Tuesday Tweak: New “A” Skill Uses

To add a layer of fantastic adventure and awesome maneuvers to your game, consider the following uses for skills beginning with the letter A:

Acrobatics: Battle Poise. As a move action that may not be combined with any other action, make a balance check against any enemy within 30 ft. They make an opposed attack roll as a free action in response. For the purposes of feats and abilities like Power Attack, they use the modifiers based upon their last attack action. If you beat their roll, you get a +1 Dodge bonus to AC against that opponent for one round. For every 5 by which your Battle Poise check beats their attack, you gain an additional +1 dodge bonus.

Appraise: The Clothes Make the Man. You can make a quick Appraise check as a standard action on someone’s clothing, jewelry, makeup, style, and manners which you have seen clearly at least once. The DC of this check is 10 + the target’s HD + the target’s CHA modifier. If successful, you can surmise the target’s class, race, region of origin, current region of residence, average yearly income, and general standing in society. The GM may call for a Perception check on your part and may apply -2 or +2 modifiers depending on how clearly you can see the subject or upon other criteria such as familiarity with a culture. If the subject is wearing a disguise, you will get information based on the disguise rather than their actual identity. You must penetrate the disguise to get the correct information.


These uses can add a lot to skillful characters and their enjoyment of the game. Be careful about adding Battle Poise to your game, as it really works best in a crazy martial arts setting. It can add a lot to a character who might otherwise waste a move action. Perhaps we’ll keep moving down the list of skills in the Tuesdays to come.




5 responses to “Tuesday Tweak: New “A” Skill Uses

  1. Aren’t penalties to skills usually in the form of + modifiers to the DC?

    I really like the appraise option though I have a feeling that DM’s will use it more to mess with people.

    I think battle poise against multiple targets would be ok if you could beat the combined opposed rolls of all targets you want the bonus against.

  2. Heh.
    It depends. Usually you’d be right. In this case, I think “not seeing them clearly” would apply a -2 penalty, while “not being familiar with the culture” would be a +2 to the DC.

  3. I wanted to say something similar to what TC brought up. “region of origin, current region of residence, average yearly income, and general standing in society” should be based literally on what the person is wearing / acting. If someone is in disguise and you fail to notice something is up, this skill use should give you a read on the fake disguise persona and not the actual person underneath.

  4. Ah, very good points. I hadn’t thought about disguise. You’d have to penetrate the disguise in order to get the correct information.

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