Skills

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Skills are a measure of an entity's ability to interact with the world peacefully, and overcome obstacles that don't involve killing.

An entity has ranks in a skill. When an entity gains a level, they gain a number of skill points to assign to their skills. You cannot assign more points to a skill than you have levels. Unlike similar systems, there is no such thing as cross-class skills. Skills can always be ranked up for the full value. However, classes, and some races, grant proficiency in one or more skills.

Skills have two associated attributes. The modifiers to one of these attributes is included in a skill check. The DM may choose to have you roll with a specific attribute, but it should be selected from one of the two given attributes in 99% of cases. To perform a skill check, choose one of the associated attributes to apply and make the following roll.

[math]\text{Score} = 1d20 + \text{Ranks} + \text{Proficiency} + \text{Attribute Bonus} + \text{Equipment and other bonuses}[/math]

While the skills are categorised, these are not the be-all and end-all of use cases. Stealth can be used in a social situation to quietly slip away, Sense Motive can be used to detect feint and maneuvers in combat, and Spellcraft is always a useful skill for a caster, in almost every situation.

Multiskills

Some skills are multiskills. Whenever you are asked to choose a skill, if you choose a multiskill, all subskills of that multiskill are affected by the effect.

The Skills

Adventuring Skills

Adventuring skills are most useful on the conventional dungeon crawl. They represent the ability to overcome physical obstacles, directly or indirectly.

Acrobatics

Acrobatics represents an entity's ability to jump, swing, tumble, and balance.

If you have a proficiency bonus in Acrobatics, you can also use it to negate fall damage.

The attributes associated with Acrobatics are Dexterity and Strength.

Athletics

Athletics represents an entity's ability to run, climb, pull, swim, and potentially fly. If you have a proficiency bonus in Athletics, you are less susceptible to strenuous activity, and can last 1.5x as long as entities without a proficiency bonus when performing an athletic ability before becoming fatigued. This includes actions such as cross-country running, forced marches, and swimming or flying in rough seas or high winds. Your encumbrance limit for a heavy load is also increased by 1.5x.

The attributes associated with Athletics are Strength and Constitution.

Perception

Perception represents an entity's ability to accurately perceive the world around them. Perception is used when an entity wishes to leverage their senses in the world.

Perception also covers the idea of Passive Perception. Even if an entity isn't actively looking for something, their Passive Perception may allow them to notice it. Passive Perception is a value, rather than a roll, and it is equal to the following.

[math]\text{Passive Perception} = 10 + \lfloor\frac{\text{Perception Ranks}}2\rfloor + \text{Wisdom Modifier}[/math]

If you are proficient, you are always given the option of actively perceiving when passive perception is checked.

The attributes associated with Perception are Intelligence and Wisdom.

Survival

Survival represents an entity's ability to survive and thrive outside of their natural territory. This covers finding food, potable water, and shelter, as well as determining whether unknown plants and animals are safe to eat. If an entity is proficient in Survival, they may treat and dress illnesses and wounds without access to the proper tools and materials, though they will suffer a penalty.

Survival is governed by Wisdom and Intelligence.

Stealth

Stealth represents a characters ability to be underhand. Disguising to avoid confrontation, sneaking, pickpocketing, and lockpicking all fall under the purview of Stealth. If an entity is proficient in Stealth, their ability to pick locks extends to disabling mechanical traps.

Stealth is governed by Dexterity and Intelligence.

Concentration

Concentration relates to the ability to keep one's mind focused on a single thing. This is commonly used when casting spells while distracted, either through natural talent or via a scroll. It can also be used in some situations to overcome physical fatigue. If you are proficient in Concentration, you are able to ignore certain distractions, such as moderate noise or weather conditions.

The attributes related to Concentration are Constitution and Wisdom.

Social Skills

Insight

Insight is used to detect attempts at bluffing, intimidation, and diplomacy. It is also used to resist against feints in combat. If you are proficient in insight, you may attempt to reverse a bluff or intimidation against the perpetrator.

Sense Motive is related to Wisdom and Intelligence.

Bluff

Bluff is used to deceive and lie to other beings. If you are proficient, you may use Bluff to distract your opponents in combat, giving you advantage to act against them.

Bluff is related to Charisma and Intelligence

Intimidate

Intimidate is a measure of the ability to scare other beings. It can be used both in combat and out of it, to scare your opponents away, or to extort money or information from someone. If you are proficient, your use of intimidate is so masterful that the effect is measured in minutes, rather than rounds.

Diplomacy

Diplomacy is used to persuade people to share your world view. It can be used to calm angry people, haggle better prices, persuade people to join your cause, and many other co-operative tasks. If you are proficient in Diplomacy, you may use it in combat to attempt to diffuse the situation and end the combat early.

Diplomacy is governed by Charisma and Wisdom.

Education Skills

Craft

Craft is a multiskill. You can have more than one instance of Craft at any one time. When you put a skill point in Craft, you may choose to either increase the rank of an existing Craft that you have, or begin to learn a new one.

Craft is used to create and maintain mundane items, from barrels to spoons to clothing. It may also be used to dismantle such items, including traps and tripwires. However, mechanisms disabled this way cannot be sabotaged, and will be able to be reset unless they are completely removed.

If you are proficient in a craft, you can create a new item with that material without having reference material. For instance, a character proficient in Craft (Stone) would be able to create a dry rock wall without an example or reference books readily available. However, without proficiency in Craft (Metal), they would not know how to create a short sword without either looking it up, having one available, or having a tutor.

Craft is segmented by material. It is assumed that, given you understand how to work that material, you will be able to create most normal things with it, given enough time. If the item you wish to create is made of multiple materials (such as a barrel, which has wooden staves and metal hoops), use the primary material (wood, in the case of a barrel). For most weapons, the primary material is considered to be the material used to inflict damage.

White, black, and goldsmiths are not distinguished between for the purposes of Craft checks.

The materials are:

  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Fabric
  • Stone
  • Gems
  • Bone/Horn
  • Alchemy

Craft is governed by Intelligence and Wisdom.

Knowledge

Knowledge is a multiskill. You can have more than one instance of Knowledge at any one time. When you put a skill point in Knowledge, you may choose to either increase the rank of an existing Knowledge that you have, or begin to learn a new one.

Knowledge serves to formalise a character's specific research regarding the world in which they live. If you are proficient in a Knowledge, you can identify specific features regarding a specific situation. Without this proficiency, you are limited to (very) educated guesswork.

Knowledge is segmented by area of research. The segments are:

  • Society
  • Nature
  • Religion
  • Planar
  • Arcana
  • Dungeoneering
  • General

Knowledge (General) is a special case. It can be used in place of any check, but confers disadvantage to the check if used this way.

Knowledge is governed by Intelligence and Wisdom.

Perform

Perform is a multiskill. You can have more than one instance of Perform at any one time. When you put a skill point in Perform, you may choose to either increase the rank of an existing Perform that you have, or begin to learn a new one.

Perform represents an entity's ability to entertain. If you are proficient in a Perform, you are able to use it to enhance another applicable roll; you may use Perform (Comedy) as part of a Diplomacy check, or improvise with Perform (Oratory) to assist a bluff. A successful check of this kind will generally provide Advantage on the roll.

Perform is segmented by performance type. The segments, with examples, are:

  • Drama (plays, pantomimes)
  • Comedy (buffoonery, slapstick, limericks, stand-up)
  • Oratory (epic, ode, storytelling)
  • Percussion (bells, chimes, drums)
  • String (fiddle, harp, lute, keyboard instruments)
  • Wind (flute, pan pipes, trumpet)
  • Sing (chant, ballad, melody)

Perform is governed by Charisma and Dexterity.

Profession

Profession is a multiskill. You can have more than one instance of Profession at any one time. When you put a skill point in Profession, you may choose to either increase the rank of an existing Profession that you have, or begin to learn a new one.

Profession represents experience, either past or current, in a formal job. If you are proficient in a Profession, you have, at some point, used that job to earn a stable living, and have insider information; you may use a proficient Profession in place of, or to assist, a Knowledge check for relevant situations. Profession may also be used to earn money during downtime. Anyone without a proficiency or ranks in a Profession is considered an unskilled labourer.

Profession is segmented into almost unlimited jobs. That said, common ones are:

  • Retail
  • Guard
  • Farmer
  • Hunter
  • Miner
  • Healer
  • Woodsman
  • Athlete
  • Soldier
  • Scholar

Profession is governed by Wisdom and Intelligence.

Spellcraft

Spellcraft is a measure of a being's ability to shape metaphysical power into a specific effect, and to understand those effects. It is used in identifying magical items or spells, and crafting magical items. Proficiency in Spellcraft grants you the ability to counter spells with your own, via a check.

Spellcraft is governed by Intelligence and Wisdom.

Use Magic Device

Use Magic Device is a skill that represents your ability to tap into arcane or divine powers that reside in inanimate objects. If you are proficient in UMD, you are able to use a UMD check to emulate a class, race, skill, or feat for the purposes of activating an item.

Use Magic Device is governed by Charisma and Intelligence.

Proficiency

Proficiency represents the fact that a skill has developed to become second nature. Being proficient in a skill provides a +5 Proficiency bonus, and gives another usage for each of the skills.

Proficiencies are granted by some races and all base classes. Some prestige classes may grant proficiencies, and the Proficient feat gives another method, should no other opportunity arise.

On character creation, all Heroes choose two of Craft, Profession, Perform and Knowledge, and select one segment from each in which they are proficient. This represents their life prior to becoming a Hero, whether that be intense training, scholastic pursuits, or an ordinary life from which they've turned away.

A character that is proficient in a skill may attempt to assist another character in their action. They make a skill check with the same DC alongside the main check. If they succeed, they add +2 to the roll.

Skill Info Summary Table

Name Type Attributes
Acrobatics Adventuring Dexterity Strength
Athletics Adventuring Strength Dexterity
Perception Adventuring Intelligence Wisdom
Survival Adventuring Wisdom Intelligence
Stealth Adventuring Dexterity Intelligence
Concentration Adventuring Constitution Wisdom
Sense Motive Social Wisdom Intelligence
Bluff Social Charisma Intelligence
Intimidate Social Charisma Strength
Diplomacy Social Charisma Wisdom
Craft Education Intelligence Wisdom
Knowledge Education Intelligence Wisdom
Perform Education Charisma Dexterity
Spellcraft Education Intelligence Wisdom
Profession Education Wisdom Intelligence
Use Magic Device Education Charisma Intelligence