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I am playing a Transmuter Specialist wizard. For many of my shapechanging shenanigans my DM has asked me to roll skill checks to determine if I know enough about a monster to be able to change into something I've never seen before, and he also asks for a similar check to "Inspect" slain creatures to become familiar with them. I find this more than a reasonable ruling.

I am running into two issues with this:

  1. I’m running out of precious skills points across five knowledge skills required for such knowledge checks: Arcane, Nature, Planes, Dungeoneering, and Local.
  2. I find from a concept point of view that I just want to know about said creatures and remain ignorant on the other topics of a skill. E.g., Knowledge about Fey or plant creatures but not how to identify weather patterns when using Knowledge (Nature).

Without breaking levels in wizard, are there skills, feats, traits etc, or items that allow one to just have expertise in identifying monsters?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just my two cents, Knowledge represents what you already know. I don't think it is an ideal skill for new research - if it's not, it would render half of your problem nonexistent, right? But that would be another question. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Nov 7 '19 at 7:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you using the core skill rules or (one or some of) the variants? IE Background Skills / Consolidated Skills \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Nov 7 '19 at 21:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso Just the core rules. \$\endgroup\$ – L.P. Nov 11 '19 at 16:05
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Look into the spell Know the Enemy.

There's nothing inherent in the knowledge skills that allows you to have a better bonus at identifying creatures over other things that overlap that knowledge area, but this spell grants a +10 bonus to knowledge checks for the purposes of identifying a creature only, so that seems like something you'll want to look in to, and the bonus is big enough that you can invest your skill points in other skills more easily without falling to far behind on your total skill bonus. Casting time is 1 minute, and it grants its bonus on 1 check for a monster you've encountered in the last 24 hours. The spell is Cleric, Inquisitor, Paladin, and Ranger only, so you'd need a wand and some UMD. Other options include checking with your DM about using the spell creation rules to research an arcane version that you can cast and use, or the custom magic item rules to make some sort of doodad that lets the user cast it 1-3 times per day.

Another spell you'll want to look in to (and this one IS a Wizard spell) is Linked Legacy. It links multiple creatures together, and when any of the succeed on a check to ID a monster, all linked characters immediately gain the same knowledge of that monster.

Lastly, you can look into Scribe's Binding, which traps a creature within a book, and details all of its thoughts and memories. This is a level 9 spell though, so don't expect to be using it any time soon.

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