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2

If it doesn't do anything, it shouldn't cost anything If a character can, for example, create very pretty but ultimately worthless tchotchkes because he learned how from his father or can play the violin very well but no one's interested in the weird style of playing he learned from his mother, neither of these minor character details need be reflected on ...


4

You are the GM – do what you think is fair, and then make it fair by doing the same for the players I habitually give away ranks in Craft, Perform, or Profession for backstories, typically 4 in 3.5 or just the 1 in Pathfinder. Making those three in particular into “always class skills” is also a common thing I do (I do make exception for Perform in some ...


6

No. Not in the least reasons being that cryptography is the creation of cipher and code methodologies, and cryptanalysis is the skill of turning encrypted text into plain text. While they may go hand in hand, they are not necessarily the same thing. However, cryptanalysis still somewhat relies on the person doing the code breaking to either be a native or ...


8

It might be possible to reconstruct a couple of basic words through cryptographic analyzation. But that most certainly would be the work of months or years and not something do to within minutes or hours. Best chance would be to figure out some gramatic rules, but it would probably be impossible to learn the meaning of nouns or verbs. You might even be able ...


5

I would say no. Cryptography is the skill/art of encoding and decrypting messages, breaking and creating such codes. A Cryptographer might be able to decrypt a book, only to find that it is in a language that they don't speak. This happens often in the modern world.


3

The 5e rules don't specifically speak to this situation, in the Handle Animal rules or the MM entries for the riding horse, draft horse, and warhorse. But they like leaving a lot to the DM's discretion in 5e, so that's not entirely unexpected. Yes, it's entirely reasonable to require Handle Animal checks with mounts or other animals not trained for war to ...


7

Short answer Yes, the Observant feat helps a character only when they are not actively looking. It is possible to make sense of this in terms of how active Perception is framed by the rules, and with reference to real-world ideas about the conscious and unconscious mind. The +5 bonus only applies to Perception/Investigation skills when used passively, but ...


5

Being able to unconsciously notice things that are out of place or significant is different from the ability to consciously seek out details or clues with active analytical attention, both in genre terms and in biopsychological terms. Having differing and unrelated degrees of ability in each domain is entirely plausible, since they are entirely different ...


5

This isn't an issue with the skills/rules, but, rather, an issue with your DM, who is allowing creative use of skills to have tremendously powerful effects. The monster knowledge checks are entirely standard, though it's worth mentioning that you (generally) only get one attempt per character against a given monster type per combat, and only learn the ...


6

There are pretty clearly defined tasks that you can achieve with a successful skill roll in the PHB, and clear DCs for all of those. Rule 0 applies of course, and the game can always involve improvisation from there, but the listed uses should be good examples of where you can go with improvisation. You're probably at the very least getting away with things ...


3

You can train a cat to dance using Handle Animal - but it's quite hard to do so! Entertain (DC 25): The animal can dance, sing, or perform some other impressive and enjoyable trick to entertain those around it. At the command of its owner, the animal can make a Perform check (or a Charisma check if it has no ranks in Perform) to show off its ...


13

The DM can always make house rules... If the DM wants no dancing cats in his campaign, the DM can rule that cats can't put skill ranks into the skill Perform (dance) and cruelly further rule that cats always fail Perform (dance) skill checks. Such a campaign is a much sadder place for such a house rule, but there it is. ...But some creatures can't put ...


0

Short Answer Condense your Knowledge Skills into as few as possible. Then start using Knowledge Skills as an excuse to give players bonuses between +1 to +4 for just about everything they do. Limit this to a number of times per game session decided by you. Longer Answer Condense your Knowledge Skills as much as possible to about no more than 5. As an ...


10

Spot has been replaced by a combination of Perception and Investigation. Perception is for noticing things about you, people sneaking up and such. Investigation is for searching for things in a room or researching things. Swim is covered by Athletics. Move Silently is now covered by Stealth skill. Everyone is capable of performing each skill. If you ...


2

When your quoted source says they're doing "the same thing" to lock a lock as to unlock it, they mean it's exactly the same thing. Literally the only thing that changes is the direction you push on the "wrench" (one of the picks), which is clockwise in one case and counterclockwise in the other, but is likewise reversed if you go to another lock that's ...


2

There are a lot of modifiers to Track checks. The RAW way to hide your tracks is not just to use the 'hide your tracks' modifier but to make use of as many positive modifiers and as few negative modifiers as you can. There is, unfortunately, no rule for making opposed survival checks like you are talking about. Pass Without Trace is a first level spell ...



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