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Skills are used to determine how good a creature is at any particular activity. As creatures advance in level, they may allocate more ranks into their skills. Conditions, equipment, spells, feats, and class abilities may also increase a creature's effectiveness with a skill.

A creature's maximum rank in a class skill is their Character Level + 3. A creature's maximum rank in a cross-class skill is one-half of this number.


Using Skills

Some skills are used automatically. For instance, rolls related to stealth and detection require no interaction other than the activation of the stealth mode.

To manually roll a skill, type #<skill name, and the game will roll the skill in the combat log.

NOTE: ALFA does not make use of Epic Skills.

Skill Ranks

A character's number of ranks in a skill is based on how many skill points a character has invested in a skill. Many skills can be used even if the character has no ranks in them; doing this is called making an untrained skill check.

Ability Modifier

The ability modifier used in a skill check is the modifier for the skill's key ability (the ability associated with the skill's use). The key ability of each skill is noted in its description.

Miscellaneous Modifiers

Miscellaneous modifiers include racial bonuses, armor check penalties, and bonuses provided by feats, among others.

Each skill point you spend on a class skill gets you 1 rank in that skill. Class skills are the skills found on your character's class skill list. Each skill point you spend on a cross-class skill gets your character ½ rank in that skill. Cross-class skills are skills not found on your character's class skill list. (Half ranks do not improve your skill check, but two ½ ranks make 1 rank.) You can't save skill points to spend later.

The maximum rank in a class skill is the character's level + 3. If it's a cross-class skill, the maximum rank is half of that number (do not round up or down).

Regardless of whether a skill is purchased as a class skill or a cross-class skill, if it is a class skill for any of your classes, your maximum rank equals your total character level + 3.

Skill Checks

It is important to note that unlike other checks (such as ability, saving throw, or attack rolls), a creature does not auto-fail a skill check on a natural roll of 1, nor does he auto-succeed a check on a natural roll of 20.

A skill check takes into account a character's training (skill rank), natural talent (ability modifier), and luck (the die roll). It may also take into account his or her race's knack for doing certain things (racial bonus) or what armor he or she is wearing (Armor Check Penalty), or a certain feat the character possesses, among other things.

Difficulty Class

Some checks are made against a Difficulty Class (DC). The DC is a number (set using the skill rules as a guideline) that you must score as a result on your skill check in order to succeed.

Table: Difficulty Class Examples
Difficulty (DC) Example (Skill Used)
Very easy (0) Notice something large in plain sight (Spot)
Easy (5) Climb a knotted rope (Climb)
Average (10) Hear an approaching guard (Listen)
Tough (15) Rig a wagon wheel to fall off (Disable Device)
Challenging (20) Swim in stormy water (Swim)
Formidable (25) Open an average lock (Open Lock)
Heroic (30) Leap across a 30-foot chasm (Jump)
Nearly impossible (40) Track a squad of orcs across hard ground after 24 hours of rainfall (Survival)

Opposed Checks

An opposed check is a check whose success or failure is determined by comparing the check result to another character's check result. In an opposed check, the higher result succeeds, while the lower result fails. In case of a tie, the higher skill modifier wins. If these scores are the same, roll again to break the tie.

Table: Example Opposed Checks
Task Skill (Key Ability) Opposing Skill (Key Ability)
Con someone Bluff (Cha) Sense Motive (Wis)
Pretend to be someone else Disguise (Cha) Spot (Wis)
Create a false map Forgery (Int) Forgery (Int)
Hide from someone Hide (Dex) Spot (Wis)
Make a bully back down Intimidate (Cha) Special #1
Sneak up on someone Move Silently (Dex) Listen (Wis)
Steal a coin pouch Sleight of Hand (Dex) Spot (Wis)
Tie a prisoner securely Use Rope (Dex) Escape Artist (Dex)
1. An Intimidate check is opposed by the target's level check, not a skill check. See the Intimidate skill description for more information.