Arcanum 1780: A New World
Natural Philosopher Template
125 Points (25 points left for customization)
The Natural Philosopher is a student of the natural condition, and as such they have had to incorporate the Ur-Ice and its seemingly magical effects into their understanding of the universe. The Natural Philosopher attempts to understand the whole of nature, and as such dabbles in many different fields while specializing in few. Most modern Natural Philosophers are capable wizards in their own right, the effect of magic being of utmost importance to modern science.
The Natural Philosopher is not naturally an inventor; he is a scientist, not an engineer. Check out the Arcane Engineer template if you’re more interested in that route.
Advantages: Language (Latin; None/Accented) 2. Magery 2 (Limited: Spells for which you have either Ritual Mastery or a Grimoire, -40%) 15. • 10 points chosen from among Anatomist 2 10, Pararchaeologist 2 10, or any other Path Talent (see below). • 20 points chosen from among IQ +1 20, Claim to Hospitality (Universities, Guilds, Secret Societies, etc) [5 to 10], Eidetic Memory 5, increasing his Path Talent by 1-2 levels [5-10], Language Talent 10, Path Focus (One Path) 6, removing Limited from Magery 10, Ritual Mastery [1/ritual], Signature Gear [Varies], Single-Minded 5, Status [5/level], Tenure 5, Versatile 5, or Wealth [Varies].
Disadvantages: -30 points chosen from among Absent-Mindedness [-15], Bad Sight (Nearsighted; Correctable) [-10], Bad Temper [-10*], Clueless [-10], Code of Honor (Professional) [-5], Combat Paralysis [-15], Curious [-5*], Delusions (Crazy pet theory) [-5], Duty (Teaching; 12 or less; Nonhazardous) [-5], Hard of Hearing [-10], Indecisive [-10*], Jealousy [-10], Odious Personal Habit (Lecturing) [-5], Oblivious [-5], Obsession (Proving theory) [-5*], Pacifism [-5 to -30], Post-Combat Shakes [-5*], Stubbornness [-5], or Unfit [-5]. • A further -5 points from quirks.
Primary Skills: Thaumatology (VH) IQ 8-14 and Research (A) IQ 2-14. • Choose one Path skill at (VH) IQ 8-14; two more Paths at (VH) IQ-1 4-13; and the remaining six Paths at (VH) IQ-31-11. • Three “academic” skills such as Anthropology, Archaeology, Economics, Expert Skill (Egyptology, Political Science, Natural Philosophy, etc.), Geography (any), History (any), Literature, Mathematics (Pure), Psychology, or Sociology, all (H) IQ-1 2-13, or Biology or Physics, both (VH) IQ-2 2-12. The non-magical skills found in your Talent are especially appropriate.
Background Skills: A total of 4 points in Savoir-Faire (Academic or High Society) (IQ/E), the Dabbler perk, the other skills in this template, or more Languages.
- Multiplied for self-control number; see p. B120
Customization Notes: The most important choice with the Natural Philosopher is ‘where to focus?’ He has many options here, and can represent many different types of scientist. Is he dabbling in the cosmic forces of the universe? Then focus upon Path of Energy and Path of Magic, with his other primary skills being in Physics, Hazardous Materials (Magical), and Electrician. Is he interested in the human body and the medical sciences? Then take the Anatomist Talent below and grab Path of Body, Path of Undead, Physiology, and Surgery and go to town as either a healer of man or a Frankenstein wanna-be.
Path Talents are those found in Pyramid 3-66 The Laws of Magic page 18-20 (A Talent for the Arts). They each feature two Path skills and three related skills. In addition to the five listed skills, each Taletn adds its level to Thaumatology, but only when the two Path skills or the concept of the Talent is involved; this bonus does raise Thaumatology fo the purpose of limiting the two Paths’ skill levels. Further, the Talents do not grant a reaction bonus – instead, they add to the caster’s effective Magery level for the purpose of limiting the two Path skill levels. A character may have only a single Path Talent, with a maximum level of four.
These Talents should represent the Natural Philosopher’s specialty, not just in the use of magic but also in the sciences. Two of the Talents listed in Pyramid 3-66 are appropriate for the Natural Philosopher, listed here:
You have an instinctive knowledge of the body, whether the subject is alive, dead, or “something else.”
Skills: Forensics, Path of Body, Path of Undead, Physiology, Surgery.
Through reflection comes enlightenment.
Skills: History, Path of the Mind, Path of the Spirit, Philosophy, Theology
You have a knack for unlocking the inner-workings of the mathematical universe.
Skills: Astronomy, Mathematics (pure), Path of Energy, Path of Matter, Physics,
Ancient magical mysteries are your domain.
Skills: Archaeology, History, Occultism, Path of Crossroads, Path of Magic.
Path Focus provides a +2 bonus to a specific Path, and can only be taken once per Path. Like with a Path Talent, Path Focus allows the user to exceed the typical skill limitations due to Thaumatology or Magery level.
Other Path Talents are possible, but they need GM permission. Think of something appropriate and ask!