Changes to Skill Usage

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Animal Handling
Animal Handling allows the Character to act as if they had the Heal skill when treating animals. Familiar animals (or animal familiars for that matter) will gain a circumstance bonus. Exotic ones may result in a circumstance penalty being applied.

Bluff
A PC can use the aid another action with Bluff (DC10) to grant one ally a +2 morale bonus to saves to avoid stability loss. This can also be used help in a save roll when a player is attempting to shake themselves out of a condition caused by stability loss (DC15, See the Horror in Pathfinder – or Mental Stability rules).

Diplomacy
The rules have seen some significant revision and do need you to read through these.

A PC can use the aid another action with Diplomacy (DC10) to grant one ally a +2 morale bonus to saves to avoid stability loss. This can also be used help in a save roll when a player is attempting to shake themselves out of a condition caused by stability loss (DC15, See the Horror in Pathfinder – or Mental Stability rules).

Healing
A roll can be made to remove Injury Penalties. See the Changes to Combat section under Injuries at the same DC and time as Treat Wounds. A heal check can also be used to treat Deadly Wounds to cure just a single hit point but only takes 10 minutes instead of the hour in the standard rules. Full benefits as covered by the rules still takes the hour.

A healer may also restore lost mental stability using the heal skill if they possess Skill Focus: Healing as a feat. In calm surroundings, targets regain stability at twice the normal rate when aided by the heal skill; this has a DC of 20. They can also use a full-round action and make a DC 20 (DC 25 in stressful situations heal check to restore 1 point of stability to an ally, restoring an additional number of points equal to his wisdom modifier if the DC is exceeded by 5 or more. Using the heal skill in this manner may only be done once per day. It may also be used as a full-round action to grant an ally a +4 bonus on his save to snap out of a condition caused by lost stability.

Finally they can help a character recover from insanity (See the Horror in Pathfinder – or Mental Stability rules).

Intimidate
Normally the target number needed to intimidate a target is 10 + Target HD + Will Modifier. Now the target Will Save modifier is ALSO affected by any bonuses against fear the target has.

Alternatively the target can now use their total intimidate bonus in lieu of HD and Will Modifier if they choose, in resisting intimidate attempts.

A PC can use the aid another action with Intimidate (DC10) to grant one ally a +2 morale bonus to saves to avoid stability loss. This can also be used help in a save roll when a player is attempting to shake themselves out of a condition caused by stability loss (DC15, See the Horror in Pathfinder – or Mental Stability rules).

Knowledge (Arcane/Dungeoneering/Historical/Local/Planes/Religion):
A character who makes appropriate knowledge checks to recognize what he is up against gains a + 2 insight bonus to saves against stability loss from that particular threat unless the threat is 4 or more CR’s higher than the average character level in the party, in which case he instead gain a – 2 penalty on his saves. Other bonuses are possible too.

Note: Knowledge Rolls will only reveal generic information for some topics – in these cases, research will be required for deeper knowledge. Assuming there is access to a library or documents containing the information sought, research takes 4 hours and allows for either a roll or ‘Take 10’. Consecutive research can be done with each additional day providing an ‘Aid Another’ check to the original roll. Players can attempt separate research rolls or can work to ‘Aid Another’. In both cases, the ‘Aid Another’ action bonuses are cumulative. Generally one check can be made per character per day but characters may choose to bury themselves in their research, with the second attempt being at a – 2 penalty

Craft / Profession
This skill also gives a complementary bonus of + 2 to Appraise or Knowledge skills that relate to the profession.

Stealth
We will use the updated Stealth Rules on the Paizo Blog site but a healthy dose of common sense will be applied. Dogs can still smell you no matter what your stealth roll unless precautions are taken etc.

Using Skills
Sometimes players want to do things we with their skills that are either impossible according to the rules, at least for a character without a certain feat. For example, no matter how hard a character tries, he can’t use Bluff to feint in combat as a move action without Improved Feint. These options combined with player ingenuity and DM adjudication help make skill use more flexible without introducing rules bloat in the form of new feats.

Calculated Risk
You can take a calculated risk on one check to make a follow-up check easier. You accept up to a – 5 penalty (or + 5 DC bonus) to the first check in exchange for a up to +5 bonus (or – 5 DC penalty) to the second check. The two checks must be related and on the first, penalized check cannot be a check on which you take 20. Calculated risks require some narrative imagination and common sense adjudication by the DM. Failure in the first check means the penalty carries to the second check without any bonus. The penalty and bonus are directly related. The second check must also be performed regardless of the success of the first check if possible.

Example: A character faces a difficult climb. He uses Perception to look for handholds along the climb route, taking a – 2 penalty against the DC set by the DM. If successful, he finds a suitable route and gets a + 2 bonus on a Climb check. A sense motive check against an official could be used before a diplomacy check would be suitable as well.

Fast Task
You reduce the time needed to complete the check by accepting a – 5 penalty to check or a + 5 bonus to the check’s DC. If the check is normally a full-round action, it becomes a standard action. An standard action becomes a move action, while a move action becomes a free action. For checks requiring time in rounds, minutes, or longer, reduce the time needed by 25 percent per – 5/+ 5 modifier, to a maximum 75% reduction.

Example: Using Bluff to feint in combat is usually a standard action. A character could accept a – 5 penalty to his check in order to feint as a move action. Opening a lock is normally a full-round action. If the rogue is in a hurry, he can use fast task to use Disable Device to pick the lock as a standard action. Of course, he first wants to search for traps, normally a move action. Using fast task, he can use Perception to look for traps as a swift action.

Simultaneous Tasks
You can accept a challenge in order to perform two checks simultaneously. To attempt simultaneous checks, make the challenge check, followed by a second check using the same or a different trait. Your secondary check suffers a – 10 penalty or a + 10 increase in Difficulty. The combined task requires the same time as the longest normal task, so if both tasks require a standard action, you accomplish the simultaneous use in a single standard action rather than two.

Example: A character being grappled by ogre can use simultaneous tasks to use Escape Artist to get out of the grapple and then use Bluff to create a distraction. Both actions take a single standard action to accomplish.

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Changes to Skill Usage

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