Friday, January 8, 2021

BX House Rule: Lore Check

My bi-weekly game group kept encountering symbols and books and things, and there's always a question about how much/little information I should give them, so I worked this out as an answer.

The DM may make a lore check for any Player whose character has an an association with the topic or object being investigated. For example: thieves might know about other/famous thieves; clerics might have knowledge about other deities, their symbols, followers, etc.: a magic-user might be able to gain an understanding about the meaning of a symbol or the type of spell research being done in a lab based on the materials and equipment; race-classes (dwarves, elves, etc.) would have knowledge of the lore of their race; characters with ties to nature (e.g., rangers, druids, wood elves, gnomes) would have some knowledge of plants and animals, and their respective ecologies. 

Procedure: The DM should first determine how uncommon or uncommon the subject is before the lore check is made. The DM then rolls 2d6 for the character making the lore attempt, checks the column appropriate to the subject obscurity, and provides the appropriate amount of information to the player.  

Arcane Symbols: The ability to understand an arcane symbol does not grant the ability to read the symbol aloud or activate its magic (if speaking the symbol aloud is required). Likewise, it does not provide the ability to disarm any magic held in/by the symbol (dispell magic will most often still be required to do this). 

Sigils: The ability to recognize the sigil of an outsider (e.g., a demon, devil, angel, etc.) does not grant the ability to know the being’s true name, nor the ability to read the sigil aloud. 

The folowing rules are optional and may be adjusted at the discretion of the DM.

Roll Modifiers: Generally, the character’s Intelligence modifier should be applied to the roll. However, the DM may choose to have the roll to be adjusted by a different modifier based on the instance (e.g., if a  Wisdom (divine spellcasters).

Areas of Expertise:
In lieu of an extra language, the DM may allow a character to choose a general area of knowledge not necessarily associated with their class. For an additional language substitution, the player may choose a specific area of knowledge from a general area of knowledge they already possess. Lore checks for a general area of knowledge are made as normal. Lore checks made for a specific area of knowledge are made with a +3 bonus on the roll.