(excerpt from The World of Llowellen: The Old World by Ian Hewitt. Note that the tables referenced below are unfortunately not available online… unless any of my players are more adept at HTML coding than I ever will be…)
Skills are areas of expertise that characters gain or have gained through training and practice. Characters “buy” skills with skill points. With each new level, you get more skill points. The amount depends on your class. Ability scores modify skills, so the greater your natural ability in a particular area, the better you will be at a related skill.
This chapter details acquiring skills, the abilities that modify them, the circumstances in which characters can use them—and how to put them into practice. It also includes descriptions of 36 skills to use in the game.
Characters have a number of skill points based on their race and their class levels. They use these points to “buy” their skills. If the GM wishes, she can grant up to 4 free ranks in any Knowledge or Craft skill, regardless of class, to reflect the character’s side interests or hobbies. These ranks must still obey the rules for maximum ranks.
Depending on a character’s race and class, some skills are considered class skills, and the others are cross-class skills. Buying a cross-class skill requires 2 skill points per rank, while buying a class skill requires only 1 skill point per rank.
Characters receive a number of skill points at 1st level and again as they gain each new level. However, at 1st level they get four times as many skill points as they do at any other level. This total reflects the training and education up to that point in the character’s life. This is the only time characters receive extra skill points, even if they multiclass.
When the player is spending her skill points they should explain to the GM how the character was able to gain these skills in the past, or to improve upon them or learn new skills as they advance.
For example, a gladiator who has seldom set foot outside the Colosseum is probably skilled in Bluff, Intimidate and Tumble, but is less likely to know anything about Alchemy. A Kalanese elf who has spent her life at, and under, the ocean probably doesn’t know a great deal about Survival in the mountains. At the GM’s discretion spending new skill points may require a teacher or a period of study; or, it may be assumed that existing skills are improving naturally with practice and that new skills are self-taught.
The maximum number of ranks a character can have in a class skill is equal to that character’s level + 3. The maximum ranks a character can have in a cross-class skill is half that number.
Starting skill points for the basic character classes are as detailed in the table below.
Every skill corresponds to one of the six abilities described in Chapter One. That ability is called the key ability for that skill. For example, the Balance skill relies on Dexterity.
When a character uses a skill, the player makes a skill check to see how well the character does at the action she’s attempting. The higher the result of the character’s skill check, the better the character does. Based on the circumstances, the character’s result must match or beat a particular target number in order for her to use the skill successfully and complete the action. The harder the task, the higher the number the character needs to roll.
To make a skill check, roll 1d20 and add the character’s skill modifier for that skill. The skill modifier is the sum of the character’s rank in that skill + her ability modifier for that skill’s key ability + any other miscellaneous modifiers the character may have, including racial bonuses or an armor check penalty. The higher the result, the better. A roll of a natural 20 is not an automatic success, and a natural 1 is not an automatic failure.
Against a Difficulty Class: Some checks are made against a Difficulty Class (DC). The Difficulty Class is the number the character must score as the result of a skill check in order to succeed at the action she’s attempting.
Against Opposed Checks: Some skill checks are opposed checks. They are made not against a set Difficulty Class but against another character’s skill check result. Whoever gets the higher result wins the contest. You might use an opposed skill check when one character is trying to hide from another. One character would roll a Sneak skill check opposed by the other character’s Spot check result.
For ties on opposed checks, the character with the higher key ability score for the skill in use wins. If these scores are the same, reroll.
In general, a character can try a skill check again if she fails, and she can keep trying indefinitely. Some skills, however, have consequences of failure that you must take into account. Some skills are virtually useless once a check has failed in one attempt to accomplish a particular task. For instance, a character can’t recover from a failed Perform check to impress an audience in a retry—the audience has already turned against her. For most skills, when a character has succeeded once at a given task, additional successes are meaningless—once a lock is open, further Open Lock attempts won’t make it any more open.
If a skill carries no penalties for failure, the character can take 20 (see “Checks Without Rolls,” below). Assume she goes at it long enough to succeed eventually.
Untrained skill checks
Generally, if a character attempts to use a skill she doesn’t possess, she makes a skill check as normal. However, you can’t add the character’s skill rank into the skill modifier, because she doesn’t have any ranks in the skill. (She effectively has 0 ranks in it.) The character does get to add in the other elements of the skill modifier, though, such as the ability modifier for the skill’s key ability.
However, many skills can be used only by a character trained in the skill—i.e., someone who has at least 1 rank in it. Skills that one cannot use untrained are marked “Trained Only” in their descriptions later in this chapter.
Ability Checks: Sometimes the character tries to do something to which no specific skill really applies. In these cases, she simply makes an ability check. An ability check is a roll of 1d20 + the appropriate ability score modifier—essentially, an untrained skill check. The GM assigns a Difficulty Class to the attempt.
Favorable & Unfavorable Conditions
Some situations may make a skill easier or harder to use, resulting in a bonus or penalty added into the skill modifier for the skill check or a change to the skill check’s Difficulty Class.
The GM can alter the odds of success in four ways to take into account exceptional circumstances:
Give the skill user a +2 circumstance bonus to represent circumstances that improve performance.
Give the skill user a –2 circumstance penalty to represent conditions that hamper performance.
Reduce the Difficulty Class by 2 to represent circumstances that make the task easier.
Increase the Difficulty Class by 2 to represent circumstances that make the task harder.
A bonus to the character’s skill modifier and a reduction in the check’s Difficulty Class have the same end result: They create a better chance that the character will succeed. But they represent different circumstances, and sometimes that difference becomes important.
Time and Skill Checks
Using a skill might take a round, take no time, or take several rounds or even longer. Most skill uses are standard actions, move-equivalent actions, or full-round actions. Types of actions define how long activities take to perform within the framework of a combat round (6 seconds) and how movement is treated with respect to the activity. Some skill checks are instant and represent reactions to an event, or are included as part of an action. These skill checks are not actions. Other skill checks represent part of movement. The distance the character jumps when making a Jump check, for example, is part of the character’s movement. When a skill takes more than a round to use, the skill’s description usually specifies exactly how long it takes.
Practically Impossible Tasks
In general, to do something that’s practically impossible requires that the character have at least 10 ranks in the skill and entails a penalty of –20 on the character’s roll or +20 on the Difficulty Class (which amounts to the same thing).
Practically impossible tasks are hard to delineate ahead of time. They’re the accomplishments that represent incredible, almost logic-defying skill and luck.
The GM decides what is actually impossible and what is merely practically impossible. For instance, it’s practically impossible for a Medium character to jump off a ledge 200 feet above the ground and land in a 2-foot-diameter hole. It’s actually impossible for a Large character to do so.
Extraordinary Success: If the character has at least 10 ranks in a skill and beats the Difficulty Class by 20 or more on a normal skill check, the character has completed the task impossibly well. The GM should assign an appropriate game benefit to an extraordinary success. For instance, say a character was making a Diplomacy skill check against DC 20 to convince a magistrate to reduce the charges against her friend. If her check result was actually a 40, the GM might rule that the magistrate does not merely reduce the charges, he dismisses them and lets the friend go free.
Checks Without Rolls
Taking 10: When a character is not in a rush and not being threatened or distracted, she may choose to take 10 on a skill check. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate the character’s result as if she had rolled a 10.
Taking 20: When the character has plenty of time (generally two minutes for a skill she normally can use in 1 round, one full-round action, or one standard action), and when the attempted skill carries no penalties for failure, the character can take 20.
Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate the character’s result as if she had rolled a 20. Taking 20 means the character keeps trying until she gets it right. Taking 20 takes about 20 times as long as it would take to make a single check.
Combining Skill Checks
When more than one character tries to use the same skill at the same time and for the same purpose, their efforts may overlap.
Individual Events: Often, several characters attempt an action, and each succeeds or fails on her own.
Helping the Leader: Sometimes the individual PCs are essentially reacting to the same situation, but they can work together and help each other out. In this case, one character is considered the leader of the effort and makes a skill check, while each helper makes a skill check against DC 10. (The helper can’t take 10 on this check.) For each helper who succeeds, the leader gets a +2 circumstance bonus (per the rule for favorable conditions). In many cases, a character’s help won’t be beneficial, or only a limited number of characters can help at once. GM’s should limit cooperation as they see fit for the given conditions.
Skill Synergy: It’s also possible for a character to have two skills that work well together. In general, having 5 or more ranks in one skill gives the character a +2 synergy bonus on skill checks with its synergistic skills, as noted in the skill descriptions. This synergy bonus increases by +2 for every additional 20 ranks the character has in the skill.
This section describes each skill in the game, including common uses and typical modifiers.
This skill description format, standard for all skills, is as follows:
(Key Ability, Trained Only, Armor Check Penalty)
The skill name lines include the following information:
Key Ability: The name of the ability whose modifier applies to the skill check. Exception: Speak Language has “None” listed as its key ability, because using this skill does not require a check.
Trained Only: If “Trained Only” appears after the skill name line, the character must have at least 1 rank in the skill to use it. Otherwise, she can use the skill untrained (with a rank of 0). Any special notes applying to trained or untrained use appear in the Special section (see below).
Armor Check Penalty: Apply any armor check penalty to skill checks for this skill.
Next comes a general description of what using the skill represents, what a character can do with a successful skill check, how much time it takes to make a check, and the check’s Difficulty Class. After the description come two other types of information:
Retry: Certain conditions may apply to successive attempts to use the skill. If this paragraph is omitted, a character can retry skill attempts with no inherent penalty other than consuming additional time.
Special: This final section includes any extra facts that apply to the skill, such as rules regarding untrained use, whether this skill has a synergistic relationship with other skills, and benefits that certain characters receive because of class or race.
Intelligence, Trained Only
The character can identify and make alchemical items. Some items characters can make appear in the item descriptions in the History of Technology. To determine how much time and material it takes to make an alchemical item, use the Difficulty Classes listed below and the rules for making things found in the Craft skill description.
The GM may allow an alchemist to perform other tasks related to alchemy, such as identifying an unknown substance or a poison. Doing so takes one hour. Identifying a potion (if a substance is known to be a potion) “in the field” requires only 3 rounds and has no cost, but it requires the character to sip a tiny bit of the potion—a risk, if it turns out to not be a potion.
Retry: Yes, but in the case of making items, each failure ruins half the raw materials needed, and the character has to pay half the raw material cost again for a new attempt. If identifying substances or potions, each failure consumes the full cost. Identifying in the field cannot be retried.
Special: The character must have alchemical equipment to make an item or identify it. If identifying an item, the cost represents additional supplies the character must buy. Purchasing and maintaining an alchemist’s laboratory grants a +2 circumstance bonus to Alchemy checks (from the favorable condition of having the perfect tools for the job) but does not affect the cost of any items made using the skill.
The character can appraise common or well-known objects within 10 percent of their value (DC 12). Failure means the character estimates the value at somewhere between 50 percent and 150 percent of actual value. The GM secretly rolls 2d6+3, multiplies the result by 10 percent, then multiplies the actual value by that percentage and tells the character that value for the item. (For a common or well-known item, a character’s chance of estimating the value within 10 percent is fairly high, even if she fails the check—in such a case, the character made a lucky guess.)
Rare or exotic items require a successful check against DC 15, DC 20, or higher. If successful, the character estimates the value at between 70 percent and 130 percent of its actual value. The GM secretly rolls 2d4+5, multiplies the result by 10 percent, then multiplies the actual value by that percentage and tells the character that value for the item. Failure means the character cannot estimate the item’s value.
A magnifying glass gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Appraise checks involving any item that is small or highly detailed, such as a gem. A merchant’s scale gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Appraise checks involving items valued by weight, including anything made of precious metals. These bonuses stack. Appraising an item takes one minute.
Sexual Appraisal: The character can assess a potential sexual partner’s stamina and skill. By studying a target for at least 1 minute, they can make some general judgments. The DC is 15 + the target’s character level and a success reveals the following information:
Find Weak Point: As a full-round action, make an Appraise check (DC 20) to pinpoint a weak spot in a foe’s weapon. This foe must stand in the character’s threatened area in order for the character to examine the weapon closely enough. If the character succeeds, she gains a +2 bonus on a sunder attempt against the weapon.
A successful Appraise check (DC 25) against an opponent’s armor allows the character to gain a +1 insight bonus on attack rolls against this foe for the rest of the encounter. For this check to be effective the opponent must be gaining an armor bonus from a physical suit of armor and must be in the character’s threatened area.
Detect Magic: The character can sense if an item has a magical aura with a successful DC check of 50. She can then use Spellcraft to learn more about the item as if he or she had already cast detect magic on the item. This requires a full-round action.
Retry: Not on the same object, regardless of success.
Special: If the character is making the check untrained, for common items, failure means no estimate; for rare items, success means an estimate of 50 percent to 150 percent of actual value ([2d6+3] × 10 percent).
Dexterity, Armor Check Penalty
The character can walk on a precarious surface as a move-equivalent action. A successful check allows the character to move at half her speed along the surface for 1 round.
A failure means the character can’t move for 1 round. A failure by 5 or more means that the character falls.
The difficulty varies with the surface:
Being Attacked While Balancing: Attacks against the character are made as if she were off balance: They gain a +2 attack bonus, and the character loses any Dexterity bonus to Armor Class. Characters with 5 or more ranks in Balance can retain their Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) in the face of attacks. If a character takes damage, she must make another skill check to stay balanced.
Accelerated Movement: The character can try to walk across a precarious surface more quickly than normal. If she accepts a –5 penalty, she can move at normal speed as a move-equivalent action. (Moving twice the character’s speed in a round requires two checks.)
Special: Characters with 5 or more ranks in Tumble get a +2 synergy bonus on Balance checks.
Bluff allows a character to convince another of something that is not true. A Bluff check is opposed by the target’s Sense Motive check. Favorable and unfavorable circumstances weigh heavily on the outcome of a bluff. Two circumstances can weigh against the character: if the bluff is hard to believe, or if the action she wants the target to take goes against the target’s self-interest, nature, personality, orders, etc.
If it’s important, the GM can distinguish between a bluff that fails because the target doesn’t believe it and one that fails because it just asks too much of the target. For instance, if the target gets a +10 bonus because the bluff demands something risky of her, and the Sense Motive check succeeds by 10 or less, then the target didn’t so much see through the bluff as prove reluctant to go along with it. If the target succeeds by 11 or more, she has seen through the bluff (and would have done so even if it had not entailed any demand on her).
A successful Bluff check indicates that the target reacts as the character wishes, at least for a short time (usually 1 round or less) or believes something the character wants her to believe.
A bluff requires interaction between the character and the target. Creatures unaware of the character cannot be bluffed. A bluff always takes at least 1 round (and is at least a full-round action) but can take much longer if the character tries something elaborate.
Feign Death: The character can ready an action to make a Bluff check the next time she takes damage. The Bluff check is opposed by any interested observer’s Sense Motive checks. The character immediately falls prone and drops any held items. The GM keeps the result of the Sense Motive secret, and the character loses their Dexterity bonus to AC until their next action. They are not considered helpless as they can still try to dodge a coup de grace or similar attack. If the character is able to attack an opponent who thinks they are dead, the opponent loses their Dexterity bonus to AC against the character until the end of the round.
Feinting in Combat: The character can also use Bluff to mislead an opponent in combat so she can’t dodge his attack effectively. Doing so is a standard action that does not draw an attack of opportunity. If the character succeeds, the next attack she makes against the target does not allow her to use her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any). This attack must be made on or before the character’s next turn. Feinting in this way against a non-humanoid is difficult, because it’s harder to read a strange creature’s body language; the character suffers a –4 penalty in such cases. Against a creature of animal Intelligence (1 or 2) it’s even harder; the character suffers a –8 penalty. Against a non-intelligent creature, it’s impossible.
Creating a Diversion to Hide: The character can use Bluff to help her hide. A successful Bluff check can give her the momentary diversion she needs to attempt a Sneak check to hide while people are aware of her.
Seduction: The character can use this skill to connect with a potential sexual partner. A successful check makes the target interested in the character sexually. Often it means the target is willing to find a private corner, invite the character to his place of residence, or go to hers. It can also make the target believe that the character’s interest is deeper than a mere sexual encounter.
The target must be a sexually active individual who is willing and able to copulate. This seductive aspect of the Bluff skill does not force someone to do something that is not naturally in their character.
Instill Suggestion in Target: This use of the skill might include a fruit seller hawking his wares convincing a potential patron to open their purse; it might also include convincing someone to accept a small bribe. This is identical to the effect of the suggestion spell, except that it is nonmagical and lasts for only 10 minutes. It can be sensed as if it were an enchantment effect (Sense Motive DC 25).
Disguise Surface Thoughts: The character can fool spells such as detect thoughts (or similar effects) by displaying false surface thoughts. While the character can’t completely mask the presence of her thoughts, she can change her apparent Intelligence score (and thus the character’s apparent mental strength) by as much as 10 points and can place any thought in her “surface thoughts” to be read by such spells or effects. If a character attempts to use Sense Motive to detect her surface thoughts (see the Sense Motive skill description), this becomes an opposed check (though any result lower than 100 automatically fails).
Fortune Telling: This is the skill practiced by charlatans and false prophets to create a believable reading when they lack the skill or motivation to perform a true one.
The GM should apply a circumstance modifier according to how far-fetched or specific the fortune telling is. A vague, common prediction might carry no modifier to the DC, while an easily debunked prophecy might be modified by +10 or +20. The use of arcane props, such as crystal balls or cards gives a +2 circumstance bonus to the Bluff check.
Retry: Generally, a failed Bluff check makes the target too suspicious for the bluffer to try another Bluff check in the same circumstances. For feinting in combat, the character may retry freely.
Special: Having 5 or more ranks in Bluff gives a character a +2 synergy bonus on Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sleight of Hand checks and a +2 synergy bonus on an Innuendo check to transmit a message. Also, characters with 5 or more ranks of Bluff get a +2 synergy bonus on Disguise checks when they know they are being observed and they try to act in character.
Strength, Armor Check Penalty
With each successful Climb check, a character can advance up, down, or across a slope, wall, or other steep incline (even a ceiling with handholds) at one-half her speed as a full-round action. The character can move half that far at one-fourth of her speed as a move-equivalent action. A slope is considered to be any incline of less than 60 degrees; a wall is any incline of 60 degrees or steeper.
A failed Climb check means that the character makes no progress. A check that fails by 5 or more means that she falls from whatever height she has already attained.
A climber’s kit gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Climb checks.
The Difficulty Class of the check depends on the conditions of the climb (see the table).
Since the character can’t move to avoid a blow while climbing, enemies can attack her as if she were stunned: An attacker gets a +2 bonus, and the character loses any Dexterity bonus to Armor Class.
The character cannot use a shield while climbing.
Any time the character takes damage while climbing, make a Climb check against the Difficulty Class of the slope or wall. Failure means the character falls from her current height and sustains the appropriate falling damage.
Accelerated Climbing: The character tries to climb more quickly than normal. As a full-round action, she can attempt to cover her full speed in climbing distance. However, she suffers a –5 penalty on Climb checks and must make two checks each round. Each successful check allows her to climb a distance equal to one-half her speed. By accepting the –5 penalty, the character can move at half speed as a move-equivalent action rather than as a full-round action.
Rapid Climbing: A character can climb her speed as a move-equivalent action, or double her speed as a full-round action (requiring two Climb checks), but the character takes a –20 penalty on her check.
Scaling Attack: The character may use a Climb check as a standard action against a foe that is at least two size categories larger. The Climb check is opposed by the foe’s base attack check. If the character succeeds, she climbs her opponent. She must use one hand to hold on as she takes other actions, she cannot use a shield, and she loses her Dexterity bonus to AC. The character’s foe loses its Dexterity bonus to AC against the character’s attacks. The two combatants occupy the same space. The character provokes an attack of opportunity for entering her foe’s space. In addition, the character suffers a –2 penalty to her Climb check if she only has one free hand.
The opponent can attempt to knock the character loose by making a base attack check opposed by the character’s Climb check. If it succeeds the character falls and takes damage as if the foe hit her with a slam attack and from falling.
Making One’s Own Handholds and Footholds: The character can make her own handholds and footholds by pounding pitons into a wall. Doing so takes one minute per piton; one piton is needed per 3 feet. As with any surface with handholds and footholds, climbing a wall with pitons has a Difficulty Class of 15. In the same way, a climber with a handaxe or similar implement can cut holds in an ice wall.
Catching Oneself When Falling: It’s practically impossible to catch oneself on a wall while falling. Make a Climb check (DC = wall’s DC + 20) to do so. It’s a lot easier to catch oneself on a slope (DC = slope’s DC + 10).
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks in Use Rope gets a +2 synergy bonus on checks to climb a rope, a knotted rope, or a rope and wall combination.
The Legendary Climber feat allows a character to ignore any penalties for accelerated or rapid climbing.
The character can use this skill to maintain concentration in the face of distractions.
The list below summarizes various types of distractions that cause a character to have to make a Concentration check while casting a spell.
DC 10 + Damage Dealt + Spell Level: Injury or failed saving throw during the casting of a spell (for spells with a casting time of 1 full round or more) or injury by an attack of opportunity or readied attack made in response to the spell being cast (for spells with a casting time of one standard action).
DC 10 + Half of Continuous Damage + Spell Level: Suffered automatic continuous damage.
DC 10 + Damage Dealt + Spell Level: Damaged by spell.
Distracting Spell’s Save DC + Spell Level: Distracted by non-damaging spell. (If the spell allows no save, use the save DC it would have if it did allow a save.)
Opponent’s Grapple Check + Spell Level: Grappling or pinned (can only cast spells without somatic components and whose material component is in hand).
DC 10 + Spell Level: Vigorous motion (on a moving mount, bouncy wagon ride, small boat in rough water, belowdecks in a storm-tossed ship).
DC 15 + Spell Level: Violent motion (galloping horse, very rough wagon ride, small boat in rapids, on deck of storm-tossed ship).
DC 20 + Spell Level: Affected by a whirlwind spell.
DC 5 + Spell Level: Weather involves a high wind carrying blinding rain or sleet.
DC 10 + Spell Level: Weather involves wind-driven hail, dust, or debris.
Distracting Spell’s Save DC + Spell Level: Weather caused by spell, such as control weather (same as distracted by non-damaging spell).
Opponent’s Attack Bonus (Minimum 10) + Spell Level: Casting defensively (so as not to provoke attacks of opportunity).
DC 15: Caster entangled.
DC 50 + Spell Level: The character can cast spell with somatic component even grappled.
“Spell level” above refers to the level of the spell the character is trying to cast. “Opponent’s attack bonus” is the attack bonus of any foe threatening the caster (if the foe’s attack bonus is less than 10, use 10 instead). “Opponent’s grapple check” refers to an opposed roll made by a foe.
If the Concentration check fails to beat the attack roll in the opposed check, it doesn’t mean that the opponent succeeded in an attack—just that she foiled the character’s attempt to concentrate. Subsequent attacks require a new attack roll from the opponent.
Focused Determination: The character can temporarily remove the effects of any morale penalties she is suffering to her attacks, checks, saves and damage rolls. As a full-round action the character may make a Concentration check with a DC of 15 + the penalty she wishes to remove. If this check succeeds they character can ignore the negative effects until the end of her next round. The character can choose to ignore only part of the penalty (thereby making the DC lower).
Retry: Yes, though a success doesn’t cancel the effects of a previous failure.
Intelligence, Trained Only
Craft actually refers to a number of separate skills. For instance, a character could have the skill Craft (Airshipwright), Craft (Blacksmith), or Craft (Carpenter). The character’s ranks in that skill don’t affect any checks she happens to make for pottery or leather-working, however. The character may have several Craft skills, each with its own ranks, and each purchased as a separate skill.
A Craft skill must specifically focus on creating something; if it does not, it is a Knowledge skill.
The character can practice a trade and make a decent living, earning about half the check result in gold pieces per week of dedicated work. The character knows how to use the tools of the trade, how to perform the craft’s daily tasks, how to supervise untrained helpers, and how to handle common problems. (Untrained laborers and assistants earn an average of 1 silver piece per day).
All crafts require artisan’s tools to give the best chance of success; a character who uses improvised tools instead attempts the check with a –2 circumstance penalty. On the other hand, masterwork artisan’s tools provide a +2 circumstance bonus.
To determine how much time and money it takes to make an item, follow these steps:
Find the Difficulty Class listed here or have the GM set one.
Pay one-third the item’s price in raw materials.
Make a skill check representing one week’s work.
If the check succeeds, multiply the check result by the Difficulty Class. If the result × the Difficulty Class equals the price of the item multiplied by 10, then the character has completed the item. (If the result times the Difficulty Class equals double or triple the price of the item multiplied by 10, then the character has completed the task in one-half or one-third the time, and so on.) If the result × the Difficulty Class doesn’t equal the price multiplied by 10, then it represents the progress the character has made this week. Record the result and make another check for the next week. Each week the character makes more progress until his total reaches the price of the item multiplied by 10.
Should the character fail the check, she makes no progress this week. If she fails by 5 or more, she ruins half the raw materials and has to pay half the original raw material cost again.
Progress by the Day: The character can make checks by the day instead of by the week, in which case she progresses (result times DC) at one-tenth the weekly rate.
Creating Masterwork Items: The character can make a masterwork item: an item that conveys a bonus to its user through its exceptional craftsmanship, not through being magical. To create a masterwork version of an item on the table below, the character creates the masterwork component, as if it were a separate item, in addition to the standard item. The masterwork component has its own price and Difficulty Class.
Once both the standard component and the masterwork component of the item are completed, the masterwork item is finished. (Note: The price the character pays for the masterwork component is one-third of the given amount, just as it is for the price in raw materials.)
Repairing Items: Generally, the character can repair an item using the same Difficulty Class it took to make it in the first place. The cost of repairing an item is one-fifth the item’s price.
In some cases, a character can use the lesser or greater creation spell to achieve the results of a Craft check without needing to make the check. However, the character must make an appropriate Craft check when using the spell to make articles requiring a high degree of craftsmanship (jewelry, swords, glass, crystal, etc.). When casting the spell lesser creation, the character must succeed at an appropriate Craft check to make a complex item, such as a Craft (bow-making) check to make straight arrow shafts.
Quick Creation: A character can voluntarily increase the DC of crafting an item by any multiple of 10. This allows the character to create an item more quickly (since she will be multiplying this higher DC by her skill check result to determine progress). The character must decide the increase to the DC before making the check.
Create Augmented Alchemical Item or Substance: This requires the Augmented Alchemy feat, and allows a character to create alchemical items and substances of greater power than normal. To augment an alchemical substance, add +20 to the DC required to create the item and multiply the cost by 5. If the item or substance deals damage, double the damage dealt. If the item or substance doesn’t deal damage, double the duration of its effect. If the item or substance doesn’t deal damage and doesn’t have a specific listed duration (or has an instantaneous duration), double all dimensions of its area. If the item or substance doesn’t fit any of these categories, then it cannot be improved in this manner. A character can create an item with multiple degrees of augmentation. For every additional multiplier applied to damage, duration, or area, add an additional +20 to the DC and add an additional 5 to the cost multiplier.
Retry: Yes, but each time the character misses by 5 or more, she ruins half the raw materials and has to pay half the original raw material cost again.
Special: Having 5 or more ranks in Craft gives a character a +2 synergy bonus on related Appraise checks.
Intelligence, Trained Only
The character can decipher writing in an unfamiliar language or a message written in an incomplete or archaic form. The base Difficulty Class is 20 for the simplest messages, DC 25 for standard texts, and DC 30 or higher for intricate, exotic, or very old writing. To decipher a written spell (such as a scroll) without using read magic the DC is 50 + 5 times the spell level. This may only be attempted once per day.
If the check succeeds, the character understands the general content of a piece of writing, reading about one single page of text (or its equivalent) in one minute. If the check fails, the GM makes a Wisdom check (DC 5) for the character to see whether she avoids drawing a false conclusion about the text. (Success means the character does not draw a false conclusion; failure means she does.)
The GM secretly makes both the skill check and (if necessary) the Wisdom check so the player can’t tell whether the conclusion the character draws is true or false.
Special: Characters with 5 or more ranks in Decipher Script enjoy a +2 synergy bonus on Use Magic Device checks related to scrolls.
The character can change others’ attitudes with a successful check. Remember to subtract the potentially influenced creature’s Hit Dice from the Diplomacy check result before determining the result. In negotiations, participants roll opposed Diplomacy checks to see who gains the advantage. Opposed checks also resolve cases when two advocates or diplomats plead opposite cases in a hearing before a third party. See the “Influencing Attitude” table in Chapter One: Ability Scores.
The character can turn a person into a fanatic follower.
Fanatic: The attitude of fanatic is added here. In addition to the obvious effects, any NPC whose attitude is fanatic gains a +2 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution scores, a +1 morale bonus on Will saves, and a –1 penalty to AC whenever fighting for the character or her cause. This attitude will remain for one day plus one day per point of the character’s Charisma bonus, at which point the NPC’s attitude will revert to its original attitude (or indifferent, if no attitude is specified).
Treat the fanatic attitude as a mind-affecting enchantment effect for purposes of immunity, save bonuses, or being detected by the Sense Motive skill. Since it is nonmagical, it can’t be dispelled; however, any effect that suppresses or counters mind-affecting effects will affect it normally. A fanatic NPC’s attitude can’t be further adjusted by the use of skills.
Call for Truce: As a full-round action, a character can call for an end to the fighting. She must make a Diplomacy check with a Difficulty Class as indicated by the table below. If she succeeds, her opponents ready actions to attack when she or her allies attack or take a threatening action. She may then parlay as normal with her foes. The GM may consider her foes to remain active on their initiative. Combat does not end until both sides have stepped down from their alert standing.
Retry: Generally, retries do not work. Even if the initial check succeeds, Diplomacy can persuade the other character only so far, and a retry may do more harm than good. If the initial check fails, the other character has probably become more firmly committed to her position, rendering a retry futile.
Special: Charisma checks to influence NPCs are generally untrained Diplomacy checks. A character with 5 or more ranks in Bluff or Sense Motive gets a +2 synergy bonus on Diplomacy checks. These bonuses stack.
Intelligence, Trained Only
The character can jam a mechanical device or otherwise keep it from operating. The effort requires at least a simple tool of the appropriate sort (a pick, pry bar, saw, file, etc.). Attempting a Disable Device check without a set of thieves’ tools carries a –2 circumstance penalty, even if the character employs a simple tool. The use of masterwork thieves’ tools enables the character to make the check with a +2 circumstance bonus.
The GM makes the Disable Device check so the player doesn’t necessarily know whether the character has succeeded. The amount of time needed to make a check and the Difficulty Class for the check depend on how tricky the device is. Disabling a simple device takes 1 round (it is at least a full-round action). Intricate or complex devices require 2d4 rounds. The character also can rig simple devices such as saddles or wagon wheels to work normally for a while and then fail or fall off some time later (usually after 1d4 rounds or minutes of use).
Disabling (or rigging or jamming) a fairly simple device has a Difficulty Class of 10. Doing so for a more intricate or complex device has a higher Difficulty Class. The GM rolls the check.
If it succeeds, the character disables the device. If the check fails by up to 4, the character has failed but can try again. If the character fails by 5 or more, something goes wrong. If the device is a trap, the character springs it. If it’s some sort of sabotage, the character thinks the device is disabled, but it still works normally.
Characters can even disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a Disable Device Difficulty Class of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.
Rushed Disable: The character can rush her Disable Device attempt, reducing the amount of time it takes to perform the attempt.
Retry: Yes, though the character must be aware that she has failed in order to try again. A character who beats a trap’s Difficulty Class by 10 or more generally can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (along with his companions) without disarming it.
The character can change her appearance or someone else’s. The effort requires at least a few props, some makeup, and 1d3 × 10 minutes of work. The use of a disguise kit provides a +2 circumstance bonus to a Disguise check. A disguise can include an apparent change of height or weight of no more than one-tenth the original.
The character can also impersonate people, either individuals or types. For example, she might, with little or no actual disguise, make herself seem like a traveler even if she’s a local.
The character’s Disguise check result determines how good the disguise is; it is opposed by others’ Spot check results. Make one Disguise check even if several people make Spot checks. The GM makes the character’s Disguise check secretly so the player is not sure how good the disguise is.
If the character draws no attention to herself, however, others do not get to make Spot checks. Should the character come to the attention of a suspicious person (such as a guard watching commoners walk through a city gate), the GM can assume that person is taking 10 on her Spot checks.
The effectiveness of the character’s disguise depends in part on how drastically he’s attempting to change his appearance:
If the character is impersonating a particular individual, those who know what that person looks like get a bonus on their Spot checks, as listed in the table below. Automatically treat such people as suspicious of the character—opposed checks are always invoked.
Usually, an individual makes a check for detection immediately upon meeting the character and once each hour thereafter. If the character casually meets many different creatures, each for a short time, check once per day or hour, using an average Spot bonus for the group. For example, if a character is trying to pass for a merchant at a bazaar, the GM can make one Spot check per hour for the people she encounters, using a +1 bonus on the check to represent the crowd’s average skill modifier (most people with no Spot ranks and a few with good Spot skills).
Disguise Weapon: The character may spend 10 minutes hiding a light, one-handed weapon on her body. She may hide only one weapon at a time in this manner. Later, she can use your Quick Draw feat to ready it and attack as normal. When she does so, she must make a Disguise check opposed by her foe’s Spot check. Her opponent also gains his base attack bonus (without modifiers for Strength, feats, magic and so forth) as a bonus on this check. If the character’s check succeeds, her opponent loses his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class on the character’s next attack.
Anyone searching the character must make a Search check opposed by the character’s Disguise check to find the weapon. They gain no special bonuses on this check – unlike with weapons hidden using the Sleight of Hand skill – because the character has physically modified the weapon in order to disguise it.
Retry: A character may try to redo a failed disguise, but once others know she attempted a disguise, they’ll be more suspicious.
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks of Bluff gets a +2 synergy bonus on Disguise checks when she knows that she’s being observed and tried to act in character.
Dexterity, Armor Check Penalty
Making a check to escape from being bound by ropes, manacles, or other restraints (except a grappler) requires one minute of work. Escaping a net or eldritch web spell is a full-round action. Squeezing through a tight space takes at least one minute, maybe longer, depending on how long the space is.
Ropes: The character’s Escape Artist check opposes the binder’s Use Rope check. Since it’s easier to tie someone up than to escape from being tied up, the binder gets a +10 bonus to her check.
Manacles and Masterwork Manacles: Manacles have a Difficulty Class of 30 or 35, depending on their construction.
Net: Escaping from a net is a full-round action.
Tight Space: This Difficulty Class describes getting through a space where one’s head fits but one’s shoulders don’t. If the space is long, such as in a chimney, the GM may call for multiple checks. The character can’t fit through a space that his head won’t fit through.
Extremely Tight Space: This is the DC for getting through a space when one’s head shouldn’t even be able to fit; this can be as small as 2 inches square for Medium-size creatures. Halve this limit for each size category less than Medium-size; double it for each size category greater than Medium-size. If the space is long, such as in a chimney, multiple checks may be called for.
Pass through Wall of Force: This allows a character to find a gap of weakness in a wall of force (or similar force effect) and squeeze through it.
Grappler: A character can make an Escape Artist check opposed by the enemy’s grapple check to get out of a grapple or out of a pinned condition (so that the character is just being grappled). Doing so is a standard action, so a character who escapes the grapple can move in the same round.
Spell: Escaping from an eldritch web spell constitutes a full round action.
Retry: A character can make another check after a failed check if she’s squeezing through a tight space, making multiple checks. If the situation permits, she can make additional checks or even take 20 as long as no one actively opposes her.
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks of Use Rope gets a +2 synergy bonus on Escape Artist checks when escaping from rope bonds. Likewise, a character with 5 or more ranks of Escape Artist gets a +2 synergy bonus on Use Rope checks to bind someone.
This skill allows a character to create false documents. Forgery requires writing materials appropriate to the document being forged, enough light to write by, wax for seals (if appropriate), and some time. Forging a very short and simple document takes about one minute. Longer or more complex documents take 1d4 minutes per page. To forge a document on which the handwriting is not specific to a person (military orders, a government decree, a business ledger, or the like), a character gains a +8 bonus on the roll if she has seen a similar document before. To forge a signature, the character gains a +4 bonus if she has that person’s autograph to copy. Forging a longer document written in the hand of a particular person requires a large sample of that person’s handwriting.
The GM makes the check secretly so the player is not sure how good the forgery is. As with Disguise, the character doesn’t need to make a check until someone examines the work. This Forgery check is opposed by a Forgery check from the person checking the document’s authenticity. The examiner gains bonuses or penalties to her check as described in the table below.
As with Bluff, a document that contradicts procedure, orders, or previous knowledge, or one that requires a sacrifice on the part of the examiner can increase that character’s suspicion (and thus create favorable circumstances for her opposing Forgery check).
Forge Document without Sample: The character can forge a document without having seen a similar document or having a sample of the handwriting to be copied.
Retry: A retry is never possible after a particular examiner detects a particular forgery. But the forged document still might fool someone else. The result of a Forgery check for a particular document must be used for every instance of a different reader examining it. No reader can attempt to detect a particular forgery more than once; if that one opposed check goes in favor of the forger, the reader can’t try using her own skill again, even if she’s suspicious about the document.
Special: To forge documents and detect forgeries, one must be able to read and write the language in question. (The skill is language dependent.)
By succeeding at a Gather Information skill check (DC 10)—given an evening with a few gold pieces to use for buying drinks, making friends, and such—the character can get a general understanding of a city’s major news items, assuming others have no obvious reasons to withhold the information. The higher the check result, the better the information.
If a character wants to find out about a specific rumor, specific item, obtain a map, or do something else along those lines, the difficulty increases to anywhere from DC 15 to DC 25 or higher.
Avoid Suspicion: By accepting a –20 penalty on her Gather Information check, a character can avoid any suspicions that might otherwise be aroused by someone pursuing sensitive information.
Retry: Yes, but because each check takes an evening or so to complete, characters may draw attention to themselves if they repeatedly pursue a certain type of information.
Charisma, Trained Only
The character can train or handle an animal. The Difficulty Class and the time required to get a particular effect depend on what the character is trying to do.
Time: For a task with a specific time frame, the character must spend half this time (at the rate of three hours per day per animal) working toward completion of the task before making the skill check. If the check fails, the character can’t teach, rear, or train that animal. (At that point, she can quit the failed unfinished attempt). Should the check succeed, the character must invest the remainder of the time before the teaching, rearing, or training is complete. If someone interrupts or if the character fails to follow the task through to completion, any further attempts to teach, rear, or train the same animal automatically fail.
Handle a Domesticated Animal: Examples of this task include commanding a trained dog, driving beasts of labor, tending to tired horses, and so forth.
“Push” a Domesticated Animal: To push a domestic animal means to get more out of it than it usually gives, such as commanding a poorly trained dog or driving draft animals for extra effort.
Teach an Animal Tasks: This means to teach a domestic animal some tricks. The character can train one type of animal per rank (chosen when the ranks are purchased) to obey commands and perform simple tricks. The character can work with up to three animals at one time, teaching them general tasks. An animal can be trained for one general purpose only.
Teach an Animal Unusual Tasks: This is similar to teaching an animal tasks, except that the tasks can be something unusual for that breed of animal, such as training a dog to be a riding animal. Alternately, the character can use this aspect of Handle Animal to train an animal to perform specialized tricks, such as teaching a horse to rear on command or come at a whistle, or teaching a falcon to pluck objects from someone’s grasp.
Train a Wild Animal: To train a wild animal means to teach a wild creature to do certain tricks, but only at the character’s command. The creature remains wild, though usually controllable.
Reduce Teaching/Training: Normally, teaching or training a creature requires two months of time. A character can accelerate the process of teaching or training a creature, reducing the time required to the listed time, by adding the DC modifier to the base DC for teaching or training the creature. A character can’t reduce the required time to less than 1 minute.
Manipulate Animal: The character may make a Handle Animal check against an animal or vermin as a full-round action. The Difficulty Class of this check is the creature’s Hit Dice + 10. If the check succeeds, the character can cause one of the following behaviors:
Anger: The target creature focuses all its attacks on the character. It moves toward the character if possible, but it does not provoke attacks of opportunity to reach her. If it cannot reach her, it fights as normal. This effect lasts 1d6 rounds.
Calm: If the creature was not trained to fight, not set to guard an area, or not otherwise taught by a master, the character can attempt to calm it. If the creature and other members of its pack or other allies are not subjected to an attack, spell, or other hostile act for 1 full round, it stops fighting. It resumes hostilities if anyone makes an aggressive move toward it.
Rage: The creature thrashes in rage, biting and snapping at its enemies. It suffers a –2 morale penalty on its next attack roll.
Retry: For handling and pushing domestic animals, retries are allowed. For training and rearing, they are not.
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks of Handle Animal gets a +2 synergy bonus on Ride checks and on the wild empathy class ability if they possess it. An untrained character can use a Charisma check to handle and push animals.
The character can use this skill to treat wounds and illnesses. The Difficulty Class and effectiveness depend on the task attempted.
First Aid: First aid usually means saving a dying character. If a character has negative hit points and is losing hit points (at 1 per round, 1 per hour, or 1 per day), the healer can stabilize her. The injured character regains no hit points, but she does stop losing them. The check is a standard action.
Long-Term Care: Providing long-term care means treating a wounded person for a day or more. If successful, the character lets the patient recover hit points or ability score points (lost to temporary damage) at twice the normal rate: 2 hit points per level for each day of light activity, 3 hit points per level for each day of complete rest, and 2 ability score points per day. The character can tend up to six patients at a time. She needs a few items and supplies (bandages, salves, and so on) that are easy to come by in settled lands. Giving long-term care counts as light activity for the healer. The character cannot give long-term care to herself.
Treat Specific Wound: Someone with this skill can treat a person with a specific wound, like a bleeding wound or a cut on the foot that reduces movement speed. Treating such a wound is a standard action that, if successful, alleviates the condition. The GM decides whether a wound is treatable.
CSI Llowellen: This skill can be used to determine how long a body has been dead and to determine details regarding the cause of death. The GM may provide details such as the number of attackers, the height of an attacker based on the location of injuries, the type of weapon used and so forth based upon the success of the skill check.
Treat Poison: To treat poison means to tend a single character who has been poisoned and will suffer further damage (or some other effect) from the poison. Every time the poisoning victim makes a saving throw against the poison, the character makes a Heal check. The poisoning victim uses this result in place of her saving throw if the Heal result is higher.
Treat Disease: To treat a disease means to tend a diseased character. Every time the diseased character makes a saving throw against disease effects, the healer makes a Heal check. The diseased character uses this result in place of her saving throw if the Heal result is higher.
Quicken Recovery: The character can allow a character to regain hit points in a single hour as if she had provided long-term care for a full day (2 or 3 hit points per level, based on activity). The character can quicken the recovery of up to six patients at a time. No character’s recovery can be quickened more than once per day (even by different healers).
Perfect Recovery: The character can allow a character to regain hit points in a single hour as if she had provided long-term care for a full week (2 or 3 hit points per level per day, based on activity). The character can use perfect recovery on up to six patients at a time. No character’s recovery can be perfected more than once per day, nor can perfect recovery and quicken recovery both be used on the same patient in the same day (even by different healers).
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (nature) gets a +2 synergy bonus on Heal checks. A healer’s kit (see Chapter Six: Equipment) offers a +2 circumstance bonus to Heal checks.
Charisma, Trained only
This skill is the ability to understand the hidden workings of the mind and to unlock its secrets.
The character can use hypnosis to induce a deep, calming trance in the subject. The effects of a hypnotic trance are identical to those created by the hypnotism spell. Unlike the spell, however, the skill may only be used on one subject at a time. The subject does not receive the -2 penalty to their Will save. Each attempt to use hypnosis requires 1 hour. If the subject is unwilling, the character must first succeed at a Bluff check to disguise their intent.
A Hypnosis skill check is opposed by the subject’s Will save. Loud or distracting surroundings grant a +2 circumstance modifier to the subject’s Will save. Willing subjects can voluntarily choose not to make their saving throw.
Once the subject is hypnotized, the character can plant a suggestion (as per the hypnotism spell).
Retry: Generally, you cannot retry a Hypnosis check against an unwilling subject; they have become too suspicious to cooperate.If attempting to hypnotize a willing subject, a character may retry freely.
Wisdom, Trained Only
Using the Innuendo skill, a character can get a message across to someone else without obviously communicating.
The Difficulty Class for a basic message is 10. This number rises to DC 15 or 20 for complex messages, especially those that rely on getting across new information.
A character can also try to discern the hidden message in a conversation between two other people using this skill. The Difficulty Class is the skill check of the person using Innuendo, less a penalty of –2 for each piece of information the eavesdropper is missing. For example, if a character eavesdrops on people planning to assassinate a visiting diplomat, the eavesdropper suffers a –2 penalty if she doesn’t know about the diplomat.
Whether trying to send or intercept a message, a failure by 5 points or more means the character has implied or inferred some false information.
The GM makes the character’s Innuendo check secretly so the player doesn’t necessarily know whether the character succeeded.
Retry: Generally, retries are allowed when trying to send a message, but not when receiving or intercepting one. Each retry carries the chance of miscommunication.
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks in Bluff gets a +2 synergy bonus on the check to transmit (but not receive) a message. Characters with 5 or more ranks in Sense Motive get a +2 synergy bonus on checks to receive or intercept (but not transmit) a message.
The character can change others’ behavior with a successful Intimidate check. The Difficulty Class is typically 10 + the target’s Hit Dice, although the GM can modify it further according to the situation. Some common skill check modifiers are listed in the table opposite.
Any bonuses a target may have on saving throws against fear also increase the Difficulty Class.
The character must be able to interact with the other creature for a full round, doing nothing else. If they do not share a language, a character can only make the creature flee or cower, nothing else. Characters can attempt to intimidate more than one creature in a single attempt, but the Difficulty Class increases by the Hit Dice of each additional creature, and any circumstance penalties the GM assigns are cumulative for each creature.
Basically, Intimidate can get a character to do something she would not normally do. This change in behavior lasts for 1 round. Subsequent Intimidate checks after one success carry a +2 circumstance bonus, and the change in behavior lasts up to 10 rounds following these later checks.
For example, a warmain intimidates a 1 HD goblin to try to get it to run away. The goblin is one of a troop of six and feels somewhat confident. The GM assigns a +2 circumstance modifier to the Difficulty Class, for a total of 13 (10 + 1 HD + 2 circumstance). The warmain succeeds, causing the goblin to retreat. After 1 round, the goblin returns, but the warmain takes the time to intimidate it again, successfully. Now the goblin flees for 10 rounds, and the GM rules that she just keeps going, even after those 10 rounds are up. If the warmain spoke Goblin, he could have tried to get the creature to drop its weapon and surrender. The Difficulty Class would have been the same, but after 1 round, the goblin might have chosen to grab its weapon again if the circumstances hadn’t changed. If the warmain had tried to get all six goblins to surrender, the Difficulty Class would have been 28 (10 + 3 for each goblin). If the Goblin-speaking warmain had attempted to get a goblin to switch sides, the GM would have assigned a much higher circumstance modifier to the Difficulty Class (say, about +10), and even then the creature would reconsider after 1 round.
Bloody Promise: If the character kills an opponent outright by dropping him from positive hit points to –10 or lower, she may make an Intimidate check against a second foe as a free action. The slain foe must have been able to fight when she cut him down. A paralyzed or otherwise helpless foe does not qualify for this use of the Intimidate skill. The Difficulty Class of this check is the second foe’s Hit Dice + 15. If the check succeeds, the foe becomes shaken. This is a mind-affecting effect.
Retry: Retries work only if the previous attempt succeeded. If the initial check failed, the other character has become more firmly resolved to resist the intimidator, and a retry is futile.
Special: Characters with 5 or more ranks in Bluff get a +2 synergy bonus on Intimidate checks. The DC to intimidate any creature whose attitude is fanatic is increased by +20.
Strength, Armor Check Penalty
The difficulty of a character’s jump is based on the distance she must move and the type of jump it is (long jump or high jump, running or standing).
The DC’s listed are for characters with speeds of 30 feet. If the character has a lower speed (from size, armor, encumbrance, or weight carried), reduce the check by –6 for every 10 feet of his speed below 30. If she has a higher speed (because she is an oathsworn, for instance), increase the check by +4 for each 10 feet of her speed above 30. So a character who moves at speed 20 suffers a –6 penalty, but one that moves 50 gains a +8 bonus.
Of course, some characters do not need to make Jump checks to reach certain heights, because they are so large. Characters jumping up have a maximum vertical reach based on their size. This reach is the height at which they do not need to make Jump checks, but rather a Climb check simply to pull themselves up (usually DC 15) as a move-equivalent action. For example, a sibeccai could pull herself up onto a ledge that is 8 feet high.
Distance moved by jumping counts against maximum normal movement in a round. Characters trained in this skill who make the needed check land on their feet. Those using this skill untrained land prone unless they exceeded the required Difficulty Class by 5.
In a long jump across a chasm or other open space, if a character fails the check by less than 5, she can make a Reflex save (DC 15) to grab the far edge of the gap, ending her move. She can pull herself up (Climb check, DC 15), requiring a move-equivalent action.
If the character intentionally jumps down from a height, she might take less damage than if she just fell. A successful Jump check (DC 15) means she takes damage as if she had fallen 10 feet less than she actually did.
A character can “hop up” to a height at her waist or lower with a Jump check (DC 10).
Leaping Charge: When the character charges an opponent she can choose to attempt a Jump check to gain additional momentum toward her foe. She loses the standard bonus on attacks after a charge, but she can inflict extra damage. The character must make a Jump check (DC 20) as part of her charge. If she succeeds, she inflicts +2 damage on her attack. If her check result is 30 or higher she gains a +4 bonus to damage. Multiply this damage on a successful critical hit. She suffers the standard –2 penalty to Armor Class for charging as normal and ends her movement as normal for a charge.
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks in Tumble gets a +2 synergy bonus on Jump checks. Likewise, those with 5 or more ranks in Jump get a +2 synergy bonus on Tumble checks.
Intelligence, Trained Only
The character with this skill possesses knowledge in a specific area. Answering a question within her field of study has a Difficulty Class of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions).
Typical fields of study include the following:
Architecture: Building types, layouts, defenses.
Carnal Knowledge: Sex magic, public law governing sex and private customs, norms and fetishes, sexual culture of the Fey and the Heavenborn, religious beliefs pertaining to sex.
Ceremony: Conducting rites, requirements, materials, sites.
Cosmology: Planes, outsiders, hierarchies, alternate physics.
Dangerous Beasts: Creature habitats, nature, behaviour, powers.
Dracha: Dracha nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Dragons: Dragon nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture (not available during the First Age).
Dwarves: Dwarf nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Elves: Elf nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Faen: Faen nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Fey: Fey, faeries, the Fey Courts, myriad Fey lore. (DC 15 to discern if a particular location is apt to be used as a doorway.)
Folk Tales: Folklore, myths, origins of unusual place names.
Geography: Lands, borders, topography.
Giants: Giant nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Gnomes: Gnome nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Halflings: Halfling nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Hobgoblins: Hobgoblin nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Humans: Human nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Litorians: Litorian nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Lizardfolk: Lizardfolk nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Magic: Magic items, arcane mysteries, traditions, legends.
Mojh: Mojh nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Nature: Plants, animals, weather.
Nobility and Courtesy: Customs, manners, kings and queens, lineages, heraldry, laws.
Religion: Gods and goddesses, myths, traditions, holy symbols and the Heavenborn.
Runes: Identification of magical symbols.
Sailing and Navigation: Navigating on land and sea, maintaining and steering a ship.
Science: Physics, math, chemistry.
Sibeccai: Sibeccai nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Verrik: Verrik nature, history, psychology, physiology, culture.
Spellcraft vs. Knowledge (Magic): Use Spellcraft on checks pertaining specifically to spells: identifying them, speculating about their effects, and deciphering them on scrolls. Use Knowledge (magic) for all other magical checks: discerning information about a magic item, predicting some magical weather patterns, learning something about a magical creature, determining the location of a magical site, and so on.
Research: A character can research a particular question if she has the proper materials (usually books or a library). Research takes at least an hour, although the GM can rule that difficult questions or large amounts of information require much longer.
A researcher adds her appropriate Knowledge skill bonus (if she has one) and the book or library bonus to determine success. Someone without the proper Knowledge skill can do research with a book or at a library, but she uses only the book or library’s bonus to modify her untrained skill check and can get only general knowledge.
A book normally has a bonus of +1 to +5, although a particularly good or appropriate book can offer a higher bonus. Generally, a library has a +5 to a +10 bonus, although a particularly large or well-organized library can offer a higher one.
Although art, rarity, or construction can modify its value, a reference book’s value is equal to its Knowledge check bonus squared, then multiplied by 10. Thus, a four-volume set about plant life that offers a +3 bonus is worth 90 gp.
Retry: No. The check represents what the character knows, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t allow her to know something he never learned in the first place.
Special: An untrained Knowledge check is simply an Intelligence check. Without actual training, one knows only common knowledge.
Knowledge of one’s own race is always considered a class skill. Characters of a given race gain a +2 racial bonus to Knowledge checks made regarding their own race, so a human gains a +2 bonus to Knowledge (humans) checks.
Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (architecture) gives you a +2 synergy bonus on Search checks involving secret doors and similar compartments.
Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (cosmology) gives you a +2 synergy bonus to Survival checks made in Heaven or Hell.
Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (engineering) gives you a +2 synergy bonus to Survival checks when underground.
Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Fey) gives you a +2 synergy bonus on Knowledge (folk tales) checks.
Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (folk tales) gives you a +2 synergy bonus on Knowledge (Fey) checks.
Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (history) gives you a +2 synergy bonus on the bardic knowledge checks class feature.
Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (geography) gives you a +2 synergy bonus on Survival checks to keep from getting lost or for avoiding hazards.
Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (magic) gives you a +2 synergy bonus to Spellcraft checks.
Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (nature) gives you a +2 synergy bonus to Survival checks in aboveground natural environments.
Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (nobility and courtesy) gives you a +2 synergy bonus to Diplomacy and Gather Information checks.
Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gives you a +2 synergy bonus to turn undead checks.
Characters use this skill to hear sounds. Make a Listen check against a Difficulty Class that reflects how quiet the noise is, or against an opposed Sneak check.
The GM may make the Listen check so the player doesn’t know whether hearing nothing means that nothing is there, or simply that she rolled low.
In the case of people trying to be quiet, Sneak checks could replace the listed Difficulty Classes, in which case the Difficulty Class would be the average result (or close to it).
Defeat Illusion: The character can automatically detect any illusion with an auditory component for what it truly is. No will save is required, and the character doesn’t have to interact with the illusion (but she must be able to hear its auditory component). The DC for this usage is 80.
Waking Up: If a character is asleep but makes a successful Listen check to hear noise nearby, she wakes up. She cannot act that round, however. Further, she must make a Constitution check (DC 15) to be able to act the round after that, as she is still groggy. This is true whether or the character wakes up on her own or is intentionally roused by another. Shaking someone awake is a full-round action. Characters with the Light Sleeper talent can act immediately upon waking up.
Retry: A character can make a Listen check every time she has a chance to hear something in a reactive manner. As a full-round action, she may try to hear something she failed to hear previously.
Special: When several characters are listening to the same thing, the GM can make a single 1d20 roll and use it to oppose all the listeners’ skill checks.
A character can use Listen to notice the presence of an invisible creature (generally opposed by a Sneak check). If the character beats the DC by 20 or more, she can pinpoint the location of the invisible creature, though it still maintains total concealment from the character (50% miss chance).
Dexterity, Trained Only
Characters with this skill can pick, finesse, or otherwise open any kind of lock—even magical ones. The effort requires at least a simple tool of the appropriate sort (a pick, pry bar, blank key, wire, etc.). Attempting an Open Lock check without a set of thieves’ tools carries with it a –2 circumstance penalty, even if the character employs a simple tool. The use of masterwork thieves’ tools enables the character to make the check with a +2 circumstance bonus.
Opening a lock entails 1 round of work and a successful skill check. It is a full-round action.
Charisma, Trained Only
Each character must choose a type of performance to develop with his skill. Possible types include ballad, chant, comedy, dance, drama, drums, epic, flute, harp, juggling, lute, mandolin, mime, ode, pan pipes, recorder, sexual techniques, singing, storytelling and trumpet. So, a character may learn Perform (dance) as a skill and Perform (flute) as another.
The character can impress audiences with talent and skill.
A masterwork musical instrument offers a +2 circumstance bonus to Perform checks that involve use of the instrument.
The character can sway an audience’s attitude with her performance. (See Diplomacy above).
By making a successful Perform (drama) check (Difficulty Class 10 + opponent’s level) the character can present an intimidating display of her combat prowess before crossing blades with her opponent. This check can be opposed by her opponents Sense Motive check but if successful her opponent suffers a -2 on his initiative roll out of fear and hesitation.
Retry: Retries are allowed, but they don’t negate previous failures. An audience that has been unimpressed in the past will be prejudiced against future performances. (Increase the Difficulty Class by 2 for each previous failure.)
In addition to using the Perform skill, a character could entertain people with tumbling, tightrope walking, and spells (especially illusions).
Special: The GM may allow characters with 5 or more ranks in one Perform skill a +2 synergy bonus on related Perform skill checks. Related skills might include the flute and the pan pipes, drama and storytelling, and so on.
Wisdom; Trained only
You are skilled at a specific job. Like Craft, Knowledge, and Perform, Profession is actually a number of separate skills. You could have several Profession skills, each with its own ranks. While a Craft skill represents ability in creating an item, a Profession skill represents an aptitude in a vocation requiring a broader range of less specific knowledge.
The most common Profession skills are air sailor, airship navigator, airship pilot, architect, baker, barrister, brewer, butcher, clerk, cook, courtesan, driver, engineer, farmer, fisherman, gambler, gardener, herbalist, innkeeper, librarian, masseuse, merchant, midwife, miller, miner, porter, prostitute, sailor, scribe, shepherd, stable master, soldier, tanner, tattoo artist, trapper, and woodcutter.
You can earn half your Profession check result in gold pieces per week of dedicated work. You know how to use the tools of your trade, how to perform the profession’s daily tasks, how to supervise helpers and how to handle common problems. You can also answer questions about your Profession. Basic questions are DC 10, while more complex questions are DC 15 or higher.
Untrained laborers and assistants (that is, characters without any ranks in Profession) earn an average of 1 silver piece per day.
Wisdom; Trained only
Use this skill to interpret strange dreams, visions, and omens. The character can attempt to see meaning in their own dreams or those others. This skill can make sense of the imagery of visions and tell them apart from delusions.
Earn living wage: Earn a living wage for a week’s dedicated work serving as an oracle (as per the Craft skill).
Identify and Interpret Dreams/Omens: A successful check brings sense and meaning to otherwise confusing signs and images. If you are interpreting someone else’s dream or vision, that person must describe it to you in great detail and must be physically present when you attempt the check. The difficulty of the check is unique to any given dream, vision or omen.
Note that you always believe you have correctly interpreted the omen or sign, so the GM must make this check secretly. If the check fails, the GM should feel free to provide you with false or misleading information. Simple omens, dreams or visions are typically short and straightforward and use common imagery. Complex omens, dreams or visions are far more involved, elaborate and mysterious but usually contain a greater breadth of information.
Divinations: Successful Prophecy skill checks can enhance the casting of any divination spells. See the Prophecy Task table.
Reveal the Future: Revealing the future requires you to perform a ritual of some kind, such as consulting the innards of a sacrificed animal or inspecting burnt offerings upon an alter, and takes a minimum of 10 minutes. If this check succeeds, you gain a possible insight into the near future. This manifests as a single +2 circumstance bonus on any one initiative check, Spellcraft check or saving throw that you need to make in the next 24 hours (your choice, but you need to declare your intent to use the bonus before the die is rolled). If the Prophecy check fails, you have misinterpreted the signs and you gain no insight. In extreme circumstances your probing of the fabrics of destiny can irritate the gods causing them to punish you. If you roll a natural 1 when making your Prophecy check to Reveal the Future, you are cursed by the gods on all initiative rolls, Spellcraft checks and saving throws that you are required to make.
If you do not use the +2 bonus granted by successfully Revealing the Future within 24 hours it is lost.
Beseech the Gods: The character may beseech the gods to send them a revelation concerning a specific topic through a dream. The GM decides what exactly is related to you if you succeed. You may attempt this task only once a month and never more than once concerning a specific topic.
Further attempts anger the gods and often result in divine retribution. You may not take 10 or 20 when attempting this task.
Special: You may take ranks in this skill only if you start doing so at 1st level.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (ceremony) or Knowledge (Fey), you gain a +2 bonus on Prophecy checks to identify and interpret omens or signs.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Perform (act, oratory, or sing), you gain a +2 bonus on Prophecy checks to earn a living wage as an oracle.
When the character selects this skill, she chooses the type of mount she is familiar with. For this purpose, “horses” includes mules, donkeys, and ponies. If the character uses the skill with a different mount (such as riding a giant lizard when she is used to riding horses), reduce her rank by 2 (but not below 0). If the character uses this skill with a very different mount (such as riding a griffon when she is used to riding horses), reduce her rank by 5 (but not below 0).
Typical riding actions don’t require checks. The character can saddle, mount, ride, and dismount without a problem. Mounting or dismounting is a move-equivalent action. Some tasks do require checks:
Guide With Knees: The character can react instantly to guide her mount with her knees, so she can use both hands in combat. Make the check at the start of the character’s round. If it fails, the character can use only one hand this round, because she needs to use the other to control her mount.
Stay in Saddle: The character can react instantly to try to avoid falling when her mount rears or bolts unexpectedly, or when she takes damage.
Fight Upon Warhorse: If the character directs a war-trained mount to attack in battle, she can still make her own attack or attacks normally.
Leap: The character can get a mount to leap obstacles as part of its movement. Use the character’s Ride skill modifier or the mount’s Jump skill modifier (whichever is lower) to see how far the mount can jump. The character faces a Ride check (DC 15) to stay on the mount when it leaps.
Control Mount in Battle: As a move-equivalent action, the character can attempt to control a light horse, pony, or heavy horse while in combat. If he fails, she can do nothing else that round. The character does not need to roll for creatures trained for war (such as warhorses or radonts).
Fast Mount or Dismount: The character can mount or dismount as a free action. If she fails the check, mounting or dismounting becomes a move-equivalent action. (The character can’t attempt a fast mount or dismount unless she can perform the mount or dismount as a move-equivalent action this round.)
Cover: The character can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside the mount, using it as one-half cover. The character can’t attack or cast spells while using her mount as cover, however. Failing the check means she doesn’t get the cover benefit.
Soft Fall: The character reacts instantly to try to take no damage when she falls off a mount, such as when it dies or falls. Failing the check means the character takes 1d6 points of falling damage.
Stand on Mount: This allows the character to stand on her mount’s back even during movement or combat. The character takes no penalties to actions while doing so.
Unconscious Control: As a free action, the character can attempt to control a light horse, pony, or heavy horse while in combat. If the character fails, she controls the mount as a move-equivalent action. A character does not need to roll for warhorses or war ponies.
Attack from Cover: The character can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside her mount, using it as one-half cover. The character can attack and cast spells while using her mount as cover without penalty. If the character fails, she doesn’t get the cover benefit.
Special: A character riding bareback suffers a –5 penalty on Ride checks. A character with 5 or more ranks in Handle Animal gets a +2 synergy bonus to Ride checks. If the mount has a military saddle, it offers a +2 circumstance bonus to Ride checks related to staying in the saddle.
To use this skill, a character generally must be within 10 feet of the object or surface to be searched. It takes 1 round to search a 5-foot-square area or a volume of goods that measures 5 feet on a side; doing so is a full-round action.
Active abjuration spells within 10 feet of each other for 24 hours or more create barely visible energy fluctuations. These fluctuations give characters a +4 bonus to Search checks to locate such abjuration spells.
Finding a nonmagical trap has a Difficulty Class of at least 20, higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a Difficulty Class of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.
Sense Magic: The character senses the presence of any active magical effects in the area being searched. The character can’t determine the number, strength, or type of the effects.
Special: A character without the Track feat can use the Search skill to find tracks. However, she can only follow the tracks if the Difficulty Class is 10 or less.
Characters with 5 or more ranks in Search enjoy a +2 synergy bonus to Survival checks while following tracks.
A successful Sense Motive check allows the character to avoid being bluffed. The character can also use this skill to tell when something is up (something odd is going on that she was unaware of) or to assess someone’s trustworthiness. Trying to gain information with this skill takes at least one minute. The character could spend a whole evening trying to get a sense of the people around her.
Hunch: This use of the Sense Motive skill essentially means making a gut assessment of the social situation. The character can get the feeling that something is wrong from another’s behavior, such as when she is talking to an impostor. Alternatively, she can get the feeling that someone is trustworthy.
Sense Enchantment: The character can tell that someone’s behavior is being influenced by an enchantment effect (by definition, a mind-affecting effect), such as a charm spell, even if the other person isn’t aware of it herself.
Detect Surface Thoughts: This lets a character read the surface thoughts of a single target (as the 3rd-round effect of the detect thoughts spell). There is no saving throw to resist this effect, though the target can use Bluff to disguise her surface thoughts (see the Bluff skill description), in which case this becomes an opposed check (any result lower than 100 automatically fails). The target must be visible and within 30 feet of the character.
Predict Action: As a move action, the character can attempt a Sense Motive check opposed by either her opponent’s Bluff check or base attack check (opponent’s choice). If her check succeeds, she learns what her foe plans to do on her next action. She learns only general information, such as whether her foe intends to cast a spell, use a ranged attack against a specific target, or flee. She does not learn exactly which spell he intends to use, but does know his target. She may then take a standard action as normal. Note that the result of her action, and others’ actions, could cause the target to change his mind. She only learns what he is planning to do at the moment she acts.
Read Foe: As a full-round action, the character may make a Sense Motive check opposed by her opponent’s base attack check. If her check succeeds, she learns to read her opponent’s reactions. She gains a +1 insight bonus on attacks made against him and a +1 insight bonus to Armor Class against his attacks until the end of the encounter.
Retry: No, though the character may make a new Sense Motive check for each bluff attempted on her.
Special: Characters with 5 or more ranks in Sense Motive enjoy a +2 synergy bonus on Diplomacy checks and on Innuendo checks made to receive or intercept (but not transmit) a message.
Sleight of Hand
Dexterity, Trained Only, Armor Check Penalty
A Sleight of Hand check (DC 10) lets the character palm a coin-sized, unattended object. Checks for minor feats of legerdemain, such as making a coin disappear, are also DC 10, unless an observer seems determined to note where the item went.
If the character tries to take something from another creature, she must make a skill check against DC 20. The opponent makes a Spot check to detect the attempt. The opponent detects the attempt if her check result beats the character’s check result, regardless of whether the character got the item.
Conceal Weapon: The character may make a Sleight of Hand check, opposed by her foe’s Spot check, to ready a weapon in such a way that he fails to note she is armed. Her foe applies his base attack bonus as a modifier to the Spot check. The character may hide only one weapon at a time in this manner. If she then attacks with this weapon on her current turn or her next action, her opponent loses his Dexterity bonus to his Armor Class.
If she holds onto the weapon for more than 1 round, her opponent gains another Spot check (modified by his base attack bonus) to notice it. The character opposes this check with another Sleight of Hand check with a –2 penalty.
Note that the Disguise skill allows for a similar function. The Disguise check takes longer to implement and requires the Quick Draw feat, but it works better when facing someone who might search you.
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks in Bluff gets a +2 synergy bonus on Sleight of Hand checks.
Dexterity, Armor Check Penalty
Characters use the Sneak skill to tread softly and move silently. The character’s Sneak check is opposed by the Listen check of anyone who might hear her. She can move up to one-half her normal speed at no penalty. At more than one-half, and up to the character’s full speed, she suffers a -5 penalty to Sneak. It’s practically impossible (-20 penalty) to sneak around while running or charging.
Hiding: Characters can also use Sneak to hide. A character’s Sneak check is opposed by the Spot check of anyone who might see her. The character can move up to one-half normal speed and hide at no penalty. At more than one-half, and up to her full speed, she suffers a -5 penalty. It’s practically impossible (-20 penalty) to hide while running or charging.
Larger and smaller creatures get size bonuses or penalties to Sneak checks made to hide as follows: Fine +16, Diminutive +12, Tiny +8, Small +4, Large –4, Huge –8, Gargantuan –12, Colossal –16.
If people are observing the character, even casually, she can’t hide. The character can run around a corner to get out of sight and then hide, but the onlookers know at least where she went. However, if the onlookers are momentarily distracted (as by a Bluff check; see below), the character can attempt to hide. While the onlookers turn their attention from the character, she can attempt a Sneak check if she can get to a hiding place of some kind. (As a general guideline, the hiding place has to be within 1 foot for every rank she has in Sneak.) However, the character makes this check at –10 because she has to move fast.
Characters trying to move silently and hide at the same time make only one Sneak check, which is opposed by either Spot or Listen. The character can use Bluff to help her hide. A successful Bluff check can create the momentary diversion she needs to attempt a Sneak check to hide while people are aware of her presence.
None, Trained Only
The Speak Language skill doesn’t work like a standard skill. The character starts at 1st level knowing one or two languages (according to his race) plus an additional number of languages equal to her Intelligence bonus. Instead of buying a rank in Speak Language, the character chooses a new language that she can speak. The character doesn’t make Speak Language checks: She either knows a language or she doesn’t.
A literate character can read and write any language she speaks. Each language has an alphabet (though sometimes several spoken languages share a single alphabet).
Intelligence, Trained Only
The character can use Spellcraft to identify spells and magic effects.
Additionally, certain spells allow the character to gain information about magic, provided that the character makes a Spellcraft check as detailed in the spell descriptions.
Identify Basic Property of Magic Item: This use of the skill requires one round of inspection, and functions exactly as if the character had cast an identify spell on the item. A character can’t attempt this on the same item more than once.
Identify All Properties of Magic Item: This requires one minute of inspection, and reveals all properties of a single magic item (including command words and charges remaining). A character can’t attempt this on the same item more than once. If an item has different caster levels for different properties, use the highest caster level.
Quick Identification: A character can identify a substance or potion in the field as a full-round action, without an alchemical lab or any cost. The character can’t retry this check (or take 20); if she fails, the character must identify the substance in an alchemical lab, as normal.
Retry: See above.
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks of Use Magic Device gets a +2 synergy bonus to Spellcraft checks to decipher spells on scrolls. One with 5 or more ranks in
Spellcraft enjoys a +2 synergy bonus on Use Magic Device checks related to scrolls.
The Spot skill is used primarily to detect characters or creatures who are hiding or to see something otherwise not obvious. Typically, Spot checks are opposed by the Sneak check of the creature trying not to be seen. Sometimes a creature isn’t intentionally hiding but is still difficult to see, so a character must make a successful Spot check to notice it.
A Spot check result of greater than 20 generally lets the character become aware of an invisible creature near her (though she can’t actually see it).
Spot is also used to detect someone in disguise.
A character can use Spot to notice the presence of an invisible creature. The relevant DC’s are reprinted below. If the character beats the DC by 20 or more, she can pinpoint the location of the invisible creature, though it still maintains total concealment from the character (50% miss chance).
Defeat Illusion: The character can automatically detect any illusion with a visual component for what it truly is. No Will save is required, and the character doesn’t have to interact with the illusion (but she must be able to see it).
Pronounce Unfamiliar Language: This use of the skill allows a character to repeat the speech of an observed creature, potentially allowing a comrade to translate the speech. It doesn’t grant the character any ability to understand the language spoken.
Retry: A character can make a Spot check every time she has the opportunity to notice something in a reactive manner. As a full-round action, she may try to spot something that she failed to spot previously.
The character can keep herself and others safe and fed in the wild. Some common tasks and their difficulty appear below.
Wherever the character is, she can determine the direction to a location on the same plane.
With a successful check, the character knows the direction to the desired location. This merely points the character in the direction of the location; it doesn’t provide her with information on how to get there, nor does it take into account any obstacles in the path.
“Very familiar” represents a place where the character has been very often and where she feels at home. “Studied carefully” represents a place the character knows well, either because she has been there often or has used other means to study the place. “Seen casually” is a place that the character has viewed more than once, but which she has not studied. “Viewed once” is a place that the character has seen once, possibly using magic. “Description only” is a place whose location and appearance the character knows through someone else’s description.
Wilderness Tactics: When fighting in any sort of terrain that restricts her movement, the character may make a Survival check opposed by her opponent’s base attack check as a standard action. This single opponent must be in the character’s threatened area.
If her check succeeds, she can opt for one of several effects:
Hindering terrain: The character can confer a –1 circumstance penalty on attacks and Armor Class upon her opponent as long as she is in difficult terrain. She kicks snow at him, shifts the stones on a gravel slope so that he loses his balance, and so forth.
Tangle and Drop: The character pulls on a vine to upset her opponent’s footing or hits him at just the right angle to disrupt his balance, causing him to fall prone in his current space.
Terrain Injury: The character sends a hail of stones, thorns, or some other environmental debris at her opponents. He suffers 1d6 points of damage.
Retry: To get along in the wild or gain the Fortitude save bonus, the character makes a check once every 24 hours. The result of that check applies until she makes the next check. To avoid getting lost or avoid natural hazards, the character makes a check whenever the situation calls for one. Retries to avoid getting lost in a specific situation or to avoid a specific natural hazard are not allowed.
Special: Characters with the Track feat can use a Survival skill check to follow and identify tracks.
A character with 5 or more ranks in Survival gains a +2 synergy bonus to Knowledge (nature) checks.
A successful Swim check allows the character to move in water at one-quarter of her speed as a move-equivalent action or at one-half his speed as a full-round action. Roll once per round. Failing the check means the character makes no progress through the water. Should she fail the check by 5 or more, she goes underwater and starts to drown.
If the character is underwater (whether drowning or swimming underwater intentionally), she suffers a cumulative -1 penalty to her Swim check for each consecutive round she’s been underwater. The Difficulty Class for the Swim check depends on the water’s condition.
For each hour that the character swims, make a Swim check (DC 20); on a failure, the character takes 1d6 points of subdual damage from fatigue.
Swim up Waterfall: This use of the skill allows a character to swim an angled or vertical surface, as long as she remains completely or mostly immersed in water. Other examples might include swimming up a whirlpool or an incredibly large wave.
Speed Swimming: By taking a –20 penalty on the check, a character can swim her speed as a move-equivalent action, or double her speed as a full-round action.
Special: Instead of an armor check penalty, the character suffers a penalty of –1 for every 5 lbs. of gear she is carrying or wearing.
Dexterity, Trained Only, Armor Check Penalty
The character can use acrobatics and somersaults to move past opponents or to land safely. The character can’t use this skill if her speed has been reduced by armor, excess equipment or loot.
Larger and smaller creatures get size bonuses or penalties to Tumble checks made to hide as follows: Fine +16, Diminutive +12, Tiny +8, Small +4, Large –4, Huge –8, Gargantuan –12, Colossal –16.
The character can land softly when she falls or tumbles past opponents. She also can tumble to entertain an audience (as with the Perform skill). “Opponent’s attack roll” in the table below refers to opposed rolls made by a foe. A character tumbles past a foe, attempting to avoid an attack of opportunity. Her foe makes an attack roll for the opposed Tumble check. If the Tumble attempt fails, the foe gets an attack of opportunity and makes a new attack roll.
Free Stand: The character can stand up from prone as a free action (instead of as a move-equivalent action).
Climb Vertical Surface: The character can climb up to 20 feet (as part of normal movement) by jumping and bouncing off walls, trees, or similar vertical surfaces. The character must have at least two vertical surfaces to bounce off, and the two must be within 10 feet of each other.
Ignore Falling Damage: The character can fall from any height and take no damage.
Tumbling Strike: As a full-round action, the character may make a Tumble check with a Difficulty Class equal to her opponent’s base attack bonus +5. If her check succeeds, she may make a single attack at her best base attack bonus. Her opponent loses her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class against this attack. If her check fails, she provokes an attack of opportunity from her opponent.
Retry: An audience, once it has judged a tumbler as uninteresting, is not receptive to repeat performances. The character can try to reduce damage from a fall as an instant reaction once per fall. The character can attempt to tumble as part of a move action once per round.
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks in Tumble gains a +3 dodge bonus to Armor Class instead of a +2 bonus when executing the fight defensively action as a standard or full-round action.
A character with 5 or more ranks in Tumble gains a +6 dodge bonus to Armor Class instead of a +4 bonus when executing the total defense standard action.
Characters with 5 or more ranks in Jump get a +2 synergy bonus on Tumble checks. Likewise, someone with 5 or more ranks in Tumble gets a +2 synergy bonus on Jump checks. Those with 5 or more ranks in Tumble enjoy a +2 synergy bonus on Balance checks.
A character with 25 or more ranks in Tumble gains a +5 dodge bonus when executing the fight defensively standard or full-round action, instead of a +2 bonus (or the +3 bonus from having 5 or more ranks). Increase this dodge bonus by +1 for every 10 additional ranks above 25 the character has. A character with 25 or more ranks in Tumble gains a +10 dodge bonus to AC when executing the total defense standard action, instead of a +4 bonus (or the +6 bonus from having 5 or more ranks). Increase this dodge bonus by +2 for every 10 additional ranks above 25 the character has.
Use Magic Device
Charisma, Trained Only
The character can use this skill to read a spell scroll or to activate a magic item she normally could not use. This skill lets her use a magic item as if she had the spell ability or class features of another class, or as if she were a different race.
When the character attempts to activate a magic item using this skill, she does so as a standard action that involves emulating an ability of someone who could normally activate it. This Use Magic Device check is instant and takes no time by itself— attempt it as part of the activate magic item standard action.
The character makes this skill check each time she activates a device such as a wand. If she is using the skill to emulate a race or some other quality in an ongoing manner, she needs to make the relevant Use Magic Device check once per hour.
The character must consciously choose what to emulate. That is, she has to know what she is trying to emulate when she makes a skill check to activate a magic item.
Decipher a Written Spell: This works just like deciphering a written spell using the Spellcraft skill, except that the Difficulty Class is 5 points higher.
Emulate Spell Ability: This application of the Use Magic Device skill allows the character to use a magic item as if she had a particular spell on her list of known spells. Normally, to cast a spell from a scroll or use a wand, the character has to have the particular spell on her list of known spells. By using the skill this way, she can use such an item as if she did have the spell on his list of known spells. The character’s effective caster level is her skill check result –20. (It’s okay to have a caster level of 0.) For wands, it doesn’t matter what the character’s caster level is, but it does matter for scrolls. If the character’s effective level is lower than the caster level, she must roll to see if he uses the scroll successfully.
For example, say a greenbond, who knows only simple spells, finds a wand of dimensional door (a complex spell). She attempts a Use Magic Device skill check (DC 20) each time she wants to use the wand.
This skill does not let the character cast the spell normally. It only lets her cast it from a scroll or wand as if the spell were on her list of known spells. Note: A character casting a spell from a scroll has to decipher it first.
Emulate Class Feature: Sometimes the character needs to use a class feature of another character class to activate a magic item. Her effective level in the emulated class equals her skill check result –20.
This skill does not let the character use the class feature of another class. It just lets her activate magic items as if she had the class feature.
Emulate Ability Score: To cast a spell from a scroll, the character needs a high ability score in either Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. The character’s effective ability score is her skill check result –15. A character who already has a high enough score in any one of these three abilities doesn’t need to make this check.
Emulate Race: Some magic items work only for members of certain races or work better for those of certain races. With a successful skill check, the character can use such an item as if she were the race of his choice. The character can emulate only one race at a time.
Activate Blindly: Some magic items are activated by special words, thoughts, or actions. The character can activate such items as if she were using the activation word, thought, or action, even if she is not—even if she doesn’t know it. The character does have to use an equivalent word, thought, or action, however: She has to speak, wave the item around, or otherwise attempt to get it to activate. She gets a special +2 bonus if she has activated the item at least once before.
If the character fails by 10 or more, she suffers a mishap. A mishap means that magical energy gets released but it doesn’t do what she wanted it to do. The GM determines the result of a mishap, as with scroll mishaps. The default mishaps are that the item affects the wrong target or that uncontrolled magical energy gets released, dealing 2d6 points of damage to the character. Note: This mishap is in addition to the mishap risk a character normally runs when using a scroll to cast a spell whose caster level is higher than her own level.
Retry: Yes, but if the character ever rolls a natural 1 while attempting to activate an item and fails the check, she can’t try to activate it again for a day.
Special: The character cannot take 10 with this skill. Magic is too unpredictable for him to use this skill reliably.
A character with 5 or more ranks in Spellcraft gets a +2 synergy bonus on Use Magic Device checks related to scrolls. Characters with 5 or more ranks in Decipher Script enjoy a +2 synergy bonus on Use Magic Device checks related to scrolls. These bonuses stack.
Someone with 5 or more ranks of Use Magic Device gets a +2 synergy bonus to Spellcraft checks to decipher spells on scrolls.
The character can tie knots and bind things with rope. Most tasks with a rope are relatively simple.
When the character binds another person with a rope, any Escape Artist check the bound person attempts is opposed by the character’s Use Rope check. The character gets a +10 bonus on this check, because it is easier to bind someone than to escape from being tied up. The character doesn’t make her Use Rope check until the bound person tries to escape.
Quick Splicing: The character can splice two ropes together as a move-equivalent action.
Tie Unique Knot: The character can tie a knot that only she knows how to untie. This doesn’t affect any Escape Artist checks made to escape these bindings.
Animate Held Rope: The character can command any rope she holds as if it had the animate rope spell cast upon it (except that using the skill in this way doesn’t grant any bonus on Use Rope checks made with the animated rope). Each command requires a separate Use Rope check. Because the effect isn’t magical, it can’t be dispelled.
Create Lasso: The character must spend 10 minutes fashioning a 50-foot or longer length of rope into a lasso. This requires a Use Rope check (DC 20). If this check succeeds, her lasso is prepared for use.
In combat, the lasso has a range of 25 feet, or half the rope’s length. It is a ranged weapon. If the character hits, she may make a Use Rope check opposed by her opponent’s Strength or Escape Artist check (opponent’s choice). If she succeeds, her opponent suffers a –2 penalty on attacks, checks and Reflex saves. He can escape only if he successfully makes an opposed Strength check against the character or an Escape Artist check as a move action opposed by the characters Strength check. He can move only if he succeeds at an opposed Strength check against the character. While the character has a foe entangled she must use a standard action each round to keep them lassoed. Otherwise he immediately breaks free.
Special: A silk rope gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Use Rope checks.
A character with 5 or more ranks in Escape Artist gets a +2 synergy bonus on Use Rope checks to bind someone. Likewise, a character with 5 or more ranks in Use Rope gets a +2 synergy bonus on Escape Artist checks when escaping from rope bonds.
Characters with 5 or more ranks in Use Rope enjoy a +2 synergy bonus to Climb checks made for climbing rope, knotted rope, or a rope and wall combination.