Jordan's Page of Useless Babble


Not all those who can call upon the divine are powerful clerics or druids. Some are simple folk, who have not yet found their place in the world. Their belief, although strong, is not centered upon a deity or ideal. Their unfocused faith is enough to provide them with a small number of spells that they can use to protect themselves and others as they find their own path in life.
    The acolyte is a base class with a twist. Accessible to any character at 1st level, it represents a more heroic version of the adept class from the Dungeon Master's Guide. Consider taking this class to represent a simple man of faith working their way towards a larger goal.
    Adventures: The acolyte sees adventuring as a way to find themselves. Their travels provide them with a larger outlook on life and expose them to a number of faiths and deities that they might not have come upon otherwise. Where an adept is content to live their lives at home and practice their beliefs quietly, an acolyte knows that there is a greater destiny awaiting them on distant shores.
    Characteristics: An acolyte is a studious and observant person. Preferring to work from the sidelines, they use a mixture of practical skills and magic to supplement their abilities, preferring to do for themselves rather than asking for assistance from another. Acolytes do not have a complete grasp of the magic used by clerics or druids, but instead have a hodge-podge of practical spells useful in many different situations. In addition, they have a knack for creating and using alchemical solutions, which later lends itself to the brewing of potions and summoning a familiar.
    Alignment: Acolytes are not beholden to any one alignment over another, and they may shift alignments over time as they find their path in life. Good acolytes use their magic to heal the sick and injured, while evil ones sow confusion and discontent. Those who follow the path of law tend to use structured rituals and rites, which while they may be partially invented, help to affirm the acolyte's faith. Chaotic acolytes are freer in their beliefs, performing what rites they feel necessary at the time.
    Religion: While many acolytes have faith, they are not firmly rooted in one particular church or beholden to a particular deity. Many acolytes praise multiple gods and seek blessings from each of them when undertaking particular tasks. More naturalistic acolytes may focus more on nature spirits and seek to call upon them for assistance. Regardless, as they adventure, their particular religious beliefs become more firmly entrenched as they gravitate towards what works best for them.
    Background: As large cities tend to have more religious institutions, acolytes are usually from small, generally isolated areas. They may have naïve outlooks, and whatever illusions they harbor about the world at large quickly become shattered as they gain more and more experience. An acolyte may be the only person from their village capable of calling upon magic, and their departure may leave an impact on their neighbors. However, the thought of finally satisfying that curious itch for faith that drives them to adventure pushes them ever onward.
    Races: All races are equally capable of producing acolytes. Races with extremely small populations, such as aasimar or tieflings only boast an acolyte in extremely rare circumstances. Although monstrous races are capable of producing adepts, only a small number of these races, such as goblins and kobolds can claim to have any acolytes among them.
    Classes: Acolytes typically get along fairly well with most classes, but prefer the company of those who are similarly interested in the divine such as clerics and druids. Rangers and paladins, although more martial in their outlooks, also get along fairly well with acolytes, as they do with monks and wizards due to their scholarly outlook. They can appreciate the need for physical violence and are glad to help heal the wounds a more martially-inclined partner, such as a barbarian or fighter may endure, but may not understand them as much. At first, they may not fully trust bards or rogues for fear of possibly being swindled, but can warm up to them fairly quickly in time. Acolytes are generally ambivalent towards sorcerers, and the feeling is generally mutual.
    Role: The acolyte is primarily a spellcaster. While they aren't as skilled in the healing arts as a cleric, and though they cannot call upon as much of nature as a druid, their spells cover a broad spectrum, and lending them a sense of versatility. They supplement their low number of spells with studies in alchemy and potion-making, helping them to achieve more with less. They are mediocre in combat, and many choose to attack from a distance to prevent themselves from becoming a primary target.

Game Rule Information
Acolytes have the following game statistics.
    Abilities: Wisdom is the most important skill for an acolyte as it provides them with their spellcasting abilities. Constitution helps to prevent an acolyte from being slaughtered, should they become the target of an enemy. Dexterity however helps the acolyte avoid blows that could otherwise injure them. Acolytes who are more academic than their peers prefer a higher Intelligence score as it assists them in crafting alchemical weapons and fuels many of their class skills.
    Alignment: Any.
    Hit Die: d6.
    Starting Age: As fighter.
    Starting Gold: 3d4 x 10.

Class Skills
The acolyte's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Survival (Wis). See Chapter 4: Skills in the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.
    Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the acolyte.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An acolyte is proficient with all simple weapons. They are also proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
    Spellcasting: Acolytes cast divine spells which are drawn from the adept spell list (see page 108 of the Dungeon Master's Guide). The acolyte's alignment may restrict them from casting spells opposed to their alignment, as a cleric.
    To prepare or cast a spell, an acolyte must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level (Wis 10 for 0-level spells, Wis 11 for 1st-level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an acolyte's spell is 10 + the spell level + the acolyte's Wisdom modifier.
    Like other spellcasters, an acolyte can only cast a certain number of spells of each level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table 1-01: The Acolyte. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score (see
Table 1-1: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells in the Player's Handbook).
    Acolytes meditate or pray for their spells, spending an hour in prayer or meditation each day to regain their daily allotment of spells. The time of day spent preparing their spells varies from acolyte to acolyte, but good acolytes typically prepare them at dawn while evil acolytes usually choose dusk. An acolyte must choose which spells to prepare during their daily meditation. Each acolyte must use a particular holy symbol that they use as a divine focus when casting their spells. The particular symbol varies between acolytes; it may be the holy symbol of a deity, a personal memento or even a sprig of mistletoe or other sacred plant.
    Student of Alchemy (Ex): Without access to the wide range of divine magic that clerics and druids enjoy, acolytes turn their skills towards alchemy. They receive a +2 bonus to Craft (alchemy) checks and a +1 bonus to damage made with splash weapons (including splash damage). This bonus stacks with other bonuses on damage rolls.
    Summon Familiar: Beginning at 2nd level, an acolyte can perform a ritual to summon a familiar, just as a sorcerer or wizard can. See the sorcerer description and accompanying Familiars sidebar starting on page 52 of the Player's Handbook for more information.
    Brew Potion (Ex): By 3rd level, the acolyte further learns how to supplement their meager magical skills with their alchemical abilities. They gain Brew Potion as a bonus feat.

Table 1-01: The Acolyte
Base Attack Fort Ref Will
Spells per Day
Level Bonus Save Save Save Special 0 1st 2nd
1st +0
Student of alchemy 3 1 -
2nd +1
Summon familiar 4 2 -
3rd +2
Brew Potion 4 2 1

Graduated Acolytes
Acolytes possess meager spellcasting abilities as a result of their strong beliefs. Those acolytes who continue as divine spellcasters can use their experience to strengthen their casting abilities.
    An acolyte who later takes levels in a class that provides divine spellcasting may permanently give-up their ability to cast spells as an acolyte to give themselves new spells per day (and spells known if applicable) as if she had also gained levels in that class that provides divine spellcasting equal to her acolyte class level. For example, a 3rd level acolyte who takes a level of cleric at 4th level can elect to permanently lose the ability to cast spells as an acolyte to instead cast spells per day as a 4th level cleric.
    An acolyte who chooses to give up their spellcasting in order to improve the divine spellcasting of another class, may add two spells from the adept spell list per spell level to their new divine spell list (and only to that one spell list) as follows:

Table 1-02: Adept Spells Known
Acolyte Adept Spells Added
Level 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st 2 2 - - - -
2nd 2 2 2 2 - -
3rd 2 2 2 2 2 2

    The acolyte may only choose to add adept spells to their new spell list if they do not already exist there. For example, a 2nd level acolyte who takes a level in cleric and gives up their acolyte spellcasting may add lightning bolt to her cleric spell list as a 3rd-level spell, but may not select neutralize poison as it already appears on the cleric spell list.
    The acolyte may select a lower-level spell to add to their spell list in place of a higher-level spell. For example, a 2nd level acolyte who has chosen lightning bolt as one of their 3rd-level selections may choose a 2nd-level adept spell in place of their other 3rd-level selection.
    If the acolyte chooses to not give up their spellcasting ability, and later takes levels in a class that provides them with a additional spells per day as if they had taken a level in class that provides spellcasting (such as a prestige class), they may choose to apply these bonus spells per day as if they had taken an effective level of
acolyte (see Table 1-03: Advanced Acolyte Spell Progression).

Table 1-03: Advanced Acolyte Spell Progression
Effective Adept Spells Added
Acolyte Level 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
4th 5 3 2 - - -
5th 5 3 2 1 - -
6th 5 3 3 2 - -
7th 6 4 3 2 1 -
8th 6 4 3 3 2 -
9th 6 4 4 3 2 1
10th 6 4 4 3 3 2
11th 6 5 4 4 3 2
12th 6 5 4 4 3 3
13th 6 5 5 4 4 3
14th 6 5 5 4 4 3
15th 6 5 5 5 4 4
16th 6 5 5 5 4 4
17th 6 5 5 5 5 4
18th 6 5 5 5 5 4
19th 6 5 5 5 5 5
20th 6 5 5 5 5 5

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