Profession

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Description

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

You are skilled at a specific job. Like the Knowledge and Perform skills, Profession is actually a number of separate skills. You could have several Profession skills, each with its own ranks. A Profession skill represents the ability to cultivate, craft or provide goods or services relevant to the profession, as well as the general knowledge of how to earn a living in that profession.

Even though many of these professions require tremendous endurance, or facile hand or tool work, all professions are Wisdom-based, since they all require a great deal of common sense and learning to achieve greatness, regardless of their physical demands. Even though a blacksmith must be strong and endure heat all day, those things don't make him a great blacksmith. His experience with shaping metal with tools (thus, wisdom) are what make him a great blacksmith.

Common Professions

  • Alchemist — Crafting of alchemical devices and admixtures. Does not cover alchemical bombs or tinctures (and other class-specific items/tasks).
  • Architect — Build houses and buildings. Also includes practical knowledge of building styles. See also Mason.
  • Armorsmith — Crafting of armor and shields.
  • Artist — Painting, poetry, composition of songs and music, sculpture, etc. When chosen, you must pick a specialty.
  • Barrister — Laws, legal defense, researching legal precedents, and swaying of judges and juries.
  • Blacksmith — Crafting of tools and parts from metal, as well as the crafting of alloys. Does not include armor or weapons.
  • Bowyer — Crafting of bows, crossbows and other projectile weapons.
  • Brewer — Crafting of beer, wine and hard liquor.
  • Butcher — Prepare slain game animals for food. Also removing the pelts (but not treating/tanning them).
  • Carpenter — Crafting of wooden objects, such as cabinets, tables, chairs, etc. Does not include weapons, armor or buildings.
  • Cartographer — Surveying and documenting terrain, political borders and recording topographical information. Map-making.
  • Cobbler — Crafting of shoes and boots, skis and snowshoes as well as other non-humanoid foot/hoof/pod-wear, as long as it's non-metal.
  • Constable — Knowledge of criminal law, penal codes, common criminal practices and thought patterns, investigating leads, basic forensics.
  • Cook — Preparing tasty, and/or healthy meals from ingredients. Does not include poisons knowledge, or information on gathering ingredients.
  • Crewman — Skilled at crewing a vehicle (but not piloting it). Includes knowledge of general vehicle maintenance, knot-tying, and how to load and unload cargo efficiently.
  • Engineer — Troubleshooting and maintaining machinery and vehicles. Does not include crafting or operation of said machinery or vehicles.
  • Farmer — Growing crops, tending herd animals, and harvesting. Does not include butchering animals, or selling goods for profit.
  • Fisherman — Catching fish, either through rod and reel, nets, or other means.
  • Gambler — Practical knowledge of table games, as well as betting strategies, and how to avoid gambling-related disputes. Does not include playing sports or cheating.
  • Glass Smith — Crafting of glass items, such as bottles and vials.
  • Herbalist — Tending of a garden, growing non-crop herbs. Includes knowledge of which plants are medicinal, poisonous, or tasty, and how to prepare them for use (e.g. grinding, steeping, etc.)
  • Innkeeper — Tending of an inn, including the bar, dining, and boarding rooms. Also includes managing a household staff.
  • Jewelsmith — Crafting of jewelry, including gem cutting, goldsmithing and silversmithing.
  • Leathersmith — Crafting of leather goods. Does not include the stripping, stretching, tanning and preserving of leather and pelts.
  • Librarian — Caretaking and indexing of a large collection of books, locating specific books within other people's collections, speed reading, and a knowledge of the great works of literature.
  • Locksmith — Crafting of locks. Does not cover picking or disabling of locks.
  • Mason — Crafting of structures made from brick or stone, such as fireplaces and buildings. See also Architect.
  • Merchant — Knowledge of running a shop, negotiating with wholesalers, understanding of economics and markets. Does not include haggling.
  • Miner — Skilled at extracting metals and minerals from the earth. Includes knowledge of mining hazards (e,g. gas pockets, cave-ins, etc.), prospecting, and identifying ore, minerals and metals.
  • Scholar — Practical knowledge of how to research, how to test theories, how to discern fact from fiction between contradictory sources, and how to teach others.
  • Scrivener — Translator and transcriber of existing texts. Includes a knowledge of bookmaking, paper making, inks, type-setting, as well as handwriting analysis.
  • Shipwright — Crafting of vehicles, whether flying, burrowing, land-based or aquatic. Does not include operations of said vehicles.
  • Siege Engineer — Operation of siege weapons, including aiming, maintaining, assembly/disassembly, and movement of siege weapons, as well as managing siege crews,
  • Soldier — Practical knowledge of being a soldier, including care and maintenance of weapons, armor and kit, as well as military insignias, and military law.
  • Tailor — Crafting of cloth-based goods, including clothing, tents, etc.
  • Tanner — Practical knowledge of the stripping, stretching, tanning and preserving of leather and pelts.
  • Trapper — Practical knowledge of trapping game animals, including finding game trails, watering holes, and setting of snares. Does not include crafting traps.
  • Trapsmith — Crafting of traps, snares and triggering mechanisms, typically for game hunting, but sometimes for larger, less legal prey. Does not include actually using the traps.
  • Weaponsmith — Crafting of melee weapons, from daggers to polearms. Does not include crafting of armor or projectile weapons.
  • Weaver — Crafting of woven goods, such as rugs. Also includes fabrication of wigs.
  • Woodcutter — Practical knowledge of lumberjacking, including how to chop down trees without getting killed.

Numerous other professions exist, though some are far too dull to be attractive to a player character (e.g., Bookbinder, Clerk, Miller, Porter), too provocative for some campaigns (e.g. Prostitute, Midwife), or are campaign specific (e.g. Redcap, Lamplighter).

Players are free to put ranks into any profession(s) they desire, granting them insight and knowledge related to that profession, professional contacts, an understanding of common protocols, jargon, laws and business practices pertinent to that profession, etc. Indeed, in addition to making a character's background more colorful, having a profession skill can be highly useful in the right circumstances. In most cases, a relevant profession skill is far more likely to reveal useful information than a more generic skill.

Create a Good

The profession skill allows you to cultivate, craft or supply a good relevant to your chosen trade (if applicable — some professions provide only services). You must pay 1/2 the cost of the finished good in raw materials before you attempt the check. If you are attempting to create higher quality versions of a good, you must pay 1/2 the cost in raw materials of the higher-quality version of the good.
Action Required:

1 day (8 hours with no more than 1 hour of interruptions, not counting meals or rest breaks). Days spent creating a good cannot be spent for other purposes such as retraining.

DC of Check:

varies, based on good. See Equipment, Goods and Services for details.

Modifiers to Check
  • Superior Tools: You must be in an appropriate workspace, and have appropriate tools to attempt to create a good.
  • If you are using good-quality tools in your workspace, you gain a +1 competence bonus to the check.
  • If you are using superior-quality tools in your workspace, you gain a +2 competence bonus to the check.
  • If you are using peerless-quality tools in your workspace, you gain a +3 competence bonus to the check.
  • Improvised Tools: You must be in an appropriate workspace, and have appropriate tools to attempt to create a good. If you are using improvised or poor quality tools in your workspace, you increase the DC by +2.
  • Increased Quantity: You can attempt to create more than one good per day of work if your skill is sufficiently advanced. For each additional good you wish to create, increase the DC by +10. You must declare the total number of goods you wish to create before you attempt the profession check.
  • Improve Quality: Some good benefit from being higher quality. Goods produced via this skill use are assumed to be "good" quality. If you wish to increase this quality to superior or peerless, you may increase the DC of the check before you attempt it. To create superior-quality goods, the DC is increased by +15. To create peerless-quality goods, the DC is increased by +30. You are If you are attempting to create multiple goods, you need only add this modifier once for all goods being attempted.
Take 10? / Take 20?

You can take 10. Taking 20 is allowed, but increases the time required to a minimum of 20 days.

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies). Assisting allies must have ranks in the same profession you are using to craft the good. GM's may adjudicate that some similar professions are complementary enough to also allow assistance.

Results of Success

You create the good(s) you were attempting to create.

Consequences of Failure

You are unable to complete the item in 1 day of work. For every 2 by which you failed the check (rounding up to the nearest 2), add 1 additional day.

Retry Allowed?

No (there is no need; you will always succeed, given enough time.)

Provokes AOO?

Yes

Locate a Contact

You can use your profession skill to locate other members of your professional community. You must be in a location which is likely to have people who practice your particular profession, but a profession check allows you to find colleagues even if they might normally be very difficult for an outsider to locate. The real benefit of this skill use, however, is that you don't need to be familiar with the area, or have personal acquaintance with the individual you are looking for, to attempt it. You know of them, and use your knowledge of your profession to locate them. Furthermore, though it is more difficult, you can use your credibility within that professional community to make contact with individuals of your profession who would normally not allow complete strangers to talk to them.

The DC of this check is 15, though this can increase significantly if you're looking for a particular individual, such as the guild leader of your profession, or a member of your profession who is also a member of the nobility. Settlement size can also influence the DC. It might be very tough to find the herbalist in a very small community where everyone has multiple jobs, and similarly, it will be very tough to locate a the head of the shipwright guild in a megalopolis, though quite easy to find one random shipwright.

Action Required:

Typically 1 hour per settlement size, as detailed on the table below. These hours of searching need not be contiguous, though while you are searching, you cannot perform other tasks (such as using Knowledge (Local) to gather information). You are still aware of your surroundings, however, and can make Perception checks to attempt to notice ambushes or other hazards.

Settlement Size Time Required
Thorpe 1 hour
Hamlet 2 hours
Village 3 hours
Small town 4 hours
Large town 5 hours
Small city 6 hours
Large city 7 hours
Metropolis 8 hours
Megalopolis 9 hours
Dimensional nexus 2 days
DC of Check:

15 if you just want to find anyone who practices the same profession as you.

25 if you are looking for a specific person, or someone in a specific position of prominence within your profession (e.g. a guild leader).

Modifiers to Check
  • Hard to Reach: If the individual you are seeking is specifically hard for strangers to reach, and surrounds themselves with security, such as a nobleman or head of the assassin's guild, the DC is increased by +10.
  • Subtle Inquiries: If you don't want the contact to know that someone is looking for them, the DC increases by +15.
  • Settlement Size: people of your profession are harder to find in more highly populated areas:
Settlement Size DC Modifier
Small town +2
Large town +5
Small city +10
Large city +15
Metropolis +20
Megalopolis +30
Dimensional nexus +40
Take 10? / Take 20?

Yes

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies). Assisting allies must have ranks in the same profession. GM's may adjudicate that some similar professions are complementary enough to also allow assistance.

Results of Success

You locate an appropriate contact for your profession.

Consequences of Failure

You are unable to locate an appropriate contact for your profession.

If you failed by 5 or more, your search was also noticed by members of the local populace. Some folks like to prey on those who seem lost.

Retry Allowed?

Yes

Provokes AOO?

No

Demonstrate Expertise

You can call upon your knowledge of your profession to speak the jargon, comply with the normal protocols or etiquette expected of you, impress your colleagues, and generally be a professional in your field.

Low level characters should consider staying quiet around the masters of their profession, lest they earn a poor reputation that is difficult to shake off later.

Action Required:

Conversations generally require a few minutes or longer.

DC of Check:

10

Modifiers to Check
  • Other Experts: If you are discussing your profession with other experts in the same field, this becomes an opposed roll against the target's profession skill check result in the same profession.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No, such debates leave little time for careful contemplation.

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies). Assisting allies must have ranks in the same profession. GM's may adjudicate that some similar professions are complementary enough to also allow assistance.

Results of Success

You impress your audience with your knowledge, convey the validity of your point of view, etc.

If this was an opposed check, and you beat the target's result by 5 or more, you also improve your target's attitude towards you by 1 step, as though you had succeeded on a Diplomacy check.

Consequences of Failure

If you failed by 4 or less, your audience is not swayed by your opinions, but does not change their opinion of your professional competence.

If you failed by 5 or more, your audience is dismissive of your ideas, and holds you in lower esteem regarding your competence in this field.

Retry Allowed?

You can attempt another check 24 hours later, though a particularly poor result from any check may make future checks more difficult, as you are also forced to overcome the bad impression you've made.

Provokes AOO?

No

Build A Business

You can leverage your skill and knowledge of a profession to establish a business related to that profession. You may do this when you place your first rank in a profession skill. You should work with your GM to identify a town, city, or other location in which your business will be headquartered. Once a location is chosen, you must spend at least 7 days (8 hours per day, with no more than 1 hour of interruptions each day, not counting meals or rest breaks) negotiating a deal for the land, building, and hiring your first employees. These 7 days need not be contiguous, but you must be in the location in question during any days you wish to count towards this time. Days spent creating a good cannot be spent for other purposes such as adventuring, or retraining.

It does not cost anything to set up your business headquarters (it is presumed you use your own profession skill to provide goods, services, or promises of future work to make the arrangements).

You cannot start more than one business, even if you place ranks in multiple profession skills (though you can incorporate your additional professional expertise among the goods and/or services provided by your business). You are simply too busy as an adventurer to successfully run multiple enterprises. Only the profession skill with the highest number of ranks (your "primary profession") counts towards the benefits of the build a business skill use.

It is assumed that, as you continue to improve your profession skill, you are maintaining your business, arranging distribution, negotiating contracts for raw materials, expanding to additional locations, hiring additional personnel, paying taxes to the local lord, and all the other day-to-day tasks involved in operating a business. This work is done in whatever spare time you find between adventures, and does not cost you any money, nor does it require any specific obligations of your time. However, the GM may introduce obstacles or challenges unique to you as a result of your business, which may have cost or time implications, depending on how you choose to resolve them.

Once your business' headquarters has been established, you gain the following benefits: a lifestyle (based on your rank in the profession skill), profit taking (every 2nd rank you place in the profession skill), and trusted employees (every 5th rank you place in the profession skill).

Lifestyle

Depending on your ranks in your (primary) profession, once you have established a business, you gain a Lifestyle as described in the table below:

Ranks in Profession Lifestyle in Headquarters Town Lifestyle in Other Towns
1 - 4 - -
5 - 8 Modest Meager
9 - 12 Modest Modest
13 - 16 Comfortable Modest
17 - 20 Comfortable Comfortable
21 - 24 Wealthy Comfortable
25 - 28 Wealthy Wealthy
29 - 32 Lesser Nobility Wealthy
33+ Lesser Nobility Lesser Nobility

Profit Taking

Once you have established a business, for every 2nd rank you place in your (primary) profession skill (dropping fractions), you can take profits from your business, granting you a windfall of bonus gold pieces. This happens immediately upon placing the 2nd, 4th, 6th, etc. rank in the skill (typically when you level up your character), and the gold piece amount of the profit taking at each milestone is listed in the table below.

Taking profits from your business does not harm the business' overall finances or prospects in any way.

Ranks in Profession Profits Received
2 300 gp
4 800 gp
6 1,400 gp
8 2,000 gp
10 4,000 gp
12 8,000 gp
14 17,000 gp
16 31,000 gp
18 55,000 gp
20 97,000 gp
22 167,000 gp
24 291,000 gp
26 571,000 gp
28 1,018,000 gp
30 1,746,000 gp
32 3,023,000 gp
34 5,501,000 gp

Note that, if you use Character Retraining to reduce your ranks in a profession and then buy them back up, or lose and then regain skill ranks in some other way, you cannot take profits a second time for a rank in which you have already taken profits. You only gain the profits the first time you achieve the listed number of ranks.

If you are unable to establish a business until after you have achieved a higher rank in the profession skill (because you didn't have the time, hadn't found a suitable location, etc.), you only gain the gold bonus from profit taking upon gaining new even-numbered ranks in the profession skill. It is not retroactive. For example, if you don't get your business established until you are rank 12, you do not get the benefit of profit taking until you place your 14th rank in the skill, at which time you will only receive 17,000 gp for doing so. Once you place your 16th rank, you gain the profit taking bonus for 16 ranks, etc.

Hire Trusted Employee

As your business grows and expands, you hire a lot of employees, but for the most part, these people are faceless NPC's you rarely interact with. However, some employees are special, and truly stand above the rest in their loyalty and devotion to the company and its interests.

Upon placing a 5th rank in your (primary) profession skill, and every 5th rank thereafter (dropping fractions; i.e. at 5th, 10th, 15th, etc.), you may employ the services of one highly loyal employee. In game terms, this perk allows you to create a contact you want to have, and know for certain that this contact is loyal to your business, and consequently to you. Upon gaining this benefit, you should determine the following information about your new hire:

Trusted Employee Details
Name This can be a name of your own devising, or (with GM's approval) the name of an NPC you have already met in the campaign world.
Skills, talents, and abilities The new employee is approximately 2 levels below your character level, and cannot possess skills, talents or abilities greater than what you, or a player character of your level, could possess. However, you may make suggestions as to what sorts of skills, talents, or abilities they have, as long as your GM allows it.
Position/job within your business You should describe what duties and responsibilities they are assigned. This can be nearly anything, as long as it relates to improving the general profitability and success of your business. Note that "they make my life easier, and since I run the company, that's good for the company" is not a valid justification for assigning them to serve you personally (unless your profession is "slaver", at least).
Personality and quirks If you wish, you can describe the new hire's general personality and any quirks they might possess. GM's should disallow anything too extreme.
Location of assignment You should document where they have been assigned. This can be in a location in which your business is headquartered, one of your branch offices in another town, or anywhere else. If they are in charge of protecting your caravans, they could be quite nomadic.

Each of these trusted employees is loyal to you unless you abuse them or give them cause to distrust you. They will serve your interests to the best of their ability, and if their duties include the possibility of danger, they will face that danger without hesitation.

Trusted employees are not hirelings or henchmen, and they will not join you on your adventures. They are not pets, and they will not sacrifice their lives for you. They have their own families, friends, and lives to live. But they can be trusted to help you grow your business without deceit or treachery.

Trusted employees are also excellent plot hooks, convenient sources of timely and relevant information, sources of new quests, or leverage to create new complications in the story.

Other Benefits

GM's may allow your business to provide you more benefits than those listed here. It is generally recommended that such perks come as a reward for outstanding role-playing or really putting effort into making the business an interesting and fun part of the campaign. GM's are encouraged to be as creative and generous as they deem appropriate, in these circumstances.