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Warriors rely on their physical prowess, and spellcasters have all manner of magic, but a savant needs no weapon or armor, only their mind. Brilliant ingenuity, meticulous planning, or keen deductions will win them the day and leave their enemies confused at how they were defeated.

Of course, you’d have to be a fool to not use weapons, armor, or magic when they’re available, and savants are no fools. Knowledge is power, but power is also power.

A savant is at their most effective when they have an array of tools at their disposal and an assortment of allies to enact their cunning schemes.


Creating a Savant

Consider why your character relies on wits instead of warcraft or wizardry. Were they physically feeble and had to think their way out of challenges? Did they receive a refined education and learn from history and literature how to deal with all manner of unlikely scenarios? Have they just picked up these talents on the job, perhaps working a trade or serving as a guard?

Quick Build

Your highest ability score should be Intelligence, followed by Dexterity. Get proficiency in Deception, Investigation, and Perception, plus disguise kits. Choose the Vanguard archetype, and choose proficiency with Culture, light armor, blowguns, pistols, scimitars, and whips. Learn the tricks Antagonizing Flourish, Improved Bastion Aegis, and Unbalancing Intervention. Learn the clever scheme Impromptu Persona.




Tricks Known

Schemes Known


Adroit Defense, Archetype, Clever Schemes, Savant Tricks




Archetype Feature, Combat Poise




Analyzed Need, Skill Focus




Ability Score Improvement, Signature Move




Developed Poise




Archetype Feature




Intelligent Caution, Skill Focus, Quick Wits




Ability Score Improvement




Focused Defense




More Tricks




Archetype Feature, Skill Focus




Ability Score Improvement




Exceptional Poise




Archetype Feature




Clockwork Mind, Skill Focus




Ability Score Improvement




Archetype Feature




Nothing That Can’t Be Solved




Ability Score Improvement, Skill Focus




Ultimate Schema



Multiclassing Prerequisite: Intelligence 13

Proficiencies Gained: Improvised weapons and one type of tools

1st LevelClass Features

As a savant, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per savant level

Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier

Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per savant level after 1st


Armor: None

Weapons: Simple weapons, improvised weapons

Tools: Choose any one

Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence

Skills: Choose three from Arcana, Culture, Deception, Engineering, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, and Sleight of Hand


You begin the game with 125 gold (plus the 30 each Zeitgeist character gets, for a total of 155) which you can spend on your character’s starting weapons, armor, and adventuring gear. You can select your own gear or choose one of the following equipment packages.

  • Bravo's Set (cost 137 gp): Scimitar, 2 daggers, blowgun, pistol, whip, 20 shots (bullets and firedust), explorer’s pack, leather armor, disguise kit.
  • Tinkerer's Set (cost 146 gp): Mace (a cane), 2 daggers, carbine, 20 shots (bullets and firedust), burglar’s pack, leather armor, thieves’ tools.

1st LevelAdroit Defense

You constantly analyze combat situations to improve your defensive posture, proactively interfering to guide attacks away from yourself. While you are wearing no armor, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Intelligence modifier. You cannot use a shield and still gain this benefit.

The savant is not proficient in armor by default, but might gain those proficiencies through archetypes, feats, or multiclassing. When you are wearing armor you’re proficient in, you can use your Intelligence in place of your Dexterity to determine your AC.

1st LevelArchetype

Your Savant archetype defines what your greatest aptitude is. The steward is expert at protecting and healing allies. The vanguard joins the thick of the fight, looking for tactical opportunities others miss. The vox deeply understands how words can manipulate people.

Your archetype gives you unique features at 1st level and again at 2nd, 6th, 11th, 14th, and 17th level.

1st LevelClever Schemes

You learn one clever scheme of your choice. These schemes are detailed at the end of the class description. The Schemes Known column of the Savant table shows when you learn more clever schemes.

1st LevelSavant Tricks

You have developed a small number of clever gambits, deft maneuvers, and canny guards which help you prevail in battle by using your wits. The number of tricks you know is listed on the Savant table, and you can choose from the list below and from the list of tricks your archetype makes available.

To use a trick, you must first prepare it by spending a bonus action. You cannot prepare a trick outside of an encounter, but once a trick is prepared, it remains prepared until you use it, until the encounter ends, or until you spend a bonus action to replace it with a different trick. You can only have one trick prepared at time.

Different tricks can be used at different times. Some require your action, bonus action, or reaction. Others might be used when making attacks.

Some of your tricks require your target to make a saving throw to resist its effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Trick save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can choose to replace a trick you know with a different trick.

Types of Tricks

Some tricks are called Aegises, which let you use your reaction to defend against some sort of attack. Other tricks are called Flourishes, which you can use when you hit with a melee weapon attack .

If a trick offers a saving throw , after you use it against a particular creature, that creature has advantage on saving throws against other uses of that same trick until the end of combat. If the trick doesn’t permit a saving throw, after you use it against a particular creature, you cannot use the same trick against that creature for the rest of the combat.


  • Attention Diverting Aegis. When a creature within 30 feet that can sense you makes an attack that isn’t targeting you, you can use this trick to try to distract the attacker. If it fails a Wisdom saving throw , until your next turn it has disadvantage on all attack rolls it makes that aren’t against you.
  • Canny Dodge Aegis. When an attack would hit you, you can use your reaction to roll 1d4 and add it to your AC against that attack. Alternately, when you would fail a Dexterity saving throw , you can use this trick to roll 1d4 and add it to your saving throw. In either case, you know how much the roll succeeded or failed by before deciding whether to use this aegis.
  • Committee Defense Aegis. When a creature attacks you, if it is not the first creature to attack you since the start of your last turn, you find an avenue of opportunity amid the massed assault. You can use this trick to impose disadvantage on that creature’s attack. Then, you gain advantage on the next attack roll you make before the end of your next turn that targets a creature that attacked you this round.
  • Improvised Bastion Aegis. When a creature’s attack, spell, or ability would damage you, you can use this trick to devise a momentary defense (using a chair as a shield, predicting a safe spot in an explosion, diluting a spray of acid with a solvent, etc). You gain resistance to one type of damage you would take, which protects you only against the triggering hostile act.
  • Mindful Reason Aegis. When you would fail an Intelligence or Wisdom saving throw , you can use this trick to roll 1d4 and add it to your saving throw. You know how much the roll failed by before deciding whether to use this aegis.
  • Serpentine Rush Aegis. When you are targeted by a ranged attack , you can use this trick to move your speed. Until the end of your next turn, ranged attacks against you have disadvantage . Additionally, your movement might get you to a location where cover makes you hard or impossible to hit. Reduce your speed on your next turn by the distance that you move when using this trick.
  • Tangled Dance Aegis. When you would be hit with an attack and a creature other than the attacker is adjacent to you, you can use this trick to try to dodge so the attack hits that creature. If the attacker fails an Intelligence saving throw , change the attack’s target to another creature within 5 feet, and the attacker uses the same result of its attack roll.
  • Undermining Taunt Aegis. When a creature misses with an attack or when a foe succeeds on a saving throw against an effect it created, you can use this trick to capitalize on their failure, warning the creature why another possible course of action will also turn out badly. If that creature can understand you, choose an action, such as Attack or Cast a Spell. The target must make a Charisma saving throw. If it fails, until the end of its next turn it cannot take that action.


  • Antagonizing Flourish. When you hit a creature with a melee attack, you can try to draw its ire. If it fails an Intelligence saving throw , it has disadvantage on attack rolls against creatures other than you until the start of your next turn.
  • Disarming Flourish. When you hit a creature with a melee attack, you can attempt to disarm it. If it fails a Strength saving throw , its grip is loosened, and the creature cannot make use of the item until it spends a bonus action or attack on its turn to regain a solid hold. If the creature has disadvantage on the save and fails both rolls, it drops the item.
  • Experimental Flourish. Whenever you miss with an attack, you improvise a follow-up that doesn’t directly attack a foe, such as slicing a rope to pin an enemy with a chandelier or smashing a pipe to spray blinding steam on an enemy. Circumstances will dictate what the effect is, but some examples include shoving or imposing the blinded , deafened , grappled , or prone condition, and may also deal damage equal to your Intelligence modifier. Any conditions imposed should seldom last more than one round. Creatures affected can make an Intelligence saving throw to anticipate your trick and avoid the effect.
  • Guiding Flourish. When you hit a creature with a melee attack, you can try to trick it into moving. If it fails a Dexterity saving throw , it moves up to 10 feet in a direction of your choice. This movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks . If this movement would cause it to take damage (such as by falling or entering fire), the creature has advantage on this saving throw.
  • Menacing Flourish. When you hit a creature with a melee attack, you can spend a bonus action to activate this trick and deliver a terrifying threat. The target makes a Wisdom saving throw . If it fails, for the next minute it is frightened of you.
  • Surgical Flourish. When you have advantage on a melee attack and both dice results are high enough to hit, choose one of the creature’s limbs or eyes to debilitate. If the creature succeeds a Constitution saving throw , you debilitate that body part only until the end of your next turn. If it fails the saving throw, the body part is debilitated until it can take a short rest.
    A creature cannot use a debilitated limb to attack, and cannot hold any items or effectively wear a shield with a debilitated limb. A creature with a debilitated leg has its speed reduced by half, it falls prone after using the Dash action, and it has disadvantage on Dexterity checks to balance. A creature with a debilitated eye has disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and on ranged attack rolls.

Other Tricks

  • Assess Vulnerability. When you attack a creature, you can use your Intelligence bonus in place of another ability score bonus for the attack roll and damage roll . This applies to all attacks you make against it before the start of your next turn, but not to attacks you make against other creatures.
  • Choreographed Disappearance. On your turn, you say something to turn a foe’s attention away from you or an ally. You or an ally of your choice who can understand you can move up to their speed. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks from one creature of your choice that can understand you. If they end up having obscurement or cover relative to the distracted foe, they can Hide without spending an action.
  • Direct Ally. You identify an opening an ally can take advantage of. You can spend an action and choose an ally that can understand you, then choose a target. If that ally hits that target with an attack before the start of your next turn, their attack deals an extra 1d8 damage. The bonus dice increase to 2d8 at 5th level, 3d8 at 11th level, and 4d8 at 17th level. After you use this trick, you can choose the same ally again, but cannot choose the same target for the rest of the encounter.
  • Frightful Suppression. When you make an attack that causes loud noises—a firearm or grenade, or also items and spells that deal thunder damage—you can use this trick to force the attack’s target (or creatures in the attack’s area) to make a Wisdom saving throw to gauge when it is safe to move, and thus avoid being pinned down. A creature that fails cannot move until the start of your next turn unless it spends an action.
  • Rallying Word. You know just what to say you inspire an ally’s flagging stamina. You can spend a bonus action to let an ally within 30 feet who can understand you spend a Hit Die. If it does, it rolls that Hit Die (adding its Constitution bonus) plus 1d8 and heals hit points equal to the total. The bonus dice increase to 2d8 at 5th level, 3d8 at 11th level, and 4d8 at 17th level. After you use this ability, the same ally cannot benefit from it again until you complete a short rest .
  • Saving Advice. Spend a bonus action to advise an ally who can understand you. Choose a saving throw . One time before the end of this encounter, that ally can gain an expertise die on one saving throw of that type, used at the time of their choice. An expertise die is 1d4 they roll and add.
  • Sweeping Stride. When you move at least 10 feet and enter a space adjacent to a creature no more than one size larger than you, you can try to trip it. If the creature fails a Dexterity saving throw , it falls prone . If it succeeds, instead your movement ends in the space you entered to use this ability.
  • Timely Tool. Spend a bonus action to use an item that normally can be used as an action. This cannot cause damage or require an attack roll. Examples include administering an antitoxin, potion, or other easy-to-swallow item to a willing creature within reach; lighting a torch; tossing out caltrops, or barring a door.
  • Unbalancing Intervention. When a creature within your reach makes a Strength or Dexterity ability check or saving throw , you can use your reaction to perform a series of pulls, shoves, and strikes that put a creature off-balance. The creature has disadvantage on its ability check or saving throw.

2nd LevelCombat Poise

Some savants are prepared to bloody their knuckles in a fight, while others make a point of staying out of the scrum. At 2nd level, you choose one of the following poises.

A Step Ahead

You have a deft ability to predict your opponents’ responses and interfere with them. Whenever a creature within your reach that you are aware of attempts to take a reaction, you can expend your reaction for the round to try to disrupt them. That creature must make an Intelligence saving throw against your trick DC. If they fail, their reaction is wasted.

Combat Maneuvers

These combat maneuvers are detailed in the full Level Up rules.

You gain the ability to use combat maneuvers. You gain an exertion point pool equal to your proficiency bonus.

Choose two martial traditions. (Most savants learn maneuvers of the traditions Biting Zephyr, Mist and Shade, Rapid Current, or Sanguine Knot.) Whenever you gain a savant trick, you can instead choose a maneuver from any of your chosen martial traditions.

You can initially learn maneuvers of the 1st degree. At 7th level you gain access to 2nd degree maneuvers, then at 13th level you can access 3rd degree maneuvers, and finally at 19th level you can access 4th degree maneuvers.

2nd LevelArchetype Feature

At 2nd level you gain a new archetype feature.

3rd LevelAnalyzed Need

You can adapt your mind for whatever challenges you expect. Starting at 3rd level, when you complete a short or long rest you can choose a skill. Until you complete another rest, whenever you make an ability check using that skill, you use Intelligence instead of the ability score it normally uses.

3rd LevelSkill Focus

At 3rd level, and again at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th, choose a skill you are proficient with. You gain an expertise die on checks with that skill. An expertise die is 1d4 you roll and add.

4th LevelAbility Score Improvements

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

4th LevelSignature Move

At 4th level, choose one savant trick you know. You are considered to always have that trick prepared, and it does not count against the limit of the number of tricks you can have prepared. When you use that trick, it does not stop being prepared. Whenever you gain a level, you can change your signature move.

5th LevelDeveloped Poise

At 5th level, you refine your combat poise. Choose one of the following, or one of the combat poise options available at 2nd level.

Extra Attack

When you use the Attack action on your turn, you can make two attacks.

Rational Maneuvers

You can use your Intelligence bonus to calculate the DCs of your combat maneuvers.

6th LevelArchetype Feature

At 6th level you gain a new archetype feature.

7th LevelIntelligent Caution

At 7th level, whenever you complete a long rest , you may choose one ability score and gain proficiency in saving throws of that type until you use this ability again.

Quick Wits7th Level

Also at 7th level, on your turn you can prepare a trick without spending an action. You can do this a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. Thereafter, preparing tricks requires the usual bonus action until you complete a short rest.

Focused Defense9th Level

At 9th level, you can use the confusion of a large battle to protect you. If there are at least two enemies within 30 feet, you can use a bonus action to choose one of them. Until the end of your next turn, that creature has disadvantage on attack rolls against you.

10th LevelMore Tricks

At 10th level, you can hold two tricks in reserve, in addition to your signature trick. You still require a bonus action to prepare a trick.

11th LevelArchetype Feature

At 11th level you gain a new archetype feature.

13th LevelExceptional Poise

At 13th level, your combat poise can achieve remarkable things. Choose one of the following, or one of the combat poise options available at 2nd or 5th level.

Confounding Defense

The first time each round that you use an aegis, you can immediately prepare another aegis trick.

The Opportune Moment

On your turn, you can take one additional action. You cannot use this ability on the first round of combat. After you use this feature, you cannot use it again until you complete a short or long rest .

14th LevelArchetype Feature

At 14th level you gain a new archetype feature.

15th LevelClockwork Mind

At 15th level, your mental capabilities transcend the normal limitations mortal minds face. You gain an expertise die on all Intelligence checks and saving throws.

17th LevelArchetype Feature

At 17th level you gain a new archetype feature.

18th LevelNothing That Can’t Be Solved

At 18th level, you can overcome obstacles with ease. When a creature that can understand you starts its turn you can grant it the ability to ignore all sources of disadvantage until the start of its next turn. After you use this feature, you cannot use it again until you complete a short or long rest .

20th LevelUltimate Schema

At 20th level, you’re clever enough to accomplish anything. Whenever you complete a long rest, choose an effect that could be accomplished by a spell of level 8 or lower. You can have that effect occur immediately, or keep it in reserve for the day, and cause it to occur at any point by spending an action. This can be because you acquired a magic item or spellcaster willing to perform the magic, or have a device or hirelings capable of matching the feat.

Savant Clever Schemes

You can choose from among the following clever schemes.

Apothecary Basics

Whenever you take a short or long rest , you can use your medical knowledge to treat one creature. That creature can heal as if it had one extra 1d4 Hit Die during this rest, or it can ignore one level of fatigue for the next four hours.

Deductive Tracker

After observing a creature, however briefly, you make a deduction that gives you an edge when pursuing it. After you spend at least 1 minute observing a creature, you gain an expertise die on checks made to track that specific creature.

Hostilia Naturae

Following the path trod by Drakran naturalist Karl Evol, author of A Theory of Noetic Field Adaptation Toward Terrifyingness Among Malice Ecologies, you have studied the many perils of wild flora and fauna. You gain an expertise die on checks to avoid, locate, or understand the abilities of aberrations, beasts, and monstrosities.

Impromptu Persona

You do not need preparation to come up with a convincing fake persona, background, and excuse to cover anything suspicious you are doing. You can gain advantage on Deception checks to pretend to be someone else. However, the ruse won’t hold up to prolonged scrutiny. If you spend more than a few minutes in someone’s presence, you must make a new Deception check with disadvantage to maintain the ruse.

Just What Have We Gotten Ourselves Into?

When you are ambushed, you gain an expertise die on your initiative check. When you trigger a trap, you gain an expertise die on the first saving throw you need to make, or to your AC against the first attack the trap makes against you. After you use this ability, you cannot use it again until you complete a short rest .


When a creature makes a melee attack against you or otherwise touches you, you can make a Sleight of Hand check against them as a reaction.

Additionally, when you spend at least a minute interacting with someone while within arm’s reach, you gain an expertise die on Sleight of Hand checks that involve them until the interaction ends.

Local Informants

You quickly can locate people willing to share information. If you spend an hour reaching out to local residents or simply perusing a recent periodical or newspaper, for the next day you gain an expertise die on Culture and Investigation checks related to the area.

Meeting of Minds

You gain an expertise die on Charisma checks with Arcana, History, Nature, or Religion when trying to interact with someone who is trained in the same skill.

Motto of the Tropezaros

You make sure you’re always prepared. Once per short rest you can produce a non-magical item that you could have purchased or prepared at some point, small enough to fit in whatever storage you have available. This could range from a forged passport in your pocket to a glider stowed in the hold of a ship you’re traveling on. Pay the appropriate price for it. Limits of causality apply.

Physical Education

Once per hour, when you succeed on an Acrobatics or Athletics check to climb, swim, or jump you can offer advice and encouragement to your allies. For the next minute, each ally who attempts a check to traverse the same area gains an expertise die .

Read You Like a Spellbook

You can spend an action to make an Arcana check against the save DC of a creature’s spell. If you succeed, you deduce from their demeanor, fashion, and accoutrements what cantrips they know and the last non-cantrip spell it cast, if any.

Reinforce Apotropaics

Apotropaics are specific items that can repel or harm certain creatures, like bells driving away fiends. You can spend an action to reinforce an apotropaic you are touching for one day.

If you brandish a reinforced apotropaic to repel a creature, add an expertise die to your opposed Charisma check. If a creature tries to bypass the repellent effect of a reinforced apotropaic barrier (like an undead crossing a line of salt), add an expertise die to the flat DC the creature must overcome. If a reinforced item is used to harm a creature (like jade dust against an aberration), you can also make an opposed Charisma check to repel that creature without needing to spend a separate action (and you add an expertise die to your check).

Reserved Seating

You have forethought of when and where you might need to be places. If you knew you would be in a given area, once per day you can call upon this forethought to have a vehicle or mount waiting for you and your companions, or to have a reservation available at a venue. You pay any appropriate costs. For exceptional requests, you may need to make a Persuasion check or owe someone a favor.

Run Silent Run Deep

Once per hour, when you succeed on a Stealth check you can discreetly direct your allies. For the next minute, each ally who attempts a check to traverse the same area gains an expertise die .

When moving through an area you’re familiar with or have had time to study maps of, you gain an expertise die on Stealth checks.

Student of Technology

You instead gain an expertise die on Engineering checks and when using tools to build, repair, or understand a technological device.

Unstable Poison

You gain an expertise die on checks made with the poisoner’s kit. You learn the recipe for creating basic poison . During a short or long rest , you can brew one poison for which you have the recipe without spending gold or using ingredients. This version of the poison lasts until your next short or long rest.