Information - Knowledge Checks

Knowledge Checks are one of the more heavily used skills in the game, and they have an interesting way of working out at the game table. In the Tales from the Stolen Lands game, we are using a couple variants on the traditional knowledge check system, outlined below.

Traditional Knowledge Checks - Traditionally knowledge checks are handled by rolling a d20, adding in your appropriate modifies, and then learning things about a situation, location, creature, or thing, as determined by the DM. The amount of information is generally determined by how high you rolled above the DC (Which is determined on a chart in the main book) – for every 5 points above the DC that you rolled, you know an additional thing. The determination of this information can be done as the GM and group decide, often at the beginning of an encounter, knowledges are rolled and information is shared amongst the party before starting combat.

How we’re doing it - The nature of the Tales from the Stolen Lands game is such that there are times when the traditional system will work, and times when it won’t. The section below will outline how things are changing and what sort f things to expect.

The Check - this is made normally, d20 plus appropriate modifiers against a DC.

When - You can make a knowledge check every reasonable amount of time (couple of minutes, etc) or if we are starting combat, when you wish to in the round sequence. Once you roll, the GM will tell you how many questions you get to ask (every 5 above the DC you get an additional question, provided its the right knowledge). The number of questions you have to ask is up to the player to track. You can ask one question (no compound questions) per round, on your turn. Please remember this information is personal until you share it with others.

Special: During combat you get one knowledge check.

Special - When making a knowledge check, especially in combat, you (the player) choose what knowledge you want to roll. Sometimes when rolling, the GM will tell you knowledge:X, sometimes they wont, depending on the situation. In situations where the GM doesn’t tell you, knowledge:X, there is a reason, usually because whatever it is is either new to Golarion, or so old that knowledge of this thing has been forgotten. However, it is possible that even if you don’t pick the specific knowledge, you’ll learn something, depending on how you roll and other factors.
Example: If you are rolling against something special, and your knowledge check would normally grant you 5 questions, but you chose an incorrect knowledge, you may instead only get 2 questions. This is up to the GM’s discretion.

Special - As you encounter more of these odd or forgotten things, you’ll learn more about them (the DCs will become easier) and what knowledges are more or less appropriate to use to learn about them.

Special - Depending on the situation, the GM will tell you additional information. This can be because it is something you are familliar with, perhaps a particular area of study for the character, or something that you’ve run into often. This can also manifest as you level up, and become more knowledgeable about the world you are in.

Table of many Knowledge Skill DCs

Task Knowledge Skill DC
Identify auras while using Detect Magic Arcana 15 + level of spell
Identify a spell effect that is currently in place Arcana 20 + level of spell
Identify a spell that just targeted you Arcana 25 + level of spell
Determine depth underground Dungeoneering 20
Identify mineral, stone, or metal Dungeoneering 10
Identify dangerous or weakend structures Engineering 10
Determine structure’s age or style Engineering 15
Recognize regional terrain features Geography 15
Determine nearest community or noteworthy site Geography 20
Recent historical event History 10
Determine a specific historical date (not recent) History 15
Recall an obscure or ancient historical event History 20
Know local laws, rules, or customs Local 10
Learn a local rumor or tradition Local 15
Know hidden organizations, rulers, and locations Local 20
Identify a common plant or animal Nature 10
Identify an unnatural weather phenomenon Nature 15
Know current ruler and standard Nobility 10
Know proper etiquette Nobility 15
Know a line of succession Nobility 20
Know the names of the planes Planes 10
Identify a planar creature’s origins Planes 20
Recognize a common deity’s symbol or clergy Religion 10
Know common mythology or tenets Religion 15
Recognize an obscure deity’s symbol or clergy Religion 20
Identify a monster’s abilities or weaknesses Varies Usually 10 + monster’s CR

Creatures and applicable knowledges

Creature Type Field of Study
Constructs, Dragons, Magical beasts Arcana
Abberations, Oozes, Common Dungeon Inhabitants Dungeoneering
Humanoids Local
Animals, Common Fey, Giants, Monstrous Humanoids, Plants, Vermin Nature
Outsiders Planes
Undead Religion

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Information - Knowledge Checks

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