Skill Check #
When your character uses a skill, the GM will make a skill check to see how well he or she does. The higher the result of the skill check, the better. Based on the circumstances, the result must match or beat a particular number called a Difficulty Class (DC) or an Opposed Check for the check to be successful. The harder the task, the higher the number needs to be.
Circumstances can affect your check. A character that is free to work without distractions can make a careful attempt and avoid simple mistakes. A character who has lots of time can try over and over again, thereby assuring the best outcome. If others help, the character may succeed where otherwise he or she would fail.
A skill check takes into account a character’s training (Skill Ranks), natural talent (Stat modifier), and luck (the die roll). It may also take into account his or her race’s knack for doing certain things (racial bonus).
To make a skill check, the GameMaster will roll a 1d20 and add your character’s Skill Rank and the Stat modifier. Any race bonus, if you have one, will be included too. The higher the result the better.
A Skill check roll is;
Skill Check = 1d20 + Skill Rank + Stat Modifier (+ Situation Modifiers)
For example; If your character wanted to bash open a locked door the GM would make a Skill check using your Physical Skill score along with your Strength Stat Modifier and add or subtract these numbers from a Skill check roll to try and equal or beat a Difficulty Class (DC) number, for bashing open the door.
Critical and Fumble Rolls #
If a 20 is rolled (defined as a ‘critical’ or ‘natural 20’) your character automatically succeeds, if a 1 is rolled (defined as a ‘fumble’) your character automatically fails in the worst possible way, sometimes even hurting themselves.
In the case of a Fumble, your character’s Minor Ability score of the Stat Modifier used in the skill check comes into play. The higher the minor ability score is the better as it can help reduce the severity of the failure.
Example of Skills #
Here are some examples of skills:
- Climbing would use Physical + STR bonus.
- Dodging a falling rock is Physical + DEX bonus.
- Finding a trap is Subterfuge + INT bonus.
- Disabling a trap is Subterfuge + DEX bonus.
A fairly comprehensive (but by no means exhausted) Skill List can be found here.
It’s not always obvious exactly what Stat Modifier will be used when performing a skill check. It does and will depend alot on how your write down the actions (on your turnsheet) you want your character to perform. Here’s some examples that hopefully show this.
To climb the character could use:
- Phy + STR (“I pull myself up”);
- Phy + DEX (“I nimbly climb the cliff face”);
- Phy + INT (“I take my time, working out the best route and carefully testing each handhold”);
- Sub + STR (“I climb, quietly”)
When presented with a dungeon door that’s barred from the inside:
- A Fighter could try to charge it. That’s a Phy + STR check against the toughness of the door (maybe DC10).
- The Rogue could try to slide his sword through a crack in the door to push the bar out of the way. That would be a Phy + DEX check at DC10, and probably the best solution.
- On the other hand, a Wizard would try to use leverage to lift the door from it’s hinges – a Phy + INT check at DC20 – a difficult check, but far from impossible.