Most Trade Skills are related to a profession or particular lifestyle, such as Farming, Hunting, and Mining. They can also represent more specific abilities, such as Cartography, Disguise, Gambling, and Forgery. Trade Skills are more complicated that other skills and encompass two different aspects of the skill. The first aspect is the direct use, or Application, of the skill (such as singing to a crowd, picking a lock, or cooking dinner for friends). The second aspect is the Lore and knowledge relevant to the skill. Thus, a trade skill can be used to make both Application Checks and Lore checks. The distinction is important since some abilities and features may grant bonuses (or penalties) to only one aspect of the trade skill.
The Application of a trade skill is used when your character attempts to use the skill to perform a task, such as catching a fish (Fishing) or maintaining direction through the forest (Orienteering). If the application of a skill includes a chance for failure, the GM may ask for one or more Application Checks to be made with the skill. Powers and abilities that require a trade skill check always refer to the Application of the skill (unless otherwise noted).
Trade skills may also be used to learn lore and similar knowledge relevant to the skill. A Lore check is used to recall information or investigate and speculate regarding a skill, such as using tracks to determine the types of animals in an area (Hunting) or recalling the uses of a particular plant (Herbalism). Lore checks may also be used to perform research and determine how successful a character is at uncovering knowledge about the subject (possibly aided through the use of libraries, manuals, or similar resources). Additionally, a lore check may be used to determine how a skill may be applied to a situation or to draw conclusions about information related to a skill.
Overlapping Trade Skills
Because of the broad scope of Trade Skills, they sometimes overlap. This means that knowledge you gain from one skill, may also be gained through another skill. For example, Alchemy and Herbalism both include knowledge of the potential uses of plants. Therefore, either skill may be used to determine information about an herb, however different information may result. While an Alchemist's knowledge may be limited to a plant's use as a particular poison ingredient, the Herbalist may additionally identify medicinal and culinary uses for the plant.
Unlike lore, checks based on the application of a skill usually have little overlap with other skills. For example, while you may know about different knots as a sailor, it does not mean that you are able to tie the knots that a hunter would use with snare traps. However, both a Weaponsmith and an Armorsmith could likely forge an iron bar into a ring, since it is a very basic use of both skills.
Lore Checks Combined With Application Checks
Because of the interconnected relationship of the Lore and Application aspects of trade skills, it is common to use both types of checks to accomplish a single goal. For example, when attempting to disarm a trap, a character may make a Lore check to discern information about the trap based on his knowledge and observations. He may discover that the trap was created by a legendary trapsmith and gain a better understanding of how the trap works. This extra knowledge can aid the application check made to disarm the trap. In general, a successful Lore check can reveal information that gives the character a bonus on the Application check for the skill (see Aiding Skill Checks for more information).
Craft & Perform Skills
Trade Skills additionally include two subcategories Craft Skills and Performance Skills. Craft Skills include all skills involved with the creation and construction of a particular good. Performance Skills represent proficiency with a particular performing art, such as playing a musical instrument.
List of Trade Skills
- Academics Skill
- Animal Care
- Bowing & Fletching
- Craft Skill
- Eldritch Arts
- First Aid
- Martial Practice
- Performance Skill
- Qi Practice
- Religious Arts
- Ritual Casting
- Sleight of Hand