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Player Character (Skills)

General Skills (p. 81)

All first level characters start with four slots for skills. Characters with Intelligence 13 – 15 gets 1 additional skill slot; Intelligence 16 – 17 gets 2 additional skill slots; Intelligence 18 gets 3 additional skill slots. Different things determine which skills are chosen to fill the character’s slots. The player may choose some or all of the skills to fill his available skill slots. Or the DM may insist that the player select certain skill choices appropriate for the character background the player has chosen.


Each skill is based n one of the character’s ability scores (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution and Charisma).  Whenever the DM feels a character’s selected skill is appropriate to a game situation, the player will roll a 1d20 against the corresponding ability score. This is called a ‘skill check’. If the roll on the 1d20 is equal to or less than the ability score, the skill use succeeds. A roll of 20 always fails, no matter how high the chance for success.

Skills Table

Strength Skills

Intelligence Skills

Wisdom Skills

Dexterity Skills

Constitution Skills

Charisma Skills



Animal Training (choose type)






Alternate Magics


(choose type)







Blind Shooting

Food Tasting




(choose type)



Slow Respiration




Ceremony (choose Deity)                 






Danger Sense

Dismount Rider


Gain Trust



(choose type)

Detect Deception



Gather Information




Fighting Instinct





Law & Justice (choose country/ culture)




(choose type)



Monster (or Animal) Empathy

Ledge Hopping











Spirit Lore

Outdoor Stealth




Knowledge (choose type)



(choose type)






Quick Draw




Language (choose type)


Rapid Fire




Lip Reading



(choose type)




Magical Engineering


Spell Agility Training







(choose terrain)

















Military Tactics












Nature Lore












Planar Geography






Profession (choose type)






Quick Casting






Science    (choose type)






Siege Craft












Signaling (choose type)












Spell Combination






Survival   (choose terrain)


















Veterinary Healing





(Skills will be detailed at each player’s request with their PC records.)

Improving Skills

Skills can be increased to higher scores by allotting more skill slots to the skill to improve that skill’s rolls. A skill slot can be used to either improve an existing skill by one point or to buy a new skill, not both.


Learning More Skills

Characters can choose to purchase more skills or improve existing ones. All characters get a new skill slot every four experience levels.


Skill Slot Acquisition Table for Humans

Experience       Skill Slots

Level                      Gained

1                      4**

5                      1

9                      1

13                    1

17                    1

21                          1

25                          1

29                          1

33                          1

** Not counting bonuses for high Intelligence score.


Skill Slot Acquisition (Demi-Humans) Table







Level or XP Total

Number of Slots

Level or

XP Total

Number of Slots

Level or

XP Total

Number of Slots

1st level


1st level


1st level


5th level


5th level


5th level


9th level


9th level
















* Not counting bonuses for high Intelligence scores.

Compiled Skills from the Gazatteers not listed in the Rules Cyclopedia

Skills Descriptions

The skills listed in the Sample Skills Table are described here and are arranged alphabetically for your convenience. Roll skill rolls against the ability under which these skills were listed in the table.


Acrobatics: The character with this skill can perform impressive acrobatic feats, balance on taut ropes and wires, etc. A successful skill roll is required to perform any acrobatic feat; failure may result in the character falling. A successful roll allows a character to reduce the effective height of a fall by 10'. A DM can give an acrobatic character a +2 to save vs. mechanical traps where agility would help—such as tilting floors and pit traps. Many entertainers, thieves, and nimble warriors have this skill. This skill is not the equal of a mystic's acrobatics ability, but the mystic's special ability can be presumed to include this skill; a mystic does not have to purchase the acrobatics skill.


Acting: This is the ability to make one's living as a stage actor, but it also imparts the ability to assume a different personality or to show false emotions. Successful use of this skill allows a character to tell convincing lies over a limited period of time.


Alchemy: This skill provides the ability to recognize and identify common alchemical substances, potions, and poisons. Success with this skill will allow a character to create an antidote potion for one specific type of poison—if the DM says that this is possible in his campaign.


Alertness: Successful uses of this skill allow the character to draw a weapon without losing any time, to avoid the effects of surprise, and to wake up at the slightest out-of-place noise.


Alternate Magics: This skill gives a character basic familiarity with magics that are not related to standard spellcasting. It includes knowing many magical abilities of well-known Prime Plane and extraplanar monsters and of Immortal beings. The DM defines what types of knowledge this skill provides in his or her campaign.


Animal Training (choose type): The character knows how to raise, train, and care for one type of animal. The animal can be taught some simple tricks or simple orders. A character who wants to train two or more different animal types must choose this skill more than once—Horse Training is one skill, Dog Training is another.

However, a horse trainer can train any sort of natural horse or pony and a dog trainer can train any breed of dog. Any culture that features a strong bond with some animal type will have many members with the corresponding Animal Training skill.


Art: This is the skill of creating art. There are several different types of Art skill (painting, sculpture, woodcarving, mosaic, etc.). The player must specify one sort of art his character practices; a character can take the skill several times and be proficient in several different forms of art. Art skill can be used to improve the reaction of NPCs to the party; if the artist can present an NPC with a portrait or sculpture of that person (and make his Art roll), the artist receives a + 2 to reaction. The player can choose for his character's Art skill to be based on Wisdom instead of Intelligence.


Artillery: A character must have this skill if he is to command the crew of a piece of artillery (catapult or trebuchet). He does not have to make his skill roll with each shot; merely knowing the skill is enough. The DM can call on him to make his skill roll each time the character or the crew aims at a new target; the skill allows the character to make all pertinent calculations of trajectory, distance, and throw weight.

This skill can alternatively allow the character to oversee the building and repair of all varieties of siege equipment. The character cannot know both how to build and how to effectively operate artillery weapons unless he takes the skill twice.


Bargaining: A successful skill roll allows a character to get the best deal available for goods, services, or information. It's not usually possible for a character to bargain someone into giving him very much for nothing.


Blind Shooting: This skill is the ability to shoot at a target without being able to see it; it is typically used when the character is in darkness or when the target is outside the range of his sight or infravision. The character must be able to hear the target so that its position can be evaluated.

If the character makes his skill check, he can then fire at the target; he needs an attack roll to hit the target, but the character doesn't suffer the normal darkness penalties.


Bravery: With a successful use of this skill, the character can resist the effects of any magical fear. An NPC using this skill successfully can ignore the results of morale checks or of skills such as Intimidation.


Caving: This is an ability to always know where one is while exploring underground caves, cavern complexes, rivers, etc. A character with this skill will automatically know the route he has taken to get where he is (if he was conscious all the time). Many dwarves have this skill.

The Caving skill can also be used in a maze. Skill checks are necessary when the character has become disoriented. If he is forced to flee for a long stretch, he must make a skill check to keep from being lost. (Characters without this skill automatically become lost in such a situation.)


Ceremony (choose specific Immortal): A character with this skill knows how to honor an Immortal through ritual and ceremony; the skill allows a cleric character to perform normal rituals of his clerical order and could even (if the DM allows) permit a character to gain an Immortal's attention (through devout prayer, fasting, sacrifice of possessions, etc.). This skill includes knowing the code of behavior and the rituals pleasing to the Immortal.

In earlier D&DŽ game products, this skill was often referred to as "Honor (specific immortal)."


Cheating: This is the skill of winning at gambling games by cheating—by dealing cards from the bottom of the deck, etc. The cheating character should make his Cheating skill roll; each character he plays with can make one skill roll (Cheating at the normal level, Gambling at a - 1 penalty, or a base Intelligence check at a -4 penalty, whichever is best) against the character's cheating roll. If one or more of the other players makes his roll lower than the cheater does (see "Using Skills Against Each Other" in this chapter), he detects the cheating. This skill is limited to characters of Chaotic alignment.


Craft (choose type): The character knows one type of craft; examples include armor-making, bow-making, tattooing, leatherworking, smithing, weapon-making, etc. The character must choose which one type of craft the skill pertains to; of course, he can spend more slots and have several types of craft skills.

The character can make his living at this profession and, with a successful roll, make expert opinions on subjects pertaining to his skill.


Danger Sense: A successful skill roll means that the character can detect an imminent danger. The character will not know the nature or source of the danger. The DM, not the player, makes the skill roll, and he or she should not tell the player that a roll has been made unless the roll is a success (and there is danger present).


Deceiving: This is the ability to persuade a listener of the "truth" and sincerity of what the speaker is saying, despite the fact that the skill user is lying through his teeth. Successful use of this skill causes an NPC to believe an untrue

statement or to accept a misleading statement as honest and sincere. Failure indicates that the character sounds unconvincing. This skill cannot be used on player characters.


Detect Deception: This is the ability to recognize deceptive behavior in an NPC. This does not reveal the truth or falsehood of specific statements, the motivations of the speaker, or the exact nature of the deception. This skill only warns the character to distrust the deceptive NPC. The DM makes the skill roll for the character, informing him of the result. The skill does not work on

player characters.


Disguise: This is the ability to make a character look like someone else. A successful Disguise check is required for each character or group of

characters that the disguised character is trying to fool with his disguise. The target that the disguised character is trying to fool must make a Wisdom roll against the Disguise roll in order to penetrate the disguise (see "Using Skills Against Each Other" at the end of this chapter).


Endurance: This skill gives the character the ability to perform a tiring task for long periods of time. A successful check means that the character is able to run (or perform some demanding task) for an hour without collapsing. The character must make another check each hour he performs the task, with a cumulative penalty of +1 for each extra hour. Once the character has completed his task or fails a skill roll and collapses, he must rest for three times the amount of time he was performing that task.


Engineering: This is the skill of planning, designing, and building large constructions such as houses, bridges, dams, and so forth. Unless built under the eye of a trained engineer, a large structure—whether built by manpower and materials or pure magic—will inevitably collapse or suffer some other calamity. Engineering skill can also be used to evaluate constructions the party is passing through or over: what shape they're in, when and by whom they were built, and so on.


Escape: The character is often able to get loose when tied or locked up. A successful skill roll means that the character is able to get rid of his ties. Another roll is needed to open a locked door. The DM can apply bonuses and penalties to the check based on the quality of the ropes and knots, the intricacy of the lock, the lack of lockpicking tools, etc.


Fire-Building: This is the ability to start a fire without a tinderbox. A character with a tinderbox and this skill is able to start fires automatically

(no roll necessary) in ordinary conditions. If the character is trying to build a fire without a tinderbox, he will eventually succeed; he must make a 1d6 roll each round, and on a 1 or 2 he ignites the fire. If the character is trying to build

a fire in adverse conditions (during high winds or using wet wood), he must make a skill check with penalties assigned by the DM.


Food Tasting: This is the ability to taste food and water to see if they have spoiled. Thus the character can avoid suffering from food poisoning by carefully tasting his food first. This ability will not detect poisons added to a dish unless the DM determines that the poison has a taste (in which case it may be too late anyway).


Gambling: This is the ability to win money in games of skill (competitive card games, for example) and betting. This involves honest games (cheating is covered elsewhere), and a successful check increases the character's chances for winning money at the games.


Healing: This is the ability to treat wounds and diagnose illnesses among humans and demihumans. A successful skill roll allows a character to restore 1d3 hit points to a wounded character. (A related skill, Veterinary Healing, allows similar treatment of animals and monsters.) This skill cannot be used on a wounded character more than once for the same set of wounds. If the character receives new wounds, Healing skill can be applied against the new wounds. The skill is rolled against a set of wounds, not individually against each injury. (The term "set of wounds" usually refers to all the hit points lost by a character in a single combat situation.) If a healer rolls a natural 20 when using this skill, he accidentally inflicts 1d3 points of damage to the patient, and he may not treat that set of wounds again. Successful skill rolls allow the healer to diagnose type of illness. In addition, a roll made by 5 or more will allow the character to determine whether an illness is natural or magically induced.


Hunting: This is the ability to locate, stalk, and hunt large and small game with the bow, sling, or spear. Successful use of this skill gives the character a +1 to hit with a bow, sling, or spear against an unaware target in a peaceful outdoor setting; the skill is not usable in most combat situations. The character can automatically supply himself with food over a long period of time if he is in a fairly fertile area and has a missile weapon, spear, or javelin. In areas not normally rich in game he must make a skill roll and receive penalties to that roll (penalties determined by the DM). If he is trying to supply more than just himself, he must make a skill roll if he is supplying one other person, and he takes a - 1 penalty for each additional person after the first he is trying to supply. He must roll each day, and failure indicates that he has not found enough food to feed everyone that day. A character with the Hunting skill forages automatically in fertile areas (even when on the move) and uses his Hunting skill roll to determine how successful he is during full days spent in search of game.


Intimidation: This is the ability to bully nonplayer characters into doing what the player character wants them to do. Success means that NPCs are intimidated into doing what the character wants. This skill cannot be used against PCs. NPCs who have this skill used upon them are unlikely to ever become friends with the intimidating player character. Use of this skill means that the character is either implicitly or explicitly threatening the target with violence or other dire consequences if the target doesn't comply. For this reason, Intimidation works best against low-level characters. It does not work at all on player characters or on NPCs of 5th level or higher. The DM can also, at his or her option, decide that it does not work on someone who is obviously in a much stronger position than the character using the skill. For example, a king surrounded by elite guards, even if he himself is a 1st level character, is unlikely to feel threatened.


Knowledge (choose type): The character is an expert in one field of study such as the culture or geography of an area, history, legends, theology, etc. A character can usually make his living by teaching his skill or acting as an expert on the subject; with a successful roll, he can make expert commentary on information relating to his skill. The character taking this skill must specif what sort of knowledge he is acquiring. A character can select multiple Knowledge skills, using one for each different field of study.


Labor: The character is very accomplished at one type of labor such as bricklaying, farming, mining, stonecutting, etc. The character can make his living with the skill. With a successful roll, he can interpret information in light of his occupation. A character must specify which type of labor he knows, and he can select multiple Labor skills to be proficient in many types of jobs.


Language (choose type): See "Optional Rule for Languages," later in this chapter.


Law and Justice: This is the knowledge of the laws and judicial system of one culture or country; characters who wish to be a judge or advocate (lawyer) must select this skill. Each empire or nation has its own codes, so characters who wish to be conversant in different nations' codes should choose this skill for each set of laws they wish to study.


Leadership: Successful use of this skill adds + 1 to the morale of any NPCs under the character's control. It can also be used to convince other NPCs to follow the character's commands. The DM can decide that any NPC who has a good reason nor to follow the leader is automatically successful at resisting this skill. Unlike Intimidation, Leadership does not bully, antagonize, or make enemies of the NPCs it is used upon.


Lip Reading: To use this skill, the character must be able to see the lips of the target person or creature and understand the language being spoken. A successful check allows a character to "overhear" the conversation; if the lip reader understands the language being spoken, he ca understand the speakers' words. The distance to the target and the available light should be taken into account—the DM should apply skill roll penalties for difficult situations.


Magical Engineering: This is the ability to recognize the basic principles of some unfamiliar magical devices. It does not include practical training in design or fabrication of magical artifacts. It does allow the character to recognize most common magical items with a successful skill roll. It doesn't allow a character to recognize uncommon magical items or to distinguish trapped or cursed items from safe ones.


Mapping (Cartography): If a character has this skill, he can understand and make maps even if he cannot read and write. The skill allows the character to comprehend simple maps without a skill roll; the character should make skill rolls to interpret or draft complicated layouts or to map an area by memory. A character does not have to have this skill in order to map a dungeon as the

characters explore it. A character who can map but not read obviously cannot understand the words on a map.


Military Tactics: This skill allows a character to interpret the movement of enemy forces and to move his own forces better. When using this skill, the player (not the character) first examines the situation and decides what he thinks is right—what he thinks the enemy is doing or how he should set up his units. The DM, not the player, rolls the character's Military Tactics skill. On a successful roll, the DM will truthfully tell the player whether he has calculated correctly; if he has not calculated correctly but the roll was successful, the DM should offer some advice on how the player should set up his forces. If the roll is a failure, the DM should tell the player his character cannot interpret the enemy troop movements well enough to use them to his advantage. The success of the roll determines bonuses or penalties for the troops during mass combat.


Mimicry: This is the ability to mimic animal noises and foreign-language accents. This is a very useful skill in the wilderness especially. When characters use recognition codes or signals that imitate the screech of a hoot owl or a noise from some other animal, this skill allows them to mimic those noises convincingly so that enemy listeners are not automatically tipped off that there are spies in the area.


Mountaineering: This does not replace a thief's special climbing ability; it is the skill of mountain-climbing with the use of ropes, pitons, and other climbing gear. A character who has Mountaineering skill can use such gear to climb difficult mountain and cliff faces and can rig lines to enable nonclimbers to tackle those faces as well.


Muscle: This skill is experience with heavy lifting and hard labor. The character can direct groups of laborers so that their efforts are the most effective possible. This character understands the use of simple machinery such as wedges, pulleys, and levers. With a successful skill check, the character receives a + 2 bonus on Strength rolls for tasks such as opening doors.


Music (choose type): This skill allows a character to play one group of related instruments in a skilled manner. The player chooses the group of instruments that his character knows, and the character can take the skill several times in order to know multiple instrument groups. Groups include stringed instruments, brass, percussion, woodwinds, etc. This skill is often taken in conjunction with the Singing skill.


Mysticism: This skill, though similar to Ceremony (above), is taken by nonclerics. This skill allows the character to instinctively know the best course of action to please the Immortals i general. A successful skill roll, for example,

means that the character recognizes an idol dedicated to an Immortal and that the characters should give it its due respects.


Nature Lore: This skill is the knowledge of common plant and animal life forms of one specific terrain: desert, forest, jungle, mountain/ hill, open sea, plains, or arctic. The character can gain several Nature Lore skills by spending one skill slot for each different terrain he learns. This skill gives the character knowledge of such things as edible and poisonous plants, healing herbs, and signs of unnatural danger (such as unusual quiet, absence of normal plant or animal life, atypical animal behavior, etc.). When the character uses this skill in his home territory, he receives a - 2 bonus to the die rolled for the skill check. When he uses it in territory very similar to his home, he receives no bonus. The less it resembles his own home territory, the greater the penalty he will receive, up to a +4.


Navigation: By taking directions from the position of the sun and the stars (or of whatever atmospheric phenomena are appropriate in your campaign), the character can always know roughly where he is. Successful skill rolls, wit positive or negative modifiers for the character's distance from his home territory and familiarity with his surroundings, will tell the character more precisely where he is.


Persuasion: This is the ability to persuade NPCs of your character's honesty and sincerity. This isn't a liar's skill; the speaker must believe the truth of what he says. Successful use of the skill means the listener believes what the speaker tells him. It does not mean that the listener will agree to actions proposed by the speaker. The DM can assign modifiers from + 1 to + 8 to the skill roll if the audience is hostile. This is a good skill for diplomats and negotiators to have.


Piloting (choose type): This is the equivalent of the Riding skill but applies to sailing vessels. (It can also apply to large flying vessels such as aerial ships and flying castles, if such things are present in a campaign. The use of magical items

such as flying carpets and flying brooms does not require the Piloting skill.) A character must use a different category of Piloting for each different type of vessel, as defined in the Piloting Skill: Types of Vessels Table. As such, he will need to spend more than one skill to pilot more than one type of vessel.


Planar Geography: This skill gives the character a general knowledge of the Prime, inner, outer, Astral, and Ethereal Planes as described elsewhere in this book. This skill includes knowledge of techniques of travel among the planes and common inhabitants of known planes.


Profession: The character is accomplished at one type of nonlabor profession such as politics, cooking, estate management, horse grooming, scribing (the character must be literate), etc. The character can make his living with his skill, and (with a successful roll) make expert commentary on subjects pertaining to his skill. The player must indicate which specific profession his character knows; a character can buy several different Profession skills.


Quick Draw: A successful skill check with this skill allows the character to nock and fire an arrow with a + 2 bonus to individual initiative.


Riding (choose type): This skill includes the basic care and feeding of a riding animal and the ability to control it under difficult circumstances. Riding rolls are required if a character is trying to use a weapon from the back of a riding animal; failure means that the mount is moving too much for the character to use the weapon. Each Riding skill allows the character to ride one type of animal; if a character wishes to know how to ride two different types of beasts, he must buy two different Riding skills. Horses constitute one type of animal; giant eagles constitute another. When a character uses his Riding skill on the wrong animal (for example, when a horse rider tries to ride a camel), he suffers a +4 to his Riding rolls. When a character with no Riding skill at all tries to ride an animal, he must make a Dexterity check at a +8 penalty to his die roll. However, a character doesn't have to make the

success roll except in difficult situations, such as when the animal is spooked. Otherwise, he can stay on the animal's back without difficulty.


Science (choose type): The character is an expert in one branch of scientific study such as astronomy, geology, metallurgy, etc. Characters with this skill can make their living with it, usually as specialists in large cities. The DM should not allow this skill to characters belonging to more primitive cultures, but it is entirely appropriat to characters from highly civilized areas of the world. The player must indicate which branch of science his character has mastered; a character can buy multiple Science skills to know multiple disciplines.


Shipbuilding: This is the skill of designing and building ships. It allows a character to supervise the construction of professional-quality ships, whether they are made by muscle or by magic. The Shipbuilding skill will also let characters evaluate the ships they encounter, determine who built them and when, etc.


Signaling (choose type): Successful use of this skill allows the character to leave messages that can only be understood by another Signaling specialist of the same culture, trade guild, military force, or "school." For instance, one dwarf character with the Signaling skill could pile rocks into a cluster; it would communicate nothing to most characters, but another dwarf character with Signaling would recognize it as a signal and be able to interpret its meaning When a character takes a Signaling skill, he must specify the type and culture of signals that he will be studying and he must have the opportunity to learn such signals. Appropriate types of signals include military trumpet signals, naval

flag signals, smoke signals, drum signals, etc.


Singing: This is the ability to sing in a skilled manner; a character can make his living with this skill and (if he is good enough) can become a famous entertainer or bard.


Snares: This is the skill of building traps to capture animals, monsters, and unwanted visitors. A successful skill roll means the trap functions properly. The DM can assign modifiers to the skill roll based on the mount of time the character had to set up the trap, the availability of materials, etc.


Stealth (choose terrain): This is similar to the thief's Move Silently ability, with some important differences. The character taking the Stealth skill must choose one type of terrain in which the skill works from the following list: city/ outdoors, indoors/caves, forest/jungle, plains, desert, arctic, and mountains/hills. The skill only works in that type of terrain. (However, the character could conceivably spend seven slots, one for each type of Stealth skill.) City/Outdoors is used in the streets, in trashstrewn alleyways, on rooftops, and in similar urban environments. Indoors/Caves is used in dungeons and catacombs, in caverns and caves, and in most enclosed spaces. The other terrain types are self-explanatory. Humans, demihumans, and humanoids can take the Stealth skill. The character will move very quietly in the terrains for which he has the skill. When he is trying to sneak up on someone or when there is a chance that he will be heard, he must make his skill check. If the DM doesn't want him to know that the DM can make the skill check for him.


Storytelling: This is the ability to captivate an audience when telling stories. The character can earn his living as a teller of stories; if he also has Knowledge skills of such things as history, he can be a storyteller of history.


Survival (choose terrain): This skill allows the character to easily find food (especially vegetables and fruits), shelter, and water in a single type of terrain, selected from one of the following: desert, forest/jungle, mountain/hill, open sea, plains, arctic. Desert Survival doesn't give the character the ability to survive in the forest; he must also take Forest Survival for that. A character with the Survival skill forages automatically in fertile areas, even when on the move. If he is trying to supply more than just himself, he must make a skill check at a + 1 penalty to his die roll for each additional person that he is trying to supply. He must roll each day, and failure indicates that he has not found enough food for everyone he is trying to supply.


Tracking: The character can follow tracks. The DM is free to increase or penalize the chance of success depending on the circumstances (age of the tracks, type of terrain, number of tracks being followed, and so forth). This skill also allows a character to track a character, monster, etc. (or hide his own tracks).

Modifiers are:

Recent track (within an hour) +1

Old track (over 6 hours) -1

Very old track (24 hours) -3

Elf level 1-3 -1

Elf level 7-10 +1

Elf 800,000+ XP +2

Elf raised in elven forest nation +1


Veterinary Healing: This is the same as Healing (above), but this skill pertains to creatures that are neither humans nor demihumans—in other words, nonhumans, monsters, normal animals, and so forth. A character can take this skill in one of two ways: 1) as a General Veterinary Healing skill, which means that he makes his roll with a + 1 penalty for every type of creature he treats; or 2) as a Specialized Veterinary Healing skill that pertains to one class of creatures (for example, equines). The character with a Specialized Veterinary Healing skill takes no penalty when treating the creatures that are his specialty, but he takes a + 2 penalty with all other types of creatures. (A character could take the skill twice, one General and one Specialized; he would have his listed roll for the creatures that were his specialty and only have a + 1 penalty when treating all other creatures.) A character with Veterinary Healing skill trying to treat a human or demihuman rolls at a + 3 penalty.


Wrestling: In wrestling combat, a successful roll will give the character a + 1 to his wrestling rating (see the "Unarmed Combat" rules in Chapter 8). Higher skill scores give higher bonuses, so a character with Wrestling +1 would

receive a + 2 bonus, and so on.

Strength Skills




This is the ability to bully nonplayer characters into doing what the player character wants them to do. Success means that NPCs are intimidated into doing what the character wants. This skill cannot be used against PCs. NPCs who have this skill used upon them are unlikely to ever become friends with the intimidating player character.

  Use of this skill means that the character is either implicitly or explicitly threatening the target with violence or other dire consequences if the target doesn't comply. For this reason, Intimidation works best against low-level characters. It does not work at all on player characters or on NPCs of 5th level or higher.   The DM can also, at his or her option, decide that it does not work on someone who is obviously in a much stronger position than the character using the skill. For example, a king surrounded by elite guards, even if he himself is a 1st level character, is unlikely to feel threatened.


Intelligence Skills




Used by characters to determine the value of a given object. In cases where the character has a familiarity with the item being examined (like a dwarf checking over a fine gem) the DM will want to allow a bonus to the character's skill. Similarly, a character attempting to appraise an object wholly new to him will find himself penalized to some extent. (Gaz 11 - Darokin)




The ability to handle small boats and barges. Also includes fishing skills. Note that simple tasks are performed automatically with this skill; check only in dangerous or unusual situations. (Gaz 12 - Ethangar)




This allows a magic-user to recognize mandragora plants and safely harvest them. The roots may be used to make soporific or hallucinogenic drugs. A victim of the drug must make a Constitution check; if he fails, he will fall asleep for 1d6 days, or answer truthfully to the first 1d6 questions asked by the magic-user. At ninth level, a wizard can animate the plant's root to create a manikin. (Gaz 3 - Glantri)




This skill helps the character reach a higher level of intellectual perception. After an hour or preparation (absolute quiet) the wizard gains a modifier to an Intelligence Check (+1 up to level 5, +2 up to level 10, +3 up to level 15, etc; and +8 at level 36). He must tell the DM which problem he wishes to solve before meditating. The effect lasts until teh ability check is attempted. Meditation improves chances of discovering new spells, enchanting items, or conjuring a magical companion. (Gaz 3 - Glantri)


Quick Casting:


This allows a magic-user to cast spells more quickly. If, at the beginning of a round, the magic user states he has the components ready for a specific spell, that spell goes off first thing in the next round, before initiative is rolled. If he changes his mind in between, he must shuffle his components and do nothing else that round. (Gaz 3 - Glantri)


Siege Craft:


The ability to direct siege operations against the walled settlements favored by most civilized countries. Your character knows where best to fire siege artillery, how to tunnel under walls, andhow to reduce the walls to rubble. (Gaz 12 - Ethangar)


Spell Combination:


This technique, normally taught by only the most impressed mentors, allows the student to mix his spell levels in any combination, so long as the total spell levesl memorized do not exceed his capacity. For example, a level four magic-user normally casts two 1st level and two 2nd level spells (for a total of 6 spell levels). With this technique, he can choose to memorize six first level spells, or three seconds, or any other appropriate combination. (Gaz 3 - Glantri)




The ability to use troops in the best possible way. A successful check means your DM will modify the outcome of a confrontation in a reasonable (and favorable) way. (Gaz 12 - Ethangar)


Wisdom Skills


Monster (or Animal) Empathy:


This allows the character to sense and communicate basic feelings with a specific type of nonintelligent monster or animal within 100 feet. A check is needed for each attempt, and penalized for the difference between the character's level and the target's HD (if the monster has more HD than the character has levels). This will not affect the animal as a charm, but use of this skill may allow the character to befriend the creature. (Gaz 8 - Orcs of Thar)


Spirit Lore:


Knowledge of creatures from the spirit plane and how to deal with and placate them. This skill enables a shaman to recognize a disguised spirit on a successful roll. Your DM will make any such rollin secret and inform you of the result. (Gaz 12 - Ethangar)


Dexterity Skills




This skill can be most valuable in a variety of situations. Although it is not as versatile as a thief's ability to climb walls and similar sheer surfaces, the climbing skill makes a character far more agile in ascending trees and cliffs which offer plentiful hand and toe holds. (Gaz 11 - Darokin)


Dismount Rider:


Enables a character to dismount an opponent. A character can avoid being dismounted by making a successful Riding check. A dismounted rider suffers 1d6 points of damage from the fall. The difference between the levels of the two characters is used as a modifier when attempting to dismount an enemy and avoid being dismounted. For example, a 2nd level character is attempting to dismounta 10th level rider. The skill check is therefore made with a -8 penalty to the attacker's skill check. If it were the other way around, the 10th level fighter would receive a +8 bonus.

          This skill also enables your character to pull a stationary horse to the ground on a successful check. The rider suffers 1d6 points of damage unless he succeeds at a Dexterity check. (Gaz 12 - Ethangar)


Fighting Instinct:


The reaction of attacking first in order to gain the advantage in combat. Successful use gives a +2 bonus to Initiative in hand-to-hand combat. (Gaz 12 - Ethangar)




The successful use of this skill enables a character to leap over obstacles and leap distances of up to 10 feet, increased by 10 feet with a running start. (Gaz 12 - Ethangar)


Ledge Hopping:


This skill allows a character to safely hop from one ledge to another within six feet, with reasonable encumbrance. This skill also allows a character to evaluate the safety of a ledge. (Gaz 8 - Orcs of Thar)


Outdoor Stealth:


The ability to move outdoors using the best cover available. A successful check reduces your character's chance of being spotted by 50%. Your DM will decide on the base chance of his being spotted. Thieves and halflings may use this skill to enhance their Hide in Shadows and Move Silently abilities while outdoors. (Gaz 12 - Ethangar)


Rapid Fire:


A successful check enables a character to fire a bow twice instead of once. Each shot is made a with a penalty of -3 to hit. The first arrow is fired according to which side wins initiative, the second arrow is always fired at the endo fh the round. (Gaz 12 - Ethangar)


Spell Agility Training:


Taught to students at magical academies, this skill allows a magic-user to make a dex check to be able to cast spells while moving. This can only be done ata normal walking pace; riding a mount or dodging attacks imposes a severe penalty on the check (-1 to -10, depending on circumstances). If the attempt fails, the spell is lost. (Gaz 3 - Glantri)




This is the ability of staying aloft in trees, moving from one closely-set tree to another, and working and fighting from a tree branch. The skill roll is necessary only if the tree is storm tossed, or the character is fighting, or performing some other complex task while balancing. Modifiers are. (Gaz 5 - Alfheim)

          Modifiers include the following:

               +1 = Home or Sentinel Oak, Raised in an Elvish Forest Nation, Elf Class Level 7-10

               +2 = Elf above 10th level

                -1 = Unfamiliar Species of Tree, Elf Class Level 1-3, Low Creatures of Faerie

                -3 = Dead Tree (brittle branches)

                -4 = Non-Elf Character or Non-Faerie born


Constitution Skills




A talent for absorbing alcoholic beverages without being affected. The first failure means your character is drunk, he collapses on the second failed check. (Gaz 12 - Ethangar)


Slow Respiration:


A successful check allows the character to survive in a reduced space with limited air (such as after a cave-in). A check is needed each day, with a cumulative penalty of -1 per day. This ability also functions in water, at -1 per minute. A failed roll means the character suffocates and dies. (Gaz 8 - Orcs of Thar)


Charisma Skills




A character with this skill appears to be exceptionally beautiful or handsome and desirable to a member of the opposite sex. On a successful check, a NPC will be favorably disposed toward the character, willing to offer help and advice, but not to endanger his people or himself in any major way. The allurement lasts as long as the character does not attack or harm the admirer in any way. (Dragon Magazine)




This skill includes knowledge of a variety of methods of divination, mostly fake. The character with fortunetelling is usually familiar with numerous devices and methods, such as cards, palm reading, interpreting bird flight, and so forth. At the very least, the character is familiar enough with these practices to appear to be an authentic soothsayer. Some predictions by such characters are accurate, though the skill confers no magical powers. If the skill check is an 19 or 20, the character using the skill has a flash of insight and is able to make an accurate prediction based on the method used. If the check succeeds with any other number, the character simply invents a prediction that the client believes. If the check fails, any prediction made is not believed by the client. Note that fast-talking modifiers can be applied with the fortunetelling skill if the DM allows it. (Gaz 1 - Karameikos)


Gain Trust:


The ability to gain the trust of an NPC through a combination of courtesy, respect for traditions, knowledge of human nature, and honorable behavior. Successful use of this skill causes an NPC to accept the character as a trustworthy person until given solid evidence to the contrary.

          In routine situations, a successful use of this skill is sufficient. This covers situations like an overnight visit to a neighboring camp or village to seek out food and shelter, etc. In dangerous or or threatening circumstances, or if the NPC listener is hostile or already has a reason to distrust the speaker, the DM should assess penalties to the check. (Gaz 12 - Ethangar)


Gather Information:


This skill allows a character to gather information, usually from the underworld and commonly in regard to roguish jobs and characters. A character with this skill, in appropriate circumstances, will be aware of any major rumors circulating around the area; this character can gather twice as many rumors as other characters in the same situation. With a successful skill check, specific information about a person or place can be gathered. The DM can modify the skill check according to the specificity of information desired. Reaction adjustments based on Charisma can also affect the check, provided the situation requires the character to talk with people during the search. Membership in a guild or other organization gives the skill user a +2 bonus to the skill check, because the character can gain information from connections in his organization. Since this skill depends on a network of informants and contacts, characters using it are at a disadvantage when trying to gather information outside their regular base of operations (a neighborhood of a city, a town, or a whole province in some cases).

          Outside this territory, a skill check is required for such a character to hear rumors, and gathering information incurs a penalty of –3 to the skill checks. The DM can increase the penalty for truly foreign areas. Whenever a skill check is required for information gathering, the gatherer must make a small investment for drinks, bribes, or other incentives. This money is spent whether or not the skill check is successful. A total of 1d10 gp is typical; if this amount is not spent, an additional –3 penalty is applied. Characters can continue searching for rumors if they fail at first, making a new skill check each day. The DM may choose to modify the character's chances of success as a result. (Dragon Magazine)




This allows the user to stare down an opponent in a duel and gain a psychological advantage. On a successful skill check, the opponent suffers a -2 penalty to his next to-hit roll (and to his next Dexterity check if using the Fast Draw skill). This skill requires two rounds of concentration to take effect. Nerve can also be used to negate someone else's attempt to use Nerve. (Dragon Magazine)

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