Beyond the Shore: To Seek After Sadness
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Papermaking: A character with this skill knows how to manufacture paper. This can be an invaluable skill for a wizard, since paper may be fairly rare in many campaign settings. Rag pulp, bark, linen, hemp, and wood were all used to make paper in medieval times. The material is pounded or pressed flat and treated with various chemical compounds to bind and strengthen it. At the DM’s option, the character may also be familiar with the manufacture of parchment and vellum. Parchment is finely-scraped animal skin, treated with lime and other chemicals; vellum is unusually supple and smooth parchment taken from very young animals.
A wizard who makes his own paper can reduce the costs of manufacturing a spell book by 50%, although this requires one to two weeks of time and a suitable work area. Normally, a traveling spell book costs 100 gp per page, and a standard spell book costs 50 gp per page. If the wizard also knows the bookbinding nonweapon proficiency and binds the volume himself, the cost of the spell book is reduced by 75% altogether.
Persuasion: This proficiency enables the character to make a compelling argument to convince a subject NPC character to see things his way, respond more favorably, or comply with a request. The character engages the NPC in conversation for at least 10 rounds (meaning that the subject must be willing to talk with the character in the first place); subjects whose attitudes are threatening or hostile aren’t affected by this proficiency.
A successful proficiency check means that the subject’s reaction is modified by +2 in favor of the character ( see Table 59). This bonus is not cumulative with any other reaction modifiers, such as those derived from Charisma; other reaction modifiers don’t apply. For every additional slot a character spends on this proficiency, he boosts the reaction modifier by +1 (for example, spending two slots on this proficiency gives a +3 reaction bonus).
Pest Control: This proficiency is used to keep dwarf strongholds free of pests like rats, carrion crawlers, jermalaines, kobolds, and other small creatures. Similar to the set snares proficiency, it is concerned with catching underground pests and does not use snares. Traps are set to trigger metal cages, drop nets, or iron doors that shut off individual tunnel sections. Spring traps or small deadfalls may be rigged (damage 1d6 maximum) using this proficiency. There is no -4 modifier when using pest control to trap larger creatures.
Only rogue characters may use this proficiency to rig larger traps suitable for human or orc sized creatures. These traps may include crossbows, larger deadfalls, and spiked springboards.
A character with this proficiency does not have the ability to make the items required for these devices, he can only set the traps and their triggers.
A proficiency check must be rolled when the trap is set. A failed proficiency check means that the trap will fail to operate. It may not have been set properly, was poorly concealed, or it was too small or too large for the creature to trigger.
Setting a trap takes one hour and the character must have the proper equipment and materials with him.
Characters with the animal lore proficiency gain a +2 bonus when attempting to set traps to catch animal pests.
Pharmacy: This skill allows the character to preserve medicinal herbs and chemicals and prepare medicines from both natural and inorganic ingredients. On a successful pharmacy check, the pharmacist can create a medicine to cure certain ailments (the DM should assign a + 3 to – 10 modifier, depending on the severity and rarity of the disease) using herbs and chemicals. A failed check either does nothing or has nonlethal side effects (DM choice), but a check of 20 results in poisoning.
Philosophy: This confers knowledge of current philosophies as well as an understanding of older or more conservative modes of thought. This includes questions of morality and the state of human existence; theories of government; thoughts on the proper forms of art, music, and drama; and scientific inquiry, as well as mathematics and aesthetics. Successful use of this proficiency makes characters known for wisdom and thoughtfulness by those who hear them speak, and might give them insight into riddles, puzzles, or problems which occur during the game.
Planar Direction Sense: Since standard compass directions, as most natives of the material plane know them, don’t exist on many planes, this proficiency allows another method of judging direction. Planar direction sense enables the character to utilize landmarks and other benchmarks to keep from getting list. While the character may not know which direction is north, he does know how to get back to a city, mountain, portal, or other landmark.
Planar Sense: Similar to the skill of weather sense, this proficiency allows a character to predict the imminent conditions on any plane. Random changes in air breathability, gravity, ground stability, temperature chance, and so on can be predicted up to an hour before they occur.
This proficiency is of great use on chaotic planes, but is rarely helpful on the unchanging planes of law.
Planar Survival: This proficiency encompasses a number of different proficiencies, one specific to each plane. No characters will ever learn them all, since there are just too many different environments for a person to fully understand them all.
A character with this proficiency knows the general characteristics of a particular plane. Moreover, when on the plane, the character can determine whether something is safe or not. This proficiency allows a character to check to see whether a plant is edible, the water safe to drink, or if the gravity is going to change over the next ridge. Only constant and established dangers can be avoided.
Planar survival does not give the character unlimited knowledge about everything she comes across. A plane is just too big for someone to know everything about it, so the DM is free to throw plenty of surprises at a character with this skill. Planar survival doesn’t grant any knowledge about the denizens of a plane, only the environment.
Planes Lore: This proficiency provides its user with information concerning other planes. The lore which is known concerns the Gray, the Black, the Elemental planes, and the various outer planes. With a successful proficiency check, characters know some germane fact about all these planes. If the character is intimately concerned with that plane (such as Necromancers with the Gray or sha’ir with the elemental planes), he gains a +2 bonus on the check. Until the character has actually interacted with the plane in some form, the chances to know information concerning them remain the same.
Interaction raises the chance of specific knowledge about the plane with which the character interacted by +1. Without this proficiency, characters know nothing of these realms.
Planetology: The planetology proficiency gives the character knowledge of the relationship between living organisms and their environments on a planet-wide scale. Rather than focusing on small-scale interrelationships, such as how the soil type, amount of available moisture and pollination combine to produce a grove of trees or a field of grass, planetology studies how all things affect one another. Planetologists would study how the elements that produced the trees or grass also produced other plant life, what they all had in common, and how differences in any of the elements produced variants in the type of growth the land could support. Further, they would study what insects and animals were likely to live in any given terrain and how each part contributed to the continuing cycle of growth, death, decay and regrowth. Then they would consider the various problems faced by the ecosystem — the excessive heat, lack of moisture, and effects of defiling magic in determining how best to preserve the planet and keep it from further harm.
The planetology proficiency grants a little bit of knowledge about a great number of things. In some cases, knowledge of the usual structure of land masses might give the character a clue as to which direction water might be found, while familiarity with various ecosystems might suggest what sort of predator could be encountered in various terrain types. In any situation involving knowledge that the proficiency might grant, the DM should make the check secretly. On a roll of 20, the character remembers some wildly inaccurate information (something that could cause a serious inconvenience if acted upon, but nothing truly deadly), on a failed check, no knowledge is gained. On a successful check, some small bit of information is known or can be remembered, on a 1, the character remembers some very pertinent piece of information which may be quite helpful. The information to be gained is up to the DM.
Planology: This proficiency allows a character to examine planar events and predict the future, using a device called a celestial etheroscope. It is similar to the astrology proficiency, but the results are more general.
By observing carious planar events through an etheroscope, a character can predict the tides of fortune on a plane. Five different results are possible:
|1||Catastrophe. Something horrible is going to happen on the plane in question.|
|2-5||Bad Luck. All signs point to negative karma on the plane in question. Minor accidents happen in the lives of the natives and visitors are at -1 on all die rolls.|
|6-15||Status Quo. Things aren’t going to change for a while.|
|16-19||Good Fotune. The plane is blessed with positive energy. Good things happen for the natives and visitors receive a +1 bonus on all die rolls.|
|20||Providence. Something extremely wonderful is going to happen on the plane.|
The table allows the DM to determine random occurences, although most often the DM should choose an appropriate result based on his foreknowledge of upcoming adventures. Good or bad luck has nothing to do with alignment; some wonderful development for the yugoloths of Gehenna may mean something terrible for the forces of good everywhere else. Phases of fortune can last as long as the DM wishes, but not more than one week.
Determining the current tides of fortune on a plane requires a regular proficiency check. The check has a cumulative -1 penalty for each day into the future the character attempts to look. Failed checks at any time reveal inaccurate results or no result at all. Failure also denies any further attempts for that time period.
Poetry: This proficiency includes the skills necessary to recite poetry and judge its quality. It also indicates that a character has a repertoire of poems memorized for recital at any time. No check is required for a normal recital. If the character can read and write, original poems can be written. A successful check indicates that the poem is of above average quality.
Poison Use: This proficiency allows the character to identify poisonous materials and concoct poisons. Each day spend gathering herbs, fungi, and other less savory ingredients from wild or dungeon environments allows the character to mix one dose of poison. Making a dose of poison requires a successful check, with failure resulting in wasted time and materials. The poison can be used to coat a weapon, inflicting 1d6 points of damage per level of the character (max 10d6) on a successful hit (save vs. poison for half damage). Applying the poison to a weapon takes 1 round; it remains active for 5 rounds (or until a successful hit is made).
An unused dose of poison loses its efficacy after 1 day. The character can attempt to extend the life of the poison by taking a -1 penalty on the proficiency check for each additional day. The character can also choose to make weaker poisons. For each 1d6 less damage the poison would inflict, he reduces the check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0).
Portal Feel: Sometimes a planewalker needs to know what’s on the other side of a portal before he steps through. This proficiency also allows a character a chance to determine the portal’s exit point. This proficiency is used in two ways.
First, a successful check grants a general feel for safety. By intuition and observation, the character determines whether a given portal leads into a setting or situation of direct and immediate harm. Obviously, this is open to DM interpretation.
A second successful check at a -2 penalty divines the location of the other end of a gate or portal. The planewalker may not learn the exact site or position, but at the very least the character will learn the destination plane. This proficiency does not tell the character about any gate keys required to open the portal.
Pottery: A character with this proficiency can create any type of clay vessel or container commonly used in the campaign world. The character requires a wheel and a kiln, as well as a supply of clay and glaze. The character can generally create two small- or medium-sized items or one large-sized item per day. The pieces of pottery must then be fired in the kiln for an additional day.
The raw materials involved cost 3 cp to make a small item, 5 cp to make a medium-sized item, and 1 sp to make a large item.
Prayer: A character with this proficiency can call upon the power of their faith to heal himself or his allies. After 1 round of undisturbed prayer, a successful check allows the character to cure 1d4 points of damage to a single creature. This healing can be applied to multiple targets by taking a -2 penalty on the check for each creature beyond the first to be cured, with a single check applying to all creatures to be affected. Once this ability has been used successfully, it cannot be attempted again for 8 hours.
In addition, the prayer proficiency can be used to call on a number of the Petty Gods worshiped in the Realms. Characters, of any class, may pray to a petty god (even if they worship a major deity), invoking their blessings by making a Prayer proficiency check. This use of the Prayer proficiency does not count against the limit of using prayer only once every 8 hours, but only works in those situations or areas over which the petty god holds sway (subject to DM discretion).
Priests with the Prayer proficiency may also use it in times of duress to pray for additional spells beyond his normal allotment (see Praying for Power for details).
Prestidigitation: This is the art of street magic or sleight of hand, the trade of the magician. The character is skilled at concealing or manipulating small items and familiar with such tricks as pulling a coin from a child’s ear, separating two joined rings, or causing a pigeon or rabbit to vanish. For the most part, nothing more than manual dexterity and showmanship are required, and any kind of character may learn prestidigitation.
While true wizards have little time for these parlor tricks, many apprentices practice with their cantrips by duplicating these feats. A wizard with a cantrip spell handy can really manipulate a small object by briefly levitating it, teleport something small from one hand to the other, or use a tiny dimensional pocket to make an object disappear or seem to contain something it shouldn’t.
There is no particular game effect for prestidigitation, although it is a form of entertainment and can earn a wizard his dinner with a good performance, or possibly distract or fool an NPC under very limited circumstances. For example, a wizard trying to conceal a wand or precious gem from a robber searching him at knifepoint might be able to hide the item with a successful proficiency check.
Prospecting: This proficiency grants knowledge in the practice of searching for valuable metals and minerals. There are many techniques available, and the character is fairly familiar with those practiced by his culture (or the culture wherein he was taught prospecting). This includes using metal or wood pans and fine meshes to sift through riverbeds and dirt. A successful check performed on a daily or weekly basis indicates that something of worth was found, though usually
such results yield only small gains at most.
Psionic Detection: The psionic detection proficiency works much as the metapsionic devotion psionic sense, but is much less powerful. With this proficiency, a character uses his latent psionic ability to detect the expenditure of psionic strength points (PSPs) around him.
When employing this proficiency, a character must clear his mind and concentrate, taking at least one full round to prepare. A successful check allows the character to detect the expenditure of any PSPs within 50 yards of his location, regardless of intervening material objects. A character can maintain use of the proficiency for successive rounds, but during that time he cannot move or perform any other action. The proficiency check, however, must succeed on the round the PSPs are expended or the character detects nothing.
Psionic detection proficiency can only inform a character that PSPs were expended within 50 yards, telling nothing more. The detecter cannot determine the number of PSPs, their source, the powers or devotions drawn upon, or the purpose of the expenditure (e.g., to initialize a power or to maintain one). This proficiency is not cumulative with other detection techniques.
A player whose character has psionic detection proficiency should ensure that the DM knows. Often the DM will secretly roll the proficiency and inform the player of results.
Psionic Mimicry: This proficiency is very useful to spellcasters who wish their spell effects to appear as the result of psionic activity rather than magic. Using it, the spellcaster utilizes gestures, body language and facial expression to indicate that he is engaged in psionic pursuits. Just before casting a spell, the user of psionic mimicry might, for instance, make a gesture most people associate with a psionic discipline that has an effect similar to the spell he is casting. If there is no such gesture, putting both hands to the head as if focusing one’s mental faculties is also possible. Though anyone could try to do this, those skilled in the proficiency have actually studied the various gestures and moves of psionicists and their mimicry is much more skillful and believable.
Psionic mimicry can be used in lieu of somatic concealment or in conjunction with it. If used together, the two proficiencies makes it almost impossible for anyone to distinguish a spell’s effects from some sort of psionics. Further, those with the psionic mimicry proficiency have a chance equal to their proficiency skill -2 to correctly identify what sort of psionic power a person is using by observing that psionic’s body language for one round.
Psychology: The character is familiar with the twistings and turnings of the mind and can use this knowledge to heal or harm other people. A character with this proficiency can treat madness and phobias or help modify psychopathic or sociopathic behavior. This is not an automatic cure-all, and copious amounts of time would be necessary to help someone who is deeply insane. Each case should be determined by the DM based on the time spent and the Intelligence of the person undergoing treatment. It is not uncommon for a patient to fool his psychologist by pretending to be cured.
This skill has also been used to those of lesser moral virtue to attempt to brainwash victims, or as an aid to torture or interrogation. Good or neutral characters who use this proficiency in such a manner might find their alignment changed.
This can also be used to aid characters who are under the influence of a fear or charm effect. At the DM’s discretion, a successful proficiency check allows the affected character to make an additional saving throw. If no saving throw is normally allowed, then the affected character may save at a -2 penalty. This can be attempted only once per character in a given situation.
Lastly, a character with this proficiency is a scholar of human (or humanoid) motivations and behavior. If he knows a specific individual, the character can make a proficiency check to guess that individual’s motives in any given situation or to sense whether that person is being dishonest or deceptive. He also has a chance (equal to half his normal proficiency score) of applying the same ability to a stranger. This proficiency also grants a +1 bonus to any proficiency where deception might be involved (i.e. disguise, fast-talking, story telling, etc.)
Quick Study: This proficiency allows a character to temporarily learn enough about a skill, a job, or an area of scholarship to pass as someone who belongs to a related profession. When using this proficiency, the character spends one week (eight hours a day) studying the skill she wishes to learn. At the end of the week, the character has a working knowledge of the field studied. Over the next several days, she will be able to pass as a practitioner of that skill, though not as an expert.
When she has completed his study and must utilize the skill, the character makes a normal proficiency check with an additional -3 penalty. One week after the character has completed her study, she suffers a -2 penalty because she has forgotten some details of the skill. Each week thereafter, she takes another cumulative -2 penalty.
This proficiency will not allow a character to demonstrate an expert level of ability with the skill being simulated. If the character undertakes a task that, in the DMs estimation, calls for an especially baoad or deep knowledge of the subject, the DM can decide that the character cannot perform the task. The character can then make and Intelligence check; success means that she realizes that she’s in over her head and cannot succeed.
It is not possible to spend extra proficiency slots on Quick Study to improve the roll. However, it is possible to buy the proficiency more than once in order to study two skills per mission.
Quick Tongue: This proficiency is designed for the mage or priest who wants to cast a spell just a little faster than usual. A character with this proficiency is able to speak quickly when required and may attempt to do so during spellcasting. When preparing to cast any spell, a character who makes a successful proficiency check can reduce the casting time of the spell by 2 (to a minimum of 1). A failed check means that the character has a 25% chance of mispronouncing the spell in haste, causing the attempted spell to be flubbed and lost.
Reading Lips: The character can understand the speech of those he can see but not hear. When this proficiency is chosen, the player must specify what language the character can lip read (it must be a language the character can already speak). To use the proficiency, the character must be within 30 feet of the speaker and be able to see him speak. A proficiency check is made. If the check fails, nothing is learned. If the check is successful, 70% of the conversation is understood. Since certain sounds are impossible to differentiate, the understanding of a lip-read conversation is never better than this.
*Reading/Writing: *The character can read and write a modern language he can speak, provided there is someone available to teach the character (another PC, a hireling, or an NPC). This proficiency does not enable the character to learn ancient languages (see Languages, Ancient).
Read Qualith: As described in The Illithiad, mind flayers use a system of writing based on texture and touch called qualith. To the eye, qualith resembles four parallel striated lines. To the non-illithid, the writing is fiendishly hard to grasp; full meaning comes only to those able to follow each of the four lines with a tentacle or other appendage simultaneously.
Each line modifies the meaning of the other lines; the complete meaning is clear only in the gestalt presented by all four lines together.
Psionicists believe that to kill the illithids, they must understand the illithids. Thus, some labor to understand the illithid “alphabet.” Those with the read qualith proficiency can run four fingers along the striated lines to attempt to understand the message contained therein. A successful proficiency check allows a basic understanding of a passage or distinct message; fine inferences and nuances cannot be appreciated by non-illithids. Each separate message or passage requires an additional proficiency check to decipher.
Recharge: Tuned to the flow of magic, this proficiency allows a caster to utilize the energy of any memorized 1st-level spell to renew the charges of any charged item. On a successful check, the item regains full charges. The item’s charge capacity is reduced by 10% of the original value every time this ability is used. Thus an item with 50 charges maximum can be recharged to 45 charges, and so on (round fractions down). On an unsuccessful check, no new charges are added to the item, but its charge capacity is still reduced. Regardless of the success or failure of the check, one 1st-level spell of the caster’s choice is lost from memory.
Recharging an item is exhausting and can only be attempted once per day.
Rejuvenation: This proficiency allows a psionicist to recover PSPs more quickly than is usual by entering a rejuvenating trance. This state of deep concentration requires a successful proficiency check. For every hour a hero maintains this trance (and makes the check), he regains PSPs at twice the usual rate (one-quarter of his total instead of one-eighth). He can’t expend PSPs while in this trance, and his state is much like deep sleep.
Relic Dating: This proficiency proves useful whenever the character comes upon an object of questionable age. He can use this skill to gain an educated guess as to when the item was made. There is no roll necessary for those objects fashioned in the last 20 years (the age of these will be obvious to the character), unless it has been altered through nonmagical means to appear much older; in that case, a successful proficiency check reveals the fraud. This proficiency can be combined with ancient history to give more accurate information as to the past of a relic.
Religion: Characters with religion proficiency know the common beliefs and cults of their homeland and the major faiths of neighboring regions. Ordinary information (type of religious symbol used, basic attitude of the faith, etc.) of any religion is automatically known by the character. Special information, such as how the clergy is organized or the significance of particular holy days, requires a proficiency check.
Additional proficiencies spent on religion enable the character either to expand his general knowledge into more distant regions (using the guidelines above) or to gain precise information about a single faith. If the latter is chosen, the character is no longer required to make a proficiency check when answering questions about that religion. Such expert knowledge is highly useful to priest characters when dealing with their own and rival faiths.
Research: A wizard with this skill is well-versed in the theory and application of spell research. He is familiar with the use of libraries, laboratories, and other resources, and also has a good grasp of the fundamental processes of experimentation and problem-solving. With a successful proficiency check, the character gains a +5% bonus to his success roll when researching a new spell and only requires one-half the usual amount of time to perform spell research or determine the process necessary to manufacture a particular magical item. However, the amount of money spent on research remains the same because the wizard is still expending the same amount of books and supplies.
Riding, Airborne: The character is trained in handling a flying mount. The particular creature must be chosen when the proficiency is chosen. Additional proficiency slots can be used to learn how to handle other types of mounts. Unlike land-based riding, a character must have this proficiency (or ride with someone who does) to handle a flying mount. In addition, a proficient character can do the following:
- Leap onto the saddle of the creature (when it is standing on the ground) and spur it airborne as a single action. This requires no proficiency check.
- Leap from the back of the mount and drop 10 feet to the ground or onto the back of another mount (land-based or flying). Those with only light encumbrance can drop to the ground without a proficiency check. In all other situations, a proficiency check is required. A failed roll means the character takes normal falling damage (for falling flat on his face) or misses his target (perhaps taking large amounts of damage as a result). A character who is dropping to the ground can attempt an immediate melee attack, if his proficiency check is made with a -4 penalty to the ability roll. Failure has the consequences given above.
- Spur his mount to greater speeds on a successful check, adding 1d4 to the movement rate of the mount. This speed can be maintained for four consecutive rounds. If the check fails, an attempt can be made again the next round. If two checks fail, no attempt can be made for a full turn. After the rounds of increased speed, its movement drops to 2/3 its normal rate and its Maneuverability Class (see Glossary) becomes one class worse. These conditions last until the mount lands and is allowed to rest for at least one hour.
- The rider can guide the mount with his knees and feet, keeping his hands free. A proficiency check is made only after the character suffers damage. If the check is failed, the character is knocked from the saddle. A second check is allowed to see if the character manages to catch himself (thus hanging from the side by one hand or in some equally perilous position). If this fails, the rider falls. Of course a rider can strap himself into the saddle, although this could be a disadvantage if his mount is slain and plummets toward the ground.
Riding, Land-Based: Those skilled in land riding are proficient in the art of riding and handling horses or other types of ground mounts. When the proficiency slot is filled, the character must declare which type of mount he is proficient in. Possibilities include griffons, unicorns, dire wolves, and virtually any creatures used as mounts by humans, demihumans, or humanoids.
A character with riding proficiency can perform all of the following feats. Some of them are automatic, while others require a proficiency check for success.
- The character can vault onto a saddle whenever the horse or other mount is standing still, even when the character is wearing armor. This does not require a proficiency check. The character must make a check, however, if he wishes to get the mount moving during the same round in which he lands in its saddle. He must also make a proficiency check if he attempts to vault onto the saddle of a moving mount. Failure indicates that the character falls to the ground—presumably quite embarrassed.
- The character can urge the mount to jump tall obstacles or leap across gaps. No check is required if the obstacle is less than three feet tall or the gap is less than 12 feet wide. If the character wants to roll a proficiency check, the mount can be urged to leap obstacles up to seven feet high, or jump across gaps up to 30 feet wide. Success means that the mount has made the jump. Failure indicates that it balks, and the character must make another proficiency check to see whether he retains his seat or falls to the ground.
- The character can spur his steed on to great speeds, adding 6 feet per round to the animal’s movement rate for up to four turns. This requires a proficiency check each turn to see if the mount can be pushed this hard. If the initial check fails, no further attempts may be made, but the mount can move normally. If the second or subsequent check fails, the mount immediately slows to a walk, and the character must dismount and lead the animal for a turn. In any event, after four turns of racing, the steed must be walked by its dismounted rider for one turn.
- The character can guide his mount with his knees, enabling him to use weapons that require two hands (such as bows and two-handed swords) while mounted. This feat does not require a proficiency check unless the character takes damage while so riding. In this case, a check is required and failure means that the character falls to the ground and sustains an additional 1d6 points of damage.
- The character can drop down and hang alongside the steed, using it as a shield against attack. The character cannot make an attack or wear armor while performing this feat. The character’s Armor Class is lowered by 6 while this maneuver is performed. Any attacks that would have struck the character’s normal Armor Class are considered to have struck the mount instead. No proficiency check is required.
- The character can leap from the back of his steed to the ground and make a melee attack against any character or creature within 10 feet. The player must roll a successful proficiency check with a -4 penalty to succeed. On a failed roll, the character fails to land on his feet, falls clumsily to the ground, and suffers 1d3 points of damage.
Riding, Sea-based: This proficiency allows the character to handle a particular species of sea-based mount The type of mount must be specified when the proficiency is acquired. The character may spend additional slots to enable him to handle other species.
In addition to riding the mount, the proficiency enables the character to do the following:
- When the mount is on the surface of the water, the character can leap onto its back and spur it to move in the same round. No proficiency check is required.
- The character can urge the mount to leap over obstacles in the water that are less than 3’ high and 5’ across (in the direction of the jump). No proficiency check is required. Greater jumps require a proficiency check, with bonuses or penalties assigned by the DM according to the height and breadth of the obstacle and the type and size of mount. Failure means the mount balks; an immediate second check determines if the character stays on the mount or falls off.
- The character can spur the mount to great speeds. If an initial proficiency check fails, the mount resists moving faster than normal. Otherwise, the mount begins to move up to 2d6 feet per round beyond its normal rate. Proficiency checks must be made every five rounds. So long as the checks succeed, the mount continues to move at the faster rate for up to two turns. After the mount moves at this accelerated rate for two turns, its rate then drops to 2/3 of its normal rate. It can move no faster than 2/3 of its normal rate until allowed to rest for a full hour.
If the second or any subsequent check fails, the mount’s movement drops to half its normal rate. It continues to move at this half-speed rate until allowed to rest for an hour.
- If a sea-based mount on the surface of the water is attacked, it will normally submerge unless it makes a successful morale roll. If the morale roll fails, the rider can command the mount to re-surface by making a successful proficiency check. If the check fails, the rider can attempt another check each round thereafter, so long as he is physically able. While submerged with the mount and attempting to force it to surface, the rider risks drowning (see Chapter 14 of the Player’s Handbook). Because he’s exerting himself, the number of rounds the rider can hold his breath is equal to half his Constitution score.
Rope Making: This proficiency enables the character to create thread, yarn, string, twine, or rope from animal or plant materials. Given the proper materials and time, no proficiency check is required. If the character is attempting to create rope out of scavenged materials such as wild vines, then a secret check is made by the DM. Failure means that there is a weak point in the rope, and it has a 50% chance of breaking during use. Proper testing can reveal this weakness, given time.
Rope Use: This proficiency enables a character to accomplish amazing feats with rope. A character with rope use proficiency is familiar with all sorts of knots and can tie knots that slip, hold tightly, slide slowly, or loosen with a quick tug. If the character’s hands are bound and held with a knot, he can roll a proficiency check (with a -6 penalty) to escape the bonds.
This character gains a +2 bonus to all attacks made with a lasso. The character also receives a +10% bonus to all climbing checks made while he is using a rope, including attempts to belay (secure the end of a climbing rope) companions.
Rowing: Separate from general seamanship, rowing is an important skill among sailors on certain kinds of vessels. Both biremes and triremes depend upon the strength, stamina, and coordination of their rowers. The character with this skill knows how to use the oars of a vessel, how to pull in concert with other oarsmen, the special maneuvers for ramming other ships, and how to avoid over-extending and tiring while rowing. Those without this proficiency tire more quickly and acquire blisters and muscle pulls while trying to learn to row properly.
Running: The character can move at twice his normal movement rate for a day. At the end of the day he must sleep for eight hours. After the first day’s movement, the character must roll a proficiency check for success. If the die roll succeeds, the character can continue his running movement the next day. If the die roll fails, the character cannot use his running ability the next day. If involved in a battle during a day he spent running, he suffers a -1 penalty to his attack rolls.
Sabotage: This proficiency allows the character to plan or cause a malfunction in a construct or machine or to cause the collapse of a portion of a building. This can be as simple as rigging a crossbow to misfire or a wagon wheel to fall off or as complex as collapsing a tower. The time involved depends on the complexity and size of the object. A failed check means that the object is obviously damaged, or that the sabotage failed completely, whichever the DM thinks would disadvantage the character most. Also, the DM should give additional penalties for more complicated contraptions or larger structures. A wagon wheel, for instance, would not require any penalties. A catapult, however, may require an additional penalty of -2, being a larger and more complicated object. Causing the potential collapse of a stone tower would require much time and elaborate efforts (such as removal of stones or tunneling), at the end of which a -5 penalty should be applied to the proficiency check.
Sacred Legends: A character with this proficiency is well-learned in the myths, stories, and tales of a single religion. This knowledge is not the same as the theology and practices that are gained with the religion proficiency. The character, when confronted with a question or evidence of the faith’s past, may roll this proficiency to recall a specific event or legend that has relevance. For instance, when an ancient idol is discovered, a successful proficiency check might reveal that the statue resembles a long-forgotten paramour of the goddess, and the character could retell some of the important stories about them.
Additional proficiencies can be chosen to gain knowledge of the sacred legends of other religions.
Seamanship: The character is familiar with boats and ships. He is qualified to work as a crewman, although he cannot actually navigate. Crews of trained seamen are necessary to manage any ship, and they improve the movement rates of inland boats by 50 percent.
Seamstress/Tailor: The character can sew and design clothing. He can also do all kinds of embroidery and ornamental work. Although no proficiency check is required, the character must have at least needle and thread to work.
Screed Lore: A rare proficiency, screed lore offers expertise in the care and collection of books, tomes, scrolls, and the like. This proficiency is crucial to librarians, sages, and scribes. A check would be required whenever the character handles a particularly delicate or worn manuscript. This proficiency also allows a collection to be searched and a specific volume found. Failed rolls indicated problems from the annoying (a torn page or lost book) to the disastrous (an entire scroll crumbles to dust at the slightest touch) depending on how badly the check fails.
This proficiency also provides some knowledge of the safeguards used in protecting books. This knowledge covers not only mundane traps, like poison painted along the edges of the pages, but also magical means of safeguarding libraries. The character can attempt a roll at a -5 modifier to notice any evidence of such traps.
Scribe: Before printing came into common use, professional scribes created books by copying manuscripts. Even after printing presses were in widespread use, scribes were in demand for their calligraphy and the quality of their illuminated (or illustrated) pages. A character with this proficiency is familiar with a scribe’s techniques for preparing pages and working both swiftly and accurately. This is an invaluable skill for a wizard; with a successful proficiency check, the character gains a +5% bonus to any rolls he must make in order to copy or transcribe a spell into his spell book or onto a scroll.
Set Snares: The character can make simple snares and traps, primarily to catch small game. These can include rope snares and spring traps. A proficiency check must be rolled when the snare is first constructed and every time the snare is set. A failed proficiency check means the trap does not work for some reason. It may be that the workmanship was bad, the character left too much scent in the area, or he poorly concealed the finished work. The exact nature of the problem does not need to be known. The character can also attempt to set traps and snares for larger creatures: tiger pits and net snares, for example. A proficiency check must be rolled, this time with a -4 penalty to the ability score. In both cases, setting a successful snare does not ensure that it catches anything, only that the snare works if triggered. The DM must decide if the trap is triggered.
Thief characters (and only thieves) with this proficiency can also attempt to rig man-traps. These can involve such things as crossbows, deadfalls, spiked springboards, etc. The procedure is the same as that for setting a large snare. The DM must determine the amount of damage caused by a man-trap.
Setting a small snare or trap takes one hour of work. Setting a larger trap requires two to three people (only one need have the proficiency) and 2d4 hours of work. Setting a man-trap requires one or more people (depending on its nature) and 1d8 hours of work. To prepare any trap, the character must have appropriate materials on hand.
Characters with animal lore proficiency gain a +2 bonus to their ability score when attempting to set a snare for the purposes of catching game. Their knowledge of animals and the woods serves them well for this purpose. They gain no benefit when attempting to trap monsters or intelligent beings.
Shamanic Rituals: This proficiency allows a Shaman to cast spells that require ritual sacrifice (such as the create sanctuary spell, among others). Any time such a spell is cast, the shaman must make a proficiency check. On a failed check, the spell also fails.
In addition, a shaman versed in these rituals can make a proficiency check when attempting to interact with or call a spirit. A successful proficiency check (with an appropriate sacrifice), grants the Shaman a +10% bonus to his chance to call a spirit. A second proficiency check (and sacrifice) improves the spirits reactions towards the shaman by one step. Successful performance of a ritual sacrifice is often the only way to appease a spirit that the shaman has angered and made hostile in some way.
Non-Shamans who take this proficiency gain an understanding of shamanic spirit magic. A successful proficiency check allows them to identify a ritual spell as it is being cast, or to identify a spell-like ability as being granted by spirits.
A Shaman can also use this proficiency to cast spells beyond his normal allotment. See Praying for Power for details.
Shield Smite: A character with this proficiency can attempt a shield smite in addition to his normal attack(s) with his primary weapon. On a successful check, the character can make one normal attack roll (adjusted for Strength). A successful hit inflicts 1d4 points of damage (plus the character’s strength modifier if any) and stuns the foe for 1d4-1 rounds.
Once you have performed a shield-smite, you lose the AC bonus of the shield for the rest of the combat round from now until your next attack. (If you have an attack later in the round, you regain the AC bonus then; if you don’t have an attack until next round, you regain the AC bonus at the very start of the next round.)
Sign Language: Sign language is most frequently used by dwarves who were engaged in long running warfare with other dwarves or races. It permits silent communication with anyone who sees and understands the signals. The maximum range is usually line of sight in a lit area, or the extent of the receiver’s infravision. Sign may be an extensive language capable of handling long conversations, or simply a means of communicating a few easy to understand phrases such as “attack,” “orcs behind the rock,” or “you three move left.” A proficiency check is made when speaking or interpreting sign. The +2 bonus should only be used when giving short, easily recognized commands. More detailed signals require a -1 modifier.
Signaling: This proficiency gives the character the ability to send messages over long distances. The character must designate his preferred method for signaling. Typical methods include smoke signals, whistling, waving flags, drums, or reflecting mirrors. For each additional slot spent, the character may choose an additional method.
Because signaling is essentially a language, messages of reasonable complexity can be communicated. A practiced signaller can transmit as many as 10 words per combat round.
To interpret the signal, the recipient must be able to see or hear it. He must also have the signaling proficiency and know the same signaling method as the sender. To send a message and have it understood, both the signaler and the recipient must make successful proficiency checks. If one fails his roll, the message is distorted; the message can be sent again in the following round, and proficiency checks may be attempted again. If both checks fail, or if either character rolls a natural 20, an incorrect message was sent and received; the message has the opposite of the intended meaning. Characters without the signaling proficiency, as well as characters who have the proficiency but use a different signaling method, can’t understand the signals.
Signature Spell: Just as fighters can reach unusual levels of skill by specializing in a particular weapon, a wizard can spend extra proficiency slots in order to specialize in a particular spell. This spell is known as a signature spell. Unlike fighters, who may only specialize in a single weapon, wizards may have one signature spell per spell level, as long as they have the proficiency slots available.
The signature spell must be a spell that the character already knows and is able to cast; a 1st-level wizard couldn’t select fireball as a signature spell, although he could choose an appropriate 1st-level spell from his spell book. If the character is a specialist wizard, he may only select signature spells from the school of his specialty. Mages, however, may select signature spells from any school. The actual cost in slots varies with the level of the spell selected. Specialists reduce this cost by 1.
|Spell level||# Slots|
In order for a wizard to gain the skill and practice necessary for a signature spell, he must spend a great deal of time and money, studying every aspect of the enchantment. For all intents and purposes, this is the equivalent of spell research; the character must spend a minimum of two weeks and 1d10 x 100 gp per spell level to master the signature spell and must succeed in a learn spells check to succeed in his studies. If the wizard fails, he still knows how to cast the spell normally, but he can never use it as a signature spell. The character’s proficiency slots or character points are not expended if he fails in his attempt to learn the signature spell.
Through hard work and extensive practice, the wizard becomes quite skilled at casting his signature spell. First of all, the wizard casts his signature spell as if he were 2 levels higher for purposes of damage, duration, area of effect, range, and all other level-based characteristics. If the spell has no level-based characteristics (charm person, for instance), the wizard can choose to inflict a saving throw penalty of –2 on the subject’s saving throw when he casts the spell, or he can choose to reduce his casting time by 3.
Secondly, the wizard may memorize one casting of his signature spell at no cost in spells available at that level. For example, a 1st-level mage may normally memorize one 1st-level spell. If the mage has magic missile as a signature spell, he may memorize one 1st-level spell, plus an additional magic missile, for a total of two 1st-level spells.
Singing: The character is an accomplished singer and can use this ability to entertain others and perhaps earn a small living (note that bards can do this automatically). No proficiency check is required to sing. The character can also create choral works on a successful proficiency check.
Slow Respiration: A character with this proficiency has the ability to enter a deep trance and reduce the amount of air he needs to stay alive. To induce the trance, he must be in a restful position, either sitting or lying down. After concentrating for one turn, pulse and breathing drop well below normal, so that breathing requires only 10% of the rate when resting. The character emerges from his trance at will, fully aware of anything that has occurred nearby.
Smelting: The smelting proficiency is closely tied to the Mining proficiency. Between them they provide all of the metal to the strongholds. With this proficiency a smelter can be operated. See Chapter 9 of the .
Somatic Concealment: Though spell casters can mumble verbal components and hide material components in their hands or robes, somatic components are harder to hide. The somatic component of any spell, magical or clerical, is apparent to any character watching the spell caster. In areas where spell casting is sometimes illegal, the ability to hide the necessary gestures becomes important. If movements can be concealed, a spell can be unleashed without calling attention to the caster.
A character using the somatic concealment proficiency must announce to the DM his intention to do so at the beginning of the round. Then, when the character casts his spell, the DM makes his roll in secret. A successful check indicates that anyone who could normally view the wizard doesnt recognize his gestures as magical in nature. A failed check means that all who can view the casting wizard see his movements for what they really are.
Soothsaying: This proficiency gives the character a limited ability to see into the future. When he acquires the proficiency, he must select a soothsaying technique. Possibilities include casting pebbles on the ground, snapping a branch and checking the splintered wood, studying the wrinkles on a subject‘s face, examining the entrails of an animal, or gazing at the stars. Once he selects a technique, he can’t change it. To use this proficiency, he must employ his technique; for instance, if his technique involves gazing at the stars, he can’t make a soothsaying attempt during the day.
If he can employ his technique, the character may pose a single yes or no question. The question must relate to an event occurring within the next 30 days. Among the acceptable questions: “Will we find treasure in the dragon’s cave?” ‘Will our leader survive until the next full moon?” ”Are these mushrooms safe to eat?”
The DM makes a proficiency check in secret. If the check fails, the character receives no information. If the check succeeds, the DM answers the question honestly; if the DM isn’t sure of the correct answer, he may say that the outcome is uncertain. If the character asked a question that the DM wishes to remain unanswered, for instance, he may not want the character to know that the dragon’s cave contains treasure, he may decline to give the character any information, even if the check succeeds. On a natural roll of 20, the DM gives the character an incorrect answer.
A character may use this proficiency once per week, regardless of whether the check succeeds or fails.
Sorcerous Dueling: This proficiency involves the study of manipulating magic in a sorcerous duel, the conversion of magical energies into the spell points for use in the tightly controlled, ritual combat. Only those sorcerers who have this proficiency may duel, and many secret societies encourage their members to learn this ability.
Sound Analysis: This proficiency allows a character to gauge the size of underground areas by generating noise and analyzing the echoes that return. Using this skill, he can calculate distances up to one mile, and determine sound direction.
To use sound analysis, the character must work in absolute silence. The sound created must have a sharp, staccato quality. A howl or wail is ineffective, but a clicking sound, or loud “hey” works well.
The PC must make a proficiency check. If the check is successful, he has correctly analyzed the size of the area in question to within plus or minus 25% of its height, width, and length. If the check fails, the echo has become garbled in its reverberations. No further attempts by the PC to analyze that area will succeed, though others with the proficiency may try.
A proficiency check of 5 or less means the character has learned not only the size of the analyzed area, but other details as well: the number of branching side passages, whether there is a straight or wandering corridor, and whether or not water exists.
The disadvantage of this ability is that, while it is useful for learning about a completely unknown area, it announces the characters to all creatures in hearing range. They will certainly be prepared, and may go looking for the intruders.
Spellcraft: Although this proficiency does not grant the character any spellcasting powers, it does give him familiarity with the different forms and rites of spellcasting. If he observes and overhears someone who is casting a spell, or if he examines the material components used, he can attempt to identify the spell being cast. A proficiency check must be rolled to make a correct identification. Wizard specialists gain a +3 bonus to the check when attempting to identify magic of their own school. Note that since the spellcaster must be observed until the very instant of casting, the spellcraft proficiency does not grant an advantage against combat spells. The proficiency is quite useful, however, for identifying spells that would otherwise have no visible effect.
Those talented in this proficiency also have a chance (equal to ½ of their normal proficiency check) of recognizing magical or magically endowed constructs for what they are.
Spell Recovery: When a character casts a spell on a plane where it won’t work (like an illusion on Mechanus), he loses the spell. Characters with this proficiency can attempt to grab hold of the useless, lost spell before it completely fades from their memory. This works only when a spell becomes useless due to the magical conditions of the plane, layer, or realm. Spells that simply fail because of other factors (like magic resistance or saving throws) cannot be recovered using this proficiency. Obviously once the character learns the ropes for a given plane, this proficiency won’t be as useful, since he won’t be casting useless spells in the first place.
Spellweaving: Spellweaving is a catch-all term for the art of creating a disguised spell book. This may take several forms: a pattern woven into material, a network of knots decorating a robe, a series of etched designs in a brick, a painting on a reed mat, or decorative swirls on a staff. The limit to the kind of material and sort of artistic rendering is that it must be extensive enough to serve as a spell book and common enough to not be suspected as such.
Such works serve as collections of all the knowledge a wizard has accumulated. They may be used like normal spell books. They cannot, however, be used like scrolls without destroying the whole work. The Spellweaving proficiency must be used each time a new spell is added to the “book.” A failed roll means the design for that particular spell is flawed and must be started again. It does not indicate that the rest of the work suffers in any way. A Spellweaving takes about two hours per level of spell to create.
Spelunking: A character with this proficiency has a thorough understanding of caves and underground passages, including their geology, formation, and hazards. The character generally knows what natural hazards are possible and what general equipment a spelunking party should outfit itself with. A successful proficiency check can reveal the following information:
- Determine, by studying cracks in the walls and pebbles on the floor, sniffing the air, etc., the likelihood of a cave-in, flash flood, or other natural hazard. This only works with respect to natural formations, and is negated if the natural formations have been shored up, bricked in, or otherwise tampered with.
- Estimate the time required to excavate a passage blocked with rubble.
- While exploring extensive underground caverns, a successful check reduces the chance of getting hopelessly lost when confronted by multiple unmarked passages, sinkholes, etc. to a maximum of 30%, assuming good lighting (see DMG Table 81-82).
Spirit Lore: A character with the spirit lore proficiency knows methods to contact spirits, deities, and extraplanar powers. He can more easily communicate with these beings, gaining a +5 chance of success (no check necessary) when attempting divinatory spells such as augury, contact other plane, commune, or speak with dead.
This ability may also be used to contact the dead without resorting to magic. Using pyromancy (divination by candles), tarot cards, or other mystical rites, the character can ask questions of these powers as if using a summon spirit or speak with dead spell. No body is required for this and there is no applicable time limit.
Before beginning the contact, the character must prepare for half an hour, making sure the area has no spirits around to confuse the readings. Contact with the dead is established if a successful check is made. A failed roll reveals nothing. If the roll is 10 or more under the number needed, a specific spirit can be contacted. A 20 reveals incorrect information, perhaps from an evil spirit. Individuals with the spirit sense psionic ability gain a +2 bonus on the check.
The summoner can ask questions of these spirits, but the spirits are not obligated to answer. If annoyed, the spirits can sever the link at will. The questioner can ask 1-3 questions, plus one for each additional slot spent on this proficiency. Contact may not be made more than once per day, and is not advisable more than once per week, as the dead do not appreciate being disturbed and may take revenge.
Stewardship: This proficiency provides the administrative knowledge and skills necessary to handle the day-to-day running of a domain. The character can handle the proper management of land resources and the servants assigned to them.
A character with this proficiency understands the technical business of land and estate management, as well as the politics and personalities of the ruling class. These characters are alert and sensitive to the power and influence of nobles and their retainers. They know where to seek information and how to achieve the objectives of their lords (and even advance their own personal goals). They recognize the strengths and weaknesses within their area of influence, and they know how to use these to best advantage. Finally, they know how to best impress their lords and whatever guests they may be currently entertaining.
A failed check leads to some social blunder or miscalculation whose ramifications are left to the DM.
Stonemasonry: A stonemason is able to build structures from stone so that they last many years. He can do simple stone carvings, such as lettering, columns, and flourishes. The stone can be mortared, carefully fitted without mortar, or loosely fitted and chinked with rocks and earth. A stonemason equipped with his tools (hammers, chisels, wedges, block and tackle) can build a plain section of wall one foot thick, ten feet long, and five feet high in one day, provided the stone has already been cut. A stonemason can also supervise the work of unskilled laborers to quarry stone; one stonemason is needed for every five laborers. Dwarves are among the most accomplished stonemasons in the world; they receive a +2 bonus when using this skill.
Story Telling: This character can spin a dramatic story about a chosen topic. If the story is about a specific person, then reactions to that person can be modified on a successful proficiency check. The DM may adjust the listeners’ reactions based on the listener’s Wisdom and how well the listener knows the subject of the story (see Fast Talking. If the character sings the story as a ballad, or tells the story to musical accompaniment, he may add a +1 bonus to his proficiency check. Combining singing and instrumentation allows a +2 to the check.
This proficiency also allows a character to weave a believable lie. A successful proficiency check, modified by the listener’s magical defense adjustment (for Wisdom), means that a given statement is believed by the listener. The DM is encouraged to modify the proficiency check further based on the statement’s outlandishness.
Street Fighting: This proficiency is extremely beneficial to a character who is engaged in unarmed combat. An individual knowledgeable in street fighting may add his strength score to the KO column on Table 58: Punching and Wrestling Results, page 97 of the PHB, when a successful unarmed attack is made. Thus, a fighter with 15 strength thus adds +15 to his chance of knocking out his opponent. Furthermore, if the warrior makes a successful proficiency check on the same round, he is allowed a second attack roll, but this time without the strength score bonus.
Street Sense: A rogue with this proficiency is adept at making a good impression on underworld contacts in the less-savory neighborhoods of towns and cities, allowing him to better use the information-gathering proficiency. Those whom the rogue contacts are not necessarily moved to trust the rogue using this skill, but they may decide the rogue is worth talking to because he is so entertaining or because he is a person of importance. A street-sense skill check can be attempted once whenever the rogue is talking to a contact. Success means that the contact becomes favorably inclined toward the rogue and will reveal additional information to him, possibly unrelated to the rogue’s inquiries, at the DM’s discretion. Success also means that the contact will act positively toward the rogue in future situations, unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
Possession of this skill adds a +2 bonus to any information-gathering skill check.
Style Analysis: This specialized proficiency gives the character knowledge about (not skill in) armed and unarmed combat. After watching someone fight for at least one round, a character with this proficiency can make a Style Analysis check to learn some facts about his subject‘s fighting style.
If the character makes his check by the given amount, he learns the facts following that number.
|0||The general style being used (kenjutsu, fencing, blade singing, etc.)|
|2||How good the practitioner is (student, expert, master, etc.)|
|4||Which school of the style is being used|
|6||Superficial or transitory weakness that the practitioner is exhibiting (such as favoring an injured leg). The character making the Style Analysis check receives a +2 bonus on all attack rolls against the practitioner for one day.|
|8||Who the practitioner’s likely teacher was|
|10+||General weaknesses in the practitioner’s learning. The character making the Style Analysis check receives a +2 bonus on all attack rolls against the practitioner for one year.|
Naturally, there are limits to what the character can learn even at the best levels of success. For example, he cannot learn the true identity of a teacher who is not commonly known, though he might be able to identify a style as being the same as another character’s, thus inferring a common teacher.
Survival: This proficiency must be applied to a specific environment—i.e., a specific type of terrain and weather factors. Typical environments include arctic, woodland, desert, steppe, mountain, or tropical. The character has basic survival knowledge for that terrain type. Additional proficiency slots can be used to add more types of terrain.
A character skilled in survival has a basic knowledge of the hazards he might face in that land. He understands the effects of the weather and knows the proper steps to lessen the risk of exposure. He knows the methods to locate or gather drinkable water. He knows how to find basic, not necessarily appetizing, food where none is apparent, thus staving off starvation. Furthermore, a character with survival skill can instruct and aid others in the same situation. When using the proficiency to find food or water, the character must roll a proficiency check. If the check is failed, no more attempts can be made that day.
The survival skill in no way releases the player characters from the hardships and horrors of being lost in the wilderness. At best it alleviates a small portion of the suffering. The food found is barely adequate, and water is discovered in minuscule amounts. It is still quite possible for a character with survival knowledge to die in the wilderness. Indeed, the little knowledge the character has may lead to overconfidence and doom!
Swimming: A character with swimming proficiency knows how to swim and can move according to the rules given in the Swimming section (Chapter 14: Time and Movement). Those without this proficiency cannot swim. They can hold their breath and float, but they cannot move themselves about in the water.
Sword Swallowing: This proficiency allows the character to manipulate his mouth and throat to accept long and pointed objects like swords. The sword swallower can also swallow fire and do other muscle-related tricks with his throat. The character gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against ingested poisons because his throat reflexes are improved.
Tactics: The character knows about successful tactics used in past military operations and has a grounding in current tactics and formations. This applies to both land and sea military operations and includes knowledge of famous battles and passages of epic poetry.
A successful tactics check gives some insight into planning a strategy, highlights problems in a strategy being planned, or shows some weakness in the enemy lines. A successful roll at a -5 penalty allows characters to make a plan which may help their group.
Tactics of Magic: For many wizards, the principal use of their art is on the battlefield. Knowing which spell to employ at any given time and creating the greatest effect for one’s effort is a skill that can be learned with practice and experience. A wizard with the tactics of magic proficiency can attempt a proficiency check to gauge the range to a target, estimate how many enemies will be caught in a given area of effect, or determine whether or not he may be in danger of a rebounding lightning bolt or a fireball cast in too small a space.
In addition, a character with this skill may recall subtle effects or interactions that are not immediately apparent. For example, if the wizard is about to cast magic missile at an enemy wizard protected by a shield spell, the DM may allow the player a proficiency check to see if he suddenly recalls that the magic missile will fail—especially if the wizard also knows shield, but the player has just forgotten about the special effects of the spell. However, if there’s no way the character could know of a special immunity or property of a monster, spell, or magical item, this proficiency will not be of any help.
Tattooing: This is the art of injecting dyes beneath the surface of the skin in order to create lasting art upon the human body. The process is painful for the subject and difficult for the tattoo artist because skin isnt the best medium with which to work.
This proficiency is necessary to cast the tattoo of power spell, though it isnt necessary to make a successful proficiency check when using this proficiency to cast that spell. The magic is able to guide an experienced hand in the correct patterns and designs to make with the dye.
Teaching: The teaching proficiency allows the character to impart knowledge about a particular subject or to give instructions in how to do a specific thing. Just about any subject can be taught, from reading and writing to swordplay to the philosophy behind spellcasting. Whether it is a concept or a physical skill, if it can be learned, it can be taught. The skill of teaching relies heavily on the personality of the teacher. If the teacher is a compelling and interesting individual, whatever knowledge he is sharing will be absorbed more fully and quickly.
Instructing another person in how to do something isn’t achieved overnight. Teaching consists of several days, weeks or months worth of instruction, during which time some lessons are learned better than others. Those with this proficiency are better than most at spotting such problems and correcting them. Some skills depend upon raw talent for the student to excel in them. These include such talents as singing and playing instruments. Although the student may never become a virtuoso if he doesn’t have enough talent, he may learn the theories and techniques behind such skills well enough to perform them at a journeyman level.
Each day he spends teaching someone, the teacher must roll on his proficiency. Then his student must roll on Intelligence. When a total of ten successful proficiency rolls and ten total Intelligence checks have been successful, the teacher has imparted his knowledge to the student.
Characters may only learn new weapon and nonweapon proficiencies if they have the slots open to learn them. Otherwise, it is assumed that the student is making progress toward learning a new skill and will have mastered it when his next appropriate proficiency slot is available.
Tease: Tease allows a character to jape and jeer an opponent into acting rashly. The teasing dragon must have initiative. Teasing affects a single opponent with an Intelligence score of 4 or better. Although teasing includes gestures and body language, the opponent must be able to understand the teasing in order to be affected. Success means the teasing works, failure means it doesn’t. A natural 20 means the opponent will unleash its most devastating attack form against the teaser.
A successfully teased opponent rushes to attack the teasing character with physical force, ignoring any innate abilities, spells, ranged attacks, magic, or breath weapons of its own. Teasing effects last for one round, during which the teasing character is limited to physical attacks.
Thaumaturgy: This is the art of the casting of magic, the study of the interaction of verbal, somatic, and material components in order to produce a desired effect. While all wizards have some degree of familiarity with this field of knowledge, a character who becomes proficient in thaumaturgy has spent time studying the forms and practices of magic. This depth of knowledge gives the wizard a +5% bonus on his learn spell rolls after a successful nonweapon proficiency check has been made.
Throwing: Characters with this proficiency add 10’ to each range category of thrown weapons, and increases the damage or the attack roll by +1 each time they throw a weapon. The player can elect to improve either the damage or attack roll, but the choice must be announced before the attack is made.
For each additional slot spent on this proficiency (after its initial purchase) a character adds another 5’ to thrown weapon ranges. For every 2 additional slots spent, another +1 on the damage or attack rolls is gained—this can be used as a +2 on one or the other, or split as a +1 to attack and +1 to damage.
Tightrope Walking: The character can attempt to walk narrow ropes or beams with greater than normal chances of success. He can negotiate any narrow surface not angled up or down greater than 45 degrees. Each round the character can walk 60 feet. One proficiency check is made every 60 feet (or part thereof), with failure indicating a fall. The check is made with a -10 penalty to the ability score if the surface is one inch or less in width (a rope), a -5 penalty if two inches to six inches wide, and unmodified if seven inches to 12 inches wide. Wider than one foot requires no check for proficient characters under normal circumstances. Every additional proficiency spent on tightrope walking reduces these penalties by 1. Use of a balancing rod reduces the penalties by 2. Winds or vibrations in the line increases the penalties by 2 to 6.
The character can attempt to fight while on a tightrope, but he suffers a -5 penalty to his attack roll and must roll a successful proficiency check at the beginning of each round to avoid falling off. Since the character cannot maneuver, he gains no adjustments to his Armor Class for Dexterity. If he is struck while on the rope, he must roll an immediate proficiency check to retain his balance.
Time Sense: This character is always able to give a reasonably close approximation of the time and has a chance (on a successful proficiency check) of being able to tell how much time has elapsed during an interval of unconsciousness. This proficiency is based on an internal biological clock, not observation of the natural world, and so functions even when the character is underground or completely enclosed. If the character is on another plane where time operates differently then his home plane, this proficiency does not function until he returns to his home plane and spends at least one week adjusting to the normal flow of time.
Toxicology: In the hands of the character, proficiency in Herbalism is bent toward knowledge of knockout drugs and poisons. A Toxicologist knows more about such drugs than an Herbalist with a similar Intelligence score (hence the lack of penalty), but will not know anything about other types of chemical compounds.
Tracking: Characters with tracking proficiency are able to follow the trail of creatures and characters across most types of terrain. Characters who are not Rangers roll a proficiency check with a -6 penalty to their ability scores; rangers have no penalty to their ability scores. In addition, other modifiers are also applied to the attempt, according to Table 39.
The modifiers in Table 39 are cumulative, total the modifiers for all conditions that apply and combine that with the tracker’s Wisdom score to get the modified chance to track.
For example, if Thule’s Wisdom score is 16 and he is trying to track through mud (4-6-5). (Thule is a ranger so he does not suffer the -6 penalty for non-rangers tracking.)
For tracking to succeed, the creature tracked must leave some type of trail. Thus, it is virtually impossible to track flying or noncorporeal creatures. The DM may allow this in rare instances, but he should also assign substantial penalties to the attempt.
To track a creature, the character must first find the trail. Indoors, the tracker must have seen the creature in the last 30 minutes and must begin tracking from the place last seen. Outdoors, the tracker must either have seen the creature, have eyewitness reports of its recent movement (“Yup, we saw them orcs just high-tail it up that trail there not but yesterday.”), or must have obvious evidence that the creature is in the area (such as a well-used game trail). If these conditions are met, a proficiency check is rolled. Success means a trail has been found. Failure means no trail has been found. Another attempt cannot be made until the above conditions are met again under different circumstances.
Once the trail is found, additional proficiency checks are rolled for the following situations:
- The chance to track decreases (terrain, rain, creatures leaving the group, darkness, etc.).
- A second track crosses the first.
- The party resumes tracking after a halt (to rest, eat, fight, etc.).
Once the tracker fails a proficiency check, another check can be rolled after spending at least one hour searching the area for new signs. If this check is failed, no further attempts can be made. If several trackers are following a trail, a +1 bonus is added to the ability score of the most adept tracker. Once he loses the trail, it is lost to all.
If the modifiers lower the chance to track below 0 (for example, the modifiers are -11 and the character’s Wisdom is 10), the trail is totally lost to that character and further tracking is impossible (even if the chance later improves). Other characters may be able to continue tracking, but that character cannot.
A tracking character can also attempt to identify the type of creatures being followed and the approximate number by rolling a proficiency check. All the normal tracking modifiers apply. One identifying check can be rolled each time a check is rolled to follow the trail. A successful check identifies the creatures (provided the character has some knowledge of that type of creature) and gives a rough estimate of their numbers. Just how accurate this estimate is depends on the DM.
When following a trail, the character (and those with him) must slow down, the speed depending on the character’s modified chance to track as found from Table 39.
In the earlier example, Thule has a modified tracking chance of 9, so he moves at ½ his normal movement rate.
|Soft or muddy ground||+4|
|Thick brush, vines, or reeds||+3|
|Occasional signs of passage, dust||+2|
|Normal ground, wood floor||0|
|Rocky ground or shallow water||-10|
|Every two creatures in the group||+1|
|Every 12 hours since trail was made||-1|
|Every hour of rain, snow, or sleet||-5|
|Poor lighting (moon or starlight)||-6|
|Tracked party attempts to hide trail||-5|
Trailing: Trailing resembles tracking, except tracking is associated chiefly with the wilderness, and trailing typically is used in major urban centers (i.e., cities and large towns). It is the talent of tailing someone—of keeping a certain distance or even catching up to them, though they may be attempting to blend into a crowd, or at least get lost in the confusion of a *street full of people.
A proficiency check is first made to see if the thief is able to trail without being noticed. If the person followed has the alertness proficiency, then the thief suffers a -5 penalty.
If the thief is noticed, the person being followed may attempt to evade. To keep from losing the trail, the thief must make another proficiency check. A modifier from -3 to +3 (varying from first time in a foreign city to the thief’s home neighborhood) may be used, if the DM so chooses, to reflect how well the thief knows the area. Warn the player beforehand if you will apply modifiers (though you needn’t tell exactly what they are).
The DM should feel free to use situational modifiers on these rolls. For example, if a street is relatively clear, the thief should get -1 or -2 on an attempt to follow unnoticed, but +1 or +2 if he has been seen and is chasing after his subject. The opposite numbers could be used for exceptionally crowded situations, or at night.
For any Trailing proficiency roll, a -3 penalty applies if the person followed has the Trailing proficiency as well (and, presumably, knows better how to foil the tricks of his own trade).
Trail Marking: By notching trees, scattering pebbles, piling stones, and clipping weeds, the character can mark a trail through any wilderness area. Providing he moves at 2/3 his normal movement rate, he can mark a continuous trail as long as he likes; however, the longer the trail, the less likely he’ll be able to follow it back.
A successful proficiency check enables a backtracking character to follow his own trail for a distance equal to his level in miles. If he fails a check, he loses the trail. For instance, assume a 3rd level character marked a 12-mile trail. His first successful proficiency check enables him to follow this trail back three miles. A second successful proficiency check means he can follow the trail another three miles. The third check fails, and he loses the trail; he’s only been able to follow his trail for a total of six miles.
The tracking proficiency isn’t necessary to use the trail marking proficiency. However, when a ranger loses his own marked trail, he may still attempt to follow it using his tracking proficiency. Any other characters with the tracking proficiency may also attempt to follow a ranger’s marked trail, using the rules applicable to the tracking proficiency.
A marked trail lasts unless it is obscured by precipitation, a forest fire, or the passage of time (an undisturbed trail marked in a forest should last for weeks, while an arctic trail may last less than a day during periods of heavy precipitation; the DM decides). A ranger or other character with the tracking proficiency may still attempt to follow an obscured trail using the tracking rules.
Trail Signs: A character with this proficiency can read symbolic messages indicated by an arrangement of stones or other physical objects. The character must designate the method of leaving messages preferred by his family, tribe, or culture. Typical methods include piling rocks, stacking branches, or building snow sculptures. When the character encounters such a message, he understands the meaning if he makes a successful proficiency check. (“A dragon dwells in these woods.” “Eat the green berries for restored health.”) The message is meaningless to characters without the trail signs proficiency. A character with the trail signs proficiency who uses methods other than the one encountered can try to read it at half the normal chance for success. This proficiency can also be used to identify the cultural group or tribe that has left a specific trail sign.
True Aim: A character with this proficiency is mindful of vectors, trajectories, and stray bolts. On a successful check, her ranged attacks, whether normal or enchanted, will not strike her allies, even if the attack roll would indicate otherwise. True Aim is checked whenever the character makes a ranged attack roll, and can be made after the results of the shot are otherwise known.
Tumbling: The character is practiced in all manner of acrobatics—dives, rolls, somersaults, handstands, flips, etc. Tumbling can only be performed while burdened with light encumbrance or less. Aside from entertaining, the character with tumbling proficiency can improve his Armor Class by 4 against attacks directed solely at him in any round of combat, provided he has the initiative and foregoes all attacks that round. When in unarmed combat he can improve his attack roll by 2.
On a successful proficiency check, he suffers only one-half the normal damage from falls of 60 feet or less and none from falls of 10 feet or less. Falls from greater heights result in normal damage.