Maesters are often referred to as “knights of the mind,” and their broad learning and experience is useful to nobles and lords across the Seven Kingdoms. Maesters are trained in a grand fortress, the Citadel of Oldtown, in a number of different arts. They wear a chain, each link made of a different metal to signify mastery over a different art. Once a Maester dons his chain, he takes a vow of chastity and service for the rest of his life. The Maesters are the secular advisors to kings and lords just as the Godsworn are their spiritual advisors. They believe that magic and monsters are extinct in the Seven Kingdoms, and are sceptics who seek material and measurable explanations for the world’s wonders.
A Maester adventures when there is knowledge to be gained or a mystery to be solved. They prepare extensively for any adventure they might undertake, because without forethought they are at the mercy of stronger and faster men. Adventuring Maesters seek to expand their understanding of the world or to procure exotic substances and secrets that they can take back to their towers for further study.
Maesters have a breadth of knowledge unrivalled in the Seven Kingdoms. As a Maester grows older his insight and knowledge become even more vast, and individual Maesters are often known for their specialities, whether poison, the stars, or the history of the realm. Even if a Maester does not have knowledge of a certain area, he can often fi nd information in his personal library or at the Citadel. They spend their lives mastering several arts, adding links to the chains they wear around their neck. In addition, Maesters are skilled raven trainers, and they oversee the rookeries in most of the castles of the Seven Kingdoms.
Maesters are chosen for training based on talent rather than upbringing; the children of nobles are far more likely to be noticed by an existing Maester, but social class is not a factor. A new student at the Citadel is considered a novice. When a novice believes he has mastered a subject, he goes before an archmaester — the supreme authority on a topic. If the student successful answers the archmaester’s questions and tests, he acquires a link. Upon receiving his first link, the novice becomes an acolyte (normally 2nd or 3rd Level). Once an acolyte has acquired enough links to form a collar (yes, this does disadvantage acolytes with larger necks!), he may choose to become a Maester (normally 3rd to 5th Level).
Once a Maester takes his vows and dons his collar, he forever forsakes any house name he may have had. Maesters are dedicated to their knowledge and their arts, not bound by familial loyalties or political ties.
Most of the houses of the Seven Kingdoms have a Maester to keep their rookery and advise their lords on all matters. Maesters are fi rst and foremost bound to the Citadel, and may be called upon to act on the Citadel’s behalf. The Grand Maester is the Maester sent to serve the king.
A Maester's Chain
A Maester’s collar is worn throughout his life, and never removed. Each link signifi es a different sort of learning, including:
Intelligence is important to a Maester, for it grants him the ability to learn more Skills and thus excel at more of the Maester’s arts. Many of his Skills are Intelligence-based as well. Wisdom is also important for a Maester, who must act as counsellor to kings and nobles. A Maester’s perceptions and ability to read people’s emotions and thoughts is a vital tool in his arsenal. Charisma is a necessary Ability as well, for any Maester who hopes to have an influence on his lord.
Maesters gain 6 Hit Points at 1st Level, and 1 Hit Point per Level thereafter. The character’s Constitution Modifi er applies.
The Maester’s Class Skills (and the key Ability for each Skill) are: Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft: Alchemy (Int), Craft: Artisan (Dex), Craft: Blacksmithing (Str), Craft: Carpentry (Dex), Craft: Domestic Arts (Int), Craft: Fletcher (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge: Arcana (Int), Knowledge: Architecture (Int), Knowledge: Foreign Culture (Int), Knowledge: History (Int), Knowledge: Legends (Int), Knowledge: Local Area (Int), Knowledge: Nature (Int), Knowledge: Navigation (Int), Knowledge: Nobility (Int), Knowledge: Religion (Int), Knowledge: Stewardship (Int), Knowledge: Warfare (Int), Listen (Wis), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (None), Survival (Wis).
At 1st Level, Maesters gain (9 + Int Modifier) x 4; humans gain +4 bonus
At each Level, Maesters gain 5 + Cha Modifier.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Maesters are proficient with all simple weapons.
Maesters learn to read and write at the Citadel in order to fulfi l their duties as masters of the rookery in their lord’s abode, gaining the Literacy Feat at 1st Level.
A Maester may send messages by raven, allowing him to control the fastest form of communication in the Seven Kingdoms. He must make a Handle Animal check (DC 15) to successfully send a raven.
At 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th and 17th Level, the Maester may choose a bonus Feat from the following list: Authority; Fame; Favoured; Leechcraft; Political Connections; and Skill Mastery.
A Maester learns how to study the stars, moon, and sun in order to chart the passage of days, and more importantly the changing of seasons. A Maester gains a +4 bonus to any Skill checks that can be infl uenced by studying the skies, such as Knowledge: Nature (based on seasons or weather), or Knowledge: Navigation (based on the stars).
At 3rd Level, iven time and access to a library or other source of information, a Maester can answer questions even if they go beyond his areas of expertise. The Maester can make a familiar Knowledge check on any subject as long as he is able to research it for at least one hour. In addition, the Maester gains a +2 bonus on his roll for every hour of Research, up to a maximum bonus equal to double his Intelligence Modifi er. The fi rst hour of Research does not grant a bonus if the Maester has no Ranks in a related Knowledge Skill.
At 2nd Level, and every two Levels thereafter, the Maester has perfected one of his arts. He may choose any one of the following arts to master, but each may only be chosen once (unless otherwise noted).
Superior Leechcraft: A Maester with the Leechcraft Feat may improve his knowledge of healing. Treating a wounded character with Superior Leechcraft takes an entire day, but if the Maester’s Heal Skill check is successful, the character recovers an additional +4 Hit Points. The Maester must have the Leechcraft Feat before selecting Superior Leechcraft.
Loremaster: A Maester may make a special Loremaster knowledge check with a bonus equal to his Maester Level + Intelligence Modifi er to see whether he knows relevant information about local notable people, famous items, or noteworthy places. (If the Maester has 5 or more Ranks in an appropriate Knowledge, he gains a +2 bonus on this check).
A Maester may not Take 10 or 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random.
Arch-loremaster: A Maester with the Loremaster Special Ability may draw an inference from history and apply it to a current situation, perhaps noting a similar tactical or political situation and being inspired by the resolution that occurred thousands of years back. If the Maester makes a successful Loremaster knowledge check, he gains a circumstantial bonus on a relevant Skill, such as Bluff, Diplomacy, Knowledge, or Sense Motive. This bonus is equal to one-half the Maester’s Level + Intelligence Modifi er. The Maester must have Loremaster before selecting Arch-loremaster.
Linguist: The Maester gains 3 Skill Points, all of which must be spent on Speak Language Skills, although they can be used to become literate in another language. This art may be chosen more than once.
Herald: The Maester gains a +4 bonus on all Knowledge: Nobility checks.
Counsellor: The Maester gains a +2 bonus on all Diplomacy and Sense Motive checks.
Arch-counsellor: Once a Maester has acquired the Counsellor Special Ability, he may learn superior ways in which to advise his lord. If the Maester counsels someone for an hour, the character gains a +2 bonus to one of the following Skills (chosen as the time of counselling): Bluff, Diplomacy, Knowledge (Any appropriate), or Sense Motive. The bonus lasts for 1 hour. The Maester must have Counsellor before selecting Arch-counsellor.
These bonuses increase to +4 at 10th Level (requiring 2 hours of counselling), and to +6 at 16th Level (requiring 3 hours of counselling).
The Maester can counsel 2 people at 8th Level, 3 people at 12th Level, and 4 people at 18th Level.
Poisoner: The Maester has access to a wide variety of poisons, either in his personal collection, or simply knows where to obtain obscure and rare varieties. There is no social stigma for a Maester possessing poisons. In addition, the Maester never risks poisoning himself when using poison.
The Maester gains access to a greater and more exotic “library” of poisons as he gains experience. The value of the poisons in the library equals the Maester’s Class Level multiplied by 200 silver stags. When poisons must be acquired from distant regions, it takes 1d4 fortnights for them to arrive.
Raven Taming: The Maester gains a +8 bonus on Handle Animal checks made to train (DC 20) and send a raven, and can teach the birds simple and even unusual tasks without requiring a check.
Higher Mysteries: The Maester has studied the history and philosophy of magic, or “the higher mysteries” as it is know in the Citadel. A Maester may make a special knowledge check with a bonus equal to his Maester Level + Intelligence Modifi er to see whether he knows relevant information about legends, mysteries, artefacts, or strange creatures. If the Maester has 5 or more Ranks in an Knowledge: Arcane, he gains a +2 bonus on this check.
A Maester may not Take 10 or 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random.
Link in the Chain
At 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th Levels, the character adds a link to his Maester’s chain. He selects one Skill from the following list: Appraise, Craft: Any, Decipher Script, Heal, Knowledge: Any, Profession: Any. He gains a +4 bonus to any relevant Skill checks.
Logic and Reason
Starting at 5th Level, the Maester gains a bonus on Int Skills equal to the Skills’ Ranks, up to the maximum bonus indicated on the Table. The Maester also gains a bonus to Wis and Cha Skills equal to half the Skills’ Ranks (round down), up to the maximum bonus indicated on the Table.
Example, Maester Heldan has reached 5th Level. The Table indicated Logic and Reason +1/+0. For any Int Skill that Heldan has at least 1 Rank in, he gains a bonus equal to the Skill, up to the maximum (or a +1). At this Level, he does not gain any bonuses to Cha or Wis Skills.
If Maester Heldan reaches Level 14, his Logic and Reason bonuses go up to +10/+5. For this example, Heldan has Appraise 5 Ranks, Craft: Alchemy 10 Ranks, Heal 17 Ranks, and Intimidate 3 Ranks. For Int Skills, he gains a bonus equal to the Skills’ Ranks up to a maximum of +10 — thus he would gain +5 to Appraise checks, and +10 to Craft: Alchemy checks. For Wis and Cha Skills, he gains a bonus equal to half the Skills’ Ranks, up to a maximum of +5. Thus he gains +5 to Heal checks, and +1 (half of 3 Ranks) to Intimidate checks.
* A Maester normally acquires his fi rst link at 2nd Level. When this occurs, he becomes known as an acolyte, with Social Status Rank 1 and has 5 Infl uence Points for the Citadel.
** A Maester normally says his vows somewhere between 3rd and 5th Level. When he does this, he forsakes his name. As an initiate, however, he has Social Status Rank 2, and gains 5 more Influence Points (normally spent on the house to which he is assigned).