Lore

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Lore (Int; Trained Only; Background)

You possess a specialized area of knowledge, generally narrower than that of a full-fledged scholar. Lore acts as a catchall skill for information, similar to how Craft handles artisanal skills and Profession handles professional skills.

The category of a Lore skill can vary widely from that of another Lore skill. It could be regional (such as a city or country), about a discipline (such as cryptography), or related to a narrow set of people (such as famous musicians). The scope of region-based Lore skills can also refer to specific subcategories, such as taverns in a particular region.

A Lore skill must be narrow—far narrower than the most relevant Knowledge skill. The broader the scope of a given category of Lore, the shallower your knowledge is on that topic. If you know about taverns in a wide region, you know less about each of them than you would if you had Lore in taverns of a specific city. Lore skills normally can’t be used to identify monsters the way Knowledge skills can, unless they refer to a specific type of monster (such as owlbears or vampires). If Lore involves a common, broad category of race or monster, it needs to be more specific. Lore (elves) would be too broad, as would Lore (dragons).

Check

Lore skills use the same DC scale as Knowledge skills: DC 10 to answer easy questions, DC 15 for basic questions, and DC 20 to 30 for really tough questions. In many cases, Lore can substitute for a Knowledge skill, such as Lore (elven history) filling in for Knowledge (history) in a check involving elves. At the GM’s discretion, a player might be able to apply a Lore skill that’s only partially related to a subject with a –5 penalty, such as using a Lore skill about a region to recall information about a particular city in that region or applying knowledge of distilling to winemaking.

The table below describes some examples of Lore skills alongside examples of skills that would be too broad. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and the GM has final say on whether a particular Lore skill is appropriate.

Appropriate Lore Skills Inappropriate Choices
A particular small city(or smaller settlement) Settlements
One district of a large city or metropolis An entire large city or metropolis
A particular monastery Monasteries
Taverns in a region Taverns
Bandits in a region Banditry
Famous battles in a region Famous battles
The spice trade Commerce
Cats Animals
Drow matriarchs Drow
Dwarven history Dwarves
Frost giants Giants
Sarenrae Gods
Dagon Demon lords
Phlegethon Hell
Military commanders Warfare
Famous singers Music
Infernal contracts Devils
Evocations Spells
Silver and mithral Metals
Tea Beverages
Trees Plants
Tattoos Art

Special

Bards
Lore is treated as a Knowledge skill for the purposes of bardic knowledge and lore master, as well as similar abilities found in other classes, creatures, and archetypes. This applies only to Lore skills in which a character is trained. In other circumstances, use the more relevant Knowledge skill.