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Skills
Skills Summary

In D&D, skills are character abilities that can be improved as the character gains levels. You boost a character's skill by adding points to it during level up and character creation. For class skills (marked with a "C" in the table), one skill point purchases one rank in that skill. For cross-class skills (marked with a "cc" in the table), two skill points purchase one rank in the skill.

Some skills can be used untrained, meaning a character does not have to possess any ranks to attempt to use the skill, while others require at least one point to have been spent in the skill in order to use it. However, a character may not have more ranks in a class skill than 3 + his level, or half that number for a cross-class skill.

Using Skills

Skills are normally checked against a Difficulty Class (DC), which requires that a character's skill level meets or exceeds the DC value in order to succeed. Skill level is the sum of rank, plus any modifier from the skill's key ability, plus any miscellaneous modifiers such as racial bonuses, armor check penalties, or bonus from feats. For some skills, such as Diplomacy, the skill level is checked directly against the DC. For others, such as Tumble, a random 1d20 is added to the skill level each time it is checked, so that success is not always a matter of exceeding the DC.

Some skills, including both Tumble and Diplomacy, are used passively, meaning the game will check their success automatically when appropriate. Other skills, like Open Lock, are used actively and you must select them from the Radial Menu under the Skills tab. A few skills, like Search, are used both ways, as a passive check when characters are close to a secret door or trap and as an active check when you specifically search an area.

Some skills are used to oppose other skills. When you use the Hide skill, opponents will use their Spot skill to attempt to see your hidden character. Similarly, when your character tries to Move Silently, opponents will use their Listen skill.

Some skills provide synergies with other skills, in that a high rank in the skill will provide a bonus to skill checks of other skills.

 Skill Synergies
Fiver or more ranks in...
Gives a +2 bonus to...
 Bluff  Diplomacy checks
 Bluff  Intimidate checks
 Bluff  Sleight of Hand checks
 Search  Survival checks when following tracks
 Sense Motive  Diplomacy checks
 Spellcraft  Use Magic Device checks involving scrolls
 Use Magic Device  Spellcraft checks to decipher spells on scrolls

Some skills allow player characters to help each other to succeed. Usually, this works by having the selected character perform the skill using his skill level and any other character who helps makes a skill check against a DC of 10 and if successful, they add a +2 bonus to selected character's skill level. These skills are called out below.

 Skills
Skill
Bbn
Brd
Clr
Drd
Ftr
Mnk
Pal
Rgr
Rog
Sor
Wiz
Use Untrained
Key Ability
Appraise
cc
C
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
Yes
Int
Bluff
cc
C
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
C
C
cc
Yes
Cha
Concentration
cc
C
C
C
cc
C
C
C
cc
C
C
Yes
Con
Diplomacy
cc
C
C
C
cc
C
C
cc
C
cc
cc
Yes
Cha
Disable Device
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
No
Int
Gather Information
cc
C
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
Yes
Cha
Heal
cc
cc
C
C
cc
cc
C
C
cc
cc
cc
Yes
Wis
Hide
cc
C
C
C
cc
C
cc
C
C
cc
cc
Yes
Dex*
Intimidate
C
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
Yes
Cha
Listen
C
C
cc
C
cc
C
cc
C
C
cc
cc
Yes
Wis
Move Silently
cc
C
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
C
C
cc
cc
Yes
Dex*
Open Lock
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
No
Dex
Perform
cc
C
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
Yes
Cha
Search
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
C
C
cc
cc
Yes
Int
Sense Motive
cc
C
cc
cc
cc
C
C
cc
C
cc
cc
Yes
Wis
Sleight of Hand
cc
C
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
No
Dex*
Spellcraft
cc
C
C
C
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
C
C
No
Int
Spot
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
C
cc
C
C
cc
cc
Yes
Wis
Survival
C
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
cc
Yes
Wis
Tumble
cc
C
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
No
Dex*
Use Magic Device
cc
C
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
cc
C
cc
cc
No
Cha
C = Class Skill
cc = Cross-class Skill
* = Armor check penalty applies to these skill checks

Skill Descriptions

Appraise (Int)
Use this skill to tell an antique from junk, an old fancy sword from an elven heirloom and high-quality jewelry from cheap imitations. In the game, the displayed values for items that appear in the bartering interfaces will be modified depending upon your character's level of expertise (or rank) in Appraise. A high Appraise skill lets your character purchase items for less money and in turn, sell items for more profit.

Bluff (Cha)
You can make the outrageous or the untrue seem plausible. Bluff encompasses acting, conning, fast-talking, misdirection and misleading body language. A Sense Motive check allows an NPC to determine if your character is bluffing. Bluff can also be used to feint an opponent in combat.

Within the dialog, some lines will have a DC that your character's skill level must equal or exceed in order to be successful. In the event that his skill level does beat the DC, a line of dialog will appear with an icon, acknowledging his superior ability in that skill. Selecting the line will draw you into an appropriate course of conversation.

Concentration (Con)
You are particularly good at focusing your mind. Spellcasters must make a concentration check whenever they take damage while casting a spell, to determine whether the spell is disrupted. A spellcaster may be vulnerable to damage while casting a spell through attacks of opportunity or while readying an action. The higher her Concentration rank, the more likely she will be successful in casting a spell, even under duress.

Diplomacy (Cha)
Diplomacy encompasses etiquette, social grace, tact and a way with words when speaking with NPCs. This skill represents the ability to give others the right impression.

Like other dialog skills, true success regarding Diplomacy in the game is dependent upon skill level. Within the dialog, some lines will have a DC that your character's skill level must equal or exceed in order to be successful. In the event that your character's skill level does beat the DC, a line of dialog will appear with an icon, acknowledging superior ability in that skill. Selecting the line will draw you into an appropriate course of conversation.

Disable Device (Int)
Use this skill to attempt to disarm a trap on a chest or door. The Disable Device skill check determines if your character's skill level is higher or lower than the DC of the trap that you are trying to disable. If this skill check succeeds, the trap is deactivated. A character must be aware of a trap in order to disable it. If the Disable Device skill check fails by 4 or more, the trap will be triggered. Otherwise, the skill check may be used indefinitely.

Rogues can disarm magical traps against a DC of 25 + the spell level of the magic used to create it.

Gather Information (Cha)
Gather Information is the key skill used to attain rumors, find out local gossip and collect general knowledge from others throughout the game. It can be used in conversations with NPCs to open up new avenues of dialog.

In Temple of Elemental Evil, the quality of information and rumors that you obtain from others is directly related to your character's Gather Information skill level the higher the skill level, the juicier the rumor or the more interesting and helpful the information. Regardless of skill level, you will be asked to pay a standard fee for any information you accumulate.

The game has several different story-states and in each story there are different levels of success in gathering information. If you return to a story in which you had previously had little success after bumping up your character's skill level, you might find the situation to be much improved. There are many avenues of dialog that Gather Information can open for you.

Heal (Wis)
Use this skill to keep a badly wounded friend from dying. Heal can only be used for a dying creature. If a character has negative hit points and is losing hit points (at the rate of 1 per round, 1 per hour, or 1 per day), a character with the Heal skill can make him stable. A character can be healed if the Heal check succeeds against a DC of 15. A stable character is unable to regain hit points on his own but will no longer lose any hit points.

Hide (Dex)
Use this skill to sink back into the shadows and proceed unseen. A hostile character may not detect your character if she is skilled at Hide. Characters can use Hide (and Move Silently) to enter "sneak" mode. A successful attempt at using Hide is opposed by the Spot skill check of anyone who might be able to see you.

Intimidate (Cha)
Intimidate can be used in the same way as other social skills, such as Diplomacy, but be aware that NPCs may not warm to you in the same manner. Your characters may use this skill to get a bully to back down, frighten an opponent, or to more forcefully obtain information.

In the game, some lines of dialog will have a DC that your character's skill level must equal or exceed in order to be successful. In the event that your character's skill level does beat the DC, a line of dialog will appear with an icon, acknowledging superior ability in that skill. Selecting the line will draw you into an appropriate course of conversation.

Listen (Wis)
Use a Listen check to try to hear enemies approaching through a door or in a nearby room. It can alert you to the presence of enemies, taking away surprise rounds (for example, the enemy could surprise your character, but she succeeds in making the Listen check and manages to avoid a surprise round), or possibly even give your party a surprise round (in turn, you are able to surprise the enemy). Listen is used as the opposed check for Move Silently.

Move Silently (Dex)
As with Hide, you use this skill to remain undetected by an enemy while moving. If you are unsuccessful at making your character's skill check against an opposing Listen check, your character will be heard and the enemy will see him.

Open Lock (Dex)
You can pick all kinds of locks with this skill. Your skill rank in using Open Lock is pitted against the DC of the lock (or the lock's difficulty). If successful, the lock is picked (and will never again be locked). This skill check can be used repeatedly, but it can only be used if trained in it.

Perform (Cha)
Perform is used solely for the purpose of increasing bardic music abilities. This skill is not recommended for use by any class other than bards.

Search (Int)
You can find secret doors and simple traps by searching. This skill does not allow a character to find complex traps unless he or she is a rogue. Search lets characters discern some small details or irregularity through active effort, while Spot lets the character notice something, such as a hiding rogue.

A concentrated Search skill check is available via the Skills tab in the Radial Menu. This skill check will result in an automatic 20 ("take 20"), including help from any party members who can successfully complete a skill check of DC 10 (rolled automatically in the game). Those party members who were successful in making the Search check would help through gaining a +2 bonus. However, only rogues can find magical traps (which always have DC 20+).

There is also a passive search conducted when "using" any container or portal that contains an unnoticed trap. This passive search will discontinue the "use" if it successfully finds a trap. If unsuccessful, the trap will go off.

This skill check can be retried indefinitely.

Sense Motive (Wis)
Sense Motive is a dialog skill that enables your character to perceive whether an NPC is lying or not. It is generally performed against the NPC's Bluff skill.

Within the dialog, some lines will have a DC that your character's Sense Motive skill level must equal or exceed in order to be successful. In the event that your character's skill level does beat the DC, a line of dialog will appear with an icon, acknowledging superior ability in that skill. For Sense Motive, if the line even appears at all, you automatically recognize that the NPC is lying. If you choose to select that line and begin a dialog exchange, this selection means that you call the NPC on his or her Bluff attempt.

Sleight of Hand (Dex)
This skill is used for the basic purposes of pickpocketing. When you use this skill under close observation, your character's skill check is opposed by the observer's Spot check. The observer's success doesn't prevent your character from performing the action, just from doing it unnoticed.

If your character tries to take something from another creature, you must make a DC 20 Sleight of Hand check. 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.

Sleight of Hand can only be used if trained and Armor Check penalties apply.

Spellcraft (Int)
This skill enables a spellcaster to recognize a spell that is cast by an enemy spellcaster. Wizards use it to scribe scrolls into their spellbooks. Spellcraft will also allow your character to automatically counter a specific known spell.

Spot (Wis)
Use this skill to spot unnoticed creatures. Spot is used solely as an opposed check against Hide and is rolled automatically to determine success or failure.

Survival (Wis)
If your character's Survival skill is high enough, you are able to avoid random encounters while traveling on the world map. You will have the choice of whether to avoid the random encounters or confront them, depending on what your character detects.

For example, if the character's skill rank equals or exceeds the CR, you are shown an interface that presents the creatures involved in the random encounter. You are given the choice to enter the encounter or skip it entirely. If the skill rank is less then the CR of the encounter, the random encounter will simply begin.

Tumble (Dex)
You can use this skill to move through an enemy square or move to avoid an attack of opportunity. The Tumble skill check is automatically rolled when:

  • Movement draws an attack of opportunity.


  • The moving player has at least one point in Tumble.


  • The mover is not wearing medium or heavy armor (does not apply to dwarves).

    If the Tumble check succeeds, no attack of opportunity is allowed.

    Use Magic Device (Cha)
    Use this skill to activate a magic device, including scrolls and wands that a character could not otherwise activate. A Use Magic Device check is automatically rolled when attempting to use such magic items, if the normal prerequisites for using the item are not met.