Prestige Classes


“The unprepared city beckons to all manner of evil through its open gates. I am my city’s preparation.”

—Freilya Stormwind, black vigilant of the League of Eyes

The city has stood for centuries, weathering attacks of every kind—from wild animal incursions to rampaging hordes of raiders to infestations of monstrous vermin. And for most of that time, one secret society has defended it against all threats: the League of Eyes. Dedicated to the study of the creatures that prowl the urban jungle, the League of Eyes remains secretive (despite a long history of admiration from a grateful public), training and employing a corps of knowledgeable agents known as urban savants. The League would be of no use to the city were it not for these educated few, who devote their time to studying the city’s traditional threats and watching for signs of renewed aggression from any source. Their vigilance and expertise have turned the tide of battle more than once in the past, and will undoubtedly do so again.


An urban savant is a scholar at heart, with a voracious appetite for information. While those of an intellectual bent (particularly bards and wizards) are best suited to the role, urban savants also hail from the ranks of skill-heavy classes such as rangers and rogues. Knowledge-hungry experts constitute a substantial minority as well. To meet the Knowledge skill requirements, most others must either multiclass or wait until higher levels to become urban savants.


Although you take great pride in your role as defender of your city, you have no illusions about your capabilities in melee combat. You work best when aiding and guiding the swords of others, not when attempting to swing your own. You are no stereotypical dusty scholar, but you know that your greatest asset is your brain, not your muscles.

You worked hard to be admitted into the distinguished League of Eyes, so you are loath to do anything that would violate the trust of the organization. You might enjoy the occasional glory that comes with assisting the watch in beating back some new threat, but knowing that you performed your duty means more than all the fame in the world.


In combat, you primarily support your fellow party members and do not engage in front-line heroics. If you were a bard before becoming an urban savant, your ability to aid your compatriots is especially powerful. Hang back with the spellcasters, if that’s the party’s strategy, and use your skills, abilities, and spells (if you have any) to bolster your allies and corrode their foes’ defenses. If you began your career as a ranger or rogue, you can play a more direct role in combat—but prepare your allies first.


Only a certain breed of individual enters the ranks of the urban savants. An invitation to join is difficult to obtain, even more so than one to enter the League of Eyes itself. You are primarily a scholar, but you must be willing to place yourself in direct danger. Even the most passionate and patriotic member of the League thinks twice about taking up this class.

Once you have started down the path of the savant, you should continue to invest a good portion of your skill points on Knowledge skills. Your learning is your primary advantage (even in combat), and the only means of advancing within your organization. If you are also a spellcaster, consider acquiring new divination spells to aid both you and your fellow members in the pursuit of your collective goals, and party-support spells to supplement your class abilities.


Although the League of Eyes is far from wealthy, it can lend some aid and resources. Since you are already favored within your organization, you can call on many contacts for assistance should the need arise. In addition, your organization fully funds any mission it assigns to you; such funding typically includes a cash stipend for food and other expenses.


“If they truly want to help the city, I wonder why they need to remain so secretive. Don’t you?”

—Lord Beaumond Richhierre, second-tier magistrate

Integrating urban savants into an urban campaign is remarkably easy. Even in a game that has no League of Eyes, the class could represent a similar confederation dedicated to protecting the city. Even if no organization exists in a campaign to support it, the urban savant (with some adjustment) still functions admirably as a standalone prestige class.


Urban savants belong to the League of Eyes (or a similar organization) and occupy a special role within its ranks. Since its inception, the League has used an internal hierarchy based on title and color. A member who first joins the League is known as a watcher. These are the most numerous members in the organization, usually mid-level experts or low-level members of adventuring classes (often bards and wizards). When a League member has gained sufficient skill to qualify for the urban savant prestige class, her title changes to witness, whether she ultimately adopts the class or not. Witnesses are some of the most educated members in the League; only members of that rank can train others. The highest title within the League is monitor, which is bestowed on only the most influential and learned members of the organization.

A witness who joins the ranks of the urban savants acquires the title of vigilant. A vigilant who is later promoted to monitor—or, in rarer cases, a monitor who becomes a vigilant late in her career—can add the new title onto her existing one as an honorific, making her a “vigilant monitor.”

Color, the second indicator of status within the organization, plays a similar role in differentiating members. The League’s official colors are the same as those on the flag of the city the League protects: for example, vermilion, emerald, and black. Within the League, each color corresponds to a different area of expertise or focus for the member in question: vermilion for humanoids and monstrous humanoids, emerald for animals and vermin, and black for aberrations and oozes. Members choose the color that best suits them, creating titles such as “emerald witness” and “black vigilant.” Vigilant monitors, however, are above such distinctions.

NPC Reactions

Most residents of the city in which an urban savant dwells react well to her (if they know of her affiliation), starting with a friendly attitude. Rivals and those with whom the League has clashed start with an unfriendly attitude. All others begin with an indifferent attitude.

These guidelines notwithstanding, few individuals have the opportunity to react to a PC urban savant specifically as a member of that class, because the League discourages public attention. Still, word gets around, and a savant who has regularly served with other city defenders soon develops a good reputation.


Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), or Knowledge (local) can research the League of Eyes and its urban savants to find out more about them. When a character makes a skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs

DC 10: Rumors of a secret society called the League of Eyes have existed for years.

DC 15: The League is dedicated to the protection of the city and its people. It uses a specially trained type of scholar known as an urban savant to aid in its work.

DC 20: Urban savants are skilled and knowledgeable, trained to counter the city’s traditional threats. They can turn a clumsy band of untrained warriors into an elite fighting machine by providing information and tactics to overcome specific opponents.


The League and its savants are easy to work into a campaign if the PCs have never been to their city before. If the party comes from that region, the League’s secretive nature makes a fine excuse for the lack of prior knowledge. If the city hasn’t faced wide-scale threats of the sort in which the League specializes, it stands to reason that the PCs wouldn’t have encountered urban savants.

Players who enjoy playing knowledge- or skill-based characters are among the most likely to be drawn to the urban savant, as are those who appreciate the class’s devotion to a just cause. Most of the savant’s class abilities function in any surrounding, so players need not worry if the campaign sends their characters away from their home base.


Integrating the urban savant into a campaign is a simple matter of adjusting its tone or flavor. Instead of being associated with the League of Eyes, the class could just as easily be a part of a shadowy government organization or an extension of the city militia. The prestige class makes a good fit for any setting that includes cities.

Hit Die: d6.


To qualify to become a urban savant, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Skills: 8 ranks in any one, and 2 ranks in each of the other two, of the following skills: Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (local), and Knowledge (nature).

Feats: Favored (League of Eyes or a similar organization).

Special: Bardic knowledge class ability (at DM’s discretion, can be replaced by Knowledge [history] 2 ranks).

Special: Must be a member in good standing of the League of Eyes or a similar organization.

Class Skills

The urban savant's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (none), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device.

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: The Urban Savant

Level Base
Special Spells per day
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Urban savvy (strengths) +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Urban empathy +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
3rd +1 +1 +3 +3 Continuing education +1 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
4th +2 +1 +4 +4 Urban savvy (weaknesses) +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
5th +2 +1 +4 +4 Eyes of the city (low-light vision) +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
6th +3 +2 +5 +5 Continuing education +2 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
7th +3 +2 +5 +5 Urban savvy (methods) +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
8th +4 +2 +6 +6 Eyes of the city (pierce deception) +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
9th +4 +3 +6 +6 Continuing education +3 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
10th +5 +3 +7 +7 Urban savvy (true nature)
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the urban savant prestige class.

An urban savant gains abilities derived from an ever-increasing knowledge of the urban environment and its traditional threats. At higher levels, she becomes almost mystically attuned to her surroundings, allowing her to perceive the true nature of her city’s enemies and thus giving her power over them.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You gain no proficiency with any weapons or armor. You can cast arcane spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal chance of spell failure, provided you are proficient with light armor. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, an urban savant wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs the normal chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component.

Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) and an increase in caster level as if you had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a member of that class would have gained. If you had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming an urban savant, you must decide to which class you will add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known. If you had no levels in an arcane spellcasting class before acquiring the prestige class level, this class feature confers no advantage.

Urban Savvy: An urban savant is an expert on the local community. If something has been around for a while, you’ve likely either heard stories about it or had direct contact with it. You can draw upon this extensive familiarity to gain certain benefits against the following types of creatures: aberrations, animals, humanoids, monstrous humanoids, oozes, and vermin (all of which are commonly found within the urban environment). The DM can modify this list as needed, replacing any creature type here with any other type appropriate to the campaign, or adding new ones. The benefits conferred are detailed in the descriptions below. As you grow in experience, you unearth new uses for your growing urban knowledge.

Using this ability requires you to succeed on an appropriate DC 15 Knowledge check (see the Knowledge skill, PH 78), made as a move action. To draw upon this knowledge, you must be within 60 feet of a target and must be aware of its presence, though you need not have line of sight. You cannot take 10 or take 20 on this check, and it cannot be retried. Each successful check might affect a single target or all creatures of the same sort, depending on the circumstances. Your allies can benefit from your knowledge as well, provided you can communicate with them at the time you are using this ability. Each of the four varieties of urban knowledge can be invoked only once against any given target or group of like creatures.

Strengths: An urban savant first studies the power of the beings who have had an impact on the city in the past. With a successful Knowledge check, you learn the general combat capabilities of your target. Against humanoids, this check confers knowledge of the target’s base attack bonus, Armor Class, and combat-related feats. (The DM is the final arbiter on what constitutes a combatrelated feat; the list of fighter bonus feats is recommended as a starting point.) Against nonhumanoids, this check confers knowledge of all the above information plus any special attacks or options, which the DM should describe in brief. Note that the urban savant’s player benefits from this knowledge as related, but obviously the character cannot relate the data to her allies verbatim. The player must roleplay any information he wishes his character to impart in the game.

Weaknesses: At 4th level, you can draw upon your urban knowledge to learn a foe’s weakness in combat. Against humanoids, a successful Knowledge check reveals the target’s Hit Dice, damage reduction (including the means to overcome it, if any), and saving throws. Against nonhumanoids, it imparts all of the above information plus any special weaknesses the foe might have. Again, the player must roleplay any information he wishes his character to impart within the game.

Methods: When you reach 7th level, your knowledge of your foes’ methods helps direct your attacks more effectively. With a successful Knowledge check, you grant yourself and your allies a +1d6 bonus on weapon damage rolls against the target for 1 minute. If you succeed on the check by 10 or more, this bonus increases to +2d6. If you succeed by 20 or more, this bonus increases to +3d6.

True Nature: The culmination of an urban savant’s studies is the ability to grasp the true nature of a target creature. When you attain 10th level, a successful Knowledge check grants you and all allies within 60 feet a mystic barrier that acts in all respects (including duration) as a protection from chaos/evil/good/law spell, granting a +2 deflection bonus to AC and a +2 resistance bonus on saves against its abilities. This protection functions regardless of the creature’s true alignment (even if neutral), but its effects do not stack with any actual protection or magic circle spells in effect. Your caster level for the purpose of this ability is equal to your urban savant level. If you succeed on the check by 10 or more, the bonuses to AC and saves increase to +3. If you succeed by 20 or more, the bonuses increase to +4.

Urban Empathy (Ex): You can use your knowledge to improve the attitude of creatures you encounter in urban environments. This ability applies only to animals, humanoids, and monstrous humanoids (oozes and vermin being typically mindless). At the DM’s discretion, this ability could work on certain aberrations as well, though most are too violent and unpredictable for such tactics.

You can choose to substitute the appropriate Knowledge check (local for humanoids or nature for animals and monstrous humanoids) in place of a Diplomacy check to influence the starting attitudes of those you encounter in cities. If the DM opts to allow use of this ability on aberrations, the substitution would be a Knowledge (dungeoneering) check. If you prefer, you can make the usual Diplomacy checks for humanoids and monstrous humanoids instead. Against animals, this ability functions like a druid’s wild empathy class feature (PH 35), adding your urban savant level to the check, or you can attempt a Knowledge (nature) check if that is likely to produce a better result.

Continuing Education (Ex): At 3rd level, you gain a +1 insight bonus on Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (local), and Knowledge (nature) checks. You gain a similar bonus on all bardic knowledge checks. This bonus increases to +2 at 6th level and +3 at 9th level.

Eyes of the City (Ex): By the time you reach 5th level, your vision has surpassed that of other city-dwelling humans. You gain low-light vision, allowing you to see twice as far and as clearly as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similarly shadowy conditions. If you already have low-light vision, your existing ability improves, allowing you to see three times as far as a normal human in conditions of shadowy illumination.

Pierce Deception: Upon reaching 8th level, you know intuitively how the city is supposed to look. While in an urban environment, you can try to see through the deception of any object or creature that might be disguising its true appearance. Make a DC 20 Knowledge (arcana) check. If the check succeeds, you know whether or not the target’s true appearance has been clouded, but not by what means, nor what its true appearance might be. If the check succeeds by 10 or more, you know by what means the target’s appearance has been altered (through use of the Disguise skill, magic, a natural shapechanging ability, or the like). If the deception is magical, you can attempt a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + spell level) to determine the spell used.