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Ecology (Int; Trained Only)

You are educated about a variety of creatures, hazards and plants and answer both simple and complex questions.


Ecology is used whenever you want to identify a creature and know about its special powers and vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster's CR. This check is modified by the creature's commonality—it is easier to know facts about goblins than about aboleths, or even about the tarrasque. Especially well-known creatures are easier to identify, while particularly obscure creatures are harder to identify—it is easy to identify a dragon, even if dragons are rare and usually have a high CR. Some creatures may not even be identifiable at all.

With a successful check, you can recognize the general type of any creature, but in order to identify the exact creature and know about its powers and weaknesses, you must be specialized in its creature type.

Whenever you put a rank into this skill, select one creature type to specialize in from the following list: aberration, animal, construct, dragon, fey, humanoid, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, ooze, outsider, plant, or undead. You gain a +2 competence bonus to Ecology checks made to identify the general type of creatures of a type you have specialized in.

Alternatively, you can select a creature subtype that is associated with a creature type that you have previously specialized in, such as giant (for humanoids), or demon (for outsiders). Alignment and energy subtypes are not valid choices for specialization. You gain a +4 competence bonus to Ecology checks made about creatures of a subtype you have specialized in.

Finally, you can choose to specialize in natural hazards, such as poison oak, or underground hazards, such as green slime. The DC of a check to identify a hazard equals 15 + the hazard's CR.

A successful check for a creature of a type you have not specialized in reveals the creature's type. If your check result exceeds the DC by 5 or more, you learn about the creature's subtypes as well.

A successful check for a creature of a type you have specialized in allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that particular creature. For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the DC, you recall another piece of useful information.

Circumstances Ecology Bonus
Identify the general type of a creature of a type you have specialized in +2
Identify a creature of a subtype you have specialized in +4
Creature commonality DC Modifier
Common creature (e.g. goblin) –5
Rare creature (e.g. demons) +5
Very rare or unique creature (e.g. the tarrasque) +10
Well-known creature (e.g. dragon) –5
Obscure creature (e.g. aboleth) +5
Virtually unknown creature +10

You can also make Ecology checks to identify plants. In general, the DC to identify a plant is 10. If appropriate, use the same modifiers as for creatures to modify checks for common, rare, very rare or unique, well-known, obscure, or virtually unknown plants.


An Ecology check doesn't take an action. However, communicating your knowledge about a creature's special powers and vulnerabilities to your allies can take a variable amount of time, usually a move action, but at the GM's discretion, it might range from a free action—if there is almost nothing to communicate—up to a full-round action for an especially complex creature.

Try Again

You cannot retry an Ecology check.


A character with the favorite enemy ability can make untrained checks to identify creatures he has selected as a favorite enemy.