Friday, March 9, 2012

Proficiency of the Week: Biology

For the Proficiency of the week, I have selected the non-weapon proficiency Biology, which costs one slot, and as a general proficiency, is available to all characters at that one slot cost. It uses Intelligence as its base, and has a default -2.

Here is the core-rules description:
The character has a basic knowledge of naturalistic biology. The character has a concept of cells and ‘germs’, understands the basic organization of animal and plant life from the cellular level to the organ level (but does not understand the concept of organelles or anything requiring a high-powered microscope. Most importantly, the character has made a study of the natural (and supernatural) creatures and plant life of their homeland, and can make a proficiency check to know about creatures the party encounters. For example, Frank, a druid, has a proficiency in biology. When his party is attacked by a hydra, he makes a check and accurately identifies the subspecies, warning the party’s tank that if he cuts off a head, two will grow in its place.

The most frequent use of the biology proficiency is to find out if a creature is natural or unnatural, or to find out if a creature is typical to an area. A biology proficiency can also provide general information about an area from the obscure "Something is wrong with the wildlife here," to the specific "It looks like something has poisoned the wildlife here." It can also be used to determine if something is poisonous or edible, sometimes with a negative.

Creatures that are completely magical or extraplanar, or are created from parts of other creatures will usually fail to have information from a biology check, which can provide information in and of itself.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

(Belated) Proficiency of the Week: Bottle

Bottle is a weapon proficiency available to fighters, rogues and others with appropriate background. It can be specialized in (if a fighter) but all this does is increase the number of attacks per round.

Anyone can pick up a bottle and smash it over an enemy's head, but there is generally a negative (a non-proficient weapon penalty) and it is likely to break, usually shattering (in which case while a small amount of glass will lodge in the opponent, it usually doesn't do much damage, tending to smash away from the opponent. Few bottles will be thin enough to create little pieces that stick in the opponent, most of these bottles are thick and will leave big pieces (which may act as caltrops) on the floor. Proficiency in bottle includes doing a better job at aiming a shatter, doing 1d4 points of damage (unless exceedingly well placed, most shattered bottles only d0 1d2.) It also allows the proficient person to shatter it just right to use it as a knife. There are no related weapon bonuses for bottle, but you can use related weapon bonuses for whacking people with other things likely to shatter.

Here is the core-rules description:
User is proficient in using bottles as club/knife. Can roll successful STR to break for 1d4 additional damage, can roll successful DEX to not break. (A critical will always break.) Once broken, can wield as knife w/out cutting self. Can throw as club (will break.)