The skills in the Core Rulebook allow for complex specialization. In some games, the GM might wish to use a smaller list to make characters more broadly talented, to group skills that characters typically choose together, and to speed up the leveling-up process. The consolidated skills system reduces the number of skills by combining related skills. In many cases, the new skills have been renamed to highlight the nature of the consolidated skill. This variant system makes each skill rank matter more. Even after reducing the number of skill ranks granted, characters will be somewhat more skilled. Character classes that are highly skilled, such as the bard or rogue, get the biggest boost.
The consolidated skills system reduces the number of skills from 35 to 12. Many knowledge skills have been placed into larger categories with a similar theme. Knowledge (arcana), for example, is combined with Use Magic Device under Spellcraft. The list of new skills appears on Table 2–1: Consolidated Skills, along with the key ability for each consolidated skill and the core skills it replaces. Several skills are removed and not replicated by this system, as indicated by a dash (—) on Table 2–2: Converting Core Skills. These are typically skills that are less important for adventuring, but can be put back into your game using the background skills variant described on page 46. Skills can be converted to and from the consolidated skills system using Table 2–2. This is most helpful when running published adventures or using monsters built using the core system.
This section describes each consolidated skill, its functions in the game, and a list of the core skills it replaces. Use these descriptions instead of those in the Core Rulebook, though many of the entries refer back to the skill descriptions on pages 87–109 of that book for more detailed explanations.
Each skill listed below is broken down into its different functions, each of which is described in further detail. These details list the action needed to use the skill function, whether you can try again after a failed check, special benefits that apply to the function, and special circumstances that affect whether you can use that function untrained.
Acrobatics (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)
You have a talent for balance and coordination, including aerial maneuvers, gymnastics, and tumbling.
Functions: Balance, escape from restraints, execute flying maneuvers, ride mounts, soften falls, squeeze, tumble.
Core Skills: Acrobatics (except jumping), Escape Artist, Fly, Ride.
Acrobatics Modifiers: The circumstances listed on the table below apply modifiers to Acrobatics check DCs. Although modifiers from different categories (such as slippery, sloped, etc.) stack with each other, only the most severe modifier from each particular category applies.
Special: If you have 3 or more ranks in Acrobatics, you gain a +3 dodge bonus to AC when fighting defensively instead of the usual +2, and a +6 dodge bonus to AC when taking the total defense action instead of the usual +4.
You can attempt an Acrobatics check to keep your balance while crossing narrow surfaces or treacherous ground. If you fail, you fall or are knocked prone. You move at half speed while balancing, but you can move at full speed if you increase the DC by 5. You’re considered f lat-footed while balancing. You need to attempt a check to balance only once per round, but if you take damage, you must attempt another check with the same DC. You don’t need to attempt a check if the DC is lower than 10, but modifiers might raise a low DC to 10 or higher.
Escape from Restraints
Getting free of restraints, a grapple, or an entanglement requires an Acrobatics check. You can attempt an Acrobatics check instead of a combat maneuver check to escape a grapple or pin.
Action: 1 minute for restraints, full-round action for a net or a listed spell, standard action for a grapple or pin.
Try Again: Yes. You can even take 20 if you’re not being actively opposed.
Execute Flying Maneuvers
This use of Acrobatics functions as the Fly core skill (Core Rulebook 96). The skill alone doesn’t give you the ability to fly.
This use of Acrobatics functions as the Ride core skill (Core Rulebook 103).
Action: Varies. Mounting or dismounting is normally a move action.
When you deliberately fall any distance, even as a result of a missed jump, you can attempt a DC 15 Acrobatics check to ignore the first 10 feet fallen. You still end up prone if you take damage from the fall.
A successful DC 30 Acrobatics check allows you to squeeze through a gap through which your head fits but your shoulders don’t. You can’t fit through spaces smaller than your head.
Action: 1 minute or longer, possibly requiring multiple checks.
Try Again: Yes. You can even take 20 if you’re not being actively opposed.
You can attempt an Acrobatics check to avoid provoking an attack of opportunity when moving through a threatened square. If you fail, your movement ends and you provoke an attack of opportunity from the threatening opponent. You move at half speed when you tumble, but you can move at full speed if you increase the DC by 10. If you try to tumble past multiple opponents in the same round, attempt an Acrobatics check against each of them. The DC increases by 2 for each opponent beyond the first.
Loads: You can’t tumble when carrying a medium or heavy load or wearing medium or heavy armor unless an ability allows you to move at full speed in such conditions.
Prone: You can tumble while prone, but this is a full-round action to move 5 feet, and the DC increases by 5.
Athletics (Str; Armor Check Penalty)
You are skilled at deeds of physical prowess such as leaping, scaling walls, and swimming. Raw lifting ability uses a Strength check rather than an Athletics check.
Functions: Catch, climb, jump, swim.
Core Skills: Acrobatics ( jumping only), Climb, Swim.
You can attempt an Athletics check to catch yourself while falling along a wall or slope. The DC is equal to the wall’s climb DC + 20 or the slope’s climb DC + 10 (see Climb, below).
To catch another character that falls while within your reach, you must succeed at a melee touch attack (the target can forgo her Dexterity bonus to AC). If you hit, you then attempt an Athletics check with a DC equal to the wall’s climb DC + 10. If you succeed, you catch the falling character, but if her total weight (with equipment) exceeds your heavy load limit, you fall. If you fail by 4 or less, you don’t stop the character’s fall but don’t lose your grip. If you fail by 5 or more, you fail to stop her fall and you begin falling as well.
Using Athletics, you can advance up, down, or across a slope, wall, or other steep incline (or a ceiling if it has handholds). You move at one-quarter your speed, though you can move at half your speed if you take a –5 penalty. If you fail the check by 4 or less, you make no progress. If you fail by 5 or more, you fall. A perfectly smooth vertical (or inverted) surface can’t be climbed.
You need both hands free to climb, but can cling with one hand while using the other to cast a spell or take some other action. You can’t use a shield while climbing. You lose your Dexterity bonus to AC while climbing. If you take damage while climbing, you must succeed at an Athletics check against the DC of the surface or fall.
Climbing Modifiers: The circumstances listed on the table modify Athletics DCs. They stack with each other.
Action: None. Each move action you take requires a separate Athletics check.
Making Handholds and Footholds: You can pound pitons into a wall to change the wall’s base DC to 15. This takes 1 minute per piton, and one piton is needed per 5 feet of distance. You can cut your own handholds into an ice wall for the same purpose if you have a handaxe or similar implement.
Climb Speeds: A creature with a climb speed gains a +8 racial bonus on Athletics checks to climb. See page 91 of the Core Rulebook for more information on climb speeds.
Hauling: You can haul a character up or down on a rope by sheer strength so that character doesn’t need to attempt Athletics checks. You can lift double your maximum load in this manner.
You can make jumps using Athletics. The DC is equal to the distance crossed (in feet) for a long jump or four times the height to be reached (in feet) for a high jump. If you don’t have a running start of at least 10 feet, double the DC. If you fail an Athletics check to jump across a horizontal gap by 4 or less, you can attempt a DC 20 Ref lex save to grab hold of the other side. If you fail by 5 or more, you fall (or land prone if you were attempting a high jump).
The DC for a jump uses the same modifiers as the DC of an Acrobatics check (see page 54), depending on the surface from which you’re jumping. For example, the DC for a jump that begins on a sandy surface would increase by 2. You can’t exceed your maximum movement for a round by jumping.
Acrobatics: You can attempt to use Acrobatics instead of Athletics to jump, at a –5 penalty.
Speed Bonus: If your base land speed is 40 feet or more, you gain a +4 racial bonus on Athletics checks to jump for every 10 feet by which your base land speed exceeds 30 feet. Likewise, you take a –4 racial penalty for every 10 feet your speed is below 30 feet.
A successful Athletics check while you’re in the water allows you to swim at either half your speed as a full-round action or one-quarter your speed as a move action. If you fail by 4 or less, you make no progress. If you fail by 5 or more, you go underwater. Attempt one Athletics check to swim each round.
Action: Move action at one-quarter your speed or full round action at half your speed.
Holding Your Breath: When you’re underwater, you can hold your breath for a number of rounds equal to twice your Constitution score. If you take a standard or full-round action, reduce the duration you can continue to hold your breath by 1 round. After you run out of rounds, you must succeed at a DC 10 Constitution check each round or begin to drown. Each round, the DC to resist drowning increases by 1. See page 445 of the Core Rulebook for the complete rules on drowning.
Extended Swimming: Each hour you swim, you must succeed at a DC 20 Swim check or take 1d6 points of
Swim Speeds: A creature with a swim speed gains a +8 racial bonus on Athletics checks to swim. See page 108 of the Core Rulebook for more information on swim speeds.
Finesse (Dex; Armor Check Penalty; Trained Only)
Your deft hands allow you to perform tasks that require fine manipulation.
Functions: Conceal objects on your body, disarm traps or devices, open locks, palm objects, pilfer objects from creatures.
Core Skills: Disable Device, Sleight of Hand.
Conceal Objects on Your Body
Hiding a small object on your person (such as a light weapon or easily concealed ranged weapon such as a dart, sling, or hand crossbow) requires a Finesse check opposed by the Perception check of anyone observing or frisking you (see page 61). You gain a +2 bonus on this check if you’re concealing a dagger.
Someone frisking you gains a +4 bonus on this Perception check. The type of item you conceal and the nature of your attire can modify your check. These modifiers are cumulative.
Action: Standard, or move at a –20 penalty.
Try Again: Yes, but a second attempt against the same target increases the DC by 10.
Drawing Weapons: Drawing a hidden weapon is a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.
Disarm Traps or Devices
The GM rolls this type of Finesse check in secret so you don’t know whether you’re successful. If you succeed, you disable the device. If you fail by 4 or less, you don’t disable it, but can try again. If you fail to disable a trap by 5 or more, the trap triggers. If you fail to sabotage a different type of device by 5 or more, you think you succeeded but the device actually functions normally.
You can attempt to leave no trace of your tampering, but this increases the DC by 5. You can rig simple devices (such as saddles and wagon wheels) to function normally and break after some period of time (usually 1d4 rounds or minutes of use).
Action: Varies (see table). Beginning or continuing the process of disarming is a full-round action.
Try Again: Yes, but only if you fail by 4 or less.
The DC for opening a lock depends on the lock’s quality.
Try Again: Yes.
Performing a minor feat of legerdemain or palming a coin sized, unattended object requires a successful DC 10 Finesse check. If you’re under close observation, the observer notices your action if it succeeds at an opposed Perception check against your Finesse check (see page 61).
Action: Standard, or move at a –20 penalty.
Try Again: Yes, but a second attempt against the same target increases the DC by 10.
Pilfer Objects from Creatures
Surreptitiously stealing an item from a creature requires a successful DC 20 Finesse check. The opponent attempts an opposed Perception check against the result of your Finesse check. If she succeeds, she notices your attempt regardless of whether you got the item. You can’t attempt to pilfer an object during combat from a creature that’s aware of your presence.
Action: Standard, or move at a –20 penalty.
Try Again: Yes, but a second attempt against the same target increases the DC by 10.
You can manipulate other people through negotiation, deceit, or intimidation.
Functions: Change others’ attitudes, create diversions, demoralize, feint in combat, gather information, intimidate,
lie, make requests, pass secret messages.
Core Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate.
Change Others’ Attitudes
You can use Influence to change the attitudes of NPCs.
The DC is determined by the target’s starting attitude plus its Charisma modifier. If you succeed, you improve the target’s attitude toward you by one step, plus one more step if you beat the DC by 5 or more. You can’t shift an attitude by more than two steps with a single check. If you fail by 4 or less, the target’s attitude is unchanged, and if you fail by 5 or more, the target’s attitude decreases by one step. An attitude shift typically lasts 1d4 hours. You can use Influence to make a request of a creature whose attitude toward you is indifferent or better. You can’t change the attitude of a creature that doesn’t understand you or that has an Intelligence score of 3 or lower. This function of Influence is generally ineffective in combat.
Action: 1 minute of continuous interaction.
Try Again: You can’t attempt to change a creature’s attitude more than once per 24-hour period.
You can create a diversion to hide. You attempt an Influence check against the viewer’s opposed Perception check to sense motive. If you succeed, you can attempt a Stealth check. When applicable, use the same modifiers from the lie function.
Try Again: Yes.
You can cause an opponent to become shaken. The DC equals 10 + the target’s Hit Dice + the target’s Wisdom modifier. If you succeed, the target is shaken for 1 round, plus 1 round for every 5 by which you exceeded the DC. Your target must be within 30 feet and able to clearly see and hear you. Demoralizing the same creature again extends the duration; it doesn’t cause a stronger fear condition.
Try Again: Yes, but each additional check against the same target increases the DC by 5. This increase resets after 1 hour.
Size Bonus: You gain a +4 bonus on checks to demoralize creatures smaller than you and take a –4 penalty on checks to demoralize creatures larger than you.
Feint in Combat
Feinting in combat is described on page 201 of the Core Rulebook. You use Inf luence instead of the Bluff core skill, and your opponent uses Perception instead of the Sense Motive core skill.
Try Again: Yes.
By canvassing people at local taverns, markets, and gathering places, you can attempt to learn about a specific topic or individual. The GM might rule that some topics are unknown to common folk.
Action: 1d4 hours.
Try Again: Yes.
You can force an opponent to act friendly toward you for 1d6 × 10 minutes with a successful Influence check. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + the target’s Hit Dice + the target’s Wisdom modifier. If you succeed, the target gives you the information you desire, takes actions that don’t endanger it, and otherwise offers limited assistance. Once the intimidation expires, the target becomes unfriendly and might report you to the authorities. If you fail by 5 or more, the target attempts to deceive you or otherwise hinder your activities.
Action: 1 minute of conversation.
Try Again: Yes, but each additional check increases the DC by 5. This increase resets after 1 hour.
Size Bonus: You gain a +4 bonus on checks to intimidate creatures smaller than you and take a –4 penalty on checks to intimidate creatures larger than you.
You can try to fool someone by attempting an Influence check. The DC of this check is the result of your opponent’s Perception check to sense motive. Apply the appropriate modifiers from the table below. These modifiers stack with each other, but apply only one modifier related to the believability of the lie—the more outlandish the lie, the harder it is to make others believe it. The GM might rule that attempts to tell extremely improbable lies automatically fail.
Action: 1 round, or longer if the lie is elaborate.
Try Again: Yes. Further checks against the same target take a –10 penalty.
You can make a request of a creature if its attitude toward you is indifferent or better. Use the DC from the table in the Change Attitudes section, with one of the following modifiers. A creature that’s helpful typically gives in to most requests without a check unless the request is against its nature or puts it in serious peril. The GM might rule that some requests automatically fail if they’re against a creature’s values or nature.
Action: 1 or more rounds, depending on the complexity of the request.
Try Again: No, though you can make other requests of the same target.
Pass Secret Messages
You can use innuendo to pass a hidden message to another character. If you succeed, the target automatically understands you if you’re communicating in a language it understands. If you fail by 5 or more, you deliver the wrong message. Other creatures that receive the message can decipher it by succeeding at opposed Perception checks to sense motive (see page 62) against your result. See the discern secret message function of Perception to determine when a secret message is intercepted.
Action: Twice as long as it would take to convey the message normally.
Try Again: Yes.
Nature (Int; Trained Only)
You know a great deal about the natural world, and have the ability to command and train wild creatures.
Functions: Handle animals, identify monsters (aberrations, animals, fey, monstrous humanoids, oozes, plants, vermin), recall knowledge (about dungeons, geography, or nature).
Core Skills: Handle Animal, Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (nature).
This use of Nature functions as the Handle Animal core skill (Core Rulebook 97), but uses Intelligence instead of Charisma.
Action: Varies. Handling an animal is a move action, while “pushing” an animal is a full-round action.
Try Again: Yes, except for rearing an animal.
Nature can be used to identify monsters of the aberration, animal, fey, monstrous humanoid, ooze, plant, and vermin types. See the Monster Identification sidebar.
Nature can be used to recall knowledge on the subjects of animals, climate, plants, seasons and cycles, spelunking, terrain, and weather. See the Recall Knowledge sidebar on page 63 for details. Use the following DCs for certain tasks.
Try Again: No, though you can attempt a check against another hidden message.
You can make a gut assessment of a social situation with a successful DC 20 Perception check. You get a feeling that indicates whether something is wrong or if a person is generally untrustworthy, though you don’t receive specific information. To attempt to determine whether a particular statement is a lie, use the sense motive function (see page 62).
Action: 1 minute.
You can use certain skills to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster. For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the DC, you recall another piece of useful information.
Monster Rarity Skill Check DC
Common (goblin) 5 + monster’s CR
Most monsters 10 + monster’s CR
Rare (tarrasque) 15 + monster’s CR
The list of creature types below indicates which skill to use for each monster type.
Creature Type Skill
Magical beast Spellcraft
Monstrous humanoid Nature
Notice Creatures and Details
You can detect a creature that is using Stealth if you succeed at an opposed Perception check. You can also notice sights, sounds, and other stimuli detectable by your senses. Use the search function of Perception (see below) to find hidden objects, traps, secret doors, and other things that take time to detect. The DCs of Perception checks to notice (and to search) are modified as indicated in the table below.
Action: None. This function is largely reactive in response to observable stimuli.
Try Again: Yes.
Conditions: Favorable, unfavorable, and terrible conditions depend on the sense being used. Bright light might be a favorable condition if the check involves sight, while dimmer conditions such as torchlight or moonlight could be unfavorable. Background noise could increase the DC for a check involving hearing, and competing odors could increase the DC of a scent-based check. Terrible conditions could include candlelight impeding a sight check, a dragon’s roar drowning out other sounds, or an overpowering stench occluding a subtler smell.
You can thoroughly comb an area, looking for hidden traps, doors, and the like. The same modifiers that apply to
Perception DCs to notice (see above) also apply to Perception DCs to search.
Action: Move. Each move action spent allows you to search a 10-foot-by-10-foot area.
Try Again: Yes.
Determining that a creature’s behavior is influenced by enchantment magic requires succeeding at a DC 25 Perception check (DC 15 if the creature is dominated).
Action: 1 minute.
With an opposed Perception check, you can tell when a creature is lying to you. See the lie function of the Inf luence skill.
Try Again: No, though you can attempt a Perception check against each lie.
You can compel an emotional reaction through a musical, oratory, or physical performance. Your ability to act convincingly and use stagecraft also makes you better at disguising yourself. This skill applies to performances of
any type (unlike in the Core Rulebook).
Functions: Disguise yourself, impress audiences.
Core Skills: Disguise, Perform (all).
This use of Performance functions as the Disguise core skill (Core Rulebook 95).
Action: 1d3 × 10 minutes. Using magic (such as disguise self ) reduces this to the time required to cast the spell or trigger the effect.
Try Again: Yes, though if others know a disguise was attempted, they’ll be more suspicious.
By performing a speech, song, play, or other artistic work, you can impress an audience. If you’re in a prosperous city, you gain money for spending a day at this task. The amount depends on the result of your Performance check.
Action: Anywhere between one evening and a full day.
Try Again: Yes, though the DC increases by 2 for each previous routine performance the same audience has
witnessed you make.
Masterwork Instrument: A masterwork instrument grants a +2 bonus on Performance checks to impress an audience.
Religion (Int; Trained Only)
The secrets of deities, holy lore, and the extraplanar realms are open to you.
Functions: Identify monsters (outsiders and undead), recall knowledge (about the planes or religions).
Core Skills: Knowledge (planes), Knowledge (religion).
Religion can be used to identify monsters of the outsider and undead types. See Monster Identification on page 61.
Religion can be used to recall knowledge on the subjects of gods, ecclesiastic tradition, holy symbols, mythic history, the planes, and planar magic. See the Recall Knowledge sidebar for details. Use the following DCs for certain tasks.
Some skills have the recall knowledge function. This lets you answer questions about the subjects in question. This has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions).
Action: Usually none. Using a library (see Untrained, below) takes 1d4 hours.
Untrained: You can’t attempt an untrained knowledge check with a DC higher than 10 unless you have access to
an extensive library on the subject.
Society (Int; Trained Only)
You understand the people and systems that make civilization run, and you know the historical events that made societies what they are today. Part of this expertise includes a greater understanding of languages.
Functions: Create or detect forgeries, decipher writing, identify monsters (humanoids), learn languages, recall knowledge (about history, locales, or nobility).
Core Skills: Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility), Linguistics.
Create or Detect Forgeries
You must have the proper writing materials to create a forgery. If the handwriting doesn’t need to be specific to a person, you need only to have seen a similar document before, and you gain a +8 bonus on the check. To forge a signature, you need an autograph of that person to copy, which grants a +4 bonus on the check. You need a larger handwriting sample to forge a longer document in that person’s script.
The GM rolls a Society check to create a forgery secretly, so you’re not sure how good your forgery is until someone examines the work. The examiner attempts an opposed Society check, modified by any applicable bonuses or penalties listed under the decipher writing function of Society.
Action: 1 minute to 1d4 minutes per page to create a forgery, or 1 round per page to detect a forgery.
Try Again: Yes, though examiners who encounter forged documents will be more cautious of future documents.
A Society check can allow you to decipher writing in an unfamiliar language or a message written in an incomplete or archaic form. If you succeed at your check, you understand the general content of about one page worth of writing. If you fail, you must succeed at a DC 5 Wisdom check or draw a false conclusion about the text. Both checks are rolled by the GM in secret, so you don’t know whether the conclusion you drew is true or false.
Action: 1 minute per page.
Try Again: Yes.
Society can be used to identify monsters of the humanoid type. See the Monster Identification sidebar on page 61.
Each time you put a rank in Society, you learn to speak and read a new language. See page 101 of the Core Rulebook for a list of common languages.
Action: None. Unlike with other skill uses, you gain this benefit at all times.
Society can be used to recall knowledge on the inhabitants of a region, important personalities, royalty, noble lineages historical events, customs, legends, and laws. See the Recall Knowledge sidebar on page 63 for details. Use the following DCs for certain tasks.
Spellcraft (Int; Trained Only)
You know how spells and magic items work, and have picked up numerous bits of magical lore. Regardless of whether you’re a spellcaster, you can use magic items even if you wouldn’t normally be able to.
Functions: Activate magic items (that you would normally be unable to use), craft magic items, identify magic, identify monsters (constructs, dragons, and magical beasts), learn or borrow spells (from spellbooks and scrolls), recall knowledge (about arcana).
Core Skills: Knowledge (arcana), Spellcraft, Use Magic Device.
Specialist Wizards: If you’re a specialist wizard, you gain a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks to identify, learn, and prepare spells from your chosen school. However, you take a –5 penalty on similar checks concerning spells from your opposition schools.
Activate Magic Items
This use of Spellcraft functions as the Use Magic Device core skill (Core Rulebook 108), but uses Intelligence instead of Charisma.
Try Again: Yes, but if you ever roll a natural 1 while attempting to activate an item and you fail, you can’t try to activate that item again for 24 hours.
Craft Magic Items
You must attempt a Spellcraft check as part of the process of crafting a magic item. The DC varies by the item. See page 548 of the Core Rulebook for the full rules on creating magic items.
By succeeding at a Spellcraft check, you can determine specific types of spells as they’re being cast or while they are in effect. You can also pinpoint magical auras in this manner, or decipher the magical writing on scrolls without casting read magic.
Action: None, in most cases. Deciphering a scroll is a full-round action, and attempting to identify the properties of a magic item takes 3 rounds per item.
Try Again: You can retry checks to identify a spell. When using detect magic and identify to learn the properties of magic items, you can make only one attempt per item per day.
Perception Penalties: Attempting to identify a spell as it’s being cast incurs the same penalties as a Perception check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors (see page 61).
Spellcraft can be used to identify monsters of the construct, dragon, and magical beast types. See the Monster Identification sidebar on page 61.
Learn or Borrow Spells
To add new spells to your spellbook, or to prepare a spell out of someone else’s spellbook, you must succeed at a Spellcraft check.
Action: Learning a spell takes 1 hour per level of the spell (or 30 minutes for a 0-level spell). Preparing a borrowed spell is a part of spell preparation and doesn’t add any extra time.
Try Again: If you fail to learn a spell from a spellbook, you can try again after 1 week. If you fail to prepare a spell from a borrowed spellbook, you can’t try again until the next day.
Spellcraft can be used to recall knowledge on the subjects of ancient mysteries, arcane symbols, and magic traditions. See the Recall Knowledge sidebar for details. Use the following DCs for certain tasks.
Stealth (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.
Functions: Avoid being noticed.
Core Skills: Stealth.
Avoid Being Noticed
This use of Stealth functions as the Stealth core skill (Core Rulebook 106).
Action: None, though using Stealth immediately after making a ranged attack is a move action.
You know how to survive in the wild, navigate the wilderness, and tend wounds.
Functions: Determine true north, follow tracks, survive in the wild, tend wounds and ailments.
Core Skills: Heal, Survival.
Determine True North
If you are trained in Survival, you can automatically determine where true north lies in relation to yourself.
You must succeed at a Survival check to find or follow tracks for up to 1 mile. You must attempt an additional check each time the tracks become difficult to follow. While following tracks, you move at half your speed. You can move at your normal speed by taking a –5 penalty on the check, or twice your normal speed by taking a –20 penalty on the check.
The DC to follow tracks depends on the surface and the prevailing conditions (see the Surfaces sidebar).
This sidebar gives examples of surfaces for the first table presented in the Follow Tracks section.
Very Soft Ground: Any surface (fresh snow, thick dust, wet mud) that holds deep, clear impressions of footprints.
Soft Ground: Any surface soft enough to yield to pressure, but firmer than wet mud or fresh snow, in which a creature leaves frequent but shallow footprints.
Firm Ground: Most normal outdoor surfaces (such as lawns, fields, woods, and the like) or exceptionally soft or dirty indoor surfaces (thick rugs and very dirty or dusty floors). The creature might leave some traces (broken branches or tufts of hair), but it leaves only occasional or partial footprints.
Hard Ground: Any surface that doesn’t hold footprints at all, such as bare rock or an indoor floor. Most streambeds fall into this category, since any footprints left behind are obscured or washed away. The creature leaves only traces (scuff marks or displaced pebbles).
Your Survival check might be modified based on any of the following conditions. Multiple conditions could affect the same roll, but apply only the size modifier for the largest creature in a group being tracked and apply only the most severe penalty for poor visibility.
Action: Full-round action or longer.
Try Again: You can retry a failed check after 1 hour (outdoors) or 10 minutes (indoors).
Untrained: You can follow tracks untrained, but only if the DC is 10 or lower.
Perception: Detecting a footprint or similar sign of a creature’s passage with the Perception skill uses the same DCs as Survival checks to follow tracks, but you can’t use Perception to follow tracks.
Survive in the Wild
You can keep yourself and others fed and safe in the wilderness. Use the following DCs for certain tasks. When you get along in the wild, you can move up to half your overland speed while hunting and foraging without needing food and water supplies. You can provide food and water for one other character for every 2 points by which your check exceeds 10.
When you endure severe weather, you gain a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves against severe weather while moving at up to half your overland speed, or a +4 bonus if you remain stationary. You can grant this bonus to one other character for every 1 point by which your check exceeds 15.
When you predict the weather, you can predict the weather for one additional day in advance for every 5 points by which your check exceeds 15.
Action: Varies. A single check could represent activity over the course of hours or a full day.
Try Again: You can attempt a Survival check only once every 24 hours to get along in the wild or endure severe weather. You can attempt a check to avoid getting lost or avoid natural hazards for each situation that calls for one, but you can’t retry a check to avoid getting lost in a specific situation or to avoid a specific natural hazard.
Tend Wounds and Ailments
This use of Survival functions as the Heal core skill (Core Rulebook 98).
Action: Providing first aid, treating a wound, or treating poison is a standard action. Treating a disease or tending to a creature that has been wounded by a spike growth or spike stones spell requires 10 minutes of work. Treating deadly wounds requires 1 hour of work. Providing long-term care requires 8 hours of light activity.
Try Again: Varies. Generally speaking, you can’t try to tend wounds and ailments without witnessing proof of the
original check’s failure. You can always retry a check to provide first aid if the target is still alive.
The races of the Core Rulebook that gain bonuses to skills should change in the following ways.
Dwarf: Greed functions the same way if the campaign uses background skills; otherwise, its bonus instead applies to Spellcraft checks to identify magic items that contain precious metals or gemstones.
Elf: Keen senses grants a +1 bonus on Perception checks.
Gnome: Keen senses grants a +1 bonus on Perception checks. Obsessive functions the same way if the campaign uses background skills; otherwise, it instead grants a +1 bonus on the character’s choice of Perform or Spellcraft checks.
Half-Elf: Keen senses grants a +1 bonus on Perception checks.
Half-Orc: Intimidating applies only to Inf luence checks to demoralize or intimidate.
Half ling: Keen senses grants a +1 bonus on Perception checks. Sure-footed grants a +1 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Athletics checks.
The bonus from class skills functions the same way under this system, and provides the same +3 bonus. However, the class skill lists change, with the following entries replacing the normal class skills lists. The number in parentheses indicates the number of skill ranks a character of this class gains at each level. Always add 1/2 the character’s Intelligence modifier to this number, even if the modifier is negative. A character always gains a minimum of 1 skill rank per level.
Alchemist (2 + 1/2 Int): Finesse, Spellcraft, Survival.
Arcanist (1 + 1/2 Int): Religion, Society, Spellcraft.
Barbarian (1 + 1/2 Int): Athletics, Nature.
Bard (3 + 1/2 Int): Inf luence, Perception, Performance, Society, Spellcraft.
Bloodrager (2 + 1/2 Int): Athletics, Spellcraft.
Brawler (2 + 1/2 Int): Acrobatics, Athletics, Perception.
Cavalier (2 + 1/2 Int): Acrobatics, Athletics, Nature.
Cleric (1 + 1/2 Int): Religion, Spellcraft, Survival.
Druid (2 + 1/2 Int): Athletics, Nature, Survival.
Fighter (1 + 1/2 Int): Acrobatics, Athletics.
Gunslinger (2 + 1/2 Int): Athletics, Survival.
Hunter (3 + 1/2 Int): Athletics, Nature, Perception, Stealth.
Inquisitor (3 + 1/2 Int): Inf luence, Perception, Spellcraft, Stealth, Survival.
Investigator (3 + 1/2 Int): Acrobatics, Finesse, Influence, Perception, Society, Spellcraft.
Magus (1 + 1/2 Int): Athletics, Spellcraft.
Monk (2 + 1/2 Int): Acrobatics, Athletics, Perception.
Oracle (2 + 1/2 Int): Religion.
Paladin (1 + 1/2 Int): Religion, Survival.
Ranger (3 + 1/2 Int): Athletics, Nature, Perception, Stealth, Survival.
Rogue (4 + 1/2 Int): Acrobatics, Finesse, Influence, Perception, Society, Stealth.
Shaman (2 + 1/2 Int): Nature, Religion, Survival.
Skald (2 + 1/2 Int): Influence, Performance, Society, Spellcraft.
Slayer (3 + 1/2 Int): Athletics, Influence, Stealth, Survival.
Sorcerer (1 + 1/2 Int): Inf luence, Spellcraft.
Summoner (1 + 1/2 Int): Religion, Spellcraft.
Swashbuckler (2 + 1/2 Int): Acrobatics, Athletics, Influence, Perception.
Warpriest (1 + 1/2 Int): Athletics, Religion, Survival.
Witch (1 + 1/2 Int): Nature, Religion, Spellcraft.
Wizard (1 + 1/2 Int): Religion, Society, Spellcraft.
Converting Existing Characters
When converting to the consolidated skills system in the middle of an ongoing campaign, it’s typically best to allow each player to completely reset her character’s skill ranks and spend them again from scratch. She should also be able to retrain any feats or other abilities that affect her skill bonuses.
ALTERING SKILL BONUSES
To adjust the rest of the system, use the guidelines below.
Generally, an ability or effect that would normally grant a bonus on multiple types of skill checks instead grants a
bonus on half as many, rounded down (minimum 1).
Bonuses for Function
For feats and abilities that grant bonuses or penalties to skills, it’s best for the GM to either ban them or adjust them to work only with specific functions of the feat. That is to say, the consolidated skills still cover the functions of the skills they’ve absorbed, so a bonus can still apply to only a specific function. For example, the Intimidating Prowess feat should add a character’s Strength modifier instead of Charisma only when using the Inf luence skill to intimidate, rather than adding it to the Influence skill in all cases. The jump spell should give a bonus only on Athletics checks to jump, rather than on all Athletics checks. There are no direct conversions for this effect, so it must be done on a case-by-case basis.
If a feat, prestige class, or other ability requires a certain number of ranks in a skill, directly convert that core skill to the consolidated skill. Use the same number of ranks. For example, the Mounted Combat feat would require Acrobatics 1 rank instead of Ride 1 rank.
Monster Skill Bonuses
When running a prebuilt monster, the GM can convert core skills to consolidated skills on the fly. The GM can choose one of two paths: either use the monster’s highest printed bonus as its bonus with the relevant consolidated skill, or treat each bonus as though it applies only to a sub-function of a consolidated skill. For example, an ice devil has a +22 bonus on Acrobatics checks and a +13 bonus on Fly checks. The GM could either give the devil a +22 bonus on all Acrobatics checks, or use the +22 bonus if the monster is moving through a threatened area and the +13 bonus if it’s flying. Either approach can work, but the GM should be consistent with which she uses.
A GM using the highest-bonus approach still might want to consider separating out the bonuses in the case of large racial modifiers. A monster with a climb speed should probably not get its +8 racial bonus on Athletics checks to jump or swim.
Feats that give bonuses on skill checks need to be adjusted or removed in the consolidated skills system. This section presents a list of the skill feats in the Core Rulebook that shouldn’t be used with this system. It also presents an alternative version of Skill Focus that replaces the core version to make its power level work better with this system. If an ability or class feature would grant access to one of the banned feats, use the most appropriate Skill Focus feat instead, as determined by the GM.
For example, a familiar that grants Alertness would instead grant Skill Focus (Perception). For feats that modify skills in other ways, see the Bonuses for Function section above.
Removed Feats: Acrobatic, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Magical Aptitude, Persuasive, Self-Sufficient, Stealthy.
Choose a skill. You are particularly adept at that skill.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on all checks involving the chosen skill. If you have 10 or more ranks in that skill, this bonus increases to +4.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new skill.
Many traits offer a +1 trait bonus on core skill checks and make those skills class skills. With the consolidated skills system, those traits instead grant a +1 trait bonus on traits involving the functions of those consolidated skills corresponding to the traits’ listed core skills, or a +4 trait bonus if the skills are not class skills. If you later receive that skill as a class skill, this trait bonus reduces to +1.
SPECIAL CLASS RULES
Some class features function differently because of the consolidated skills list. Clarifications appear here, divided by class. These entries cover only the main class features, so the GM might need to adjudicate how certain arcane schools, domains, and the like interact with the consolidated skills system. Class features are omitted if they can be handled with a simple substitution, such as changing an ability that requires a Disable Device check to instead require a Finesse check.
Alchemist: Because the consolidated skills system removes Craft skills by default, the GM should either treat the alchemist’s Craft (alchemy) bonus as though it were equal to his character level + his Intelligence modifier + 3 or use the background skills system.
Barbarian: The Acrobatics skill and the intimidate function of Influence can be used while raging.
Rage Powers: Raging climber, raging leaper, and raging swimmer are replaced with raging athlete, which adds the barbarian’s level as an enhancement bonus on all Athletics checks and treats all such checks to jump as though the character had a running start.
Bard: Note that Performance applies to all types of performance, rather than being broken down like the core Perform skills. Bardic knowledge adds 1/2 the bard’s class level (minimum 1) on all Nature, Religion, Society, and Spellcraft checks, and the bard can attempt checks with these skills untrained. Versatile performance allows the bard to substitute Performance when attempting either Acrobatics or Influence checks. He must choose only one of these two skills, and doesn’t increase the number of substituted skills at higher levels. Lore master applies to Nature, Religion, Society, and Spellcraft checks.
Bloodrager: The Acrobatics skill and the intimidate function of Influence can be used while bloodraging.
Cavalier: A cavalier order adds only one skill to the cavalier’s list of class skills (of the GM’s choice, but the choice can’t overlap with the cavalier’s normal class skills).
The bonus on checks applies only to the specific skill function listed.
Druid: Nature sense instead grants a +1 bonus on Nature and Survival checks.
Hunter: The bonus from the monkey aspect applies only to Athletics checks to climb.
Inquisitor: Stern gaze grants the inquisitor a bonus on Influence checks to intimidate and on Perception checks
to sense motive.
Investigator: Because the consolidated skills system removes Craft skills by default, the GM should either treat
the investigator’s Craft (alchemy) bonus as though it were equal to his character level + his Intelligence modifier + 3 or use the background skills system. The investigator’s ability to apply inspiration without expending uses applies to Nature, Religion, Society, and Spellcraft checks (he must still be trained in the skill). The trapfinding bonus applies to both Perception checks to locate traps and Finesse checks to disable traps. An investigator can use Finesse to disable magical traps. Keen recollection applies to Nature, Religion, Society, and Spellcraft checks.
Investigator Talents: Device talent allows the investigator to use Spellcraft untrained, but has no effect if the investigator is trained in Spellcraft. Empathy applies only when the investigator uses Perception to sense motive. Expanded inspiration can be used with Perception and Survival checks. Inspirational expertise applies when the investigator identifies a monster’s special powers or vulnerabilities using whichever skill is appropriate. Inspired intelligence applies to Nature, Religion, Society, and Spellcraft checks. Underworld inspiration applies to Finesse and Inf luence checks.
Oracle: An oracle gains two class skills from her mystery (chosen by the GM).
Ranger: The favored enemy bonus applies to Perception and Survival checks against creatures of the selected type, and to checks with the monster knowledge function of the relevant skill. The favored terrain bonus applies to initiative checks, Nature checks, Perception checks to notice things, Stealth checks, and Survival checks.
Rogue: The trapfinding bonus applies to both Perception checks to locate traps and Finesse checks to disable traps. A rogue can use Finesse to disable magical traps.
Rogue Talents: The skill mastery talent applies to a number of skills equal to 1 + 1/2 the rogue’s Intelligence modifier. It can still be taken multiple times.
Skald: Note that Performance applies to all types of performance, rather than being broken down like the core Perform skills. Bardic knowledge adds 1/2 the skald’s class level (minimum 1) on all Nature, Religion, Society, and Spellcraft checks, and the skald can attempt checks with these skills untrained. The Acrobatics skill and the intimidate function of Influence can be used while in an inspired rage. Versatile performance allows the skald to substitute Performance when attempting either Inf luence checks or Perception checks to sense motive. He must choose only one of these two skills, and doesn’t increase the number of skills substituted at higher levels. Lore master applies to Nature, Religion, Society, and Spellcraft checks.
Slayer: The studied target bonus applies to Influence checks to bluff, Perception checks, and Survival checks against the studied target. The stalker bonus applies to Influence checks to intimidate a creature, Perform checks to use a disguise, and Stealth checks.
Slayer Talents: Foil scrutiny applies to Inf luence checks to bluff a creature and Perform checks to use a disguise. Trapfinding grants Finesse as a class skill. The bonus from trapfinding applies to both Perception checks to locate traps and Finesse checks to disable traps. A slayer with trapfinding can use Finesse to disable magical traps.
Sorcerer: A bloodline’s class skill applies to all uses of the corresponding consolidated skill.
Summoner: Change the eidolon’s class skills to Perception and Stealth. The summoner can choose two additional class skills for the eidolon. An eidolon with a fly speed does not gain Acrobatics as a class skill.
Swashbuckler: Derring-do can be used on Acrobatics and Athletics checks. Swashbuckler’s edge can be used on Acrobatics and Athletics checks.
Witch: The bonus from the flight hex is a +4 racial bonus on Athletics checks to swim.
Abilities that aren’t tied only to one class appear here.
Animal Companions: Change animal skills to Acrobatics, Athletics*, Perception*, Stealth*, and Survival. An asterisk (*) indicates a class skill.
Familiars: The skill bonus from the familiar applies to all uses of the corresponding consolidated skill, but the bonus is reduced to +2. The raven familiar grants a +2 bonus on Society checks.