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21

First of all, it's a Knowledge check Don't lose sight of the fact that the player asked to make a Knowledge check because he or she wants information. There's no way around that. Don't worry about that information breaking the flow. If the player doesn't want to break the flow by getting that information, he or she would not be requesting the check. Tease ...


13

Caveat I do not think this question makes a lot of sense as a system-agnostic question, and I am answering on the basis of systems with which I am most familiar. I strongly suspect that there are other systems where what I say would be flat-out and explicitly wrong. However, there have been claims that 95% of systems handle these things the same way, which, ...


12

Sometimes the Rules Are Guidelines... According to the Player's Handbook, "[Y]ou can use [Knowledge skills] to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster's HD. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster" (78). And there just ain't ...


10

The Rules Compendium p134 leaves the decision up to the DM. If a monster's origin and keyword suggest the use of two different skills, the DM decides which skill can be used to identify the monster, and might allow the use of either skill. One example given is for a Dracolich. Where it suggests that the DM might decide that the undead-ness of the ...


10

This confusion is an inheritance from D&D - particularly the Forgotten Realms. Region-based skills had particular rules in that campaign setting. I believe it was most clearly explained in the 3.0 Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (Pages 8-9): Character Region The Player's Handbook only requires you to choose a race and a class, but the ...


9

The way I see knowledge (local) working, I consider it to be more of an 'ability to collect and remember information', rather than something you already knew all along. Instead of treating a character with a high local knowledge skill as some sort of clairvoyant know-it-all, I prefer to look at the character as a 'tourist'. Whenever there is downtime they ...


9

To Supplement @Pat Ludwig's answer, I would say that in that case each skill might give you different information about the monster. To continue with the Dracolich example, a Nature check might get you that what you are seeing looks like the skeleton of a rather large dragon, and it shouldn't be moving around like that. Whereas a Religion check might give ...


7

It Depends on the System But for the most part the 'fallibility' of a Knowledge check is a matter of degree rather than outright misinformation. You can see this system in New World of Darkness, D&D 3.5, and Legend - a Knowledge (or Occult, or Academics, or...) check tells you information on a sliding scale of success, usually starting with something ...


5

Updated Monster Knowledge Checks say Powers on Hard DC The current online compendium entry for Monster Knowledge Checks states: DC: The DM sets the DC using the Difficulty Class by Level table, selecting the moderate DC for the monster’s level instead of the level of the character making the check. Success: The character identifies the monster and ...


5

The Rules Compendium (pg 130) suggests that a successful knowledge check reveals a creature's origin, type, typical temperment and keywords. If the hard DC is met or exceeded, the creature's resistances, vunerabilities and what it's powers do are also known. I would be wary of adding further information to these checks, as there are items and powers ...


5

Often I have a bunch of PCs all want to make the check, to get as much intel as possible. So I do the checks in secret and write them notes, with significant failures being rewarded with misinformation, and then am entertained by them trying to divine who is right. "The wizard's usually pretty smart but 'fell taint'? Really? Both Bob and Dave the ...


5

"Is there an efficient way to provide this information?" Yes. Players should generally have an index card with monster defenses (at the very least) in their hands around turn 3. Enough attacks will have been made that the defenses will be obvious and it is an excellent way of speeding up combat. If you have a character who routinely makes monster knowledge ...


4

The Monster Manuals have Lore sections which are good guidelines for the kind of combat information that the PCs can make checks for. Monster Manual, page 19 When a fire archon blazesteel is bloodied, it unleashes a burst of searing flame. It also gains its fiery revenge by unleashing a similar burst when slain. An ash disciple can hurl fire, ...


4

I run that as written: if the players meet or beat the hard DC, I tell them the monster's resistances and vulnerabilities ("Resist 5 fire; vulnerable 5 radiant"), and I'll broadly describe the monster's powers ("It has a daily that can do a lot of damage and grant combat advantage...."). Edited to add: You can always call the D&D hotline to get an ...


4

The Truth and... Commonly in my groups, knowledge checks were more or less plot device sources. Due to the higher TN/DC that belonged to obscure information it is entirely easy to say "You once heard..." and the information that was correct from the check I would let them know they were solidly sure of, but there were rumors that nothing they'd experienced ...


4

It depends very much on system and group. FATE allows you to use a skill check to make a declaration about the world that is relevant to that skill. So a Monsters skill would let you give the Werewolf a weakness to wolfsbane instead of silver, if you succeed on the check and the group doesn't think it's boring or silly. Whether you actually know that or ...


4

Looking at some Paizo Adventure Paths (specifically: Jade Regent, Wrath of the Righteous), there are NPCs with Knowledge (local) in their skills. If the intention was for that skill to be tied to an area, it would be listed as Knowledge (placename). Knowledge (placename) certainly makes more sense to me, but it does appear that the intention in the rules ...


3

I’m not aware of any rule that addresses dragons. Strictly speaking, mechanically, a wyrmling red dragon and a great wyrm red dragon are “different Creatures” since they have different stats. A great wyrm red dragon is not, mechanically, simply an Advanced version of the wyrmling it used to be, even though this was purely a matter of modeling the complex ...


3

Knowledge skills often represent a characters willingness to seek out information during his downtime. A history buff will often be found in the library, talking to the locals and seeing the sights. Some knowledges such as Nature, may be experience driven. You only role play the exciting bits. There's another 14 waking hours each day in which the heroes ...


2

(Amplifying my comment) By handing players aspects of narrative control of the monsters, it can be possible to increase player investment in the setting. While the most trivial check should result in a small card being handed over for the monster defenses (because that just speeds up combat), more significant checks should allow players to describe the ...


2

I mostly play 2e, but my group created Monster Lore LONG before it became vogue. I've been DMing for over 20 years. (No brag, just fact) We use the frequency of the creature as a modifier. In 2e, you had common, uncommon, rare, very rare, and Unique. You made a monster lore check and the modifiers ranged from base to -5 (2e, mind you. For 4e, increase the ...


1

The Main Question Does the DC for identifying a creature use the specific creature's HD or the base HD for the type of creature? If it does use the base HD then what would the DC be for a creature that does not have a base HD? It seems to be HD not Base HD, per the SRD on Knowledge: Check: In many cases, you can use this skill to identify monsters ...


1

Speaking as a GM... yes. Sometimes. Really, "it depends" is the only truly accurate answer here, because there are a lot of different situations. By way of an example, Lord_Gareth's example above talked about a knowledge check that reveals "This is a young adult black dragon, these are its weaknesses, it's immune to those things, and these are its ...


1

To my knowledge there is no official ruling for reputation. What I might recommend is a Knowledge(Local) check as a base and the more they succeed by, the more they know. It could be as limited as knowing the race and hinting at the class abilities he has and thus giving the players a minimum class & level, all the way up to that Nat20 roll of finding ...


1

I would give a successful knowledge check a heads up before the creature makes its next attack or give some kind of warning about what it is going to do next. "As you are dodging out of the way, you notice the scales around the throat flare, it is getting ready to breath fire." "An old memory from a bar long ago, the description of how a beholders eyestalk ...


1

In other systems, making a knowledge check lets you define a characteristic about the monster. I haven't actually tried this yet (mainly because I don't trust the wizard not to assert that every monster the group fights has lightning vulnerability), but it's certainly an interesting way to handle the problem.



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