Pastoral Proficiencies

Pastoral Proficiencies Slots Ability Modifier Prerequistes
Agriculture 1 Reason 0
Animal Grooming (specify) 1 Intuition 0
Animal Handling 1 Willpower -1
Animal Training (specify) 1 Willpower 0
Athletics (specify) 1 Stamina -1
Boating 1 Balance +1
Dowsing 1 Intuition -3
Fey Lore 1 Knowledge -2
Fishing 1 Willpower -1
Folklore (specify) 1 Leadership +1
Gardening 1 Reason -1
Herbalism 2 Knowledge -2
Jumping 1 N/A 0
Riding, Airborne 2 Willpower -2
Riding, Land-based 1 Willpower +3
Riding, Sea-based 2 Willpower -2
Running 1 Fitness -6
Veterinary Healing 1 Intuition -3

Agriculture: The character has a knowledge of the basics of farming. This includes planting, harvesting, storing crops, tending animals, butchering, and other typical farming chores. See the Complete Druid’s Handbook for full details for determining the profitability and yields of a farm.

Grooming, Animal: This character is adept at grooming a specific species of animal that must be chosen when the proficiency is taken. This can be used to increase the price of an animal for sale or simply to make the specific animal look and feel its best.

Animal Handling: Proficiency in this area enables a character to exercise a greater-than-normal degree of control over pack animals and beasts of burden. A successful proficiency check indicates that the character has succeeded in calming an excited or agitated animal; in contrast, a character without this proficiency has only a 20% chance of succeeding in the attempt.

Animal Training: Characters with this proficiency can train one type of creature (declared when the proficiency is chosen) to obey simple commands and perform tricks. A character can spend additional proficiencies to train other types of creatures or can improve his skill with an already chosen type. Creatures typically trained are dogs, horses, falcons, pigeons, elephants, ferrets, and parrots. A character can choose even more exotic creatures and monsters with animal intelligence (although these are difficult to control).

A trainer can work with up to three creatures at one time. The trainer may choose to teach general tasks or specific tricks. A general task gives the creature the ability to react to a number of nonspecific commands to do its job. Examples of tasks include guard and attack, carry a rider, perform heavy labor, hunt, track, or fight alongside soldiers (such as a war horse or elephant). A specific trick teaches the trained creature to do one specific action. A horse may rear on command, a falcon may pluck a designated object, a dog may attack a specific person, or a rat may run through a particular maze. With enough time, a creature can be trained to do both general tasks and specific tricks.

Training for a general task requires three months of uninterrupted work. Training for a specific trick requires 2d6 weeks. At the end of the training time, a proficiency check is made. If successful, the animal is trained. If the die roll fails, the beast is untrainable. An animal can be trained in 2d4 general tasks or specific tricks, or any combination of the two.

An animal trainer can also try to tame wild animals (preparing them for training later on). Wild animals can be tamed only when they are very young. The taming requires one month of uninterrupted work with the creature. At the end of the month, a proficiency check is made. If successful, the beast is suitable for training. If the check fails, the creature retains enough of its wild behavior to make it untrainable. It can be kept, though it must be leashed or caged.

Athletics: Characters with athletics are naturally talented in one particular area of athletic endeavor. These include foot races, horse races, javelin, discus, chariots, standing high jump, broad jump, and pancratium (combined wrestling and boxing). Only the nonmilitary gaming aspects of these activities are emphasized.

This ability may be taken more than once to improve in a category or to acquire skill in a different area. For those areas which are covered under other proficiencies (such as charioteering or running), an athletics proficiency in the same area provides a +2 to that proficiency check.

A character with the Athletics (Jumping) proficiency uses the next larger die type to determine the distance he can Leap or Spring (i.e. 2d6 becomes 2d8, or 1d3 becomes 1d4). This stacks with the Jumping proficiency and other modifiers which increase Jumping height or distance.

Boating: This proficiency allows the character to pilot any small boat, such as a kayak, canoe, or river barge, operating it at maximum speed. It also allows him to make minor repairs and improvements in these boats, such as waterproofing them and patching holes. A successful proficiency check enables the character to handle the craft in treacherous situations; for instance, maneuvering the boat though choppy water without capsizing it, or avoiding collisions when guiding it through a narrow channel choked with rocks or ice. In addition, a character with boating proficiency can insure that a boat is propelled at its maximum speed.

Note that while the navigation and seamanship proficiencies deal with ships in oceans, seas, and other large bodies of water, the boating proficiency is confined to small craft on rivers, lakes, shorelines, and similar terrain, usually on relatively calm waters.

Dowsing: This is the skill of finding lost or hidden items by seeking a disturbance in the subtle natural energies that permeate the earth. A dowser is attuned to the invisible, intangible eddies and currents of the world around him; by careful and methodical searching, he can detect particular emanations or anomalies.

The character has been trained in the use of a divining rod. This proficiency covers the insight necessary to interpret the finer meanings of the woods tugging and twitching. The fork is held by the two limbs, one in each hand, with the point going first and the rod held horizontally. Then the dowser walks gently over the places where he seeks an object or affection. He should walk with care to not risk dispersing the emanations that rise from the spot where these things are and cause the rod to slant. For example, if the dowser is seeking a deposit of gold ore, upon finding a vein a successful dowsing check reveals the purity of the metal. The proficiency also affects the casting of various divination spells. Some of these are blocked by stonework, thick wood, or metal deposits. A skilled dowser is able to pierce these “walls” with a successful dowsing check. Otherwise, a DM may call for the dowser to make a proficiency roll to see if any obscure or additional information is discovered.

Dowsing has two general uses. First, the character can attempt to detect natural deposits or minerals in the ground, such as water, gold, or other ores. Secondly, the character can attempt to find a specific man-made item that has been lost or hidden, such as a friend’s dagger, a buried treasure chest, or the entrance to a barrow mound. The search must be very precise—the dowser will have no luck if he sets out to find ‘the most valuable thing in this field’ or ‘the nearest magical weapon,’ but ‘Aunt Claire’s missing brooch’ or ‘the gold buried by the pirate Raserid’ are suitable searches.

Unlike the spell locate object, the dowser isn’t led or directed to the item he seeks; he has to actually pass within 10 feet of the item, or walk over the place where it is buried, and succeed in a proficiency check to detect the item. (The DM should keep this check hidden from the players so that he doesn’t give away the location with a failed check.) Dowsing can take a long time; quartering the dirt floor of a cellar 20 square feet might take 1d3 turns, while checking a field or courtyard might take 1d3 hours. Searching an area larger than 100 square yards is impractical—the dowser gets tired of concentrating.

A dowser can detect items or substances within 100 feet of the surface, although very strong or powerful sources may be detected slightly deeper. The dowser can guess the approximate depth of what he’s seeking within ±10% when he stumbles across it.

Also, using this proficiency, a dowser can locate the proper sapling with which to craft a suitable divining rod. Rare wood types that could be used in making a rod could quite possibly require a successful Dowsing check.

Fey Lore: This is the knowledge of the fey folk and their ways. A character can use this proficiency to discern what sort of faerie would lurk in a specific area or terrain, whether or not an item was made by the fey folk, or simply to gather some clue in dealing with such creatures in a diplomatic manner.

Fishing: The character is skilled in the art of fishing, be it with hook and line, net, or spear. Each hour the character spends fishing, roll a proficiency check. If the roll is failed, no fish are caught that hour. Otherwise, a hook and line or a spear will land fish equal to the difference between the die roll and the character’s Willpower score. A net will catch three times this amount.

Of course, no fish can be caught where no fish are found. On the other hand, some areas teem with fish, such as a river or pool during spawning season. The DM may modify the results according to the situation.

Folklore: Characters with this proficiency are well versed in the fables, myths, rumors, and legends of one geographic area (Sword Coast, Moonsea, Dalelands, Cormyr, etc.), unlike the local history proficiency, which only deals with facts. Folklore can be true, or not. Folklore can be used also to deduce very vague information about the inhabitants (both civilized and monstrous) of the chosen area in terms of history (what tales are told, what is remembered), religion (what the folklore explains or which god is responsible), and culture (how the tale is told, who are the foes in folk tales).

If the character also has Local History for the same geographic area, both proficiencies gain a +1 modifier when attempting to gain information in that area.

Gardening: Unlike agriculture, which is concerned with planting crops and running a farm, gardening is a specialized proficiency. Gardening is used to plant and care for a single small grove or garden in a particular area. Rather than food or cash crops, gardening concerns itself with tending rare flowers, herbs, and endangered trees. Knowledge of gardening may be used to identify problems that affect plants: plant diseases, harmful insect infestation, lack of essential nutrients and scarcity of water, for example. Gardeners know how to rectify problems they can identify. Any garden under the care of a gardener produces to its maximum capacity so long as the means to alleviate any problems are available.

Herbalism: Those with herbalist knowledge can identify plants and fungi with a successful proficiency check. A proficient herbalist can also prepare nonmagical poultices, powders, balms, salves, ointments, infusions, and plasters for medical and pseudo-medical purposes. Alone, these concoctions have no effect, but in the hands of a character with the Healing proficiency, allow the healer to better treat poisons or disease, or accelerate natural healing (see the Healing proficiency).

A character with the Herbalism proficiency can prepare natural plant poisons — such as Hemlock, Belladonna, or Grief Willow. These function at the normal effectiveness for the plant being used (consult the DM for specific effects).

A character with the Herbalism proficiency may also craft any of the standard types of Incense (see Alchemical Item Descriptions).

Herbalism has no role in the creation of magical potions, such as Potions of Healing or the like. For magical potions, please consult the Alchemy proficiency. However, a character who dedicates at least 1 extra slot to the Herbalism proficiency may create certain Herbal Brews.

Note: Numerous attempts to provide fantasy rules for specific plants and herbs have been made, such as those found in Shaun Hately’s Guide, with varying degrees of success and verisimilitude. Should a player choose to invoke a specific herb, the DM will consider submission of such sources, specific player knowledge of plants, scientific journals, or the DM’s own expertise as appropriate when adjudicating the in-game effects of specific herbs.

Jumping: A character with the Jumping proficiency adds one extra die to the distance he is able to jump when making any horizontal leap or vertical spring. Thus a character could make a running leap (broad jump) of 3d6 feet, rather than 2d6; or a vertical jump of 2d3 feet.

A character with the Jumping proficiency can also attempt vaults using a pole. A vault requires at least a 30-foot running start. If a pole is used, it must be four to 10 feet longer than the character’s height. The vault spans a distance equal to 1-½ times the length of the pole. The character can clear heights equal to the height of the pole. He can also choose to land on his feet if the vault carries him over an obstacle no higher than ½ the height of his pole. Thus, using a 12-foot pole, the character could either vault through a window 12 feet off the ground (tumbling into the room beyond), land on his feet in an opening six feet off the ground, or vault across a moat 18 feet wide. In all cases, the pole is dropped at the end of the vault.

Riding, Airborne: The character is trained in handling a flying mount, such as a Pegasus, Hippogriff, or Giant Eagle. The particular creature must be chosen when the proficiency is chosen. Additional proficiency slots can be used to learn how to handle other types of mounts. Unlike land-based riding, a character must have this proficiency (or ride with someone who does) to handle a flying mount. In addition, a proficient character can do the following:

  • Leap onto the saddle of the creature (when it is standing on the ground) and spur it airborne as a single action. This requires no proficiency check.
  • Leap from the back of the mount and drop 10 feet to the ground or onto the back of another mount (land-based or flying). Those with only light encumbrance can drop to the ground without a proficiency check. In all other situations, a proficiency check is required. A failed roll means the character takes normal falling damage (for falling flat on his face) or misses his target (perhaps taking large amounts of damage as a result). A character who is dropping to the ground can attempt an immediate melee attack, if his proficiency check is made with a -4 penalty to the ability roll. Failure has the consequences given above.
  • Spur his mount to greater speeds on a successful check, adding 1d4 to the movement rate of the mount. This speed can be maintained for four consecutive rounds. If the check fails, an attempt can be made again the next round. If two checks fail, no attempt can be made for a full turn. After the rounds of increased speed, its movement drops to 2/3 its normal rate and its Maneuverability Class becomes one class worse. These conditions last until the mount lands and is allowed to rest for at least one hour.
  • The rider can guide the mount with his knees and feet, keeping his hands free. A proficiency check is made only after the character suffers damage. If the check is failed, the character is knocked from the saddle. A second check is allowed to see if the character manages to catch himself (thus hanging from the side by one hand or in some equally perilous position). If this fails, the rider falls. Of course a rider can strap himself into the saddle, although this could be a disadvantage if his mount is slain and plummets toward the ground.

Riding, Land-Based: Those skilled in land riding are proficient in the art of riding and handling horses or other types of ground mounts. Possibilities include griffons, unicorns, dire wolves, and virtually any creatures used as mounts by humans, demihumans, or humanoids.

A character with riding proficiency can perform all of the following feats. Some of them are automatic, while others require a proficiency check for success.

  • The character can vault onto a saddle whenever the horse or other mount is standing still, even when the character is wearing armor. This does not require a proficiency check. The character must make a check, however, if he wishes to get the mount moving during the same round in which he lands in its saddle. He must also make a proficiency check if he attempts to vault onto the saddle of a moving mount. Failure indicates that the character falls to the ground—presumably quite embarrassed.
  • The character can urge the mount to jump tall obstacles or leap across gaps. No check is required if the obstacle is less than three feet tall or the gap is less than 12 feet wide. If the character wants to roll a proficiency check, the mount can be urged to leap obstacles up to seven feet high, or jump across gaps up to 30 feet wide. Success means that the mount has made the jump. Failure indicates that it balks, and the character must make another proficiency check to see whether he retains his seat or falls to the ground.
  • The character can spur his steed on to great speeds, adding 6 feet per round to the animal’s movement rate for up to four turns. This requires a proficiency check each turn to see if the mount can be pushed this hard. If the initial check fails, no further attempts may be made, but the mount can move normally. If the second or subsequent check fails, the mount immediately slows to a walk, and the character must dismount and lead the animal for a turn. In any event, after four turns of racing, the steed must be walked by its dismounted rider for one turn.
  • The character can guide his mount with his knees, enabling him to use weapons that require two hands (such as bows and two-handed swords) while mounted. This feat does not require a proficiency check unless the character takes damage while so riding. In this case, a check is required and failure means that the character falls to the ground and sustains an additional 1d6 points of damage.
  • The character can drop down and hang alongside the steed, using it as a shield against attack. The character cannot make an attack or wear armor while performing this feat. The character’s Armor Class is lowered by 6 while this maneuver is performed. Any attacks that would have struck the character’s normal Armor Class are considered to have struck the mount instead. No proficiency check is required.
  • The character can leap from the back of his steed to the ground and make a melee attack against any character or creature within 10 feet. The player must roll a successful proficiency check with a -4 penalty to succeed. On a failed roll, the character fails to land on his feet, falls clumsily to the ground, and suffers 1d3 points of damage.

Riding, Sea-based: This proficiency allows the character to handle a particular species of sea-based mount such as a Dolphin or Hippocampus. The type of mount must be specified when the proficiency is acquired. The character may spend additional slots to enable him to handle other species. In addition to riding the mount, the proficiency enables the character to do the following:

  • When the mount is on the surface of the water, the character can leap onto its back and spur it to move in the same round. No proficiency check is required.
  • The character can urge the mount to leap over obstacles in the water that are less than 3’ high and 5’ across (in the direction of the jump). No proficiency check is required. Greater jumps require a proficiency check, with bonuses or penalties assigned by the DM according to the height and breadth of the obstacle and the type and size of mount. Failure means the mount balks; an immediate second check determines if the character stays on the mount or falls off.
  • The character can spur the mount to great speeds. If an initial proficiency check fails, the mount resists moving faster than normal. Otherwise, the mount begins to move up to 2d6 feet per round beyond its normal rate. Proficiency checks must be made every five rounds. So long as the checks succeed, the mount continues to move at the faster rate for up to two turns. After the mount moves at this accelerated rate for two turns, its rate then drops to 2/3 of its normal rate. It can move no faster than 2/3 of its normal rate until allowed to rest for a full hour.
    If the second or any subsequent check fails, the mount’s movement drops to half its normal rate. It continues to move at this half-speed rate until allowed to rest for an hour.
  • If a sea-based mount on the surface of the water is attacked, it will normally submerge unless it makes a successful morale roll. If the morale roll fails, the rider can command the mount to re-surface by making a successful proficiency check. If the check fails, the rider can attempt another check each round thereafter, so long as he is physically able. While submerged with the mount and attempting to force it to surface, the rider risks drowning (see Chapter 14 of the Player’s Handbook). Because he’s exerting himself, the number of rounds the rider can hold his breath is equal to half his Fitness score.

Running: The character can move at twice his normal movement rate for a day. At the end of the day he must sleep for eight hours. After the first day’s movement, the character must roll a proficiency check for success. If the die roll succeeds, the character can continue his running movement the next day. If the die roll fails, the character cannot use his running ability the next day. If involved in a battle during a day he spent running, he suffers a -1 penalty to his attack rolls.

Veterinary Healing: The character can attempt to heal all types of normal animals, following the same procedures described in the description of the Healing proficiency (returns 1-3 hit points if done within one round of wounding, once per creature per day; continued care can restore 1 hit point per day during non-strenuous traveling for up to 6 creatures; gives a +2 to save vs. poison if treated for 5 rounds within a round after poisoning; diagnose disease, magical origins identified, natural diseases take mildest form and shortest duration).

The veterinary proficiency can be used on humans, demihumans, and humanoids at half the normal chance for success. This proficiency is not cumulative with the Healing proficiency—the first used will take precedence. Supernatural creatures (such as skeletons or ghouls) or creatures from another plane (such as aerial servants or xorn) cannot be treated with this proficiency.

Pastoral Proficiencies

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