system is a skill subsystem designed to allow players to add flavor
to their characters with a mechanical base that can be used in skill
challenges and other success critical situations. This system can
be used to simulate hobbies, background skills or anything in between.
An expertise is an area or subject in which your character has some
form of competency. Each rank a character has in this expertise
(novice, apprentice, skilled, master, grandmaster) grants both a
bonus to appropriate ability checks made to perform the expertise
and a circumstance bonus to skill checks relating to the character’s
expertise (at the DM’s discretion)
At first level, each character has 3 expertise points to spend as
they wish. These points buy a rank in a given expertise based on
tier of play (see table below). At 6th, 11th, 16th, 21st and 26th
level, characters gain an additional point to purchase new ranks.
No character can have a rank higher than grandmaster in a given
expertise. Characters may spend expertise points whenever they gain
a level, but they need not spend points when they earn them. A character
cannot buy a rank in an expertise without first buying a previous
rank (ie, a character must buy novice rank before they can buy apprentice
Bonus on Expertise Checks
Expertise checks are made to determine the quality of a performance,
or a created craft in relation to similar pieces. When a character
wishes to use their expertise, they make the following roll:
+ ½ level + bonus from ranks + appropriate ability modifier.
This check is usually
made against the expertise checks of other characters the character
with the highest check has the superior result.
check can be used to put on a performance or create an item with
the express purpose of impressing an NPC. If the expertise check
is made for this purpose, the DM is encouraged to use either the
target’s Will Defense or a DC appropriate for the target’s
level as per DMG pg. 42. A success means that the crafter gains
the circumstance bonus from their rank on the next Diplomacy or
Streetwise check made while interacting with that NPC.
Player characters can craft items if they have the appropriate craft
expertise with no roll required. A player character is assumed to
require raw materials, tools and work space to craft an item. Crafting
an item costs the same as buying the item at cost. Crafting takes
10 hours of work, modified by the table below (minimum 1 hour).
This work need not be contiguous, but time spent doing things other
than crafting does not count toward the time spent crafting.
When a character
creates and item, they may choose to roll an expertise check to
make an exceptional quality item. An exceptional quality items can
be used to impress NPCs (see above). Otherwise, no roll is needed
to craft an item.
|| -6 hours
| has few
|| -4 hours
| has complex
| is built
from common materials
| is created
using volatile or fragile materials
heating or cooling
mandatory setting/cooking time
(creation time cannot be less time than this time)
| is a
craft (arts) expertise
per chapter, volume or similar component.
has ranks above novice
per rank above novice.
At the DM’s discretion, a character gains a circumstance bonus
based on his ranks in his expertise when the skill check is related
to his area of expertise. For example, a character with Master rank
in stonemasonry gains a +2 bonus to Athletics checks made to climb
a worked stone wall.
The DM should
be careful to make certain that the bonus is reasonable given the
circumstances. For example, a character with Grandmaster ranks in
basket weaving should not gain a bonus to Nature checks when using
a basket to gather food, for example.
Below are the major categories of expertises and sample choices
a character can make. The relevant ability modifier for a given
category or expertise is indicated in parenthesis ():
Performance expertise deals with active types of expression such
as dance, song or recital. There may be some overlap between perform
and craft: art expertise, typically with creation and recital of
a poem, or composition and choreography of a dance.
(or family of instruments)
(tea service, presentation)
Art expertise involves the creation of an aesthetic or provocative
piece, be it a written work, an art piece, or a written piece of
music. There is some overlap between art expertise and performance
(or a given medium)
(or a genre)
(or a genre)
Pragmatic craft expertise deals with the creation of items needed
for day to day life, such as cooking, weaponsmithy, or growing food.
(or a given type of weapons)
Precision craft expertise deals with creating objects that make
life easier and/or require precise measurement to get right such
as working with chemicals, making tools, or creating mechanical
- Lye production
- Tool smithing