Like Craft, Knowledge (INT), and Perform (CHA), Profession is actually a number of separate skills. You could have several Profession skills, each with its own ranks, each purchased as a separate skill. While a Craft skill represents ability in creating or making an item, a Profession skill represents an aptitude in a vocation requiring a broader range of less specific knowledge.

Check: You can practice your trade and make a decent living, earning about half your Profession check result in Silver Astrums per week of dedicated work. You know how to use the tools of your trade, how to perform the profession’s daily tasks, how to supervise helpers, and how to handle common problems.

Action: Not applicable. A single check usually represents a week of work.

Try Again: Varies. An attempt to use a Profession skill to earn an income cannot be retried. You are stuck with whatever weekly wage your check result brought you. Another check may be made after a week to determine a new income for the next period. An attempt to accomplish some specific task can usually be retried.

Untrained: Untrained laborers and assistants (that is, characters without any ranks in Profession) earn an average of 1 silver piece per day.



If you attempt to ride a creature that is ill-suited as a mount, you take a –5 penalty on your Ride checks.

Check: Typical riding actions do not require checks. You can saddle, mount, ride, and dismount from a mount without a problem.

The following tasks do require checks:

Task Ride DC Task Ride DC
Guide with knees 5 Leap 15
Stay in saddle 5 Spur mount 15
Fight with warhorse 10 Control mount in battle 20
Cover 15 Fast mount or dismount 201
Soft fall 15
1Armor check penalty applies.

Guide with Knees: You can react instantly to guide your mount with your knees so that you can use both hands in combat. Make your Ride check at the start of your turn. If you fail, you can use only one hand this round because you need to use the other to control your mount.

Stay in Saddle: You can react instantly to try to avoid falling when your mount rears or bolts unexpectedly or when you take damage. This usage does not take an action.

Fight with Warhorse: If you direct your war-trained mount to attack in battle, you can still make your own attack or attacks normally. This usage is a free action.

Cover: You can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside your mount, using it as cover. You cannot attack or cast spells while using your mount as cover. If you fail your Ride check, you do not get the cover benefit. This usage does not take an action.

Soft Fall: You can react instantly to try to take no damage when you fall off a mount—when it is killed or when it falls, for example. If you fail your Ride check, you take 1d6 points of falling damage. This usage does not take an action.

Leap: You can get your mount to leap obstacles as part of its movement. Use your Ride modifier or the mount’s Jump modifier, whichever is lower, to see how far the creature can jump. If you fail your Ride check, you fall off the mount when it leaps and take the appropriate falling damage (at least 1d6 points). This usage does not take an action but is part of the mount’s movement.

Spur Mount: You can spur your mount to greater speed with a move action. A successful Ride check increases the mount’s speed by 10 feet for 1 round but deals 1 point of damage to the creature. You can use this ability every round, but each consecutive round of additional speed deals twice as much damage to the mount as the previous round (2 points, 4 points, 8 points, and so on).

Control Mount in Battle: As a move action, you can attempt to control a light horse, pony, heavy horse, or other mount not trained for combat riding while in battle. If you fail the Ride check, you can do nothing else in that round. You do not need to roll for warhorses or warponies.

Fast Mount or Dismount: You can attempt to mount or dismount from a mount of up to one size category larger than yourself as a free action, provided that you still have a move action available that round. If you fail the Ride check, mounting or dismounting is a move action. You cannot use fast mount or dismount on a mount more than one size category larger than yourself.

Action: Varies. Mounting or dismounting normally is a move action. Other checks are a move action, a free action, or no action at all, as noted above.

Special: If you are riding bareback, you take a –5 penalty on Ride checks.

If your mount has a military saddle, you get a +2 circumstance bonus on Ride checks related to staying in the saddle.

The Ride skill is a prerequisite for the feats Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge,


If you have the Animal Affinity feat, you get a +2 bonus on Ride checks.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Handle Animal (CHA), you get a +2 bonus on Ride checks.



Check: You generally must be within 10 feet of the object or surface to be searched. The table below gives DCs for typical tasks involving the Search skill.

Task Search DC
Ransack a chest full of junk to find a certain item 10
Notice a typical secret door or a simple trap 20
Find a difficult nonmagical trap (rogue & ranger only)1 21 or higher
Find a magic trap (rogue & ranger only)1 25 + level of spell used to create trap
Notice a well-hidden secret door 30
Find a footprint Varies2
1Dwarves (even if they are not rogues) can use Search to find traps built into or out of stone.
2A successful Search check can find a footprint or similar sign of a creature’s passage, but it will not let you find or follow a trail. See the Track feat for the appropriate DC.


Action: It takes a full-round action to search a 5-foot-by-5-foot area or a volume of goods 5 feet on a side.

Special: An elf has a +2 racial bonus on Search checks, and a half-elf has a +1 racial bonus. An elf (but not a half-elf) who simply passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door can make a Search check to find that door. Rangers can find traps as rogues do, but only in types of wilderness, they are familiar with.

If you have the Investigator feat, you get a +2 bonus on Search checks.

The spells explosive runes, fire trap, glyph of warding, symbol, and teleportation circle create magic traps that a rogue can find by making a successful Search check and then can attempt to disarm by using Disable Device. Identifying the location of a snare spell has a DC of 23. Spike growth and spike stones create magic traps that can be found using Search, but against which Disable Device checks do not succeed. See the individual spell descriptions for details.

Active abjuration spells within 10 feet of each other for 24 hours or more create barely visible energy fluctuations. These fluctuations give you a +4 bonus on Search checks to locate such abjuration spells.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Search, you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks to find or follow tracks.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (architecture and engineering), you get a +2 bonus on Search checks to find secret doors or hidden compartments.

Restriction: While anyone can use Search to find a trap whose DC is 20 or lower, only a rogue can use Search to locate traps with higher DCs. (Exception: The spell find traps temporarily enables a cleric to use the Search skill as if he were a rogue.)

A dwarf, even one who is not a rogue, can use the Search skill to find a difficult trap (one with a DC higher than 20) if the trap is built into or out of stone. He gains a +2 racial bonus on the Search check from his stonecunning ability.

Sense Motive


Check: A successful check lets you avoid being bluffed (see the Bluff skill). You can also use this skill to determine when “something is up” (that is, something odd is going on) or assessing someone’s trustworthiness.

Task Sense Motive DC
Hunch 20
Sense enchantment 25 or 15
Discern secret message Varies


Hunch: This use of the skill involves making a gut assessment of the social situation. You can get the feeling from another’s behavior that something is wrong, such as when you are talking to an impostor. Alternatively, you can get the feeling that someone is trustworthy.

Sense Enchantment: You can tell that someone’s behavior is being influenced by an enchantment effect (by definition, a mind-affecting effect), even if that person is not aware of it. The usual DC is 25, but if the target is dominated (see dominate person), the DC is only 15 because of the limited range of the target’s activities.

Discern Secret Message: You may use Sense Motive to detect that a hidden message is being transmitted via the Bluff skill. In this case, your Sense Motive check is opposed by the Bluff check of the character transmitting the message. For each piece of information relating to the message that you are missing, you take a –2 penalty on your Sense Motive check. If you succeed by 4 or less, you know that something hidden is being communicated, but you can’t learn anything specific about its content. If you beat the DC by 5 or more, you intercept and understand the message. If you fail by 4 or less, you do not detect any hidden communication. If you fail by 5 or more, you infer some false information.

Action: Trying to gain information with Sense Motive generally takes at least 1 minute, and you could spend a whole evening trying to get a sense of the people around you.

Try Again: No, though you may make a Sense Motive check for each Bluff check made against you.

Special: A ranger gains a bonus on Sense Motive checks when using this skill against a favored enemy.

If you have the Negotiator feat, you get a +2 bonus on Sense Motive checks.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Sense Motive (WIS), you get a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks.

Sleight of Hand


Check: A DC 10 Sleight of Hand check lets you palm a coin-sized, unattended object. Performing a minor feat of legerdemain, such as making a coin disappear, also has a DC of 10 unless an observer is determined to note where the item went.

When you use this skill under close observation, your skill check is opposed by the observer’s Spot check. The observer’s success does not prevent you from performing the action, just from doing it unnoticed.

You can hide a small object (including a light weapon or an easily concealed ranged weapon, such as a dart, sling, or hand crossbow) on your body. Your Sleight of Hand check is opposed by the Spot check of anyone observing you or the Search check of anyone frisking you. In the latter case, the searcher gains a +4 bonus on the Search check, since it is generally easier to find such an object than to hide it. A dagger is easier to hide than most light weapons and grants you a +2 bonus on your Sleight of Hand check to conceal it. An extraordinarily small object, such as a coin, shuriken, or ring, grants you a +4 bonus on your Sleight of Hand check to conceal it, and heavy or baggy clothing (such as a cloak) grants you a +2 bonus on the check.

Drawing a hidden weapon is a standard action and does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

If you try to take something from another creature, you must make a DC 20 Sleight of Hand check to obtain it. The opponent makes a Spot check to detect the attempt, opposed by the same Sleight of Hand check result you achieved when you tried to grab the item. An opponent who succeeds on this check notices the attempt, regardless of whether you got the item.

You can also use Sleight of Hand to entertain an audience as though you were using the Perform skill. In such a case, your “act” encompasses elements of legerdemain, juggling, and the like.

Sleight of Hand DC Task
10 Palm a coin-sized object, make a coin disappear
20 Lift a small object from a person


Action: Any Sleight of Hand check normally is a standard action. However, you may perform a Sleight of Hand check as a free action by taking a –20 penalty on the check.

Try Again: Yes, but after an initial failure, a second Sleight of Hand attempt against the same target (or while you are being watched by the same observer who noticed your previous attempt) increases the DC for the task by 10.

Special: If you have the Deft Hands feat, you get a +2 bonus on Sleight of Hand checks.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff (CHA), you get a +2 bonus on Sleight of Hand checks.

Untrained: An untrained Sleight of Hand check is simply a Dexterity check. Without actual training, you cannot succeed on any Sleight of Hand check with a DC higher than 10, except for hiding an object on your body.

Speak Language


Common Languages and Their Alphabets
Language Typical Speakers Alphabet
Abyssal Demons, chaotic evil outsiders Infernal
Aquan Water-based creatures Elven
Auran Air-based creatures Draconic
Celestial Good outsiders Celestial
Common Humans, miloi, half-elves, half-orcs Common
Draconic Kobolds, troglodytes, lizardfolk, dragons Draconic
Druidic Druids (only) Druidic
Dwarven Dwarves Dwarven
Elven Elves Elven
Giant Ogres, giants Dwarven
Gnome Gnomes Dwarven
Goblin Goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears Dwarven
Gnoll Gnolls Common
Miloi Miloi Common
Ignan Fire-based creatures Draconic
Infernal Devils, lawful evil outsiders Infernal
Orc Orcs Dwarven
Sylvan Dryads, brownies, leprechauns Elven
Terran Xorns and other earth-based creatures Dwarven

Action: Not applicable.

Try Again: Not applicable. There are no Speak Language checks to fail.

The Speak Language skill does not work like other skills. Languages work as follows.

  • You start at 1st level knowing one or two languages (based on your race), plus an additional number of languages equal to your starting Intelligence bonus.
  • You can purchase Speak Language just like any other skill, but instead of buying a rank in it, you choose a new language that you can speak.
  • You do not make Speak Language checks. You either know a language, or you do not.
  • A literate character (anyone but a barbarian who has not spent skill points to become literate) can read and write any language she speaks. Each language has an alphabet though sometimes several spoken languages share a single alphabet.



Use this skill to identify spells as they are cast or spells already in place.

Check: You can identify spells and magic effects. The DCs for Spellcraft checks relating to various tasks are summarized in the table above.

Action: Varies, as noted above.

Try Again: See above.

Special: If you are a specialist wizard, you get a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks when dealing with a spell or effect from your specialty school. You take a –5 penalty when dealing with a spell or effect from a prohibited school (and some tasks, such as learning a prohibited spell, are just impossible).

If you have the Magical Aptitude feat, you get a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (arcana), you get a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Use Magic Device (CHA), you get a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks to decipher spells on scrolls.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Spellcraft (INT), you get a +2 bonus on Use Magic Device checks related to scrolls.

Additionally, certain spells allow you to gain information about magic, provided that you make a successful Spellcraft check as detailed in the spell description.


Spellcraft DC Task
13 When using read magic, identify a glyph of warding. No action required.
15 + spell level Identify a spell being cast. (You must see or hear the spell’s verbal or somatic components.) No action required. No retry.
15 + spell level Learn a spell from a spellbook or scroll (wizard only). No retry for that spell until you gain at least 1 rank in Spellcraft (even if you find another source to try to learn the spell from). Requires 8 hours.
15 + spell level Prepare a spell from a borrowed spellbook (wizard only). One try per day. No extra time required.
15 + spell level When casting detect magic, determine the school of magic involved in the aura of a single item or creature you can see. (If the aura is not a spell effect, the DC is 15 + one-half caster level.) No action required.
19 When using read magic, identify a symbol. No action required.
20 + spell level Identify a spell that’s already in place and in effect. You must be able to see or detect the effects of the spell. No action required. No retry.
20 + spell level Identify materials created or shaped by magic, such as noting that an iron wall is the result of a wall of iron spell. No action required. No retry.
20 + spell level Decipher a written spell (such as a scroll) without using read magic. One try per day. Requires a full-round action.
25 + spell level After rolling a saving throw against a spell targeted on you, determine what that spell was. No action required. No retry.
25 Identify a potion. Requires 1 minute. No retry.
20 Draw a diagram to allow dimensional anchor to be cast on a magic circle spell. Requires 10 minutes. No retry. This check is made secretly so you do not know the result.
30 or higher Understand a strange or unique magical effect, such as the effects of a magic stream. Time required varies. No retry.

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