|Research = Skill Level + Learned Trait|
|1||10 CP||Bonus Literacy 1, Basic Inquiry|
|2||5 CP||Specialty 1|
|3||10 CP||Bonus Literacy 2, Intermediate Inquiry|
|4||15 CP||Specialty 2|
|5||20 CP||Bonus Literacy 3, Advanced Inquiry|
|6||25 CP||Specialty 3|
|7||30 CP||Epiphany—or— Polymath|
|8||35 CP||Specialty 4 —or— Gift of Tongues|
|9||40 CP||Epiphany—or— Polymath|
|10||45 CP||Specialty 5 —or— Visionary|
|11||50 CP||Epiphany—or— Polymath|
|12||55 CP||Specialty 6 —or— True Authority|
Between events, a scholar can dedicate one or more downtime actions to research a specific topic. The success, amount of information, and accuracy of information is based on the character’s level of Research, their Specialties, their access to research materials, and the number of actions they dedicate to it.
Although all characters can speak and read the common language of the Echolands, they cannot read the languages of worlds other than their own. Characters with this ability, however, gain just that facility. Characters do not begin play able to read languages from other worlds, and must instead dedicate a single downtime action to learning a language (only one may be learned per downtime session, as a further restriction). Text props will be prominently marked if they are written in another language, and only characters with that language are allowed to read the text (which will simply be normal English).
Most characters may participate in only one Investigation per day (Game Concepts). With Basic Inquiry, a scholar may instead participate in two investigation sessions per game day, and Intermediate Inquiry increases this to three. A scholar with Advanced Inquiry, however, may participate in as many Investigations as they wish and are no longer limited as before. Note that regardless of how many investigations a character may participate in, they may not investigate the same subject more than once per event. This includes ‘pieces’ of a subject, for example, someone who has investigated the hilt of a magic dagger cannot, in the same event, investigate the dagger overall.
Scholarship Specialties allow the character to focus their studies to greater effect. Whenever the character researches something that falls under their specialty, they add 2 to their effective level of Scholarship for each level of specialty they have. Common specialties include the study of a particular type of spirit; the history of individual worlds; specific ancient magics, animals, and plants; and the nature of the afterlife. These are not the only specialties, however, and we encourage people to invent their own or learn new ones in play. Like all skill specialties, Scholarship specialties will sometimes have in-play applications during Investigation actions.
This ability, which is usable only once a season (game year) per times chosen, allows a character to enter into a state of academic fervor, granting them brilliant and swift insight into a research area of their choice. No matter how difficult or arduous the area of study is, the character will be immediately successful in their research.
Functionally, a character declares they are using an Epiphany on a particular downtime research action. They will then, at the next game, get the final results of that action. If it is possible to for the research to succeed—even remotely—it will. Note that this ability can resolve what would normally be a seasons-long path of research in but a single downtime action.
Scholars with this ability are truly gifted. For each time Polymath is chosen, the character permanently adds 2 to the derived ability of every other general skill they know.
Craft : Craft Production
Tinkering : Tinkering Production
Diplomacy : Influence
Mercantile : Expertise
Survival : Exploration
Healing : Treatment
Performance : Renown
Note that the Scholar actually has to have levels in these skills to receive the benefits of Polymath.
This ability allows a character to read and write in every known language. As well, when researching lost or arcane tongues, this ability adds 2 to their Research level. Finally, a character with Gift of Tongues may call the ability name when investigating language-based puzzles or mysteries in game, which functions just as if they had called a Heroic Feat of Learning on it.
This ability reflects a scholar whose intellect is so agile and quick that they are able to follow through with areas of research and lines of intellectual inquiry without a moment’s notice. During the one production action involved in a game—which is normally restricted to Craft and Tinkering Production—a Visionary may declare and attempt to resolve a single research action immediately. Obviously, this will require direct plot attention. During downtime sessions, this ability may cause any action left “blank” to generate potential Scholarship research lines or unusual ideas, as the Visionary is taken over by inspiration.
This ability is really just the culmination of a career of research and study. On choosing it, the Scholar in question will become an acknowledged and famous authority on all of the areas of their specialties. Note that their actual research/specialty level is still used in any actions declared for such; however, because of the authority a scholar with this ability wields, they will find access to information much less restricted.
Pragmatically, this ability grants a Scholar a kind of influence (as Diplomacy) and renown (as Performance), with regards to intellectual communities. As well, characters with True Authority will not be able to avoid in-game attention concerning all things scholarly.