House Skills


Click here to download a character sheet that incorporates these new house skills.

Converting Skills from 3.5

Many of the skills from 3.5 have been combined together under one skill. For example, Listen, Search, and Spot are now part of one skill called Notice, while skills like Handle Animal, Knowledge (nature), and Survival have been combined under one skill called Nature. Use the table below to determine how skills have been converted.

House 3.5
Agility Balance
Escape Artist
Ride
Tumble
Appraise Appraise
Arcana Knowledge (arcana)
Spellcraft1
Athletics Climb
Jump
Swim
Deception Bluff
Disguise
Forgery
Diplomacy Diplomacy
Dungeoneering Knowledge (architecture)
Knowledge (dungeoneering)
Use Rope
Survival2
Gather Information Gather Information
Heal Heal
Intimidate Intimidate
Intuition Sense Motive
Use Magic Device3
Local Knowledge (geography)
Knowledge (history)
Knowledge (local)
Knowledge (nobility)
Nature Handle Animal
Knowledge (nature)
Survival
Notice Listen
Search
Spot
Perform Perform
Planar Knowledge (the planes)
Profession Craft
Profession
Religion Knowledge (religion)
Spellcraft5
Research Decipher Script
Stamina Concentration
Stealth Hide
Move Silently
Thievery Disable Device
Open Lock
Sleight of Hand

1 Arcane spells only.
2 Underground only.
3 Any class that has Use Magic Device listed as a class skill now has this ability as a class feature.
4 Other planes only.
5 Divine spells only.

Click here to download a quick sheet that shows how all the skills from 3.5 skills convert to these new house rules.

Class Skills

Barbarian (4 + Int): Athletics (Str), Intimidate (Cha), Nature (Wis), Notice (Wis), Profession (Wis), Stamina (Con).

Bard (6 + Int): Agility (Dex), Appraise (Int), Arcana (Int), Athletics (Str), Deception (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Dungeoneering (Wis), Gather Information (Cha), Intuition (Wis), Local (Int), Nature (Wis), Notice (Wis), Perform (Cha), Planar (Int), Profession (Wis), Religion (Int), Stamina (Con), Stealth (Dex).

Cleric (2 + Int): Arcana (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Local (Int), Planar (Int), Profession (Wis), Research (Int), Religion (Int).

Druid (4 + Int): Diplomacy (Cha), Nature (Wis), Notice (Wis), Profession (Wis), Religion (Int), Stamina (Con).

Fighter (2 + Int): Athletics (Str), Dungeoneering (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Profession (Wis), Stamina (Con).

Monk (4 + Int): Agility (Dex), Athletics (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Intuition (Wis), Notice (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Stamina (Con), Stealth (Dex).

Paladin (2 + Int): Athletics (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intuition (Wis), Local (Int), Notice (Wis), Profession (Wis), Religion (Int), Stamina (Con).

Ranger (6 + Int): Athletics (Str), Dungeoneering (Wis), Heal (Wis), Nature (Wis), Notice (Wis), Profession (Wis), Stamina (Con), Stealth (Dex).

Rogue (8 + Int): Agility (Dex), Appraise (Int), Arcana (Int), Athletics (Str), Deception (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intuition (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Local (Int), Notice (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Religion (Int), Stealth (Dex), Thievery (Dex).

Sorcerer (4 + Int): Arcana (Int), Deception (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Profession (Wis), Religion (Int).

Wizard (2 + Int): Arcana (Int), Dungeoneering (Wis), Local (Int), Nature (Wis), Planar (Int), Profession (Wis), Research (Int), Religion (Int).

Monster Knowledge and Spellcraft

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Monster Knowledge Checks
Regardless of the knowledge skill you’re using, refer to the rules here when making a check to identify a monster.

Check: You can use this skill to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster. Higher checks allow you to remember additional information.

Monster Knowledge Base DC
Name, type, and subtype 15 + challenge rating
Attacks and special attacks 20 + challenge rating
Special qualities 25 + challenge rating

Action: Usually none. In most cases, making a Monster Knowledge check doesn’t take an action- you simply know the answer or you don’t.

Try Again: No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

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Spellcraft Checks
Regardless of the knowledge skill you’re using, refer to the rules here when making a check to identify magical effects.

Spellcraft DC Task
13 When using read magic, identify a glyph of warding. No action required.
15 + spell level Identify a spell being cast. (You must see or hear the spell’s verbal or somatic components.) No action required. No retry
15 + spell level Learn a spell from a spellbook or scroll (wizard only). No retry for that spell until you gain at least 1 level (even if you find another source to try and learn the spell from). Requires 8 hours.
15 + spell level Prepare a spell from a borrowed spellbook (wizard only). One try per day. No extra time required.
15 + spell level When casting detect magic, determine the school of magic involved in the aura of a single item or creature you can see. (If the aura is not a spell effect, the DC is 10 + one-half caster level). No action required.
19 When using read magic, identify a symbol. No action required.
20 + spell level Identify a spell that’s already in place and in effect. You must be able to see or detect the effects of the spell. No action required. No retry.
20 + spell level Identify materials created or shaped by magic, such as noting that an iron wall is the result of a wall of iron spell. No action required. No retry.
20 + spell level Decipher a written spell (such as a scroll) without using read magic. One try per day. Requires a full-round action.
25 + spell level After rolling a saving throw against a spell targeted on you, determine what that spell was. No action required. No retry.
25 Identify a potion. Requires 1 minute. No retry.
20 Draw a diagram to allow dimensional anchor to be cast on a magic circle spell. Requires 10 minutes. No retry. The DM makes this check.
30 or higher Understand a strange or unique magical effect (such as the effects of a magic stream). Time required varies. No retry.

Check: You can identify spells and magic effects. The DCs for such checks are summarized on the table above.

Action: Varies, as noted above.

Try Again: See above.

Special: If you are a specialist wizard, you get a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks when dealing with a spell or effect from your specialty school. You take a -5 penalty when dealing with a spell or effect from a prohibited school (and some tasks, such as learning a prohibited spell, are just impossible).

Skill Descriptions

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Agility (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)
You can keep your balance while walking along a precarious surface, escape from bonds or an opponent’s grapple, wriggle through tight spaces, somersault over an opponent’s head, or perform some other feat of agility. Special: If you have Agility trained, you gain a +3 dodge bonus to AC when fighting defensively, instead of the usual +2 dodge bonus to AC (see Fighting Defensively). You also gain a +6 dodge bonus to AC when executing the total defense standard action, instead of the usual +4 dodge bonus to AC (see Total Defense).

Acrobatic Stunt
You can slide down a hanging tapestry, swing from a hanging vine, vault over a table, squeeze through a tight space where your head fits but your shoulders don’t, or attempt any sort of acrobatic stunt that you can imagine.

Check: You can use this skill whenever you attempt a feat of Agility that the rules normally don’t cover. The DM sets the DC for an acrobatic stunt based on its complexity, the environment, and the danger of the situation. If the stunt fails, you generally fall prone in the square where you began the stunt, though the DM may decide to change where you land, or that you suffer some other consequence as a result of failure. The DM always has the right to say that a particular acrobatic stunt is too risky or that the DC of the stunt is particularly high.

Action: None. An acrobatic stunt is performed as part of a move or standard action.

Balance
You can keep your balance while walking on a tightrope, a narrow beam, a slippery ledge, or an uneven floor. Check: You can walk on a precarious surface. A successful check lets you move at half your speed along the surface for 1 round. A failure by 4 or less means you can’t move for 1 round. A failure by 5 or more means that you fall. The difficulty varies with the surface as follows:

Narrow Surface Base DC1 Difficult Surface Base DC1
17-12 inches wide 10 Uneven flagstone 10
22-6 inches wide 15 Hewn stone floor 102
Less than 2 inches wide 20 Sloped or angled floor 102

1 Add modifiers from Narrow Surface Modifiers, below as appropriate.
2 Only if running or charging. Failure by 4 or less means the character can’t run or charge, but may otherwise act normally.

Narrow Surface Modifier

Surface DC Modifier1
Lightly obstructed (scree, light rubble) +2
Severely obstructed (natural cavern floor, dense rubble) +5
Lightly slippery (wet floor) +2
Severely slippery (ice sheet) +5
Sloped or angled +2

1 Add the appropriate modifier to the Balance DC of a narrow surface. These modifiers stack.

Being Attacked while Balancing: You are considered flat-footed while balancing, since you can’t move to avoid a blow, and thus you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). If you have Agility trained, you aren’t considered flat-footed while balancing. If you take damage while balancing, you must make another Agility check against the same DC to remain standing.

Accelerated Movement: You can try to walk across a precarious surface more quickly than normal. If you accept a -5 penalty, you can move your full speed as a move action. (Moving twice your speed in a round requires two Agility checks, one for each move action used.) You may also accept this penalty in order to charge across a precarious surface; charging requires one Agility check for each multiple of your speed (or fraction thereof) that you charge.

Action: None. Balancing doesn’t require an action; it is made as part of another action, or as a reaction to a situation.

Escape from a Grapple or Pin
You can escape the grip of a monster that grapples you.

Check: You can make an Agility check opposed by your enemy’s grapple check to get out of a grapple or out of a pinned condition (so that you’re only grappling).

Action: Standard.

Try Again: Yes.

Escape from Restraints
You can slip out of bond or manacles.

Check: The table below gives the DCs to escape various forms of restraints.

Ropes: Your check is opposed by the binder’s Dungeoneering check. Since it’s easier to tie someone up than to escape from being tied up, the binder gets a +5 bonus on his or her check.

Manacles and Masterwork Manacles: The DC for manacles is set by their construction.

Restraint Base DC
Ropes Binder’s Use Rope check at +5
Net, animate rope spell, command plants spell, control plants spell, or entangle spell. 15
Manacles, snare spell 20
Masterwork manacles 25

Action: Escaping from rope binding, manacles, or other restraints requires 1 minute of work. Escaping from a net, or an animate rope, command plants, control plants, or entangle spell requires a full-round action.

Land Softly (Trained Only)
You can use this skill to land softly after falling from a great height.

Check: You can make an Agility check (Base DC 15) to treat a fall as if it were 10 feet shorter than it really is when determining damage.

Action: None. You can attempt to land softly as an immediate action.

Ride
Use the Agility skill to ride a mount, be it a horse, riding dog, griffon, dragon, or some other kind of creature suited for riding. If you attempt to ride a creature that is ill suited as a mount (such as most bipedal creatures), you take a -5 penalty on your Ride checks.

Check: Typical riding actions don’t require checks. You can saddle, mount, ride, and dismount from a mount without a problem. The following tasks do require checks.

Task Base DC
Guide with knees 5
Leap 15
Stay in saddle 5
Spur mount 15
Fight with warhorse 10
Control mount in battle 20
Cover 15
Fast mount or dismount 201
Soft fall 15

1 Armor check penalty applies.

Guide with Knees: You can react instantly to guide your mount with your knees so that you can use both hands in combat. Make your Agility check at the start of your turn. If you fail, you can only one hand this round because you need to use the other to control your mount.

Stay in Saddle: You can react instantly to try to avoid falling when your mount rears or bolts unexpectedly, or when you take damage. This usage does not take an action.

Fight with Warhorse: If you direct your war-trained mount to attack in battle, you can still make your own attack or attack normally. This usage is a free action.

Cover: You can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside your mount as cover. If you fail your Agility check, you don’t get the cover benefit. This usage does not take an action.

Soft Fall: You can react instantly to try to take no damage when you fall off a mount- when it is killed or when it falls for example. If you fail your Agility check, you take 1d6 points of damage. This usage does not take an action.

Leap: You can get your mount to leap obstacles as part of movement. Use your Agility skill or the mount’s, whichever is lower, to see how far the creature can jump. If you fail your Agility check, you fall off the mount when it leaps and take the appropriate falling damage (at least 1d6 points). This usage does not take an action, but is part of the mount’s movement.

Spur Mount:  You can spur your mount to greater speed with a move action. A successful Agility check increases the mount’s speed by 10 feet for 1 round, but deals 1 point of damage to the creature. You can use this ability every round, but each consecutive round of additional speed deals twice as much damage to the mount as the previous round (2 points, 4 points, and so on). 

Control Mount in Battle: As a move action, you can attempt to control a light horse, pony, heavy horse, or other mount not trained for combat riding while in battle. If you fail the Agility check, you can do nothing else in that round. You do not need to roll for warhorses or warponies.

Fast Mount or Dismount: You can attempt to mount or dismount from a mount of up to one size category larger than yourself as a free action, provided that you still have a move action available that round. If you fail the Agility check, mounting or dismounting is a move action. You can’t use fast mount or dismount on a mount more than one size category larger than yourself.

Action: Varies. Mounting or dismounting normally is a move action. Other checks are a move action, free action, or not action at all, as noted above.

Special: If you are riding bareback, you take a -5 penalty on your Agility checks. If your mount has a military saddle, you get a +2 circumstance bonus on your Athletics checks related to staying in the saddle.

Being trained in Athletics is a prerequisite for the feats Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge, and Trample. See the appropriate feat descriptions for details).

Tumble (Trained Only)
You can dive, roll, somersault and flip to avoid your opponents, or to entertain an audience

Check: You can tumble past opponents, or use your acrobatic skills to entertain an audience (as though using the Perform skill). The DCs for various tasks involving tumbling are given on the table below.

Base DC Task
15 Tumble at one-half speed as part of normal movement, provoking no attacks of opportunity while doing so. Failure means you provoke attacks of opportunity normally. Check separately for each opponent you move past, in the order of which you pass them (player’s choice of order in case of a tie). Each additional enemy after the first adds +2 to the DC.
25 Tumble at one-half speed through an area occupied by an enemy (over, under, or around the opponent) as part of normal movement, provoking no attacks of opportunity while doing so. Failure means you stop before entering the enemy-occupied area and provoke an attack of opportunity from that enemy. Check separately for each opponent. Each additional enemy after the first adds +2 to the DC.

Obstructed or otherwise treacherous surfaces, such as natural, cavern floors, or undergrowth, are tough to tumble through. The DC for any Agility check to tumble into such a square is modified as indicated below.

Surface Is… DC Modifier
Lightly obstructed (scree, light rubble) +2
Severely obstructed (natural cavern floor, dense rubble) +5
Lightly slippery (wet floor) +2
Severely slippery (ice sheet) +5
Sloped or angled +2

Accelerated Tumbling: You try to tumble past or through enemies more quickly than normal. By accepting a -5 penalty on your Agility checks, you can move at your full speed instead of at half your speed.

Action: None. Tumbling is performed as part of a move action.

Try Again: Usually no. An audience, once it has judged a tumbler as an uninteresting performer, is not receptive to repeat performances.

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Appraise (Int)
Check: You can appraise common or well-known objects with a DC 12 Appraise check. Failure means that you estimate the value at 50% to 150% (2d6+3 times 10%,) of its actual value.

Appraising a rare or exotic item requires a successful check against DC 15, 20, or higher. If the check is successful, you estimate the value correctly; failure means you cannot estimate the item’s value.

A magnifying glass gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Appraise checks involving any item that is small or highly detailed, such as a gem. A merchant’s scale gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Appraise checks involving any items that are valued by weight, including anything made of precious metals.

These bonuses stack.

Action: Appraising an item takes 1 minute (ten consecutive full-round actions).

Try Again: No. You cannot try again on the same object, regardless of success.

Special: A dwarf gets a +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks that are related to stone or metal items because dwarves are familiar with valuable items of all kinds (especially those made of stone or metal).

The master of a raven familiar gains a +3 bonus on Appraise checks.

A character with the Diligent feat gets a +2 bonus on Appraise checks.

Synergy: If you have 5 ranks in any Craft skill, you gain a +2 bonus on Appraise checks related to items made with that Craft skill.

Untrained: For common items, failure on an untrained check means no estimate. For rare items, success means an estimate of 50% to 150% (2d6+3 times 10%).

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Arcana (Int; Trained Only)
Make an Arcana check to create an alchemical substance, recall a bit of arcane knowledge, identify an arcane spell being cast, or to identify a magical creature.

Arcana Knowledge
Make an Arcana check to recall a bit of useful knowledge about an ancient mystery, a magic tradition, an arcane symbol, or a cryptic phrase.

Action: Usually none. In most cases, making a Knowledge check doesn’t take an action- you simply know the answer, or you don’t.

Try Again: No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

Monster Knowledge
Make an Arcana check to identify a construct, dragon, or magical beast. (See “Monster Knowledge Checks.”)

Spellcraft
Make an Arcana check to identify arcane spells as they are cast or arcane spells already in place. (See “Spellcraft Checks.”)

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Athletics (Str; Armor Check Penalty)
Make an Athletics check in order to climb a treacherous cliff, vault over an open pit, swim across a raging river, escape from an opponent’s grapple, or any other sort of activity that relies on physical strength.

Climb
Use this skill to scale a cliff, to get to the window on the second story of a wizard’s tower, or to climb out of a pit after falling through a trapdoor.

Check: With a successful Athletics check, you can advance up, down, or across a slope, a wall, or some other steep incline (or even a ceiling with handholds) at one-quarter your normal speed. A slope is considered to be any incline at an angle measuring less than 60 degrees; a wall is any incline at an angle measuring 60 degrees or more.

An Athletics check that fails by 4 or less means that you make no progress, and one that fails by 5 or more means that you fall from whatever height you have already attained.

A climber’s kit gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Climb checks.

The DC of the check depends on the conditions of the climb. Compare the task with those on the following table to determine an appropriate DC.

Base DC Example Surface or Activity
0 A slope too steep to walk up, or a knotted rope with a wall to brace against.
5 A rope with a wall to brace against, or a knotted rope, or a rope affected by the rope trick spell.
10 A surface with ledges to hold onto and stand on, such as a very rough wall, or a ship’s rigging.
15 Any surface with adequate handholds and footholds (natural or artificial, such as a very rough natural rock surface, or a tree, or an unknotted rope, or pulling yourself up when dangling by your hands.
20 An uneven surface with some narrow handholds and footholds, such as a typical wall in a dungeon or ruins.
25 A rough surface, such as a natural rock wall, or a brick wall.
25 An overhang or ceiling with handholds, but no footholds.
A perfectly smooth, flat, vertical surface cannot be climbed.
Climb DC Modifier1 Example Surface or Activity
-10 Climbing a chimney (artificial or natural) or other location where you can brace against two opposite walls (reduces DC by 10)
-5 Climbing a corner where you can brace against perpendicular walls (reduces DC by 5)
+5 Surface is slippery (increases DC by 5)

1 These modifiers are cumulative; use any that apply.

Escape from a Grapple
You can escape the grip of an opponent that grapples you.

Check: You can make an Athletics check opposed by your enemy’s grapple check to get out of a grapple or out of a pinned condition (so that you’re only grappling).

Action: Standard.

Try Again: Yes.

Jump
Use this skill to leap over pits, vault low fences, or reach a tree’s lowest branches.

Check: The DC and the distance you can cover vary according to the type of jump you are attempting (see below).

Your Jump check is modified by your speed. If your speed is 30 feet (the speed of an unarmored human), then no modifier based on speed applies to the check. If your speed is less than 30 feet, you take a -6 penalty for every 10 feet of speed less than 30 feet. If your speed is greater than 30 feet, you gain a +4 bonus for every 10 feet beyond 30 feet. For instance, if you have a speed of 20 feet, you take a -6 penalty on your Jump checks. If, on the other hand, your speed is 50 feet, you gain a +8 bonus.

All Jump DCs given here assume that you get a running start, which requires that you move at least 20 feet in a straight line before attempting the jump. If you do not get a running start, the DC for the jump is doubled. Distance moved by jumping is counted against your normal maximum movement in a round. For example, Gror has a speed of 40 feet. If he moves 30 feet, then jumps across a 10-foot wide chasm, he’s then moved 40 feet total, so that’s his move action. If you have ranks in Jump and you succeed on a  Jump check, you land on your feet (when appropriate). If you attempt a Jump check untrained, you land prone unless you beat the DC by 5 or more.

Long Jump: A long jump is a horizontal jump, made across a gap, like a chasm or stream. At the midpoint of the jump, you attain a vertical height equal to one-quarter of the horizontal distance. The DC for the jump is equal to the distance jumped (in feet). For example, a 10-foot wide pit requires a requires a DC 10 Athletics check to cross. If your check succeeds, you land on your feet at the far end. If you fail the check by less than 5, you don’t clear the distance, but you can make an Agility check (DC 15) to grab the far edge of the gap. You end your movement grasping the far edge. If that leaves you dangling over a chasm or gap, getting up requires a move action and, a successful Athletics check (DC 15).

Long Jump Distance

Base DC1
5 feet 5
10 feet 10
15 feet 15
20 feet 20
25 feet 25
30 feet 30

1 Requires a 20-foot running start. Without a running start, double the DC.

High Jump: A high jump is a vertical leap made to reach a ledge high above or to grasp something overhead, such as a tree limb. The DC is equal to 4 times the distance to be cleared. For example, the DC for a high jump to land atop a 3-foot-high ledge is 12 (3 × 4).

If you jumped up to grab something, a successful check indicates that you reached the desired height. If you wish to pull yourself up, you can do so with a move action and a successful Athletics check (moderate DC). If you fail this check, you do not reach the height and you land on your feet in the same spot from which you jumped. As with a long jump, the DC is doubled if you do not get a running start of at least 20 feet.

High Jump Distance1 Base DC2
1 foot 4
2 feet 8
3 feet 12
4 feet 16
5 feet 20
6 feet 24
7 feet 28
8 feet 32

1 Not including vertical reach; see below.
2 Requires a 20-foot running start. Without a running start, double the DC.

Obviously, the difficulty of reaching a given height varies according to the size of the character or creature. The maximum vertical reach (height the creature can reach without jumping) for an average creature of a given size is shown on the table below. (As a Medium creature, a typical human can reach 8 feet without jumping.) Quadrupedal creatures, such as horses) don’t have the same vertical reach as a bipedal creature; treat them as being one size category smaller.

Creature Size Vertical Reach
Colossal 128 ft.
Gargantuan 64 ft.
Huge 32 ft.
Large 16 ft.
Medium 8 ft.
Small 4 ft.
Tiny 2 ft.
Diminutive 1 ft.
Fine 1/2 ft.

Hop Up: You can jump up onto an object as tall as your waist, such as a table or small boulder with an Athletics check (DC 19). Doing so counts as 10 feet of movement, so if your speed is 30 feet, you could move 20 feet, then hop up onto a counter. You do not need to get a running start to hop up, so the DC is not doubled if you do not get a running start.

Jumping Down: If you intentionally jump from a height, you take less damage than you would if you just fell. The base DC to jump down from a height is 15. You do not have to get a running start to jump down, so the DC is not doubled if you do not get a running start. Action: None. A jump is included in your movement, so it is part of a move action. If you run out of movement mid-jump, your next action (either on this turn or, if necessary, on your next turn) must be a move action to complete the jump.

Swim
Use this skill to swim, dive, navigate underwater obstacles, and so on. Check: Make an Athletics check once per round while you are in the water. Success means you may swim at up to one-half your speed (as a full-round action) or at one-quarter your speed (as a move action). If you fail by 4 or less, you make no progress through the water. If you fail by 5 or more, you go underwater. If you are underwater, either because you failed a Swim check or because you are swimming underwater intentionally, you must hold your breath (see Stamina skill).

The DC for the Swim check depends on the water, as given on the table below.

Water Base DC
Calm water 10
Rough water 15
Stormy water 201

1 You can’t take 10 on a Swim check in stormy water, even if you aren’t otherwise being threatened or distracted.

Each hour that you swim, you must make a Stamina check (DC 20) or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage from fatigue.

Action: A successful Swim check allows you to swim one-quarter of your speed as a move action, or one-half your speed as a full-round action. Special: Swim checks are subject to double the normal armor check penalty and encumbrance penalty. For instance, full plate incurs a -12 penalty on Swim checks instead of -6.

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Deception (Cha)
Make a Deception check to con your way out of a sticky situation, fashion a clever disguise, deliver a secret message, or forge an official document. The skill encompasses acting, conning, fast talking, misdirection, prevarication, and misleading body language. Use deception to sow temporary confusion, get someone to turn and look where you point, or simply look innocuous.

Bluff
You can make the outrageous or the untrue seem plausible.

Check: Your Deception check is opposed by the target’s Intuition check, See the accompanying table for examples of different kinds of bluffs and the modifier to the target’s Intuition check for each one.

Example Circumstances Intuition Modifier
The target wants to believe you. -5
The bluff is believable and doesn’t affect the target much. +0
The bluff is a bit hard to believe or puts the target at some risk. +5
The bluff hard to believe, or puts the target at significant risk. +10
The bluff is way out there, almost to incredible to consider. +20

Favorable and unfavorable circumstances weigh heavily on the outcome of a bluff. Two circumstances can weigh against you. The bluff is hard to believe, or the action that the target is asked to take goes against its self interest, nature, personality, orders, or the like. If it’s important, the DM 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 on its Intuition check because the bluff demands something risky, and the Intuition 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. A target that succeeds by 11 or more has seen through the bluff (and would have done so even if that bluff had not entailed any demand).

A successful Deception check indicates that the target reacts as you wish, at least for a short time (usually 1 round or less) or believes something that you want it to believe. Bluffing, however, is not a suggestion spell. For example, you could use a bluff to put a shopkeeper off guard, by saying that his shoes are untied. At best such a bluff would make the shopkeeper glance down at his shoes. It would not cause him to ignore you and fiddle with his shoes. A bluff requires interaction between you and the target. Creatures unaware of you cannot be bluffed.

Action: Bluffing someone usually takes at least 1 round (and is at least a full-round action), but it can take much longer if you try something elaborate.

Try Again: Generally, a failed Deception check to bluff someone makes the target too suspicious for you to try again.

Creating a Diversion to Hide
You can use the Deception skill to help you hide.

Check: A successful Deception check gives you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Stealth check while people are aware of you. This usage does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Action: Standard.
Retry: No.

Delivering a Secret Message
You can use Deception to get a message across to another character without others understanding it. 

Check: Two rogues might seem to be talking about bakery goods when they’re really planning how to break into a wizard’s laboratory. The DC of such a check is set by the DM based on the complexity of the information the player is attempting to convey. This is especially true for messages that rely on getting across new information. Failure by 4 or less means you can’t get the message across. Failure by 5 or more means that some false information has been implied or inferred. Anyone listening to the exchange can make an Intuition check opposed by the Deception check you made to transmit in order to interpret your message (see Intuition).

Action: Generally delivering a secret message takes 1 round (and is at least a full-round action), but it may take longer depending on the complexity of the information you wish to convey.

Retry: Yes, but you may attempt such a retry only once per round.

Disguise
Use the Deception skill to change your own appearance or someone else’s. The effort requires at least a few props, some makeup, and some time. The use of a disguise kit provides a +2 circumstance bonus on your Deception check. A disguise can include an apparent change of height or weight amounting to no more than one-tenth of the original.

You can also use Deception to impersonate people, either individuals, or types. For example, you might, with little or no actual disguise, make yourself seem like a traveler even if you’re a local. Check: Your Deception check result determines how good the disguise is, and it is opposed by others’ Notice check results. If you don’t draw any attention to yourself, others do not get to make Notice checks. If you come to the attention of people who are suspicious (such as a guard who is watching commoners walking through a city gate), the DM can assume that such observers are taking 10 on their Notice checks.

You get only one Deception check per use of the skill, even if several people are making Notice checks against it. Your DM makes your Deception check secretly, so that you can’t be sure how good the result is. The effectiveness of your disguise depends in part on how much you’re attempting to change your appearance.

Disguise Deception Check Modifier
Minor details only +5
Disguised as different gender1

-2
Disguised as different race1 -2
Disguised as different age category1 -22

1 These modifiers are cumulative; use any that apply.
2 Per step of difference between your actual age category and your disguised age category. The steps are young (younger than adulthood), adulthood, middle age, old, and venerable.

If you are impersonating a particular individual, those who know what that person looks like get a bonus on their Notice checks according to the table below. Furthermore, they are automatically considered to be suspicious of you, so opposed checks are always called for.

Familiarity Viewer’s Notice Check Bonus
Recognizes on sight +4
Friends or associates +6
Close friends +8
Intimate +10

Usually, an individual makes a Notice check to see through your disguise immediately upon meeting you and each hour thereafter. If you casually meet many different creatures, each for a short time, check once per day or hour, using an average Notice modifier for the group. For example, if you are trying to pass for a merchant at a bazaar, the DM can make one Notice check per hour for the people you encounter, using a +1 bonus on the check to represent the average for the crowd (most people with no Spot ranks and a few with good Spot modifiers).

Action: Creating a disguise requires 1d3×10 minutes of work.

Try Again: Yes. You may try to redo a failed disguise, but once others know that a disguise was attempted, they’ll be more suspicious.

Special: Magic that alters your form, such as alter self, disguise self, polymorph, or shapechange, grants you a +10 bonus on Deception checks made to disguise yourself (see the individual spell descriptions in Chapter 11: Spells). You must succeed on a Deception check with a +10 bonus to duplicate the appearance of a specific individual using the veil spell. Divination magic that allows people to see through illusions (such as true seeing) does not penetrate a mundane disguise, but it can negate the magical component of a magically enhanced one. You must make a Deception check when you cast a simulacrum spell to determine how good the likeness is.

Feinting in Combat
You can use Deception to mislead an opponent in melee combat so that it can’t dodge your next attack effectively. 

Check: To feint, make a Deception check opposed by your target’s Intuition check, but in this case, the target may add its attack bonus to the roll along with any other applicable modifiers. If your Deception check result exceeds this special Intuition check result, your target is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) for the next melee attack you make against it. This attack must be made on or before your next turn.

Feinting in this way against a nonhumanoid is difficult because it’s harder to read a strange creature’s body language; you take a -4 penalty on your Deception check. Against a creature of animal Intelligence (1 or 2) it’s even harder; you take a -8 penalty. Against a non-intelligent creature, it’s impossible.

Feinting in combat does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Action: Standard.

Try Again: Yes

Forgery
Use the Deception skill to fake a written order from the duchess instructing a jailer to release prisoners, to create an authentic-looking treasure map, or to detect forgeries that others try to pass off.

Check: Forgery requires writing materials appropriate to the document being forged, enough light or sufficient visual acuity to see the details of what you’re writing, wax for seals (if appropriate) and some time. 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), you need only to have seen a similar document before, and you gain a +8 bonus on your check. To forge a signature, you need an autograph of that person to copy, and you gain a +4 bonus on the check. To forge a longer document written in the hand of some particular person, a large sample of that person’s handwriting is needed.

Your DM makes your Deception check secretly, so that you’re not sure how good your forgery is. As with disguising yourself, you don’t need to make a check until someone examines the work. Your Deception check is opposed by the Notice check of the person who examines the document to check its authenticity. The examiner gains modifiers on his or her check if any of the conditions on the table below exist.

Condition Reader’s Notice Check Modifier
Type of document unknown to reader -2
Type of document somewhat known to reader +0
Type of document well known to reader +2
Handwriting not known to reader +2
Handwriting somewhat known to reader +0
Handwriting intimately known to reader +2
Reader only casually reviews the document -2

A document that contradicts procedure orders, or previous knowledge, or one that requires sacrifice on the part of the person checking the document can increase that character’s suspicion (and thus create favorable circumstances for the checker’s opposing Notice check.)

Action: Forging a very short and simple document takes about 1 minute. A longer or more complex document takes 1d4 minutes per page.

Try Again: Usually no. A retry is never possible after a particular reader detects a particular forgery. But the document created by the forger might still fool someone else. The result of a Deception check for a particular document must be used for every instance of a different reader examining the document. No reader can attempt to detect a particular forgery more than once. If that one opposed check goes in favor of the forger, then the reader can’t try using his own skill again, even if he’s suspicious about the document.

Restriction: Forgery is language-dependent; thus, to forge documents and detect forgeries, you must be able to read and write the language in question. A barbarian can’t use Deception to create forgeries, nor can he use Notice to detect a forgery, unless he has learned to read and write.

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Diplomacy (Cha)
Use this skill to persuade the chamberlain to let you see the king, to negotiate peace between feuding barbarian tribes, or to convince the ogre mages that have captured you that they should ransom you back to your friends instead of twisting your limbs off one by one. Diplomacy involves etiquette, social grace, tact, subtlety, and a way with words. A skilled character knows the formal and informal rules of conduct, social expectations, proper forms of address, and so on. This skill represents the ability to give others the right impression of yourself, to negotiate effectively, and to influence others.

Check: You can change the attitudes of others (nonplayer characters) as part of a skill encounter. The skill DCs of the encounter are determined by the NPC’s initial attitude; see Influencing NPC Attitudes below. In negotiations, the characters roll Diplomacy checks to try an influence the attitude of the NPC.

Action: Changing others’ attitudes with Diplomacy generally requires several full-round actions performed as part of a skill encounter. A rushed Diplomacy check (such as an attempt to head off a fight between two angry warriors) can be made as a full-round action, but you take a -10 penalty on the check.

Try Again: Optional, but not recommended because retries usually do not work. Even if the initial Diplomacy check succeeds, the other character can be persuaded 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 his position and a retry is futile.

Special: A half-elf has a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks, thanks to her ability to relate well with others.

Influencing NPC Attitudes
Use the tables below to determine the effectiveness of Diplomacy checks (or Charisma checks) made to influence the attitude of a nonplayer character, or wild empathy checks made to influence the attitude of an animal or magical beast.

Initial Attitude Base DC
Hostile 25 + challenge rating
Unfriendly 20 + challenge rating
Indifferent 15 + challenge rating
Friendly 10 + challenge rating
Helpful 5
Attitude Means Possible Actions
Hostile Will take risks to hurt you Attack, interfere, berate, flee
Unfriendly Wishes you ill Mislead, gossip, avoid, watch suspiciously, insult
Indifferent Doesn’t much care Socially expected interaction
Friendly Wishes you well Chat, advise, offer limited help, advocate
Helpful Will take risks to help you Protect, back up, heal, aid

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Dungeoneering (Wis; Trained Only)
Make a Dungeoneering check to determine the stability of a structure, identify dungeon hazards, recognize a creature that resides underground, or forage for food in a natural cavern.

Architectural Knowledge
Make a Dungeoneering check to navigate safely across a rotting bridge, identify weaknesses in a fortress’s fortifications, or to determine whether a crumbling tomb is on the verge of collapse.

Action: Varies. Generally, it takes a full-round action to test a 5-foot-by-5-foot area for structural stability. Determining the structural stability of a room, takes approximately 1d4+1 minutes. Identifying weaknesses in a fortress’s fortifications takes approximately 1d4+1 hours. 

Try Again: Yes, but it takes time for each check. Furthermore, you may draw attention to yourself if you repeatedly review an area that is currently occupied; such as a town, or a fortress.

Monster Knowledge
Make a Dungeoneering check to identify an aberration, or a cavern ooze. (See “Monster Knowledge Checks.”)

Survive Underground
You can make a Dungeoneering check to guide a party safely through an underground cavern, identify signs that a clutch of darkmantles live nearby, identify dangerous molds, and other natural, underground hazards. Check: You can keep yourself and others safe, in underground complexes. The table below gives the DCs for various tasks that require Dungeoneering checks.

Base DC Task
10 Get along underground. Move up to one-half your overland speed while hunting and foraging (no food or water supplies needed). You can provide food and water for one other person for every 2 points by which your check result exceeds 10.
15 Keep from getting lost or avoid natural hazards, such as a slime, mold, or fungi.

Action: Varies. A single Dungeoneering check may represent activity over the course of hours or a full day.

Try Again: Varies. For getting along in the wild, you make a Dungeoneering check once every 24 hours. The result of that check applies until the next check is made. To avoid getting lost or to avoid a natural hazard, you make a Dungeoneering check whenever the situation calls for one. Retries to avoid getting lost in a specific situation or to avoid a natural hazard are not allowed.

Use Rope
With a Dungeoneering check, you can make firm knots, undo tricky knots, and bind prisoners with ropes.

Check: Most tasks with a rope are relatively simple. The DCs for various tasks utilizing this skill are summarized on the table below.

Base DC Task
10 Tie a firm knot.
101 Secure a grappling hook.
15 Tie a special knot, such as one that slips, slides slowly, or loosens with a tug.
15 Tie a rope around yourself one-handed.15 Splice two ropes together.
Varies Bind a character.

1 Add 2 to the DC for every 10 feet the hook is thrown; see below.

Secure a Grappling Hook: Securing a grappling hook requires a Dungeoneering check (DC 10, +2 for every 10 feet of distance the grappling hook is thrown, to a maximum DC of 20 at 50 feet). Failure by 4 or less indicates that the hook fails to catch and falls, allowing you to try again. Failure by 5 or more indicates that the grappling hook initially holds, but comes loose after 1d4 rounds of supporting weight. Your DM should make this check secretly, so that you don’t know whether the rope will hold your weight.

Bind a Character: When you bind another character with a rope, any Agility check that the bound character makes is opposed by your Dungeoneering check. You get a +10 bonus on this check because it is easier to bind someone than to escape from bonds. You don’t even make your Dungeoneering check until someone tries to escape.

Action: Varies. Throwing a grappling hook is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. Tying a knot, tying a special knot, or tying a rope around yourself one-handed is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. Splicing two ropes together takes 5 minutes. Binding a character takes 1 minute.

Special: A silk rope gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Dungeoneering checks to use rope. If you cast an animate rope spell on a rope, you get a +2 circumstance bonus on any Dungeoneering checks you make when using that rope. These bonuses stack.

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Gather Information (Cha)
Use this skill for making contacts in an area, finding out local gossip, rumor mongering, and collecting general information.

Check: An evening’s time, a few gold pieces for buying drinks and making friends, and a base DC 10 Gather Information check get you a general idea of a city’s major news items, assuming there are no obvious reasons why the information would be withheld. The higher your check result, the better the information.

If you want to find out about a specific rumor, or a specific item, or obtain a map, or do something else along those lines, the base DC for the check is 15 or 20.

Action: Using this skill takes 1d4+1 hours and might be part of a skill encounter.

Try Again: Yes, but it takes time for each check. Furthermore, you may draw attention to yourself if you repeatedly pursue a certain type of information.

Special: A half-elf has a +2 racial bonus on Gather Information checks.

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Heal (Wis)
Use this skill to keep a badly wounded friend from dying, to help others recover faster from wounds, to keep your friend from succumbing to a wyvern’s poison sting, or to treat disease.

Check: The DC and effect depend on the task you attempt.

Task Base DC
First aid 15
Long-term care 15
Treat wound from caltrop, spike growth, or spike stones 15
Treat poison Poison’s save DC
Treat disease Disease’s save DC

First Aid: You usually use first aid to save a dying character. If a character has negative hit points and is losing hit points (at the rate of 1 per round, 1 per hour, or 1 per day), you can make him or her stable. A stable character regains no hit points but stops losing them.

Long-Term Care: Providing long-term care means treating a wounded person for a day or more. If your Heal check is successful, the patient recovers hit points or ability score points (lost to ability damage) at twice the normal rate: 2 hit points per level for a full 8 hours of rest in a day, or 4 hit points per level for each full day of complete rest; 2 ability score points for a full 8 hours of rest in a day, or 4 ability score points for each full day of complete rest.

You can tend as many as six patients at a time. You need 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. You cannot give long-term care to yourself.

Treat Wound from Caltrop, Spike Growth, or Spike Stones: A creature wounded by stepping on a caltrop moves at one-half normal speed. A successful Heal check removes this movement penalty.

A creature wounded by a spike growth or spike stones spell must succeed on a Reflex save or take injuries that reduce his speed by one-third. Another character can remove this penalty by taking 10 minutes to dress the victim’s injuries and succeeding on a Heal check against the spell’s save DC.

Treat Poison: To treat poison means to tend a single character who has been poisoned and who is going to take more damage from the poison (or suffer some other effect). Every time the poisoned character makes a saving throw against the poison, you make a Heal check. The poisoned character uses your check result or his or her saving throw, whichever is higher.

Treat Disease: To treat a disease means to tend a single diseased character. Every time he or she makes a saving throw against disease effects, you make a Heal check. The diseased character uses your check result or his or her saving throw, whichever is higher.

Action: Providing first aid, treating a wound, or treating poison is a standard action. Treating a disease or tending a creature wounded by a spike growth or spike stones spell takes 10 minutes of work. Providing long-term care requires 8 hours of light activity.

Try Again: Varies. Generally speaking, you can’t try a Heal check again without proof of the original check’s failure. You can always retry a check to provide first aid, assuming the target of the previous attempt is still alive.

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Intimidate (Cha)
Use this skill to get a bully to back down, to frighten an opponent, or to make a prisoner give you the information you want. Intimidation includes verbal threats and body language.

Check: You can change another’s behavior with a successful check. Your Intimidate check is opposed by the target’s modified level check (1d20 + ½ the target’s level or Hit Dice + target’s Wisdom bonus [if any] + target’s modifiers on saves against fear). If you beat your target’s check result, you may treat the target as friendly, but only for the purpose of actions taken while it remains intimidated. (That is, the target retains its normal attitude, but will chat, advise, offer limited help, or advocate on your behalf while intimidated. See the Diplomacy skill, above, for additional details.) The effect lasts as long as the target remains in your presence, and for 1d6×10 minutes afterward. After this time, the target’s default attitude toward you shifts to unfriendly (or, if normally unfriendly, to hostile).

If you fail the check by 5 or more, the target provides you with incorrect or useless information, or otherwise frustrates your efforts.

Demoralize Opponent: You can also use Intimidate to weaken an opponent’s resolve in combat. To do so, make an Intimidate check opposed by the target’s modified level check (see above). If you win, the target becomes shaken for 1 round. A shaken character takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. You can intimidate only an opponent that you threaten in melee combat and that can see you.Action: Varies. Changing another’s behavior requires 1 minute of interaction. Intimidating an opponent in combat is a standard action.

Try Again: Optional, but not recommended because retries usually do not work. Even if the initial check succeeds, the other character can be intimidated only so far, and a retry doesn’t help. If the initial check fails, the other character has probably become more firmly resolved to resist the intimidator, and a retry is futile.

Special:  You gain a +4 bonus on your Intimidate check for every size category that you are larger than your target. Conversely, you take a -4 penalty on your Intimidate check for every size category that you are smaller than your target.

A character immune to fear can’t be intimidated, nor can nonintelligent creatures.

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Intuition (Wis)
Use this skill to tell when someone is bluffing you, to discern hidden messages in conversations, or to sense when someone is being magically influenced.

Sense Motive
You can use the Intuition skill to avoid being bluffed (see the Deception skill), to determine when “something is up” (that is, when something odd is going on), or to assess someone’s trustworthiness. Your DM may decide to make your Intuition check secretly, so that you don’t necessarily know whether you were successful.

Check: The DC of the Intuition check to determine someone’s motive depends on the task.

Task Base DC
Hunch 20
Sense Enchantment 25 or 15
Discern secret message Varies

Hunch: This use of the skill involves making a gut assessment of the social situation. You can get the feeling from another’s behavior that something is wrong, such as when you’re talking to an impostor. Alternatively, you can get the feeling that someone is trustworthy.

Sense Enchantment: You can tell that someone’s behavior is being influenced by an enchantment effect (by definition, a mind-affecting effect), even if that person isn’t aware of it. The usual DC is 25, but if the target is dominated (see dominate person), the DC is only 15 because of the limited range of the target’s activities.Discern

Secret Message: You may use Intuition to detect that a hidden message is being transmitted via the Deception skill. In this case, your Intuition check is opposed by the Deception check of the character transmitting the message. For each piece of information relating to the message that you are missing, you take a -2 penalty on your Intuition check. If you succeed by 4 or less, you know that something hidden is being communicated, but you can’t learn anything specific about its content. If you beat the DC by 5 or more, you intercept and understand the message. If you fail by 4 or less, you don’t detect any hidden communication. If you fail by 5 or more, you infer some false information.

Action: Trying to gain information with Intuition generally takes at least 1 minute, and you could spend a whole evening trying to get a sense of the people around you.

Try Again: No, though you may make an Intuition check for each Bluff check made against you.

Special: A ranger gains a bonus on Intuition checks when using this skill against a favored enemy.

Use Magic Device (Class Feature)
If you have this class feature, you can use the Intuition skill to activate magic devices, including scrolls and wands that you could not otherwise activate.

Check: You can use the Intuition skill to read a spell or to activate a magic item. You can then use the item as if you had the spell ability or class features of another class, as if you were a different race, or as if you were of a different alignment. You make an Intuition check each time you activate a device, such as a wand. If you are using the check to emulate an alignment or some other quality in an ongoing manner (to emulate a neutral evil alignment in order to keep yourself from being damaged by a book of vile darkness you are carrying when you are not evil, for example), you need to make the relevant Intuition check once per hour.

You must consciously choose which requirement to emulate. That is, you must know what you are trying to emulate when you make an Intuition check for that purpose. The DCs for various tasks involving Intuition checks are summarized on the table below.

Task Base DC
Activate blindly 25
Decipher a written spell 25 + spell level
Use a scroll 20 + caster level
Use a wand 20
Emulate a class feature 20
Emulate an ability score See text
Emulate a race 25
Emulate an alignment 30

Activate Blindly: Some magic items are activated by special words, thoughts, or actions. You can activate such an item as if you were using the activation word, thought, or action, even when you’re not and even if you don’t know it. You do have to perform some equivalent activity in order to make the check. That is, you must speak, wave the item around, or otherwise attempt to get it to activate. You get a special +2 bonus on your Use Magic Device check if you’ve activated the item in question at least once before. If you fail by 9 or less, you can’t activate the device. If you fail by 10 or more, you suffer a mishap. A mishap means that magical energy gets released but it doesn’t do what you wanted it to do. The default mishaps are that the item affects the wrong target or that uncontrolled magical energy is released, dealing 2d6 points of damage to you. This mishap is in addition to the chance for a mishap that you normally run when you cast a spell from a scroll that you could not otherwise cast yourself.

Decipher a Written Spell: This usage works just like deciphering a written spell with the Arcana skill, except that the DC is 5 points higher. Deciphering a written spell requires 1 minute of concentration.

Emulate an Ability Score: To cast a spell from a scroll, you need a high score in the appropriate ability (Intelligence for wizard spells, Wisdom for divine spells, or Charisma for sorcerer or bard spells). Your effective ability score (appropriate to the class you’re emulating when you try to cast the spell from the scroll) is your Use Magic Device check result minus 15. If you already have a high enough score in the appropriate ability, you don’t need to make this check.

Emulate an Alignment: Some magic items have positive or negative effects based on the user’s alignment. Use Magic Device lets you use these items as if you were of an alignment of your choice. You can emulate only one alignment at a time.

Emulate a Class Feature: Sometimes you need to use a class feature to activate a magic item. In this case, your effective level in the emulated class equals your Use Magic Device check result minus 20. This skill does not let you actually use the class feature of another class. It just lets you activate items as if you had that class feature. If the class whose feature you are emulating has an alignment requirement, you must meet it, either honestly or by emulating an appropriate alignment with a separate Use Magic Device check (see above).

Emulate a Race: Some magic items work only for members of certain races, or work better for members of those races. You can use such an item as if you were a race of your choice. You can emulate only one race at a time.

Use a Scroll: If you are casting a spell from a scroll, you have to decipher it first. Normally, to cast a spell from a scroll, you must have the scroll’s spell on your class spell list. Use Magic Device allows you to use a scroll as if you had a particular spell on your class spell list. The DC is equal to 15 + the caster level of the spell you are trying to cast from the scroll. In addition, casting a spell from a scroll requires a minimum score (10 + spell level) in the appropriate ability. If you don’t have a sufficient score in that ability, you must emulate the ability score with a separate Use Magic Device check (see above).This use of the skill also applies to other spell completion magic items.

Use a Wand: Normally, to use a wand, you must have the wand’s spell on your class spell list. This use of the skill allows you to use a wand as if you had a particular spell on your class spell list. This use of the skill also applies to other spell trigger magic items, such as staffs.

Action: None. The Use Magic Device check is made as part of the action (if any) required to activate the magic item.

Try Again:  Yes, but if you ever roll a natural 1 while attempting to activate an item and you fail, then you can’t try to activate that item again for 24 hours.

Special: You cannot take 10 with this skill. You can’t aid another on Use Magic Device checks. Only the user of the item may attempt such a check.

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Local (Int)
Make a Local check to recall information about a particular region’s geography, inhabitants, nobility, customs, laws, or any significant, historical events.

Local Knowledge
Make a Local check to recall a bit of useful information about a region’s nobility, the founding of its cities, its local customs, laws, and traditions, or a significant, historical event in its past.

Action: Usually none. In most cases, making a Local check doesn’t take an action- you simply know the answer or you don’t.

Try Again: No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

Monster Knowledge
Make a Local check to identify a humanoid creature living in a particular region. (See “Monster Knowledge” checks.)

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Nature (Wis; Trained Only)
You can make a Nature check to identify a poisonous plant, a dangerous animal, predict the weather, survive in the wild, or subdue a ferocious animal.

Monster Knowledge
Make a Nature check to identify an animal, fey, giant, monstrous humanoid, vermin, or plant creature. (See “Monster Knowledge checks.”)

Nature Knowledge
Make a Nature check to recall a bit of useful knowledge about plants, seasons and cycles, or weather. Action: Usually none. In most cases, making a Nature check to recall a bit of knowledge doesn’t take an action- you simply know the answer or you don’t.

Try Again: No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

Survive in the Wild
You can make a Nature check to guide a party safely through frozen wastelands, identify signs that owlbears live nearby, predict the weather, or avoid quicksand, and other natural hazards.

Check: You can keep yourself and others safe and fed in the wild. The table below gives the DCs for various tasks that require Nature checks.

Base DC Task
10 Get along in the wild. Move up to one-half your overland speed while hunting and foraging (no food or water supplies needed). You can provide food and water for one other person for every 2 points by which your check result exceeds 10.
15 Gain a +2 bonus on all Fortitude or Stamina saves against severe weather while moving up to one-half your overland speed, or gain a _4 bonus if you remain stationary. You may grant the same bonus to one other character for every 1 point by which your Survival check result exceeds 15.
15 Keep from getting lost or avoid natural hazards, such as quicksand.
15 Predict the weather up to 24 hours in advance. For every 5 points by which your Survival check result exceeds 15, you can predict the weather for one additional day in advance.

Action: Varies. A single Nature check may represent activity over the course of hours or a full day.

Try Again: Varies. For getting along in the wild, you make a Nature check once every 24 hours. The result of that check applies until the next check is made. To avoid getting lost or to avoid a natural hazard, you make a Nature check whenever the situation calls for one. Retries to avoid getting lost in a specific situation or to avoid a natural hazard are not allowed.

Handle an Animal
This task involves commanding an animal to perform a task or trick that it knows. 

Check: The DC of the Nature check to handle an animal is generally 10. If the animal is wounded or has taken any nonlethal damage or ability score damage, the DC increases by 2. If your check succeeds, the animal performs the task or trick on its next action.

Try Again: Yes.

Special: You can use this skill on a creature with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2 that is not an animal, but the DC of any such check increases by 5. Such creatures have the same limit on tricks known as animals do.

A druid or ranger gains a +4 circumstance bonus on Nature checks involving her animal companion.

“Push” an Animal
To push an animal means to get it to perform a task or trick that it doesn’t know but is physically capable of performing. This category also covers making an animal perform a forced march or forcing it to hustle for more than 1 hour between sleep cycles. 

Check: The base DC of the Nature check to push an animal is generally 20. If the animal is wounded or has taken any nonlethal damage or ability score damage, the DC increases by 2. If your check succeeds, the animal performs the task or trick on its next action.

Try Again: Yes.

Special: Same as handling an animal.

Teach an Animal a Trick
You can teach an animal a specific trick. An animal with an Intelligence score of 1 can learn a maximum of three tricks, while an animal with an Intelligence score of 2 can learn a maximum of six tricks. 

Check: Teaching an animal a new trick is part of a skill encounter. Each day, make a Nature check to teach the animal the trick you want it to perform. The base DC of the check is 10. Possible tricks (and their skill encounter complexity) include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following.

Attack (Complexity 3): The animal attacks apparent enemies. You may point to a particular creature that you wish the animal to attack, and it will comply if able. Normally, an animal will attack only humanoids, monstrous humanoids, giants, or other animals. Teaching an animal to attack all creatures (including such unnatural creatures as undead and aberrations) counts as two tricks.

Come (Complexity 2): The animal comes to you, even if it normally would not do so.

Defend (Complexity 3): The animal defends you (or is ready to defend you if no threat is present), even without any command being given. Alternatively, you can command the animal to defend a specific other character.

Down (Complexity 2): The animal breaks off from combat or otherwise backs down. An animal that doesn’t know this trick continues to fight until it must flee (due to injury, a fear effect, or the like) or its opponent is defeated.

Fetch (Complexity 2): The animal goes and gets something. If you do not point out a specific item, the animal fetches some random object.

Guard (Complexity 3): The animal stays in place and prevents others from approaching.

Heel (Complexity 2): The animal follows you closely, even to places where it normally wouldn’t go.

Perform (Complexity 2): The animal performs a variety of simple tricks, such as sitting up, rolling over, roaring or barking, and so on.

Seek (Complexity 2): The animal moves into an area and looks around for anything that is obviously alive or animate.

Stay (Complexity 2): The animal stays in place, waiting for you to return. It does not challenge other creatures that come by, though it still defends itself if it needs to.

Track (Complexity 3): The animal tracks the scent presented to it. (This requires the animal to have the scent ability)

Work (Complexity 2): The animal pulls or pushes a medium or heavy load.

Action: Each check represents 3 hours of uninterrupted time per day for each animal you are trying to teach. If you do not follow this training through to completion, the check for that day automatically fails.

Retry: Yes.

Special: Same as handling an animal.

Train an Animal for a General Purpose
Rather than teaching an animal individual tricks, you can simply train it for a general purpose. Essentially, an animal’s purpose represents a preselected set of known tricks that fit into a common scheme, such as guarding or heavy labor. The animal must meet all the normal prerequisites for all tricks included in the training package. If the package includes more than three tricks, the animal must have an Intelligence score of 2.

An animal can be trained for only one general purpose, though if the creature is capable of learning additional tricks (above and beyond those included in its general purpose), it may do so. 

Check: Training an animal for a purpose requires the same number of checks as teaching individual tricks does, and the same amount of time. However, the base DC of the Nature checks increases by 5.

Combat Riding (Complexity 3): An animal trained to bear a rider into combat knows the tricks attack, come, defend, down, guard, and heel. Training an animal for combat riding takes six weeks. You may also “upgrade” an animal trained for riding to one trained for combat riding by spending three weeks and making a successful DC 20 Handle Animal check. The new general purpose and tricks completely replace the animal’s previous purpose and any tricks it once knew. Warhorses and riding dogs are already trained to bear riders into combat, and they don’t require any additional training for this purpose.

Fighting (Complexity 3): An animal trained to engage in combat knows the tricks attack, down, and stay. Training an animal for fighting takes three weeks.

Guarding (Complexity 3): An animal trained to guard knows the tricks attack, defend, down, and guard. Training an animal for guarding takes four weeks.

Heavy Labor (Complexity 2): An animal trained for heavy labor knows the tricks come and work. Training an animal for heavy labor takes two weeks.

Hunting (Complexity 3): An animal trained for hunting knows the tricks attack, down, fetch, heel, seek, and track. Training an animal for hunting takes six weeks.

Performance (Complexity 2): An animal trained for performance knows the tricks come, fetch, heel, perform, and stay. Training an animal for performance takes five weeks.

Riding (Complexity 2): An animal trained to bear a rider knows the tricks come, heel, and stay. Training an animal for riding takes three weeks.

Action: Same as teaching an animal a trick.

Retry: Yes.

Special: Same as handling an animal.

Rear a Wild Animal
To rear an animal means to raise a wild creature from infancy so that it becomes domesticated. A handler can rear as many as three creatures of the same kind at once.A successfully domesticated animal can be taught tricks at the same time it’s being raised, or it can be taught as a domesticated animal later.

Check: Rearing a wild animal is part of a skill encounter (Complexity 3). The base DC of the Nature check is 20.

Action: Same as teaching an animal a new trick. If you are trying to train, or teach the animal tricks at the same time it’s being raised, increase this time by 1 hour.Retry: No. 

Special: You can use this skill on a creature with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2 that is not an animal, but the DC of any such check increases by 5.

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Notice (Wis)
Make a Notice check to notice a rogue skulking in the shadows, to find a hidden catch that opens a secret door, to notice a trip wire that activates a trap, to overhear a conversation on the other side of a closed door, or to follow the tracks of a wanton criminal through the forest.

Listen
Use a Notice check to hear approaching enemies, to detect someone sneaking up on you from behind, or to eavesdrop on someone else’s conversation.

Check: Your Notice check is either made against a DC that reflects how quiet the noise is that you might hear, or it is opposed by your target’s Stealth check.

Your DM may decide to make the Notice check for you, so that you don’t know whether not hearing anything means that nothing is there, or that you failed the check.

Base DC Sound
-10 A battle
0 People talking1
5 A person in medium armor walking at a slow pace (10 ft./round) trying not to make any noise
10 An unarmored person walking at a slow pace (15 ft./round) trying not to make any noise
15 A 1st-level rogue using Stealth to sneak past the listener
15 People whispering1
19 A cat stalking
30 An owl gliding in for a kill

1. If you beat the DC by 10 or more, you can make out what’s being said, assuming that you understand the language.

In the case of people trying to be quiet, the DCs given on the table could be replaced by Stealth checks, in which case, the indicated DC would be their average check result (or close to it). For instance, the DC 19 noted on the table for a cat stalking means that an average cat has a +9 bonus on Stealth checks. Assuming an average roll of 10 on 1d20, its Stealth check result would be 19. 

Action: Varies. Every time you have a chance to hear something in a reactive manner (such as when someone makes a noise, or you move into a new area), you can make a Notice check without using an action. Trying to hear something you failed to hear previously is a move action.

Try Again: Yes. You can try to hear something that you failed to hear previously with no penalty.

Special: When several characters are listening to the same thing, the DM can make a single 1d20 roll and use it for all the individuals’ Notice checks.

A fascinated creature takes a -4 penalty on Notice checks made as reactions.

A ranger gains a bonus on Notice checks when using Notice checks to hear a favored enemy.

An elf, gnome, or halfling has a +2 racial bonus on Notice checks, thanks to the keen senses with which members of those races are blessed.

A half-elf has a +1 racial bonus on Notice checks. Her senses are keen because of her elven heritage, but not as keen as that of a full elf.

A sleeping character may make Notice checks to hear someone at a -10 penalty. A successful check awakens the sleeper.

Search
You can find secret doors, simple traps, hidden compartments, and other details not readily apparent. The Notice skill does not allow you to find complex traps unless you are a rogue (see Restriction below).

Check: You generally must be within 10 feet of the object or surface to be searched. The table below gives DCs for typical tasks involving the Search skill.

Task Base DC
Ransack a chest full of junk to find a certain item 10
Notice a typical secret door or a simple trap 20
Find a magic trap (rogue only)1 25 + level of spell used to create trap.
Notice a well hidden secret door 30
Find footprint Varies2
Follow tracks Varies2

1 Dwarves (even if they are not rogues) can use Notice to find traps built into or out of stone.
2 A successful Notice check can find a footprint or similar sign of a creature’s passage, but it won’t let you find or follow a trail unless you have the Track feat. See the Track feat for the appropriate DC.

Action: It takes a full-round action to search a 5-foot-by-5-foot area or a volume of goods 5 feet on a side.

Special: An elf, gnome, or halfling has a +2 racial bonus on Notice checks, thanks to the keen senses with which members of those races are blessed.

A half-elf has a +1 racial bonus on Notice checks. Her senses are keen because of her elven heritage, but not as keen as that of a full elf.An elf (but not a half-elf) who simply passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door can make a Search check to find that door.

The spells explosive runes, fire trap, glyph of warding, symbol, and teleportation circle create magic traps that a rogue can find by making a successful Pereception check and then can attempt to disarm by using Thievery.

Identifying the location of a snare spell has a DC of 23. Spike growth and spike stones create magic traps that can be found using Notice, but against which Thievery checks do not succeed. See the individual spell descriptions for details.

Active abjuration spells within 10 feet of each other for 24 hours or more create barely visible energy fluctuations. These fluctuations give you a +4 bonus on Notice checks to locate such abjuration spells.

Restriction: While anyone can use Notice to find a trap whose DC is 20 or lower, only a rogue can use Notice to locate traps with higher DCs. (Exception: The spell find traps temporarily enables a cleric to use the Notice skill as if he were a rogue.)

A dwarf, even one who is not a rogue, can use the Notice skill to find a difficult trap (one with a DC higher than 20) if the trap is built into or out of stone. He gains a +2 racial bonus on the Notice check from his stonecunning ability.

Spot
Use the Notice skill to notice bandits waiting in ambush, to see a rogue lurking in the alley, to see through a disguise, or to see the monstrous centipede in the pile of trash.

Check: Typically, your Notice check is opposed by the Stealth check of the creature trying not to be seen. Sometimes a creature isn’t intentionally hiding but is still difficult to see, so a successful Notice check is necessary to notice it.

A Notice check result higher than 20 generally lets you become aware of an invisible creature near you, though you can’t actually see it.Notice is also used to detect someone in disguise.

Notice checks may be called for to determine the distance at which an encounter begins. A penalty applies on such checks, depending on the distance between the two individuals or groups, and an additional penalty may apply if the character making the Notice check is distracted (not concentrating on being observant).

Condition Penalty
Per 10 feet of distance -1
Spotter distracted -5

Action: Every time you have a chance to spot something in a reactive manner you can make a Spot check without using an action. Trying to spot something you failed to see previously is a move action.

Try Again: Yes. You can try to spot something that you failed to see previously at no penalty.

Special: A fascinated creature takes a -4 penalty on Spot checks made as reactions.A ranger gains a bonus on Spot checks when using this skill against a favored enemy.

An elf, gnome, or halfling, has a +2 racial bonus on Notice checks to see another creature thanks to the keen senses with which members of those races are blessed.A half-elf has a +1 racial bonus on Spot checks.

The master of a hawk familiar gains a +3 bonus on Notice checks in daylight or other lighted areas for purposes of spotting a creature.

The master of an owl familiar gains a +3 bonus on Notice checks in shadowy or other darkened areas for purposes of spotting a creature.

Read Lips
To understand what someone is saying by reading lips, you must be within 30 feet of the speaker, be able to see him or her speak, and understand the speaker’s language. (This use of the skill is language-dependent.) The base DC is 15, but it increases for complex speech or an inarticulate speaker. You must maintain a line of sight to the lips being read.

If your Notice check succeeds, you can understand the general content of a minute’s worth of speaking, but you usually still miss certain details. If the check fails by 4 or less, you can’t read the speaker’s lips. If the check fails by 5 or more, you draw some incorrect conclusion about the speech. The check is rolled secretly in this case, so that you don’t know whether you succeeded or missed by 5.

Action: To read lips, you must concentrate for a full minute before making a Notice check, and you can’t perform any other action (other than moving at up to half speed) during this minute.

Try Again: You can attempt to read lips once per minute.

Special: Same as spotting a creature.

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Perform (Cha)
Like Craft, Knowledge, and Profession, Perform is actually a number of separate skills.

You could have several Perform skills, each with its own ranks, each purchased as a separate skill.

Each of the nine categories of the Perform skill includes a variety of methods, instruments, or techniques, a small list of which is provided for each category below.

  • Act (comedy, drama, mime)
  • Comedy (buffoonery, limericks, joke-telling)
  • Dance (ballet, waltz, jig)
  • Keyboard instruments (harpsichord, piano, pipe organ)
  • Oratory (epic, ode, storytelling)
  • Percussion instruments (bells, chimes, drums, gong)
  • String instruments (fiddle, harp, lute, mandolin)
  • Wind instruments (flute, pan pipes, recorder, shawm, trumpet)
  • Sing (ballad, chant, melody)

Check:You can impress audiences with your talent and skill.

Perform DC Performance
10 Routine performance. Trying to earn money by playing in public is essentially begging. You can earn 1d10 cp/day.
15 Enjoyable performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 1d10 sp/day.
20 Great performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 3d10 sp/day. In time, you may be invited to join a professional troupe and may develop a regional reputation.
25 Memorable performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 1d6 gp/day. In time, you may come to the attention of noble patrons and develop a national reputation.
30 Extraordinary performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 3d6 gp/day. In time, you may draw attention from distant potential patrons, or even from extraplanar beings.

A masterwork musical instrument gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Perform checks that involve its use.

Action: Varies. Trying to earn money by playing in public requires anywhere from an evening’s work to a full day’s performance. The bard’s special Perform-based abilities are described in that class’s description.

Try Again: Yes. Retries are allowed, but they don’t negate previous failures, and an audience that has been unimpressed in the past is likely to be prejudiced against future performances. (Increase the DC by 2 for each previous failure.)

Special: A bard must have at least 3 ranks in a Perform skill to inspire courage in his allies, or to use his countersong or his fascinate ability. A bard needs 6 ranks in a Perform skill to inspire competence, 9 ranks to use his suggestion ability, 12 ranks to inspire greatness, 15 ranks to use his song of freedom ability, 18 ranks to inspire heroics, and 21 ranks to use his mass suggestion ability. See Bardic Music in the bard class description.

In addition to using the Perform skill, you can entertain people with sleight of hand, tumbling, tightrope walking, and spells (especially illusions).

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Planar (Int; Trained Only)
Make a Planar check to recall information about a plane’s features, survive in a hostile planar environment, recall the name of a planar city, or to identify an extraplanar creature.

Planar Knowledge
Make a Planar check to recall a bit of useful knowledge about a particular plane, its inhabitants, and even the location of portals to other planes.

Action: Usually none. In most cases, making a Planar check of this kind doesn’t take an action- you simply know the answer, or you don’t.

Try Again: No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

Monster Knowledge
Make an Arcana check to identify an outsider, or elemental. (See “Monster Knowledge Checks.”)

Survive on Another Plane
You can make a Planar check to guide a party safely through the plane of fire, identify signs that an extraplanar creature lives nearby, locate portals to other planes, and avoid extraplanar hazards.

Check: You can keep yourself and others safe and fed in an extraplanar environment. The table below gives the DCs for various tasks that require Nature checks.

Base DC Task
10 Get along on a plane. Move up to one-half your overland speed while hunting and foraging (no food or water supplies needed). You can provide food and water for one other person for every 2 points by which your check result exceeds 10.
15 Gain a +2 bonus on all Fortitude or Stamina saves against extraplanar hazards while moving up to one-half your overland speed, or gain a +4 bonus if you remain stationary. You may grant the same bonus to one other character for every 1 point by which your Planar check result exceeds 15.
15 Keep from getting lost or avoid extraplanar hazards, such as psychic storms on the Astral Plane.
20 Locate a portal to another plane.

Action: Varies. A single Planar check may represent activity over the course of hours or a full day.

Try Again: Varies. For getting along on a plane, you make a Planar check once every 24 hours. The result of that check applies until the next check is made. To avoid getting lost or to avoid an extraplanar hazard, you make a Nature check whenever the situation calls for one. To locate a portal to another plane usually requires 1d4 days of searching. Retries to avoid getting lost in a specific situation, or to avoid an extraplanar hazard are not allowed.

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Profession (Wis)
You are trained in a livelihood, or a professional role, such as alchemist, apothecary, blacksmith, bookkeeper, brewer, carpenter, cobbler, cook, driver, farmer, fisher, guide, herbalist, herder, hunter, innkeeper, jeweler, locksmith, lumberjack, mercenary, miller, miner, performer, porter, rancher, sailor, scribe, engineer, shopkeeper, stablehand, stonemason, tanner, teamster, thief, trapmaker, woodcutter, or the like.

Profession is actually a number of separate skills. For instance, you could have the Profession (blacksmith). Your ranks in that skill don’t affect any Profession (performer), or Profession (alchemist) checks you might make. You could have several Profession skills, each with its own ranks, each purchased as a separate skill.

Crafting an Item
You can use the Profession skill to craft a longbow, forge a sword, or create a suit of leather armor.

Check: Crafting an item is performed as part of a skill encounter. To determine the complexity of the skill encounter, and the appropriate Profession skill needed to create the item, refer to the table below.

Item1 Profession Skill Complexity
Acid Alchemist2 1
Alchemist’s fire, smokestick, or tindertwig Alchemist2 2
Antitoxin, sunrod, tanglefoot bag, or thunderstone Alchemist2 3
Light shield Armorsmith 2
Light armor or heavy shield Armorsmith 3
Medium armor or tower shield Armorsmith 4
Heavy armor Armorsmith 5
Longbow or shortbow Bowmaker 2
Composite longbow or shortbow Bowmaker 3
Crossbow Weaponsmith 4
Simple melee or thrown weapon Weaponsmith 2
Martial melee or thrown weapon Weaponsmith 3
Exotic melee or thrown weapon Weaponsmith 4
Mechanical trap Trapmaker 5
Very simple item (wooden spoon) Varies 1
Typical item (iron pot) Varies 2
High quality item Varies 3
Complex or superior item (lock) Varies 4

1 To craft a masterwork version of any of these items, increase the complexity of the skill encounter by 1. If the skill encounter is already at maximum, add two additional successes to the encounter and four rounds needed to complete it. 
2 You must be a spellcaster to craft any of these items.

Action: Not applicable. A single check generally represents a day’s work.

Try Again: Yes, but each time you fail, you ruin half the raw materials and have to pay half the original raw material cost again.

Perform a Specific Task
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. For example, a sailor knows how to tie several basic knots, how to tend and repair sails, and how to stand a deck watch at sea.

Action: Varies. A single check may represent anything from a free action to a full day’s work, as determined by the DM.

Try Again: An attempt to accomplish some specific task can usually be retried.

Ply your Trade
You can practice your trade and make a decent living.

Check: You earn your Profession check result in silver pieces per day of work, plus any of the appropriate modifiers, as listed below.

Action: Not applicable. A single check generally represents a day’s work.

Try Again: An attempt to use a Profession skill to ply your trade for a given day cannot be retried. You are stuck with whatever daily wage your check result brought you. Another check may be made the next day to determine a new income.

Running a Business
You can run a business and make a decent living at it.

Check: Running a business is performed as part of a skill encounter (See “Skill Encounters: Running a Business”). The complexity of the challenge is determined by how much time you spend working on the business, and how risky it is to operate.

Situation Modifier
Spend less than 4 hours per day working -2
Spend 8 hours per day working +2
Spend more than 8 hours per day working +4
Risk Complexity
Low 1
Medium 3
High 5

At the end of the skill encounter, make a final Profession check, adding any modifiers to the check as appropriate.

Situation Modifier
Owner spends less than 20 hours per week on the business -2
Owner spends 40 hours per week on the business +2
Owner spends more than 40 hours per week on the business +4
Untrained assistant1 +1
Trained assistant2 +2
Business is located in the wilderness -10
Poor quality establishment3 -2
High quality establishment3 +2
Superb establishment3 +4
Business is located in a rural area -4
Business is located in a city +2
Business is located in a metropolis +4
Business is a low risk business +1
Business is a medium risk business -2
Business is a high risk business -4

1 An untrained assistant draws a salary equal to that of an untrained hireling.
2 A trained assistant draws a salary equal to that of a trained hireling.
3 A business without an establishment cannot operate.

Once the check is made, use the table below to determine the number of gold pieces you earned for that period based on the business’s risk level. A negative result indicates a loss for that period.

Risk Level Profit
Low Profession check × 2 gp
Medium Profession check × 5 gp
High Profession check × 10 gp

Although this list is not exhaustive, you can use the table below as a guide for determining how risky a particular type of business might be based on your profession.

Type of Business Risk Level
Apothecary, artist, basket weaver, blacksmith, boater, calligrapher, carpenter, cobbler, driver, farmer, fisher, gemcutter, guide, herbalist, hunter, locksmith, miller, performer, poet, porter, potter, sculptor, seamstress, stablehand, stonemason Low
Alchemist, armorsmith, bookkeeper, bowmaker, brewer, engineer, fighting instructor, herder, lumberjack, magic instructor, mercenary, miller, miner, priest, rancher, siege engineer, shipyard owner, weaponsmith Medium
Criminal boss, innkeeper, shopkeeper, trapmaker High

Action:  Not applicable. A single check represents a day’s work.

Retry:  An attempt to use a Profession skill to run a business for a given period cannot be retried. You are stuck with whatever wage your check result brought you. Another check may be made the next period to determine a new income.

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Religion (Int; Trained Only)
Make a Religion check to recall a bit of religious lore, identify a divine spell being cast, or to identify a holy or unholy creature.

Religious Knowledge
Make a Religion check to recall the name of a god or goddess, the mythic history of a place or being, an ecclesiastic tradition, or to identify a particular religion’s holy symbol.

Action: Usually none. In most cases, making a Knowledge check doesn’t take an action- you simply know the answer, or you don’t.

Try Again: No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

Monster Knowledge
Make a Religion check to identify an undead creature, or a creature with the angel, archon, demon, or devil subtype. (See “Monster Knowledge Checks.”)

Spellcraft (Trained Only)
Make a Religion check to identify divine spells as they are cast or divine spells already in place. (See “Spellcraft Checks.”)

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Research (Int)
Use this skill to learn information from tomes, scrolls, or other written texts.

General Research
Use the Research skill to navigate a city’s library, a wizard’s personal collection, or a temple’s religious archives. It doesn’t include talking to people and asking questions; that’s handled by Gather Information. 

Check: Researching a topic takes time, skill, and some luck. The GM determines how obscure a particular topic is (the more obscure, the higher the DC) and what kind of information might be available depending on where the character is conducting his or her research.Information ranges from general to protected. Given enough time, the character gets a general idea about a given topic. This assumes that no obvious reasons exist why such information would be unavailable, and that the character has a way to acquire restricted or protected information.The higher the check result, the better and more complete the information.

Action: Using this skill takes 1d4+1 hours and might be part of a skill encounter.

Try Again: Yes.

Decipher Script
Use the Research skill to piece together the meaning of ancient runes carved into the wall of an abandoned temple, to get the gist of an intercepted letter written in the Infernal language, to follow the directions on a treasure map written in a forgotten alphabet, or to interpret the mysterious glyphs painted on a cave wall.

Check: You can decipher writing in an unfamiliar language or a message written in an incomplete or archaic form. The base DC is 20 for the simplest messages, 25 for standard texts, and 30 or higher for intricate, exotic, or very old writing.

If the check succeeds, you understand the general content of a piece of writing about one page long (or the equivalent). If the check fails, make a DC 5 Wisdom check to see if you avoid drawing a false conclusion about the text. (Success means that you do not draw a false conclusion; failure means that you do.)

Both the Research check and (if necessary) the Wisdom check are made secretly, so that you can’t tell whether the conclusion you draw is true or false.

Action: Deciphering the equivalent of a single page of script takes 1 minute (ten consecutive full-round actions).

Try Again: No.

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Stamina (Con)
Make a Stamina check to stave off the effects of extreme weather, concentrate on a spell-like ability, ignore hunger and thirst, hold your breath underwater, endure a forced march, or perform any sort of feat that would normally require a Constitution check.

Concentrate on a Difficult Task
You are particularly good at focusing your mind.

Check: You can use this skill whenever you might potentially be distracted (by taking damage, by harsh weather, and so on) while engaged in some action that requires your full attention. Such actions might include casting a spell, concentrating on an active spell (such as detect magic) directing a spell (such as spiritual weapon), using a spell-like ability (such as a paladin’s remove disease ability), or performing a skill check that would provoke an attack of opportunity (such as disabling a trap, administering first aid to an ally, opening a lock, tying a rope, among others). In general, if an action wouldn’t normally provoke an attack of opportunity, you need not make a Concentration check to avoid being distracted.

If the check succeeds, you may continue with the action as normal. If the check fails, the action automatically fails and is wasted. If you were in the process of casting a spell, the spell is lost (see Cast a Spell). If you were concentrating on an active spell, the spell ends as if you had ceased concentrating on it. If you were directing a spell, the direction fails, but the spell remains active. If you were using a spell-like ability that use of the ability is lost. A skill use also fails, and in some cases a failed skill check may have other ramifications as well.

The table below summarizes various types of distractions that might cause you to make this sort of check. If the distraction occurs while you are trying to cast a spell, you must add the level of the spell you are trying to cast to the appropriate DC. (See Concentration) If more than one type of distraction is present, make a check for each one; any failed check indicates that the task is not completed.

Base DC1 Distraction
10 + damage dealt Damaged during the action.2
10 + half of continuous damage last dealt Taking continuous damage during the action.3
Distracting spell’s save DC Distracted by nondamaging spell.4
10 Vigorous motion (on a moving mount, taking a bouncy wagon ride, in a small boat in rough water, below decks in a storm tossed ship).
15 Violent motion (on a galloping horse, taking a very rough wagon ride, in a small boat in rapids, on the decks of a storm-tossed ship).
20 Extraordinarily violent motion (earthquake).
15 Entangled.
20 Grappling or pinned. (You can cast only spells without somatic components for which you have any required material component in hand.)
5 Weather is a high wind carrying blinding rain or sleet.
10 Weather is a wind-driven hail, dust, or debris.
Distracting spell’s save DC Weather caused by a spell, such as storm of vengeance.4

1 If you are trying to cast, concentrate on, or direct a spell when the distraction occurs, add the level of the spell to the indicated DC.
2 Such as during the casting of a spell with a casting time of 1 round or more, or the execution of an activity that takes more than a single full-round action (such as Disable Device). Also damage stemming from an attack of opportunity or readied attack maed in response to the spell being cast (for spells with a casting time of 1 action) or the action being taken (for activities requiring no more than a full-round action). See also Distracting Spellcasters)
3 Such as from acid arrow.
4 If the spell allows no save, use the save DC it would have if it did allow a save.

Action: None. Making a Concentration check doesn’t taken an action; it is either a free action (when attempted reactively) or part of another action (when attempted actively).

Try Again: Yes, though a success doesn’t cancel the effect of the previous failure, such as the loss of a spell you were casting, or the disruption of a spell you were concentrating on.

Special: You can use Concentration to cast a spell, use a spell-like ability, or use a skill defensively so as to avoid attacks of opportunity altogether. This doesn’t apply to other actions that might provoke attacks of opportunity (such as movement, or loading a crossbow. The DC of the check is 10 (plus the spell’s level, if casting a spell or using a spell-like ability defensively). If the Concentration check succeeds, you may attempt the action normally without provoking any attacks of opportunity. A successful Concentration check still doesn’t allow you to take 10 on another check if you are in a stressful situation; you must make the check normally. If the Concentration check fails, the related action also automatically fails (with any appropriate ramifications), and the action is wasted, just as if your concentration had been disrupted by a distraction. A character with the Combat Casting feat gets a +4 bonus on Concentration checks made to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability while on the defensive or while grappling or pinned.

Hold your Breath
You can hold your breath for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution score, but only if you do nothing other than take move actions or free actions. If you take a standard action, or a full round action (such as making an attack), the remainder of the duration for which you can hold your breath is reduced by 1 round. (Effectively, a character in combat can hold his or her breath only half as long as normal.) After that period of time, make a Stamina with a base DC of 10 every round to continue holding your breath. Each round, the DC for that check increases by 1. If you fail the Stamina check, you begin to drown (see Suffocation and Drowning in the Dungeon Master’s Guide).

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Stealth (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)
Use this skill to sink into the shadows, to sneak up behind an enemy, or to slink away without being noticed.
HideUse a Stealth check to approach a wizard’s tower by cover of brush, or to tail someone through a busy street without being noticed.

Check: Your Stealth check is opposed by the Notice check of anyone who might see you. You can move up to one-half your normal speed and hide at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than one-half but less than your normal speed, you take a -5 penalty. It’s practically impossible (-20 penalty) to hide while attacking, running or charging.A creature larger or smaller than Medium takes a size bonus or penalty on Stealth checks to hide depending on its size category: Fine +16, Diminutive +12, Tiny +8, Small +4, Large -4, Huge -8, Gargantuan -12, Colossal -16.You need cover or concealment in order to attempt a Stealth check to hide. Total cover or total concealment usually (but not always; see Special, below) obviates the need for a Hide check, since nothing can see you anyway.

If people are observing you, even casually, you can’t hide. You can run around a corner or behind cover so that you’re out of sight and then hide, but the others then know at least where you went.

If your observers are momentarily distracted (such as by a Deception check; see below), though, you can attempt to hide. While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Stealth check to hide if you can get to a hiding place of some kind. (As a general guideline, the hiding place has to be within 1 foot per rank you have in Stealth.) This check, however, is made at a -10 penalty because you have to move fast.

Creating a Diversion to Hide: You can use Deception to help you hide. A successful Deception check can give you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Hide check while people are aware of you.

Sniping: If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then immediately hide again. You take a -20 penalty on your Hide check to conceal yourself after the shot.

Action: Usually none. Normally, you make a Stealth check to hide as part of movement, so it doesn’t take a separate action. However, hiding immediately after a ranged attack (see Sniping, above) is a move action.

Special: If you are invisible, you gain a +40 bonus on Hide checks if you are immobile, or a +20 bonus on Hide checks if you’re moving.A 13th-level ranger can attempt a Stealth check to hide in any sort of natural terrain, even if it doesn’t grant cover or concealment. A 17th-level ranger can do this even while being observed.

Check: Your Stealth check is opposed by the Notice check of anyone who might hear or see you. You can move up to one-half your normal speed at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than one-half but less than your full speed, you take a -5 penalty. It’s practically impossible (-20 penalty) to move silently while running or charging.

Noisy surfaces, such as bogs or undergrowth, are tough to move silently across. When you try to sneak across such a surface, you take a penalty on your Stealth check as indicated below.

Surface Check Modifier
Noisy (scree, shallow or deep bog, undergrowth, dense rubble) -2
Very noisy (dense undergrowth, deep snow) -5

Action: None. A Stealth check is included in your movement or other activity, so it is part of another action.Special: The master of a cat familiar gains a +3 bonus on Stealth checks to move silently.

A halfling has a +2 racial bonus on Stealth checks to move silently.

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Thievery (Dex; Trained Only)
Use this skill to disarm a trap, jam a lock (in either the open or closed position), rig a wagon wheel to fall off, to pick a lock, or palm an unattended object.

Disable a Device
Use the Thievery skill to examine a fairly simple or fairly small mechanical device and disable it. The effort requires at least a simple tool of the appropriate sort (a pick, pry bar, saw, file, or the like). Attempting a Thievery check to disable a device without a set of thieves’ tools imposes a -2 penalty on the check, even if a simple tool is employed. The use of masterwork thieves’ tools provides a +2 circumstance bonus on the check.

Check: The Thievery check is made secretly, so that you don’t necessarily know whether you’ve succeeded.The DC depends on how tricky the device is. Disabling (or rigging or jamming) a fairly simple device has a DC of 10; more intricate and complex devices have higher DCs.

If the check succeeds, you disable the device. If it fails by 4 or less, you have failed but can try again. If you fail by 5 or more, something goes wrong. If the device is a trap, you spring it. If you’re attempting some sort of sabotage, you think the device is disabled, but it still works normally.

You 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).

Device Action Thievery DC1 Example
Simple 1 round 10 Jam a lock
Tricky Skill encounter (Complexity 1) Varies Sabotage a wagon wheel
Difficult Skill encounter (Complexity 2) Varies Disarm a trap, reset a trap
Wicked Skill encounter (Complexity 3) Varies Disarm a complex trap, cleverly sabotage a clockwork device1 If you attempt to leave behind no trace of your tampering, add 5 to the DC.

Action: The amount of time needed to make a Disable Device check depends on the task, as noted above. Disabling a simple device takes 1 round and is a full-round action. An intricate or complex device requires 1d4 or 2d4 rounds.

Try Again: You can retry if you aware that you have failed the check, though there is a 20% chance that you are not aware.Special: A rogue who succeeds at disarming a trap without any failures can study the trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (along with her companions) without disarming it.

Restriction: Rogues (and other characters with the trapfinding class feature) can disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 20 + the spell level of the magic used to create it.The spells fire trap, glyph of warding, symbol, and teleportation circle also create traps that a rogue can disarm with a successful Disable Device check. Spike growth and spike stones, however, create magic traps against which Disable Device checks do not succeed. See the individual spell descriptions for details.

Open Lock
Use the Thievery skill to pick padlocks, finesse combination locks, and solve puzzle locks. The effort requires at least a simple tool of the appropriate sort (a pick, pry bar, blank key, wire, or the like). Attempting a Thievery check to open a lock without a set of thieves’ tools imposes a -2 circumstance penalty on the check, even if a simple tool is employed. If you use masterwork thieves’ tools, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on the check.

Check: The DC for opening a lock varies from 20 to 40, depending on the quality of the lock, as given on the table below.

Lock Base DC
Very simple lock 20
Average lock 25
Good lock 30
Amazing lock 40

Action: Opening a lock is a full-round action.Untrained: You cannot pick locks untrained, but you might successfully force them open.

Sleight of Hand
You can cut or lift a purse and hide it on your person, palm an unattended object, hide a light weapon in your clothing, or perform some feat of legerdemain with an object no larger than a hat or a loaf of bread.

Base DC Task
10 Palm a coin-sized object, make a coin disappear
20 Lift a small object from a person

Check: A DC 10 Thievery check lets you palm a coin-sized, unattended object. Performing a minor feat of legerdemain, such as making a coin disappear, also has a DC of 10 unless an observer is determined to note where the item went.

When you use this skill under close observation, your skill check is opposed by the observer’s Notice check. The observer’s success doesn’t prevent you from performing the action, just from doing it unnoticed.You can hide a small object (including a light weapon or an easily concealed ranged weapon, such as a dart, sling, or hand crossbow) on your body. Your Thievery check is opposed by the Notice check of anyone observing, or frisking. In the latter case, the searcher gains a +4 bonus on the Notice check, since it’s generally easier to find such an object than to hide it. A dagger is easier to hide than most light weapons, and grants you a +2 bonus on your Thievery check to conceal it. An extraordinarily small object, such as a coin, shuriken, or ring, grants you a +4 bonus on your Thievery check to conceal it, and heavy or baggy clothing (such as a cloak) grants you a +2 bonus on the check.Drawing a hidden weapon is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity.

If you try to take something from another creature, you must make a DC 20 Thievery check to obtain it. The opponent makes a Notice check to detect the attempt, opposed by the same Thievery check result you achieved when you tried to grab the item. An opponent who succeeds on this check notices the attempt, regardless of whether you got the item.You can also use Thievery to entertain an audience. In such a case, your “act” encompasses elements of legerdemain, juggling, and the like.

Action: Any Sleight of Hand check normally is a standard action. However, you may perform a Sleight of Hand check as a free action by taking a -20 penalty on the check.

Try Again: Yes, but after an initial failure, a second Thievery attempt against the same target (or while you are being watched by the same observer who noticed your previous attempt) increases the DC for the task by 10.

Untrained: An untrained Sleight of Hand check is simply a Dexterity check. Without actual training, you can’t succeed on any Sleight of Hand check with a DC higher than 10, except for hiding an object on your body.

Skill Encounters
In a skill encounter, the PCs must use their clever words, cunning wit, and over exuberant imaginations, in order to overcome a challenge. Whether it is running a business, negotiating an audience with the duchess, training an animal, surviving in the woods, or disabling a particularly devious trap, a skill encounter allows characters to bring all of their considerable talents to the table in order to overcome it. It should be noted that a skill encounter need not replace a combat encounter. On the contrary, a skill encounter may include combat, or even add a bit of tension to a combat already taking place. The difference is in how the PCs interact with their environment, or how they treat NPCs. For example, in order to breach the outer walls of a fortress, the players may need to sneak past a set of guards. If they fail their check, the guards attack. Likewise, players may be in the midst of a combat and be forced to disable a particularly wicked trap that stands between them and their quarry.The purpose of a skill encounter is to provide a sense of tension and immediacy to a situation, and players should be encouraged to use all of their skills and abilities to overcome it in imaginative ways.

Elements of a Skill Encounter
All skill encounters have the following elements in common; scenario, challenge rating, complexity, skill DC, primary skills, and outcome. These characteristics are described below.

Scenario
All skill encounters have a scenario that the PCs must work through in order to succeed. The scenario might be to navigate safely through a desert, seek the location of a lost city, infiltrate an evil cult in order to discover who its leader is, or negotiate a peace between two warring factions.

Challenge Rating
The challenge rating of a skill encounter defines how difficult the encounter is to overcome. Should the PCs defeat a particular skill encounter, reward them the same amount of XP they would normally receive for defeating a monster of the same rating.

Complexity
Most skill encounters have a grade of complexity, generally ranging from 1 to 5 (1 being simple, 5 being complex). The level of complexity determines how many successes the characters need to make in order to defeat the challenge, before a certain number of checks are made. The more complex a skill encounter, the more checks characters need to make in order to overcome it. If you expect the skill encounter to carry the same weight as a combat, a complexity of 5 makes sense. For less strenuous encounters, or encounters you intend to use as part of a combat encounter, a complexity of 2 or 3 might make sense. (Note: If a combat includes a skill encounter, figure that each level complexity is the equivalent of that number of monsters for determining the combat’s encounter level.)

Complexity Successes Checks Allowed
1 2 8
2 4 10
3 6 12
4 8 14
5 10 16

Skill DC
The skill DC is the base DC for all skills used in the skill encounter. Generally, the skill DC is 15 + the skill encounter’s challenge rating. So for example, a CR 3 skill encounter would have a skill DC of 18. Depending on the skill encounter, some checks may have higher or lower DCs, and are usually noted in the primary skills section of the skill encounter. If all skills in a skill encounter have a higher or lower DC, use the following table to adjust the encounter’s challenge rating.

Skill DC Adjusted CR
0
5 -51
10 -11
20 +2
25 +4

1 Minimum CR 1.

Primary Skills
The primary skills are the skills characters are most likely to use in order to overcome a skill encounter. This list is not necessarily exhaustive, and if a player comes up with a particularly clever use of a skill that is not listed in the Primary skills list, you should allow the player to use it. If the idea strains credibility, or seems unnecessarily complicated, you may decide to assign a higher DC to the check, or simply disallow it.

Outcome
The outcome of a particular skill encounter generally depends on whether the characters succeed or fail in overcoming the challenge. That said, if the players succeed a certain number of times before failing, they may gain additional rewards. For example, players traversing a treacherous mountain range might shave off several days from their journey if they succeed without any failures.

Sample Skill Encounters
Use the following examples as the basis for skill encounters you design for your own adventures.

Chase
This skill encounter allows players to use their skills to chase down a wanton criminal, a runaway carriage, or a rampaging monster. It also gives players the opportunity to try and outrun an avalanche, or escape from an overwhelming enemy force.

Scenario: Participants in a chase start a certain number of squares apart (determined by the DM). Each round, participants in a chase must use their skills to either escape, or catch their opponent. The encounter continues until the PCs either catch up to their opponent, escape from their opponent, or all of them drop out of the encounter. 

Challenge Rating: Varies

Complexity: See text

Skill DC: 15 + challenge rating

Primary Skills: Agility, Athletics, and Stamina. Note: Some skill encounters may have additional skills that the PCs can use to their advantage. For example, the PCs might be able to use Nature checks to gain a +2 bonus while chasing an opponent through the wilderness, or Dungeoneering checks in order to escape from a rampaging minotaur in his lair.

Agility: You can make an Agility check to try and knock an opponent into an obstacle. The opponent must be within 1 square. Success means that your opponent takes a -2 penalty on his next Athletics roll. Success by 5 or more means that your opponent takes a -4 penalty. You can also use Agility in order clear an obstacle, or perform some other advantageous, acrobatic stunt. Success means that you gain a +2 bonus on your next Athletics roll. Failure means that you take a -2 penalty.

Athletics: You must make an Athletics check each round to try and escape from or catch up to your opponent. For every 10 ft. your speed exceeds 30ft., you gain a +2 bonus on this check. For every 10 ft. your speed is below 30 ft., you take a -2 penalty. Success means that your character moves forward one square. Failure by 4 or less means that your character makes no significant progress. Failure by 5 or more means your character falls behind one square. Characters who fall behind more than 10 squares automatically drop out of the encounter.Characters who catch up to a character can attempt a trip, or grapple check in order to force them to drop out of the encounter.

Stamina: You must make a Stamina check at the end of each round. Characters who fail this check 5 times are fatigued and automatically drop out of the encounter.

You can also make a Stamina check to try and push yourself, taking 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. Success means that you gain a +2 bonus on your next Athletics roll.

Outcome: Success means that you escape from, or successfully subdue your opponent. Failure means that you are either captured, or that your opponent gets away.

Negotiation
This skill encounter allows players to use their skills to negotiate with a head of state, a tribal shaman, or an intelligent monster.

Scenario: You are trying to convince an NPC to provide you with assistance and must persuade them that you are trustworthy, worthy of aid, or that helping you might benefit the NPC. 

Challenge Rating: Varies

Complexity: 3

Skill DC: Varies depending on the NPCs initial attitude (see Skills: Influencing NPC Attitudes). 

Primary Skills: Deception, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Intuition. Note: Some skill encounters may have additional skills that the PCs can use to their advantage. For example, the PCs might spot a tattoo on the shoulder of the orc tribe’s chief with a Notice check. A Religion check might reveal that this tattoo is the symbol of Kord, the god of strength. If the PCs succeed at an Insight check, they realize Diplomacy checks that emphasize their prowess in combat will grant them a +2 insight bonus to the check. They might also unlock a skill encounter that allows them to challenge the orc to a feat of strength or stamina, in order to enlist his tribe’s aid (Complexity 1. Primary Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Stamina).

Deception: You make false promises, or wild exaggerations in order to ensure the NPC’s aid.  

Diplomacy: Through patience, humility, and a well-reasoned argument, you implore the NPC to help you.

Intimidate: You use taunts, and threats to try and influence the NPC’s attitude. Note: Some NPCs refuse to be intimidated. Such NPCs are usually far more powerful than the PCs, or hold a great deal of influence over a particular region. 

Intuition: You sympathize with the NPC’s situation, and use that sympathy to try and enlist the NPC’s aid. You might also gain some insight into the mind of the NPC you are dealing with, granting you a +2 circumstance bonus on a particular check.

Outcome: Success means that the NPC agrees to assist you. If you fail to convince the NPC to assist you, you must continue on without his or her aid. NPCs whose initial attitudes are unfriendly may decide to mislead you, or warn one of your enemies of your intentions, while NPCs whose initial attitudes are hostile may decide to attack, or otherwise interfere with your progress.

Running a Business
This skill encounter allows players to run a fighting school, magic shop, tavern, or other business.

Scenario: You are running a business and must use your various skills and abilities in order to make your business profitable. Occasionally, you must also deal with a business related event that affects your business’s profitablity.

For each successful check, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your final Profession check. For each failed roll, you gain a -2 penalty. These bonuses and penalties stack.

Challenge Rating: Varies.

Complexity: Varies based on the business’s risk level.Skill DC: 15 + challenge rating.

Primary Skills: Depending on the nature of their business, the players might use the following skills.

Agility: If you are operating a theater, or other business that involves performance, you can use Agility to wow audiences with your acrobatics or teach other performers various choreographed pieces. You might also use agility to hang a sign that lends your business greater visibility. 

If you fail your check, make a second Agility check (DC 15) to avoid injury. Failure results in 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. If you are falling from a great height, use the rules for falling damage instead.

Appraise: You find an exceptionally good deal on supplies needed to run your business, or are able to identify other areas where you could save money. 

Arcana: If you are running a magic or alchemist’s shop, roll an Arcana check when you roll your final Profession check, and use whichever result is higher. If you are a magic user, you might also use magic to create dazzling illusions or effects that attract customers to your business.

Athletics: If you are running a blacksmith’s shop, a fighting school, or a business that requires a lot of heavy, manual labor, roll an Athletics check when you roll your final Profession check and use whichever result is higher.

Deception: You use false advertising to attract customers to your business. Success on this check results in a +4 circumstance bonus on your final Profession check instead of the usual +2. Failure results in a -4 penalty.

Diplomacy: You use your diplomatic skills to sell a product to a customer, negotiate with suppliers, or attract customers to your business.

Dungeoneering: If you run a business that involves engineering, or work underground, roll a Dungeoneering check when you roll your final Profession check, and use whichever result is higher.

Gather Information: By asking around, you are able to get a better sense of what your customers want, and are able to adjust your business practices according.

Heal: If you are an apothecary, or healer, roll a Heal check when you roll your final Profession check and use whichever result is higher.

Intimidate: You are a master of the hard sale. Success on this check results in a +4 circumstance bonus on your final Profession check instead of the usual +2. Failure results in a -4 penalty.

Intuition: You have a hunch that some product or idea of yours might just be the next big thing.

Local: Your knowledge of the local population gives you an edge in catering to your customers.

Nature: If you are in a business that involves farming, or training animals, roll a Nature check when you roll your final Profession check and use whichever result is higher. If you are an apothecary or an herbalist, use your knowledge of plants to treat your customers.

Notice: You realize that you are running low on a particular product before you run out of stock.

Perform: If you are in a business that involves performing, roll a Perform check when you roll your final Profession check and use whichever result is higher. You might also use this skill to put on successful performances for your business.

Planar: If you are in a business that involves extraplanar trade, roll a Planar check when you roll your final Profession check and use whichever result is higher.

Profession: Your knowledge of your profession allows you to run your business more effectively.

Religion: If you are in a business associated with a particular religion, roll a Religion check when you roll your final Profession check and use whichever result is higher. If you are a divine caster, and you worship a god associated with wealth trade, or who might look favorably upon your business, you can ask the divinity to bless your ventures.

Research: By researching how others in your trade have been successful, you are able to increase your profits.

Stamina: You work throughout the night in order to ensure your business’s success. Though you might be fatigued, you automatically succeed on your next skill check to run your business.

Stealth: If you are running a criminal operation, or other business that requires covert activities, you can roll a Stealth check to gain a +4 circumstance bonus on your final Profession check, instead of the usual +2. Failure results in a -4 penalty.

If you are operating a theater or other business that requires performance, you can use Stealth to perform sleight of hand tricks to wow your audiences, or teach other performers the same tricks.

Thievery: If you are running a criminal operation, roll a Thievery check when you roll your final Profession check, and use whichever result is higher.

Business Events: Each business period, there is a chance that you will have a business-related event. These events may involve an angry customer, an unhappy employee, an infestation of some kind, or another unhappy event. Each period, roll d% to determine if you must deal with a business-related event. The more risky your business is, the more likely you are to have an event.

Risk Level Likelihood of Event
Low 10%
Medium 25%
High 50%

To determine the nature of the event, roll d12 on the table below.

d12 Encounter
1 Accident
2 Banditry
3 Bureaucracy
4 Burglary
5 Competition
6 Employee unrest
7 Extortion
8 Fire
9 Infestation
10 Irate Customer
11 Monster
12 Sabotage

Accident: Your business is the victim of an accident that prevents you from turning a profit. Perhaps a partially completed building next door collapsed onto yours, or a carriage crashed through your front door. Whatever the event, the damage caused by the accident costs 2d6×100 gp to repair and requires a skill encounter (Complexity 1. Primary Skills: Athletics, Dungeoneering) to complete. Failure means that you are not able to fully repair the damages to your business, and must try again. Until the damage is repaired, all skill encounters to run your business automatically fail. 

Banditry: A group of bandits targets your establishment. The bandits consist of a number of thugs with a combined EL equal to the owner’s character level -2 (minimum EL 1). If the bandits are not defeated, you lose 2d6×100 gp.

Bureaucracy: The local government has decided to raise your taxes, or impose a restrictive requirement on your business. In order to deal with the situation, you must visit the local city hall, and succeed at a skill encounter (Complexity 1. Primary Skills: Diplomacy, Local) in order to plead your case. Until the situation is resolved, you take a -1d4 penalty on all profit checks.

Burglary: A thief has been breaking into your establishment repeatedly. In order to catch the thief, you must succeed at a skill encounter (Complexity 1. Primary Skills: Notice, Stealth). Until the thief is caught, you take a -1d6 penalty on all Profession checks to determine your business’s profitability.

Competition: A second business with nearly identical services opens nearby. In order to deal with the new competition, you must remain profitable for at least two business periods in a row. Until then, you take a -1d6 penalty on all Profession checks to determine your business’s profitability.

Employee Unrest: Your employees are unhappy. They shirk their duties, the quality of their work suffers, and the atmosphere at work is poor. In order to mollify the unrest, you must succeed at a skill encounter (Complexity 1. Primary Skills: Diplomacy, Intuition), or offer your employees a pay raise. Each pay raise adds additional overhead of 10 sp per employee per week. Failure to address the concerns of your unhappy employees results in a cumulative -1 penalty on profit checks each term; this penalty is removed completely once the employees are happy again.

Extortion: A member of a local criminal organization has offered your business ‘protection’ in exchange for 10% of your business’s profits. If you refuse to pay, the organization targets your business, forcing you to deal with a new business event (bandits, burglars, sabotage, etc.) each business period. In order to get the criminal organization to leave you alone, you must either succeed at a skill encounter (Complexity 1. Primary Skills: Diplomacy, Intimidate), or find their headquarters and defeat them. If you defeat the criminal organization, you automatically succeed at warding off extortionists the next time this result is rolled. If you simply agree to pay the protection fee, the criminal organization demands a cumulative 5% extortion rate each time this result is rolled.

Fire: A fire breaks out, either in the city, or your business alone. In order to save your establishment, you must succeed at a skill encounter (Complexity 1. Primary Skills: Athletics, Stamina), and repair the damage to your establishment (see Accident). Failure to complete the skill encounter results in your establishment burning to the ground.

Infestation: Your business has become infested with rats, vermin, or another undesirable pest. In order to remove the infestation, you must succeed at a skill encounter (Complexity 1. Primary Skills: Dungeoneering, Nature) and pay 2d6×10 gp for supplies. Each term the infestation is allowed to continue, apply a cumulative -1 penalty on all profit checks.

Irate Customer: A customer who has a bone to pick with you visits your establishment. The customer’s grievance might or might not be legitimate, but it nonetheless requires immediate attention. In order to deal with the customer, you must succeed at a skill encounter (Complexity 1. Primary Skills: Diplomacy, Intimidate), or use magic to alter the customer’s attitude. Otherwise, the customer leaves the business and spreads the word of his poor treatment, and your next 2d4 profit checks take a -4 penalty.

Monster: A monster native to the region attacks the business. The attack could be against the employees, the building, or both. The monster’s CR should be equal to your character level. If it is not defeated, the damage it causes results in costly damages to your establishment that must be repaired (see Accident).

Sabotage: A vandal has dealt 2d6×10 gp worth of damage to your establishment. In order to repair the damage, you must succeed at a skill encounter (Complexity 1. Primary Skills: Athletics, Dungeoneering).

Outcome: If the PCs complete the skill encounter without any failures, they gain an additional +4 circumstance bonus on their final Profession check. If the PCs fail the skill encounter, they receive a -10 penalty on their final Profession check.

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