So a Polymath would be the class the represents the old gypsy (or her young student) that knows all the legends and knowing which parts of the legends would actually work about the horror we are about to face? Would it make it a specialized spellcasting class using speficic knowledge to "fuel" general spells towards the types of enemies the Polymath knows something about and not working against those when he lacks the knowledge? Am I hitting in the general direction? If I am this sounds awesome!
Other than more details about the Polymath I would love to hear about the Hunter and how you can model Solomon Kane from that class. Solomon has always been paladin-ish in my mind - even when a case is personal it has the greater good as the ultimate goal. All accomplished thanks to the conviction that you are right and pure and they are not.
Yup. The Polymath could represent an old gypsy. Or a Lovecraftian Professor type. Or a Watcher from the Buffy series.
Their Ritual knowledge is separate from an application of what they can research. I mean, Research can be used to get a bonus to the casting of a Ritual but there's a whole lot more it can do too.
In game terms, a party does research to try to gain some advantage over whatever it is they're facing. And the Polymath is very good at this.
The result of Research can mean a number of things -- knowing the location of a secret door in the dungeon without having to search, avoiding a random encounter or trap, getting a bonus to save against one of the adversary's special attacks, finding out where the lair of the creature may be or finding out a weakness of the creature in question. Research can also result in spells, rituals, counter-rituals and other bonuses the party can use in the adventure. Polymaths OWN this element of play. There's an element of Sherlock Holmes to the Polymath, as well as the classic Dr. Van Helsing.
P.S. I'll do the Hunter next week!