Chapter 4: Skills

The following are changes to the Skill system as presented in Chapter 4 of the Player's Handbook:

Class, Cross-Class & Class Exclusive Skills: Ignore all cross-class skill references. All skills are available to all characters for the same price with the following exceptions:

Maximum Ranks: There will be no maximum number of ranks that you can put into a skill. Be forewarned though, by doing so you in all liklihood will be reducing the number of different skills that your character may have.

Character Background Skill: Upon character creation, a PC may have one skill designated as a Background Skill. This Background Skill may be any skill which fits a characters background story and it must be approved by the DM. This skill should be a non-combat and non-spellcasting related skill as it represents the characters life before they became an adventurer. If the skill chosen would normally be a cross-class skill or a skill prohibited from the character's class, it will be considered to be a class skill for that character. The character receives +2 bonus ranks in this skill. Like all skills under our house rules, each character's Background Skill is not subject to having a cap of a maximum number of ranks. A character can never change their Background Skill, and if they decline to select a Background Skill upon character creation, can never designate a Background Skill. Characters do not have to have a Background Skill.

Language Bonus Skill Ranks: Characters do not automatically receive extra languages due to the Intelligence modifier at the time of character creation. Instead, characters receive +2 bonus skill ranks per additional language that they would have received. These can be used to obtain ranks in language skills or any other type of skill.

Class Bonus & Recommended Skills: Some Hurvan character classes receive what are designated either 'Bonus Skills' or 'Recommended Skills'

A Bonus Skill is one that the character receives one (1) rank in per class level up until 10th level. After 10th level, the character receives one rank / two levels. Ability modifiers apply to this skill and the character can assign other ranks to it. However, no other modifiers (such as but not limited to spells) can effect this skill.

A Recommended Skill is one that the character receives a +1 bonus to per 4 actual ranks that the character possesses in this skill. This bonus is considered a Competence Bonus unless otherwise noted.

Subabilities: Eventually I probably will list all of the skills along with their relevant subability. For the moment though we will use the base stats for skills. If a particular skill check situation arises that you feel that a subability is more relevant a modifier, feel free to bring it up and if it seems appropriate, we'll use that modifier.

Changes to Existing Skills

Speak Language (Int)

DC Task
Able to get through everyday conversations
Able to speak or understand someone with a thick accent
Able to speak or understand obscure words and phrases or uncommon dialects
Able to impress people that you sound extremely educated
Able to speak or understand archaic or highly technical language outside of your areas of expertise

Perform (Cha)
This skill must be taken as a seperate skill for each type of performance. Note that there is some overlap. Five ranks in related skills will give synergy bonuses. Types of performance will include:

Read/Write Language (Int)
You are able to read and write a particular language. Note that not all languages have a written form.

DC Task
Able to read signs, typical documents, some books
Able to write or understand idioms and poetic phrases
Able to read and understand typical government documents
Able to write or understand obscure words and phrases or uncommon dialects
Able to write or understand archaic or highly technical language outside of your areas of expertise

New Uses For Skills

The following are new uses for skills listed in the Player's Handbook. The source listed is where the new use is detailed.

Skill Source Description
Bluff (Cha)
Diplomacy (Cha)
Know how to properly address someone
Gather Information (Cha)

Find out who's really in charge; Find out “Who's who”

Handle Animal (Cha)
New Tricks
Heal (Wis)
Basic Forensics
Hide (Dex)
Tailing Someone
Knowledge: Religion
Basic knowledge of humanoid shaman practices
Knowledge: The Planes
Basic knowledge of divine & infernal beings
Knowledge: Undead
Familiarity of nature & tactics
Sense Motive (Wis)

Combat Prediction; Decipher Strategy

Wilderness Lore (Wis) MotW Hide your trail

New Skills

The following skills listed in the sources other than Player's Handbook. The source listed is where the new use is detailed.

Hypnosis (Cha: Trained Only) (RL)
You have studied the hidden workings of the human mind and can unlock its secrets.
Check: You can use hypnosis to induce a deep, calming sleep in your subject. The effects of a hypnotic trance are identical to those created by the hypnotism spell. Unlike the spell, however, the skill allows you to hypnotize only one target at a time, with no modifier to her Will save. Each attempt requires one hour. If the target is unwilling, you must first succeed at a Bluff check to disguise your intent.
A Hypnosis check is opposed by the target's Will save. Loud or distracting surroundings grant a +2 circumstance modifier to the target's Will save. Willing targets can choose to not make the save.
Once the target is hypnotized, you can either plant a suggestion (as per the hypnotism spell) or aid the recovery of a failed Madness save.
Retry: Generally, you cannot retry against an unwilling target as the target becomes too suspicious to cooperate. A willing target, you may retry freely. Retries are a vital compnent in the process of helping targets recover from Madness effects.