So it's no surprise that I thought of combining that idea with the Sage class I posted a couple days ago. It's an Ancestral Memory Sage, able to recall techniques from their ancestors. Instead of the universal ability to read magic scrolls, the Ancestral Sage can remember ANY bit of knowledge from their ancestors (the tribe as a whole, not a specific person.) Ancestral Sages don't build expensive libraries on topics, but instead use some risky process of inducing a trance state, like the ferocious beating of Gimli, to retrieve one fact (treated like a "sage scroll" in the previous article.)
Trance procedures include ritual beating, drugs, a sweat lodge, or ritual dance and take a minimum of 1 turn. The basic risk of any trance procedure is unconsciousness; trance success increases for every turn spent on the attempt, but the risk increases. Basically, use the subduing rules for dragons:
- roll one or more d6s every turn;
- if any of the dice rolled is less than the HD-based modifier, the Ancestral Sage has retrieved that memory;
- the total of the dice is taken as (temporary) subduing damage; if cumulative subduing damage equals or exceeds hit points, the Ancestral Sage falls unconscious and must be wakened after 1 turn.
Just like ordinary Sages, Ancestral Sages get a one-time bonus equal to their HD on the one specific subtopic they went into a trance to retrieve. Unlike ordinary Sages, they don't get the bonus any other way. Ancestral Sages would make a good class for a shaman.