Skills House Rules

This page includes modifications to the skill lists and skill usage. The first section discusses skills that have been removed or consolidated. After that is a section on Stealth and a couple of rarely chosen but useful skills for your consideration. Lastly, there is an adjustment to the Aid Another action.

KNOWLEDGE SKILLS
The following knowledge skills have also been removed and consolidated: engineering, geography, and nobility. Engineering will be covered by Profession (engineer) for the purposes of using siege weapons and constructing buildings, identifying structural weaknesses, etc. Geographic knowledge of terrain and climate will be covered b*y Nature, whereas knowledge of lands and people will be included in Local. Lastly, nobility will be divided into History or Local as appropriate.

Knowledge (Local): Local knowledge includes any region your character is familiar with. Starting characters can select one region, such as Sandpoint, the Lost Coast, the Storval Plateau (Shoanti homeland), or Magnimar. Each additional rank allows the character to add another region of approximately the same size. The total skill bonus will be applied to all regions the character has knowledge of – that is, one region per rank. Here is a list of Varisian locales to choose from. Those listed in bold will feature more prominently in the adventure path.

  • Sandpoint
  • Maginmar
  • Riddleport
  • Kaer Maga
  • Korvosa
  • The Lost Coast (includes coastline from Maginimar to Riddleport)
  • Mushfens
  • Varisian Gulf (includes waterways and islands)
  • Varisian Midlands (includes lower central Varisia such as Churlwood, Curchain Hills, Malgorian Mountains, Sanos Forest and Ashwood)
  • Varisian Riverlands (included lower eastern Varisia such as Fenwall Mountains, Lake Syrantula, and towns north of Korvosa)
  • Varisian Uplands (includes Velashu Uplands, Lurkwood, the Red and Stony Mountains, Lake Stormunder, and The Nolands)
  • Storval Plateau (Shoanti homeland, includes north central Varisia from between Stony Mountains and Kazaron River)
  • The Cinderlands (north eastern Varisia)
  • Storval Deep and Peaks (includes The Iron Peaks, Hook Mountain and Wyvern Mountains)
  • Mirani Forest (elven homeland)
  • Mindspin Mountains (dwarven homeland)
  • Kodar Mountains

So here’s the Knowledge skill list we’ll use:

  • Arcana (ancient mysteries, symbols, traditions, monster lore [constructs, dragons, magical beasts])
  • Dungeoneering (spelunking, underground flora & fauna, monster lore [aberrations, oozes])
  • History (wars, lineages, founding of cities)
  • Local (legends, personalities, customs, laws, heraldry, monster lore [humanoids])
  • Nature (plants, seasons, weather, monster lore [animals, fey, monstrous humanoids, plants, vermin])
  • Planes (astral plane, ethereal plane, inner and outer planes, monster lore [outsiders])
  • Religion (ecclesiastic tradition, holy symbols and trappings, gods and mythology, monster lore [undead])

Sneak attackSTEALTH
We’ll be using the revised Stealth rules presented on the Paizo website. These are still in playtest so any feedback could be passed on to the publisher.

(Dex; Armor Check Penalty) You are skilled at avoiding detection, allowing you to slip past foes or strike from an unseen position. This skill covers hiding and moving silently.

Check: Your Stealth check is opposed by the Perception check of anyone who might notice you. Usually a Stealth check is made at the start of an action when you have some kind of cover (except for soft cover) or concealment. You cannot spend a free action to initiate Stealth, but if you spend a free action while under the effects of Stealth, you must make a new Stealth check to continue its effects. You can always spend a swift action to stay immobile and make a Stealth check. You can move up to half your speed and use Stealth at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than half your speed and up to your normal speed, you take a –5 penalty on the Stealth check. It’s usually impossible to use Stealth while taking an immediate action, a full-round action, or any action to make an attack, unless you are subject to greater invisibility or a similar effect, or you are sniping (see below). When you make your Stealth check, those creatures that didn’t succeed at the opposed roll treat you as hidden until the start of your next action or until the end of your turn if you do not end your turn with cover or concealment. You are not hidden from creatures that are observing you (creatures that you didn’t have cover or concealment from) or that succeed at the opposed check.

A creature larger or smaller than Medium takes a size bonus or penalty on Stealth checks depending on its size category: Fine +16, Diminutive +12, Tiny +8, Small +4, Large –4, Huge –8, Gargantuan –12, Colossal –16.

Attacking while Hidden: Usually, making an attack against a creature ends the hidden condition. For purposes of Stealth, an attack includes any spell targeting a foe or whose area or effect includes a foe. Actions directed at an unattended object do not end Stealth. Causing harm indirectly is not an attack. If during your last action you were hidden to a creature, you are still considered hidden when you make the first attack of that new action.

Other Perception Checks: If a creature makes a Perception check as a move action to notice a hidden creature, the DC of the Perception check is the hidden creature’s last Stealth check. This is also the case if a creature makes a Perception check to notice a hidden creature because the perceiving creature is entering an area where it could possibly notice a hidden creature.

Stealth dwarfSniping: If you already are hidden to a target and you are at least 10 feet away from that target, as a standard action, you can make one ranged attack against that target and immediately make an opposed Stealth check to stay hidden. You take a –20 penalty on your Stealth check when attempting to snipe.

Creating a Diversion to Hide: You can use Bluff to allow you to use Stealth. If you do not have cover or concealment, as a swift action, you can attempt a Bluff check opposed by the Sense Motive of opponents that can see you. If you are successful, you are considered to have concealment from those creatures (but you do not gain the percent miss chance from concealment) until the end of your next action, you make an attack (as defined in the Attacking while Hidden section, above), or the end of your turn, whichever happens first.

Action: Usually making a Stealth check is not an action. Using Stealth is part of the action you are taking.

Special: If you are subject to the invisibility or greater invisibility spells or a similar effect, you gain a +40 bonus on Stealth checks while you are immobile, or a +20 bonus on Stealth checks while you’re moving. If you have the Stealthy feat, you get a bonus on Stealth checks (see Chapter 5).

Conditions
Hidden: You are difficult to detect but you not invisible. A hidden creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against sighted opponents, and ignores its opponents’ Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). You do not have line of sight to a creature or object that is hidden from you.

Invisible: Invisible creatures are visually undetectable. An invisible creature or object gains the benefits of the hidden condition. An invisible object or creature gains total concealment.

FLY, POISONCRAFT AND TRAP-MAKING
Fly has been eliminated from the skill list; it will not be used in play. Two other areas that occasionally come up in adventuring are poison use and trap-making. Poison-making falls under the Craft (alchemy) skill and would include knowledge of which parts of fallen monsters and happened-upon flora are valuable. Trap-making, using the Profession (trapper) skill can be used to disable and contain humanoids and beasts. This skill would also provide a synergy bonus for Disable Device checks to defeat associated traps.

AID ANOTHER
In some circumstances the group members may assist one another to accomplish a goal. Usually the character with the highest ability or skill modifier is the primary character with other’s assisting him or her.

As a standard action, you may make an aid another check to improve the primary character’s check result. The DC is equal to the primary character’s DC –10. Success gains the primary character a +2 bonus his or her check, while failure causes a -2 penalty. An aid another die roll of 20 that achieves the DC grants a +5 bonus, while a dice roll of 1 that fails to achieve the DC causes a -5 penalty. The penalties represent the distraction or interference caused by the failed assistance.

The aid another action can be declared before or after the primary character makes his or her ability or skill check. The primary character must be declared before anyone makes a check or it will be assumed that the first die roller is the primary character. In other words, if you came up with the idea but have a lower skill modifier, you might want to encourage someone else to be the primary character; if you make the skill check first and then learn that a party member is way better at that skill then you, well, maybe you’ll consider that next time.

Skills House Rules

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