Scholar & Magus, Revised Early Drafts

Well met bookworms & spellswords alike!

This is a very special update today at the Sterling Vermin Adventuring Co. because it marks the beginning of the next base class we will begin working on. In the last couple months we revealed our early drafts of the Scholar and the Magus. Today we show off our new and revised early drafts of those classes AND open up the polls for our Patreon backers to begin voting on which class will get the full class treatment in the coming months.

Feedback on our early draft of the Scholar indicated that people didn’t feel it was Scholar-ly enough. People wanted less armor and weapon proficiencies and no extra attack. I thought those were really great suggestions and their inclusion in the first place was mostly a shortcut to keep them on the same level as other classes. Taking them out pushed me to come up with new features like Reasoned Defense and Intelligence Assault which are much more thematically appropriate. You can find the revised early draft of the Scholar below.

the Scholar, Early Draft Revised

Feedback on the early draft of the Magus wasn’t as clear cut but there were multiple issues with the damage output of that mostly revolved around some very poor mistakes I made with the previously named Martial Magic Style. In the revised early draft of the Magus I honed in on enspell and aegis as the defining feature of the Magus and tried to bring those to the fore. Future versions of the Magus may see some more refinement of the specifics of enspell and aegis but I think those have solidified well as the core play mechanic of the class. You can find the revised early draft of the Magus below.

the Magus, Early Draft Revised

Finally, one last reminder that if you’re excited about the Scholar or the Magus (or you just want to support the Sterling Vermin) you can pledge to our Patreon campaign for $5 to get to vote on which one we develop into a full class. At $5 you also get access to every monthly backer exclusive we’ve done so far (6 so far), including access to the backer exclusive podcast prequel that we’re working on releasing any day now!

Sterling Vermin Adventuring Co. on Patreon

6 thoughts on “Scholar & Magus, Revised Early Drafts

  1. Very nice revamp of the Scholar! I approve!

    One question, though. RAW, can the Scholar’s Reasoned Defense and Unarmored defense stack, making the combined effect be “While not wearing any armor, your AC equals 10+ twice your intelligence modifier?” If so, that seems a little bit too powerful. If not, it would be nice if that was made more clear.

    Keep up the good work!

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    1. This question was resolved in a Sage Advice column (or maybe a tweet?) buy you can only ever use one AC formula at a time. Multiple Unarmored Defenses do not add more and more ability scores to your AC you have to choose just one. Here you can gain the benefit of Reasoned Defense or Unarmored Defense but not both.

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  2. So my question now is, what’s the point of Reasoned Defense when at level two you can get the unarmored defense. It seems reasoned defense is really only good till level 2 when you can grab the better option of unarmored defense. Also the way reasoned defense is currently phrased you would be able to get the benefit of both reasoned defense and unarmored defense since unarmored defense sets your AC while reasoned defense just replaces an ability score, similar to how a monk Bladesinger can use the monk unarmored defense and then gain the intelligence modifier to AC while bladesinging.

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  3. At level 2 if you are proficient in Acrobatics and your Dexterity is higher than +2, you can choose to take Unarmored Defense. For a Scholar who goes for a strength build (some tacticians will do this) that won’t be a very appealing. It’s also an opportunity cost to a lot of other options that are fun for the scholar.

    As per Sage Advice, you can only ever use one feature or ability that modifies your AC at a time so you would only ever be able to benefit from Reasoned Defense or Unarmored Defense but never mix the two.

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    1. I understand the intent behind reasoned defense but its phrasing seems a bit weird, and that’s mostly due to this being a feature that has not been tried in 5e, the whole replacing one ability for another, I know your aim is to make it a separate way of calculating AC but right now all it looks like is you are replacing your Dex with Int when calculating your AC rather than it being its own thing. Just seems fuzzy to me.

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