Naturalism

From Epic Path
Jump to: navigation, search

Description

Ability Score Used: Choose One
Usable Untrained? No (Bailiwick)
Armor Check Penalty Applies? No

Only Barbarians, Druids and Rangers may learn this bailiwick skill. No other class may place ranks in it unless they have an ability which specifically states they may put ranks into a bailiwick skill not normally offered by their class. A bailiwick skill is a skill that represents the core competency of a style of adventure, and has many useful applications.

The naturalism skill is an expression of your practical knowledge of the wilderness and nature. For each rank a character places in naturalism, the character receives a free rank in Knowledge (Nature). Note that no character may ever have more ranks in a skill than her character level.

Each character class gains a single bailiwick skill at character creation, and this bailiwick skill is always a natural talent for your character. When you place your first rank in this skill, you must select one of your ability modifiers, and use that ability modifier as the key ability modifier for this skill. Once selected, this ability modifier may not be changed, except through the Reselection rules. Natural talent skills never suffer an armor check penalty, even if you associate that skill with your STR or DEX modifier.

If you gain a second bailiwick skill (usually through a racial trait), it is not automatically a natural talent (even though you typically get to choose which of your ability score modifiers is aligned to the second bailiwick skill). Armor check penalties do apply to the second bailiwick skill if you choose to associate it with your STR or DEX modifier, and you do not gain matching ranks in the linked skill for that bailiwick skill (in the case of naturalism, Knowledge (Nature)).

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.

Concentrate

To cast a spell, you must concentrate. If something interrupts your concentration while you're casting, you must make a Concentration skill check or lose the spell. The more distracting the interruption and the higher the level of the spell you are trying to cast, the higher the DC.

Concentration checks are typically made for the following reasons (though other reasons may occur as well):

  • to cast a spell while threatened by an enemy in combat
  • to cause a spell to overcome the spell resistance of a creature
  • to manipulate a spell which emulates a combat maneuver (such as Black Tentacles (Spell)) to overcome the target's Maneuver Defense
  • casting a spell while grappled or pinned

Casting Defensively

You can attempt to cast a spell while threatened by an enemy in combat, but it is inherently risky. This is sometimes referred to as 'casting while threatened', 'casting defensively', 'concentration check', or 'combat casting'. These terms are all effectively interchangeable, as they all refer to making a skill check to cast a spell due to being threatened by an enemy. Note that casting defensively cannot normally provoke an attack of opportunity. Instead, the spell either succeeds or fails, depending on the outcome of the check.

The target DC of defensive casting is 10 + (spell level x 4). As a result, casting lower level spells while threatened is far less risky to a higher level caster than trying to cast one of their best spells while threatened.

Overcome Spell Resistance

You can use concentration to attempt to force your spells through the defenses of a creature which is immune to spells. Such creatures have a special ability called Spell Resistance, which means that all spells or spell-like abilities must first make a concentration check versus a DC of the target creature's Maneuver Defense, or the spell fails to affect that creature. This special ability is effectively an immunity to spells! However, as a big damned hero, you can focus your will, and try to blast through this defense anyway. You're just that much of a bad-ass.

Manipulate Spell Effect

Some spells, such as Black Tentacles (Spell), emulate the effects of one or more Combat Maneuvers. As such, the effects of the spell go against the creature's Maneuver Defense score, instead of its Armor Class. Instead of using your own Might or Sleight of Hand skills to challenge your target, you use the power of your spell to manipulate your opponent on your behalf. You don't need bulging muscles and an obsession with high-protein diets to grapple monsters — you've got MAGIC! Spells which work inflict combat maneuver-like effects will also describe the need to use a concentrate check in place of might or sleight of hand in the text of the spell.

Casting While Grappling

If you are suffering under the grappled condition due to the actions of an enemy creature, you can cast a spell without any somatic components simply by casting defensively (see above). However, spells with somatic components require a Concentration check to cast, versus a DC of the grappler's Maneuver Defense, or the spell fails and the action to cast it is wasted. This Concentration check counts as the Casting Defensively check for casting the spell in melee (i.e. it is not in addition to a defensive casting Concentration check).

Adverse Conditions

If you are vigorously moving, in the middle of a violent storm, trying to stay upright on a tossing ship, or are otherwise being aggressively affected by your environment, you don't normally need to make a concentration check to cast a spell, because you're just that awesome. However, if you are attempting to cast a spell in the middle of a typhoon while on a sinking ship AND you are forced to make a concentration check for any reason, you suffer one or more penalties to the check due to the adverse conditions present.

Action Required:

Usually part of the same action as casting a spell

DC of Check:
Modifiers to Check
  • Damaged During Casting: If you suffer damage during the act of casting a spell (usually due to a readied action), you increase the DC of your concentration check by +5.
  • Bad Weather / Hazardous Environment: If you are in a terrible storm, or standing on a crumbling shelf in the midst of an earthquake, or any other adverse conditions that do not inflict damage each round, the DC of any concentration check is increased by +5.
  • Dangerous Weather / Damaging Environment: If you are in a storm with flung debris, standing on a razor-sharp bed of shifting obsidian skree, or standing ankle-deep in an acid swamp, where you are suffering damage from the environment every round, the DC of any concentration check is increased by +10.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No (though some class features, feats, and abilities may allow this).

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

You successfully cast the spell.

Consequences of Failure

You lose the spell, just as if you had cast it to no effect.

Retry Allowed?

Yes, with a new spell. The spell of the initial attempt is lost, as though it had been cast.

Provokes AOO?

No

Identify A Spell

You can attempt to identify a spell or spell-like ability as it is being cast. This may provide useful information about how it can be resisted, or what secondary effects it might inflict.

Identifying a spell as it is being cast requires no action, but you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast, and this incurs the same penalties as a Perception check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors.

Action Required:

Free action, which can be performed outside of your turn.

DC of Check:

10 + double the caster's level or CR

Modifiers to Check
  • Distance To Caster: Like perception checks, you take a -1 penalty to your naturalism check to identify a spell being cast for every 10 feet of distance between you and the target (cumulative).
  • Poor Conditions: Any conditions which hamper your ability to see the target, such as rain, fog, etc. inflict a penalty to your check. This ranges from -2 to -20, depending on how severely the conditions affect your perception of the target. A -2 penalty might be caused by several intervening creatures, while a -20 penalty might be caused by the target having total concealment from a source like Displacement (Spell). The GM is the final arbiter of how badly the conditions affect your check. Note that any extraordinary senses you have, such as darkvision or blindsense should be mentioned to the GM when they are assessing this penalty, as they may significantly reduce or eliminate it.
Take 10? / Take 20?

Yes

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

You successfully identify the spell or spell-like ability being cast.

Consequences of Failure

You are unable to determine what the spell or spell-like ability is.

Retry Allowed?

No

Provokes AOO?

No

Create a Secure Campsite

You can select a location for a campsite which is difficult for enemies to approach without giving your party a good chance of spotting them. Such a shelter is often blocked on one or more sides by a natural feature, such as a cliff-side, or impassibly thick undergrowth. This skill use allows you to create a campsite which reduces the chance of a random encounter by half for one full night's rest, and grants anyone on watch a +4 circumstance bonus to their Perception checks to notice any potential threats approaching your campsite.

You must assign at least one ally to keep watch at all hours in which you are in the campsite or the benefits of this skill use are immediately lost (the chance of a random encounter returns to normal). This need not be the same character the entire night, of course.

Action Required:

1 hour to set up the campsite: establish clear sight-lines, set up warning trip-lines, etc.

It is assumed you also spend an hour during your travel time to actually locate an appropriate site, but this does not slow down your overland movement, so it is ignored unless your means of overland movement would prevent searching for a suitable campsite.

DC of Check:
  • Challenging DC versus the average CR for enemies in the campsite's area
Modifiers to Check
  • Large Party: add +1 to the DC for every two allied creatures present in your campsite beyond four (round down). That is, up to 5 creatures incur no penalty, 6-7 creatures add +1 to the DC, 8-9 creatures add +2, etc. This modifier only applies to creatures of small or medium size.
  • Mounts and Pack Animals: add +1 to the DC for each sized-large or larger allied creature present in your campsite.
  • Cold Campsite: Uncooked food and cold sleeping conditions are bad for your health and morale. However, if you choose not to light a fire, the DC of the check decreases by -5.
  • Partying: If you and your companions decide it's a good night for drinking and shenanigans, the DC of this check increases by +5.
Take 10? / Take 20?

You can take 10, but you cannot take 20.

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies). Allies must have ranks in the naturalism skill.

Results of Success

You cut the chance of a random encounter interrupting your next full night's rest (up to the next 12 hours) in half. In addition, allies who are on watch gain a +4 circumstance bonus to notice any potential threats approaching your campsite.

  • (Epic Only) If you have at least 21 ranks in naturalism, and you succeed on this check, your camp has no chance at all of suffering a random encounter for the next full night's rest (up to the next 12 hours). You must still assign allies to keep watch at all times, however, or this benefit is lost.
Consequences of Failure

Your campsite provides no useful benefit against random encounters, and your allies on watch receive no circumstance bonus to Perception checks.

Retry Allowed?

No. The check represents your best efforts, and building up the camp site a second time doesn't let you anticipate something that you never considered in the first place.

Provokes AOO?

Yes. Don't try this during combat.

Improve Overland Travel

You can use naturalism to increase your party's overland travel speed by 1 mile per hour if walking, or 2 miles per hour if hustling. This check may be made up to once per hour, at the end of each hour of travel.

While improving overland travel, your attention is fully occupied, leaving you unable to perform any other tasks, such as making Perception checks to avoid surprise, etc. This is also true for any character which is assisting you with improving overland travel.

Action Required:

One hour

DC of Check:

Challenging DC vs. the highest CR of person/creature in your party

Modifiers to Check
  • Hustle: For each hour you have hustled today, increase the DC by +2.
  • Ignore Terrain (Epic Only): If you have at least 21 ranks in naturalism, you can also cause your party's overland travel to ignore terrain penalties, by increasing the DC to a Hard check vs. the highest CR of the person/creature in your party.
Take 10? / Take 20?

You can take 10, but you cannot take 20.

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies). Assisting allies must have ranks in naturalism. Assisting allies are, like you, fully occupied for the entire duration of the skill use, and may not perform any other tasks while assisting, such as making Perception checks to avoid surprise, etc.

  • If you are ignoring terrain penalties, all assisting allies must have at least 21 ranks in naturalism in order to assist.
Results of Success

You increase the distance traveled by your party by 1 mile for the hour walked. If your party was hustling, you increase the distance traveled by 2 miles.

Consequences of Failure

Any check which is failed grants no benefits to overland speed for the previous hour of travel.

Retry Allowed?

No, you must travel overland for another hour before you can try again, and doing so has no effect on this most recent hour of travel. (Unless it's time travel. Huh? Get it? HUH?!? *nod* You get it.)

Provokes AOO?

No

Identify Magic Item

You can use naturalism to identify the properties and command words (if any) of a magic item you are holding. This is identical to the Divinity, Reason, Spellcraft, Spycraft, and Warfare ability to identify magic items. It is also very similar to the Barter ability, except that it is faster.

Naturalism may also be used to assist another party member's attempt at determining the properties of a magic item, even if the other party member is using a different skill to make the check.

Action Required:

3 rounds per item you are attempting to identify

DC of Check:

10 + double the caster level of the item

Modifiers to Check

-

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies).

Results of Success

Item is identified, including the command words (if any) needed to trigger its magical properties.

Consequences of Failure

Item is not identified

Retry Allowed?

You must wait 24 hours before retrying on the same item. Any attempts in the meantime always fail.

Provokes AOO?

Yes

Craft Magic Item

When combined with the Creator feat, naturalism can be used to create magic items.

A day of crafting a magic item is 8 uninterrupted hours of work in an appropriate work space. While you can do other things during that day, you must have 8 consecutive hours in your work space for it to count towards the number of days required to make the magic item. Working fewer than 8 hours at a time fails to reduce the number of days required to finish the work – you can't work fractions of days and then add them together to create a day of work.

Days of work need not be consecutive. You can take breaks or go adventuring, then come back and keep working, and this does not harm the final product in any way, except to delay its completion date. However, if you begin working on a different magic item before the first one is finished, all work on the first one is lost, and any components used for its creation are destroyed, just as if you had failed the check.

Action Required:

2 days, +1 day per caster level of the item being created.

You can never reduce the time to create a magic item below 3 days, no matter how well you roll.

DC of Check:
  • If your skill check result is at least an Easy DC for your current level, but less than an Average DC the time required to complete the magic item is increased by 1 day OR 10%, whichever is worse.
  • If your skill check result is at least an Average DC for your current level, but less than a Challenging DC, the required time to complete the magic item is unchanged.
  • If you roll grater than or equal to a Challenging DC for your current level, but less than an Impossible DC, the required time to complete the magic item is reduced by 1 day OR 10%, whichever is better.
  • If you roll greater than or equal to an Impossible DC for your current level, the required time to complete the magic item is reduced by 3 days OR 25%, whichever is better.
Modifiers to Check

If you are attempting to create a magic item that has more than one enchantment on it, the caster level of the item is determined by taking the highest caster level of the enchantments you wish to add, and then adding +3 caster levels to that number for each additional enchantment you are adding after the first. The maximum caster level of an item is 35, and if an item's caster level is above 21, you cannot create that item until you have at least 21 ranks in your bailiwick skill.

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Yes, but only if each assisting ally has Cooperative Crafting (Feat). Up to 5 allies with that feat may assist.

Results of Success

You create the magic item after the designated number of days.

Consequences of Failure
  • If you fail to achieve at least an Easy DC for your current level, or you roll a natural 1 on the die, the attempt fails. The components you intended to use in the item's creation are destroyed, including any monetary expenses for the item. This failure occurs on the final day of the item's creation, meaning you also lose a number of days equal to its unmodified creation time (minimum 3 days).
Retry Allowed?

Yes, though you must procure new components to replace the destroyed ones, and begin the process again. You gain a +5 circumstance bonus on each retry after a failure, as you incorporate your new knowledge of what not to do.

Provokes AOO?

Yes. Don't try this during combat.