To Medieval Classes


Burgundian scribe (portrait of Jean Miélot, secretary, copyist and translator to Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy, from a copy of his compilation of the Miracles de Notre Dame NOTE: NOT IN FACT A MONK AT ALL, NOR PROBABLY A SCRIPTORIUM!, though a canon of Lille Cathedral.), 15th century. The picture is greatly detailed in its rendering of the room's furnishings, the writer's materials, equipment, and activity.

Burgundian scribe (portrait of Jean Miélot, secretary, copyist and translator to Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy, from a copy of his compilation of the Miracles de Notre Dame NOTE: NOT IN FACT A MONK AT ALL, NOR PROBABLY A SCRIPTORIUM!, though a canon of Lille Cathedral.), 15th century. The picture is greatly detailed in its rendering of the room's furnishings, the writer's materials, equipment, and activity.

Ink and Quill

Author Thomas Knauss
Series Dragonwing Games/Bastion Press
Publisher DWBP
Publish date 2002
Pages 65
ISBN none
OGL Section 15 i-q
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The material below is designated as Open Game Content

The recordation of history’s greatest events and most profound ideas fall into the capable hand of the scribe. They preserve civilization’s greatest texts, ensuring their Survival for future generations. Blessed with a sharp mind and steady hand, they painstakingly transcribe voluminous quantities of scrolls, books and tomes, preserving centuries of written knowledge and heritage. In addition, the scribe’s ability to translate written works into numerous languages enables thoughts to cross linguistic and racial barriers previously considered insurmountable.

Well educated and highly disciplined, scribes spent countless hours honing their craft, meticulously copying and translating prosaic and poetic verses while maintaining legibility. Often abandoned by their parents or orphaned, many fledgling scribes begin their Profession as young children after being adopted by a local church, monastery or university. Although initially resistant to the task, many eventually adapt to the demanding and usually cloistered lifestyle. During their apprenticeship as scribes, pupils receive a broad educational foundation concentrating in grammar and linguistics with some exposure to mathematics as well as social and physical sciences. When they reach adulthood, a large percentage of scribes enter the priesthood or monasticism.

Naturally, the scribe’s scholastic background and duties expose her to a vast wealth of information unseen by the general public. Furthermore, her translation and recordation skills make her an integral component to any diplomatic mission, allowing her nearly limitless access to classified documents. The most ambitious and talented scribes parlay their diverse abilities into a high level advisory position or an ambassadorship.

Yet, despite their inherent Intelligence and rigorous work ethic, scribes rarely write original works. Speculation abounds as to the reasons for this curious phenomenon, but the fact remains that only a privileged few dare to undertake such a daunting task.

clerics and monks comprise more than threequarters of the scribe population, with the Balance consisting of a smattering of bards and wizards. sorcerers rarely possess the innate discipline to adhere to the scribe’s regimented lifestyle. Their class usually depends on their childhood; children raised in churches were ordained as clerics, those reared in monasteries became monks and wards of the universities followed the path to arcane magic. Despite their sequestered upbringing, a growing number of scribes venture from their secluded existence in search of knowledge and adventure.

Hit Die: d6.


To qualify to become a scribe, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Race: Any humanoid
Concentration : 4 ranks
Diplomacy: 4 ranks
Knowledge: A total of seven ranks in any discipline.
Profession (scribe): 7 ranks
Feats: Endurance
Alignment: Any non-chaotic
Other: The character must be literate in at least five different languages.

Class Skills

The scribe’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Alchemy (Intelligence), Concentration (Constitution), Decipher Script (Intelligence), Diplomacy (Charisma), Forgery (Intelligence), Gather Information (Charisma), Knowledge (any) (Intelligence), Listen (Wisdom), Profession (scribe) (Wisdom), Search (Wisdom), Speak Language</a> and Spellcraft (Intelligence).

Skill points at each level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Base Attack Bonus Fort. Ref. Will Special
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Scribe Scroll, Spells
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Quest for Knowledge
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Faint Recollection
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Word Traps
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Inner Discipline
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Poison Page
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Identify Written Works
8th +6 +6 +2 +6 Diplomatic Credentials
9th +6 +6 +3 +6 Improved Memory
10th +7 +7 +3 +7 legend lore

Class Abilities

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Scribes are proficient with all simple weapons, light and medium armor and shields.

Scribe Scroll: At 1st level, scribes receive this feat at no additional cost. She may inscribe any spell that she can cast with this feat, whether it is a scribe spell or a spell acquired from another source.

Spells: Scribes possess a limited ability to cast an eclectic collection of arcane and divine spells based upon her class level. Scribes may prepare and cast any spell on the scribe spell list provided that she is of sufficient level to cast the spell. Scribes meditate for their spells on a daily basis, spending one hour per day in secluded contemplation. To cast a spell, the scribe must have a Wisdom score no less than 10 + the spell’s level. Their bonus spells are based upon Wisdom, and the difficulty class for a saving throw against a scribe’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the scribe’s Wisdom modifier. The scribe’s daily allotment of
spells appears below, followed by their spell list.

Scribe Spell List

Scribes choose their spells from the following list:

1st level-comprehend languages, detect secret doors, erase, identify, message, ventriloquism

2nd level-Illusory Script, magic mouth, secret page, tongues, whispering wind

3rd level—explosive runes, glyph of warding, sending, sepia snake sigil

4th level-Analyze Dweomer, dream, nightmare

Spells per Day
Scribe Level 1 2 3 4
1st 0
2nd 1
3rd 1 0
4th 1 0
5th 1 1 0
6th 1 1 1
7th 2 1 1 0
8th 2 1 1 1
9th 2 2 1 1
10th 2 2 2 1

Quest for Knowledge (Ex): Whenever a scribe makes a Knowledge skill check in a trained field of study, the scribe rolls two d20’s, accepting the higher result. This ability reflects the scribe’s vast Knowledge and is usable an unlimited number of times per day.

Faint Recollection (Su): Usable once per day, faint recollection allows the scribe to add her scribe level and Wisdom modifier to any Knowledge check providing that she has at least one rank in the specified field. She must declare that she is using this ability prior to rolling her skill check. This ability works in unison with Quest for Knowledge, i.e. she adds the modifier to the higher of the two die rolls.

Word Traps (Su): A scribe can find traps involving writing as if she were a rogue. The ability affects any trap triggered by the reading or speaking of any written word, or where a written word is inherent to the trap’s functioning. This includes spells such as explosive runes and glyph of warding. There are no limitations on its daily usage.

Inner Discipline (Su): Accustomed to a harsh and highly regimented lifestyle, scribes actively resist any efforts to deviate from their set patterns. The scribe’s tolerance against cold, heat and suffocation doubles. For example, a normal human exposed to extreme cold must make a Fortitude save every ten minutes or sustain 1d6 points of subdual damage. The scribe rolls his Fortitude save once every twenty minutes, although she suffers the same amount of damage on a failed saving throw. Inner Discipline remains in effect constantly.

Poison Page (Ex): Although not adept with the usage of poison in combat, scribes are well versed in poisoning written material. One dose of poison is sufficient to coat an 8 ½ by 11 inch sheet of paper. Any contact or injestible poison described in the SRD can be used for this purpose, but her expertise in the application of the poison negates any chance of accidentally poisoning herself. There are no limitations on the usage of this ability other than its material costs.

Diplomatic Credentials (Ex): Throughout their career, scribes interact with a host of political and military officials, acquiring access to secret information as well as influential contacts within the government. Whenever a scribe attempts a Gather Information check involving any information possessed by the local government, she receives a circumstance bonus equal to her scribe level. For instance, if the scribe sought information about a known thieves guild operating within the city, the scribe would receive her bonus because the government possesses knowledge about the criminal enterprise. However, the bonus does not apply if she wanted information outside of the government’s sphere of influence, such as the background of a wizard dwelling in the wilderness or the monstrous inhabitants of a nearby mountain chain. The scribe may use this ability a number of times per day equal to her Charisma modifier. If she has no Charisma modifier, she can use this ability but once per week.

Identify Written Works (Su): Because of their exposure to countless books, scribes possess the ability to identify the general function of any magical written work. In order to ascertain the item’s abilities, the scribe rolls a d20 adding her scribe level and Wisdom modifier. Any modified result exceeding 25 accurately determines its general function. This ability can be used a numberof times per day equal to the scribe’s level.

Improved Memory (Su): Years of repetitive transcription substantially increase the scribe’s mnemonic capacity, allowing her to recall a number of spell levels per day equal to her Intelligence modifier. Improved Memory applies only to scribe and arcane spells, not divine spells acquired by a cleric, druid, paladin or ranger. Furthermore, she can only recall spells previously cast during the course of the day.

legend lore (Su): Once per day, the scribe can cast legend lore as if she were a cleric of the same level. The ability is subject to all of the spell’s limitations including casting time.


While some of the prestige classes rely exclusively on their creativity for income, several others work for another entity. This class receives their income on a monthly basis according to the following formulas.

Church employee: (Scribe level x Constitution modifier) x 2
Monastery employee: (Scribe level x Constitution modifier) + Wisdom modifier
Other: (Scribe level x Constitution modifier) x3


To Medieval Classes

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