BRCS:Chapter one/Skills

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This article is a Birthright Campaign Setting (D&D 3.5/D20) page

The BRCS Document is a comprehensive toolbox consisting of rules, races, classes, feats, skills, various systems, spells, magic items, and monsters compatible with the d20 System version of Dungeons & Dragons from Wizards of the Coast.

Characters in the typical BIRTHRIGHT campaign will have many more opportunities to use profession, craft, knowledge, and social skills than characters in a typical “back to the dungeon” campaign. Characters should not only have skills necessary for success while adventuring, but skills that are appropriate to their upbringing and social position. A fighter from a noble family, for instance, is far more likely to be trained in the arts of diplomacy than a common foot soldier. This section introduces a few entirely new skills relevant to BIRTHRIGHT and mechanisms for using existing skills "beyond the dungeon".

Table 1-6: New skills
Class Admin. Lead Warcraft
Bbn cc C cc
Brd cc C cc
Clr C C cc
Drd cc cc cc
Ftr cc C C
Mag C cc cc
Nbl C C C
Pal cc C C
Rgr cc cc cc
Rog C C cc
Sor cc cc cc
Wiz cc cc cc
C Class skill; cc Cross-class skill.

Administrate (Wis) [New]

You are a capable administrator and understand the workings of the apparatus of government and the governmental hierarchy. You also have a practical, working knowledge of a government's legal system and codes. Administrate is a new class skill for aristocrats, clerics, and rogues.

Check: You can speed up (or slow down) any standard administrative or legal request through a bureaucratic system. The DC for this check is 15 unless the action is actively opposed (using an opposed check). A simple success causes the request to be processed in half (or double) the time. Extraordinary success (success by +10 or more) can further expedite (or slow) the process.

Reducing domain maintenance : You may use Administrate to cut down the maintenance costs for your domain by 25% (round down). This requires a successful check each domain turn against a DC of 10 + the base maintenance cost in GB. Larger domains are harder to administrate effectively.

Reducing domain action cost : You may use Administrate to attempt to reduce the GB cost for any standard domain action costing 2 GB or more. The DC for this check is 20 minus the planned GB cost of the domain action; the larger the budget, the easier to find places to "cut corners". If the check is successful, the cost of the action is reduced by 1 GB. If the check fails, no money is saved; furthermore, if the skill check fails by 10 or more then the domain action check receives a -2 circumstance penalty due to the mismanagement.

Resolving legal disputes : On a successful Administrate check, the outcome of a resolution of a Matter of Justice random event is automatically increased by one level. Most Matters of Justice should be considered "tough" questions with a DC of 15 or more.

Retry: In most cases, retries are not allowed.

Diplomacy (Cha) [Modified]

Use this skill to give others the right impression of yourself, to negotiate effectively, and to influence others. In addition to the description noted in the Player’s Handbook, the outcome of the resolution of the Diplomatic Matter random event is automatically increased by one level on a successful check against DC 15.

Special: 5 or more ranks of Diplomacy give a +2 bonus to Lead.

Gather Information (Cha, Int) [Modified]

You have the ability to ask the right questions and use the answers to those questions to glean vital (and possibly hidden) information. In addition to the description noted in the Player’s Handbook, this skill represents your ability to stay afoot of domain-level gossip, learn of ongoing intrigues, conduct research, and collect information about others that might prove embarrassing if publicly revealed. If the mechanism of gathering information is not interactively social (such as conducting library research) the DM should apply the appropriate ability modifier (usually Int) instead of using the standard ability modifier (Cha) (as per the “Skills with different abilities” variant presented in the Dungeon Master’s Guide).

In addition to the description noted in the Player's Handbook, the outcome of a resolution of an Intrigue random event is automatically increased by one level on a successful check vs. DC 15. This skill may not be used to initiate an intrigue, although the knowledge collected may be used offensively through the use of an Espionage domain action.

Knowledge Skills

The areas of Knowledge skills introduced in the Player's Handbook can be used with minor modification. Knowledge (Planes) should be considered extremely esoteric and discouraged or disallowed. Knowledge (appropriate region/local) (details below) and Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) are particularly useful in this campaign setting. Two new areas of knowledge, Bloodlore and Shadow World, should be made available. Knowledge (Bloodlore) deals with blood abilities, the abilities and strengths associated with particular family lines or derivations, and methods for investing and destroying bloodline energy. Knowledge (Shadow World) is the equivalent of Knowledge (Nature) only pertaining to the Shadow World. Knowledge (Nature) gives no benefit in the Shadow World except when issues of a co-existence come to play.

shortcut iconSee Also: Knowledge (Astrology)
shortcut iconSee Also: Knowledge (Law)

Knowledge (Regional)

This skill applies to a large cultural area, such as the Southern Coast, the Heartlands or the Eastern Marches. You have detailed knowledge of the workings of a specific region, goods and services, major cities and population centers, how individual provinces interact or relate with other provinces in the region, etc. While you may know the titles and hierarchy of the governmental structure you don’t know about the individuals occupying the positions of authority that falls under Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty).

Special: 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Regional) bestows a +2 bonus to both Knowledge (Local) if it is within the region and to Gather Information within the region.

Knowledge (Local)

This skill applies to a single specific province, such as the Imperial City, Ilien, Abbatuor or Brosien. Use of this skill provides information in greater detail than Knowledge (Regional) but only in relation to a single province. Specific layout of the towns and cities within the province, the best way to travel between towns and cities, etc., are the types of things that this skill is useful for.

Special: 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Local) bestows a +2 bonus to Gather Information checks within the province in question.

Lead (Cha) [New]

You are a born leader who draws great devotion from your followers. Use this skill to inspire followers, incite revolutions, increase morale, and otherwise motivate people on a large scale through inspired speech and rhetoric. This skill can be used untrained, and is considered a class skill for Barbarians, Clerics, Fighters, Paladins and any class for which Perform is a class skill (including Aristocrats, Bards, Nobles, and Rogues).

Your skill allows you to sway public opinion with your inspiring rhetoric. You may attempt to perform agitate as a free action (that is, it does not take up a character, court or domain action, but is performed in conjunction with another action) by making a small number of speeches and inspiring the masses. You do not need to have a holding in the province (or provinces) in which you perform the agitate action, but you must be physically present.

On a successful check, the outcome of a resolution of a Great Captain/Heresy random event is automatically increased by one level. Most Matters of Justice should be considered "tough" questions with a DC of 15 or more.

Lead can also be used to help train military units or to lead them into battle. Every 5 ranks of Lead provide a cumulative +1 morale bonus to any single military unit that you personally lead into combat (see Chapter Six: Armies and warfare). 5 or more ranks of Diplomacy gives a +2 bonus to this skill.

Synergies: 5 or more ranks of Diplomacy grants a +2 bonus to this skill.

Profession Skills

Profession skills should be strongly encouraged in Birthright characters. These skills should be used liberally to fill in "gaps" that are not covered by standard skills. For instance, a character who wishes to be particularly adapt at making trade agreements should not only have several ranks of Appraise, but also several ranks of Profession (Merchant). A character who wishes to crew an ocean-going vessel should use Profession (Sailor) to represent that fact. Furthermore, Profession skills can be used in determine the success of a characters attempt to make a profit using the “Ply tradedomain action.

shortcut iconSee Also: D20 Profession skill

Speak Languages

There is no common tongue in Cerilia. The five human tongues act as a de facto common tongue in each respective area of Cerilia. The most commonly spoken Cerilian languages include: Anuirean, Low Brecht, Basarji (Khinasi), Rjuven, Vos, Sidhelien (Elven), Karamhul (Dwarven), and Goblin. A wide variety of less common (or forgotten) tongues exist throughout Cerilian, including: Andu (Ancient Anuirean), High Brecht (Ancient Brecht), Draconic, Giant, Gnoll, Halfling, Orog, Ogrish, and Troll. Some of these languages have ancient or archaic forms that scholars often learn in order to read ancient writings. Sidhelien is the oldest commonly spoken language of Cerilia; the elvish tongue has remained remarkably unchanged over thousands of years.

shortcut iconSee Also: D20 Speak Language skill

Warcraft (Int) [New]

You have been educated in the military sciences of strategy, tactics and logistics. You are skilled at commanding groups of soldiers at both land and sea, whether entire armies or just a small squad of soldiers. You have studied advanced techniques for defeating military fortifications. Warcraft can be used as an untrained skill and is a class skill for Fighters and Paladins.

Check: A skilled commander can have a significant impact upon the outcome of a war, campaign, or battle. Refer to Chapter Six: Armies and warfare for details on the use of this skill in mass combat.

Strategic Movement: When at war, a successful Warcraft check allows a commander to gain a potential advantage during the strategic adjustment phase of each war move. This check is an opposed check.

Tactical Movement: On the battlefield, Warcraft checks determine unit setup, control of terrain type, tactical initiative, success in taking a castle by storm or defending against such an assault, etc.

Retry: Generally, no. Retries are allowed each tactical round or strategic war move as described in Chapter Six: Armies and warfare.

Skill Synergy

Table 1-7: Skill Synergies
5 or more ranks in the following skill Gives a +2 bonus to:
Diplomacy Lead
Knowledge (Bloodlore) Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft checks made in relation to the use of blood abilities
Knowledge (Local) Gather Information checks within the province in question
Knowledge (Regional) Knowledge (Local) and Gather Information within the region.
Knowledge (Shadow World) Survival checks made in the Shadow World

Like skills presented in the Player’s Handbook several new or modified skills have work well together or in conjunction with other actions (like Domain Actions). Presented here is a table of these bonuses due to synergy. These are in addition to those specified in the Player’s Handbook.