Main Page » Domain action summary » Research action

This action is summarized in Domain action descriptions. This page expands upon the basic description and adds various alternative interpretations and options.


You learn spells, perform spell research or create a magical item. Spell-casting regents may learn or research conventional spells, research realm spells, make magical items, or perform other such tasks. Details on the magical activities are presented in the Player's Handbook and Chapter Three: Magic. You earn up to four weeks (32 days) of time engaged in the declared activity or activities. This time can be spent on multiple magical activities (should time allow). If the time required for the activity is significantly less than 32 days, you can make a profit on the remainder of your activities. For each full week of time not spent in specific research, you make one-quarter of the monthly amount that you would make Plying Trade.
One use of the skill is to short-cut role-play that the player or GM are uninterested in playing out, rather than the PC asking questions of an NPC, they simply carry out the action in their domain turn and the GM provides the desired information. Whether the action is successful will in such a case depend heavily on how important the object of the research is, and whether the GM shares the players desire to figure out what is going on 'the easy way'...


[top]Magical research

  • Learn spells: A spell-caster can research new spells as described in the DMG. Unless the costs are significant in domain terms, it is unlikely to be worth tracking them. If the PC routinely spends the domain treasury on learning spells, it is likely that the domain considers that it owns the spells, even if the PC is the only person capable of casting them, this is obviously less of an issue for a source domain which has few people within it other than the regent themselves.

  • Perform spell research: Knowing a spell is only half the task, a spell must also be understood, when should it be used? What variants are there? Which creatures are most susceptible or immune to the spell? What rare components can increase the power of the spell? This action can be used to find minor advantages, spell variants, etc.

[top]Skill research

Skills can be researched to discover:
  • lost methods. some techniques are known only to select people, or have been lost in the passage of time. If a PC wishes to discover how the empire built its legendary aqueducts, how the great Tower Ships of the Brecht were built, Varsk breeding techniques, etc then this action can be used as the necessary mechanic. Generally unless the scion has access to the knowledge in ancient grimoires, communication with those who know the technique, examples of the finished product, etc then they will have little hope of success.

  • equipment needed for an action. If a paladin needs to discover the lost sword of Fhin Boeruine in order to defeat the undead knight in battle, then the paladin first needs to find out where Fhin's page hid the sword from his master - this action is unlikely to recover the sword, but will point the way to it.

  • where a master craftsman can be found. Sometimes a scion doesn't need to carry out a skill themselves, they just need to find someone who can do it for them, and perhaps what might motivate such a master to offer their skills.

  • where legendary tools, techniques, etc were last known to be. Learning how the Karamhul carve tunnels through stone is not simple, first one must learn what tools they use, how they ventilate their homes, etc. To do this requires study of the tunnels, tools, finding a dwarf willing to discuss such secrets etc - all these background tasks can be researched in turn.

[top]Knowledge research

  • Who is X? Newcomers to a domain can be identified and their backgrounds investigated, diplomats can be scrutinized for weakness and past successes and failures, nobles can be investigated to discover their secrets, etc. An Intrigue action will be required to discover true 'secrets', but a Research action can point the way to discovering whether secrets are likely to be present.

  • What is X? The mysteries of verdant Aduria, far away Thaele - many are the mysteries of Aebrynis. Similarly strange beasts walk the land, bizarre magics seep from the Shadow World and the doings of the Sidhe. This is a catch-all action that can be used to discover basic information on something that the PC is interested in.

  • How do I fight x? Some opponents require more than merely brute force and ignorance to defeat, some duels are long in the planning. PCs can research NPCs and monsters to discover legendary weaknesses, observed habits, and other information which might prove an advantage in any eventual confrontation.

  • Why are they X? Sometimes domains just refuse to carry out the PCs will, a province may stubbornly stay rebellious, a law holding may fail to increase despite the PC pouring in resources. In such a case the PC can research why there is the problem, and so increase the likelihood of future actions succeeding. This action may also discover nascent rebellions, great captains, and heresy - anything not sufficiently secret to warrant an Intrigue action.



Creating something for personal use, glory, etc is not exactly research, but it doesn't neatly fit anywhere else either. In general if the something is simply to be sold then creating it is part of plying a trade, if it is something 'special' that will be retained or gifted away, then research may be a more appropriate action.
  • Create a magical item: Scions can create items for themselves or the domain, but if using domain resources to create the item it is likely to be considered 'domain property' by the domain, and PCs who routinely drain the treasury to buff themselves may find the domain in uproar over the appropriation of the treasury.

  • Create a masterwork object: Magnificent tools, a majestic performance, an epic work of art - such things arise not from plying a trade, but from following one's destiny.

GMs are likely to require several actions to create more powerful magic items and objects, and may well ignore domain mechanics and use skill challenges or other 'adventure level' rules to determine progress.

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