Prestige Classes


“Magic is only one kind of knowledge.”

—Auleric the Swift, paragnostic initiate

Not all who follow the precepts of the Paragnostic Assembly (see page 72) are spellcasters. Melee fighters, archers, and practitioners of mundane skills can also join the eternal hunt for knowledge. Paragnostic initiates, as the most devoted of these seekers are known, are no less dedicated to the hunt for secrets than are the apostles. Initiates, however, tend to focus less on magic and more on other aspects of the world. By combining their knowledge with their other abilities, they learn new ways to apply their skills and can even augment the beneficial magics that others cast upon them.


Rogues, scouts, and swashbucklers are the most common candidates for the paragnostic initiate prestige class because of their mobility and access to skills. Fighters and rangers are far from uncommon, however.


You are no less a seeker of knowledge than the paragnostic apostles are; you simply do not focus on magic as the central facet of that knowledge. Even when you adventure for other purposes, you are constantly alert for new knowledge, be it ways to augment your own abilities or simply information that you can bring back to the Paragnostic Assembly.

You lack the authority of the paragnostic apostles because you are considered less of a spiritual leader. However, you are still a central member of the Paragnostic Assembly, respected by all who would delve into the secret past.


Whether you’re a front-line fighter or a mobile flanker, you find yourself engaged in melee far more often than your apostle counterparts do. Work out tactical maneuvers in advance with the others in your party, so that you can make the best possible use of your abilities aid allies. If you have a handful of strategies and procedures preplanned, you can implement them far more swiftly and effectively than you could on the fly.


Though you lacked the skills required to become a paragnostic apostle, you were no less anxious to advance your learning and meld your abilities with the knowledge you had gained from membership in the Paragnostic Assembly. Petitioning to learn the secrets of the paragnostic initiate was the only logical choice, and the organization was happy to instruct you.

Now you spend much of your time traveling and adventuring in search of lost lore. Because you need not research the arcane to advance your spellcasting ability, you spend less time in the organization’s chapterhouses than many of the apostles do. Thus, while the apostles are often seen as the primary figures of the Paragnostic Assembly, it falls on you and your fellows to do at least as much work on the group’s behalf.

As you advance, focus heavily on your Knowledge skills, as well as the other class skills that you do not have access to from other classes. You have only three chances to benefit from this skill list, so don’t waste them. You might want to consider increasing your Intelligence, if the opportunity arises, for the same reason.


Like the paragnostic apostle, you have the full library and resources of the Paragnostic Assembly’s chapterhouses available to you. While you’re less likely to need access to arcane spells, you can still benefit from the organization’s research libraries, as well as the occasional loan of magic items to help acquire specific lore.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become a paragnostic initiate, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 2 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 2 ranks, Knowledge (any other) 2 ranks.

Special: Base attack bonus +4 or Tumble 7 ranks.

Special: Must be a member of the Paragnostic Assembly.

Class Skills

The paragnostic initiate's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Speak Language (none), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: The Paragnostic Initiate

Level Base
Attack Bonus
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Assist casting (penetration), tactical combat
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Assist casting (target), tactical combat
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Assist casting (distraction), tactical combat
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the paragnostic initiate prestige class.

The abilities you gain from this prestige class are designed to enhance the spellcasting of others as well as expand your own combat options.

Assist Casting (Ex): You can assist an ally with spellcasting if you have a number of ranks in the appropriate Knowledge skill equal to the level of the spell being cast (minimum 1). The table below defines the required skills for each type of ally.

Ally Assisted Knowledge Skill
Arcane caster Knowledge (arcana)
Cleric or paladin Knowledge (religion)
Druid or ranger Knowledge (nature)

The type of assistance you can render varies with your level.

Penetration: Once per round as an immediate action, you can grant an adjacent allied spellcaster a +1 bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance.

Target: At 2nd level, you automatically aid any allied spellcasters in targeting a foe with which you are engaged in melee. Your ally does not take the standard –4 penalty for targeting that foe with a ranged attack spell, though the penalty remains in effect normally if other allies are engaged with that foe. In addition, you do not provide a cover bonus for that foe against any allied spellcasters. Furthermore, any foe you threaten takes a –1 penalty on Reflex saving throws against spells cast by your allies (but not by you).

Distraction: At 3rd level, you gain the ability to protect an allied spellcaster with whom you are flanking an opponent. As long as you maintain the flanking arrangement, your ally can cast spells without drawing attacks of opportunity from the flanked creature. Other activities that draw attacks of opportunity do so as normal.

Tactical Combat (Ex): At each level you attain in this class, you gain an ability to enhance your fighting prowess or to influence magical effects cast upon you, based on your Knowledge skills. Each time you gain this feature, choose one of the following abilities for which you meet the skill-based prerequisites. Although you can choose some of these abilities multiple times (as indicated in the descriptions), you may not select the same one twice in a row, and the minimum required skill rank increases by 2 for each subsequent selection of the same ability.

Avoid Energy: Choose an energy type from among acid, cold, electricity, and fire. You gain a +2 bonus on all saving throws made against spells that deal damage of that energy type. You can select this ability multiple times, choosing a different energy type each time. (Knowledge [the planes] 4 ranks)

Break Point: Each of your melee attacks deals an extra 2 points of damage against inanimate objects and constructs. (Knowledge [architecture and engineering] 4 ranks)

Deadly Strike: You gain a +2 bonus on attack rolls made to confirm critical hits. (Knowledge [nature] 4 ranks)

Discern Weakness: Choose one creature type from the ranger’s favored enemy list (PH 47). Provided that you have at least 5 ranks in the appropriate Knowledge skill (Knowledge [arcana] for dragons, Knowledge [nature] for humanoids, and so forth), you gain a +2 bonus on attack rolls against creatures of that type. You can select this ability multiple times, choosing a different creature type each time. (Knowledge [varies] 5 ranks)

Mystical Augmentation: Choose one clerical domain. The effective caster level of any spell in that domain cast upon you by someone else increases by 1, if you so choose at the time of casting. (Knowledge [religion] 4 ranks)

Physical Augmentation: Choose one of your physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution). When any spell that applies a bonus or penalty to this score is cast upon you by someone else, any bonus granted increases by 2, and any penalty imposed is reduced by 2 (minimum penalty 1). You can select this ability multiple times, choosing a different ability score each time. (Knowledge [nature] 6 ranks)

Resist Ethos: You gain a +2 bonus on all saving throws against negative energy-based spells, and against spells with an alignment subtype opposed to one or both aspects of your own alignment (law/chaos or good/evil). (Knowledge [religion or the planes] 5)

Spell Disruptor: Any spellcaster flanked by you and an ally cannot cast defensively to avoid attacks of opportunity and is aware of this limitation. (Knowledge [arcana] 6)