Knowledge (Local)

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Description

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

You are educated in the ways of the common man and how to get along in civilized places, which allows you to answer both simple and complex questions on that topic. Specifically, Knowledge (Local) allows you to make checks to reveal information on inhabitants, laws, customs, traditions and superstitions.

Despite its name, Knowledge (Local) is not knowledge specific to a single locale. Instead, it is the street-level know-how of navigating cities, knowing the right people to talk to for gossip, the right people to sell goods of questionable origin, and the right way to behave without calling attention to yourself. A person trained in this skill can do this is nearly any city, intuitively knowing how to seek out the right people or places.

At extremely high levels of skill, a use of this skill blend in among the angels in Elysium as easily as you walk among the demons in the Abyss.

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 Spycraft from their character class (or some other source) gain ranks in Knowledge (Local) automatically, at a rate of one rank per rank placed in Spycraft. 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.

Shopping

You know how to find the best shops that have just what you're looking for, and you know the best streets to take to get there efficiently. While this may not seem like much, it can be a huge time-saver.

Shopping takes a lot longer than most people realize. You have to know which shops carry exactly the thing you want, and it certainly helps to know two or three, so you can compare prices and perhaps play the merchants off each other to get a good deal. Then there's all the streets and alleyways, which would get you there just fine if they weren't full of other people pressing in a mass to go to the gods-only-know-where to go do... poor people things, presumably. And even the vast sea of unwashed bodies pressing you so tight you can barely move in the direction you want aren't the worst of it. There's the carriage drovers, with their intensely smelly pack animals, the metal-shod wheels that are all too eager to roll over a delinquent foot, and the drovers themselves who are more generous with their buggy whip on the passers-by than they are on their draft animals. All that is only made more confusing by the shouting street vendors, the pack of novice pickpocketing children dancing underfoot, the stacks of refuse, bodily waste, and rotten food littering the corners and crevices of every street (and blocking the entire way in most alleys). Needless to say, just getting there can be a chore.

Once you're there, you have to deal with the merchants. While some of them are eager for an honest bargain, most are just there to take your purse, and maybe let you have a candle or two in the process. And never mind the ones in the rich parts of town. It takes several minutes for each of their much-vaunted words to roll down their ever-so-upraised nose to reach such a one as you, assuming they let you in at all, after catching a glimpse of your boots. What have you been walking in? Dungeons? Not in my store, you don't!

Action Required:

1 full day (minimum 8 hours)

DC of Check:

The DC of the check is based on your character's level, against the standard difficulty categories for your level. (See Success and Failure, below.)

Modifiers to Check
  • Speed Shopping: If you just need one thing (or multiples of a single thing), you can try to accomplish this without wasting the whole day. If you achieve at least an Average DC for your character level, you are able to procure the item(s) in under 1 hour. However, neither you, nor any member of your party may use the Barter skill to haggle over the price of the item(s); you must pay full price. You cannot use Speed Shopping more than once per day. If you fail this check, you get distracted, and spend the whole day shopping, despite your best intentions. See failure for results.
  • Home Town Advantage: If this settlement is the home town of your Patron (see Perform) or your business headquarters (see Profession), you gain a +5 bonus to your check, and may purchase one more item than your final success number indicates, as long as you achieve at least an Easy DC.
  • Man of the Town: If you have sustained a Lifestyle in this town, paid for out of your own funds (i.e. not provided by a patron or your business), for at least a month, you receive no bonus to the check, but you may purchase one more item than your final success number indicates (even if you fail the check entirely).
  • Stranger: If you've spent less than a full day in this settlement getting to know where things are, you suffer a -5 penalty to your check.
Take 10? / Take 20?

You can take 10, but you cannot take 20.

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies), but each of you must spend the time, and this results in only one roll to determine how many items can be purchased that day. If your party needs to do a lot of shopping, it will almost always be better to split up (make your own rolls), unless you each have essentially identical shopping lists.

Results of Success
  • Easy DC for your level: You can purchase up to 3 items after a day of shopping
  • Average DC for your level: You can purchase up to 4 items after a day of shopping
  • Challenging DC for your level: You can purchase up to 5 items after a day of shopping
  • Hard DC for your level: You can purchase up to 6 items after a day of shopping
  • Impossible DC for your level: You can purchase up to 7 items after a day of shopping

Note that an "item" constitutes any one thing, or any collection of things that would logically all come from the same shop. 5 potions of Cure Moderate Wounds, a potion of Lesser Restoration, and two potions of Neutralize Poison would probably count as a single purchase, since nearly any shop that sells one of those things would sell all of them. However, some shops might only carry divine-based potions, and arcane-based potions might require a different shop. Scrolls and alchemical items might also be present in the shop, or they might not. Often, the larger the settlement, the more specific and exclusive the shop will be (but the more likely they will have anything you're looking for). Smaller settlements might have one magic shop where you can easily buy most of what you need in one purchase, but if you want anything even vaguely unusual ("A flamin sword, you say? Why, I hain't seen one o'tem in nearly thirtah years goin-on. Whatchu need onna them fer, anyways?"), you'll have to look elsewhere.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail to even achieve an Easy DC (or an Average DC if you are Speed Shopping), you can only purchase two items after a day of shopping.

Retry Allowed?

No. Try back tomorrow.

Provokes AOO?

No (only usable outside of combat).

General Knowledge

You know the answers to questions pertaining to local customs, traditions, superstitions,
Action Required:

Free action

DC of Check:

Answering a question on a local 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. Some examples of basic tasks include:

Blend in with locals 20
Know local laws, rulers, and popular locations 10
Know a common rumor, superstition or tradition 15
Know a rare rumor, superstition or tradition 35
Know public organizations, guilds, rulers, and locations 10
Know shady merchants, secret rulers, and hidden organizations 30
Navigate in a large city without getting lost 20
Modifiers to Check
  • Familiar Territory: -5 to the DC
  • Your homeland: -10 to the DC
  • Inside a city or otherwise heavily modified ground: +5 to the DC
  • Unusual or rare terrain: Atop a fresh lava flow, inside a titanic beast, the Unterwelt, etc. +10 to the DC
  • On a different but similar plane of existence: The Ether, the Plane of Shadow, The First World, etc. +15 to the DC
  • On a different but non-hostile plane of existence: The Plane of Air, Elysium, The Silver Fields, etc. +25 to the DC
  • On a wildly different plane of Existence: The Azure Sea, The Plane of Earth, the Plane of Water, etc. +35 to the DC
  • On a wildly different and hostile plane of existence: The Plane of Fire, the Nine Hells, the Abyss, etc +40 to the DC
  • Very Bad Places: The Sunward Reaches, The Infinite Well, Temperest, Hellcore, Lavarna, etc. +50 to the DC
  • The Edge of Reality: Apocolyptica, The Outer Dark, The Fount of Reality, The Nascent Seed, etc. +60 to the DC
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: Humanoids, Proteans

You can use this skill to identify humanoids, and protean creatures, 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

Gather Information

You can use Knowledge (Local) to gather information about a specific topic, event or individual. Note that you may also use Diplomacy to perform this task. Success gets you information about the person, topic or event. It is assumed that multiple sources are consulted during the investigation, to weed out contradictory information, and get a broader picture of the topic. This means you get more than a simple "Yep, he lives in the hollow over there", and more of a big-picture summary of the individual, object or event.
Action Required:

1d4 hours, as you canvas people at local taverns, markets and gathering places. Gathering information in settlements of size "Large City" or larger takes 1d4 days, instead.

DC of Check:
Topic Being Investigated Knowledge (Local) DC
The topic is famous or infamous with the local populace Easy skill check vs. the CR/lvl of the campaign, object, or individual, whichever is lower
The topic is reasonably well-known to the local populace Average skill check vs. the CR/lvl of the campaign, object, or individual
The topic is reasonably well-known to a regional subset of the local populace Challenging skill check vs. the CR/lvl of the campaign, object, or individual
A person that is unknown or anonymous Hard skill check vs. the CR/lvl of the individual
An object or an event that is not well-known Hard skill check vs. the CR/lvl of the individual who owns the object, precipitated the event, or otherwise is responsible for the topic's existence.
A person, object, or event that is a secret to the local populace Impossible skill check vs. the CR/lvl of the campaign, object, or individual, whichever is higher
Modifiers to Check
Topic Modifier DC Modifier
The topic is dangerous to talk about openly (e.g. "What is the name of 'he-who-shall-not-be-named'?") +2
Only a few select individuals know anything about the topic/person/item +2 or more (depending on settlement size)
You don't want people to know you're asking about the specific topic, event or individual +5
Take 10? / Take 20?

Yes

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies).

Results of Success

You discover information about the specific topic, event or individual you are seeking, sufficient to suggest at least one course of action related to the topic.

If you exceed the target DC by 5 or more, you gain significant information about the topic, or perhaps a useful warning about something you should watch out for.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail by less than 5, you uncover only the most basic of information about the topic. If you fail by 5 or more, you are unable to find any reliable sources of information on the topic.

Retry Allowed?

Yes

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 civilized locales 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.
  • Familiar Territory: -5 to the DC
  • Your homeland: -10 to the DC
  • Inside a city or otherwise heavily modified ground: +5 to the DC
  • Unusual or rare terrain: Atop a fresh lava flow, inside a titanic beast, the Unterwelt, etc. +10 to the DC
  • On a different but similar plane of existence: The Ether, the Plane of Shadow, The First World, etc. +15 to the DC
  • On a different but non-hostile plane of existence: The Plane of Air, Elysium, The Silver Fields, etc. +25 to the DC
  • On a wildly different plane of Existence: The Azure Sea, The Plane of Earth, the Plane of Water, etc. +35 to the DC
  • On a wildly different and hostile plane of existence: The Plane of Fire, the Nine Hells, the Abyss, etc +40 to the DC
  • Very Bad Places: The Sunward Reaches, The Infinite Well, Temperest, Hellcore, Lavarna, etc. +50 to the DC
  • The Edge of Reality: Apocolyptica, The Outer Dark, The Fount of Reality, The Nascent Seed, etc. +60 to the DC
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