Skills and Feats
New Uses for Old Skills
Many skills have new uses in From Ashes:
- Appraise: You can use this skill to determine whether an object originated from a specific ancient nation, or even a specific ruined city. This may help in tracking down the location of such ruins. The DC is usually 20 or higher, but you may add your ranks in Knowledge (history) to this check.
- Concentration: Concentration checks must be made to continue a ritual when distracting circumstances such as damage occur. The DCs are identical to those for spellcasting.
- Craft: You can attempt to repair ancient mechanical or alchemical devices using a relevant Craft skill. If you succeed, the device resumes functioning and you partially understand its operation; the time and cost required for your nation to replicate this technology is reduced by one-quarter (see Nation-Building). DCs for this task depend on the device in question but generally are set at 20 or higher.
- Decipher Script: Once your nation has successfully excavated an ancient structure, you can spend a day attempting to collate the knowledge gained during the process. If you succeed, any research projects granted by the structure (see Nation-Building) are reduced in time and cost by one-quarter, and you immediately learn any spells that were present in the structure. Likewise, monoliths (see Ritual Magic) are one-quarter cheaper to repair and their associated rituals one-quarter cheaper to discover. The DCs for this task depend on the site in question and the skill of the excavators.
- Diplomacy: As the name implies, this skill can be used for high-stakes negotiations between nations. See Nation-Building for the mechanics of this process.
- Disable Device: You can sabotage a monolith, disrupting the ritual it is used for or even turning its power against the participants. The task requires one minute, physical access to the monolith, and appropriate tools for working whatever material it is made of. The DC to disable the monolith is equal to the Spellcraft DC required to participate in the ritual. If you beat this DC by 5 or more, your sabotage can instead cause a surge of uncontrolled magical energy – halfway through the ritual, it fails catastrophically (see the individual ritual descriptions for consequences).
- Forgery: You can plant documents resembling ancient texts, causing rival nations to waste valuable research efforts. See Nation-Building for the mechanics of research sabotage.
- Gather Information: You can determine where corruption exists in your nation, or identify vulnerable officials in a rival nation. See the corruption mechanics in Nation-Building.
- Heal: You can identify long-term wounds and provide treatment or first aid. The DC to identify a wound is 10, but the other DCs vary per wound; see Chapter One and the DM’s wound tables.
- Intimidate: This skill can be used in international negotiations, usually with steep consequences for failure. See the ultimatum mechanics in Nation-Building.
- Knowledge (all skills): Having ranks in Knowledge skills can accelerate your nation’s research projects – see Nation-Building.
- Knowledge (Arcana, Religion, or Nature): These skills apply to knowledge of ancient ritual spells (arcane, divine, or druidic respectively) and help to identify some effects caused by the Scourging.
- Knowledge (History): This skill can help identify the locations of important cities, outposts, and other structures constructed by the ancients, as well as helping you guess at which may be worth excavating.
- Perform (Oratory): Giving speeches can help sway popular opinion – see Nation-Building.
- Profession: Having ranks in Profession skills can accelerate certain research projects (see Nation-Building) – for example, a nation led by a character with some blacksmithing experience may rediscover steel smelting more readily.
- Search: The Search skill of characters excavating an ancient site determines what (if anything) of value is recovered. See Nation-Building for excavation rules.
- Sense Motive: This skill applies to international affairs just as it does to personal interactions, particularly when espionage is involved. See Nation-Building.
- Spellcraft: This skill is required to participate in rituals, with a DC depending on the ritual in question. See Ritual Magic.
- Survival: This skill helps you identify various hazards left over from the Scourging, such as deadlands, toxic rain, and wild magic zones. The DC depends on the phenomenon in question but is usually over 20.
- Use Magic Device: You can attempt to use an ancient monolith in a ritual without fully researching it, but if your Use Magic Device check fails the ritual will automatically generate a catastrophic failure (see Ritual Magic).
This skill covers the art and science of running an organization, from the smallest village to the largest empire. Common tasks include increasing production, lowering unrest, reducing corruption, and accelerating research.
- Check: See Nation-Building for details and DCs pertaining to each task.
- Action: Varies by task. Generally a character must spend at least half of her time running her organization to be an effective leader.
- Try Again: No. Each task can only be performed once per season.
- If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (History), you gain a +2 bonus on all Administration checks.
- If you have 5 or more ranks in Sense Motive, you gain a +2 bonus on all Administration checks.
- If you have 5 or more ranks in a pertinent Knowledge, Craft, or Profession skill, you gain a +2 bonus on checks to increase production in an area or accelerate research.
- If you have 5 or more ranks in Heal, you gain a +2 bonus on checks made to protect your population from plagues (normal or magical).
- Depending on governing style, 5 or more ranks in either Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate will give you a +2 bonus on all Administration checks.
Craft Magic Item
In order to make magic item creation a viable option for player characters, the various item creation feats have been consolidated into one.
Prerequisite: Caster level 3rd
You have intensely studied an additional school of magic.
Prerequisite: Wizard (any specialization) level 5
Benefit: You gain access to a third school of magic as though it were your secondary. When preparing and casting spells from this school, you no longer suffer from the restriction to lower-level spells.
Tattoo feats are a new type of feat used by ur-thieves. They grant special tattoos with unique abilities at the cost of one or more glyph slots.
You have extensively studied the ur-thieves of the past, and can now duplicate their techniques.
Prerequisites: Ur-thief level 6
Benefit: You gain knowledge of one additional heist. This heist must be of a tier lower than your maximum. For example, an twelfth-level ur-thief could choose a new minor or common heist.
Special: You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects stack.
You can maintain more glyph tattoos than you otherwise could.
Prerequsites: Ur-thief level 4
Benefit: You gain one glyph tattoo per four levels of ur-thief you have (round down). This benefit continues to accumulate as you gain levels.
Special: You may take this feat twice. Its effects stack.
Tattoo of Ambidexterity [Tattoo]
You duplicate your chosen hand’s tattoos on the other hand, allowing you to maintain two thieves’ hands simultaneously.
Prerequisites: Improved Thief’s Hand (legerdemain), Concentration 8 ranks
Benefit: You may project two thieves’ hands with the same action. As a full-round action, you may use both hands. However, if you use two heists simultaneously, you take a -5 penalty on each skill check, and cannot target the same creature with both.
Penalty: You have two fewer glyphs than usual.
Tattoo of the Vortex [Tattoo]
You place a special tattoo on your chest which allows you to absorb incoming spells, at the cost of some glyphs.
Prerequisites: Ur-thief level 12
Benefit: If you successfully save against a targeted spell (not an area spell), you absorb the spell’s essence and store it in your glyphs as though you had used the Steal Spell heist. If the spell had consequences which apply even on a successful save, they do not affect you.
Penalty: You have three fewer glyphs than usual.
Tattoo of Omniscience [Tattoo]
You inject magically-charged gem dust into the iris of one or both eyes. Not only do your eyes always sparkle, but you can now sense magic through walls.
Prerequisites: Improved Mystic Eye (identify)
Benefit: You can use your mystic eye ability despite the presence of obstructions. If you use the ability, you become aware of all magical auras within 30 feet, even those behind walls or other cover, and may choose one to focus on.
Penalty: You have two fewer glyphs than usual.