Beyond the Shore: To Seek After Sadness
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Kindredbond: Both dragons and humanoids can take this proficiency. It allows a dragon to initiate the bonding process between itself and a selected demihuman vassal. The dragon can then bond with any one demihuman who also has this proficiency.
The bond establishes an empathic link between a dragon and its kindred. The pair can communicate through this link in a very limited way, with the dragon being able to receive much more than the kindred. If a dragon and its kindred are cooperating in a combat situation, the bond lets them coordinate their movements, giving both a +1 attack bonus and a +1 AC bonus. The bond is especially important for dragon riders.
Knotwards: Knotwards are specially crafted ropes with a protective dweomer. This ancient art requires that the practitioner first master the Rope Use or Rope Making proficiency, as the character must be skilled at tying intricate knots and hand-weaving hemp. The proficient user imbues the rope with a minor dweomer—roughly equivalent to a wizard’s cantrip. Creating Major knotwards is beyond most users. Any time after 5th level, the character may choose to study the Knotward proficiency again, paying the proficiency cost a second time to learn to create one of the major knotwards.
A knotward begins as hemp handwoven into rope. Over days, the user chants and ties, binding protective enchantments along the length of the rope and adding additional material components to draw strength to the dweomer. It takes roughly a week to create a minor knotward, which can remain unactivated for up to a month. When finished, the user ties the rope around the trunk of the tree and makes a proficiency check. A successful proficiency check means the knotward’s dweomer is secure. This check is only made when the user attempts to activate the knotward by affixing it to a tree. Once wrapped around a tree trunk, the dweomer remains active for a number of weeks equal to the user’s level. Unless otherwise noted, a knotward that is cut or untied prior to the duration’s end loses all magic instantly.
It takes two weeks to fashion a major knotward, and the proficiency check to activate it is made at a -2 penalty. Once a major knotward has been tied around a tree the protective dweomer lasts for one month per level of its maker.
Specific Knotwards are described in . A list of known knotwards is below:
- Minor Knotwards: Easeclimb, Feycall, Halefruit, Rustlewatch, Saplingsure, Sharemark
- Major Knotwards: Evergreen, Firesafe, Illguard, Ironwood
Languages, Ancient: The character has mastered a difficult and obscure tongue, now primarily found in the writings of pedantic sages and sorcerers. The main use of the language is to read tomes of ancient secrets written by long-dead mystics. This proficiency enables the character to either read and write or speak the language (his choice).
Languages, Modern: The character has learned to speak a language of the known world. To do so, there must be a teacher available. This could be another player character, an NPC hireling, or simply a local townsman.
Law: A character with this proficiency is thoroughly familiar with the legal system of his homeland (or any other region of his choice). He knows which laws are rigorously enforced (illegal gambling may be tolerated in one region, aggressively prosecuted in another), and routine legal procedures (such as how to file suit against a debtor). Understanding nuances of the law, such as interpreting fine points of a contract, require proficiency checks.
A successful proficiency check also allows the character to conduct a strong defense when he or a companion stands accused of a crime. If the judge is fair-minded and the evidence of the crime is ambiguous, a successful check will sway the verdict in the defendant’s favor; either he receives the smallest possible sentence or fine, or is completely vindicated. However, if the evidence clearly calls for a conviction or the judge is corrupt, a successful proficiency check won’t help.
A character may spend additional slots to know the legal systems of other regions. Alternately, he may spend slots to acquire expertise in a particular area of the law, such as tax codes or property rights. Expertise assumes a broad understanding of the chosen area, requiring checks only in extreme instances.
Leadership: A character with this proficiency has a commanding manner that makes others of his own kind inclined to respond favorably. The character adds his level of experience to his Charisma score when determining reaction adjustments. This reaction bonus is only in effect when he deals with people from his homeland; the reaction bonus does not affect those of evil alignment (unless the character is of evil alignment).
Leatherworking: This proficiency enables a character to tan and treat leather and to make clothing and other leather objects. The character can make leather armor, as well as backpacks, saddlebags, saddles, and all sorts of harnesses.
Lens Crafting: Lens Crafting is a precise and demanding craft used to cut and shape glass into a lens capable of focusing spell energy or psionic power. Using this proficiency, someone may cut, shape and polish different kinds of glass into useful lenses. Some lenses may be used to focus the sun’s rays to start fires. Others may make small marks larger to those viewing them through the lens. Both these uses require the glass to be transparent and relatively free of inclusions or bubbles.
Lenses that are to be used by Cerulean wizards must be made of blue glass and shaped into ovals. They may not have any bubbles or foreign matter trapped within them as they will become the foci of potentially destructive magical power. All Cerulean wizards make their own lenses. Blue lenses take approximately one full day to construct providing the crafter has the proper tools and access to the glass.
It is also possible to use this proficiency to carve obsidian so that it becomes useful as a focus for spell energy or for psionic powers. Obsidian spheres may also be crafted using this proficiency. They must be perfectly spherical and free of inclusions to qualify as useful spell components or magical focusing devices. Wizards with the lens crafting skill could carve the small obsidian spheres used in the following spells: orb of power, energy conduit, energy storage, steal energy and obsidian death.
In order to be useful in dragon magic, however, the crafter would have to roll a 1 on his proficiency. The Dark Lens was probably carved by a master craftsman using this proficiency, but the powers that went into its making are far beyond the wizards who now reside on Athas. Even if such an artifact could be carved, its powers would not be the same.
Light Sleeping: This proficiency lets the character receive the benefits of a full night’s rest from a one-hour nap. The character must make a proficiency check before going to sleep. If the check succeeds, the character awakens in an hour, fully refreshed; he recovers the same amount of lost hit points as if he’d rested for eight hours. If the check fails, he remains asleep, awakening as usual. He may use this proficiency only once per week, regardless of whether it fails or succeeds.
This proficiency is not effective for purposes of spell memorization.
Local History: The character is a storehouse of facts about the history of a region the size of a large county or a small province. The character knows when the ruined tower on the hill was built and who built it (and what happened to him), what great heroes and villains fought and fell at the old battlefield, what great treasure is supposed to be kept in a local temple, how the mayor of the next town miraculously grew hair on his balding pate, and more.
The DM will provide information about local sites and events as the character needs to know them. Furthermore, the character can try to retell these events as entertaining stories. Once the subject is chosen, he can either make a proficiency check and, if successful, add that tale to his repertoire, or actually tell the story to other characters. If the character succeeds in entertaining them, the player need not make a proficiency roll for the character, since he has succeeded. The character can tell these stories to entertain others, granting him a +2 bonus to his Charisma for the encounter. But telling stories to hostile beings is probably not going to do any good.
Locksmithing: This is the specialized skill of making locks. It is treated like other “craft” proficiencies when checking for success. Also, thieves with this proficiency gain a 10% bonus to their lockpicking skill, because they are intimately familiar with the internal structure and working of so many locks.
Looting: This proficiency represents a knack for grabbing the best loot in the shortest amount of time. A successful proficiency check allows a character to recognize and grab the most valuable combination of items that is feasible, given the situational limits of time and space.
Lucid Buffer: A character with lucid buffer imposes a -4 penalty on an opponent’s psionic power checks to open his mind with a psionic attack. A character with the lucid buffer proficiency automatically gains a +4 to saving throws to resist an illithid’s mind blast, suggestion, charm, and ESP powers. This saving throw bonus applies only when those powers are used by an illithid, illithid-kin (ulitharids, vampiric illithids, alhoons, urophions, neothelids, or elder brains) or similarly “psionic” creatures.
Magical Energy Conservation: Only spellcasters may take this proficiency. It allows the spellcaster to conserve energy that might normally be wasted during spellcasting, collecting it for use as cantrips or orisons. Each day, a character with this proficiency may cast one cantrip or orison per spell level that they have attained at no additional cost.
Mastery: Only spellcasters may take this proficiency. A caster with this proficiency can magnify the effects of a spell he is casting. The caster must be stationary the round of casting in order to attempt a mastery check. On a successful check, the caster rolls twice for any variable effects of the spell, taking the better results. For example, if a mage cast a fireball dealing 6d6 dice of damage, he would roll 6d6 twice and take the best results. Mastery can be attempted a number of times per day equal to the caster’s character level.
Mediation: Mediation is the art of negotiation used to arbitrate between two or more warring
factions. Customarily, the mediator is not a member of either side, but a neutral third party. Ostensibly, he acts as a referee of sorts, allowing all sides to express their concerns and opinions, then acting as a negotiator between sides or as an arbitrator or judge, who is empowered to make a decision that is as fair as possible to all interested parties. It is not always possible for a third party to conduct the negotiations, however, and mediators are often diplomats from one side or another who are empowered to make deals and set limits on agreements.
Whether used to set terms for surrender, to settle land disputes or negotiate trade agreements, or to promote peace between factions, tribes or city-states, mediation allows those involved to strive for the best possible outcome for all sides.
Mediation cannot be used in lieu of the bargain proficiency.
Meditative Focus: This proficiency allows a psionicist to focus his mental energy into one discipline, causing all powers within that discipline to receive psionic power check bonuses; powers related to other disciplines receive psionic power check penalties.
The psionicist must meditate for 12 consecutive hours. He recovers PSPs normally during this meditative state. When the period ends, the character makes a proficiency check. Success means he has focused his energy into the chosen discipline. All psionic power checks for powers within that discipline receive a +2 bonus for the next 24 hours or until his PSP total is reduced to 0, whichever comes first. All other disciplines get a –1 penalty for the same period.
Mental Resistance: Through lengthy training and iron discipline, a character with this proficiency prepares himself to resist magical or psionic assaults on his mind. The character receives a +1 bonus to his saving throws against attacks of this nature, if the attack normally allows a saving throw. Generally, this includes any attack form that a character’s magical attack adjustment bonus for his Wisdom score might affect, including mind-affecting spells, charm or fear powers of monsters, and telepathic sciences or devotions that allow the subject a saving throw.
Mental Warmth: This proficiency may only be taken by spellcasters. By mentally tracing the secret runes of conception, the caster may attempt to regain a previously cast spell without the normally required 8 hours of sleep. Within the same day that a spell has been cast, the caster can spend 1 full round and make a proficiency check in an effort to regain it. The check suffers a negative modifier equal to the spell level (for example, recovering a 2nd level spell has a -2 modifier). On a successful check, the caster can rememorize the chosen spell without resting. This proficiency will only restore spells that were previously memorized, and does not allow memorizing a new spell in the regained slot. Each day, the caster can attempt to use this ability a number of times equal to one-half his character level, rounding up.
Metalworking: Characters with this proficiency can work artistically in silver, copper, gold, tin, brass, and other soft metals. They produce the beautiful and useful metal items common to any bazaar: oil lamps, coffee pots, vases, trays, and the like. A successful proficiency check results in a useful item of high quality. Failure may indicate that a craftsman has fashioned something ugly and unsuited for sale. More often (and for PCs), failure means that an item still looks pleasing, but is somehow flawed or fragile, and fails when put to the test. (For example, the pot leaks, a handle breaks, and so forth.)
Characters with an artistic ability proficiency that relates to metalworking gain a +1 bonus. While metalworking does allow characters to fashion iron or steel with some deftness, it does not grant them the ability to make effective weapons or armor. Metalworkers may attempt to repair nonmagical armor that’s made of metal, but a failed proficiency check results in the destruction of the armor. (Characters seeking armor repair should visit a metalworker only as a last resort; armorers are far better suited to the task.)
Mining: A character with mining proficiency is needed to site and supervise the operations of any mine. First, the character can attempt to determine what types of ores or gems can be found in a given area. To do this, he must spend at least a week searching a four-square-mile area. The DM may rule that more area must be searched to find anything of value and may thus increase the amount of time required. At the end of the search, the character can say what is likely to be found in this area. After this, the character can site the mine. On a successful proficiency check (made secretly by the DM), the character has found a good site to begin mining for any minerals that may be in the area. The check does not guarantee a successful mine, only that a particular site is the best choice in a given area. The DM must determine what minerals, if any, are to be found in the region of the mine. On a failed check, the character only thinks he has found a good site. Much effort is spent before the character is proved wrong, of course.
Once the mine is in operation, a character with mining proficiency must remain on site to supervise all work. Although this is a steady job, most player characters will find it better to hire an NPC for this purpose.
Mountaineering: A character with this proficiency can make difficult and dangerous climbs up steep slopes and cliffs with the aid of spikes, ropes, etc. If a character with mountaineering proficiency leads a party, placing the pitons (spikes) and guiding the others, all in the party can gain the benefit of his knowledge. A mountaineer can guide a party up a cliff face it could not otherwise climb. A character with this proficiency gains a 10% bonus per proficiency slot spent to his chance to climb any surface. Note that mountaineering is not the same as the thief’s climbing ability, since the latter does not require aids of any sort.
Musical Instrument: The character can play a specific musical instrument. An additional instrument can be added for every extra slot devoted to this proficiency. The character plays quite well, and no proficiency check is normally required. The DM may direct the character to make a proficiency check in what he feels are extraordinary circumstances.
A character may become proficient in a large group of musical instruments by spending more slots on this proficiency. See Musical Instruments for specific group costs.
Natural Fighting: This proficiency allows humanoids with natural weaponry (claws, fangs, tails, etc.) or a character fighting unarmed, a +1 damage bonus on all natural weapon attacks. In addition, they receive a free natural attack beyond normal attacks they are allowed. A successful proficiency check must be made at the beginning of combat to gain the benefits of this skill. Failure indicates that the benefits cannot be used for the duration of the battle.
Naval Combat: Characters who possess this skill are able to direct the fire of ship-mounted siege engines and respond quickly to the rapidly changing demands of ship-to-ship combat. In addition to the many uses a thorough knowledge of this skill grants the character in any given situation, it has specific uses.
When the character assumes command of a shipboard weapon like a catapult or ballista, he should make a proficiency check. If the check passes, the accuracy of that weapon substantially improves. The weapon always makes attack rolls using the Warrior table, no matter what class of character is operating it. The weapon also receives an additional +2 bonus applied to the attack roll.
If the character is called upon to lead a boarding party or to repel such a force for his own ship, he is entitled to make a proficiency check whenever his side is called upon to make a Morale check. If he passes the check, the morale of his forces increases by 2 points.
*Navigation: *The character has learned the arts of navigating by the stars, studying currents, and watching for telltale signs of land, reefs, and hidden danger. This is not particularly useful on land. At sea, a successful proficiency check by the navigator reduces the chance of getting lost by 20 percent.
Navigation, Underground: A character with this proficiency can determine direction underground and the shortest route to the surface. By careful analysis of air currents and contents, a character can even determine whether there are any pockets of poisonous gas in the air. A successful proficiency check is required to use the proficiency.
Necrology: A character with this skill is well versed in the lore of undead creatures. This proficiency may be used to help determine the probable lairs, dining habits, and history of such creatures (no check required). Whenever a character with this skill confronts an undead, he may be able to specifically identify the creature (discerning the different between a ghoul and a ghast 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.
Netherworld Knowledge: With this proficiency, a character learns about the cosmology and organization of the multiverse, focusing primarily on the ultimate destination of spirits after death. In addition, the character learns about the behavior of the dangerous creatures that inhabit the nether regions, including such fiends as tanar’ri and baatezu. As with necrology (which applies exclusively to undead), netherworld knowledge can reveal the specific weaknesses and natural immunities of beings from the outer planes. The proficiency can also be used to classify the exact type of extraplanar creature encountered.
Night Vision: This proficiency improves a character’s ability to see in low-light conditions. It is not equal to infravision but is still useful.
To use his Night Vision, the character must spend five rounds in the type of light he will be moving or waiting in. Until he has spent that amount of time in the dark, this proficiency just does not work. (However, the character can be doing other things while letting his eyes adjust, so long as these other tasks do not expose him to varying light conditions.)
Once his eyes have adjusted, the character can use his Night Vision at any time. Whenever he looks at something, he must make Night Vision proficiency check. With a successful check, the character’s Visibility Ranges (from the Player’s Handbook, Chapter 13) are doubled in the following conditions: Fog (dense or blizzard), Fog (moderate), Night (full moon), Night (no moon), Twilight. Thus, a character under a full moon at night would be able to spot movement at 200 feet rather than at 100 feet.
If the character with this proficiency is exposed to a change in illurnination, such as by having a fireball go off within 500 feet or by having a torch or lamp waved in his face, his eyes are dazzled. His Night Vision is gone and cannot be regained until the character has again spent five rounds letting his eyes adjust.
Numeracy: A character with the numeracy proficiency is well-versed in numbers and numerical computations, including accounting, mathematics, and other processes requiring recorded numbers. Balancing the books, paying the troops, and figuring total income (as well as arguing with the tax collector) all figure in numeracy. A character without this skill will still be able to perform simple mathematical actions, but their figures may go awry on more complex formula.
Numerology: Like numeracy, numerology deals with numbers, but from their mystic and magical side. Each number has its own presence and power, and an individuals birth hour or favorite number is as revealing as other methods of divination as to his or her future. The numerology proficiency is often used to determine the best time for certain actions, ceremonies, or pronouncements, and in its most skilled level (and the most exact data) can calculate the locations of doorways to other planes.
Observation: This proficiency represents a character’s exceptionally acute powers of observation. DMs may ask for checks (or roll them secretly) whenever there is something slightly out of the ordinary. Characters with this proficiency have their chances of finding secret doors increased to 2 in 6, and concealed doors to 3 in 6. This proficiency covers all the senses.
Omen Reading: There are hundreds of myths and superstitions about the art of divination, or predicting the future through the reading of signs or indications. A character with this proficiency is skilled in a form of divination and knows the proper ceremonies and observances to use in order to obtain a valid reading. He is also familiar with the various messages or indications that characterize a form of divination. Omen readers use dozens of different methods for their auguries, including astrology, numerology, reading palms, examining animal entrails, casting bones, dice, or runes, and burning incense to observe the smoke, just to name a few. The exact nature of the character’s expertise is up to the player.
To use this proficiency, the omen reader phrases a general question about a course of action, such as “Is this a good day to start our journey?,” “Should we try to track the orcs to their lair, or wait for their next raid?,” or “When will the dragon return?” The DM then makes a proficiency check in secret; if the character fails, the DM can tell him that the signs were inconclusive, or make up a false answer for a spectacular failure (a natural 20 on the check, for instance). If the omen reader succeeds, the DM can give the character a vague answer based on his assessment of the situation. An omen is usually good, bad, or inconclusive, although an answer of “a day or two” or “proceed, but with caution” is acceptable as well. Omens aren’t guaranteed; if a party ignores a bad omen, they might succeed in their task anyway. An omen is nothing more than the DM’s best guess about a course of action.
Performing the ceremony of reading an omen requires an hour or more. Special tools or supplies, such as runesticks, may be necessary depending on the character’s favored form of omen reading. Some superstitious or primitive cultures may place a great deal of weight on omen reading, and a skilled diviner may be held in high regard by these people.
Oratory: Through inspiring speech and sheer force of personality, a character with this proficiency can influence the opinion of a crowd. Any size crowd may be influenced, so long as they speak the same language as the orator, and can see and hear him clearly.
To use this proficiency, the orator must address the crowd on one specific topic. For instance, he may attempt to persuade them to rise up against a local despot, leave town because of an impending danger (a monster on the outskirts of town, an advancing evil army), or help search for a missing child.
Before the orator speaks, the DM must determine the size of the crowd, their level, and their general attitude toward the orator and the topic he’s addressing. For small crowds—say, less than five members—determine levels and attitudes individually. Break larger crowds into groups; decide an average level and attitude for each group. Use Table 59 in Chapter 11 of the DMG to access attitudes about the topic; the crowd may be Friendly, Indifferent, Cautious, Threatened, or Hostile.
Before any rolls are made, or the orator begins speaking, the player tells the DM if the orator will be attempting to adjust the crowd’s opinion one level up or down on Table 59. The orator then speaks to the crowd; he must speak uninterrupted for at least 10 rounds.
When the orator finishes speaking, roll the Oratory proficiency check. If the check succeeds, make an Intelligence check for each individual in a small crowd, or for each small group in a large crowd. Modify these rolls by a –1 penalty for each 1 by which the orator made the Oratory check. For instance, if the Orator needed a 10 to succeed and rolled a 5, each Intelligence check takes a –5 penalty.
Individuals or small groups who fail their throws have their opinions about the topic adjusted one level on Table 59 in the DMG. An Indifferent opinion may become Friendly or Cautious, a Cautious opinion may become Indifferent or Threatening. However, all audience members who fail their rolls have their opinions adjusted the same way. The opinions of those who succeed in their rolls remain unchanged by the character’s Oratory; however, practically speaking, peer pressure can produce the same results. The DM may override any die roll that produces inappropriate results; for example, an NPC in the crowd who has a long-standing feud with the orator may be unswayed, regardless of the orator’s eloquence.
A character may use this proficiency only once on a given crowd. Should the composition of the crowd change to include many new members, the character may make another oratory attempt, providing he speaks on a different topic.
Note that this proficiency elicits only modest changes in attitude. If a crowd feels Indifferent towards a despot, an orator may be able to stir up some ambiguous feelings about him, but he won’t be able to convince them to immediately storm the despot’s castle. If the crowd is suspicious of a particular religion, the orator may persuade them to be more tolerant, but he shouldn’t expect any spontaneous conversions.
Organic Preservation: Organic materials come from plants and animals, and have a habit of decomposing once the life process has been interrupted. A character with this proficiency is experienced in using materials and processes that can prolong the usefulness of these organic substances. Whether it is properly wrapping and sealing food so that it won’t spoil, using a certain tree sap to preserve a spell component, or pickling a baby cockatrice in a specimen jar, this character knows how to keep things from rotting. The amount of time for which these things may be preserved varies and should be determined by the DM. The shelf-life of wrapped and preserved materials may be extended up to three times as long, whereas something preserved in chemicals may be kept indefinitely.
Orienteering: This is the ability to keep one’s bearings on roadless, trackless land. Proficient characters will not get lost as long as they can either see the sky or have the use of a compass. This means that they can maintain track of a given direction, keeping themselves and their companions traveling in a straight line.
Characters who possess a map and can track their direction of travel can arrive at specific points—towns, ferry crossings, bridges, monuments, wells, springs, etc., without proficiency checks.
If the map is slightly erroneous, or lacking in crucial details, the characters will have to make successful proficiency checks to accurately arrive at a specific point. This check can be modified for increased difficulty based on poor weather or major problems with the map.
Order of the Arrow: You gain limited spellcasting ability (see Table: Order Spells per Day). Your caster level is equal to your character level and you must prepare your spells from the list below.
Special: The base cost of this proficiency is two slots (1 weapon and 1 non-weapon). You start with an effective caster level of 1 when you first take the proficiency, and your caster level increases by 1 each time you gain an experience level. In order to maintain this advancement, you must spend 1 additional proficiency slot (weapon or non-weapon) on Order of the Arrow for every 3 levels of advancement. Failure to do so stops the advancement until sufficient slots have been spent to make up the shortfall.
Order of the Arrow Spell List:
- 1st: Magic Arrow, Fire Arrow, Charged Arrow, Inner Sight
- 2nd: Poison Arrow, Power Strike, Cold Arrow
- 3rd: Caustic Arrow, Exploding Arrow, Protection from Normal Missiles
- 4th: Guided Arrow, Impale, Plague Arrow
- 5th: Fist of Fury, Valkyrie
- 6th: Lightning Fury, Lightning Strike
Order of the Light: You gain limited spellcasting ability (see Table: Order Spells per Day). Your caster level is equal to your character level and you must prepare your spells from the list below.
Special: The base cost of this proficiency is two slots (1 weapon and 1 non-weapon). You start with an effective caster level of 1 when you first take the proficiency, and your caster level increases by 1 each time you gain an experience level. In order to maintain this advancement, you must spend 1 additional proficiency slot (weapon or non-weapon) on Order of the Light for every 3 levels of advancement. Failure to do so stops the advancement until sufficient slots have been spent to make up the shortfall.
Order of the Light Spell List:
- 1st: Shepherd, Bestow, Blessed Hammer, Holy Shield
- 2nd: Holy Bolt, Sacrifice, Vengeance
- 3rd: Lesser Aura, Consecrated Bolt, Bless Weapon
- 4th: Glorious Light, Redemption
- 5th: Greater Aura, Consecrate Weapon
- 6th: Conversion, Heavenly Fist, Sentinel, True Seeing
Table: Order Spells per Day