The material below is designated as Open Game Content
Presented within this chapter are new tricks and techniques used by dwarves on the field of battle and in their daily lives. While some of these techniques are available only to dwarves, others are more generally useful and easily mastered by members of other races. Unless otherwise noted in the descriptions below, characters of any race can use the rules found in this chapter.
Brewing Herbal Dwarven Ales
While most adventurers have tasted, or at least heard of, many of the fine dwarven ales, few know about the herbal ales brewed within dwarven holds. These powerful draughts are not magical but provide effects to drinkers that many consider fantastic in their own right.
There are no standard recipes for these drinks. Even if there were, brewmasters are very secretive about exactly what goes into each batch of brew. What are well known are the types of herbs, fungi, and other ingredients which can be used to create these fantastic brews. Armed with this knowledge, brewmasters can start putting together their own batches of ale and hoping for the best. Non-dwarves are normally not taught the secrets of brewing herbal ale, but there is no reason they could not learn if the instruction were available.
Regardless of the special ingredients used in the creation of the brew, there are some constant factors. First, a batch of ale requires at least one month to create and the brewmaster must attend to each batch daily for the first week of the process. The last three weeks do not require the brewmaster’s attention, but someone must check the ale each day during this time period, a task usually reserved for the brewmaster’s apprentices. While it is certainly possible to drink the ale once a month has passed, this is rare. Dwarves will normally let a batch condition for at least two months before drinking it.
A batch of normal ale might be as large as 50 gallons, but herbal ales are always made in smaller, 5-gallon batches due to their high cost and the difficulty in maintaining potency of the special ingredients in large quantities. The typical ingredients required to make 5 gallons of herbal ale are:
- 15 to 18 pounds of malt
- 2 pounds of grain
- 4 gallons of water
- One-half to 1 full gallon of yeast slurry
- Sugar, honey, and assorted spices
The total cost for these basic ingredients is a mere 3 silver pieces, a trifling amount compared to the cost of the other, more exotic ingredients. A tenfold increase in the ingredients listed above (along with a tenfold increase in price) allows the brewmaster to create 50 gallons of normal ale, which can be sold or saved for personal enjoyment.
To begin creating herbal ale, the brewmaster first boils all of the ingredients (except for the yeast) in a large cauldron. This process requires roughly three hours and a successful Craft (brewing) check (DC 10). When the items reach a boil, the brewmaster adds the special ingredients needed to achieve the desired effect, a task which requires an Alchemy (DC 15 + 2 for each additional special ingredient added to the brew) check. After all the ingredients boil for an hour and are allowed to cool, the brewmaster transfers the ale base to a cask and the yeast slurry is added to begin the fermentation process. The brewmaster monitors the ale during this time, keeping a careful eye on the fermentation process. A second Craft (brewing) check (DC 10) is made at this point to determine whether the brewmaster correctly judged the amount of yeast required to ferment his latest brew. Each day during the next week, the brewmaster tastes the ale and adds sweeteners or other spices to flavour the drink. Once a week has passed, the brewmaster is free to begin another batch or otherwise divert his attention, provided he has an apprentice or assistant, either of which must have at least one rank in the Craft (brewing) skill, to watch over the first batch for the next three to four weeks. Failure on any of the above rolls indicates a botched batch which is hardly worth drinking and certainly has no special properties.
The market value of a successfully brewed gallon of normal ale starts at 2 silver pieces. The price increases by 5 coppers for every point by which the brewmaster exceeds the required DC for the second Craft (brewing) check in the process above. Skilled brewmasters make a healthy living selling their wares, but those with a bit of alchemy training can really bring in the gold.
The base price for a herbal ale is as calculated for a normal ale, which is then increased by twice the cost of the special ingredients included in the batch. If more than one special ingredient is used in brewing the ale, twice the cost of each is added to the value of the ale.
A 5-gallon batch of herbal ale will provide 20 individual servings of one quart each. If a smaller quantity of herbal ale is consumed, it provides no benefit to the user but also causes no detrimental effect. When drinking ale, a character must take care not to get carried away. If a second quart of herbal ale is taken while a drink consumed earlier still affects the character, the character may be poisoned. A successful Fortitude save (DC 15 + the number of extra drinks consumed) is immediately required to avoid becoming violently ill. Characters who fail their save immediately become nauseated (as detailed in Core Rules I); those who fail their save by rolling a 1 fall unconscious 1d4 rounds after the failed save. Nausea will pass in 1d6 hours, while unconsciousness normally passes in 1d12 minutes but is immediately followed by nausea.
The following ingredients are known to provide special properties when brewed into a herbal ale. The descriptions are in the following format:
Name: The common dwarven name for the herb or other special ingredient. Other races may have their own names for these plants, fungi and minerals.
Cost: The cost for enough of the ingredient to make a single 5-gallon batch of herbal ale.
Beneficial Effect: A description of the effect generated by the ingredient when added to a herbal ale.
Detrimental Effect: Sadly, each of the special ingredients causes a detrimental effect in addition to the benefits it provides. The detrimental effect persists as long as the beneficial effect.
Duration: The length of time of the ale’s effects on an imbiber. Unless otherwise noted, the effects of herbal ale begin 1d6 rounds after the ale is consumed.
Herbal Brew Ingredients: A description of the ingredients used to create the brew.
Cost: 100 gp
Beneficial Effect: +2 bonus to all Concentration skill checks
Detrimental Effect:–1 penalty to all Will saves
Duration: 15 minutes
The boneslug is found in or around recently deceased bodies and is named for the ivory colour of its skin.
Cost: 130 gp
Beneficial Effect: +2 bonus to all Spot and Listen checks
Detrimental Effect: –1 penalty to Intelligence
Duration: 30 minutes
Crushing papery leaves from the pepperstalk bush into a pot of boiling water creates this copper-coloured fluid.
Cost: 100 gp
Beneficial Effect: +1 bonus to Dexterity
Detrimental Effect: –1 penalty to Strength
Duration: 1 hour
Greasevine is purple-black in colour and grows thickly when bat guano is available.
Cost: 100 gp
Beneficial Effect: +1 bonus to Strength
Detrimental Effect: –1 penalty to Dexterity
Duration: 30 minutes
The irongill mushroom grows on the banks of pools near forges. It is grey-black in appearance with a distinctive metallic sheen on the gills below the cap.
Cost: 150 gp
Beneficial Effect: +2 bonus to all Initiative checks
Detrimental Effect: –1 penalty to all Search and Wisdom-based skill checks
Duration: 2 hours
The perkseed flower is highly prized for its stimulant properties. The black-petaled flower grows only in areas where phosphorescent lichen provides light.
Cost Multiplier: 125 gp
Beneficial Effect: +1 bonus to Fortitude saves
Detrimental Effect: –1 penalty to Will saves
Duration: 1 hour
The stoneweed blossom, which feeds off various cave lichens, is dull grey in colour while on the stalk but gains a lustrous silver sheen within an hour of being picked. The colouration fades back to grey within 1d3 days.
Cost: 75 gp
Beneficial Effect: For the duration of this effect, characters reduced to fewer than 0 hit points automatically stabilize
Detrimental Effect: –1 penalty to Initiative checks
Duration: 1 hour
Thickblood gum is extracted from the rubbery stalks of the gloomshade fern. This translucent plant can be found growing near steam vents or in other warm areas.
Foraging for Ingredients
Brewmasters with the Wilderness Lore skill can attempt to find their own special ingredients. For each day spent foraging, the brewmaster is allowed a Wilderness Lore check (DC 20). On a successful check the forager discovers one fifth of a batch’s worth of the soughtafter special ingredient. If the character rolls a natural 20 while foraging, he finds two fifths of a batch’s worth of the ingredient.
The techniques used for fighting in enclosed spaces are often quite different from the styles developed on the surface. Through hard experience and painful mistakes, the dwarves have honed their fighting styles to incorporate the following tricks and innovative manoeuvres.
Fighting with your back to a wall prevents enemies from completely encircling you, although it also leaves you with no easy route of escape should the fight go poorly. The primary advantage of fighting against a wall, though, comes from the fact that your attackers have to pull their attacks or risk striking the wall behind you and possibly damaging their weapons. Success with this technique lies in staying as close to the wall as possible at all times. As a free action, you are allowed to make a Balance check (DC 15) to keep your back flat against the wall while fighting. If the Balance check is successful, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your Armour Class against all melee attacks. Opponents who miss you by more than 10 during a round in which you are wall fighting hit the stone behind you with their weapons, causing 1d3 hit points of damage to the weapon. You are allowed to make a full-attack action in a round in which you are wall fighting, but movement of any kind causes you to forfeit your Armour Class bonus for the round. Wall fighting provides no protection from missile attacks, but any arrow or crossbow bolt which misses a wall fighter automatically shatters.
Bull-rushing a target into a wall (or similar immobile surface) inflicts 1d6 hit points of damage to the target. If the attacker takes the option of following the target during the bull rush, the wall slam causes an additional +1 hit point of damage per additional foot the target would have moved had the wall not blocked his movement, but the attacker also suffers 1d8 hit points of subdual damage as he crashes into the wall along with his target. The attacker ends his movement in the square directly next to the target, either in front of the target or to either side (the attacker may choose in which square he ends his attack). This tactic can be used only if the target is already standing next to a wall and the attacker bull-rushes the target in a line perpendicular to the wall itself. If the attacker’s bull rush fails, he automatically falls prone just as if the space he was pushed back into were occupied.
In confined spaces, a large weapon can quickly become a liability rather than an asset, and a clever fighter can render weapons with reach useless by pinning the weapon to a wall, floor, or ceiling with his shield. While the shield no longer provides any protection, the pinned weapon cannot be used to attack until it is freed.
To use this tactic, a character must have a shield (not a buckler), be within a standard movement action of the target, and ready an action to respond to his target’s next attack. The target opponent’s weapon must be of large size (or greater) or have reach. Immediately after the next attack made with the target weapon, the pinning character must use his readied action to attack the weapon with his shield (see Core Rules I). If successful, the attacker causes no damage to the weapon and pins it to the nearest wall or floor with his shield.
The opponent may free his weapon as a standard action with a successful opposed Strength check. The pinning character may keep the weapon pinned as a move equivalent action but any movement by him, including a five-foot step, automatically releases the pinned weapon. Likewise, if the pinning character is stunned, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to take a move equivalent action during a round, the pinned weapon is automatically freed.
This technique may not be used against spiked chains or whips.
Dwarves often find themselves facing much larger adversaries. Cave trolls, ogres and other giant-sized creatures are a serious problem in the underlands and one which the dwarves have developed specific battle tactics for dispatching.
Harrying a foe is one such tactic and involves at least three attackers, each on a different side of a single target. The face of a foe determines the number of attackers which can effectively harry it – three attackers may harry a single target with a 5 foot by 5 foot reach and one additional attacker may be added to the harry attempt for every additional 5 feet of the target’s length or width.
Each round, all characters involved in the harry attempt make a standard attack action with a –4 circumstance penalty and must move at least 10 feet around the target while never moving away from it. If more than half of these attacks cause damage to the harried creature, it may only make attacks of opportunity against its attackers because it is so distracted and confused by their constant movement and attacks.
Any attack capable of dealing more than 2d6 hit points of damage may be used to destabilize the ceiling of the immediate area in an underground environment. Knocking down stalactites or loose slabs of stone can distract opponents or facilitate an escape. It is the Games Master’s decision as to whether an area can be destabilized but most natural caverns and tunnels with visible support structures should be eligible.
Using this tactic is a full-round action, which requires the acting character to strike the ceiling or a visible support structure (such as timber in a mining tunnel) with a weapon or other form of attack. There is no attack roll required for this but the character must make a successful Knowledge (engineering) check or a
Profession (mining) check (DC 15), or an Intelligence check (DC 25) if the character is not trained in these skills, in order to locate the best spot to strike. Dwarven characters may add their stonecunning bonus to this check.
If the Knowledge check is successful, the character targets the correct area and rolls damage for the attack as normal. If the attack causes any damage in excess of the target area’s hardness (normally 8 for a stone ceiling or 5 for a wooden support beam), the character successfully destabilizes the ceiling. This immediately causes dust and debris to fall in a 5 foot radius around the character, imposing a –2 circumstance penalty on all attacks or skill checks requiring sight or concentration. All spells cast in the affected area must be cast defensively.
To determine the effect of the destabilization during subsequent rounds, add the number of hit points of damage caused by the attack (or half the total damage caused by a non-sonic, energy-based spell) to 1d20 and consult the table below. Dwarven characters may add their stonecunning bonus to this roll as well. The table includes the following information:
Duration: The amount of time the effects of the destabilization persist, starting on the round immediately following the destabilization.
Area (radius): The area affected by the destabilization, which is centred on the character who destabilized the ceiling.
Damage: The amount of damage caused by falling rocks or other debris. Characters are allowed a Reflex check (DC 20) to avoid this damage.
Penalty: This circumstance penalty is applied to all skill checks, all attack rolls, and any other actions which require concentration. Spellcasters must cast defensively while in the area of effect to avoid losing spells to the distraction of large rocks falling on their heads, and this penalty does apply to the required Concentration check.
Balance: The amount of rubble and dust falling into the area makes footing treacherous. Characters moving at more than one half their normal movement rate must make a successful Balance check at the DC listed in the column or fall prone.
Description: An explanation of what is happening in the area of effect, along with any notes on additional effects caused by the destabilization.
Destabilization Results Table
|Roll + Damage||Duration||Area (radius)||Damage||Balance Penalty||DC||Description|
|<10||1d2 rounds||5 ft.||1d2 hit points||–2||N/A||Stone chips fall from the ceiling, along with dust and other small debris.|
|10–15||1d4 rounds||5 ft.||1d4 hit points||–4||10||Small pieces of rubble rain down from the ceiling.|
|16–20||1d6 rounds||10 ft.||1d4 hit points||–4||10||The area of effect increases on the round following the attack.|
|21–25||1d4 rounds||10 ft.||1d6 hit points||–6||14||Stones the size of a dwarf’s head fall from the ceiling, accompanied by clouds of gritty dust.|
|26–30||1d6 rounds||20 ft.||1d6 hit points||–6||14||As above, with a larger area of effect.|
|31–35||1d4 rounds||10 ft.||1d8 hit points||–8||16||Slabs of stone fall from the ceiling and enormous clouds of dust are released.|
|36–40||1d4 rounds||10 ft.||1d10 hit points||–10||16||Boulders crash down from the ceiling.|
|41+||1d2 rounds||10 ft.||2d10 hit points||–10||18||The ceiling of the area collapses, completely filling the area of effect with rubble to a height of 10 ft. Creatures still in the area of effect on the final round of this collapse must immediately make a Fortitude save (DC 25) or die from being crushed below the rocks.|
When fighting around a corner, savvy fighters are able to use the wall itself as a secondary shield. While this reduces their own chances to hit, because they are busy moving back and forth around the edge of the corner, it dramatically improves their ability to avoid damage.
Whenever a character is fighting around a corner (see the diagram below), he may voluntarily take a –4 penalty on all attack rolls in order to receive a +4 deflection bonus against attacks coming from opponents around the corner. In order to use this ability, the character must be facing an opponent (within 5 feet; this ability cannot be used with reach or ranged weapons) at a diagonal with a corner between the two combatants.
The dwarves’ love of ale and natural resistance to toxins give them the ability to drink just about any other intelligent creature under the table. While few dwarves drink strictly to get drunk, drinking games are very popular in dwarven taverns the world over. In general, drinking games involve the following elements.
First, there is a test of skill. This can be any simple test, such as throwing darts, bouncing coins into a tankard, or arm wrestling (see below). After each round, the winner buys a round of drinks for the losers.
The losers must gulp down the provided drinks. The last dwarf standing wins.
Intoxication is handled similarly to poisoning, though all damage caused is temporary and usually passes within hours or, at worst, a day or two of rest. Whenever a character imbibes an alcoholic drink (between 8 and 10 ounces qualifies as a drink in this case), he must make a Fortitude save with a DC determined by the strength of the drink, as shown on the table overleaf. If the save fails, the character suffers temporary ability damage (also summarized on the table). Once the character stops drinking, this damage begins healing at the rate of one point every hour (the drunken character chooses which ability score is restored each hour). If the character begins drinking again before he is completely restored from the previous intoxication, the ability damage stops healing.
For every 2 points of temporary Intelligence or Wisdom damage, the character also suffers a reduction in Dexterity of 1 point. This Dexterity impairment is restored as the temporary Intelligence or Wisdom losses are healed.
When one of the character’s ability scores reaches 1, or both Intelligence and Wisdom are reduced to below one half of their starting totals, the character immediately passes out. If either, or both, of the character’s ability scores are reduced to zero or below, the character dies from alcohol poisoning.
Any spells which provide resistance to, or healing from, the effects of poison will also provide resistance to, and healing from, the effects of intoxication.
Alcoholic Beverage Potencies
|Drink Strength||Initial Damage||Secondary Damage||Save DC||Example|
|Weak||1 Intelligence||1 Wisdom||15||Watery beer|
|Stout||1d3 Intelligence||1d3 Wisdom||15||Beer, wine, ale|
|Potent||1d3 Intelligence||1d3 Wisdom||20||Rum, whiskey|
|Dangerous||1d3 Intelligence||1d3 Wisdom||25||Pure grain alcohol|
The following are some simple tavern games popular amongst dwarves.
Darts: This game for two to four players involves throwing darts at a circular board painted with concentric rings. The closer a dart hits to the centre of the board, the more points the thrower scores. Each player is allowed four throws and the winner is the player with the highest total score after all contestants have tossed their darts.
To determine a throw’s score, each player makes a Dexterity ability check (DC 10). On a success the throw is worth 1 point, plus 1 point for every 5 full points by which the Dexterity check exceeds the DC. A Dexterity check of 15, for example, is worth 2 points: 1 point for a successful ability check and 1 point for exceeding the DC by 5 points.
Bounces: The number of players for this game is limited only by how many can fit around a table, with seven being a common number in dwarven bars. Each player bounces a copper coin off the tabletop and attempts to land it in a full tankard of ale. Each player rolls 1d20 per bounce. On a 10 or higher the coin makes it into the flagon. When a character’s bounce misses, he must drink the flagon of ale.
Stone Slide: In this game contestants attempt to slide smooth stones down a polished wood surface and try to get their stone closest to the end without sliding it off the table altogether. This is a game of judgment more than physical ability, requiring the players to judge carefully how hard to push the sliding stones to reach the mark.
Each player gets five slides. To determine the outcome of a slide, each player rolls 1d20, trying to roll as close to 10 as possible. Characters with a positive Intelligence modifier may add or subtract their modifier from the roll in an attempt to score close to 10. Characters with a negative Intelligence modifier must always add their modifier to the roll. Once all players have taken a slide, the character with the roll closest to but not over 10 scores a point—his stone is closest to the edge of the table without falling off.
The winner is the character with the most points after all contestants have taken their slides.
Old Skills, New Uses
This section covers the use of old skills in new ways. These options are available to all characters unless otherwise noted and are simply extensions of existing skills to cover new situations. In addition, there are a number of synergy bonuses detailed in this chapter, providing a guide for Games Masters and players on how different skills can interact in different situations. The uses for each existing skill are discussed first, followed by an explanation of new synergy bonuses.
Alchemy: Refining Metal
Alchemists are prized in dwarven communities for their ability to treat the metal used in forging weapons and armour. The smith’s skill is most important in crafting these items, of course, but a skilful alchemist can provide the craftsmen with the finest raw materials from which to create their items.
In order to prepare metal for forging, the alchemist must have a furnace in which to melt the metal and remove its impurities. Most smiths have no problem allowing an alchemist to use their forge for this purpose, knowing they will benefit from the improved quality of the refined metal.
Check: It requires 8 hours to refine 50 pounds of metal, plus an alchemy check (DC 25). Refined metal may have any one of the following properties:
† Increased Hardness. Any non-hafted weapon, metal shield, or medium (or heavier) armour fashioned from the refined metal has a hardness 2 higher than normal. A longsword forged with this type of refined metal, for example, would have a hardness of 12 rather than 10.
† Inner Strength. The hit points of any nonweapon, metal shield, or medium (or heavier) armour fashioned from the refined metal has 25% more hit points than normal. A large steel shield fashioned from this type of refined metal has 25 hit points rather than 20.
† Flexible. When refined in this manner, the metal resists damage not by being unyielding but because it is surprisingly springy and flexible. Any non-hafted weapon, metal shield, or medium (or heavier) armour fashioned from metal refined in this way suffers 1 hit point less damage when it is attacked or otherwise harmed. However, a weapon forged from this type of metal causes 1 hit point less damage (minimum of 1 hit point of damage) when it successfully strikes a target. Weapons and shields provide their normal protection but weigh 10% more than normal.
† Easy to Work. The metal is so easy to work with all Craft checks made when using it receive a +1 natural bonus.
Retry: Yes, but one quarter of the metal used in the attempt is ruined by each failed attempt, including the first.
You can use your knowledge of an item’s worth to get a better price from merchants or other traders.
Check: You are able to detect minor imperfections or other flaws in an item (DC 15). For rare or exotic items, this is more difficult (DC 20). On a successful check you are able to convince the merchant to lower his price by 1d10%, but on a failure you offend him with your finicky shopping habits, increasing his prices for you or your companions by 2d10%.
Special: Appraise cannot be used in this way untrained. If you have at least 5 ranks in the Diplomacy or Bluff skills, you receive a +2 synergy bonus to any attempts to use the Appraise skill in this way.
Escape Artist: Cave-ins
You are able to wriggle out of a rock fall or cave-in without dislodging even more rock.
Check: Making a check to escape from a cave-in can be done only after the character is caught beneath the falling rocks. Characters who are still conscious are able to attempt to slither free of the rubble without suffering further damage or causing a second collapse. Escaping from a cave-in requires a full-round action for every 5 feet of distance the trapped character must move through, and the DC for each action is set by the number of dice of damage inflicted by the collapsing tunnel. Multiply the number of dice by 5 to determine the DC.
Retry: Yes, but every failed roll causes an additional 1d6 hit points of damage as the character is caught under the weight of settling rocks.
Special: The bonus provided by the stonecunning ability applies to Escape Artist checks of this type.
Hide: Darkvision Camouflage
You are skilled at using black and white pigments or paints as camouflage to aid your attempts at hiding.
Check: If you have in your possession black and white paints or pigments, you may attempt a Hide check (DC 10) as a full-round action to camouflage your exposed flesh and equipment in patterns designed to confuse and defeat darkvision. If the check succeeds, any attempts to Spot you within the next 4 hours suffer a –2 circumstance penalty. You may also make a similar check to camouflage others; it requires one ounce of pigment or paint to successfully camouflage a mediumsized creature.
Special: You receive a +2 synergy bonus on all checks to apply darkvision camouflage if you have 5 or more ranks in the Disguise skill.
Intimidation: Immune to Pain
You shrug off horrible injuries as a way to intimidate your enemies.
Check: Immediately after suffering the loss of 10 or more hit points, you may attempt to intimidate the opponent who injured you as a free action, using your Constitution ability modifier rather than your Charisma ability modifier. The DC of this check is 10 + the target’s hit dice + the number of hit points suffered in the attack minus 10. Thus, an attack by a 5 hit dice foe causing 15 hit points of damage would have a total DC of 20 (10 + 5 hit dice + 15 hit points of damage – 10). If the check is successful, the target suffers a –1 morale penalty to all attack and damage rolls for the next 1d4 rounds.
Retry: Only if you suffer another 10+ hit point wound.
Special: You receive a +2 synergy bonus on this check if you have 5 or more ranks in the Bluff skill and a +2 synergy bonus if you have the Endurance feat. These two bonuses do stack in this instance.
Intuit Direction: Tunnel Runner
Your innate sense of direction allows you to steer your way through the winding tunnels of underlands or dungeons.
Check: As a full-round action, you may concentrate on determining which tunnel is most likely to take you in the direction you are interested in travelling. To determine which tunnel to take at a given intersection requires a successful Intuit Direction check (DC 20). The Games Master should make this check and inform the character of the result. If the check fails, randomly determine which tunnel the character believes is the correct passage.
Retry: Intuit Direction can be used only once per day.
Special: Untrained characters may not attempt this use of Intuit Direction.
Jump: Wall Spring
By jumping up onto a wall and pushing off, you are able to increase the vertical distance of your jump.
Check: After making a running or standing high jump in which you end your movement next to a wall, you may immediately make another standing high jump and add the vertical distance of the two jumps together to determine your total jump height. The maximum height for a wall spring is 1.5 times your height.
Performing a wall spring is a full-round action.
Special: You receive a +2 synergy bonus if you have 5 or more ranks in the Tumble skill.
Knowledge (Tunnel Tapping)
Many races of the underlands develop tunnel tapping, a signal system which uses the naturally resonant properties of stone and echoes to tap out messages across long distances.
Check: Not every area of a tunnel is conducive to tapping. The initial Knowledge (tunnel tapping) check (DC 15) is used to determine the suitability of the area chosen and requires five minutes to complete. Normally the tapping can be heard for a quarter mile, but every point by which the initial DC is exceeded increases this range by one-quarter mile.
Once an area has been selected, the tapper begins banging out his message. It requires a full-round action to knock out thirty words and a successful Knowledge (tunnel tapping) check (DC 10) to make an intelligible message.
Receiving a message is simpler and requires only a single check (DC 10) to decode a full minute’s worth of tapped messages. The check is made at the end of the message.
Special: This skill may not be used untrained.
It takes more than keen ears to tell where a sound is coming from below the ground. Strange echoes can distort noises, making their source seem close or far away, confusing the senses and endangering even the wary. Those with knowledge of the dark tunnels and their acoustic properties can attempt to discern the true location of an echo’s origin.
Check: In caverns below the earth, echoes are very common and determining from which direction a sound really originates is crucial to the survival of those who make their home in these tunnels and chambers. Dwarves may add any bonuses they receive from stonecunning (normally +2) to any Listen checks made to sift through echoes for ‘real’ sounds.
Normally a successful Listen check reveals only the presence of a noise and does nothing to reveal the location of the noise’s source. A successful Listen check (DC 15) can give the listener a good idea of approximately where the echoes come from and can rule out passages from which the sounds could not originate.
This skill is covered in detail in the ‘Mining and Forges’ chapter.
Ride: Close Quarters
In general, the Ride skill is used when there is reasonable room to manoeuvre for both rider and mount. Underground, however, a wide tunnel can become extremely narrow and short in a brief space. To manoeuvre a mount in the tight and twisting tunnels of the underlands, most Ride checks are made at very close quarters indeed.
Check: To control a mount in tight quarters, a skill check is necessary. See the table below for the necessary DC.
Riding Task DC
Back up 5
Tight Corner 15
Back Up: Following a tunnel sometimes results in a tight dead end, which prevents turning a mount around. This manoeuvre allows the rider to direct his mount backward at a rate of 5 feet per round. A check is required each round and a failure indicates no progress made. Two failures in a row, however, indicate a more serious problem as the mount begins to panic in the tight tunnel. If the next check to back up fails, the mount becomes frozen with fear and will not be coaxed to back up. The character will have to use the Handle Animal skill to calm the creature before he can attempt to back up again.
Duck: Many tunnels are too narrow to ride through upright. As long as there is a foot of clearance from the top of the mount’s front shoulder, the rider may attempt to hunker down on the mount’s back and keep the creature’s head down while still moving at normal movement rates (up to and including running). If the skill check fails, however, the mount immediately stops moving and must thereafter progress at a crawl in order to keep its head down and avoid scraping the rider off against the ceiling. If there is more than 2 feet of clearance between the top of the mount’s shoulder and the ceiling, no skill check is required.
Tight Corner: A successful Ride skill check (DC 15) allows the rider to direct his mount through tight corners (up to 90 degrees) while moving at a hustle. Normally the rider must slow his mount to a walk to get through such narrow quarters.
Sense Motive: Haggling
When selling goods, you can counter the efforts of the buyer to reduce the sale price by keying in on the aspects of the item he finds desirable.
Check: You are able to determine what it is about an item that your customer finds most appealing and armed with this knowledge get a better price for the merchandise. Use of the Sense Motive skill in this way requires a full-round action and a successful Sense Motive check (DC 20). When rare or exotic items are haggled over your task is easier, reducing the DC of the check to 15. On a successful check you are able to convince the customer to pay an additional 1d10%, but on a failure your customer loses interest in the item altogether.
Special: Sense Motive cannot be used in this way untrained. If you have at least 5 ranks in the Diplomacy or Bluff skills, you receive a +2 synergy bonus to any attempts to use the Sense Motive skill in this way.