Knowledge

You are educated in one field of study and are capable of answering both simple and complex questions. Knowledge represents a study of some body of lore, possibly an academic or even scientific discipline.

Fields of study.

  • Arcana (ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols, constructs, dragons, magical beasts)
  • Dungeoneering (aberrations, caverns, oozes, spelunking)
  • Engineering (buildings, aqueducts, bridges, fortifications)
  • Geography (lands, terrain, climate, people)
  • History (wars, colonies, migrations, founding of cities)
  • Local (legends, personalities, inhabitants, laws, customs, traditions, humanoids)
  • Nature (animals, fey, giants, monstrous humanoids, plants, seasons and cycles, weather, vermin)
  • Nobility (lineages, heraldry, personalities, royalty)
  • Planes (the Inner Planes, the Outer Planes, the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, outsiders, planar magic)
  • Religion (gods and goddesses, mythic history, ecclesiastic tradition, holy symbols, undead)

Check

Answering a question within your field of study has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions).

In many cases, you can use this skill to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster’s CR. For common monsters, such as goblins, the DC of this check equals 5 + the monster’s CR. For particularly rare monsters, such as the tarrasque, the DC of this check equals 15 + the monster’s CR or more. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster. For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the DC, you recall another piece of useful information.

Many of the Knowledge skills have specific uses as noted on table below

Task Knowledge Skill DC
Identify auras while using detect magic Arcana 15 + spell level
Identify a spell effect that is in place Arcana 20 + spell level
Identify materials manufactured by magic Arcana 20 + spell level
Identify a spell that just targeted you Arcana 25 + spell level
Identify the spells cast using a specific material component Arcana 20
Identify underground hazard Dungeoneering 15 + hazard’s CR
Identify mineral, stone, or metal Dungeoneering 10
Determine slope Dungeoneering 15
Determine depth underground Dungeoneering 20
Identify dangerous construction Engineering 10
Determine structure’s style or age Engineering 15
Determine a structure’s weakness Engineering 20
Identify a creature’s ethnicity or accent Geography 10
Recognize regional terrain features Geography 15
Know location of nearest community or noteworthy site Geography 20
Know recent or historically significant event History 10
Determine approximate date of a specific event History 15
Know obscure or ancient historical event History 20
Know local laws, rulers, and popular locations Local 10
Know a common rumor or local tradition Local 15
Know hidden organizations, rulers, and locations Local 20
Identify natural hazard Nature 15 + hazard’s CR
Identify a common plant or animal Nature 10
Identify unnatural weather phenomenon Nature 15
Determine artificial natural of feature Nature 20
Know current rulers and their symbol Nobility 10
Know proper etiquette Nobility 15
Know line of succession Nobility 20
Know the names of the planes Planes 10
Recognize current plane Planes 15
Identify a creature’s planar origin Planes 20
Recognize a common deity’s symbol or clergy Religion 10
Know common mythology and tenets Religion 15
Recognize an obscure deity’s symbol or clergy Religion 20
Identify a monster’s abilities and weaknesses Varies 10 + monster’s CR

Monster Lore

Creature Type Field of Study
Constructs, dragons, magical beasts Arcana
Aberrations, oozes Dungeoneering
Humanoids Local
Animals, fey, giants, monstrous humanoids, plants, vermin Nature
Outsiders Planes
Undead Religion

Action

Usually none. In most cases, a Knowledge check doesn't take an action (but see “Untrained,” below).

Try Again

No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

Untrained

You cannot make an untrained Knowledge check with a DC higher than 10. If you have access to an extensive library that covers a specific skill, this limit is removed. The time to make checks using a library, however, increases to 1d4 hours. Particularly complete libraries might even grant a bonus on Knowledge checks in the fields that they cover.

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