Waves of Mutilation
(Dex) Armor Penalty
The character can walk on a precarious surface. A successful check lets the character move at half his or her speed along the surface as a move action. A failure indicates that the character spends his or her move action keeping his or her balance and does not move. A failure by 5 or more indicates that the character falls.
The difficulty varies with the conditions of the surface.
|Narrow Surface||DC*||Difficult Surface||DC|
|7-12 in. wide||10||Uneven or angled||10|
|2-6 in. wide||15||Slippery surface||10|
|Less than 2 in. wide||20|
Being Attacked While Balancing
Being Attacked While Balancing: While balancing, the character is flat-footed (the character loses his or her Dexterity bonus to Defense, if the character has one), unless the character has 5 or more ranks in Balance. If the character takes damage, he or she must make a Balance check again to remain standing.
Accelerated Movement: The character can try to cross a precarious surface more quickly than normal. The character can move his or her full speed, but the character takes a ñ5 penalty on his or her Balance check. (Moving twice the character’s speed in a round requires two checks, one for each move action.)
The character can attempt to charge across a precarious surface. Charging requires one Balance check at a ñ5 penalty for each multiple of the character’s speed (or fraction thereof) that the character charges.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Balance check, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Focused feat gets a +2 bonus on all Balance checks.
Time: Balancing while moving one-half the character’s speed is a move action.
Accelerated movement, allowing the character to balance while moving his or her full speed, is also a move action.
A Bluff check is opposed by the target’s Sense Motive check when trying to con or mislead. Favorable and unfavorable circumstances weigh heavily on the outcome of a bluff. Two circumstances can work against the character: The bluff is hard to believe, or the action that the bluff requires the target to take goes against the target’s self-interest, nature, personality, or orders.
If it’s important, the GM can distinguish between a bluff that fails because the target doesn’t believe it and one that fails because it asks too much of the target. For instance, if the target gets a +10 bonus because the bluff demands something risky of the target, and the target’s Sense Motive check succeeds by 10 or less, then the target didn’t so much see through the bluff as prove reluctant to go along with it. If the target’s Sense Motive check succeeds by 11 or more, he has seen through the bluff, and would have succeeded in doing so even if it had not placed any demand on him (that is, even without the +10 bonus).
A successful Bluff check indicates that the target reacts as the character wishes, at least for a short time (usually 1 round or less), or the target believes something that the character wants him or her to believe. A bluff requires interaction between the character and the target. Targets unaware of the character can’t be bluffed.
|Example Circumstances||Sense Motive Modifier|
|The target wants to believe the character.||-5|
|The bluff is believable and doesn’t affect the target much one way or the other.||+0|
|The bluff is a little hard to believe or puts the target at some kind of risk.||+5|
|The bluff is hard to believe or entails a large risk for the target.||+10|
|The bluff is way out there; it’s almost too incredible to consider.||+20|
A bluff is not the same thing as a lie. A bluff is a quick prevarication intended to distract, confuse, or mislead, generally only for the short term. A bluff is not intended to withstand long-term or careful scrutiny, but rather to momentarily deter an action or decision. Bluffs involve attitude and body language. Bluffs often include lies, but they usually aren’t very sophisticated and aren’t intended to deceive the target for more than a few moments.
A lie, on the other hand, is a simple misrepresentation of the facts. Body language and attitude aren’t a big part of communication. The lie may be very sophisticated and well thought-out, and is intended to deceive a character at least until he or she discovers evidence to the contrary. A character should not make a Bluff check every time he or she utters a lie.
Feinting in Combat
Feinting in Combat: A character can also use Bluff to mislead an opponent in combat so that the opponent can’t dodge the character’s attack effectively. If the character succeeds, the next attack the character makes against the target ignores his or her Dexterity bonus to Defense (if the opponent has one), thus lowering his or her Defense score. Using Bluff in this way against a creature of animal intelligence (Int 1 or 2) requires a ñ8 penalty on the check. Against a nonintelligent creature, feinting is impossible.
Creating a Diversion to Hide
Creating a Diversion to Hide: A character can use Bluff to help him or her hide. A successful Bluff check gives the character the momentary diversion needed to attempt a Hide check while people are aware of the character. (See the Hide skill)
Sending a Secret Message
Sending a Secret Message: A character can use Bluff to send and understand secret messages while appearing to be speaking about other things. The DC for a basic message is 10. Complex messages or messages trying to communicate new information have DCs of 15 or 20. Both the sender and the receiver must make the check for the secret message to be successfully relayed and understood.
Anyone listening in on a secret message can attempt a Sense Motive check (DC equal to the sender’s Bluff check result). If successful, the eavesdropper realizes that a secret message is contained in the communication. If the eavesdropper beats the DC by 5 or more, he or she understands the secret message.
Whether trying to send or intercept a message, a failure by 5 or more points means that one side or the other misinterprets the message in some fashion.
Try Again?: Generally, a failed Bluff check makes the target too suspicious for the character to try another bluff in the same circumstances. For feinting in combat, the character may try again freely.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a bluff (except for feinting in combat), but can’t take 20. A character with the Deceptive feat gets a +2 bonus on all Bluff checks.
Time: A bluff takes at least 1 round (and is at least a full-round action) but can take much longer if the character tries something elaborate. Using Bluff as a feint in combat is an attack action.
Climb (Str) Armor Penalty
Check: With each successful Climb check, the character can advance up, down, or across a slope or a wall or other steep incline (or even a ceiling with handholds).
A slope is considered to be any incline of less than 60 degrees; a wall is any incline of 60 degrees or steeper. A failed Climb check indicates that the character makes no progress, and a check that fails by 5 or more means that the character falls from whatever height he or she had already attained (unless the character is secured with some kind of harness or other equipment).
The DC of the check depends on the conditions of the climb. If the climb is less than 10 feet, reduce the DC by 5.
Since the character can’t move to avoid an attack, he or she is flat-footed while climbing (the character loses any Dexterity bonus to Defense).
Any time the character takes damage while climbing, make a Climb check against the DC of the slope or wall. Failure means the character falls from his or her current height and sustains the appropriate falling damage.
Accelerated Climbing: A character can try to climb more quickly than normal. The character can move his or her full speed, but the character takes a ñ5 penalty on his or her Climb check. (Moving twice the character’s speed in a round requires two checks, one for each move action.)
Making Handholds and Footholds
Making Handholds and Footholds: A character can make handholds and footholds by pounding pitons into a wall. Doing so takes 1 minute per piton, and one piton is needed per 3 feet. As with any surface with handholds and footholds, a wall with pitons in it has a DC of 15. In similar fashion, a climber with an ice axe or other proper implement can cut handholds or footholds in an ice wall.
Catching Yourself When Falling
Catching Yourself When Falling: It’s practically impossible for a character to catch him or herself on a wall while falling. Make a Climb check (DC equal to wall’s DC + 20) to do so. A slope is relatively easier to catch on (DC equal to slope’s DC + 10).
Special: Someone using a rope can haul a character upward (or lower the character) by means of sheer strength. Use two times a character’s maximum load to determine how much weight he or she can lift.
A character can take 10 while climbing, but can’t take 20.
A character without climbing gear takes a ñ4 penalty on Climb checks. At the GM’s discretion, certain kinds of climbing attempts might require only a rope or some other implement, or even just one’s hands and feet, rather than a full set of climbing gear to avoid the penalty.
A character with the Athletic feat gets a +2 bonus on all Climb checks.
Example Wall or Surface or Task
DC Example Wall or Surface or Task
0 A slope too steep to walk up.
5 A knotted rope with a wall to brace against.
10 A rope with a wall to brace against. A knotted rope. A surface with sizable ledges to hold on to and stand on, such as a rugged cliff face.
15 Any surface with adequate handholds and footholds (natural or artificial), such as a rough natural rock surface, a tree, or a chain-link fence. An unknotted rope. Pulling yourself up when dangling by your hands.
20 An uneven surface with just a few narrow handholds and footholds, such as a coarse masonry wall or a sheer cliff face with a few crevices and small toeholds.
25 A rough surface with no real handholds or footholds, such as a brick wall.
25 Overhang or ceiling with handholds but no footholds.
A perfectly smooth, flat, vertical surface can’t be climbed.
ñ10* Climbing inside an air duct or other location where one can brace against two opposite walls (reduces normal DC by 10).
ñ5* Climbing a corner where a character can brace against perpendicular walls (reduces normal DC by 5).
+5* Surface is slippery (increases normal DC by 5).
*These modifiers are cumulative; use any that apply.
Time: Climbing at one-half your speed is a full-round action. Moving half that far (one-fourth the character’s speed) is a move action.
Accelerated climbing, allowing the character to climb at his or her full speed, is a full-round action. A character can move half that far (one-half his or her speed) as a move action.
Check: Most normal computer operations don’t require a Computer Use check (though a character might have to make a Research check; see the Research skill description). However, searching an unfamiliar network for a particular file, writing computer programs, altering existing programs to perform differently (better or worse), and breaking through computer security are all relatively difficult and require skill checks.
Find File: This skill can be used for finding files or data on an unfamiliar system. The DC for the check and the time required are determined by the size of the site on which the character is searching.
Finding public information on the Internet does not fall under this category; usually, such a task requires a Research check. This application of the Computer Use skill only pertains to finding files on private systems with which the character is not familiar.
Size of Site DC Time
Personal computer 10 1 round
Small office network 15 2 rounds
Large office network 20 1 minute
Massive corporate network 25 10 minutes
Defeat Computer Security
Defeat Computer Security: This application of Computer Use can’t be used untrained. The DC is determined by the quality of the security program installed to defend the system. If the check is failed by 5 or more, the security system immediately alerts its administrator that there has been an unauthorized entry. An alerted administrator may attempt to identify the character or cut off the character’s access to the system.
Sometimes, when accessing a difficult site, the character has to defeat security at more than one stage of the operation. If the character beats the DC by 10 or more when attempting to defeat computer security, the character automatically succeeds at all subsequent security checks at that site until the end of the character’s session (see Computer Hacking below).
Level of Security DC
Breaking into a secure computer or network is often called hacking.
When a character hacks, he or she attempts to invade a site. A site is a virtual location containing files, data, or applications. A site can be as small as a single computer, or as large as a corporate network connecting computers and data archives all over the world the important thing is that access to the site connects the user to everything within it. Some sites can be accessed via the Internet; others are not connected to any outside network and can only be tapped into by a user who physically accesses a computer connected to the site.
Every site is overseen by a system administrator the person in charge of the site, and who maintains its security. Often, the system administrator is the only person with access to all of a site’s functions and data. A site can have more than one system administrator; large sites have a system administrator on duty at all times. A character is the system administrator of his or her personal computer.
When a character hacks into a site, the visit is called a session. Once a character stops accessing the site, the session is over. The character can go back to the site in the future; when he or she does, it’s a new session. Several steps are required to hack into a site:
Computer Hacking- Covering Tracks
Covering Tracks: This step is optional. By making a Computer Use check (DC 20), a character can alter his or her identifying information. This imposes a ñ5 penalty on any attempt made to identify the character if his or her activity is detected.
Computer Hacking- Access the Site
Access the Site: There are two ways to do this: physically or over the Internet.
Physical Access: A character gains physical access to the computer, or a computer connected to the site. If the site being hacked is not connected to the Internet, this is probably the only way a character can access it. A variety of skill checks may be required, depending on the method used to gain access.
Internet Access: Reaching a site over the net requires two Computer Use checks. The first check (DC 10) is needed to find the site on the net. The second is a check to defeat computer security (see the Computer Use skill description). Once a character has succeeded in both checks, the character has accessed the site.
Computer Hacking- Locate What You’re Looking For
Locate What You’re Looking For: To find the data (or application, or remote device) the character wants, make a Computer Use check. See Find File under the skill description.
Computer Hacking- Defeat File Security
Defeat File Security: Many networks have additional file security. If that’s the case, the character needs to make another check to defeat computer security.
Computer Hacking- Do Your Stuff
Do Your Stuff: Finally, the character can actually do what he or she came to do. If the character just wants to look at records, no additional check is needed. (A character can also download data, although that often takes several rounds or even several minutes, for especially large amounts of information to complete.) Altering or deleting records sometimes requires yet another check to defeat computer security. Other operations can be carried out according to the Computer Use skill description.
Defend Security: If the character is the system administrator for a site (which may be as simple as being the owner of a laptop), he or she can defend the site against intruders. If the site alerts the character to an intruder, the character can attempt to cut off the intruder’s access (end the intruder’s session), or even to identify the intruder.
To cut off access, make an opposed Computer Use check against the intruder. If the character succeeds, the intruder’s session is ended. The intruder might be able to defeat the character’s security and access his or her site again, but the intruder will have to start the hacking process all over. Attempting to cut off access takes a full round.
One surefire way to prevent further access is to simply shut the site down. With a single computer, that’s often no big deal but on a large site with many computers (or computers controlling functions that can’t be interrupted), it may be time-consuming or even impossible.
To identify the intruder, make an opposed Computer Use check against the intruder. If the character succeeds, the character learns the site from which the intruder is operating (if it’s a single computer, the character learns the name of the computer’s owner). Identifying the intruder requires 1 minute and is a separate check from cutting off access. This check can only be made if the intruder is accessing the character’s site for the entire length of the check if the intruder’s session ends before the character finishes the check, the character automatically fails.
Degrade Programming: A character can destroy or alter applications on a computer to make use of that computer harder or impossible. The DC for the attempt depends on what the character tries to do. Crashing a computer simply shuts it down. Its user can restart it without making a skill check (however, restarting takes 1 minute). Destroying programming makes the computer unusable until the programming is repaired. Damaging programming imposes a ñ4 penalty on all Computer Use checks made with the computer (sometimes this is preferable to destroying the programming, since the user might not know that anything is wrong, and won’t simply decide to use a different computer).
A character can degrade the programming of multiple computers at a single site; doing so adds +2 to the DC for each additional computer.
Scope of Alteration DC Time
Crash computer 10 1 minute
Destroy programming 15 10 minutes
Damage programming 20 10 minutes
Fixing the degraded programming requires 1 hour and a Computer Use check against a DC equal to the DC for degrading it + 5.
Write Program: A character can create a program to help with a specific task. Doing so grants the character a +2 circumstance bonus to the task.
A specific task, in this case, is one type of operation with one target.
The DC to write a program is 20; the time required is 1 hour.
Operate Remote Device
Operate Remote Device: Many devices are computer-operated via remote links. If the character has access to the computer that controls such systems, the character can either shut them off or change their operating parameters. The DC depends on the nature of the operation. If the character fails the check by 5 or more, the system immediately alerts its administrator that there has been an unauthorized use of the equipment. An alerted administrator may attempt to identify the character or cut off his or her access to the system.
Type of Operation DCs
Type of Operation DC Time
Shut down passive remote (including cameras and door locks) 20 1 round per remote
Shut down active remote (including motion detectors and alarms) 25 1 round per remote
Reset parameters 30 1 minute per remote
Change passcodes 25 1 minute
Hide evidence of alteration +10 1 minute
Minimum security ñ5
Exceptional security +10
Maximum security +15
Special: A character can take 10 when using the Computer Use skill. A character can take 20 in some cases, but not in those that involve a penalty for failure. (A character cannot take 20 to defeat computer security or defend security.)
A character with the Gearhead feat gets a +2 bonus on all Computer Use checks.
Time: Computer Use requires at least a full-round action. The GM may determine that some tasks require several rounds, a few minutes, or longer, as described above.
Check: A character makes a Concentration check whenever he or she may potentially be distracted while engaged in some action that requires his or her full attention (such as making a Disable Device or Treat Injury check). Situations such as taking damage, working in a bouncing vehicle, or dealing with severe weather can require a character to make a Concentration check.
If the Concentration check succeeds, the character may continue with the action. If the Concentration check fails, the action automatically fails (with the appropriate ramifications, if any), and the action is wasted. A successful Concentration check still doesn’t allow a character to take 10 when in a stressful situation; he or she must roll the check as normal.
The check DC depends on the nature of the distraction.
Try Again?: Yes, though a success doesn’t cancel the effects of a previous failure, such as the disruption of an action that was being concentrated on.
Special: A character can use Concentration to avoid attacks of opportunity when attempting a skill check that normally provokes attacks of opportunity. The DC to do so is 15.
If the Concentration check succeeds, the character may attempt the action normally without incurring any attacks of opportunity. If the Concentration check fails, the related check automatically fails just as if the character’s concentration had been disrupted by a distraction. The character does not provoke attacks of opportunity, however.
This use of Concentration applies only to skill checks. It does not apply to other actions that normally provoke attacks of opportunity, such as movement or making unarmed attacks.
A character with the Focused feat gets a +2 bonus on all Concentration checks.
The concentration skill has further uses for characters using magic or psionics.
Time: Making a Concentration check doesn’t require an action; it is either a reaction (when attempted in response to a distraction) or part of another action (when attempted actively).
Damaged during the action 1 10 + damage dealt
Taking continuous damage during the action 2 10 + half of continuous damage last dealt
Vigorous motion (bouncy vehicle ride, small boat in rough water, belowdecks in a storm-tossed ship, riding a horse) 10
Violent motion (very rough vehicle ride, small boat in rapids, on deck of storm-tossed ship, galloping horse) 15
Extraordinarily violent motion (earthquake) 20
Entangled in net or snare 15
Grappling or pinned 20
Weather is a high wind carrying blinding rain or sleet 5
Weather is wind-driven hail, dust, or debris 10
1 Such as an activity that requires more than a single full-round action. Also from an attack of opportunity or readied attack made in response to the action being taken (for activities requiring no more than a full-round action).
2 Such as from catching on fire.
This skill encompasses several categories, each of them treated as a separate skill: Craft (chemical), Craft (electronic), Craft (mechanical), Craft (pharmaceutical), Craft (structural), Craft (visual arts), and Craft (writing).
Craft skills are specifically focused on creating objects. To use a Craft skill effectively, a character must have a kit or some other set of basic tools. The purchase DC of this equipment varies according to the particular Craft skill.
To use Craft, first decide what the character is trying to make and consult the category descriptions below. Make a Wealth check against the given purchase DC for the object to see if the character succeeds in acquiring the raw materials. If the character succeeds at that check, make the Craft check against the given DC for the object in question. If the character fails the check, he or she does not make the object, and the raw materials are wasted (unless otherwise noted).
Generally, a character can take 10 when using a Craft skill to construct an object, but can’t take 20 (since doing so represents multiple attempts, and the character uses up the raw materials after the first attempt). The exception is Craft (writing); a character can take 20 because the character does not use up any raw materials (and thus no Wealth check is required to use the skill).
Craft (Chemical) (Int) Trained Only
This skill allows a character to mix chemicals to create acids, bases, explosives, and poisonous substances.
Acids and Bases
Acids and Bases: Acids are corrosives substances. Bases neutralize acids but do not deal damage. A base of a certain type counteracts an acid of the same type or a less potent type.
Type of Acid Purchase DC Acid Base Time
Mild (1d6/1d10)1 8 15 10 1 min.
Potent (2d6/2d10) 12 20 15 30 min.
Concentrated (3d6/3d10) 16 30 20 1 hr.
1The dice rolls in parentheses are typical contact damage/immersion damage caused per round of immersion.
Explosives: Building an explosive from scratch is dangerous. If the Craft (chemical) check fails, the raw materials are wasted. If the check fails by 5 or more, the explosive compound detonates as it is being made, dealing half of its intended damage to the builder and anyone else in the burst radius.
If the check succeeds, the final product is a solid material, about the size of a brick. An explosive compound does not include a fuse or detonator. Connecting a fuse or detonator requires a Demolitions check.
Type of Scratch-Built Explosive Purchase DC Craft DC Reflex DC (save for half damage) Time
Improvised (1d6/5 feet) 1 6 10 10 1 round
Simple (2d6/5 feet) 12 15 12 10 min.
Moderate (4d6/10 feet) 16 20 12 1 hr.
Complex (6d6/15 feet) 20 25 15 3 hr.
Powerful (8d6/20 feet) 25 30 15 12 hr.
Devastating (10d6/25 feet) 30 35 18 24 hr.
1 The figures in parentheses are typical damage/burst radius for each type of explosive.
Scratch built explosives deal concussion damage.
Poisonous Substances: Solid poisons are usually ingested. Liquid poisons are most effective when injected directly into the bloodstream. Gaseous poisons must be inhaled to be effective. The table below summarizes the characteristics of various poisons.
Save DC: The Difficulty Class of the Fortitude save to negate the effects of the poison.
Initial Damage: The damage a character takes immediately upon failing his or her Fortitude save.
Secondary Damage: The damage a character takes after 1 minute of exposure to the poison if the character fails a second saving throw. Ability score damage is temporary, unless marked with an asterisk, in which case the damage is permanent ability drain. Unconsciousness lasts for 1d3 hours, and paralysis lasts 2d6 minutes.
Purchase DC: The DC for the Wealth check necessary to obtain the raw materials to craft the poison, or to purchase one bottle of solid or liquid poison or one high-pressure cylinder of gaseous poison. A bottle holds four doses, while a cylinder holds enough gas to fill a 10-foot-radius area.
Restriction: The restriction rating for the poison, if any, and the appropriate black market purchase DC modifier. Remember to apply this modifier to the purchase DC when making a Wealth check to acquire the poison on the black market.
Craft DC: The DC of the Craft check to create a quantity of the poison.
Time: The amount of time required for the Craft check.
If the Craft check succeeds, the final product is a synthesized solid or liquid poison stored in a bottle (containing 4 doses) or a gas stored in a pressurized cylinder. When released, the gas is sufficient to fill a 10-foot-radius area and takes 1 round to fill the area.
Poison Type Save DC Initial Damage Secondary Damage Purchase DC Restriction Craft DC Time
Arsenic Ingested 15 1d4 Str 2d4 Con 9 Res (2) 14 1 hr.
Belladonna (plant) Injury 18 1d6 Str 2d6 Str 14 Lic (2) 9 1 hr.
Blue-ringed octopus venom Injury 15 1d4 Con 1d4 Con 14 Lic (2) 28 8 hr.
Chloroform1 Inhaled 17 Unconsciousness 1d3 hours 9 Res (2) n/a n/a
Cyanide Injury 16 1d6 Con 2d6 Con 15 Mil (3) 28 8 hr.
DDT Inhaled 17 1d2 Str 1d4 Str 9 Lic (2) 26 8 hr.
Lead arsenate (gas) Inhaled 12 1d2 Str 1d4 Con 6 Res (2) 18 2 hr.
Mustard gas Inhaled 17 1d4 Con 2d4 Con 12 Mil (2) 20 4 hr.
Paris green (solid) Ingested 14 1d4 Con 1d4 Con 9 Res (1) n/a n/a
Rattlesnake venom Injury 12 1d6 Con 1d6 Con 12 Lic (4) 30 15 hr.
Scorpion/tarantula venom Injury 11 1d2 Str 1d2 Str 12 Lic (2) 23 4 hr.
Tear gas Inhaled 15 Nauseated 1d6 rounds 9 Res (4) 42 48 hr.
1 Chloroform gives off vapor that causes unconsciousness. Applying chloroform to an unwilling subject requires a successful grapple check and pin.
n/a: Certain poisons can’t be made with the Craft skill. Instead, such a poison must be obtained by extracting it from the creature in question.
Special: A character without a chemical kit takes a ñ4 penalty on Craft (chemical) checks.
A character with the Builder feat gets a +2 bonus on all Craft (chemical) checks.
Craft (Electronic) (Int) Trained Only
This skill allows a character to build electronic equipment from scratch, such as audio and video equipment, timers and listening devices, or radios and communication devices.
When building an electronic device from scratch, the character describes the kind of device he or she wants to construct; then the Gamemaster decides whether the device is simple, moderate, complex, or advanced compared to current technology.
Type of Scratch-Built Electronics (Examples) Purchase DC Craft DC Time
Simple (timer or detonator) 8 15 1 hr.
Moderate (radio direction finder, electronic lock) 12 20 12 hr.
Complex (cell phone) 16 25 24 hr.
Advanced (computer) 22 30 60 hr.
Special: A character without an electrical tool kit takes a ñ4 penalty on Craft (electronic) checks.
A character with the Builder feat gets a +2 bonus on all Craft (electronic) checks.
Craft (Mechanical) (Int) Trained Only
This skill allows a character to build mechanical devices from scratch, including engines and engine parts, weapons, armor, and other gadgets. When building a mechanical device from scratch, the character describes the kind of device he or she wants to construct; then the Gamemaster decides if the device is simple, moderate, complex, or advanced compared to current technology.
Type of Scratch-Built Mechanical Device (Examples) Purchase DC Craft DC Time
Simple (tripwire trap) 5 15 1 hr
Moderate (engine component, light armor) 12 20 12 hr.
Complex (automobile engine, 9mm autoloader handgun) 16 25 24 hr.
Advanced (jet engine) 20 30 60 hr.
Special: A character without a mechanical tool kit takes a ñ4 penalty on Craft (mechanical) checks.
A character with the Builder feat gets a +2 bonus on all Craft (mechanical) checks.
Craft (Pharmaceutical) (Int) Trained Only
This skill allows a character to compound medicinal drugs to aid in recovery from treatable illnesses. A medicinal drug gives a +2 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saves made to resist the effects of a disease.
The Craft (pharmaceutical) check is based on the severity of the disease to be countered as measured by the DC of the Fortitude save needed to resist it.
Disease Fortitude Save DC Purchase DC Craft DC Time
14 or lower 5 15 1 hr.
15ñ18 10 20 3 hr.
19ñ22 15 25 6 hr.
23 or higher 20 30 12 hr.
Special: A character without a pharmacist kit takes a ñ4 penalty on Craft (pharmaceutical) checks.
A character with the Medical Expert feat gets a +2 bonus on all Craft (pharmaceutical) checks.
Craft (Structural) (Int)
This skill allows a character to build wooden, concrete, or metal structures from scratch, including bookcases, desks, walls, houses, and so forth, and includes such handyman skills as plumbing, house painting, drywall, laying cement, and building cabinets.
Type of Scratch-Built Structure (Examples) Purchase DC Craft DC Time
Simple (bookcase, false wall) 5 15 12 hr.
Moderate (catapult, shed, house deck) 10 20 24 hr.
Complex (bunker, domed ceiling) 15 25 60 hr.
Advanced (house) 20 30 600 hr.
When building a structure from scratch, the character describes the kind of structure he or she wants to construct; then the Gamemaster decides if the structure is simple, moderate, complex, or advanced in scope and difficulty.
Special: A character without a mechanical tool kit takes a ñ4 penalty on Craft (structural) checks.
A character with the Builder feat gets a +2 bonus on all Craft (structural) checks.
Craft (Visual Art) (Int)
This skill allows a character to create paintings or drawings, take photographs, use a video camera, or in some other way create a work of visual art.
When attempting to create a work of visual art, the character simply makes a Craft (visual art) check, the result of which determines the quality of the work.
Unless the effort is particularly elaborate or the character must acquire an expensive piece of equipment, the basic components have a purchase DC of 5.
Skill Check Result Effort Achieved
9 or lower Untalented amateur
10ñ19 Talented amateur
31 or higher Master
Creating a work of visual art requires at least a full-round action, but usually takes an hour, a day, or more, depending on the scope of the project.
Special: A character with the Creative feat gets a +2 bonus on all Craft (visual art) checks.
Craft (Writing) (Int)
This skill allows a character to create short stories, novels, scripts and screenplays, newspaper articles and columns, and similar works of writing.
When creating a work of writing, the player simply makes a Craft (writing) check, the result of which determines the quality of the work.
No Wealth check is necessary to use this Craft skill.
Skill Check Result Effort Achieved
9 or lower Untalented amateur
10ñ19 Talented amateur
31 or higher Master
Creating a work of writing requires at least 1 hour, but usually takes a day, a week, or more, depending on the scope of the project.
Special: A character with the Creative feat gets a +2 bonus on all Craft (writing) checks.
Decipher Script (Int) Trained Only
Check: A character can decipher writing in an ancient language or in code, or interpret the meaning of an incomplete text. The base DC is 20 for the simplest messages, 25 for standard codes, and 30 or higher for intricate or complex codes or exotic messages. Helpful texts or computer programs can provide a bonus (usually a +2 circumstance bonus) on the check, provided they are applicable to the script in question.
If the check succeeds, the character understands the general content of a piece of writing, reading about one page of text or its equivalent in 1 minute. If the check fails, the GM makes a Wisdom check (DC 10) for the character to see if he or she avoids drawing a false conclusion about the text. (Success means that the character does not draw a false conclusion; failure means that the character does.)
The GM secretly makes both the skill check and the Wisdom check so the character can’t tell whether the conclusion drawn is accurate or not.
Try Again?: No, unless conditions change or new information is uncovered.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Decipher Script check, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Studious feat gets a +2 bonus on all Decipher Script checks.
Time: Decipher Script takes 1 minute or more, depending on the complexity of the code.
Demolitions (Int) Trained Only
Check: Setting a simple explosive to blow up at a certain spot doesn’t require a check, but connecting and setting a detonator does. Also, placing an explosive for maximum effect against a structure calls for a check, as does disarming an explosive device.
Set Detonator: Most explosives require a detonator to go off. Connecting a detonator to an explosive requires a Demolitions check (DC 10). Failure means that the explosive fails to go off as planned. Failure by 10 or more means the explosive goes off as the detonator is being installed.
A character can make an explosive difficult to disarm. To do so, the character chooses the disarm DC before making his or her check to set the detonator (it must be higher than 10). The character’s DC to set the detonator is equal to the disarm DC.
Place Explosive Device
Place Explosive Device: Carefully placing an explosive against a fixed structure (a stationary, unattended inanimate object) can maximize the damage dealt by exploiting vulnerabilities in the structure’s construction.
The GM makes the check (so that the character doesn’t know exactly how well he or she has done). On a result of 15 or higher, the explosive deals double damage to the structure against which it is placed. On a result of 25 or higher, it deals triple damage to the structure. In all cases, it deals normal damage to all other targets within its burst radius.
Disarm Explosive Device
Disarm Explosive Device: Disarming an explosive that has been set to go off requires a Demolitions check. The DC is usually 10, unless the person who set the detonator chose a higher disarm DC. If the character fails the check, he or she does not disarm the explosive. If the character fails by more than 5, the explosive goes off.
Special: A character can take 10 when using the Demolitions skill, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Cautious feat and at least 1 rank in this skill gets a +2 bonus on all Demolitions checks.
A character without a demolitions kit takes a ñ4 penalty on Demolitions checks.
Making an explosive requires the Craft (chemical) skill. See that skill description for details.
Time: Setting a detonator is usually a full-round action. Placing an explosive device takes 1 minute or more, depending on the scope of the job.
Check: A character can change others’ attitudes with a successful check (see the table below. In negotiations, participants roll opposed Diplomacy checks to see who gains the advantage. Opposed checks also resolve cases where two advocates or diplomats plead opposing cases before a third party.
Diplomacy can be used to influence a GM character’s attitude. The GM chooses the character’s initial attitude based on circumstances. Most of the time, the people the heroes meet are indifferent toward them, but a specific situation may call for a different initial attitude. The DCs given in the accompanying table show what it takes to change someone’s attitude with the use of the Diplomacy skill. The character doesn’t declare a specific outcome he or she is trying for; instead, make the check and compare the result to the table on the next page.
Try Again?: Generally, trying again doesn’t work. Even if the initial check succeeds, the other character can only be persuaded so far. If the initial check fails, the other character has probably become more firmly committed to his or her position, and trying again is futile.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Diplomacy check, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Trustworthy feat gets a +2 bonus on all Diplomacy checks.
Time: Diplomacy is at least a full-round action. The GM may determine that some negotiations require a longer period of time.
Attitude Means Possible Actions
Hostile Will take risks to hurt or avoid you Attack, interfere, berate, flee
Unfriendly Wishes you ill Mislead, gossip, avoid, watch suspiciously, insult
Indifferent Doesn’t much care Act as socially expected
Friendly Wishes you well Chat, advise, offer limited help, advocate
Helpful Will take risks to help you Protect, back up, heal, aid
Initial Attitude New Attitude
Hostile Unf. Indif. Friendly Helpful
Hostile 19 or less 20 25 35 45
Unfriendly 4 or less 5 15 25 35
Indifferent 0 or less 1 15 25
Friendly 0 or less 1 15
Bribery and Diplomacy
Bribery and Diplomacy
Bribe Target Purchase DC
Police officer 10
Offering money or another form of favor can, in the right situation, improve a character’s chances with a Diplomacy skill check. Bribery allows a character to circumvent various official obstacles when a person in a position of trust or authority is willing to accept such an offering.
An illegal act, bribery requires two willing participants one to offer a bribe and the other to accept it. When a character requires a bribe to render services, then a hero’s Diplomacy check automatically fails if a bribe isn’t attached to it. If a bribe isn’t required, a hero can add a bribe to get a bonus on his or her skill check. This can backfire, as some characters will be insulted by a bribe offer (their attitude changes one step for the worse) and others will report the hero to the proper authorities.
To bribe a character, make a Wealth check. Typical DCs are shown on below, but the GM may modify the DC as he or she sees fit. If the hero succeeds in the check, he or she gains a +2 bonus on the Diplomacy check. For every point by which the hero beats the DC, increase the bonus by +1 (to a total maximum bonus of +10).
Disable Device (Int) Trained Only
Check: The GM makes the Disable Device check so that the character doesn’t necessarily know whether he or she has succeeded.
Open Lock: A character can pick conventional locks, finesse combination locks, and bypass electronic locks. The character must have a lockpick set (for a mechanical lock) or an electrical tool kit (for an electronic lock). The DC depends on the quality of the lock.
Lock DC by type
Lock Type (Example) DC
Cheap (briefcase lock) 20
Average (home deadbolt) 25
High quality (business deadbolt) 30
High security (branch bank vault) 40
Ultra-high security (bank headquarters vault) 50
Disable Security Device
Disable Security Device: A character can disable a security device, such as an electric fence, motion sensor, or security camera. The character must be able to reach the actual device. If the device is monitored, the fact that the character attempted to disable it will probably be noticed.
When disabling a monitored device, the character can prevent his or her tampering from being noticed. Doing so requires 10 minutes and an electrical tool kit, and increases the DC of the check by +10.
Device Type (Example) DC
Cheap (home door alarm) 20
Average (store security camera) 25
High quality (art museum motion detector) 30
High security (bank vault alarm) 35
Ultrahigh security (motion detector at Area 51) 40
Traps and Sabotage
Traps and Sabotage: Disabling (or rigging or jamming) a simple mechanical device has a DC of 10. More intricate and complex devices have higher DCs. The GM rolls the check. If the check succeeds, the character disables the device. If the check fails by 4 or less, the character has failed but can try again. If the character fails by 5 or more, something goes wrong. If it’s a trap, the character springs it. If it’s some sort of sabotage, the character thinks the device is disabled, but it still works normally.
A character can rig simple devices to work normally for a while and then fail some time later (usually after 1d4 rounds or minutes of use).
Try Again?: Yes, though the character must be aware that he or she has failed in order to try again.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Disable Device check. A character can take 20 to open a lock or to disable a security device, unless the character is trying to prevent his or her tampering from being noticed. Possessing the proper tools gives a character the best chance of succeeding on a Disable Device check. Opening a lock requires a lockpick set (for a mechanical lock) or an electrical tool kit (for an electronic lock). Opening a locked car calls for a car opening kit. Disabling a security device requires either a mechanical tool kit or an electronic toll kit, depending on the nature of the device. If the character does not have the appropriate tools, he or she takes a ñ4 penalty on your check.
A lock release gun can open a mechanical lock of cheap or average quality without a Disable Device check. A character with the Cautious feat and at least 1 rank in this skill gets a +2 bonus on all Disable Device checks.
Time: Disabling a simple mechanical device is a full-round action. Intricate or complex devices require 2d4 rounds.
Check: A character’s Disguise check result determines how good the disguise is. It is opposed by others’ Spot check results. Make one Disguise check even if several people make Spot checks. The GM makes the character’s Disguise check secretly so that the character is not sure how well his or her disguise holds up to scrutiny.
If the character doesn’t draw any attention to him or herself, however, others don’t get to make Spot checks. If the character comes to the attention of people who are suspicious, the suspicious person gets to make a Spot check. (The GM can assume that such observers take 10 on their Spot checks.)
The effectiveness of the character’s disguise depends in part on how much the character is attempting to change his or her appearance.
Minor details only +5
Appropriate uniform or costume +2
Disguised as different sex ñ2
Disguised as different age category ñ2 1
1 Per step of difference between the character’s age category and the disguised age category (child, young adult, adult, middle age, old, or venerable).
If the character is impersonating a particular individual, those who know what that person looks like automatically get to make Spot checks. Furthermore, they get a bonus on their Spot checks.
Recognizes on sight +4
Friend or associate +6
Close friend +8
Usually, an individual makes a Spot check to detect a disguise immediately upon meeting the character and each hour thereafter. If the character casually meets many different people, each for a short time, the GM checks once per day or hour, using an average Spot modifier for the group (assuming they take 10).
Try Again?: No, though the character can assume the same disguise again at a later time. If others saw through the previous disguise, they are automatically treated as suspicious if the character assumes the same disguise again.
Special: A character can take 10 or take 20 when establishing a disguise.
A character without a disguise kit takes a ñ4 penalty on Disguise checks.
A character with the Deceptive feat gets a +2 bonus on all Disguise checks.
A character can help someone else create a disguise for him or her, treating it as an aid another attempt.
Time: A Disguise check requires 1d4 x10 minutes of preparation. The GM makes Spot checks for those who encounter the character immediately upon meeting the character and again each hour or day thereafter, depending on circumstances.
Check: Routine tasks, such as ordinary driving, don’t require a skill check. Make a check only when some unusual circumstance exists (such as inclement weather or an icy surface), or when the character is driving during a dramatic situation (the character is being chased or attacked, for example, or is trying to reach a destination in a limited amount of time). When driving, the character can attempt simple maneuvers or stunts. See Driving a Vehicle for more details.
Try Again?: Most driving checks have consequences for failure that make trying again impossible.
Special: A character can take 10 when driving, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Vehicle Expert feat gets a +2 bonus on all Drive checks.
There is no penalty for operating a general-purpose motor vehicle. Other types of motor vehicles (heavy wheeled, powerboat, sailboat, ship, and tracked) require the corresponding Surface Vehicle Operation feat, or the character takes a ñ4 penalty on Drive checks.
Time: A Drive check is a move action.
Escape Artist (Dex) Armor Penalty
Check: Make a check to escape from restraints or to squeeze through a tight space.
Ropes Opponent’s Dex check +20
Tight space 30
Grappler Opponent’s grapple check
For ropes, a character’s Escape Artist check is opposed by the Dexterity check result of the opponent who tied the bonds. Since it’s easier to tie someone up than to escape from being tied up, the opponent gets a +20 bonus on his or her Dexterity check.
For a tight space, a check is only called for if the character’s head fits but his or her shoulders don’t. If the space is long, such as in an airshaft, the GM may call for multiple checks. A character can’t fit through a space that his or her head doesn’t fit through.
A character can make an Escape Artist check opposed by his or her opponent’s grapple check to get out of a grapple or out of a pinned condition (so that the character is just being grappled). Doing so is an attack action, so if the character escapes the grapple he or she can move in the same round.
Try Again?: A character can make another check after a failed check if the character is squeezing through a tight space, making multiple checks. If the situation permits, the character can make additional checks as long as he or she is not being actively opposed.
Special: A character can take 10 on an Escape Artist check. A character can take 20 if he or she is not being actively opposed (a character can take 20 if he or she is tied up, even though it’s an opposed check, because the opponent isn’t actively opposing the character).
A character with the Nimble feat gets a +2 bonus on all Escape Artist checks.
Time: Making a check to escape from being bound by ropes, handcuffs, or other restraints (except a grappler) requires 1 minute. Escaping a net is a full-round action. Squeezing through a tight space takes at least 1 minute, maybe longer, depending on the distance that must be crossed.
Check: Forgery requires materials appropriate to the document being forged, and some time. To forge a document the character needs to have seen a similar document before. The complexity of the document, the character’s degree of familiarity with it, and whether the character needs to reproduce the signature or handwriting of a specific individual, provide modifiers to the Forgery check, as shown below.
Factor Check Modifier Time
Simple (typed letter, business card) +0 10 min.
Moderate (letterhead, business form) ñ2 20 min.
Complex (stock certificate, driver’s license) ñ4 1 hr.
Difficult (passport) ñ8 4 hr.
Extreme (military/law enforcement ID) ñ16 24 hr.
Factor Check Modifier
Unfamiliar (seen once for less than a minute) ñ4
Fairly familiar (seen for several minutes) +0
Quite familiar (on hand, or studied at leisure) +4
Forger has produced other documents of same type +4
Document includes specific signature ñ4
Some documents require security or authorization codes, whether authentic ones or additional forgeries. The GM makes the character’s check secretly so the character is not sure how good his or her forgery is.
The Forgery skill is also used to detect someone else’s forgery. The result of the original Forgery check that created the document is opposed by a Forgery check by the person who examines the document to check its authenticity. If the examiner’s check result is equal to or higher than the original Forgery check, the document is determined to be fraudulent. The examiner gains bonuses or penalties on his or her check as given in the table below.
Condition Examiner’s Check Modifier
Type of document unknown to examiner ñ4
Type of document somewhat known to examiner ñ2
Type of document well known to examiner +0
Document is put through additional tests1 +4
Examiner only casually reviews the document1 ñ2
1Cumulative with any of the first three conditions on the table. Apply this modifier along with one of the other three whenever appropriate.
A document that contradicts procedure, orders, or previous knowledge, or one that requires the examiner to relinquish a possession or a piece of information, can increase the examiner’s suspicion (and thus create favorable circumstances for the examiner’s opposed Forgery check).
Try Again?: No, since the forger isn’t sure of the quality of the original forgery.
Special: To forge documents and detect forgeries, one must be able to read and write the language in question. (The skill is language-dependent.)
A character can take 10 when making a Forgery check, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Meticulous feat gets a +2 bonus on all Forgery checks.
A character without a forgery kit takes a ñ4 penalty on Forgery checks.
Time: Forging a short, simple document takes about 1 minute. Longer or more complex documents take 1d4 minutes per page or longer.
Check: To join or start a game, a character must first pay a stake. The character sets the purchase DC of the stake if he or she starts the game, or the GM sets it if the character joins a game. Stakes run from penny-ante (purchase DC 4) to astronomical (purchase DC 24). A character cannot take 20 when purchasing a stake.
If the stake is within the character’s means (it is equal to or less than his or her Wealth bonus), the character stands no chance of winning any significant amount. The character might come out ahead, but the amount is not enough to affect his or her Wealth bonus. Since paying the stake didn’t cost any points of Wealth bonus, the character doesn’t lose anything either.
If the stake is higher than the character’s Wealth bonus (before applying any reductions from purchasing the stake), the character gets a +1 bonus on his or her Gamble check for every point the purchase DC is above the character’s Wealth bonus.
The character’s Gamble check is opposed by the Gamble checks of all other participants in the game. (If playing at a casino, assume the house has a Gamble skill modifier equal to the stake purchase DC. Regardless of the stake purchase DC, the house does not get a bonus on its Gamble check for the purchase DC.) If there are many characters participating, the GM can opt to make a single roll for all of them, using the highest Gamble skill modifier among them and adding a +2 bonus to the check.
If the character beats all other participants, he or she wins and gains an increase to his or her Wealth bonus. The amount of the increase depends on the difference between the character’s check result and the next highest result among the other participants.
Wealth Increase Table
Check Result Difference Wealth Bonus Increase
40 or more +5
Try Again?: No, unless the character wants to put up another stake.
Special: A character can’t take 10 or take 20 when making a Gamble check.
A character with the Confident feat gets a +2 bonus on all Gamble checks.
Time: A Gamble check requires 1 hour.
Gather Information (Cha)
Check: By succeeding at a skill check (DC 10) and spending 1d4+1 hours passing out money and buying drinks, a character can get a feel for the major news items in a neighborhood. This result assumes that no obvious reasons exist why information would be withheld. The higher the check result, the better the information.
If the situation doesn’t require the expenditure of money, no Wealth check is necessary.
Information ranges from general to protected, and the cost and DC increases accordingly for the type of information the character seeks to gather, as given in the table below.
Type of Information DC Purchase DC
General 10 5
Specific 15 10
Restricted 20 15
Protected 25 20
General information concerns local happenings, rumors, gossip, and the like. Specific information usually relates to a particular question. Restricted information includes facts that aren’t generally known and requires that the character locate someone who has access to such information. Protected information is even harder to come by and might involve some danger, either for the one asking the questions or the one providing the answer. There’s a chance that someone will take note of anyone asking about restricted or protected information.
The character can increase the amount of money used to gather information, gaining a circumstance bonus by effectively offering a bribe (though the process might entail buying more expensive drinks, not necessarily offering a character extra money). Increase the Wealth check DC by 2 for each 1 hours for each check, and characters may draw attention to themselves if they repeatedly pursue a certain type of information.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Gather Information check, but cannot take 20.
A character with the Trustworthy feat gets a 1 hours.
Handle Animal (Cha) Trained Only
Check: The time required to get an effect and the DC depend on what the character is trying to do.
Task Time DC
Handle an animal Move action 10
Push an animal Full-round action 25
Teach an animal a trick 1 week See text
Train an animal for a purpose See text See text
Handle an Animal
Handle an Animal: This means to command an animal to perform a task or trick that it knows. If the animal is wounded or has taken any ability score damage, the DC increases by +5. If the check is successful, the animal performs the task or trick on its next action.
Push an Animal
Push an Animal: To push an animal means to get it to perform a task or trick that it doesn’t know, but is physically capable of performing. If the check is successful, the animal performs the task or trick on its next action.
Teach an Animal a Trick
Teach an Animal a Trick: The character can teach an animal a specific trick, such as attack or stay, with one week of work and a successful Handle Animal check. An animal with an Intelligence of 1 can learn a maximum of three tricks, while an animal with an Intelligence of 2 can learn a maximum of six tricks.
The character can teach an animal to obey only that character. Any other person attempting to make the animal perform a trick takes a ñ10 penalty on his or her Handle Animal check. Teaching an animal to obey only the character counts as a trick (in terms of how many tricks the animal can learn). It does not require a check; however, it increases the DC of all tricks the character teaches the animal by +5. If the animal already knows any tricks, the character cannot teach it to obey only that character.
Possible tricks include, but are not limited to, the following.
Attack (DC 20): The animal attacks apparent enemies. The character may point to a particular enemy to direct the animal to attack that enemy. Normally, an animal only attacks humans and other animals. Teaching an animal to attack all creatures (including unnatural creatures such as undead and aberrations if they exist in your campaign) counts as two tricks.
Come (DC 15): The animal comes to the character, even if the animal normally would not do so (such as following the character onto a boat).
Defend (DC 20): The animal defends the character (or is ready to defend the character if no threat is present). Alternatively, the character can command the animal to defend a specific other character.
Down (DC 15): The animal breaks off from combat or otherwise backs down.
Fetch (DC 15): The animal goes and gets something. The character must point out a specific object, or else the animal fetches some random object.
Guard (DC 20): The animal stays in place and prevents others from approaching.
Heel (DC 15): The animal follows the character closely, even to places where it normally wouldn’t go.
Perform (DC 15): The animal does a variety of simple tricks such as sitting up, rolling over, and so on.
Seek (DC 15): The animal moves into an area and searches for something of interest. It stops and indicates the first thing of interest it finds. What constitutes an item of interest to an animal can vary. Animals almost always find other creatures or characters of interest. To understand that it’s looking for a specific object, the animal must make an Intelligence check (DC 10).
Stay (DC 15): The animal stays in place waiting for the character to return. It does not challenge other creatures that come by, though it still defends itself if it needs to.
Track (DC 20): The animal tracks the scent presented to it.
Work (DC 15): The animal pulls or pushes a medium or heavy load.
Train an Animal
Train an Animal: Rather than teaching an animal individual tricks, the character can train an animal for a general purpose. Essentially, an animal’s purpose represents a preselected set of known tricks that fit into a common scheme. An animal can be trained for one general purpose only, though if the animal is capable of learning additional tricks (above and beyond those included in its general purpose) it may do so. Training an animal for a purpose requires fewer checks than teaching individual tricks.
Combat Riding (DC 20, 6 weeks): An animal trained to bear a rider into combat knows Attack, Come, Defend, Down, Guard, and Heel. An animal trained in riding may be upgraded to an animal trained in combat riding by spending three weeks and making a Handle Animal check (DC 20). If the animal was trained in other tricks (in addition to those provided by training the animal for riding), those tricks are completely replaced by the combat riding tricks.
Fighting (DC 20, 3 weeks): An animal trained for combat knows the following tricks: Attack, Down, and Stay.
Guarding (DC 20, 4 weeks): An animal trained to guard knows the following tricks: Attack, Defend, Down, and Guard.
Laboring (DC 15, 2 weeks): An animal trained for heavy labor knows Come and Work.
Hunting (DC 20, 6 weeks): An animal trained for hunting knows Attack, Down, Fetch, Heel, Seek, and Track.
Performing (DC 15, 4 weeks): An animal trained for performing knows Come, Fetch, Heel, Perform, and Stay.
Riding (DC 15; 3 weeks): An animal trained to bear a rider knows Come, Heel, and Stay.
Try Again?: Yes.
Special: A character can take 10 or take 20 when handling animals.
An untrained character uses Charisma checks to handle and push animals, but he or she can’t teach or train animals.
A character with the Animal Affinity feat and at least 1 rank in this skill gets a +2 bonus on all Handle Animal checks.
Time: See above. Teaching or training an animal takes a number of days. The character does not have to spend the entire time training the animal; 3 hours per day is enough. (Spending more than 3 hours per day does not reduce the number of days required.) The character cannot spread the days out; if the character does not complete the training during a period of consecutive days, the effort is wasted.
Check: A character’s Hide check is opposed by the Spot check of anyone who might see the character. The character can move up to half his or her normal speed and hide at no penalty. At more than half and up to the character’s full speed, the character takes a ñ5 penalty. It’s practically impossible (ñ20 penalty) to hide while attacking, running, or charging.
The hide check is also modified by the character’s size:
Size Modifier Size Modifier
Fine +16 Large ñ4
Diminutive +12 Huge ñ8
Tiny +8 Gargantuan ñ12
Small +4 Colossal ñ16
If people are observing the character, even casually, he or she can’t hide. The character can run around a corner so that he or she is out of sight and then hide, but the others then know at least where the character went.
Cover and concealment grant circumstance bonuses to Hide checks, as shown below. Note that a character can’t hide if he or she has less than one-half cover or concealment.
Cover or Concealment Circumstance Bonus
Creating a Diversion to Hide
Creating a Diversion to Hide: A character can use the Bluff skill to help him or her hide. A successful Bluff check can give the character the momentary diversion needed to attempt a Hide check while people are aware of the character. While the others turn their attention from the character, he or she can make a Hide check if the character can get to a hiding place of some kind. (As a general guideline, the hiding place has to be within 1 foot for every rank the character has in Hide.) This check, however, is at a ñ10 penalty because the character has to move fast.
Tailing: A character can use Hide to tail a person in public. Using the skill in this manner assumes that there are other random people about, among whom the character can mingle to remain unnoticed. If the subject is worried about being followed, he or she can make a Spot check (opposed by the character’s Hide check) every time he or she changes course (goes around a street corner, exits a building, and so on). If he or she is unsuspecting, he or she generally gets only a Spot check after an hour of tailing.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Hide check, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Stealthy feat gets a +2 bonus on all Hide checks.
Time: A Hide check is an attack action.
Check: With a successful check, a character can forcibly persuade another character to perform some task or behave in a certain way. A character’s Intimidate check is opposed by the target’s level check (1d20 + the target’s character level or Hit Dice). Any modifiers that a target may have on Will saving throws against fear effects apply to this level check. If the character succeeds, he or she may treat the target as friendly for 10 minutes, but only for purposes of actions taken while in the character’s presence. (That is, the target retains his or her normal attitude, but will chat, advise, offer limited help, or advocate on the character’s behalf while intimidated.)
Circumstances dramatically affect the effectiveness of an Intimidate check.
There are limits to what a successful Intimidate check can do.
The character can’t force someone to obey his or her every command or do something that endangers that person’s life.
If the character fails by more than 5, the target may actually do the opposite of what the character wishes.
Try Again?: No. Even if the initial check succeeds, the other character can only be intimidated so much, and trying again doesn’t help. If the initial check fails, the other character has become more firmly resolved to resist the intimidator, and trying again is futile.
Special: A character can take 10 when making an Intimidate check, but can’t take 20.
A character immune to fear effects can’t be intimidated.
A character may add a +2 bonus to his or her Intimidate check for every size category the character is larger than his or her target. Conversely, the character takes a ñ2 penalty to his or her check for every size category the character is smaller than his or her target.
A character with the Confident feat gets a +2 bonus on all Intimidate checks and on level checks to resist intimidation.
Time: An Intimidate check is a full-round action.
Investigate (Int) Trained Only
Check: A character generally uses Search to discover clues and Investigate to analyze them. If the character has access to a crime lab, the character uses the Investigate skill to collect and prepare samples for the lab. The result of the Investigate check provides bonuses or penalties to the lab workers.
Analyze Clue: The character can make an Investigate check to apply forensics knowledge to a clue. This function of the Investigate skill does not give the character clues where none existed before. It simply allows the character to extract extra information from a clue he or she has found.
The base DC to analyze a clue is 15. It is modified by the time that has elapsed since the clue was left, and whether or not the scene was disturbed.
Circumstances DC Modifier
Every day since event (max modifier +10) +2
Scene is outdoors +5
Scene slightly disturbed +2
Scene moderately disturbed +4
Scene extremely disturbed +6
Collect Evidence: The character can collect and prepare evidentiary material for a lab. This use of the Investigate skill requires an evidence kit.
To collect a piece of evidence, make an Investigate check (DC 15). If the character succeeds, the evidence is usable by a crime lab. If the character fails, a crime lab analysis can be done, but the lab takes a ñ5 penalty on any necessary check. If the character fails by 5 or more, the lab analysis simply cannot be done. On the other hand, if the character succeeds by 10 or more, the lab gains a +2 circumstance bonus on its checks to analyze the material.
This function of the Investigate skill does not provide the character with evidentiary items. It simply allows the character to collect items he or she has found in a manner that best aids in their analysis later, at a crime lab.
Try Again?: Generally, analyzing a clue again doesn’t add new insight unless another clue is introduced. Evidence collected cannot be recollected, unless there is more of it to take.
Special: A character can take 10 when making an Investigate check, but cannot take 20.
Collecting evidence requires an evidence kit. If the character does not have the appropriate kit, the character takes a ñ4 penalty on his or her check.
A character with the Attentive feat and at least 1 rank in this skill gets a +2 bonus on all Investigate checks.
Time: Analyzing a clue is a full-round action. Collecting evidence generally takes 1d4 minutes per object.
Jump (Str) Armor Penalty
Check: The DC and the distance the character can cover vary according to the type of jump the character is attempting.
The character’s Jump check is modified by his or her speed. The DCs specified below assume a speed of 30 feet (the speed of a typical human). If the character’s speed is less than 30 feet, he or she takes a penalty of ñ6 for every 10 feet of speed less than 30. If the character’s speed is greater than 30 feet, he or she gains a bonus of +4 for every 10 feet over 30.
If the character has ranks in the Jump skill and succeeds on a check, the character lands on his or her feet (when appropriate) and can move as far as the character’s remaining movement allows. If the character attempts a Jump check untrained, the character lands prone unless he or she beats the DC by 5 or more. Standing from a prone position is a move action.
Distance moved by jumping is counted against maximum movement in a round. A character can start a jump at the end of one turn and complete the jump at the beginning of your next turn.
Long Jump: This is a horizontal jump, made across a gap such as a chasm or stream. At the midpoint of the jump, the character attains a vertical height equal to one-quarter the horizontal distance. The DC for the jump is equal to the distance jumped (in feet). The DCs for long jumps of 5 to 30 feet are given in the table below. A character cannot jump a distance greater than his or her normal speed.
All Jump DCs covered here assume that the character can move at least 20 feet in a straight line before attempting the jump. If this is not the case, the DC for the jump is doubled.
Long Jump Distance DC1 Long Jump Distance DC1
5 feet 5 20 feet 20
10 feet 10 25 feet 25
15 feet 15 30 feet 30
1 Requires a 20-foot move. Without a 20-foot move, double the DC.
If the character fails the check by less than 5, he or she doesn’t clear the distance, but can make a Reflex save (DC 15) to grab the far edge of the gap. The character ends his or her movement grasping the far edge. If that leaves the character dangling over a chasm or gap, getting up requires a move action and a Climb check (DC 15).
High Jump: This is a vertical leap, made to jump up to grasp something overhead, such as a tree limb or ledge. The DC for the jump is the height x4 (in feet). The DCs for high jumps of 1 to 8 feet are given in the table below.
All Jump DCs covered here assume that the character can move at least 20 feet in a straight line before attempting the jump. If this is not the case, the DC for the jump is doubled.
High Jump Distance DC1 High Jump Distance DC1
1 foot 4 5 feet 20
2 feet 8 6 feet 24
3 feet 12 7 feet 28
4 feet 16 8 feet 32
1 Requires a 20-foot move. Without a running start, double the DC.
If the character succeeds on the check, he or she can reach the height. The character grasps the object he or she was trying to reach. If the character wishes to pull him or herself up, the character can do so with a move action and a Climb check (DC 15). If the character fails the Jump check, he or she does not reach the height, and lands on his or her feet in the same square from which the character jumped.
The difficulty of reaching a given height varies according to the size of the character or creature.
Generally, the maximum height a creature can reach without jumping is given in the table below. (As a Medium-size creature, a typical human can reach 8 feet without jumping.) If the creature is long instead of tall, treat it as one size category smaller.
Creature Size Maximum Height
Colossal 128 ft.
Gargantuan 64 ft.
Huge 32 ft.
Large 16 ft.
Medium-size 8 ft.
Small 4 ft.
Tiny 2 ft.
Diminutive 1 ft.
Fine 0.5 ft.
Hop Up: The character can jump up onto an object as tall as his or her waist with a Jump check (DC 10). Doing so counts as 10 feet of movement. The character does not need to get a running start to hop up (the DC is not doubled if you do not get a running start).
Jumping Down: If the character intentionally jumps from a height, he or she takes less damage than if the character just falls. The DC to jump down from a height is 15. The character does not have to get a running start to jump down (the DC is not doubled if the character does not get a running start).
If the character succeeds on the check, he or she takes falling damage as if the character had dropped 10 fewer feet than he or she actually did.
Special: Effects that increase a character’s speed also increase the character’s jumping distance, since the check is modified by the character’s speed.
A character can take 10 when making a Jump check. If there is no danger associated with failing, the character can take 20.
A character with the Acrobatic feat gets a +2 bonus on all Jump checks. A character with the Run feat gains a +2 competence bonus on Jump checks preceded by a 20-foot move.
Tumble can provide a +2 synergy bonus on Jump checks (see Skill Synergy).
Time: Using the Jump skill is either a move action or a full-round action, depending on whether the character starts and completes the jump during a single move action or a full-round action.
Knowledge (Int) Trained Only
This skill encompasses several categories, each of them treated as a separate skill. These categories are identified and defined below.
The number of Knowledge categories is kept purposely finite. When trying to determine what Knowledge skill a particular question or field of expertise falls under, use a broad interpretation of the existing categories. Do not arbitrarily make up new categories.
Check: A character makes a Knowledge check to see if the character knows something.
The DC for answering a question within the character’s field of study is 10 for easy questions, 15 for basic questions, and 20 to 30 for tough questions.
Appraising the value of an object is one sort of task that can be performed using Knowledge. The DC depends on how common or obscure the object is. On a success, the character accurately identifies the object’s purchase DC. If the character fails, he or she thinks it has a purchase DC 1d2 higher or lower (determine randomly) than its actual value. If the character fails by 5 or more, he or she thinks it has a purchase DC 1d4+2 higher or lower than its actual value. The GM may make the Knowledge roll for the character, so he or she doesn’t know whether the appraisal is accurate or not.
The fourteen Knowledge categories, and the topics each one encompasses, are as follows.
Arcane Lore: The occult, magic and the supernatural, astrology, numerology, and similar topics.
Art: Fine arts and graphic arts, including art history and artistic techniques. Antiques, modern art, photography, and performance art forms such as music and dance, among others.
Behavioral Sciences: Psychology, sociology, and criminology.
Business: Business procedures, investment strategies, and corporate structures. Bureaucratic procedures and how to navigate them.
Civics: Law, legislation, litigation, and legal rights and obligations. Political and governmental institutions and processes.
Current Events: Recent happenings in the news, sports, politics, entertainment, and foreign affairs.
Earth and Life Sciences: Biology, botany, genetics, geology, and paleontology. Medicine and forensics.
History: Events, personalities, and cultures of the past. Archaeology and antiquities.
Physical Sciences: Astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and engineering.
Popular Culture: Popular music and personalities, genre films and books, urban legends, comics, science fiction, and gaming, among others.
Streetwise: Street and urban culture, local underworld personalities and events.
Tactics: Techniques and strategies for disposing and maneuvering forces in combat.
Technology: Current developments in cutting-edge devices, as well as the background necessary to identify various technological devices.
Theology and Philosophy: Liberal arts, ethics, philosophical concepts, and the study of religious faith, practice, and experience.
Try Again?: No. The check represents what a character knows, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let the character know something he or she never knew in the first place.
Special: An untrained Knowledge check is simply an Intelligence check. Without actual training, a character only knows common knowledge about a given subject.
A character can take 10 when making a Knowledge check, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Educated feat gets a +2 bonus on any two types of Knowledge checks.
The GM may decide that having 5 or more ranks in a specific Knowledge skill provides a character with a +2 synergy bonus when making a related skill check.
Time: A Knowledge check can be a reaction, but otherwise requires a full-round action.
Check: Make a Listen check against a DC that reflects how quiet the noise is that a character might hear or against an opposed Move Silently check.
The GM may call for a Listen check by a character who is in a position to hear something. A character can also make a Listen check voluntarily if he or she wants to try to hear something in the character’s vicinity.
The GM may make the Listen check in secret so that the character doesn’t know whether not hearing anything means that nothing is there or that the character failed the check.
A successful Listen check when there isn’t anything to hear results in the character hearing nothing.
ñ10 A melee battle
0 People talking
5 A person in medium armor walking at a slow pace, trying not to make noise
10 An unarmored person walking at a slow pace, trying not to make any noise
15 A 1st-level Fast hero sneaking up on someone1
20 A tiger stalking prey1
30 A bird flying through the air
+5 Through a door
+15 Through a solid wall
1 This is actually an opposed check; the DC given is a typical Move Silently check result for such a character or creature.
Condition Check Penalty
Per 10 feet of distance ñ1
Listener distracted ñ5
Try Again?: A character can make a Listen check every time he or she has the opportunity to hear something in a reactive manner. As a move action, the character may attempt to hear something that he or she failed (or believes he or she failed) to hear previously.
Special: When several characters are listening to the same thing, the GM can make a single 1d20 roll and use it for all the listeners’ skill checks.
A character can take 10 or take 20 when making a Listen check. Taking 20 means the character spends 1 minute attempting to hear something that may or may not be there to hear.
A character with the Alertness feat gets a +2 bonus on all Listen checks.
A sleeping character can make Listen checks, but takes a ñ10 penalty on the checks.
Time: A Listen check is either a reaction (if called for by the GM) or a move action (if a character actively takes the time to try to hear something).
Move Silently (Dex) Armor Penalty
Check: A character’s Move Silently check is opposed by the Listen check of anyone who might hear the character. A character can move up to half his or her normal speed at no penalty. At more than half speed and up to the character’s full speed, he or she takes a ñ5 penalty. It’s practically impossible (ñ20 penalty) to move silently while attacking, running, or charging.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Move Silently check, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Stealthy feat gets a +2 bonus on all Move Silently checks.
Time: Move Silently is a move action.
Check: Make a Navigate check when a character is trying to find his or her way to a distant location without directions or other specific guidance. Generally, a character does not need to make a check to find a local street or other common urban site, or to follow an accurate map. However, the character might make a check to wind his or her way through a dense forest or a labyrinth of underground storm drains.
For movement over a great distance, make a Navigate check. The DC depends on the length of the trip. If the character succeeds, he or she moves via the best reasonable course toward his or her goal. If the character fails, he or she still reaches the goal, but it takes the character twice as long (the character loses time backtracking and correcting his or her path). If the character fails by more than 5, the or she travels the expected time, but only gets halfway to his or her destination, at which point the character becomes lost.
A character may make a second Navigate check (DC 20) to regain his or her path. If the character succeeds, he or she continues on to his or her destination; the total time for the trip is twice the normal time. If the character fails, he or she loses half a day before the character can try again. The character keeps trying until he or she succeeds, losing half a day for each failure.
Length of Trip DC
Short (a few hours) 20
Moderate (a day or two) 22
Long (up to a week) 25
Extreme (more than a week) 28
When faced with multiple choices, such as at a branch in a tunnel, a character can make a Navigate check (DC 20) to intuit the choice that takes the character toward a known destination. If unsuccessful, the character chooses the wrong path, but at the next juncture, with a successful check, the character realizes his or her mistake.
A character cannot use this function of Navigate to find a path to a site if the character has no idea where the site is located. The GM may choose to make the Navigate check for the character in secret, so he or she doesn’t know from the result whether the character is following the right or wrong path.
A character can use Navigate to determine his or her position on earth without the use of any high-tech equipment by checking the constellations or other natural landmarks. The character must have a clear view of the night sky to make this check. The DC is 15.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Navigate check. A character can take 20 only when determining his or her location, not when traveling.
A character with the Guide feat gets a +2 bonus on all Navigate checks.
Time: A Navigate check is a full-round action.
This skill encompasses several categories, each of them treated as a separate skill. These categories are identified and defined below.
The number of Perform categories is kept purposely finite. When trying to determine what Perform skill a particular type of performance falls under, use a broad interpretation of the existing categories. Do not arbitrarily make up new categories.
Check: The character is accomplished in some type of artistic expression and knows how to put on a performance. The character can impress audiences with his or her talent and skill. The quality of the character’s performance depends on his or her check result.
The eight Perform categories, and the qualities each one encompasses, are as follows.
Act: The character is a gifted actor, capable of performing drama, comedy, or action-oriented roles with some level of skill.
Dance: The character is a gifted dancer, capable of performing rhythmic and patterned bodily movements to music.
Keyboards: The character is a musician gifted with a talent for playing keyboard musical instruments, such as piano, organ, and synthesizer.
Percussion Instruments: The character is a musician gifted with a talent for playing percussion musical instruments, such as drums, cymbals, triangle, xylophone, and tambourine.
Sing: The character is a musician gifted with a talent for producing musical tones with your voice.
Stand-Up: The character is a gifted comedian, capable of performing a stand-up routine before an audience.
Stringed Instruments: The character is a musician gifted with a talent for playing stringed musical instruments, such as banjo, guitar, harp, lute, sitar, and violin.
Wind Instruments: The character is a musician gifted with a talent for playing wind musical instruments, such as flute, bugle, trumpet, tuba, bagpipes, and trombone.
10 Amateur performance. Audience may appreciate your performance, but isn’t impressed.
15 Routine performance. Audience enjoys your performance, but it isn’t exceptional.
20 Great performance. Audience highly impressed.
25 Memorable performance. Audience enthusiastic.
30 Masterful performance. Audience awed.
Try Again?: Not for the same performance and audience.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Perform check, but can’t take 20.
A character without an appropriate instrument automatically fails any Perform (keyboard), Perform (percussion), Perform (stringed), or Perform (wind) check he or she attempts. At the GM’s discretion, impromptu instruments may be employed, but the performer must take a ñ4 penalty on the check because his or her equipment, although usable, is inappropriate for the skill.
Every time a character takes the Creative feat, he or she gets a +2 bonus on checks involving two Perform skills the character designates. See the feat description for more information.
Time: A Perform check usually requires at least several minutes to an hour or more.
Pilot (Dex) Trained Only
Check: Typical piloting tasks don’t require checks. Checks are required during combat, for special maneuvers, or in other extreme circumstances, or when the pilot wants to attempt something outside the normal parameters of the vehicle. When flying, the character can attempt simple maneuvers and stunts (actions in which the pilot attempts to do something complex very quickly or in a limited space).
Each vehicle’s description includes a maneuver modifier that applies to Pilot checks made by the operator of the vehicle.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Pilot check, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Vehicle Expert feat gets a +2 bonus on all Pilot checks.
There is no penalty for operating a general-purpose fixed-wing aircraft. Other types of aircraft (heavy aircraft, helicopters, jet fighters, and spacecraft) require the corresponding Aircraft Operation feat, or else the character takes a ñ4 penalty on Pilot checks.
Time: A Pilot check is a move action.
Check: A character makes Profession checks to improve his or her Wealth bonus every time he or she attains a new level. The DC for the check is the character’s current Wealth bonus. If the character succeeds at the Profession check, his or her Wealth bonus increases by +1. For every 5 by which the character exceeds the DC, his or her Wealth bonus increases by an additional +1. A character can’t take 10 or take 20 when making a Profession check to improve his or her Wealth bonus.
How many ranks a character has in the Profession skill (including ranks the character may have just acquired after gaining a level) also adds to the Wealth bonus increase the character receives upon gaining a new level. In addition to the Wealth bonus increase a character gains from your Profession check result (if the check succeeds), the number of ranks the character has in this skill increases his or her Wealth bonus as follows.
Wealth Increase Table
Ranks Wealth Bonus Increase
Special: If the Gamemaster deems it appropriate, a character can add his or her Profession modifier when making a Reputation check to deal with a work- or career-related situation.
Every time a character takes the Windfall feat, he or she gets a cumulative +1 bonus on all Profession checks.
Read/Write Language (None) Trained Only
The Read/Write Language skill doesn’t work like a standard skill.
A character automatically knows how to read and write his or her native language; the character does not need ranks to do so.
Each additional language costs 1 rank. When a character adds a rank to Read/Write Language, he or she chooses a new language that the character can read and write.
A character never makes Read/Write Language checks. A character either knows how to read and write a specific language or doesn’t.
To be able to speak a language that the character can read and write, he or she must take the Speak Language skill for the appropriate language.
A character can choose any language, modern or ancient. (See below for suggestions.) The GM might determine that a character can’t learn a specific language due to the circumstances of the campaign.
There are thousands of languages to choose from when a character buys ranks in Speak Language or Read/Write Language. A few are listed here, sorted into their general language groups.
A language’s group doesn’t matter when a character is buying ranks in Speak Language or Read/Write Language. Language groups are provided because they pertain to the Smart hero’s Linguist talent.
This list is by no means exhaustive there are many more language groups, and most groups contain more languages than those listed here.
Algic: Algonkin, Arapaho, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Shawnee.
Athabascan: Apache, Chipewyan, Navaho.
Attic: Ancient Greek*, Greek.
Baltic: Latvian, Lithuanian.
Celtic: Gaelic (Irish), Gaelic (Scots), Welsh.
Chinese: Cantonese, Mandarin.
Finno-Lappic: Estonian, Finnish, Lapp.
Germanic: Afrikaans, Danish, Dutch, English, Flemish, German, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Yiddish.
Hamo-Semitic: Coptic*, Middle Egyptian*.
Indic: Hindi, Punjabi, Sanskrit*, Urdu.
Iranian: Farsi, Pashto.
Romance: French, Italian, Latin*, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish.
Semitic: Akkadian (aka Babylonian), Ancient Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic*, Hebrew.
Slavic: Belorussian, Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak, Ukrainian.
Tibeto-Burman: Burmese, Sherpa, Tibetan.
Turkic: Azerbaijani, Turkish, Uzbek.
Ugric: Hungarian (aka Magyar).
*This is an ancient language. In the modern world it is spoken only by scholars, or in some cases by small populations in isolated corners of the world.
Repair (Int) Trained Only
Check: Most Repair checks are made to fix complex electronic or mechanical devices. The DC is set by the GM. In general, simple repairs have a DC of 10 to 15 and require no more than a few minutes to accomplish. More complex repair work has a DC of 20 or higher and can require an hour or more to complete. Making repairs also involves a monetary cost when spare parts or new components are needed, represented by a Wealth check. If the GM decides this isn’t necessary for the type of repair the character is attempting, then no Wealth check is needed.
Example Repair Table
Repair Task (Example) Purchase DC Repair DC Time
Simple (tool, simple weapon) 4 10 1 min.
Moderate (mechanical or electronic component) 7 15 10 min.
Complex (mechanical or electronic device) 10 20 1 hr.
Advanced (cutting-edge mechanical or electronic device) 13 25 10 hr.
Jury-Rig: A character can choose to attempt jury-rigged, or temporary, repairs. Doing this reduces the purchase DC by 3 and the Repair check DC by 5, and allows the character to make the checks in as little as a full-round action. However, a jury-rigged repair can only fix a single problem with a check, and the temporary repair only lasts until the end of the current scene or encounter. The jury-rigged object must be fully repaired thereafter.
A character can also use jury-rig to hot-wire a car or jump-start an engine or electronic device. The DC for this is at least 15, and it can be higher depending on the presence of security devices.
The jury-rig application of the Repair skill can be used untrained.
Try Again?: Yes, though in some specific cases, the GM may decide that a failed Repair check has negative ramifications that prevent repeated checks.
Special: A character can take 10 or take 20 on a Repair check. When making a Repair check to accomplish a jury-rig repair, a character can’t take 20.
Repair requires an electrical tool kit, a mechanical tool kit, or a multipurpose tool, depending on the task. If the character do not have the appropriate tools, he or she takes a ñ4 penalty on the check.
Craft (mechanical) or Craft (electronic) can provide a +2 synergy bonus on Repair checks made for mechanical or electronic devices (see Skill Synergy).
A character with the Gearhead feat and at least 1 rank in this skill gets a +2 bonus on all Repair checks.
Time: See the table for guidelines. A character can make a jury-rig repair as a full-round action, but the work only lasts until the end of the current encounter.
Check: Researching a topic takes time, skill, and some luck. The GM determines how obscure a particular topic is (the more obscure, the higher the DC) and what kind of information might be available depending on where the character is conducting his or her research.
Information ranges from general to protected. Given enough time (usually 1d4 hours) and a successful skill check, the character gets a general idea about a given topic. This assumes that no obvious reasons exist why such information would be unavailable, and that the character has a way to acquire restricted or protected information.
The higher the check result, the better and more complete the information. If the character wants to discover a specific fact, date, map, or similar bit of information, add +5 to +15 to the DC.
Try Again?: Yes.
Special: A character can take 10 or take 20 on a Research check.
A character with the Studious feat gets a +2 bonus on all Research checks.
Computer Use can provide a +2 synergy bonus on a Research check when searching computer records for data (see Skill Synergy).
Time: A Research check takes 1d4 hours.
Animals ill suited as mounts provide a ñ2 penalty on their rider’s Ride check.
Check: Typical riding actions don’t require checks. A character can saddle, mount, ride, and dismount without a problem. Mounting or dismounting an animal is a move action. Some tasks, such as those undertaken in combat or other extreme circumstances, require checks. In addition, attempting trick riding or asking the animal to perform an unusual technique also requires a check.
Guide with Knees
Guide with Knees (DC 5): The character can react instantly to guide his or her mount with his or her knees so that the character can use both hands in combat or to perform some other action. Make the check at the start of the character’s round. If the character fails, he or she can only use one hand this round because the character needs to use the other to control his or her mount.
Stay in Saddle
Stay in Saddle (DC 5): The character can react instantly to try to avoid falling when his or her mount rears or bolts unexpectedly or when the character takes damage.
Fight while Mounted
Fight while Mounted (DC 20): While in combat, the character can attempt to control a mount that is not trained in combat riding (see the Handle Animal skill). If the character succeeds, he or she uses only a move action, and the character can use his or her attack action to do something else. If the character fails, he or she can do nothing else that round. If the character fails by more than 5, he or she loses control of the animal.
For animals trained in combat riding, the character does not need to make this check. Instead, the character can use his or her move action to have the animal perform a trick (commonly, to attack). The character can use his or her attack action normally.
Cover (DC 15): The character can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside his or her mount, using it as one-half cover. The character can’t attack while using his or her mount as cover. If the character fails, he or she doesn’t get the cover benefit.
Soft Fall (DC 15): The character reacts instantly when he or she falls off a mount, such as when it is killed or when it falls, to try to avoid taking damage. If the character fails, he or she takes 1d6 points of falling damage.
Leap (DC 15): The character can get his or her mount to leap obstacles as part of its movement. Use the character’s Ride modifier or the mount’s Jump modifier (whichever is lower) when the mount makes its Jump check (see the Jump skill). The character makes a Ride check (DC 15) to stay on the mount when it leaps.
Fast Mount or Dismount
Fast Mount or Dismount (DC 20; armor penalty applies): The character can mount or dismount as a free action. If the character fails the check, mounting or dismounting is a move action. (A character can’t attempt a fast mount or dismount unless he or she can perform the mount or dismount as a move action this round, should the check fail.)
Special: If the character is riding bareback, he or she takes a ñ5 penalty on Ride checks.
A character can take 10 when making a Ride check, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Animal Affinity feat gets a +2 bonus on all Ride checks.
Time: Ride is a move action, except when otherwise noted for the special tasks listed above.
Check: The character generally must be within 10 feet of the object or surface to be examined. A character can examine up to a 5-foot-by-5-foot area or a volume of goods 5 feet on a side with a single check.
A Search check can turn up individual footprints, but does not allow a character to follow tracks or tell the character which direction the creature or creatures went or came from.
Search Task DCs
10 Ransack an area to find a certain object.
20 Notice a typical secret compartment, a simple trap, or an obscure clue.
25+ Find a complex or well-hidden secret compartment or trap; notice an extremely obscure clue.
Special: A character can take 10 or take 20 when making a Search check.
A character with the Meticulous feat gets a +2 bonus on all Search checks.
Time: A Search check is a full-round action.
Sense Motive (Wis)
Check: A successful check allows the character to avoid being bluffed (see the Bluff skill). Sense Motive does not, however, allow a character to determine whether a given statement is a lie. The character can also use the skill to tell when someone is behaving oddly or to assess someone’s trustworthiness. In addition, a character can use this skill to make an assessment of a social situation. With a successful check (DC 20), the character can get the feeling from another’s behavior that something is wrong. Also, the character can get the feeling that someone is trustworthy and honorable.
Try Again?: No, though the character may make a Sense Motive check for each bluff made on the character.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Sense Motive check, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Attentive feat gets a +2 bonus on all Sense Motive checks.
A character can use Sense Motive to detect that a hidden message is being transmitted via the Bluff skill (DC equal to the bluff check result of the sender). If the character’s check result beats the DC by 5 or more, the character understands the secret message as well. If the character’s check fails by 5 or more, the character misinterprets the message in some fashion.
Time: A Sense Motive check may be made as a reaction to another character’s Bluff check. (When that’s the case, the GM may roll the character’s Sense Motive check in secret, so the character doesn’t necessarily know someone’s trying to bluff him or her.) Using Sense Motive to get a sense of someone’s trustworthiness takes at least 1 minute.
Sleight of Hand (Dex) Trained Only; Armor Penalty
Check: A check against DC 10 lets a character palm a coin-sized, unattended object. Minor feats of sleight of hand, such as making a coin disappear, also have a DC of 10 unless an observer is concentrating on noticing what the character is doing.
When a character performs this skill under close observation, the character’s skill check is opposed by the observer’s Spot check. The observer’s check doesn’t prevent the character from performing the action, just from doing it unnoticed. When a character tries to take something from another person, the character’s opponent makes a Spot check to detect the attempt. To obtain the object, the character must get a result of 20 or higher, regardless of the opponent’s check result. The opponent detects the attempt if his or her check result beats the character’s check result, whether the character takes the object or not.
A character can use Sleight of Hand to conceal a small weapon or object on his or her body.
Try Again?: A second Sleight of Hand attempt against the same target, or when being watched by the same observer, has a DC 10 higher than the first check if the first check failed or if the attempt was noticed.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Sleight of Hand check, but can’t take 20.
A character can make an untrained Sleight of Hand check to conceal a weapon or object, but must always take 10.
A character with the Nimble feat and at least 1 rank in this skill gets a +2 bonus on all Sleight of Hand checks.
Time: A Sleight of Hand check is an attack action.
Speak Language (None) Trained Only
The Speak Language skill doesn’t work like a standard skill.
A character automatically knows how to speak his or her native language; the character does not need ranks to do so.
Each additional language costs 1 rank. When a character adds a rank to Speak Language, he or she chooses a new language that he or she can speak.
A character never makes Speak Language checks. A character either knows how to speak and understand a specific language or doesn’t.
To be able to read and write a language that the character can speak, he or she must take the Read/Write Language skill for the appropriate language.
A character can choose any language, modern or ancient. (See the table accompanying Read/Write Language for suggestions.) The GM might determine that a character can’t learn a specific language due to the circumstances of the campaign.
Check: The Spot skill is used to notice items that aren’t immediately obvious and people who are attempting to hide. The GM may call for a Spot check by a character who is in a position to notice something. A character can also make a Spot check voluntarily if he or she wants to try to notice something in his or her vicinity.
The GM may make the Spot check in secret so that the character doesn’t know whether not noticing anything means that nothing is there or that the character failed the check.
A successful Spot check when there isn’t anything to notice results in the character noticing nothing.
Spot is often used to notice a person or creature hiding from view. In such cases, the character’s Spot check is opposed by the Hide check of the character trying not to be seen. Spot is also used to detect someone in disguise (see the Disguise skill), or to notice a concealed weapon on another person.
A character’s Spot check is modified by a ñ1 penalty for every 10 feet of distance between the character and the character or object he or she is trying to discern. The check carries a further ñ5 penalty if the character is in the midst of activity.
Try Again?: A character can make a Spot check every time he or she has the opportunity to notice something in a reactive manner. As a full-round action, a character may attempt to notice something that he or she failed (or believe he or she failed) to notice previously.
Special: A character can take 10 or take 20 when making a Spot check.
A character with the Alertness feat gets a +2 bonus on all Spot checks.
Time: A Spot check is either a reaction (if called for by the GM) or a full-round action (if a character actively takes the time to try to notice something).
Check: A character can keep his or herself and others safe and fed in the wild.
With the Track feat, a character can use Survival checks to track a character or animal across various terrain types.
Survival Task DCs
10 Get along in the wild. Move up to half the character’s overland speed while hunting and foraging (no food or water supplies needed). The character can provide food and water for one other person for every 2 points by which the character’s check result exceeds 10.
15 Gain a +2 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saves against severe weather while moving up to half the character’s overland speed, or gain a +4 circumstance bonus if stationary. The character may grant the same bonus to one other character for every 1 point by which the character’s check result exceeds 15.
18 Avoid getting lost and avoid natural hazards, such as quicksand.
Special: A character can take 10 when making a Survival check. A character can take 20 when tracking, or if there is no danger or penalty for failure, but not on periodic checks to get along in the wild.
A character with the Guide feat gets a +2 bonus on all Survival checks.
Time: Basic Survival checks occur each day in the wilderness or whenever a hazard presents itself. When using Survival with the Track feat to track a character or animal, checks are made according to distance, as described in the Track feat.
Swim (Str) Armor Penalty
Check: A successful Swim check allows a character to swim one-quarter his or her speed as a move action or half the character’s speed as a full-round action. Roll once per round. If the character fails, he or she makes no progress through the water. If the character fails by 5 or more, he or she goes underwater.
If the character is underwater (from failing a swim check or because the character is swimming underwater intentionally), the character must hold his or her breath. A character can hold his or her breath for a number of rounds equal to the character’s Constitution score, but only if the character does nothing but take move actions or free actions. If the character takes an attack action or a full-round action, the amount of breath the character has remaining is reduced by 1 round. (Effectively, a character in combat can hold his or her breath only half as long as normal.) After that period of time, the character must make a Constitution check (DC 10) every round to continue holding his or her breath. Each round, the DC of the check increases by 1. If the character fails the check, the character begins to drown.
The DC for the Swim check depends on the water:
Calm water 10
Rough water 15
Stormy water 20
Each hour that the character swims, make a Swim check against DC 20. If the character fails, he or she becomes fatigued. If the character fails a check while fatigued, the character becomes exhausted. If the character fails a check while exhausted, the character becomes unconscious. Unconscious characters go underwater and immediately begin to drown.
Try Again?: A new check is allowed the round after a check is failed.
Treat Injury (Wis)
Check: The DC and effect depend on the task attempted.
Long-Term Care (DC 15): With a medical kit, the successful application of this skill allows a patient to recover hit points and ability points lost to temporary damage at an advanced rate 3 hit points per character level or 3 ability points restored per day of complete rest. A new check is made each day; on a failed check, recovery occurs at the normal rate for that day of rest and care.
A character can tend up to as many patients as he or she has ranks in the skill. The patients need complete bed rest (doing nothing all day). The character needs to devote at least ½ hour of the day to each patient the character is caring for.
Restore Hit Points
Restore Hit Points (DC 15): With a medical kit, if a character has lost hit points, the character can restore some of them. A successful check, as a full-round action, restores 1d4 hit points. The number restored can never exceed the character’s full normal total of hit points. This application of the skill can be used successfully on a character only once per day.
Revive Dazed, Stunned, or Unconscious Character
Revive Dazed, Stunned, or Unconscious Character (DC 15): With a first aid kit, the character can remove the dazed, stunned, or unconscious condition from a character. This check is an attack action.
A successful check removes the dazed, stunned, or unconscious condition from an affected character. The character can’t revive an unconscious character who is at ñ1 hit points or lower without first stabilizing the character.
Stabilize Dying Character
Stabilize Dying Character (DC 15): With a medical kit, a character can tend to a character who is dying. As an attack action, a successful Treat Injury check stabilizes another character. The stabilized character regains no hit points, but he or she stops losing them. The character must have a medical kit to stabilize a dying character.
Surgery (DC 20): With a surgery kit, a character can conduct field surgery. This application of the Treat Injury skill carries a ñ4 penalty, which can be negated with the Surgery feat. Surgery requires 1d4 hours; if the patient is at negative hit points, add an additional hour for every point below 0 the patient has fallen.
Surgery restores 1d6 hit points for every character level of the patient (up to the patient’s full normal total of hit points) with a successful skill check. Surgery can only be used successfully on a character once in a 24-hour period. A character who undergoes surgery is fatigued for 24 hours, minus 2 hours for every point above the DC the surgeon achieves. The period of fatigue can never be reduced below 6 hours in this fashion.
Treat Disease (DC 15): A character can tend to a character infected with a treatable disease. Every time the diseased character makes a saving throw against disease effects (after the initial contamination), the treating character first makes a Treat Injury check to help the diseased character fend off secondary damage. This activity takes 10 minutes. If the treating character’s check succeeds, the treating character provides a bonus on the diseased character’s saving throw equal to his or her ranks in this skill.
Treat Poison (DC 15): A character can tend to a poisoned character. When a poisoned character makes a saving throw against a poison’s secondary effect, the treating character first makes a Treat Injury check as an attack action. If the treating character’s check succeeds, the character provides a bonus on the poisoned character’s saving throw equal to his or her ranks in this skill.
Try Again?: Yes, for restoring hit points, reviving dazed, stunned, or unconscious characters, stabilizing dying characters, and surgery. No, for all other uses of the skill.
Special: The Surgery feat gives a character the extra training he or she needs to use Treat Injury to help a wounded character by means of an operation.
A character can take 10 when making a Treat Injury check. A character can take 20 only when restoring hit points or attempting to revive dazed, stunned, or unconscious characters.
Long-term care, restoring hit points, treating disease, treating poison, or stabilizing a dying character requires a medical kit. Reviving a dazed, stunned, or unconscious characters requires either a first aid kit or a medical kit. Surgery requires a surgery kit. If the character does not have the appropriate kit, he or she takes a ñ4 penalty on the check.
A character can use the Treat Injury skill on his or herself only to restore hit points, treat disease, or treat poison. The character takes a ñ5 penalty on your check any time he or she treats his or herself.
A character with the Medical Expert feat gets a +2 bonus on all Treat Injury checks.
Time: Treat Injury checks take different amounts of time based on the task at hand, as described above.
Tumble (Dex) Trained Only; Armor Penalty
Check: A character can land softly when he or she falls, tumble past opponents in combat, or tumble through opponents.
Land Softly: The character can make a Tumble check (DC 15) when falling. If the check succeeds, treat the fall as if it were 10 feet shorter when determining damage.
Tumble past Opponents
Tumble past Opponents: With a successful Tumble check (DC 15), the character can weave, dodge, and roll up to 20 feet through squares adjacent to opponents, risking no attacks of opportunity. Failure means the character moves as planned, but provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.
Tumble through Opponents
Tumble through Opponents: With a successful Tumble check (DC 25), the character can roll, jump, or dive through squares occupied by opponents, moving over, under, or around them as if they weren’t there. Failure means the character moves as planned, but provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.
Try Again?: No.
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks in Tumble gains a +3 dodge bonus to Defense (instead of the normal +2) when fighting defensively, and a +6 dodge bonus (instead of the normal +4) when engaging in total defense. A character can take 10 when making a Tumble check, but can’t take 20.
A character with the Acrobatic feat and at least 1 rank in this skill gets a +2 bonus on all Tumble checks.
Time: A character can try to reduce damage from a fall as a reaction once per fall. A character can attempt to tumble as a free action that must be performed as part of a move action.