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Knowledge is less a skill in and of itself and more a descriptor for a broad range of skills representing how well the character has studied a particular subject.

  • Primary Characteristic: Intelligence
  • Time to Perform: Instant for a basic fact, 1 or more Hours when investigating a subject intensively

The character attempts to recall a bit of knowledge or study a subject in order to learn more about it. How much a character recalls about the subject or what they learn is based upon the obscurity of the knowledge as well as their expertise in the topic. The difficulty for learning or recalling information is based on the following table:

Complexity or Obscurity Description Required Research Time Difficulty
Basic The character is expected to know the subject just as part of their upbringing. 1 round to 1 minute 1-5
Common Information about the subject is widely available 1 to 5 minutes 6-10
Uncommon Most people don't know about the subject, but details are easily researched. 5 to 30 minutes 11-16
Complex Few people understand the subject, and research will take time to understand. 30 minutes to an hour 17-23
Obscure There is information on the subject, and it's easy to overlook in available sources. 1 hour to 1 day 24-30
Cryptic Only a few experts are expected to know about the subject, and it's a confusing topic to fully grasp. 1 day to a week. 31-36
Undiscovered Information about the subject is scarce in the area, and what is known is vague at best. 1 week to a month 37-43
Unknown There is no info readily available on the subject. A month to 1 or more years. 44+

Characters can increase or decrease the time spent on research by modifying the check's difficulty.

  • If the character treats the subject they're researching as one step more obscure, the check's Difficulty is decreased by 5.
    • For Example: Aran encounters a planar creature he's never see before and is forced to retreat from a battle with that enemy. To insure he's fully prepared to fight it the next time he meets it, he goes to a library in a large city to research the creature and its combat prowess. This information is Obscure with a difficulty of 25, which is a challenging but not unmanageable check for him. However, Aran wants to be confident with the information he's looking up, so he spends a full week studying up on the creature as if information on the subject was Cryptic. He now only has to make a 20 Knowledge roll, giving him a much greater chance of learning meaningful information on the subject.
  • If the character treats the subject as if information on them is more common than it actually is, the Difficulty increases by 5.
    • For Example: The reason Aran couldn't identify the extra-planar creature he was fighting was because he was trying to make a snap judgment about its identity and combat abilities. The creature's existence was already Obscure, and he didn't have a full hour to research its weaknesses. Aran had only a Round, or 6 seconds, to guess at what it was, increasing the Difficulty from 25 to 45, which was impossible for him.  

Knowing about a subject is not the same as being able to use it; for instance, a character can know much about anatomy, but be completely incapable of performing surgery on a person or animal. Furthermore, Knowledge is less a skill in and of itself so much as it's a catch-all for topics that cannot be handled by other skills. Game Masters should work with players to determine what Knowledges the character should take to address an over-arching subject the player wants their character to have expertise in and the limitations what the character can do with their knowledge.

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