Background Skills

Artistry, Craft, Profession, and Perform are considered background skills; i.e., they represent what your character does when they are not actively adventuring. As a result, all characters receive a bonus rank in one of these four skills every level (see Character Creation).

In addition to their standard usages, background skills can be used in lieu of other skill checks in that specialised area. For example, you could use Profession (scribe) instead of Linguistics to create a forgery or Craft (stonemasonry) to determine whether a stone structure is unstable. These usages will typically carry a -2 to -5 penalty on the roll depending on how directly applicable the background skill is.

Skill Changes

  • Acrobatics: Add the following ability to the Acrobatics skill.

Kip Up: You can stand from prone as a free action by making a DC 20 Acrobatics check. If you fail, you stand as a move action, as normal. You still provoke attacks of opportunity when standing in this way, unless you also succeed on an additional Acrobatics check to move through a threatened square without provoking an attack of opportunity.

  • Artistry: This skill is new, and is taken from Pathfinder Unchained’s background skills option. All classes treat Artistry as a class skill. Note that some traditional Craft skills (such as calligraphy, painting, and sculpture) will be better represented as Artistry.
  • Appraise: This skill is subsumed by making checks with relevant background skills (Artistry, Craft, Profession, and Perform). It no longer exists.
  • Disable Device: All characters trained in Disable Device can disarm magical traps. They do not need the trapfinding class feature.
  • Knowledge (Engineering): This skill is now used to identify constructs. It is also used in the construction and use of siege weaponry.
  • Knowledge (Geography): This skill is now used to identify humanoids and monstrous humanoids.
  • Knowledge (Nobility): This skill is subsumed by Knowledge (Local) for personalities and royalty, and Knowledge (History) for lineages. It no longer exists.
  • Sense Motive: Add the following ability to the Sense Motive skill.

Assess Opponent: You can use Sense Motive to size up your opponent and gauge how much of a challenge they may pose to you. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + your opponent’s Hit Dice + your opponent’s Charisma modifier. If your opponent is trained in Bluff, the DC is instead equal to 10 + your opponent’s Bluff bonus, if higher. If you have seen the opponent in combat previously, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on this check. If you succeed by 4 or less, you guess that the opponent is in one of two adjacent categories (i.e., they could either be “easy” or “evenly matched”.) If you beat the DC by 5 or more, you narrow the result down to a single category. If you fail by 4 or less, you can’t be sure and gain no useful information. If you fail by 5 or more, you may gain a false impression that the opponent is much stronger or weaker than they really are.

Action: Assessing the threat an opponent poses is a standard action.

Opponent’s CR Result
4+ less than your HD Pushover
1-3 less than your HD Easy
Equal to your HD Even
1-3 more than your HD Tough
4+ more than your HD Dangerous


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