The Machinations of Balgrum
Passive Skill Checks
When not actively using a skill, you are assumed to be taking 10 on any opposed checks for that skill. Passive checks are most commonly used for determining what you know based on Perception and Sense Motive, with all skills assumed passive except when called for, or in any stressful situation. You may still attempt an “active” skill check to potentially gain additional benefits, however this depends on the skill used and what you are attempting.
Benefits and Detriments
Skills do not auto succeed or fail on a natural 20 or 1, instead you gain additional benefits or penalties. On a natural 1, first determine whether or not you succeeded on the check. Next, you gain a detrimental effect based on the skill used and the situation. If instead you roll a natural 20, you gain some beneficial effect in addition the check. For example, on a natural 1 when attempting a jump, you might sprain your ankle when you land causing you to take a -5 penalty when moving until you stop to rest. Conversely, on a natural 20 when searching a room, you may not be able to see everything in the room, but some feature you may not have noticed jumps out at you.
Firearms exist in the world, using the “Common Place” rules from Ultimate Combat. Early firearms and their ammunition cost 25% of the original cost, with advanced firearms costing full price. Only early firearms are considered marital, with Exotic Weapon Proficiency needed for advanced firearms.
An additional use of heal is to augment the amount healed though magic items by properly applying them to the wounds. Whenever you use an item or cast a spell that heals hit point damage, you may attempt a heal check as part of the action. As a DC 10 check you heal an additional hit point when calculating the amount healed, and an additional 1 for every 10 you beat the DC by.
While knowledge skills are all encompassing there are some specific ones that should be highlighted.
- Knowledge (Alchemistry): Identify alchemical items. Identify alchemical processes. Identify constructs.
- Knowledge (Warfare): Identify field tactics, fighting techniques, military hierarchy and machinery.
- Knowledge (Board Games:) Identify board games, rules, and obscure versions.