Check: The Spot skill is used primarily to detect characters or creatures who are hiding. Typically, your Spot check is opposed by the Hide check of the creature trying not to be seen. Sometimes a creature is not intentionally hiding but is still difficult to see, so a successful Spot check is necessary to notice it.
A Spot check result higher than 20 generally lets you become aware of an invisible creature near you though you cannot actually see it.
Spot is also used to detect someone in disguise (see the Disguise skill), and to read lips when you cannot hear or understand what someone is saying.
Spot checks may be called for to determine the distance at which an encounter begins. A penalty applies to such checks, depending on the distance between the two individuals or groups, and an additional penalty may apply if the character making the Spot check is distracted (not concentrating on being observant).
|Per 10 feet of distance||–1|
Read Lips: To understand what someone is saying by reading lips, you must be within 30 feet of the speaker, be able to see them speak, and understand the speaker’s language. (This use of the skill is language-dependent.) The base DC is 15, but it increases for complex speech or an inarticulate speaker. You must maintain a line of sight to the lips being read.
If your Spot check succeeds, you can understand the general content of a minute’s worth of speaking, but you usually still miss certain details. If the check fails by 4 or less, you cannot read the speaker’s lips. If the check fails by 5 or more, you draw some incorrect conclusion about the speech. The check is rolled secretly in this case so that you do not know whether you succeeded or missed by 5.
Action: Varies. Every time you have a chance to spot something in a reactive manner, you can make a Spot check without using an action. Trying to spot something you failed to see previously is a move action. To read lips, you must concentrate for a full minute before making a Spot check, and you cannot perform any other action (other than moving at up to half speed) during this minute.
Try Again: Yes. You can try to spot something that you failed to see previously at no penalty. You can attempt to read lips once per minute.
Special: A fascinated creature takes a –4 penalty on Spot checks made as reactions.
If you have the Alertness feat, you get a +2 bonus on Spot checks.
A ranger gains a bonus on Spot checks when using this skill against a favored enemy.
An elf has a +2 racial bonus on Spot checks.
A half-elf has a +1 racial bonus on Spot checks.
The master of a hawk familiar gains a +3 bonus on Spot checks in daylight or other lighted areas.
The master of an owl familiar gains a +3 bonus on Spot checks in shadowy or other darkened areas.
(DEX; ARMOR CHECK PENALTY)
The Stealth skill has combined the OGL skills of Hide and Move Silently.
Check: Your Hide check is opposed by the Spot check of anyone who might see you. You can move up to one-half your normal speed and hide at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than one-half but less than your normal speed, you take a –5 penalty. It is practically impossible (–20 penalty) to hide while attacking, running or charging.
A creature larger or smaller than Medium takes a size bonus or penalty on Hide checks depending on its size category: Fine +16, Diminutive +12, Tiny +8, Small +4, Large –4, Huge –8, Gargantuan –12, Colossal –16.
You need cover or concealment to attempt a Hide check. Total cover or total concealment usually (but not always; see Special, below) obviates the need for a Hide check, since nothing can see you anyway.
If people are observing you, even casually, you cannot hide. You can run around a corner or behind cover so that you are out of sight and then hide, but the others then know at least where you went.
If your observers are momentarily distracted (such as by a Bluff check; see below), though, you can attempt to hide. While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Hide check if you can get to a hiding place of some kind. (As a general guideline, the hiding place has to be within 1 foot per rank you have in Hide.) This check, however, is made at a –10 penalty because you have to move fast.
Sniping: If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then immediately hide again. You take a –20 penalty on your Hide check to conceal yourself after the shot.
Creating a Diversion to Hide: You can use Bluff to help you hide. A successful Bluff check can give you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Hide check while people are aware of you.
Action: Usually none. Normally, you make a Hide check as part of movement, so it does not take a separate action. However, hiding immediately after a ranged attack (see Sniping, above) is a move action.
Special: If you are invisible, you gain a +40 bonus on Hide checks if you are immobile, or a +20 bonus on Hide checks if you are moving.
If you have the Stealthy feat, you get a +2 bonus on Hide checks.
A 13th-level ranger can attempt a Hide check in any sort of natural terrain, even if it does not grant cover or concealment. A 17thlevel ranger can do this even while being observed.
Check: Your Move Silently check is opposed by the Listen check of anyone who might hear you. You can move up to one-half your normal speed at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than one-half but less than your full speed, you take a –5 penalty. It is practically impossible (–20 penalty) to move silently while running or charging.
Noisy surfaces, such as bogs or undergrowth, are tough to move silently across. When you try to sneak across such a surface, you take a penalty on your Move Silently check as indicated below.
|Noisy (scree, shallow or deep bog, undergrowth, dense rubble)||–2|
|Very noisy (dense undergrowth, deep snow)||–5|
Action: None. A Move Silently check is included in your movement or other activity, so it is part of another action.
Special: The master of a cat familiar gains a +3 bonus on Move Silently checks.
A miloi has a +2 racial bonus on Move Silently checks.
If you have the Stealthy feat, you get a +2 bonus on Move Silently checks.
Check: You can keep yourself and others safe and fed in the wild. The table below gives the DCs for various tasks that require Survival checks.
Survival does not allow you to follow difficult tracks unless you are a ranger or have the Track feat (see the Restriction section below).
|10||Get along in the wild. Move up to one-half your overland speed while hunting and foraging (no food or water supplies needed). You can provide food and water for one other person for every 2 points by which your check result exceeds 10.|
|15||Gain a +2 bonus on all Fortitude saves against severe weather while moving up to one-half your overland speed, or gain a +4 bonus if you remain stationary. You may grant the same bonus to one other character for every 1 point by which your Survival check result exceeds 15.|
|15||Keep from getting lost or avoid natural hazards, such as quicksand.|
|15||Predict the weather up to 24 hours in advance. For every 5 points by which your Survival check result exceeds 15, you can predict the weather for one additional day in advance.|
|Varies||Follow tracks (see the Track feat).|
Action: Varies. A single Survival check may represent activity over the course of hours or a full day. A Survival check made to find tracks is, at least, a full-round action, and it may take even longer.
Try Again: Varies. For getting along in the wild or for gaining the Fortitude save bonus noted in the table above, you make a Survival check once every 24 hours. The result of that check applies until the next check is made. To avoid getting lost or avoid natural hazards, you make a Survival check whenever the situation calls for one. Retries to avoid getting lost in a specific situation or to avoid a specific natural hazard are not allowed. For finding tracks, you can retry a failed check after 1 hour (outdoors) or 10 minutes (indoors) of searching.
Restriction: While anyone can use Survival to find tracks (regardless of the DC), or to follow tracks when the DC for the task is 10 or lower, only a ranger (or a character with the Track feat) can use Survival to follow tracks when the task has a higher DC.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Survival (WIS), you can automatically determine where true north lies in relation to yourself.
A ranger gains a bonus on Survival checks when using this skill to find or follow the tracks of a favored enemy.
If you have the Self-Sufficient feat, you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks.
Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Survival (WIS), you get a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nature) checks.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering), you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks made while underground.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (nature), you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks in aboveground natural environments (aquatic, desert, forest, hill, marsh, mountains, and plains).
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (geography), you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks made to keep from getting lost or to avoid natural hazards.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (the planes), you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks made while on other planes.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Search, you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks to find or follow tracks.
(STR; ARMOR CHECK PENALTY)
Check: Make a Swim check once per round while you are in the water. Success means you may swim at up to one-half your speed (as a full-round action) or at one-quarter your speed (as a move action). If you fail by 4 or less, you make no progress through the water. If you fail by 5 or more, you go underwater.
If you are underwater, either because you failed a Swim check or because you are swimming underwater intentionally, you must hold your breath. You can hold your breath for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution score, but only if you do nothing other than take move actions or free actions. If you take a standard action or a full-round action (such as making an attack), the remainder of the duration for which you can hold your breath is reduced by 1 round. (Effectively, a character in combat can hold his or her breath only half as long as normal.) After that period of time, you must make a DC 10 Constitution check every round to continue holding your breath. Each round, the DC for that check increases by 1. If you fail the Constitution check, you begin to drown.
The DC for the Swim check depends on the water, as given in the table below.
|1 You cannot take 10 on a Swim check in stormy water, even if you are not otherwise being threatened or distracted.|
Each hour that you swim, you must make a DC 20 Swim check or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage from fatigue.
Action: A successful Swim check allows you to swim one-quarter of your speed as a move action or one-half your speed as a full-round action.
Special: Swim checks are subject to double the normal armor check penalty and encumbrance penalty.
If you have the Athletic feat, you get a +2 bonus on Swim checks.
If you have the Endurance feat, you get a +4 bonus on Swim checks made to avoid taking nonlethal damage from fatigue.
A creature with a swim speed can move through water at its indicated speed without making Swim checks. It gains a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. The creature always can choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered when swimming. Such a creature can use the run action while swimming, provided that it swims in a straight line.
(DEX; TRAINED ONLY; ARMOR CHECK PENALTY)
You cannot use this skill if your speed has been reduced by armor, excess equipment, or loot.
Check: You can land softly when you fall or tumble past opponents. You can also tumble to entertain an audience (as though using the Perform skill). The DCs for various tasks involving the Tumble (DEX), skill are given in the table below.
|Tumble (DEX), DC||Task|
|15||Treat a fall as if it were 10 feet shorter than it really is when determining damage.|
|15||Tumble (DEX), at one-half speed as part of normal movement, provoking no attacks of opportunity while doing so. Failure means you provoke attacks of opportunity normally. Check separately for each opponent you move past, in the order in which you pass them (player’s choice of order in case of a tie).
Each additional enemy after the first adds +2 to the Tumble (DEX), DC.
|25||Tumble (DEX), at one-half speed through an area occupied by an enemy (over, under, or around the opponent) as part of normal movement, provoking no attacks of opportunity while doing so. Failure means you stop before entering the enemy-occupied area and provoke an attack of opportunity from that enemy.
Check separately for each opponent. Each additional enemy after the first adds +2 to the Tumble (DEX), DC.
Obstructed or otherwise treacherous surfaces, such as natural cavern floors or undergrowth, are tough to tumble through. The DC for any Tumble (DEX), check made to tumble into such a square is modified as indicated below.
|Surface is …||DC Modifier|
|Lightly obstructed (scree, light rubble, shallow bog1, undergrowth)||+2|
|Severely obstructed (natural cavern floor, dense rubble, dense undergrowth)||+5|
|Lightly slippery (wet floor)||+2|
|Severely slippery (ice sheet)||+5|
|Sloped or angled||+2|
|1 Tumbling is impossible in a deep bog.|
Accelerated Tumbling: You try to tumble past or through enemies more quickly than normal. By accepting a –10 penalty on your Tumble (DEX), checks, you can move at your full speed instead of one-half your speed.
Action: Not applicable. Tumbling is part of movement, so a Tumble (DEX), check is part of a move action.
Try Again: Usually no. An audience, once it has judged a tumbler as an uninteresting performer, is not receptive to repeat performances.
You can try to reduce damage from a fall as an instant reaction only once per fall.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble (DEX), you gain a +3 dodge bonus to AC when fighting defensively instead of the usual +2 dodge bonus to AC.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble (DEX), you gain a +6 dodge bonus to AC when executing the total defense standard action instead of the usual +4 dodge bonus to AC.
If you have the Acrobatic feat, you get a +2 bonus on Tumble (DEX), checks.
Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble (DEX), you get a +2 bonus on Balance and Jump checks.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Jump (STR), you get a +2 bonus on Tumble (DEX), checks.
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