Beyond the Shore: To Seek After Sadness
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Acting: This proficiency allows a character to skillfully portray various roles, often as an entertainment. It can also be used to enhance a disguise. If a character has both acting and disguise proficiencies, the check for either is made with a +1 bonus.
Proficiency checks are required only if the actor must portray a particularly difficult role or is attempting to “ad lib” without rehearsal.
Administration: Many temples own substantial amounts of land and property, wielding power over vast areas. Priests who can manage these lands and turn a tidy profit in the name of the church are always in demand. A character with this proficiency is skilled in the management and accounting of enterprises ranging from the agriculture of an entire province to the vineyards of a single small monastery. He knows how to account for money, plan work, and supervise the collection of taxes or the sale of goods.
Agriculture: The character has a knowledge of the basics of farming. This includes planting, harvesting, storing crops, tending animals, butchering, and other typical farming chores.
See the for full details for determining the profitability and yields of a farm.
Alchemy: A character with the alchemy proficiency must, when purchasing the proficiency, choose the creation of potions or toxins as his alchemical specialty. A character who specializes in potions must, by nature, be a priest or wizard. He can research and brew potions more easily than a standard wizard or priest. With this proficiency, the base chance for success is increased to 80%, and the fabrication time is cut by 30%.
A character who specializes in toxins can brew poisons and antidotes. Characters with the herbalism proficiency have only a -1 modifier on proficiency checks in order to accomplish this. Once again, production time for the poison is cut by 30%.
A character with this skill is well-versed in the physical aspects of magical research and the properties of various chemicals, reagents, and substances. If the character has access to a decent laboratory, he can use his knowledge to identify unknown elements or compounds, or create small doses of acids, incendiaries, or pyrotechnical substances.
- Identifying substances or samples of unknown material requires 1 to 4 days and a successful proficiency check. Simple materials, such as powdered metals or ores, provide the alchemist with a +1 to +4 bonus on his check, at the DM’s discretion. Rare, complex, or damaged or incomplete samples might impose a –1 to –4 penalty.
- Creating dangerous substances such as acids or burning powders takes 1d3 days and 20–50 gp or (1d4+1) x 10 per vial, or 2–5 days and 50–100 gp or (1d6+4) x 10 per flask. The alchemist must pass a proficiency check in order to successfully manufacture the substance; failing the check with a natural roll of 20 results in an explosion or other mishap that exposes the character to the effects of his work and damages the laboratory for 10%–60% or 1d6 x 10% of its construction value.
- Acid inflicts 1d3 points of damage per vial, or 2d4 points of damage per flask, and continues to injure the victim the next round; the vial inflicts 1 point of damage in the second round, and the flask causes 1d3 points of damage. In addition, the flask is large enough to splash creatures near the target; see Grenadelike Missiles in the DMG . Acid can also burn out a lock or clasp, forcing an item saving throw.
- Incendiaries ignite when exposed to air. A flask of incendiary liquid inflicts damage as per burning oil (2d6 points in the first round and 1d6 in the second.) Again, refer to the DMG . Incendiary powders or liquids can easily start fires if used on buildings, dry brush, or other such surfaces.
- Pyrotechnic materials resemble incendiaries, but create clouds of billowing smoke. A vial creates a cloud of smoke 5 feet high by 5 feet wide by 5 feet deep, obscuring vision. A flask creates a cloud of smoke 10 feet high by 10 feet wide by 10 feet deep. The clouds persist for 1d3 rounds, depending on the wind and other conditions.
Alchemy is an expensive hobby, to say the least, and it can be a dangerous one as well. If a player character is abusing this proficiency (i.e., walking into a dungeon with 10 flasks of acid in his pack), the DM can require item saving throws for all those beakers anytime the character slips, falls, or is struck by an opponent.
Alertness: This proficiency allows a character to instinctively notice and recognize signs of a disturbance in the immediate vicinity. This ability reduces a character’s chance of being surprised by 1 if he makes a successful proficiency check.
Alms: Some orders of priests rely on the charity of others for their support and livelihood. A character with this proficiency is able to find food, shelter, and clothing in return for the benefit of his wisdom and a blessing or two for his hosts. The quality of the charity the priest finds may vary widely, depending on the wealth of his prospective hosts, their piety and their recognition of his deity, and the way the priest presents himself. Generally, if there’s shelter to be had, the priest can make use of it, but obtaining food or clothing for his companions may require a nonweapon proficiency check at the DM’s discretion.
Anatomy: This proficiency reflects a character’s detailed knowledge of the structure and arrangement of the human body, including the location and function of bones, muscles, organs, and other soft tissues. This skill has two distinct uses for a character; first of all, knowledge of anatomy provides the character with a +2 bonus on any healing proficiency checks he attempts. Secondly, a wizard can use this skill to repair corpses that have been badly damaged. With a successful proficiency check, the wizard can strengthen and reinforce a body, making it more suitable for animation as a mindless undead. This provides a hit point bonus of +1 per die for skeletal remains, or a bonus of +2 hp per die for a creature to be animated as a zombie.
Ancient History: The character has learned the legends, lore, and history of some ancient time and place. The knowledge must be specific, just as a historian would specialize today in the English Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance, or the Roman Republic before Caesar. (The DM either can have ancient periods in mind for his game or can allow the players to name and designate them.) Thus, a player character could know details about the Age of Thorac Dragonking or the Time of the Sea-Raiders or whatever else was available.
The knowledge acquired gives the character familiarity with the principal legends, historical events, characters, locations, battles, breakthroughs (scientific, cultural, and magical), unsolved mysteries, crafts, and oddities of the time. The character must roll a proficiency check to identify places or things he encounters from that age. For example, Rath knows quite a bit about the Coming of the Trolls, a particularly dark period of dwarven history. Moving through some deep caverns, he and his companions stumble across an ancient portal, sealed for untold ages. Studying the handiwork, he realizes (rolls a successful proficiency check) that it bears several seals similar to those he has seen on “banned” portals from the time of Angnar, doorways to the legendary realm of Trolhel.
Animal Handling: Proficiency in this area enables a character to exercise a greater-than-normal degree of control over pack animals and beasts of burden. A successful proficiency check indicates that the character has succeeded in calming an excited or agitated animal; in contrast, a character without this proficiency has only a 20% chance of succeeding in the attempt.
Animal Lore: This proficiency enables a character to observe the actions or habitat of an animal and interpret what is going on. Actions can show how dangerous the creature is, whether it is hungry, protecting its young, or defending a nearby den. Furthermore, careful observation of signs and behaviors can even indicate the location of a water hole, animal herd, predator, or impending danger, such as a forest fire. The DM will secretly roll a proficiency check. A successful check means the character understood the basic actions of the creature. If the check fails by 4 or less, no information is gained. If the check fails by 5 or more, the character misinterprets the actions of the animal.
A character may also imitate the calls and cries of animals that he is reasonably familiar with, based on his background. This ability is limited by volume. The roar of a tyrannosaurus rex would be beyond the abilities of a normal character. A successful proficiency check means that only magical means can distinguish the character’s call from that of the true animal. The cry is sufficient to fool animals, perhaps frightening them away or luring them closer. A failed check means the sound is incorrect in some slight way. A failed call may still fool some listeners, but creatures very familiar with the cry automatically detect a false call. All other creatures and characters are allowed a Wisdom check to detect the fake.
Finally, animal lore increases the chance of successfully setting snares and traps (for hunting) since the character knows the general habits of the creature hunted.
Animal Noise: A character with this proficiency can imitate the noises made by various animals. A successful check means the character’s noise cannot be distinguished from that of the actual animal, except by magical means. A failed check produces a sound that varies from the animal’s in some slight way. Those who are very familiar with the animal will recognize the intended mimicry at once. Other characters must make successful Wisdom checks to determine if they also realize the animal noise is an imitation.
Animal Rending: This proficiency confers expertise in skinning and butchering animal carcasses. It lets a character derive the maximum amount of food from a carcass. It also lets him harvest valuable products from the carcass without damaging them. Such products typically include furs, horns, teeth, hides, and organs. Use of this proficiency requires access to the necessary tools.
No proficiency checks are necessary to butcher most animals, but the DM may require checks in unusual situations. For instance, a check may be required to butcher an animal the character has never seen before, or to successfully harvest a delicate body part (say, the eye of an immature beholder). If the check fails, the character is only able to obtain an average amount of food, or he damages the body part he was attempting to harvest.
Animal Training: Characters with this proficiency can train one type of creature (declared when the proficiency is chosen) to obey simple commands and perform tricks. A character can spend additional proficiencies to train other types of creatures or can improve his skill with an already chosen type. Creatures typically trained are dogs, horses, falcons, pigeons, elephants, ferrets, and parrots. A character can choose even more exotic creatures and monsters with animal intelligence (although these are difficult to control).
A trainer can work with up to three creatures at one time. The trainer may choose to teach general tasks or specific tricks. A general task gives the creature the ability to react to a number of nonspecific commands to do its job. Examples of tasks include guard and attack, carry a rider, perform heavy labor, hunt, track, or fight alongside soldiers (such as a war horse or elephant). A specific trick teaches the trained creature to do one specific action. A horse may rear on command, a falcon may pluck a designated object, a dog may attack a specific person, or a rat may run through a particular maze. With enough time, a creature can be trained to do both general tasks and specific tricks.
Training for a general task requires three months of uninterrupted work. Training for a specific trick requires 2d6 weeks. At the end of the training time, a proficiency check is made. If successful, the animal is trained. If the die roll fails, the beast is untrainable. An animal can be trained in 2d4 general tasks or specific tricks, or any combination of the two.
An animal trainer can also try to tame wild animals (preparing them for training later on). Wild animals can be tamed only when they are very young. The taming requires one month of uninterrupted work with the creature. At the end of the month, a proficiency check is made. If successful, the beast is suitable for training. If the check fails, the creature retains enough of its wild behavior to make it untrainable. It can be kept, though it must be leashed or caged.
Appraising: This proficiency is highly useful for thieves, as it allows characters to estimate the value and authenticity of antiques, art objects, jewelry, cut gemstones, or other crafted items they find (although the DM can exclude those items too exotic or rare to be well known). The character must have the item in hand to examine. A successful proficiency check (rolled by the DM) enables the character to estimate the value of the item to the nearest 100 or 1,000 gp and to identify fakes. On a failed check, the character cannot estimate a price at all. On a roll of 20, the character wildly misreads the value of the item, always to the detriment of the character.
Arcanology: The study of the history and development of magic is termed arcanology. A wizard with expertise in this field is familiar with the works of past wizards. If there was a source of powerful magic in the campaign’s past, for example, Netheril or Myth Drannor in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, the arcanologist has a good idea of who the great mages were and what they were able to accomplish. Special magical items, spells, or forms of magic wielded by these ancient sorcerers are familiar to the arcanologist. With a successful proficiency check, the arcanologist can identify the general purpose and function of an ancient magical item; the DM may apply a penalty of –1 to –4 if the item comes from a region outside the arcanologist’s normal studies, or is especially rare or obscure. Note that this ability doesn’t help a wizard to identify items manufactured by the “modern” school or tradition of magic, whatever that may be.
Armorer: This character can make all of the types of armor listed in the Player’s Handbook, given the proper materials and facilities. When making armor, the proficiency check is rolled at the end of the normal construction time.
The time required to make armor is equal to two weeks per level of AC below 10. For example, a shield would require two weeks of work, whereas a suit of full plate armor would require 18 weeks of work.
If the proficiency check indicates failure but is within 4 of the amount needed for success, the armorer has created usable, but flawed, armor. Such armor functions as 1 AC worse than usual, although it looks like the armor it was intended to be. Only a character with armorer proficiency can detect the flaws, and this requires careful and detailed inspection.
If the flawed armor is struck in melee combat with a natural die roll of 19 or 20, it breaks. The character’s AC immediately worsens by 4 additional classes (although never above 10), and the broken armor hampers the character’s movement. Until the character can remove the broken armor (a process requiring 1d4 rounds), the character moves at ½ of his normal rate and suffers a -4 penalty to all of his attack rolls.
If an armorer is creating a suit of field plate or full plate armor, the character who will use the armor must be present at least once a week during the creation of the armor, since such types of armor require very exact fitting.
Dwarves are more adept at making armor than other races. Their armorers are the finest in any world and their special skills are carefully hidden from outsiders. They are capable of producing high quality armor very quickly. Instead of 2 weeks per level of AC below 10, a dwarf armorer requires only 12 days per point of AC below 10.
Armorer, Crude: With this proficiency, a character can make crude but effective armor from natural materials like hides, furs, and shells. He can’t create armor better than AC 6.
It takes one week per level of AC below 10 to make crude armor (assuming the availability of the necessary materials). A character can make hide armor in four weeks, a shield in one week. Crude armor tends to be more flawed and less durable than standard armor. After crude armor is created, make a proficiency check. If the check fails by more than 4, the armor is unusable. If a failed check is within 4 of the amount needed for success, the armor is flawed and functions at an AC 2 worse than normal (but never worse than AC 10). Flawed crude hide armor has AC 8; a flawed crude shield offers no protection whaisoever.
If flawed crude armor is struck in melee with a natural die roll of 19 or 20, it falls apart. The wearer’s AC immediately worsens by 4 (to a limit of AC 10). Removing the useless armor takes ld4 rounds; during that time, the wearer moves at half his normal rate and suffers a 4 penalty to all attack rolls.
Armor Optimization: This proficiency allows a character to use his armor to best advantage against a particular opponent. A successful proficiency check in the first round of any combat situation gives a -1 bonus to the characters Armor Class in that situation. A situation is a series of rounds in which a particular character engages in combat. Once the character goes two full rounds without combat, the situation ends. The character must be wearing some type of armor or employing a shield in order to use the armor optimization proficiency. The bonus provided by the armor or shield adds to the bonus from the armor optimization proficiency.
Artistic Ability: Player characters with artistic ability are naturally accomplished in various forms of the arts. They have an inherent understanding of color, form, space, flow, tone, pitch, and rhythm. Characters with artistic ability must select one art form (painting, sculpture, composition, etc.) to be proficient in. Thereafter they can attempt to create art works or musical compositions in their given field. Although it is not necessary to make a proficiency check, one can be made to determine the quality of the work. If a 1 is rolled on the check, the artist has created a work with some truly lasting value. If the check fails, the artist has created something aesthetically unpleasing or just plain bad.
Artistic ability also confers a +1 bonus to all proficiency checks requiring artistic skill—music or dance—and to attempts to appraise objects of art.
Assimilation: The character with this proficiency is able to study a different culture well enough to pretend to be a member of it. Assimilation allows the character to pick up cultural mannerisms (common rituals, expressions of speech, taboos, etc.). It is distinct from Acting but helpful to that proficiency. A character who has both Acting and Assimilation proficiency receives a +1 bonus to checks with either proficiency when portraying a member of another culture. (This is not cumulative with the Acting/Disguise bonus; if a character has all three proficiencies, she does not receive a +2 bonus.)
Astronomy: An individual learned in the science of astronomy has a good knowledge of the stars, planets, and other bodies in his home crystal sphere, as well as the myths and legends associated with them. When the night sky is clear, he can always tell direction by the stars. Phases of heavenly bodies are also easily determined. Furthermore, characters with this proficiency can (if given the time, tools, and materials) construct and use all the instruments related to this field, such as astrolabes, sextants, and even simple telescopes.
Possession of this skill grants a +2 bonus on all astrology skill checks and a +1 bonus to all navigation checks involving sighting on stars, moons, or suns.
Astrology: This proficiency gives the character some understanding of the supposed influences of the stars. Knowing the birth date and time of any person, the astrologer can study the stars and celestial events and then prepare a forecast of the future for that person. The astrologer’s insight into the future is limited to the next 30 days, and his knowledge is vague at best. If a successful proficiency check is made, the astrologer can foresee some general event—a great battle, a friend lost, a new friendship made, etc. The DM decides the exact prediction (based on his intentions for the next few gaming sessions). Note that the prediction does not guarantee the result—it only indicates the potential result. If the proficiency check is failed, no information is gained unless a 20 is rolled, in which case the prediction is wildly inaccurate.
Clearly this proficiency requires preparation and advance knowledge on the part of the DM. Because of this, it is permissible for the DM to avoid the question, although this shouldn’t be done all the time. Players who want to make their DM’s life easier (always a good idea) should consider using this proficiency at the end of a gaming session, giving the DM until the next session to come up with an answer. The DM can use this proficiency as a catalyst and guide for his adventures—something that will prompt the player characters to go to certain places or to try new things.
Characters with the astrology proficiency gain a +1 bonus to all navigation proficiency checks, provided the stars can be seen.
Athletics: Athletics: Characters with athletics are naturally talented in one particular area of athletic endeavor. These include foot races, horse races, javelin, discus, chariots, standing high jump, broad jump, and pancratium (combined wrestling and boxing). Only the nonmilitary gaming aspects of these activities are emphasized.
This ability may be taken more than once to improve in a category or to acquire skill in a different area. For those areas which are covered under other proficiencies (such as charioteering or running), an athletics proficiency in the same area provides a +1 to that proficiency check.
Awareness: Characters with the awareness proficiency are light sleepers, always alert to danger and attuned to their immediate surroundings. They gain two key advantages:
First, if they’re roused from slumber (during an attack at night, for example), they can react immediately, as if they had been awake. Provided a weapon is close at hand (a jambiya placed beneath the pillow, for instance), they can even attack during the round in which they awaken. No proficiency check is required. This ability does not affect magical slumber, however, such as that created by a sleep spell or related magicks.
Second, characters with the awareness proficiency can detect and ward off the effects of a thief’s backstabbing ability. If a thief is backstabbing a target with the awareness ability, and the target is otherwise uninvolved in combat, then the target is granted a proficiency check. If the check fails, the backstabbing occurs normally. If the check succeeds and the target does not have initiative, the backstabbing proceeds, but the thief suffers a -2 attack penalty (damage bonuses still apply). If the check succeeds and the target has initiative, the target can wheel and attack the backstabbing rogue immediately, causing the rogue to lose all backstabbing bonuses and damage multipliers.
Bargain: A character with the bargain proficiency can haggle over cash, service, and barter transactions to capture a better deal. In a cash transaction, a successful check allows the character to purchase an item for 10% less or sell one for 10% more than the going rate. In a simple barter transaction, a successful check improves the perceived value of the bargainers goods by 10%. In protracted barter, a successful check allows the bargainer to roll 3d6 instead of 2d6 for that round of barter; a separate check initiates every round. In a service transaction, a successful check provides the bargainer 10% more than the going rate for his services. The DM should require players to roleplay the bargaining session to gain the benefits of this proficiency.
Battle Command: A character with this proficiency can spend a round giving a rousing speech to his allies. On a successful check, all allies within 20 feet gain a 2 rounds. Once this ability has been used successfully, it cannot be attempted again for 8 hours.
Begging: Begging serves two functions. First, it allows characters to pose convincingly as beggars (and many humanoids in civilized areas spend some time begging for a living). Success in this function is automatic and no checks must be made. Second, it allows the character to earn a minimal daily income. To use this proficiency to earn money, it must be used in an area where people are present.
The following modifiers are suggested to the DM as guidelines. They do not take into account the wealth of a particular locale, just the population density. Impoverished regions might have greater negative modifiers, as might certain affluent areas with long traditions or great reputations for stinginess.
A successful check enables a character to beg for enough money, goods or services to meet his basic needs (a little food and drink, a place to sleep). Begging cannot force PCs to give away money. Players are always free to decide how generous their characters are.
Blacksmithing: A character with blacksmithing proficiency is capable of making tools and implements from iron. Use of the proficiency requires a forge with a coal-fed fire and bellows, as well as a hammer and anvil. The character cannot make armor or most weapons, but can craft crowbars, grappling hooks, horseshoes, nails, hinges, plows, and most other iron objects.
Blind-fighting: A character with blind-fighting is skilled at fighting in conditions of poor or no light (but this proficiency does not allow spell use). In total darkness, the character suffers only a -2 penalty to his attack roll (as compared to a -4 penalty without this proficiency). Under starlight or moonlight, the character incurs only a -1 penalty. The character suffers no penalties to his AC because of darkness.
Furthermore, the character retains special abilities that would normally be lost in darkness, although the effectiveness of these are reduced by one-half (proficiency checks are made at half the normal score, etc.). This proficiency is effective only against opponents or threats within melee distance of the character. Blind-fighting does not grant any special protection from missile fire or anything outside the immediate range of the character’s melee weapon. Thus, AC penalties remain for missile fire. (By the time the character hears the whoosh of the arrow, for example, it is too late for him to react.)
While moving in darkness, the character suffers only half the normal movement penalty of those without this proficiency.
Furthermore, this skill aids the character when dealing with invisible creatures, reducing the attack penalty to -2. However, it does not enable the character to discover invisible creatures; he has only a general idea of their location and cannot target them exactly.
Boating: This proficiency allows the character to pilot any small boat, such as a kayak or canoe, operating it at maximum speed. It also allows him to make minor repairs and improvements in these boats, such as waterproofing them and patching holes. A successful proficiency check enables the character to handle the craft in treacherous situations; for instance, maneuvering the boat though choppy water without capsizing it, or avoiding collisions when guiding it through a narrow channel choked with rocks or ice. In addition, a character with boating proficiency can insure that a boat is propelled at its maximum speed.
Note that while the navigation and seamanship proficiencies deal with ships in oceans, seas, and other large bodies of water, the boating proficiency is confined to small craft on rivers, lakes, on oceans close to shore, and over similar terrain, usually on relatively calm waters.
Boatwright: The boatwright proficiency allows a character to construct all kinds of watercraft up to a maximum length of 60 feet. Larger vessels cannot be built.
The time required to build a boat depends on size. As a general guide, a boat requires one week of construction time per foot of length. Two characters with the boatwright proficiency cut this time by half; three reduce it to one-third. A maximum of one boatwright per 5 feet of length can work on the same vessel.
The basic boat includes hull, masts (if applicable), deck, and benches as required. Features such as a cabin or a sealed hold add about a week apiece to complete. Characters without the boatwright proficiency can aid the boatwright in construction, but two such characters equal the time savings that one additional skilled boatwright could provide.
Body Language: A character with the body language proficiency is able to interpret subtle changes in the behavior of another creature that give away its moods and attitudes. Sitting posture, vocal tone, gesticulations, facial movements, and expressions all contribute to this. This skill is effective only on beings of the same race as the user or a closely related race; e.g., a human could not read a dragons body language. Only intelligent (Int 5+) beings can read like this, and the reader must be able to see the subjects body. On a successful secret check, the reader can judge the general mood of the subject; happy, scared, depressed, etc. A failed check reveals another mood (DMs choice). If he concentrates, the reader can also tell whether the subject is lying or not. This requires a check at an additional -4 penalty, and the player must actually announce he is doing this; it is not automatic.
Bone Armor: The bones of the dead serve a character with this proficiency in many ways. With proper skill, carefully selected bones can be crafted into necromantic armor. For every two human-sized skeletons gathered from a graveyard or old battlefield, the character has the materials to create a set of bone armor. If the character spends one day crafting the bones and makes a successful proficiency check, he creates a set of bone armor with a base AC +1. The character can also craft better armor, improving the AC by 1 (to a maximum of +10 AC) for each -2 penalty he takes on his proficiency check. A failed check means that the materials are ruined and the character must start again. A set of bone armor lasts for one week and then falls to dust.
Unlike standard armor, bone armor is extremely light, and can be worn by mages who are familiar with its construction without loss of their spellcasting abilities. The armor may also be worn by any other character normally allowed to wear leather (or greater) armor. Bone armor counts as magical armor for all purposes.
Bookbinding: A wizard with this skill is familiar with the process of assembling a book. Bookbinding is a demanding task; the pages must be glued or sewn to a common backing of some kind, protected by various kinds of varnishes or treatments, and then fastened to a strong and durable cover. Additional chemicals or compounds to ward off mildew and deter moths and bookworms are a necessary precaution.
Bookbinding is especially helpful for a wizard assembling a spell book. Normally, a wizard must pay a bookbinder 50 gp per page for a standard spell book, or 100 gp per page for a traveling spell book—see Chapter 7 of the DMG . A wizard who does this work himself reduces these costs by 50%, although the process takes at least two weeks, plus one day per five pages. If the character passes a proficiency check, his spell book gains a +2 bonus to item saving throws due to the quality and craftsmanship of the work. In addition, the wizard must succeed in a proficiency check if he is dealing with unusual or unsuitable materials, such as metal sheets for pages or dragon scales for a cover.
Botany: A character with this proficiency is readily able to identify vegetation of all kinds and is familiar with their properties, life cycles, and habitats. This knowledge is limited to the terrain and climate the character has studied (temperate, tropical, sub-tropical, arctic, sub-arctic, etc.). One ability check is required to identify the plant in question, and a second to determine whether the character can recall any specific information concerning it. Elves and other forest dwellers generally have a good grasp of botany, allowing each of them a + 1 bonus to all botany ability checks they make in their own terrain and climate.
Possession of this skill grants a +2 bonus on all agriculture, gardening, and herbalism skill, checks.
Bowyer/Fletcher: This character can make bows and arrows of the types given in Table 44.
A weaponsmith is required to fashion arrowheads, but the bowyer/fletcher can perform all other necessary functions. The construction time for a long or short bow is one week, while composite bows require two weeks, and 1d6 arrows can be made in one day.
When the construction time for the weapon is completed, the player makes a proficiency check. If the check is successful, the weapon is of fine quality and will last for many years of normal use without breaking. If the check fails, the weapon is still usable, but has a limited life span: An arrow breaks on the first shot; a bow breaks if the character using it rolls an unmodified 1 on his 1d20 attack roll.
Option: If a character wishes to create a weapon of truly fine quality and the DM allows it, the player can opt to use the following alternative procedure for determining the success of his attempt. When the proficiency check is made, any failure means that the weapon is useless. However, a successful check means that the weapon enables the character to add Strength bonuses to attack and damage rolls. Additionally, if the proficiency check is a natural 1, the range of the bow is increased 10 yards for all range classes or is of such fine work that it is suitable for enchantment.
Brewing: The character is trained in the art of brewing beers and other strong drink. The character can prepare brewing formulas, select quality ingredients, set up and manage a brewery, control fermentation, and age the finished product.
Bribery: Bribery is a way of life and knowing when to offer a bribe is an important skill. Equally important, however, is the timing of the offer, the amount that will most likely garner the reaction that is wanted, and the best way to disguise the bribe so that it doesn’t draw attention from unwanted witnesses. Bribery covers these essential, though usually overlooked parts to bribery. Use of the skill alone gives a character a chance of estimating how big a bribe is necessary to get what he wants, whether the one receiving the bribe will keep his side of the bargain, and how to offer the bribe without insulting the target.
In addition to getting around inconvenient rules and regulations and dodging unwanted attention, bribes are often good for loosening tongues and gaining information. The Bribery skill allows the character to judge how much of a bribe will be needed to get the information he wants and to ascertain when the talker actually has no more useful information to impart. The bribery skill may only be used on those who are willing to be bribed.
Bulwark: Virtue provides a character with this proficiency a shield against the effects of fear and disease. When the character is in danger of succumbing to either (typically by a failed saving throw), a successful proficiency check indicates that his health and bravery remain uncompromised. Bulwark is effective against both natural effects such as the common cold and against magical effects such as mummy rot and fear effects.
Bureaucracy: This proficiency encompasses a working knowledge of governmental protocol and the skills necessary to navigate bureaucratic organizations. A character with this proficiency knows which official to approach and the best time to approach him (a tax collector’s aide may have better access to information than the tax collector himself; a city clerk may be less harried and more helpful at the beginning of the month than at the end). He knows where government records are kept and the procedures for examining them. He knows how to circumvent sluggish or uncooperative bureaucrats. He obtains permits and other government documentation in half the normal time. No proficiency checks are needed for any of these functions.
A character can also use Bureaucracy to turn the system against someone else. A successful proficiency check doubles the amount of time to make a government decision, causes a permit to be issued under the wrong name, or temporary misplaces an important document. A paladin must be careful with this ability, to avoid breaking the law and violating his ethos.
The Bureaucracy proficiency covers the governmental organizations in a particular region, usually the character’s homeland. He may spend additional slots to expand the proficiency to other regions. Official organizations include government councils, regulatory boards, and church hierarchies. The proficiency is only effective when dealing with organizations of 10 or more members.
Burial Customs: The character understands a range of methods for preparing, preserving, and burying the dead. It allows a character to actually assume the role of a mortician. Each slot of this skill is limited to burial methods of races and religions; in other words, a human priest of Selûne from Thentia knows how Thentian humans bury their dead and how Selûnes faithful perform funerals and inter the dead, but this skill doesnt tell him how Amnites or dwarves bury their dead.
This proficiency is broad, and many cultures share similarities. Therefore, with a -3 modifier to Intelligence, the character can try a proficiency check to understand and properly perform burial rituals of either another race/culture or another religion.
Calligraphy: The handwriting of an individual with this proficiency is controlled and beautiful to the point of being considered art. A character could earn a tidy income copying documents, books, formal letters, etc. for the wealthy public. Skilled calligraphers are often sought by the courts of the aristocracy and religious institutions that wish to illuminate their holy writings.
The reading/writing proficiency must have been taken before this skill can be selected. Possession of this skill grants a +1 bonus on all artistic ability skill checks involving the painting or lettering of signs, documents, etc.
Camouflage: By using this proficiency, the character can attempt to conceal himself, his companions, and inanimate objects by using natural or man-made materials. Successful use assumes the availability of all necessary materials. In forests and jungles, the character can use shrubbery, mud, and other readily available resources. Arctic or similarly barren terrain usually requires special clothing, paints, or other artificial materials (although “digging in” is an old trick which may be applicable in such terrain, depending on local conditions). It takes a character a half-hour to camouflage himself or another person, two or three hours to conceal a cart or inanimate object of comparable size, and a half-day to hide a small building.
Neither human, demihuman, monster, nor animal passersby will be able to see a camouflaged character, presuming the character makes a successful proficiency check. Camouflaged companions will also go unnoticed; only one proficiency check is required for the entire group.
Objects may also be camouflaged. Objects the size of a person require no penalty to the check; cart-sized objects require a -1 penalty, while building-sized objects require a -3 penalty. The DM may adjust penalties based on these guidelines.
Camouflaging has no effect on predators that locate prey by scent or other keen senses; a hungry wolf can still sniff out a camouflaged human. A camouflaged person has no protection against a passerby who accidently brushes against or bumps into him. Likewise, a camouflaged person may reveal himself if he sneezes, cries out from the sting of a bee, or makes any other sound.
Note that camouflaging is only necessary for persons or objects that would otherwise be partially or entirely exposed. A person hiding behind a stone wall wouldn’t need to be camouflaged to avoid detection, nor would a buried object.
Carpentry: The carpentry proficiency enables the character to do woodworking jobs: building houses, cabinetry, joinery, etc. Tools and materials must be available. The character can build basic items from experience, without the need for plans. Unusual and more complicated items (a catapult, for example) require plans prepared by an engineer. Truly unusual or highly complex items (wooden clockwork mechanisms, for example) require a proficiency check.
Cartography: This proficiency grants skill at map making. A character can draw maps to scale, complete with complex land formations, coastal outlines, and other geographic features. The character must be reasonably familiar with the area being mapped.
The DM makes a proficiency check in secret to determine the accuracy of the map. A successful proficiency check means that the map is correct in all significant details. If the roll fails, the map contains a few errors, possibly a significant one. A roll of exactly 20 means the map contains serious errors, making it useless.
Cerebral Blind: When the illithid attempts to use ESP, charm, or suggestion in a nonpsionic campaign, or if an illithid successfully “opens” the mind of a caradhaker (either with contact or with a successful psionic attack in a psionic campaign), the character can attempt to trigger cerebral blind with a successful proficiency check before the illithid can actually make use of the power (or use the secondary psionic science or devotion upon the victim). If the proficiency check fails, the power (or secondary psionic effect) works normally.
If the proficiency check succeeds, a complex mental blind comes to the surface of the character’s mind. The blind is a mental maze incorporating both linear and analog elements, hundreds of similar but subtly different mental pathways that confuse the illithid for 1d4+1 rounds. While the illithid is confused, it can take no other action; however, neither can the character do anything but mentally “hold” the blind in place, possibly giving his or her compatriots a few free rounds of action.
In a psionic campaign, cerebral blind gives the character up to five chances to close his mind (with a successful save vs. paralyzation at a -4 penalty). As soon as the character’s mind is closed, the illithid is similarly freed from staring helpless at the cerebral blind.
Ceremony: A priest with this proficiency is well-versed in the various rites, observances, and ceremonies of his temple. He is qualified to oversee normal worship or devotions, but conducting the rites in difficult or unusual situations may require a proficiency check. This proficiency also includes familiarity with ceremonies such as weddings, namings, and funerals, and the priest can perform these services appropriately.
The Ceremony proficiency can also be used by a priest to cast spells beyond his normal allotment through the use of extended rituals. See Praying for Power for details.
Chanting: Chanting is used to keep fellow workers or soldiers in pace. Proficiency checks are used to determine the effectiveness of a character’s chanting.
Successful checks mean that those who can hear the chanting character become slightly hypnotized by the rhythmic sound, causing the time spent on arduous, repetitive tasks to pass quickly The DM can, at his option, adjust results for forced marching, rowing, digging, and other similar tasks accordingly.
Charge: When charging, a character with this proficiency can, with a successful check, receive a +3 bonus on his attack and damage rolls (instead of the normal +2 on attacks), but suffers a +2 penalty to his AC (instead of the normal +1 penalty).
The other effects of charging remain unchanged. The character gains a +50% increase to his speed and loses his Dexterity bonus and the charged target gains a -2 bonus to initiative.
Charioteering: A character with proficiency in this skill is able to safely guide a chariot, over any type of terrain that can normally be negotiated, at a rate 1/3 faster than the normal movement rate for a chariot driven by a character without this proficiency. Note that this proficiency does not impart the ability to move a chariot over terrain that it cannot traverse; even the best charioteer in the world cannot take such a vehicle into the mountains.
Chaos Shaping: Fortunately for travelers, the elemental nature of Limbo shapes itself to the will of a person’s mind. Most of the time, a character uses his conscious mind to cause bits of solid ground or other terrain to form from the soup of Limbo. Anyone plunged into the plane’s soup can manipulate Limbo’s matter to some extent, as detailed on the table below. The problem is, unless a body has the chaos shaping proficiency, it all goes away when he sleeps, gets distracted, or just plain forgets.
|Attribute Rating||Radius of Terrain||Type of Terrain|
|1-4||10 feet per point||simple (flat meadow)|
|5-10||10 yards per point||complex (hills, trees, streams)|
|11-18||100 yards per point||artificial (buildings, streets)|
|19+||1 mile per point||includes native animals|
Most characters use their Intelligence attribute to determine their ability to consciously maintain terrain. The chaos shaping proficiency allows a character’s unconscious mind to maintain the terrain, even when the character is distracted or unconscious. Characters with this proficiency use their Wisdom score, rather than Intelligence, and are free to perform other actions while shaping chaos.
Cheesemaklng: This proficiency allows the character who has it to expertly create cheese from the curds of soured milk. A proficiency check is required only when attempting to prepare a truly magnificent wheel of cheese as a special gift or for a special celebration.
Chicanery: Chicanery is the art of trickery, and gives the character knowledge of several forms of sleight-of-hand tricks, swindles, and deceptions, and the ability to perform them. These range from the classic shell game to carefully opening a goose egg, stuffing a baby snake inside, sealing it closed again, then presenting it to an unsuspecting victim to be cracked open.
City Familiarity: A character with this proficiency is unusually knowledgeable about one specific community, chosen when the proficiency is purchased. City Familiarity gives the character a good knowledge of the important political and financial figures in the community, an understanding of which families (and criminal organizations) are most important and how they relate to one another and a good grasp of the city’s main streets and byways. The character needs no skill check to call on this information.
When the character wants more detailed information, such as the precise layout of streets when he’s running away from city guards, the name of the number-two man in a specific crime organization, or the knowledge of which politicians are cheapest to bribe the character must make a proficiency check with a difficulty modifier determined by the DM.
A character can must have lived in a city for at least three months before he can purchase the City Familiarity proficiency and except for the town in which he grew up, he can do so only with DM permission.
Clockwork Creation: This proficiency is known to the clockwork mages, and is only taught to those devoted to the craft and to very few others. This proficiency allows the individual to produce intricate mechanical devices, machines made up of tiny gears and clockwork mechanisms. This skill is required for a clockwork mage to produce a clockwork device. Merely having the proficiency does not grant a non-clockwork mage the ability to create one. This proficiency is used for checks involving mechanical devices construction or repair.
Close-quarter Fighting: Humanoids with this proficiency have learned to fight in the cramped confines of dungeons and underground lairs. In such locations, or in other extremely close fighting conditions, characters armed with bludgeoning or piercing weapons (or their own natural weapons) receive a +2 bonus to attack rolls. Slashing weapons cannot be used in closequarter fighting. This bonus is not cumulative with wild-fighting.
A successful proficiency check at the start of combat yields this bonus. Failure means the humanoid fights normally.
Clothesmaking, Crude: This proficiency enables a character to create simple garments from furs, skins, leaves, and other natural materials. Although crude clothing isn’t attractive or stylish, it‘s generally comfortable and functional. Fur cloaks, grass skirts, and hide loincloths are typical examples.
Cobbling: The character can fashion and repair shoes, boots, and sandals.
Concentration: A character with this talent has rigorously trained himself to ignore distractions of all kinds, deadening his mind to pain or sensation. This allows a wizard to ignore annoyances or disturbances that might otherwise interfere with the casting of a spell. In order to use this ability, the player must state that his character is concentrating when he begins to cast a spell. If the character is struck by an attack that causes 2 or less points of damage, he is permitted to attempt a proficiency check to ignore the distraction and continue to cast his spell (unless, of course, the damage is enough to render him unconscious.) The wizard can try to ignore grappling or restraining attacks that cause no damage but suffers a –4 penalty to his check. Spells that incapacitate without damaging, such as hold person or command, still interrupt the caster if he fails his saving throw.
A character using this ability must focus on the casting of his spell to the exclusion of all other activity, even direct attacks. Any Dexterity adjustment to his Armor Class is lost, and in addition flank or side attacks are treated as rear attacks, with a +2 bonus to hit instead of a +1.
Cooking: Although all characters have rudimentary cooking skills, the character with this proficiency is an accomplished cook. A proficiency check is required only when attempting to prepare a truly magnificent meal worthy of a master chef.
Craft Instrument: Characters with this proficiency must state which type of instrument they are skilled at Grafting: wind, stringed, percussion, or keyboard. A slot must be used to gain each additional type of instrument the character wishes to be skilled at crafting. A total of four slots used in this proficiency grants a character the title of “master craftsman” who can craft instruments of all forms.
Characters must buy material equal to one quarter of the instrument’s sale value. Wind and percussion instruments require 1d6 days of crafting, stringed instruments 2d8 days, and keyboard instruments 3d10 days. Each day of work requires 10 full hours spent Grafting the instrument. If craftsman tools (cost 25 gp, weight 5 pounds) are not available, all times are doubled.
The crafted instrument’s quality is determined by a final proficiency check. A failed check creates an instrument of poor quality, while a success indicates good quality. A natural 20 indicates that the instrument does not work, while a natural 1 produces a masterpiece worth twice its normal value.
Simple repairs to instruments take only 1d4 hours and require no checks unless the proper tools are not available. Repairing severe damage requires 1d8 hours, and a successful proficiency check is necessary to complete the repairs.
Crowd Working: Characters with this proficiency are familiar with how to handle crowds. They are skilled at observing crowds and adjusting their behavior accordingly. Humanoids who normally have this skill include all types of humanoid entertainers, from bards and fortune tellers, to acrobats and pit fighters.
This skill also can be used to adjust the encounter reaction of a crowd. A successful proficiency check will alter the crowd’s reaction by two levels (or convinces them to donate twice as much money to the entertainers as they normally would).
Cryptography: The character with this proficiency has some training and skill in deciphering hidden messages and codes. In its basic form, the character is allowed to make a proficiency check when confronted with a coded message. If successful, the DM can reveal a general overview of the secret missive.
A character with the cryptography proficiency should have the chance of recognizing a code concealed within a written or spoken message, or perhaps hidden by some other medium—an intricately woven tapestry or sculpted piece of heraldry, for example. The DM will usually roll this check secretly, announcing that the character observes something unusual.
If the character notices the encoded sigil, the DM should describe it in considerable detail—word for word, if it is a written message. The character can make an additional proficiency check during the course of the decoding; if successful, the DM can provide a significant clue—a name, place, or date that is mentioned, for example. The bulk of the decoding should still be performed by the player.
Danger Sense: This proficiency provides a humanoid character with a sixth sense which warns of impending danger. On a successful check, the character avoids a trap at the last second or realizes that opponents wait to ambush him due to a sudden warning tingle that cannot be ignored. Characters who make successful checks spot traps before blundering into them and receive initiative against hidden opponents. This proficiency does not work against opponents who are out in the open and making no attempt to hide their actions. Failure indicates that the character senses nothing out of the ordinary and play continues normally.
Dancing: The character knows many styles and varieties of dance, from folk dances to formal court balls.
Dark Lore: The Dark Lore proficiency gives the PC a wide-ranging knowledge of the nature of the dark powers of the deserts, peaks, and oceans, and the charms and rituals that can hold them at bay. A priest with this proficiency gains minor access to the Protection sphere of spells, even if he is otherwise not entitled to it, and gains major access to it if he already has minor access. Other characters gain knowledge of which spells and magical items can fend off which monsters.
With a successful proficiently check, the character knows how to bribe, avert, or ward off a particular type of supernatural creature. He knows the weaknesses and abilities of most supernatural, evil monsters (not including the genies). He also knows their customs, their likes and dislikes, and their enemies, improving the PCs bribery, haggling, and reaction rolls by +2.
With powerful creatures of darkness (more HD than the PC has levels), the DM should roll the skill check. The skill still provides the nature of their weakness, if anybut on a failed check the supposed knowledge is completely false, and perhaps even makes the creature stronger.
This proficiency does not provide any detailed knowledge of genies or undead; the Genie Lore and Necrology proficiencies provide that.
Dark Sense: The character has an uncanny ability, if moving at half speed or less, to sense objects or empty space in complete darkness. The requires total concentration, and so is useless in combat. Using this ability, the character could navigate through a dark room, avoiding collisions with furniture and stopping before stepping into a gaping pit. The DM should require a roll whenever the character comes close to something that could be sensed. Success means that the character is aware that his path is either blocked by an object or that there is no solid ground at his feat. Failures are obvious because of the result collision or plunge.
Debate: Characters with the debate proficiency can hold their own during heated discussions, remaining quick-witted and cool-tempered. They do not gain the ability to convince guards or holy warriors of their viewpoints, however. Nor can they sway the thinking of unruly hordes or skeptical masses.
This proficiency does allow them to engage in meaningful arguments, impressing others with their mental faculties. As a result, debaters gain a +2 bonus to encounter reactions. When they’re attempting to smooth ruffled feathers, the bonus is added to the result on the dice. When they’re attempting to enrage another character with cheek and guile, the bonus is subtracted from the dice roll.
An individual with the debate proficiency is quite engaging. As a result, a character verbally battling one-on-one with such a debater is less watchful of his or her surroundings. Pickpocket attempts against that character are at +5 percent, the character’s initiative is at +3, and the character’s ability or proficiency checks are at -3. (The debater does not suffer these penalties unless doing battle with another debater.)
Debaters cannot automatically preoccupy others, however. An individual must be willing to talk in the first place before a debater can use this proficiency. Further, the proficiency doesn’t work unless the targeted individual is at least cautious toward the debater (if they saw eye to eye, there would be nothing to debate). Assuming these conditions are met, the debate begins. It continues until the target makes a d20 roll higher than his or her Intelligence score. (The smarter the individual, the livelier the debate, and the harder it is to end it.) Debate also ends if a sudden action or activity interrupts it, for example, a failed pickpocketing attempt, a sudden attack or magical explosion, a scream from the harem, and so forth. As soon as the debate ends, so do the penalties noted above (to initiative, ability and proficiency checks, and the likelihood of being robbed by a pickpocket).
Two individuals with the debate proficiency can seek to best each other in verbal sparring. In this case, both make proficiency checks each round until one fails. Both characters are preoccupied; they suffer the penalties noted above while engaging each other in debate.
Deep Diving: A character with this proficiency can add 10 feet per round to his speed of descent when diving into the water, or from the surface. Thus, a character with the deep diving proficiency can descend 30 feet per round, plus modifiers for encumbrance, running start, and height. Likewise, a character with the deep diving proficiency can surface at a rate of 30 feet (not 20 feet) per round.
This proficiency provides characters with the ability to hold their breath for 2/3 their Constitution scores in rounds, not the 1/3 allowed to most characters. Effects of exceeding the allotted time are the same, regardless of proficiency ratings.
Defensive Tactics: Those with the Defensive Tactics proficiency are able to assess situations and determine the best course of action to maintain a defensive posture. Although this allows those who are about to enter combat or who are already engaged to figure out the best defensive strategy or the most useful strategy for withdrawing from the fight with the least damage, the proficiency is useful in other areas as well.
More than just a combat skill, Defensive Tactics allows the character to assess any situation in terms of its defensive needs. This could be used to determine the most readily defensible campsite, to choose lodgings where spellcasters (or other wanted party members) are unlikely to be noticed, or to determine from interacting with an individual or a group the most likely course of action that will prevent trouble from erupting. The latter may call for the character to offer a bribe, to humble himself so as to be left alone, or conversely to stand up for himself and try to intimidate a bully. Other uses of the skill involve planning the defenses for a city or caravan under attack and analyzing other’s defenses for possible weak points. Pacifists are particularly adept at this proficiency and receive a +1 bonus to their roll to use it.
Detect Signing: This proficiency allows a character to realize when characters from other organizations are communicating using a secret language or signs (such as the Druidic language, Drow Sign-language, or Thieves’ Cant). The character who makes a Detect Signing roll recognizes seemingly meaningless symbols as writing and ordinary speech as having special meaning, although she just will not know the content of the communication.
If a character makes her Detect Signing roll by 6 or better, she can recognize one word or symbol in a specific communication and understand its meaning. The DM chooses which word the character recognizes. (This is an opportunity for the DM to pass an intriguing clue on to the character.)
Diagnostics: Both the Healing and Diagnostics proficiencies aid victims of trauma and disease. But while the Healing proficiency can be used to restore lost hit points, Diagnostics is mainly concerned with determining the cause of the damage and the prognosis; Diagnostics alone will not heal damage.
With a successful proficiency check, a character becomes aware all of the following information applicable to a particular patient:
- If the patient has suffered physical damage, the character can determine the extent of the damage, though he may not be able to ascertain the exact cause (if a victim was attacked by a tiger, the character will know that the victim was clawed by a large animal, but not necessarily the species). The character can recommend treatments and offer prognoses, as with victims of diseases.
- If the patient has been poisoned, the character knows the antidote (if one exists) and how to prepare it. Note that even if the character knows how to prepare an antidote, he may not have access to the necessary ingredients.
- The character knows the name of the disease, its cause, how long the patient has had it, and the optimum treatment. If the patient is treated as specified, he suffers the mildest form of the disease and its shortest duration. If the patient declines treatment, or the treatment doesn’t work, the character can determine the patient’s prognosis with reasonable accuracy. (“The patient will recover by the end of the month.” “The patient will become permanently blind if not treated within a year.”) The character may diagnose both natural and magical diseases.
- When examining a corpse, the character can determine how the victim died and approximately how long it’s been dead. If the victim died of unnatural causes, the character will only be able to determine the general circumstances of the death. For example, if an evil wizard incinerated the victim with a fireball, a successful diagnostics check might reveal that the victim burned to death very rapidly as a result of some type of magic, but not that it was affected by a fireball.
A character with this proficiency may diagnose himself or any other character, or animals, except for supernatural creatures (such as a ghost or skeleton) and creatures from another plane of existence (like a xorn or aerial servant). He may attempt to diagnose an individual or creature only once.
If a character also has the Healing proficiency, he may modify all Diagnostic checks by +1.
Diplomacy: This is the grand art of high diplomacy between states or organizations. A character skilled in diplomacy knows the correct procedures and unwritten rules of negotiations between states or large organizations. He is capable of discerning the true intent of the various declarations, statements, and gifts or exchanges that make up a diplomatic encounter, and he is able to take his own wishes and couch them in proper diplomatic terms.
Normally, the character need only make proficiency checks if the negotiations are particularly delicate or difficult. However, if there is a specific goal or compromise the character is working towards, he may attempt a check to see if he can win the other side over to his point. Naturally, the DM can apply a modifier of –8 to +8 depending on what the diplomat’s offer means for the parties involved. Requesting the surrender of a vastly superior enemy is next to impossible, unless the character can convince them that they stand to gain something of great value by giving up. In any event, the DM shouldn’t use this ability as a substitute for good role-playing by the players.
Direction Sense: A character with this proficiency has an innate sense of direction. By concentrating for 1d6 rounds, the character can try to determine the direction the party is headed. If the check fails but is less than 20, the character errs by 90 degrees. If a 20 is rolled, the direction chosen is exactly opposite the true heading. (The DM rolls the check.)
Furthermore, when traveling in the wilderness, a character with direction sense has the chance of becoming lost reduced by 5%.
Dirty Fighting: A character with this proficiency is familiar with a number of cheap shots and tricks that can be used in combat. The proficiency should never be taken by anyone who must uphold any sort of moral code (a Paladin for example). Whenever the player wants his character to use this ability, he should what his character is attempting to do, then make a proficiency check. Success means the trick worked, and the character gains an extra attack at a +2 to hit and damage. Failure means the move was noticed or anticipated, and the intended victim gains an extra attack against the character, who gains no Dexterity bonus to his armor class for that attack. After the first attempt, a cumulative -2 penalty should be applied to any further attempts made against the same opponent.
Disguise: The character with this skill is trained in the art of disguise. He can make himself look like any general type of person of about the same height, age, weight, and race. A successful proficiency check indicates that the disguise is successful, while a failed roll means the attempt was too obvious in some way.
The character can also disguise himself as a member of another race or sex. In this case, a -7 penalty is applied to the proficiency check. The character may also attempt to disguise himself as a specific person, with a -10 penalty to the proficiency check. These modifiers are cumulative, thus, it is extremely difficult for a character to disguise himself as a specific person of another race or sex (a -17 penalty to the check).
Display Weapon Prowess: Characters who have this proficiency can put on an impressive display of weapon prowess without fighting at all; swords whooshing in a blur, daggers flashing, arrows splitting melons in two. An individual must use a weapon with which he or she is already proficient, but weapon specialization has no further effect. The “show” takes at least a round. Those who are impressed are forced to make a morale check. (Results are outlined below.)
Not everyone is swayed by weapon prowess. Characters must pay attention before this proficiency has an impact. For example, this skill might be useful in staring down a guard at the city gate, but would do nothing against a screaming mob or a charging band of desert raiders.
Further, characters who have this proficiency must be of equal or higher level (or Hit Dice) than their audience to impress them. For instance, low-level warriors with flashing blades might awe the equally low-level city guards. But bullying their way through the sultan’s elite vanguard would be another matter entirely. Creatures of higher level or Hit Dice than an individual using display weapon prowess are not impressed; they do not make morale checks.
Morale Check Results: Characters who make successful morale checks can see that an individual with this proficiency handles a weapon well; otherwise they’re unaffected. Characters who fail their morale checks react in a manner suited to the circumstances at hand.
If the situation isn’t desperate, and violence isn’t inevitable, characters who fail their checks are likely to try talking to the individual with weapon prowess; else they’ll simply back away. They won’t surrender outright, but they’ll realize that the individual is not the sort to trifle with.
In some instances, walking away and talking things over are not viable options. For example, if guards at the sultan’s treasury fail their checks, they’ll stay at their posts and remain willing to fight. If forced into combat, however, they’ll suffer a -1 attack penalty.
Player characters are not affected by morale checks. If an individual with this proficiency attempts to awe a PC, the DM should provide a frank evaluation of the display, based on level and success. For example, the DM might say, “She looks darned good with that sword. Your PC might not be able to beat her in a fair fight,” or “This son of a dark camel looks like he picked up his swordsmanship watching jesters in the marketplace.” Then it’s up to the player to decide how the PC reacts.
Distance Sense: This proficiency enables a character to estimate the total distance he’s traveled in any given day, part of a day, or a number of consecutive days equal to his level. For instance, a 7th level character can estimate the distance he’s traveled in the previous week. The estimate will be 90% accurate.
Dodge: Once per round, on a successful check, a character with this proficiency can jump aside to avoid one melee attack that would otherwise hit her. A special attack form (hug, constrict, smothering, etc.) can be evaded at an additional -2 penalty on the check. If successfully, the character forfeits half of her melee or ranged attacks in the next round (to a minimum of 1 attack per round).
Dowsing: This is the skill of finding lost or hidden items by seeking a disturbance in the subtle natural energies that permeate the earth. A dowser is attuned to the invisible, intangible eddies and currents of the world around him; by careful and methodical searching, he can detect particular emanations or anomalies.
The character has been trained in the use of a divining rod. This proficiency covers the insight necessary to interpret the finer meanings of the woods tugging and twitching. The fork is held by the two limbs, one in each hand, with the point going first and the rod held horizontally. Then the dowser walks gently over the places where he seeks an object or affection. He should walk with care to not risk dispersing the emanations that rise from the spot where these things are and cause the rod to slant. For example, if the dowser is seeking a deposit of gold ore, upon finding a vein a successful dowsing check reveals the purity of the metal. The proficiency also affects the casting of various divination spells. Some of these are blocked by stonework, thick wood, or metal deposits. A skilled dowser is able to pierce these “walls” with a successful dowsing check. Otherwise, a DM may call for the dowser to make a proficiency roll to see if any obscure or additional information is discovered.
Dowsing has two general uses. First, the character can attempt to detect natural deposits or minerals in the ground, such as water, gold, or other ores. Secondly, the character can attempt to find a specific man-made item that has been lost or hidden, such as a friend’s dagger, a buried treasure chest, or the entrance to a barrow mound. The search must be very precise—the dowser will have no luck if he sets out to find ‘the most valuable thing in this field’ or ‘the nearest magical weapon,’ but ‘Aunt Claire’s missing brooch’ or ‘the gold buried by the pirate Raserid’ are suitable searches.
Unlike the spell locate object, the dowser isn’t led or directed to the item he seeks; he has to actually pass within 10 feet of the item, or walk over the place where it is buried, and succeed in a proficiency check to detect the item. (The DM should keep this check hidden from the players so that he doesn’t give away the location with a failed check.) Dowsing can take a long time; quartering the dirt floor of a cellar 20 square feet might take 1d3 turns, while checking a field or courtyard might take 1d3 hours. Searching an area larger than 100 square yards is impractical—the dowser gets tired of concentrating.
A dowser can detect items or substances within 100 feet of the surface, although very strong or powerful sources may be detected slightly deeper. The dowser can guess the approximate depth of what he’s seeking within ±10% when he stumbles across it.
Also, using this proficiency, a dowser can locate the proper sapling with which to craft a suitable divining rod. Rare wood types that could be used in making a rod could quite possibly require a successful Dowsing check.
Dragon Lore: Dragon lore is the body of knowledge required to make hunting dragons alone more than just a suicidal endeavor. This proficiency may be used to help determine the probable lairs, dining habits, and history of such creatures (no check required). With a successful proficiency check, dragon lore allows a character to evaluate a dragon’s tracks, spoor, and shed scales to learn the dragon’s age category (plus or minus one category). It also automatically teaches a dragon hunter the basic dragon types, how to distinguish similar-looking subtypes, and the ways to avoid the most common lair traps.
Whenever a character with this skill confronts a dragon, he may be able to specifically identify the creature (discerning the different between a silver dragon and a chromium dragon for instance). In addition, providing the character makes a successful ability check, he or she recalls the creature’s specific weaknesses and natural defenses or immunities.
Dramatist: The character has a knowledge of comedy and tragic drama and the ability to write plays. This confers the ability to critique other plays as well. If the character rolls a 1 on a proficiency check when creating a new drama or comedy, the work is a masterpiece with lasting value.
Drinking: This proficiency, and its companion proficiency, Eating, is important to many humanoids, including centaurs, satyrs, and wemics. A successful check indicates that the humanoid can consume up to twice as much as normal at one sitting. This will allow the humanoid to go twice as long without drink before beginning to suffer adverse effects. If alcoholic beverages are involved, a successful check allows the humanoid to consume twice as much before adverse effects begin to bother him.
Dwarf Runes: Dwarf runes are the basic dwarven alphabet and are taught to all young dwarves as a part of their basic education. Dwarven runes are found engraved in stone and only rarely written on such transitory materials as parchment, cloth or paper. They are used to denote ownership, give warnings of nearby dangers and to record history. The tombs of dwarves who have been properly interred, as opposed to hasty burial during battle, are engraved with runes that tell the occupant’s clan, his parentage, children, and the deeds of his life. In the absence of proper interment, dwarves erect stone monoliths or engrave entire cavern walls depicting the deeds of their dead. These list the clans, the names of those who died and the nature of their deaths. The numbers of slain enemies are greatly detailed.
Dwarven runes are not a phonetic form of writing, but a conceptual one, with each rune delineating an idea or implying a range of ideas depending on placement. A single rune might convey pages of human or elf writing or be as simple as a sign saying “stairs.” It’s a matter of knowing what the rune means and how it is to be interpreted in context. Dwarven runes do not contain conjunctions or pronouns, but proper names are represented by altering an existing rune. This makes runes difficult for other races to understand, and dwarves consider themselves superior to races who cannot read even the most simple of them. All dwarves know them at no cost.
In addition to use in dwarven writing, the dwarven runic alphabet forms the basis of the magic of Runecasters. A successful check against the Dwarven Runes proficiency can be used to identify any inscribed rune.
Dwarf History: This proficiency is different from the local history proficiency, a character with this proficiency is only knowledgeable about dwarf history. This is chiefly concerned with lineages and events affecting dwarves. It deals with the founders of the clans and strongholds, and traces the descendants to the present. The battles and events of clan and stronghold are known, as well as the fates of those who have left to establish new homes or who perished while adventuring.
The extent of geographical knowledge is dependent on the campaign background. Those who have had no contact with the world above may be totally ignorant of what lies on the surface, but will have extensive knowledge of their own stronghold. Those whose relatives have established new strongholds or are members of such strongholds would have knowledge of the area between the two and some knowledge of the geography surrounding them. Even so, most dwarves, unless they live in close proximity to other races, have a very hazy idea of where the sea is, for example.
While a character with this proficiency knows dwarf history, his knowledge of the history of other races is minimal. If humans fought a great battle against each other, a dwarf who did not live with humans is not likely to have heard of it. If the battle involved dwarves he would probably know of it. If it involved dwarves from his own stronghold or clan, he would have extensive knowledge of the events leading to it and the course of the battle. As with some other dwarf proficiencies the exact extent of an individual’s knowledge is determined by his background.
The local dwarf history proficiency may be used to entertain other characters. When so engaged, he gains a +2 bonus to his Charisma while dealing with dwarves. With other races he does not gain the bonus, because dwarf stories tend to be dull, slow moving and overly concerned with who is related to whom, their places of origin, and all of the places the heroes’ ancestors founded along the way. Trying to tell a dwarf story to hostile beings is likely to incite them to violence. Orcs will not be impressed, even with the best-told dwarf tale.
Eating: Much like the drinking proficiency, this proficiency allows the humanoid to store up food. A successful check indicates that the humanoid can consume up to twice as much as normal. This allows the humanoid to go twice as long without food without suffering any adverse effects from hunger.
Elemental Resistance: Characters with this proficiency constantly call upon the elements for offense and defense, and through constant exposure, have become somewhat hardened to their effects. On a successful check, the character only takes half damage from any spell with the words fire, heat, cold, ice, or wind in the spell name. Further, if the attack allows a saving throw for half damage, a successful elemental resistance check means the character takes only one-quarter damage on a successful save.
Elephant Care: The science of prolonging elephant life is a necessity when dealing with these expensive beasts who don’t do well in captivity. This proficiency combines animal handling, animal lore, and herbalism, as they pertain to pachyderms. When a character with this proficiency makes a successful proficiency check, a tended elephant has only a 10% chance per year of contracting a disease. One with this proficiency can tend many elephants, as well as similar animals like hippopotami or rhinoceri.
Enamor: This proficiency allows a character to trick an NPC into falling in love with him or her. It is more than the skill of knowing which flowers to send or garments to wear. Enamor proficiency allows the character to study his target like a thief studies a vault, looking for weak points to exploit.
Standard use of the Enamor proficiency takes a week of constant contact for a susceptible victim, a month or more for a more difficult target. The DM can allow bonuses to the proficiency roll for a PC who is thorough and clever in his research into the victim’s psyche and who takes extra time, and can assign penalties to one who spends too little time or At the end of the contact period, the DM rolls the Enamor proficiency for the character and compares the results with the listed in the table below.
|Failure by 4+||The victim has been (accidentally) insulted during the romantic pursuit. The victim may attack the character, may arrange to have the character assaulted, may pretend to be seduced in order to cause the character some great harm later, etc.|
|Failure by 2-3||The victim is not interested in the character and may become irritated with continued pursuit.|
|Failure by 1||The victim is flattered but not convinced. The character can start over with a -2 penalty to his Enamor check, or can abandon pursuit, perhaps leaving behind some hard feelings.|
|Even roll||The victim is flattered but not convinced. The character can start over or can abandon pursuit with no hard feelings.|
|Succeed by 1||The victim is flattered but not convinced. The character can start over with a +1 bonus to his Enamor check, or can abandon pursuit with no hard feelings.|
|Succeed by 2-3||The victim is infatuated by the character but will not change ethics, goals, or loyalties.|
|Succeed by 4-6||The victim is in love with character and will help the character in any way that does not violate important ethics and loyalties.|
|Succeed by 7+||The victim is madly in love with the character and will abandon all ethics, goals, and loyalties.|
The DM, at his discretion, can additionally make a Wisdom check for the victim. If the victim makes the Wisdom check by more than the character made his Enamor proficiency check, the result are as for an Even Roll. Ironically, the more complete the character’s success, the more dangerous the situation becomes. A victim who is madly in love may do everything the character wishes, including betraying state secrets and turning traitor, but expects the character with Enamor proficiency to be just as much in love. The victim becomes dangerously jealous of potential rivals (seeing anyone remotely suitable as a potential rival) and could become murderous if he realizes he has been duped.
The relationship built by use of the Enamor proficiency need not be a romantic one. Depending on the situation, the relationship might be a friendship or the winning of someone’s loyalty away from an enemy.
Although nothing prevents good-aligned characters from learning the Enamor proficiency, the first time they ruin a life with it may be the last time they use it.
Endurance: A character with endurance proficiency is able to perform continual strenuous physical activity for twice as long as a normal character before becoming subject to the effects of fatigue and exhaustion. In those cases where extreme endurance is required, a successful proficiency check must be made. Note that this proficiency does not enable a character to extend the length of time that he can remain unaffected by a lack of food or water.
Engineering: The character is trained as a builder of both great and small things. Engineers can prepare plans for everything from simple machines (catapults, river locks, grist mills) to large buildings (fortresses, dams). A proficiency check is required only when designing something particularly complicated or unusual. An engineer must still find talented workmen to carry out his plan, but he is trained to supervise and manage their work.
An engineer is also familiar with the principles of siegecraft and can detect flaws in the defenses of a castle or similar construction. He knows how to construct and use siege weapons and machines, such as catapults, rams, and screws.
Epicure: This character is an expert in food and drink, and can tell (on a successful proficiency check) whether food has been prepared by a master chef, what ingredients were used, what year a specific wine was bottled, and what region it came from. If this character also has the cooking skill, then no proficiency check is required to prepare a masterful meal.
Escape: This nonweapon proficiency allows a character to slip out of ropes and other types of bindings.
When a character is bound or tied, the DM assigns a penalty based on the type and circumstance of the binding. The table below shows standard penalties for a variety of situations. The character with Escape proficiency can try to use his skill in order to free himself. He rolls his proficimcy and applies the appropriate penalties. If the roll is successful, he can untie himself.
Escape proficiency does not allow the character to undo locks or escape other sorts of traps. Those tasks require the open locks and find/remove traps skills.
|Rawhide, soaked and shrunken||-4|
|Fingers individually tied/taped||-4|
|Binding character takes extra time||-2|
|Binding character takes little time / attention||+2|
|Binding character is a thief||-3|
|Binding character makes a find/remove traps roll||-2|
|Character with this proficiency untying another||+4|
|Bound character attempting to untie another||-4|
Etiquette: This proficiency gives the character a basic understanding of the proper forms of behavior and address required in many different situations, especially those involving nobility and persons of rank. Thus, the character will know the correct title to use when addressing a duke, the proper steps of ceremony to greet visiting diplomats, gestures to avoid in the presence of dwarves, etc. For extremely unusual occurrences, a proficiency check must be made for the character to know the proper etiquette for the situation (an imperial visit, for example, is a sufficiently rare event).
However, having the character know what is correct and actually do what is correct are two different matters. The encounters must still be role-played by the character. Knowledge of etiquette does not give the character protection from a gaffe or faux pas; many people who know the correct thing still manage to do the exact opposite.
Evade: Once per round, on a successful check, a character with this proficiency can jump aside to avoid one ranged attack that would otherwise hit her. A magic missile or similar missile-like magic can be evaded at an additional -2 penalty on the check. If successfully, the character forfeits half of her melee or ranged attacks in the next round (to a minimum of 1 attack per round).
Excavation: The character with this proficiency has learned the techniques for the careful unearthing of a site or ruin. This process involves shoring up crumbling foundations, choosing the proper tools, and protecting exposed finds. Without the proper use of this proficiency, delicate finds may be destroyed by crude and reckless digging. Characters with the excavation proficiency can ensure that the structural details of a dig are left intact so that further visits to the excavation site can still yield useful knowledge.
Explosive Energy: This proficiency lets a devotee summon from within an amazing burst of energy. If a proficiency check is failed, the character collapses for 1d3 rounds. If successful, he adds 5 points to both his Strength and Dexterity scores for 1d6 rounds. During this time he must expend the energy in combat or otherwise exhaust himself through physical exertion. No rest is allowed, nor are soft blows or defensive action. When the duration elapses, the character must make another check or fall unconscious for 2d6 rounds, otherwise he must cease all physical activity for that period.