View Full Version : [Skills Stuff] Knowledge: Monster Anatomy

That Lanky Bugger
2007-02-12, 11:01 AM
Knowledge: Monster Anatomy

This knowledge skill is a special use of the Knowledge skill with it's own unique use. This skill allows the user to discover a foe's weaknesses and how best to exploit them. Each time you gain a rank in this skill, you select one type from the following list:

List of Monster Types
Giant|Magical Beast|Ooze

Optionally, you may choose to focus on the Humanoid or Outsider type, but you must choose one subtype from the following list:

Humanoid/Outsider Subtypes
Reptilian| [/table]


The difficulty to discern a monster's anatomy is equal to 15 + Monster's Challenge Rating. This reveals entries from the monster's Special Qualities line, starting with the first. For every five points above the DC, you learn another item from the Special Qualities line. If there are no more items on the Special Qualities, items from the Special Attacks line are revealed to you.

To make a check, you must have chosen the type of monster for which you are checking. Doing so takes a Standard Action. If you try to discover the weaknesses of a creature type for which you do not have on your skill list, you automatically fail.

Example: Korr the Fighter is moving through the northern wastes with his party, when a Frost Worm bursts from the ground and attacks. As he engages the creature, he pauses to try to remember a weakness from old texts he read. He rolls a 34 for his check, which reveals to him that the Frost Worm has Dark Vision (not really helpful), and that when the Frost Worm dies it will explode in an icy maelstrom (more helpful, as he and the party are in melee with the creature). He warns his party to back off and fight the thing at a safe distance.


A Rogue can use this skill to Sneak Attack an opponent normally immune to precision damage due to their foreign (but not non-existent) anatomy. A rogue cannot deal sneak attack damage prevented by other means, such as a foe with concealment or a foe too large to reach their anatomy.

The DC to use this skill in this way is equal to 20 + Monster's CR. Success allows you to use a single die of Sneak Attack damage. For every 5 points over the DC you roll, you may add another die of Sneak Attack damage (if you possess another).

Example: Thae the Rogue finds himself face to face with a Mohrg while adventuring with a comrade. Normally Undead are immune to Sneak Attack damage, but Thae has Knowledge: Monster Anatomy and possesses Undead as one of his Rank selections. Thae's comrade charges into melee with the creature while Thae studies it. He rolls his Knowledge Check, getting a result of 41. The DC to use this ability was 28 which grants him 1d6 Sneak Attack, and because he got 10 points better than the DC, he can use another 2d6 Sneak Attack against this Morhg.

This is just something I cooked up for a campaign I'm starting up soon. Thoughts?

Yuki Akuma
2007-02-12, 11:04 AM
Um... why? Knowledge already does this anyway.

2007-02-12, 11:34 AM
well it may be better to work it in as a feat
Monstrous anatomy
prerequisite:either favoured enemy +4 for the particular creature type and 8 ranks in a corresponding knowledge skill (e.g. knowledge(Arcana) for constructs or knowledge (religion) for undead,) or 13 ranks in the knowledge skill

Benefit:At the start of combat you can make a special knowledge check against DC 15+ creatures CR, if you are successful you are able to cause critical hits against that particular creature.

special:Sneak attack, skirmish and other similar abilities work against identified creatures
special: A Ranger can apply his favoured enemy bonus as a competence bonus to the Knowledge check

That Lanky Bugger
2007-02-12, 03:05 PM
I guess the Why is pretty simple... In order for an adventurer to start learning about monsters, they've got to take ranks in the following Knowledge skills:

○ Arcana (for constructs, dragons and magical beasts)
○ Dungeoneering (for abberations and oozes)
○ Local (for humanoids)
○ Nature (for animals, fey, giants, monstrous humanoids, plants and vermin)
○ Religion (for undead)
○ The Planes (for outsiders and elementals)

That's... six skills in order to be able to effectively learn information about monsters, often in more depth than is strictly necessary. This Knowledge skill isn't meant to be in-depth, it's meant to be general. Someone with this skill could not research how to summon elementals, or the properties of dragon's blood. They won't learn the heraldry of the local lord while learning something about the way to properly kill an Orc.

This is meant to be the sort of knowledge a Fighter might pick up while talking to another adventurer in a bar, like "If you run into a Roper, don't let the mage hit it with a lightning bolt. It won't do a damned thing to it." Little bits of knowledge here and there that could wind up being useful later. It's also why you gain a different monster type at each rank: You won't always know if what you're fighting is on your list or not, so there's going to be a little bit of vagueness there when you make your check.

2007-02-12, 03:11 PM
Personally, the whole 'sneak attack something that would be normally immune 'cause you got mad skillz' thing strikes me as one of those skill feat things. That's what they're called, right?