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Welcome to Outland
A Guide to Outland
Races of Outland
Classes of Outland
Character Creation
Societies of Outland
Geography of Outland
Creatures of Outland
Magic of Outland

"The Wise man pursues knowledge, but ignores not the world around him. Theories are of little use, without the ability to put them to the test."
     - Layzed Horsewhistle, Sage

I've never really been happy with the proficiency system laid out in AD&D. The checks and stuff are fine - its the slot limitation that has always bothered me. Why limit the amount of learning a character can engage in? As if no one learns anything until they gain a magical "level" - at which point, they suddenly know how to do something. Not terribly realistic.

In Outland, a character can basically have as many proficiencies - both weapon and non-weapon - as he wants. The catch is, it takes time to learn to do something, and usually, money to pay someone to teach you how to do it. Under this new system, a character can have an effectively limitless number of proficiency slots (from now on, non-weapon proficiencies and weapon proficiencies are referred to using the same terminology), but has to take time and spend money to learn his skills.

Factors Affecting Knowledge

When a character is first rolled up, he has the normal number of proficiency slots for his character class and level. This represents learning the character has had before he appears on the game scene. The player must fill all the slots provided before the character begins play. Slots left unused are lost. From here on in, however, the character does not gain proficiency slots at various levels. Instead, the player must have his character take time out from adventuring to study whatever subject interests him, and pay the associated costs.

Study Time

Various factors determine how long it takes a character to learn a specific subject. Difficulty of the subject, intelligence of the character, skill of the teacher, and associated subjects all affect how quickly a character can learn a new skill or trade. For example, it takes more time to learn astrology than fire building. Also, its easier for a character familiar with swords to learn to use a new sword.

Every proficiency from the PHB is presented here. Listed along with them are a base study time, the Aptitude Modifier and Teacher Modifier. Each modifier is explained below.

Base Study Time: This is the base amount of time it takes to learn a new skill or trade. Listed in days, it represents "class room" time, during which the character has the benefit of proper materials and the skills of a competent teacher. It is sometimes possible to learn without the proper materials and the aid of a teacher - see the section entitled Self-Study for more information.
Aptitude Modifier: Every field of study is associated with an Attribute - the higher the character's associated Attribute (i.e. Wisdom for Riding, Land based), the more apt the character is in that subject. Characters with high Aptitudes reduce the amount of study time necessary to learn a particular skill.
Teacher Modifier: The skill of the teacher has a lot to do with how quickly a student can learn. A barely proficient teacher can teach his skills, but a highly skilled teacher can do a much better job. Also - obviously - a teacher cannot teach a skill beyond the level at which he himself knows it. Thus, a teacher with 3 proficiency slots devoted towards healing could not teach any more than 3 levels (or slots) worth of healing.

While it is technically possible for any character who already possesses a particular proficiency to teach it to another ("Sure, Bawb, I'll teach you how to swing that sword of yours!"), just knowing how to do something does not qualify you as a "Teacher". In order to qualify, the character must have the Teaching proficiency (as detailed below).


Sometimes, it is possible to learn how to do something without having a teacher to help you. This usually doubles the amount of time necessary for learning, and precludes any form of specialization within that field. For example, a warrior could take twice as long, and teach himself how to use the long sword himself. However, he could never specialize in long sword unless he had a teacher - the advanced techniques required by specialization cannot be learned by "accident"; they must be taught. Similarly, a mage could acquire books on astrology, and after a time, become a proficient astrologer. However, to delve more deeply into this field (i.e. gain Skill Level 2 in astrology) would require a teacher.

Increasing Your Skill

Most proficiencies can be improved upon - spending more time to learn more and more about a particular craft or skill (and thus improving your Skill Level). While this is usually possible, it quite often takes more time to learn more information. The more one learns about a particular subject, the harder it is to increase one's knowledge. Unless otherwise stated, each additional Skill Level learned for a particular skill doubles the base time to learn the skill.

Teacher Costs

Generally, a teacher will want to be paid for his efforts. And, naturally, the better the teacher, the more he wants to be paid. Each proficiency is given a base Mentor Cost (listed in the proficiency's description), which doubles for every Teaching Skill Level the mentor has. For example, the Agriculture proficiency has a base teacher cost of 10 gp. Thus, a competent farmer (Skill Level 3 agriculture), with the teaching skill at Skill Level 1, will charge 10 gp to teach what he knows. If he had teaching at Skill Level 2, this price would be 20 gp. If he had teaching at Skill Level 3, it would be 40 gp, and 80 gp for four, etc. This amount is paid out once a week.

Note, the higher the mentor's Skill Level in teaching, the better a teacher he is. Naturally, no one can teach an ability at a higher level than he himself knows it. Thus, a character with Skill Level 3 navigation could not teach someone to reach Skill Level 4 in that proficiency.

In the Proficiencies section, the tables list the Teacher Modifier. This is a number of days, per proficiency slot the teacher has in the relevant subject, which is subtracted from the Base Study time. If the number listed is, for example, 5, then the subject can subtract 5 days off his learning time for each proficiency slot the teacher possesses. No matter what the skill of the teacher, the Base Study time cannot be reduced by more than half in this manner.

The Teacher Modifier is also doubled at higher learning levels. Just as the base study time is doubled each time a character wishes to increase his level of knowledge, so too is the Teacher Modifier. Thus, if a character is learning Blacksmithing at Level 2 (Base Study time of 120 x 2 = 240 days), the Teacher Modifier is also doubled, to 20 days/teacher proficiency level.

Aptitude Modifiers

The base study time can be increased or decreased, or left the same, depending upon the character's aptitude with that particular skill. Determine the character's associated attribute, and consult the following table.

Table 1: Aptitude Modifiers
Associated Attribute Base Learning Time Modifier
3-5 1.5
6-9 1
10-13 .90
14-17 .75
18 + .5

Thus, a character with a Wisdom score of 16 would multiply the base learning time for riding, land based (30 days) and multiply it by .75 - giving a result of 22.5 (but we round up to 23). Thus, this character trims a full 7 days off the time it would take her to learn to ride a horse. She's just naturally good at it.


As stated before, any character can learn any proficiency, regardless of class or level. However, there are some limitations. Proficiencies are grouped as per the class distinctions found in the PHB. If a character wishes to learn a skill from another class group, the base amount of study time is increased by 50%. Furthermore, while a character is capable of learning to use a weapon banned to him by class limitations, this process is extremely time consuming - the character just does not think that way. All such proficiencies have their Base Study Time doubled.

If a character (such as a specialty cleric) has weapons or skills which are banned for role playing reasons (e.g. in Outland, clerics of Tahl may use only blunt weapons), then learning to use a prohibited weapon could likely have severe role playing consequences. The results must be decided upon by the DM.

Example: Erin the cleric has decided to buy a small farm. Knowing nothing about farming practices, she decides to learn a bit about agriculture. Erin retains the services of Cahrl, an aging but intelligent farmer from her father's lands. Cahrl has four slots devoted to agriculture, and is an accomplished teacher (having the teaching proficiency as well). The base amount of time required to learn agriculture is listed as 30 days. The relative ability score for agriculture is Intelligence (Erin's is 14). According to Table 1 - Aptitude Modifiers, an Intelligence of 14 reduces the base study time by a factor of .9 - which works out to 27. Erin will require 27 days to learn agriculture.

Cahrl, Erin's teacher, has 4 teaching proficiency slots. The Teacher Modifier for the Agriculture skill is listed as 3/slot. This means that the Base Study Time is reduced by 3 days per teaching proficiency slot possessed by the teacher. Three times four equals 12, so Erin's required time to learn the agriculture proficiency is 27-12 = 15 days.

Skill Levels

Rather than being referred to as Proficiency slots, a character's skill with a particular ability is referred to as his "Skill Level". Thus, a character who takes the time to learn an ability once has Skill Level 1. A character who increases his knowledge in that skill to the next level has Skill Level 2. These are followed, naturally enough, by Skill Level 3, Level 4 and Level 5. It is impossible to increase beyond Skill Level 5.

Skill Level 1 (Apprentice): Characters with this skill level are barely able to use the ability, and only understand the basics. For example, if a character spoke Elven at Skill Level 1, he would sound "like a foreigner". The character understands enough of the language to get by, but cannot express complicated theological or philosophical concepts. He barely understands rules of grammar conjugation, and basically sounds like a child. Characters with Skill Level 1 make all attribute checks for that proficiency with a -4 penalty.
Skill Level 2 (Adept): The character is slightly more skilled with this particular ability. He can do most of the day-to-day stuff, but might be challenged by some of the more difficult aspects of the skill. Again, using the Language skill as an example, if a character has a Elven Language Skill Level 2, he can speak confidently, and discuss most aspects of life. However, it is obvious to more skilled listeners that elven is not his native tongue. The character occasionally mispronounces words, or uses a word in the wrong context. Characters with Skill Level 2 make all attribute checks for that proficiency with a -2 penalty.
Skill Level 3 (Accomplished): The character is quite accomplished in this skill, and is considered quite accomplished. Using language as an example, most characters speak their birth tongue at this level of mastery (in fact, all characters receive their birth tongue at level 3, free of charge). If a character were to learn elven at Skill Level 3, an elven listener would not be able to tell that this was not his native language. Characters with Skill Level 3 make all attribute checks for that proficiency with no penalty.
Skill Level 4 (Expert): This character has moved beyond the day-to-day dealings of this skill, and has attained a degree of mastery seldom accomplished. Artists, for example, must achieve at least Skill Level 4 to be considered truly great. Characters with Skill Level 4 make all attribute checks for that proficiency with a +2 bonus.
Skill Level 5 (Master): The character has mastered the skill, and truly knows all there is to be known (more or less). These characters are truly wise in this particular field, and are rarely, if ever, find holes in their knowledge. This does not, of course, grant them information not currently known in the game world; however, if it is known, the chances are good that this character knows it too. Characters with Skill Level 5 make all attribute checks for that proficiency with a +4 bonus.

Table 2: Skill Level Effects on Proficiency Checks
Skill Level Proficiency Check Modifier
1 (Apprentice) -4 penalty
2 (Adept) -2 penalty
3 (Accomplished) No modifier
4 (Expert) +2 bonus
5 (Master) +4 bonus

Non-Weapon Proficiencies

Table 3: General
Proficiency Base Study Time* Relevant Ability Base Teacher Cost** Teacher Modifier
Agriculture 30 Intelligence/0 10 -3/slot
Animal Handling 30 Wisdom/-1 25 -5/slot
Animal Training 30 Wisdom/0 25 -5/slot
Artistic Ability 60 Wisdom/0 50 -3/slot
Blacksmithing 120 Strength/0 40 -10/slot
Blazoning 50 Intelligence/+1 20 -2/slot
Boating 30 Wisdom/+1 15 -2/slot
Brewing 30 Intelligence/0 10 -2/slot
Bureaucracy 50 Intelligence/-2 20 -3/slot
Carpentry 40 Strength/0 10 -3/slot
Cobbling 30 Dexterity/0 10 -3/slot
Cooking 20 Intelligence/0 5 -7/slot
Cryptography 60 Intelligence 25 -3/slot
Dancing 40 Dexterity/0 10 -5/slot
Direction Sense 30 Wisdom/+1 10 -2/slot
Drinking 30 Constitution/+2 25 -3/slot
Draftmanship 30 Dexterity 20 -2/slot
Distillation 25 Intelligence 10 -2/slot
Etiquette 30 Charisma/0 25 -5/slot
Excavation 65 Wisdom/-1 40 -3/slot
Fire-building 10 Wisdom/0 5 -1/slot
Fishing 10 Wisdom/-1 5 -1/slot
Genealogy 25 Intelligence/Special 20 -2/slot
Heraldic Law 45 Intelligence/-1 40 -2/slot
Heraldry 60 Intelligence/0 25 -5/slot
Languages, Modern 120 Intelligence/0 20 -5/slot
Leatherworking 30 Intelligence/0 10 -3/slot
Meditation 45 Intelligence/+1 25 -2/slot
Monster Lore 40 Intelligence/Special 40 -2/slot
Mining 90 Wisdom/-3 30 -5/slot
Pottery 30 Dexterity/-2 10 -3/slot
Relic Dating 45 Intelligence/-2 30 -3/slot
Revelations 30 Intelligence/0 35 -2/slot
Riding, Airborne 45 Wisdom/-2 150 -3/slot
Riding, Land-based 20 Wisdom/+3 50 -2/slot
Riding, Seaborne 45 Wisdom/-2 150 -3/slot
Rope Use 30 Dexterity/0 30 -3/slot
Seamanship 50 Dexterity/+1 15 -3/slot
Seamstress/Tailor 60 Dexterity/-1 15 -3/slot
Singing 50 Charisma/0 10 -2/slot
Stonemasonry 30 Strength/-2 15 -3/slot
Street Illusion 20 Dexterity/-2 30 -1/slot
Swimming 35 Strength/0 10 -2/slot
Teaching 30 Wisdom/-2 25 -2/slot
Voice Mimicry 45 Charisma/Special 50 -2/slot
Weather Sense 60 Wisdom/-1 25 -1/slot
Weaving 30 Intelligence/-1 10 -3/slot
* Base Study Time is given in days.
** Base Cost - See Teacher Costs section for full details.

Table 4: Cleric
Proficiency Base Study Time* Relevant Ability Base Teacher Cost** Teacher Modifier
Ancient History 50 Intelligence/-1 40 -4/slot
Astrology 45 Intelligence/0 35 -2/slot
Engineering 60 Intelligence/-3 60 -3/slot
Enhanced Intelligence 75 N/A 50 -1/slot
Enhanced Wisdom 75 N/A 50 -1/slot
Healing 60 Wisdom/-2 75 -5/slot
Herbalism 45 Intelligence/-2 30 -3/slot
Languages, Ancient 60 Intelligence/0 45 -3/slot
Librarian 40 Intelligence/0 50 -2/slot
Local History 40 Charisma/0 40 -2/slot
Musical Instrument 30 Dexterity/-1 35 -1/slot
Navigation 45 Intelligence/-2 40 -4/slot
Reading/Writing 30 Intelligence/+1 25 -3/slot
Religion 40 Wisdom/0 30 -1/slot
Sacred Legends 30 Intelligence/-1 30 -2/slot
Screed Lore 45 Intelligence/-1 50 -2/slot
Spellcraft 40 Intelligence/-2 30 -2/slot

Table 5: Thief
Proficiency Base Study Time* Relevant Ability Base Teacher Cost** Teacher Modifier
Ancient History 50 Intelligence/-1 40 -4/slot
Appraising 45 Intelligence/0 40 -3/slot
Blind-fighting 35 N/A 30 -1/slot
Disguise 30 Charisma/-1 30 -2/slot
Enhanced Charisma 75 N/A 50 -1/slot
Enhanced Dexterity 75 N/A 50 -1/slot
Forgery 40 Dexterity/-1 45 -3/slot
Gaming 20 Charisma/0 30 -1/slot
Gem Cutting 60 Dexterity/-2 75 -3/slot
Juggling 20 Dexterity/-1 25 -1/slot
Jumping 20 Strength/0 20 -1/slot
Local History 40 Charisma/0 40 -2/slot
Musical Instrument 30 Dexterity/-1 35 -1/slot
Reading Lips 10 Intelligence/-2 20 -1/2 slots
Set Snares 15 Dexterity/-1 20 -1/slot
Tightrope Walking 30 Dexterity/0 30 -2/slot
Tumbling 20 Dexterity/0 30 -1/slot
Ventriloquism 20 Intelligence/-2 35 -1/slot

Table 6: Warrior
Proficiency Base Study Time* Relevant Ability Base Teacher Cost** Teacher Modifier
Adaptive Style 30 Dexterity/-2 45 -2/slot
Animal Lore 75 Intelligence/0 25 -3/slot
Armourer 60 Intelligence/-2 40 -2/slot
Bear Strike 40 N/A 30 -1/slot
Blind-fighting 35 N/A 30 -1/slot
Bowyer/Fletcher 30 Dexterity/-1 20 -1/slot
Battle Sense 30 Intelligence/0 45 -2/slot
Charioteering 45 Dexterity/+2 40 -2/slot
Enhanced Constitution 75 N/A 50 -1/slot
Enhanced Strength 75 N/A 50 -1/slot
Endurance 30 Constitution/0 20 -2/slot
Double Bow Shot 30 Dexterity/-4 45 -2/slot
Feint 20 Intelligence/-2 60 -1/slot
Fencing 45 Intelligence/-2 25 -3/slot
Gaming 20 Charisma/0 30 -1/slot
Hunting 30 Wisdom/-1 20 -2/slot
Mountaineering 30 N/A 50 -3/slot
Navigation 45 Intelligence/-2 40 -4/slot
Oak Roots Style 45 Dexterity/0 35 -2/slot
Parrying 30 Wisdom/0 30 -1/slot
Running 20 Constitution/-6 20 -1/slot
Set Snares 15 Dexterity/-1 20 -1/slot
Strategy/Tactics 30 Wisdom/Special 50 -2/slot
Survival 40 Intelligence/0 35 -2/slot
Tracking 30 Wisdom/0 30 -2/slot
Weaponsmithing 50 Intelligence/-3 45 -3/slot

Table 7: Mage
Proficiency Base Study Time* Relevant Ability Base Teacher Cost** Teacher Modifier
Ancient History 50 Intelligence/-1 40 -4/slot
Astrology 45 Intelligence/0 35 -2/slot
Dweomer Craft 50 Intelligence/-3 40 -2/slot
Engineering 60 Intelligence/-3 60 -3/slot
Enhanced Intelligence 75 N/A 50 -1/slot
Enhanced Wisdom 75 N/A 50 -1/slot
Gem Cutting 60 Dexterity/-2 75 -3/slot
Herbalism 45 Intelligence/-2 30 -3/slot
Languages, Ancient 60 Intelligence/0 45 -3/slot
Librarian 40 Intelligence/0 50 -2/slot
Local History 40 Charisma/0 40 -2/slot
Lore Crafting 30 Intelligence/-2 45 -2/slot
Navigation 45 Intelligence/-2 40 -4/slot
Reading/Writing 30 Intelligence/+1 25 -3/slot
Religion 40 Wisdom/0 30 -1/slot
Sacred Legends 30 Intelligence/-1 30 -2/slot
Screed Lore 45 Intelligence/-1 50 -2/slot
Spellcraft 40 Intelligence/-2 30 -2/slot
Specific Spell 180 Intelligence/-3 100 -2/slot
Spellcraft 40 Intelligence/-2 30 -2/slot
Subtle Casting 30 Dexterity/-2 75 -1/slot
Theory of Magic 60 Intelligence/0 50 -2/slot

Proficiencies Explained

Adaptive Style: Characters with this proficiency have trained with a teacher to learn how to do battle when their footing is less than ideal. Starting on sandy ground, the character progresses to more and more difficult terrain (such as standing on the top of a pole, or hanging from swinging ropes). Characters with this proficiency can negate some of the penalties to attack and/or damage from unusual or unsure footing. The amount of the penalty negated is usually 1 point (against attack and/or damage rolls) per Skill Level in this proficiency.

The character must roll a proficiency check (Dexterity/-2) at the beginning of battle in order to adapt to the unusual footing. On a failed roll, the character may not try again for 1 hour in that terrain (but could try again if the terrain were to change). As the character must be free to maneuver, no armor heavier than chain mail may be worn.

Animal Lore: This proficiency enables a character to observe the actions or habitat of an animal and interpret what is going on. Actions can show how dangerous the creature is, whether it is hungry, protecting its young, or defending a nearby den. Furthermore, careful observation of signs and behaviors can even indicate the location of a water hole, animal herd, predator, or impending danger, such as a forest fire. The DM will secretly roll a proficiency check. A successful check means the character understood the basic actions of the creature. If the check fails by 4 or less, no information is gained. If the check fails by 5 or more, the character misinterprets the actions of the animal.

A character may also imitate the calls and cries of animals that he is reasonably familiar with, based on his background. This ability is limited by volume. The roar of a tyrannosaurus rex would be beyond the abilities of a normal character. A successful proficiency check means that only magical means can distinguish the character's call from that of the true animal. The cry is sufficient to fool animals, perhaps frightening them away or luring them closer. A failed check means the sound is incorrect in some slight way. A failed call may still fool some listeners, but creatures very familiar with the cry automatically detect a false call. All other creatures and characters are allowed a Wisdom check to detect the fake.

Finally, animal lore increases the chance of successfully setting snares and traps (for hunting) since the character knows the general habits of the creature hunted.

Armourer: This character can make all of the types of armour listed in the Player's Handbook, given the proper materials and facilities. When making armour, the proficiency check is rolled at the end of the normal construction time.

The time required to make armour is equal to two weeks per level of AC below 10. For example, a shield would require two weeks of work, whereas a suit of full plate armour would require 18 weeks of work.

If the proficiency check indicates failure but is within 4 of the amount needed for success, the armourer has created usable, but flawed, armour. Such armour functions as 1 AC worse than usual, although it looks like the armour it was intended to be. Only a character with armourer proficiency can detect the flaws, and this requires careful and detailed inspection.

If the flawed armour is struck in melee combat with a natural die roll of 19 or 20, it breaks. The character's AC immediately worsens by 4 additional classes (although never above 10), and the broken armour hampers the character's movement. Until the character can remove the broken armour (a process requiring 1d4 rounds), the character moves at ½ of his normal rate and suffers a -4 penalty to all of his attack rolls.

If an armourer is creating a suit of field plate or full plate armour, the character who will use the armour must be present at least once a week during the creation of the armour, since such types of armour require very exact fitting.

Battle Sense: This proficiency allows a warrior to have a sense of what is going on in the battle around him. It is a proficiency that is often taken by combat leaders (lieutenants in militia and so forth.) The warrior can tell when members of his troop have taken severe wounds, when the other side is attempting to herd his group in a certain direction, etc. This allows him to give orders about troop movements while still involved in the melee himself. None of the above abilities require a proficiency check.

On a successful proficiency check, the warrior can determine whether an area is ripe for an ambush, and which part of a terrain holds the advantage for combatants. He can also determine which of the enemies seem most powerful, if he passes the check with a -3 penalty. This check cannot be performed while in melee combat.

Bear Strike: Characters with this ability have learned to brace themselves, standing firmly in battle, and thus increasing the power of their blows. With this ability, a character delivers 1 extra hp of damage per melee attack, per Skill Level. Thus, a character with bear strike at Skill Level 3 would do an extra 3 hp of damage per melee attack. However, due to the fact that the character must remain relatively still to use this ability, he loses all bonuses to AC due to high Dexterity (characters without such a bonus still suffer a -1 penalty to AC).

Blazoning: A blazon is a formula describing exactly what a certain heraldic device looks like. Characters with this proficiency can reconstruct a coat of arms from its written description or encode an image in blazon form. This skill must be used to perform several other heraldic arts.

Boating: A character with this proficiency is needed to guide a boat down a rapid stream or to reduce the chance of capsizing a canoe or kayak. In addition, a boat guided by a person with this proficiency is propelled at maximum speed. This proficiency is distinct from Navigation and Seamanship which apply to oceans, seas, or large lakes rather than small craft on smaller lakes and rivers.

Bureaucracy: A character with this proficiency gains a number of benefits. They know and understand the nature of how government works, and the paperwork that goes along with it. Each proficiency slot allows the character to have the knowledge of the bureaucracy of one government (be that a country, land, or region). The benefits are as follows:

  • Can get government permits of any kind in 50% of the time that it would normally take.
  • 50% base chance of getting to meet with someone in charge and authority within the government structure.
  • Thieves who have the Fast Talking proficiency gain a bonus of -4 to their proficiency check when Fast Talking government officials.

Cryptography: This proficiency allows the character to create and break codes and ciphers. Reading/writing is required in order to learn this proficiency. Multiple slots to this proficiency are often very helpful. Codes and ciphers fall into four levels of difficulty (equivalent to the number of slots of "cryptography" taken by the person that does the encryption). Their specific requirements are as follows:

Difficulty Base Breaking Time Check Modifier
0 10 minutes +1
1 1 day 0
2 1 week -1
3 1 month -2

The person encrypting the text can use a difficulty level no higher than the level of cryptography proficiency he/she possesses. The base breaking time is the unit of time that a person must spend to have any chance of "breaking" the code. Each day of code-breaking must be 8 hours of uninterrupted thought or the period must be begun anew. The check modifier is an additional bonus/penalty applied to breaking a code that is dependent on its difficulty only.

The DM may choose to add more modifiers because of the length of the text or successive failures. Codes/ciphers can only be broken by a person familiar with the language that the normal text is in. If encrypted documents are to be used for general communications, both the encryptor and decryptor must know the key. The impracticality of changing keys frequently is the only thing that tends to keep codes in use for long enough that breaking them becomes worthwhile.

In order to change codes, the encryptor must merely decide to. It is a very quick job to create a code, generally taking 4 hours per proficiency level. Codes should be referenced (code A, code B, etc.) so that the DM can remember which ones are in use.

Distillation: This is a specialized function of alchemy which deals in condensing a substance to its most potent form. It allows the creation of various essences and extracts, and allows almost any substance to be concentrated. This skill can also emphasize one function or effect of the substance in question over another effect.

For example, if a nightshade leaf were to be distilled, the distiller would have two options (or more) available to him. He could choose to emphasize the poisonous qualities of the leaf, which would result in a very concentrated substance which would cause the exact same poisonous effects as a large quantity of nightshade. The smell and taste of this essence would be reduced (might be eliminated if a 1 is rolled for a proficiency check) as the chemicals causing these effects are reduced or eliminated.

If the character wished, however, to condense it such that it emphasized it's spicy flavor, rather than poisonous qualities, then an extract would be produced which would act as a strong spice, but would have only mild, if any, poisonous effects on the victim. A character must have the alchemy and herbalism proficiencies in order to benefit from this proficiency.

Double Bow Shot: This proficiency may only be learned by a character who already specialized in the bow. With this skill, the bowman can fire two arrows from his bow at the same time. The double shot is taken as the last shot, at the end of the round (thus, the first, single, arrow is shot on normal initiative, and the double bow-shot takes place at the end of the round, after all other initiatives have been decided). In order to be able to pull of the double bow shot, the character must make a Dexterity check, with a -4 penalty. Failure indicates that both arrows fall wide of their mark. If the Dexterity check is successful, the character can roll a regular attack, but suffers a -4 penalty to hit. Both arrows must be fired at the same target.

Draftsmanship: This skill is used to physically draw the coat of arms. It is most useful when combined with a blazoning proficiency, since the character can then create a perfect achievement from written records. Without blazoning, the draftsman must work from a perfect copy of the achievement and is penalized by a +2 modifier on the die roll.

Draftsmanship requires a set of paints and brushes, as well as the shield or other materials to be emblazoned. If gold is to be used, a jeweler or goldsmith must be employed to apply gold leaf.

Drinking: The character has made the act of drinking alcoholic beverages into an art form. He has spent so much time drinking strong alcoholic beverages that he has developed a partial immunity to it's intoxicating affect.

A character with this non-weapon proficiency may increase the base number of drinks he may imbibe by one half (rounding up). Furthermore, he receives a +2 bonus to any alcohol related ability checks he may have to make.

For every further slot spent on this non-weapon proficiency, the die roll bonus is increased by +1.

Dweomer Craft: This rare non-weapon proficiency is generally only available in a world with a high degree of magical knowledge. It represents much in-depth study of metamagic (i.e. the forces which underlie magic itself). Hence, it usually must be learned from a university or academy. On a successful proficiency check during spell research, the wizard can reduce the time required to complete the research by 25%. The expenses that would have arisen during this extra time are, naturally, not accrued.

Enhanced Statistics: The character has increased his natural skill in the Statistic chosen. This does not actually raise the statistic, but it does allow a +1 bonus to the d20 roll when called upon to make a check on the applicable statistic.

For example, Bronwyn the fighter has taken enhanced Strength as a non-weapon proficiency. Her natural Strength score is 17, and will remain so. The DM calls upon Bronwyn to make a Strength check to maintain her grip on a rope. She rolls an 18, which normally would fail. Thanks to her enhanced Strength non-weapon proficiency, she has a +1 bonus to the roll, and thus modifies the roll down to 17, making the check.

This proficiency does not, in any way, modify the relevant abilities associated with the Statistic (i.e., to hit bonus and damage bonus for Strength, Maximum number of henchmen for Charisma, etc.). Obviously, this ability may only be taken once, at Skill Level 1.

Excavation: The character with this proficiency has learned the techniques for the careful unearthing of a site or ruin. This process involves shoring up crumbling foundations, choosing the proper tools, and protecting exposed finds. Without the proper use of this proficiency, delicate finds may be destroyed by crude and reckless digging. Characters with the excavation non-weapon proficiency can ensure that the structural details of a dig are left intact so that further visits to the excavation site can still yield useful knowledge.

Feint: With this ability, the character can make a feinting attack which misleads one opponent (this move sacrifices one attack roll). The character must roll an Intelligence check with a -2 penalty. A successful roll indicates he has tricked his opponent. On the character's very next attack, he gains a +2 bonus to hit and damage. Each additional level of this skill gives an additional +1 bonus to hit and damage (thus, at Skill level 3, the feint ability gives the character a +4 bonus to hit and damage for one attack). This ability may only be used once against any one opponent, per encounter.

Fencing: With this fighting style, a character can judge the approximate martial skill of any enemy by sparring with him for one round. The character does not make any real attacks during this round. Instead, he performs feints to test the opponent's reaction. At the end of the round, the character may make a proficiency check. If the check succeeds, the character can estimate the enemy's modified THAC0 used during that round (which might well be his natural THAC0, modified by Strength, magic weapon, specialization, spells, and situational modifiers). The DM should give the character a score that is accurate within 1-2 points (roll 1d6: 1= 2 lower, 2=1 lower, 3-4= accurate, 5=1 higher, 6=2 higher).

Genealogy: This proficiency allows a character to understand the genealogy and great deeds of a certain noble family. A separate proficiency slot must be used for each family studied, although this skill applies even to very distant relatives of the same house. Genealogy can be used as a minor, non-magical form of legend lore, which is useful only for researching the ancestors of the appropriate family. The character must make a successful roll to learn accurate information, modified by +1 for every 100 years age of the information, or 100 miles distant the subject of research is.

Heraldic Law: A character uses this proficiency to understand the nuances of custom and law that govern heraldry. Heraldic law not only controls heraldry but also regulates jousts and lethal duels. Whenever a character requests a special favor from the college of heralds or is summoned before a court of chivalry, the heraldic law skill becomes vital. Characters who do not have it may hire NPC lawyers to argue for them.

Librarian: This proficiency allows much knowledge on the proper handling, care, and filing of tomes. If a Librarian wishes to find a tome in a filing system he is familiar with, no roll is required. An unfamiliar filing system requires a proficiency check, while a library that has no standardized classification system calls for a check at -3 (the Librarian asks himself, "Where would I put that book if this were my library?").

The handling of brittle tomes is best left to a Librarian. A proficiency check allows them to handle brittle pages without further damage to rare, ancient tomes.

In addition, Librarians are experts at quick research, and can skim any book they could normally read at 2-4 (1d3+1) times the speed it would take the average person to read the tome. Because one is actually only looking for key words and ideas, one cannot skim one's spells to decrease memorization time. The skill assumes that the Librarian speaks and reads the language that the books are written in, or has some similar method to discern the contents of the book or piece of information he is looking for.

Lore Crafting: This proficiency grants a familiarity with magic that does not originate with conventional spellcraft. Examples of this include the innate abilities of fairies, demons, djinn, and other known magical creatures, as well as the unusual spellcasting done by dragons and their ilk. A successful proficiency check indicates that the wizard has correctly identified the source and nature of the magical phenomenon. The check modifier for non-mages is -4, and -2 for mages.

Meditation: The meditation non-weapon proficiency allows a bonus to all intelligence checks if they follow an hour of meditation. For example, if a thief wanted to use his appraising proficiency on a gem, he would get a +1 bonus to his intelligence check if he spent an hour beforehand meditating on the problem. The method of meditating varies considerably from person to person. For some, it involves measured breathing while in lotus position, while for others, it means puffing silently on a pipe while watching the clouds. It is up to the player and DM to come up with an appropriate meditation method.

Monster Lore: The character has learned the legends, lore and history of various monsters. The knowledge is vague and possibly incorrect. However, the knowledge acquired gives the character a helpful clue to a newly encountered monster. The clue could be the name of the creature, special ability of the creature, way of defeating the creature, or other interesting tidbit of information. Because the knowledge is based on legends and lore, the information may be exaggerated or even incorrect. The check modifier is based on the frequency of the monster (i.e. the likelihood the creature is encountered). Very rare creatures impose a -4 penalty, rare creatures have a -3 penalty, uncommon -2, and common -1.

The modifier may be adjusted for environment. For example, an elf encounters a unicorn in the woods. Because he is in his personal locale, the modifier is adjusted +1. This can work against the character as well. If the elf was on a ship in the middle of the ocean, he would suffer an adjusted -1 modifier.

Oak Roots Style: This style of fighting allows the character to add a +1 bonus to damage rolls when he is on firm ground. Thus, the benefit does not apply to fighting from the edge of a cliff, in water, when mounted, etc. To use the proficiency, the character must spend a round preparing himself. At the end of the round, he must make a successful proficiency check - failure indicates he may not use this ability at this location at this time.

Parrying: This proficiency allows an armed character to defend himself more successfully than an untrained character. When the character chooses the parry option during combat, his AC improves by 2 additional points.

Relic Dating: This proficiency proves useful whenever the character comes upon an object of questionable age. He can use this skill to gain an educated guess as to when the item was made. There is no roll necessary for those objects fashioned in the last 20 years (the age of these will be obvious to the character), unless it has been altered through non-magical means to appear much older; in that case, a successful proficiency check, reveals the fraud. This proficiency can be combined with ancient history to give more accurate information as to the past of a relic.

Revelations: Coats of arms reveal a myriad of details about their owners, and this skill lets a character learn them. A character who makes a successful revelations check can learn about any of the following features of an arms-bearer: alliances, marriages, conditions of birth (rank of family and order of birth), disgraces, magnitude of political authority (offices held, size of land, etc.), and triumphs. This includes any major exploits of the arms-bearer or his ancestors. For game purposes, it lets heralds roughly determine a character's experience level.

Riding, Seaborne: A character with this proficiency may ride either a sea horse, hippocampus, or other sea-creature (must specify which). The proficiency allows him to steer the mount with his knees and urge it to greater speed, as with the other riding proficiencies.

Sacred Legends: A character with this proficiency is well-learned in the myths, stories, and tales of a single religion. This information is not the same as the knowledge of theology and practices that are gained with the religion proficiency. The character, when confronted with a question or evidence of the faith's past, may roll this proficiency to recall a specific event or legend that has relevance.

For instance, when an ancient idol is discovered, a successful proficiency check might reveal that the statue resembles a long-forgotten paramour of the goddess, and the character could retell some of the important stories about them. This ability may be taken multiple times for different religions.

Screed Lore: A rare proficiency, screed lore offers expertise in the care and collection of books, scrolls, tomes, and the like. This proficiency is crucial to librarians, sages, and scribes. A check would be required whenever the character handles a particularly delicate or worn manuscript. This proficiency also allows a collection to be searched and a specific volume found. Failed rolls indicated problems from the annoying (a torn page or lost book) to the disastrous (an entire scroll crumbles to dust at a touch) depending on how badly the check fails.

This proficiency also provides some knowledge of the safeguards used in protecting books. This knowledge covers not only mundane traps, like poison painted along the edges of the pages, but also magical means of safeguarding libraries. The character can attempt a roll at a -5 modifier to notice any evidence of such traps.

Specific Spell: This very special proficiency (which may only be learned at Skill Level 1) represents that a wizard might, through much study and dedication, be able to specialize in a spell in the same way that a fighter can specialize in a weapon. Thus, a mage will not be able to specialize in a second spell until he reaches level 13 (only two specialized spells are allowed).

Wizards can only specialize in a given spell once, and they can never begin at first level specialized. When the wizard first decides to specialize in a particular spell, he must decide what component of the spell he wishes to emphasize. This can never be changed.

Offensive Spell:
     1) Reduce target's saving throw by 1.
     2) +1 point of damage per die.

Any Spell:
     1) Increase duration by +50%.
     2) Increase range by +50%.
     3) Increase area of effect by +50%.

Note that some spells can have any of these applied (e.g. Melf's minute meteors), while others cannot. For instance, any spell with an "instantaneous" or "permanent" duration cannot be increased by +50%. Likewise, a spell with a range that is either "0" or "touch" cannot have its range improved by +50%. Finally, a spell with an area of effect of "caster only" cannot be increased.

Strategy/Tactics: A character with this proficiency understands strategies and tactics of large scale combat. The character can predict the actions of armies in combat. The parties are generally of more than 20 men, and must be under command, acting in unison, and with intelligence. It is impossible to predict the actions of a mob or any other party that acts without direction.

The character can set successful ambushes with a proficiency roll at a -1 penalty. He/she can also avoid ambushes by making a check at -3, thus negating the ambush and the surprise. The proficiency is also somewhat useful in single combat situations. The character gains a +1 on his/hers surprise roll due to his/hers alertness in combat situations. In addition, because soldiers appreciate professionalism, armies lead by someone with this proficiency add +1 to their morale.

Street Illusion: Street illusion allows the character the ability to perform tricks that involve the palming of small items. He or she can make such an item (no larger than a knife) appear to vanish, and then to make the item appear wherever the character can reach (pulling the coin from an ear or something) on a successful proficiency check (with the -2 penalty).

The character can also do many card tricks and is able to run a game of 3-card-monte on a successful check. If the character uses this ability to entertain at a bar or to peasants on the street, he or she can add +1 to encounter rolls as the people are taken to like the person doing such nice tricks.

In combat, the character can appear unarmed, but can pull a knife or dagger that was palmed if need be. It is recommended that the player uses imagination as to just what the character can do with this proficiency.

Subtle Casting: A wizard with this proficiency can reduce his voice to a whisper, and minimize somatic components, when casting spells. If a successful proficiency check is made, the wizard imposes a -3 penalty to any observer's Perception check. If the wizard combines this proficiency with a vocalize spell, the only outward sign that he is casting a spell might be the visible effects of the spell itself.

Teaching: The Teaching proficiency allows a character who is not specialized in a skill to teach that skill to others. The teacher must still be proficient in the skill that is to be taught. For example, a character that has the Teaching, Swimming, and Long sword proficiencies can teach others to swim and to be proficient (but not specialized) in fighting with a long sword.

When attempting to teach a skill (thieving skill, weapon proficiency, non-weapon proficiency, new spells, access to new spell levels) to another, the character with the Teaching proficiency must roll a Teaching proficiency check at the end of each day. The teaching is complete as soon as a check is made for a particular skill. The teacher can attempt to impart no more than one skill at a time. When a character that has the Teaching proficiency also has Animal Training, the training time for the animal is cut in half.

The Teaching proficiency is not self-referential. That is, to teach the Teaching proficiency, a character must have devoted at least two slots to the Teaching proficiency.

Theory of Magic: This proficiency represents an extensive study of the general theory of magic, and requires access to a magical library (see notes on spell research in DMG). The effect is to move the mage up one point of Intelligence with respect to the Chance to Learn Spell column in Table 4 of the PHB, page 16.

Voice Mimicry: A character is able to imitate any accent he has heard. Success is automatic unless his listeners speak the language imitated; in such cases a proficiency roll is required with a +2 bonus. When imitating a specific voice, success is automatic against strangers. There is no modifier to the check when dealing with acquaintances of the person imitated, but those better aquatinted are harder to fool. There is a -2 penalty to the check to fool a friend, and -5 to fool a close friend.

If the disguise proficiency, or means of magical disguised are used successfully, then a +2 bonus to the voice mimicry roll is applied.

Applied Knowledge

This alternate rule allows characters to gain non-weapon proficiencies without actually having to devote time to learning them. Whenever a natural 20 is rolled on 1d20 during a non-weapon proficiency check, the character has a percentage chance of learning something new about that proficiency. This chance is 5%, + 1% per point of Intelligence the character possesses.

For example, Edwin the mage (who has swimming at Skill Level 2) is making a swimming non-weapon proficiency check. He rolls a natural 20, which gives him a chance to learn something new about swimming. Edwin's Intelligence is 17, which, when added to the base 5%, gives him a 22% chance to gain new insight into the whole process of swimming. Edwin's player rolls 15 on 1d100: Edwin the mage increases his swimming knowledge from Skill Level 2 to Skill Level 3.

Weapon Proficiencies

Weapon Proficiencies retain the normal AD&D mechanics, and do not use the Skill Level system. Any weapon proficiency may be chosen by allowed classes - if a character wishes to learn a weapon normally not allowed by his class, the base study time is doubled. This does not apply to specialty priests who suffer weapon restrictions as a result of their deity.

Different classes learn weapons at different rates, as per the following table.

Class Base Study Time
Warrior 12 weeks
Cleric 16 weeks
Rogue 16 weeks
Wizard 20 weeks