Knowledge (Arcana)

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Description

Ability Score Used: Intelligence
Usable Untrained? No
Armor Check Penalty Applies? No

You are educated in aspects of the arcane, which allows you to answer both simple and complex questions on that topic. Specifically, Knowledge (Arcana) allows you to make checks to reveal information on ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols, constructs, dragons and magical beast lore.

You cannot make an untrained Knowledge check with a DC higher than 10. If you have access to a library that covers a specific skill, this limit is removed. The time to make checks using a library, however, increases to 1d4 hours. Particularly complete libraries might even grant a research bonus on Knowledge checks pertaining to topics that they cover.

Characters who have the bailiwick skill Spellcraft from their character class (or some other source) gain ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) automatically, at a rate of one rank per rank placed in Spellcraft. A character can never have more ranks in a skill than his character level.

As with all skills, the uses below are merely suggestions, and by no means the full gamut of possible ways a skill can be used. Players and GM's are encouraged to find additional ways to use each skill.

General Knowledge

You know the answers to questions pertaining to arcane spells, their components, magic theory, auras (personal, constructed, and aetheric), arcane symbols, and other mysteries related to the arcane.
Action Required:

Free action

DC of Check:

Answering a question on an Arcane topic has an Easy DC for the CR of the topic for really easy questions, an Average DC against the CR of the topic for basic questions, a Challenging DC against the CR of the topic for really tough questions, or a Hard DC against the CR of the topic for really tough questions on narrow or specific topics.

For example, knowing that the Peacock Throne is magically enchanted might be an Easy check against the CR of the Petal Empire (CR 5), but knowing the exact enchantments laid by High Emperor Stamen when she created the Peacock Throne might be a Challenging check against a CR of 25 (her caster level when she made it). Knowing the exact runes she used to emplace the spells and where they are hidden upon the throne might be a Hard check against CR 25 instead.

Modifiers to Check

-

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies)

Results of Success

You are familiar with the topic, and have useful information relating to it. The GM will tell you what you know.

If you exceed the target DC by a significant amount (typically, reaching a higher difficulty threshold than what was required for the check), the GM may provide additional information to you than would be revealed by a merely successful roll.

Consequences of Failure

You don't know enough about the topic to provide any useful insight.

Retry Allowed?

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.

Provokes AOO?

No.

Monster Lore: Constructs, Magical Beasts, Dragons

You can use this skill to identify constructs, magical beasts or dragons, and potentially even recall detailed information regarding their special powers or vulnerabilities. Creatures of other types than these require different knowledge skills to identify.
Action Required:

Free action

DC of Check:
  • Basic Lore: double the monster's CR
  • Complete Lore: 15 + double the monster's CR
Modifiers to Check

Some monsters have different target DC's. Refer to the monster's bestiary entry for details. These altered DC's are typically because the monster in question is so well known that the check is easier, or so rare that few have ever heard of them.

Take 10? / Take 20?

If you are not in combat (or in immediate danger of combat), you can take 10, but you cannot take 20.

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies)

Results of Success
  • Basic Lore: You remember a little bit of useful information about that monster. GM's should either read, or allow the character to read, the introductory text of the monster's bestiary entry.
  • Complete Lore: You know quite a lot about the monster in question, and GM's should allow that player to look over the monster's bestiary entry in its entirety.
Consequences of Failure

You don't know enough about the creature to provide any useful information.

Retry Allowed?

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.

Provokes AOO?

No

Contemplate Answers (Epic)

You can take some time to reflect on what you do know in order to draw conclusions about what you don't know. You can contemplate the foundational knowledge of arcana that you possess, and apply it to a particular question or puzzle you were previously unable to answer. By exerting your will and taking a moment to really think things through, you might discover an answer you never knew you had.

Contemplate answers allows you to make a second attempt at a general knowledge check, at the cost of taking a bit longer to consider the problem.

This is an epic skill use, and requires at least 21 ranks in the skill before it may be attempted.

Action Required:

Full-round action

DC of Check:

Unchanged from general knowledge: an Easy DC for the CR of the topic for really easy questions, an Average DC against the CR of the topic for basic questions, a Challenging DC against the CR of the topic for really tough questions, or a Hard DC against the CR of the topic for really tough questions on narrow or specific topics.

Modifiers to Check
  • Hasty Conclusions: You can attempt to contemplate answers as a standard action, instead of a full-round action, but the DC is increased by +5. You can attempt to contemplate answers as a move action, but the DC is increased by +10.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies)

Results of Success

You are able to piece together an answer from the scraps of knowledge you do possess.

Consequences of Failure

Despite really trying, you still just don't know.

Retry Allowed?

No

Provokes AOO?

No