After yesterday’s delve into the potential freedom for GMs (using the Demiplane of Dreams) it is only fitting today we look at something empowering a player with a similar sense of free and expressive play. Just out of her inkpot, LPJ Design‘s newest class offering protean scribe might just be the artistic license to fit the bill for the creatively cramped player…
Protean Scribe – What Is It?
Conceptually, the protean scribe is a storyteller putting it along side the bard, savant or thaumaturge (Kyoudai) for magically empowered weavers of legend. And like these related classes, the protean scribe is definitely fifth-wheel material. Unlike bard (a buffer fifth wheel), savant (a mimic/jack-of-all-trades with an amazing mid-play pet feature)or thaumaturge (modular mimc/jack-of-all-trades), the protean scribe doesn’t find itself focused on one or two aspect of fifth-wheel roles, but rather has the ability to be all of them. This includes debuffing but the “Censor” archetype might be more suited to a debuff focused protean scribe.
Through the use of a limited resource pool called eloquence, the protean scribe can divide its potential for magical characters and symbols in long duration writings called phrases, embellishments, or stories. Additionally they learn primal words (slightly evocative of the words of power system) that modify any two (sometimes all) of the above writing features. These points can be distributed each day as the protean scribe deems fit.
Protean Scribe – Writing Our Own Check
To really get why this class is so interesting we need to dive into its abilities and features a little deeper. Remember that the cosmic characters of this class can produce effects that last from rest period to rest period allowing it to experience solid workday power despite having limits to its eloquence feature. Here are a few specifics:
- Phrases – These conjurations are quick hostile expressions that create physical effects. So the protean scribe could write “rocks fall” and do bludgeoning damage with the phrase. This attack uses Wisdom for both attack and damage modifiers which is amazing because it makes the protean scribe Single Attribute Dependent. With a mid-range BAB and decent feat support this feature could become a focus of the character.
- Embellishments – This variable buff can EITHER add morale bonuses to attack and damage or add them to skills. Once the eloquence has empowered the writing these effects last ALL DAY. The customizable nature of this augmentation allows you to only expend resources on those who actually need them. Add in primal words and this one gets VERY interesting.
- Stories – Want to summon objects out of thin air? Creatures from nowhere? How about both? The ability to write creatures and objects into quasi-reality is where this class really pulls out the stops.
- Objects– This ability is highly useful at low levels. Forget your rope or torch adventuring? Don’t worry the scribe can write you up one. But at 4th level? Her summoned items can become magical. Aside from a few minor limitations (probably set in place to prevent spellbook or formulae abuse) the protean scribe can make temporary magical items. But don’t get too greedy or her eloquence pull will empty faster than a ripped waterskin.
- Creatures – This ability is possibly one of the most interesting features about the class. As persistent creatures, they are relatively weak. Combined with feat options and primal word effects they are possibly the most unique range of summoned creature exceeding even astral constructs in options. The limit of 1 + half your level in HD keeps them humble. They can be summoned in numbers or invested with a good amount of eloquence. In these cases they can be serious allies.
- Primal Words – This feature is fascinating! These are small alterations to the writing features that effect at least two of the other modes. For instance the primal word for Chill can add cold damage to a phrase attack, cold resistance to an embellishment or on a creature story to give it cold subtype and elemental damage to its attacks. They also can be applied more than once (careful of spending all your eloquence though!) and stack multiple effects.
- Additional features: Spell Words (a small number of free spells from any class), tattoo combat (Save penalizing power word attacks you paint ON your foe!), and multiple refinement features that improve the base writing powers of this class make it interesting 1st through 20th.
- Feat Support: The class also already has six class specific feats. While not a staggering number each of these supports a specific play-style from long-workday conservatives to pet-masters.
The protean scribe allows a player nearly unparalleled freedom to write her own story. For the player who wants to coordinate terracotta legions one day, summon shadowy cloaks of stealth the next, and then fry her foes with the flick of her brush the day after that… This might be the one for you. Check this amazing class out today!
NOTE: No one at Lost Spheres Publishing is affiliated with LPJ Design. This blog is purely based in our enthusiasm for the product.
Speaking of fascinating products, you can check out the Book of Beyond: Liminal Power available later this summer or as part of the Book of Beyond WIP subcription or see our other products at: d20pfsrd.com, drivethruRPG, paizo and RPGNow.