The Wandering Sage

The Wandering Sage is a first-level sample character for Champions of the Spheres, suitable for use as a PC or as an NPC. Information on its build rules, and how to adjust for different rules, is included below. This character was created by the community.

The Wandering Sage
Male Halfling Sage 1
NG Small Humanoid(Halfling)
Init +3; Senses Perception +5


AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 14 [+3 Dex, +3 Wis, +1 Size]
hp 8 (1 HD; 1d6+2)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +6


Speed 20 ft.
Melee Unarmed Strike +0 (1d2-1/x2), or
. Quarterstaff +0 (1d4-1/x2)
Ranged Sling +4 (1d3-1/x2, 50ft)
Special Attacks Chi Gong +0 touch (1d6/x2)


Str 8, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 12
Base Atk +0; CMB -2; CMD 14
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Unarmed Strike(b)
Traits Affable, Devoted Healer
Skills Acrobatics +9, Climb +1, Diplomacy +5, Heal +7, Knowledge(local) +4, Perception +5, Stealth +7
Languages Common, Halfling
SQ alchemy sphere(formulae), alchemy: improved sneezing powder (formulae), chi gong (1d6), combat training, equipment: staff mastery, esoteric training (Infuser), ki pool (4 points), martial tradition: daring scholar, meditation (1 die), style talent, scout sphere, scout: identify rhythms,
Other Gear 150gp

Special Abilities

AC Bonus (Ex) When unarmored and unencumbered, the sage adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD. In addition, a sage gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four sage levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the sage is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

Alchemy Sphere (Ex) When you gain the Alchemy sphere, you gain 5 ranks in the Craft (alchemy) skill, plus 5 ranks per additional talent spent in the Alchemy sphere (maximum ranks equal to your total Hit Dice). If you already have ranks in the Craft (alchemy) skill you may immediately retrain them, but you do not get to retrain when only temporarily gaining talents, such as through the armiger’s customized weapons class feature.

Alchemy: Formulae Package (Ex) Some Alchemy talents have the (formulae) descriptor; these are improved or original versions of alchemical items you can only create once you’ve learned the talent. All formulae have a base crafting DC as noted in their descriptor, and their saving throw DCs, if any, are determined using the normal formula for combat sphere talents, using the practitioner’s ranks in Craft (alchemy) in place of their base attack bonus. The necessary ingredients for creating formulae are gathered over the course of a given day; there is no monetary cost to creating a formulae. You may craft any item whose formulae you know in 30 minutes, or 15 minutes if you have access to an alchemist’s lab or alchemist’s crafting kit, but due to the volatile nature of the enhanced formulae you cannot prepare more formulae at one time than a number equal to 1/2 your ranks in Craft (alchemy) (minimum 1) + the number of formulae talents you possess. For every 4 ranks in Craft (alchemy) you possess, you may craft 1 additional formulae as part of the same 30/15 minute time period.

Any creature affected by splash damage from an improved formulae is entitled to a Reflex save to reduce the damage by half.

Because formulae are more unstable than standard alchemical items, they expire and no longer work after 24 hours; it is relatively easy (DC 10 Appraise) to recognize the unstable and impermanent nature of these items so typically they have no monetary value; a potential buyer who fails their Appraise check assumes they are a standard item of their type (if applicable), or as a mundane item worth no more than 10 gp. In addition, the overly refined and unstable nature of formulae means that they cannot be further refined or enhanced by items such as focusing flasks or hybridization funnels. You cannot fail to craft an alchemical item you know the formulae for; failure to meet the DC instead means you create the item but at its minimum potency, without additional effects or benefits for having additional Craft (alchemy) ranks or having increased the crafting DC. When you first gain this package, you may learn any one (formulae) talent you qualify for.

Alchemy: Improved Sneezing Powder (Ex)
Craft DC: 25

You create a single use bag of coarse yellowish-red powder that can be used as a range touch attack with a range increment of 10 ft. Anyone standing in the square of impact or an adjacent squares must make Fortitude saves; creatures within 10 ft. of the point of impact must also make Fortitude saves, but gain a +5 competence bonus on the save. Creatures who fail their initial save are staggered for 1 round as they succumb to uncontrollable sneezing, and must make a Fortitude save each round for 1d4+1 rounds thereafter or continue to be staggered.

A successful save ends the effect. This is a poison effect. You can increase the Craft DC for this item in increments of 10; each time you do so, the area of effect improves by 5 ft., and all saving throw DCs increase by +2.

Chi Gong (Su) At 1st level, the sage learns the chi gong technique, which allows him to wield his ki as a precise instrument, thrusting it into an opponent and disrupting their physiology or reinforcing a wounded ally. A sage’s chi gong is measured in d6’s: the sage begins with 1d6 chi gong, which increases by 1d6 at 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter. The sage gains a melee touch attack that is treated as a light weapon and can be used whenever the sage could make an attack (such as during an attack action or attack of opportunity) dealing piercing damage to the opponent equal to his chi gong dice; the sage may also apply this bonus damage to his unarmed strikes or natural attacks. In addition, the sage can use this ability to heal a creature instead of damaging them by sealing their wounds together with ki as a move action, but this patchwork healing cannot restore a creature’s hit points above half their normal maximum.

Combat Reflexes (4 Attacks of Opportunity) You can make additional attacks of opportunity.

Combat Training A sage may combine combat spheres and talents to create powerful martial techniques. Sages are considered Proficient practitioners and use Wisdom as their practitioner modifier.

Equipment: Staff Mastery (Ex) You can wield a quarterstaff as a one-handed weapon or as a reach weapon. At the start of your turn, you decide whether or not you are going to wield the quarterstaff as a one-handed weapon, two-handed weapon double weapon, or two-handed reach weapon. When you wield it as a one-handed weapon, your other hand is free. You cannot use a staff as a double weapon if you are wielding it as a reach weapon or a one-handed weapon. In your hands, a quarterstaff is treated as a trip weapon.

If you possess the Spear Dancer talent as well, a quarterstaff is treated as a finesse weapon in your hand, and you may wield a quarterstaff as a one-handed reach weapon. Additionally, spears and polearms gain the trip weapon special feature in your hands. Associated Feat: Quarterstaff Master.

Esoteric Training (Su) At 1st level, and again at 8th and 16th level, a sage gains an esoteric training package.

Infuser The sage learns to infuse unusual or unexpected properties into his ki, transforming it into a powerful and unpredictable tool. Sages with this esoteric training package gain Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. Whenever the sage could make an attack with an unarmed strike (such as when using the attack action or making an attack of opportunity), or when he would be entitled to make a combat maneuver check on his turn (such as when maintaining a grapple), he may instead force the creature to make a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the sage’s class level + his Wisdom modifier); creatures who fail their save are automatically subject to a disarm, grapple, or trip attempt (chosen by the sage at the time this ability is used) as though the sage had succeeded on a combat maneuver check against their CMD. Creatures targeted by this ability get a +1 circumstance bonus on their saving throw for each size category they are larger than the sage.

The sage may spend a ki point when using this ability to force the target to roll twice and take the least favorable result. This does not allow the sage to subject the target to combat maneuvers they would otherwise be immune to, such as due to flight or size limitations. At 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, sages with this esoteric training package gain a bonus combat talent of their choice. Whenever the sage would be allowed to use a combat maneuver due to a talent or feat, he may force them to make a Reflex save as described above instead of attempting a combat maneuver check against their CMD.

Meditation (Ex) The sage can spend 1 hour in quiet contemplation to gather and reinforce his mental and spiritual energies in preparation for the task ahead. When the sage meditates in this manner, he gains a pool of bonus dice equal to 1/2 his class level (rounded down, minimum 1) that can be spent whenever he makes an ability check, skill check, or saving throw to add 1d6 to the roll. The sage can also use this ability whenever an opponent uses an ability which targets the sage’s CMD to add 1d6 to his CMD against the attempt. The sage cannot gain more bonus dice at one time than half his class level using this ability.

Proficiencies Sages are proficient with simple weapons. In addition, if this is this character’s first level in any class, they may select a martial tradition of their choice.

Scout Sphere (Ex) Training in the Scout sphere teaches you how to hide from danger, identify potential threats and hazards, track opponents through almost any environment, and identify a creature’s key weaknesses. When you gain the Scout sphere, you gain 5 ranks in the Stealth skill, plus 5 ranks per additional talent spent in the Scout sphere (maximum ranks equal to your total Hit Dice). If you already have ranks in the Stealth skill you may immediately retrain them, but you do not get to retrain when only temporarily gaining talents, such as through the armiger’s customized weapons class feature.

All practitioners of the Scout sphere gain the following ability: Scout

Scout: Identify Rhythms (Ex) As long as you have martial focus, whenever you have successfully used the scout ability against a creature, you gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC against all of their attacks. For every 4 ranks in Perception you possess, this dodge bonus increases by +1.

Scout: Scout As a swift action, you may identify a creature’s weaknesses (DC 10 + creature’s CR) as described under the Knowledge skill, but may substitute a Perception check for the appropriate Knowledge check at a -5 penalty. This only reveals the target’s weaknesses, or lack thereof, (such as damage reduction types and vulnerabilities), and does not reveal any additional information about the target. Once you have succeeded at a scout attempt or Knowledge check against a target, any talents or effects that require you to scout a target may be used against the target for the next 24 hours; after this period you must successfully use the scout ability against the target again to continue benefiting from related effects.

Style Talent Every sage develops a unique combination of martial and mystical talents that form a unique and recognizable style. At 1st level and every 2 levels thereafter, the sage gains a bonus combat talent or magic talent of his choice. Sages who gain magic talents are treated as High-Casters when determining their caster level, use Wisdom as their casting ability modifier, and treat their ki pool as their spell pool when using magic spheres and talents. This does not grant the sage 2 bonus talents for gaining their first level in a casting class, though the sage may qualify for a casting tradition, applying any appropriate limitations to their ki powers (so a sage with a casting tradition that includes the Verbal Casting drawback would apply that limitation to all of their ki powers, not just those that use magic talents).

Build Rules

The Wandering Safe is built using a 20-point buy and average wealth(35gp). If using a higher point buy, raise Dexterity or Wisdom if you want a higher Armor Class and more Ki points, or Strength if you want a little more damage with your unarmed strike, staff, or sling. If using a lower point buy, lower Charisma first, as it is not too important to the build. A Charisma of 10 and a Wisdom of 15 will get you down to a 15 point buy.

Playing The Wandering Sage

The Wandering Sage is a support character. Between Chi Gong allowing you to heal yourself and allies for free(though not fully) or damage foes, and Improved Sneezing Powder letting you perform some crowd control you will always have something to do in combat. Don't forget you can also give out a small boost to your or an ally's physical ability scores.

Outside of combat though you can help out with first aid, making friends and getting the local rumors, or simply knowing the local laws and customs.

Future Abilities

At level 2 you get to pick your first Esotery, either from the Universal options(Flight and Ki Power) or the list of Infuser options. The Soul Stitching Esotery is a nice boost to your healing, while Ponderous Touch can hit a foe the slowed Condition from the Time Sphere. Mental Escalation is like the normal Infuser ability, but it gives a buff to mental ability scores. You have plenty of options.

As far as talents go Finesse Fighting will help your Unarmed Strikes or Chi Gong land more often, and picking up other formulae from the Alchemy sphere gives you more things you can do. Dipping into the Duelist, Fencing, Open Hand, and Scoundrel spheres opens up more options, but remember that Sage's don't get many talents to pick from.

If you don't want to pick from Combat Spheres, you can use Style Talents to get magic talents instead. Destruction gives you a ranged attack and lets you use some Esotery abilities at range. Weather can earn you some good faith from locals too if there is a drought or cold snap. Warp gives you added mobility as well.

You gain Skill Focus several times as you level up. Good choices include Perception, Acrobatics, Diplomacy, Stealth, and any Knowledge skill(with Arcana, Dungeoneering, Nature, Religion, and Planes being prime picks as they are more likely to come up).

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