Chapter 3: Skills and Feats

Skills Summary

Skill Discordance

It's possible for a character to have two skills that not only do not work well together, but actually oppose one another. Having 5 or more ranks in one skill gives the character a -2 penalty on skill checks with each of its discordant skills, as noted in the skill descriptions. In some cases, this penalty applies only to specific uses of the skill in question, and not to all checks. Some skills provide penalties on other checks made by a character, such as those checks required to use certain class features.

Skill Descriptions

This section describes each skill, including common uses and typical modifiers. Characters can sometimes use skills for purposes other than those noted here. For example, you might be able to impress a bunch of riders by making a Ride check.

Bending (Wis; Armor Check Penalty)

Like the Craft and Profession skills, Bending actually encompasses a number of unrelated skills. Bending is the ability to manipulate the basic elements of the world around you, literally bending them to your will.
The four Bending disciplines are Air, Earth, Fire, and Water.

Check: Almost all of a bender’s special abilities are determined by her modifier in the respective bending skill. A check is made each time a bender attempts to use a special ability.

Action: Bending is part of an action, as determined by the ability being attempted.

Try Again: Usually yes, though failure may carry potentially Bending#Overbending dangerous consequences.

Special: Feats such as Skill Focus can boost Bending; however, there is no equipment which can increase a character's bending abilities. Bending is a skill which can only be honed through practice.

Synergy/Discordance: Having at least 5 ranks in Knowledge (Bending) grants a +2 synergy bonus to the bending skill.
Having at least 5 ranks in Bending imposes a -2 discordance penalty to the opposing Bending element. Opposing Bending elements are Air and Earth, and Fire and Water. For example, having 7 ranks in Bending(Fire) and 4 ranks in Bending(Water) imposes a -2 discordance penalty to Bending(Water) checks, because you have more than 5 ranks in Bending(Fire) and Fire opposes Water. You do not take a penalty to Bending(Fire), however, because you have fewer than 5 ranks in Bending(Water).

Restriction: Benders are the only characters which may use bending. In actuality, it is a skill worthless to anyone except a bender.

Knowledge (Int; Trained Only)

Like the Craft and Profession skills, Knowledge actually encompasses a number of unrelated skills. Knowledge represents a study of some body of lore, possibly an academic or even scientific discipline.
Below are listed new fields of study.

Check: Answering a question within your field of study has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions).
    In many cases, you can use this skill to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster’s HD. 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.

Action: Usually none. In most cases, making a Knowledge check doesn’t take an action—you simply know the answer or you don’t.

Try Again: No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

New Knowledge Uses

Knowledge (Arcana)

Knowledge (Arcana) can be used in conjunction with various aids (bones, palm lines, fire omens, etc.) to predict the future. Using Knowledge (Arcana) in this matter requires at least five minute of examination and contemplation, as the fortune-teller manipulates the aids and attempts to decipher their meanings. Using Knowledge (Arcana) in this way is difficult and requires substantial training.

Note that practitioners of fortune-telling use multiple methods to aid them, and that this use of the skill cannot be used without some sort of physical aid. Bones, fire, palm lines, head bumps, cloud pictures, celestial patterns, and sacred texts are all common aids. Using multiple methods provides a +2 circumstance bonus on this check. In addition, a fortune-teller who has a personal relationship with the subject (more significant than a first-time acquaintance) gains a +2 circumstance bonus on this check.
    Finally, note that practitioners of fortune-telling often embellish the information they give. It also is not unheard of for fortune-tellers to give outright false information. DM’s should feel free to provide more or less information as they feel necessary for their campaigns.

Knowledge (Nature)

Knowledge (Nature) can be used to identify and employ healing plants and animals. There are many plants and roots both blooming and hidden throughout the world whose medicinal properties can only be harnessed by those that know how to bring them out. If you succeed on a check to identify an herb's use, it means you know the herb's properties as well as how to prepare it in order to bring it out. Failing a check by 4 or less means that you vaguely know what the herb does, but may be foggy on how to use it. Failing the check by 5 or more means that you don't know the herb's uses and may even have false information, which could lead to dire results as some plants are venomous if used incorrectly.

Wilderness Lore - Rangers (and NPC experts) can use this skill to even greater extents in order to find the plants themselves in the wild. A ranger may use his knowledge and experience in the natural environment to identify plants with uses both medicinal and poisonous. Whenever a ranger uses the Survival skill to forage for food, he may also make a Knowledge (nature) check to identify herbs with useful properties. If the Knowledge check exceeds the DC of each herb and if it is present in the area the ranger searches through, the ranger may gather it and apply it as noted in each herb's description.
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