounds) and then needing another one to switch targets means this won't see a lot of play or be very useful.

Knowledge Mastery (Ex)

I would personally spread this out a bit, adding the +1 increments in there. KM +1 at level 1, KM +2 at 3rd level, KM +3 at level 5 or 6, and so on.

Language Mastery (Ex)

While cool (I mean this seriously), this is also pretty worthless, especially as the Wizard is picking up tongues next level. I would vastly reduce the duration, maybe to something like (20-character level) minutes to gain functional fluency in a language.

Also, the ability to understand a language pretty much means you can speak it, even if you can't speak it well. I can't understand why you need the extra 1d4 days (which is a bit of unnecessary rolling there) to speak it.


I think you mean Alertness (Awareness isn't a feat anywhere in D&D), but I really hope you didn't. Physical violence would result if my DM tried to give me Alertness as a class feature.

Seriously, the "+2 to two skills" are some of the most horrible in the entire game.

Augury (Ex)

Augury is mostly useful for more immediate decisions. Needing thirty minutes kind of ruins that. Just use the standard 1 minute. I'd also add more uses as you go up in-level (possibly decreasing the time needed, as well) to make it scale.

Legend Lore (Ex)

I'm sorry, but I physically shuddered when I saw the words "once per month".

Also, the spell Legend Lore is using magical divination to find the legends, whereas the Seeker is presumably just remembering things he already knows. I'd just always give the Seeker the 1d4*10 minutes casting time, and make it usable once per day.

Moment of Prescience (Ex)

Why is this a full-round action? Make it the usual standard action, or hell, even a move or swift action. Just because you're not a caster doesn't mean you should suck harder than casters at limited subsets of their casting ability.

I'd also personally do 1/encounter, but that's more of a preference.

Summary: Basically, just kind of weak as it is. It can skillmonkey well (knowledge-ape in particular), but the class features are kind of weak. Besides beefing up what's already there, I'd also add some more stuff.

2011-09-17, 02:36 AM
Apparently, the "Granted Knowledge" ability could be given at first level and still be balanced, based on the Archivist.

Despite the cool-ness of Dark Knowledge, I still prefer the knowledge devotion - although I might upgrade it based on what I've seen. Gimme about half an hour to revamp a bit

Some ideas for class features that the seeker should get:

Uncanny Dodge
Bonus VS illusion - incremental?
Bonus to Sense Motive
Bonus to damage from Studied attack - make it an incremental bonus rather than intelligence bonus. Also, just a move action to study.
Give more "Divination" style bonuses - make them dependent on Knowledge rolls. (Make them shorter to use? I guess that makes sense)
Give full Monk AC bonus - including incremental untyped bonus to AC.
Grant a "Bardic Knowledge" like ability - but reliant on intuition and inductive reasoning rather than bits of knowledge gained from stories.

Ok, editing time. :p

2011-09-17, 03:49 AM
Editing done.

2011-09-27, 02:02 AM
So any additional thoughts? Tier level for a class like this?

2011-09-27, 02:25 AM
Augury is definitely not an extraordinary ability. It's a spell-like. (Sp). Also, using knowledge to replicate a spell that is basically a cleric praying for divine guidance really irks me. Augury is one of the few cleric spells, along with commune that reminds everyone at the table, "Oh hey, this guy isn't a wizard, he's actually got a real connection with a higher power who is willing to help him out". And here, you're saying that someone could replicate that ability just by spending years being a bookworm. It rubs me the wrong way, fluff-wise.

Studied Attack is an insight bonus. I know you purposefully changed it to untyped so it would stack with Tactical Genius, and I don't have a problem with that crunch-wise, but it's definitely an insight bonus the way you described it. It's the definition of an insight bonus.

Heightened Awareness should specify that you get a +4 bonus on saving throws with the description "WillDisbelief", as those are the only illusion saves related to knowing that something is real or not.

For example, the spell phantasmal killer allows two saves, a WillDisbelief save, which involves the phantom approaching the target and allowing him to interact with it. Here, knowing that it wasn't real would help you save. Then, if you failed that save, you would have a Fortitude save-or-die. This is from the spell actually affecting you, and has nothing to do with how real the phantom was. Knowledge wouldn't save you here.

Legend Lore and Moment of Prescience are both (Sp) as well, and both of them need caster levels.

Foresight is a supernatural ability that needs a caster level for dispel purposes.

Class looks fine otherwise. I'd say tier 5, as it's got its niche but it's not good at doing much other than divination, and still pales in comparison to an actual diviner.

2011-09-27, 03:53 AM
Points well taken - I have added caster levels and changed the ability/bonus types. I think I might just specify that Studied attack and Tactical genius stack, despite both being insight bonuses.

As for Augury, I wanted to have an ability that shows he's able to take in everything around him and determine the best course of action. I understand your reason for not liking it here, but I don't really know what to do to keep what I want without stepping on toes.

Finally, I was shooting for tier 3 on this guy. I think he has some pretty great combat utility (bard-like buffing bonuses), as well as plenty of skill points to help him outside of combat. Plus, he can be effective against any type of enemy. Even if he isn't the one doing the damage, his presence alone is enough to help everyone else out. What else should I add to make him closer to Tier 3?

Andion Isurand
2011-09-27, 05:34 AM
I would give this class... Handle Animal, Psicraft, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device and Use Psionic Device as class skills despite their not having any spellcasting or manifesting ability.

I would also allow Tactical Genius an option that allows the Seeker to boost their skills when they are being used against the given creature type, in the same way Rangers get skill bonuses against their favored enemies.

2011-09-27, 09:23 AM
You've got some really intriguing ideas built into this. I really like where you're going with it.

Textual Corrections:
Augury text doesn't state the level at which the ability is gained (6th).
Weapon and Armor proficiencies are missing. Even if the class isn't proficient with anything, you should say so. I recommend proficiency with simple weapons, light armor, and shields, as anyone who studies monster-killing needs to understand basic self-protection before they have any business getting anywhere near said monsters. I'd therefore also recommend extending the AC bonus to work in light armor and with shields.

Balance Improvements:

I'd recommend a d8 hit die. The only reason wizards and sorcerers can get away with a d4 is because they use their godly magic to ensure that they rarely get hit. The seeker has no such protection, can't even hide, and it's likely that his AC will be poor. He's going to get hit a lot.
I agree with the general chorus of calls for a Medium base attack progression. The only reason sorcerers and wizards can get away with a poor progression is because they have dozens of excellent spells to cast every day. The seeker needs something to do with his standard action, and stabbing someone with a pointy stick makes a nice default option.
As was mentioned, you do need better bonus feats. I'm really shameless, so I'll recommend some of mine (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=11090621).
While I agree that Studied Insight and Tactical Genius should stack, and that Studied Insight is clearly an insight bonus, it's kind of clunky to be stacking two bonuses that, by default, shouldn't stack because of their descriptors. Might I suggest changing Tactical Genius to a circumstance bonus? There's precedent for it in the aura effects of the marshal class, and circumstance bonuses stack with everything except similar circumstances.

Getting to Tier 3:
You've got your work cut out for you. The defining characteristic of Tier 3 classes is that they don't just get new features as they advance in level -- they get whole menus of new abilities, more than they could possibly ever use in a day, and they have some mechanism for switching or choosing amongst these many options. Without gaining menus of new options every time you level up, you aren't ever going to move above Tier 4. Do you have Tome of Battle? If so, I'd suggest White Raven maneuvers as a starting point.
I'd suggest, at various appropriate points in the build:
Instant Genius: the ability to add a new class skill of your choice, along with bonus skill points to be immediately allocated to that skill.
Skill Mastery: As the rogue class feature
Like a Boss: You are somehow really awesome when using Aid Another
Stroke of Genius: Ask a question, get an answer. Like the commune or contact other plane spell.
Speak Authoritatively: See my link above for how awesome this is. Get extra uses per game session based on class level. Or be the only class in the game to get any uses at all, if you don't feel like implementing it for everyone.
I'm On A Boat: A cross between Instant Genius and Language Mastery, gain temporary ranks in a niche skill (such as Profession: saillor) by watching others use the skill.
Stick The Pointy End Into The Other Man: Same as above, except you're getting temporary feats instead of temporary skills.