Metaphysics

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The Metaphysics skill replaces Knowledge (arcane lore), Psicraft, Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device.

Metaphysics (Int)

The occult, magic and the supernatural, astrology, numerology, and similar topics.

Common Knowledge (DC 10): You can answer a basic question about a related subject.

Expert Knowledge (Trained Only): You can make a swift action to answer a related question that requires some level of expertise. The DC varies from 15 (for simple questions) to 25 (for tough questions).

Identify Spell (Trained only): As a move action, you can identify spells and magic effects. If you're not a mage or spellcaster, you suffer a -10 competence penalty. Additionally, certain spells allow you to gain information about magic provided that you make a Spellcraft check as detailed in the spell description.

DC Task
15 + spell level Identify a spell being cast. (You must see or hear the spell’s verbal or somatic components.) You can’t try again.
15 + spell level Learn a spell from a spellbook or scroll. You can’t try again for that spell until you gain at least 1 rank in Spellcraft.
15 + spell level Prepare a spell from a borrowed spellbook. One try per day.
15 + spell level When casting detect magical aura, determine the school of magic involved in the aura of a single item or creature you can see. (If the aura isn’t a spell effect, the DC is 15 + one-half caster level.)
20 + spell level Identify a spell that’s already in place and in effect. (You must be able to see or detect the effects of the spell.) You can’t try again.
20 + spell level Identify materials created or shaped by magic, such as noting that an iron wall is the result of a wall of iron spell. You can’t try again.
20 + spell level Decipher a written spell (such as a scroll) without using read magic. One try per day.
25 + spell level After rolling a saving throw against a spell targeted at you, determine what spell was cast upon you. This is a reaction.
25 Identify a potion. This takes 1 minute.
30 or higher Understand a strange or unique magical effect. You can’t try again.

Use Magic Device (Trained Only): You can use this skill to read a spell from a scroll or spellbook or activate a magic item. This skill lets you use a magic item as if you had the spell ability or class features of another class or a different allegiance.

When you’re attempting to activate a magic item using this skill, you do so as a standard action. However, the checks you make to determine whether you are successful at activating the item take no time by themselves and are included in the activate magic item action.

You make Metaphysics checks each time you activate a device such as a scroll or a wand. If you are using the check to emulate some quality in an ongoing manner, you need to make the checks once per hour.

Task DC
Activate blindly 25
Decipher a written spell 25 + spell level
Emulate class feature 20
Emulate ability score See text
Emulate allegiance 30
Use a scroll 20 + caster level
Use a wand 20

Activate Blindly: Some magic items are activated by special words, thoughts, or actions. You can activate such items as if you were using the activation word, thought, or action even if you’re not, and even if you don’t know it. You do have to use something equivalent. You have to speak, wave the item around, or otherwise attempt to get it to activate. You get a +2 bonus on the check if you’ve activated the item at least once in the past.

If you fail the check by 10 or more, you suffer a mishap. A mishap means that magical energy is released, but it doesn’t do what you wanted it to. The GM determines the result of a mishap. The default mishaps are that the item affects the wrong target or that uncontrolled magical energy deals 2d6 points of damage to you. This mishap is in addition to the chance for a mishap normally associated with casting a spell from a scroll when the spell’s caster level is higher than your level in this class.

Decipher a Written Spell: This works like Identify Spell above, except that the DC is 5 points higher. Deciphering a written spell takes 1 minute of concentration.

Emulate Class Feature: Sometimes you need a class feature to activate a magic item. Your effective level in the emulated class equals your check result minus 20.

This skill use doesn’t allow you to use the class feature of another class. It just lets you activate items as if you had the class feature.

If the class whose feature you are emulating has an allegiance requirement, you must meet it. This may require a separate check to emulate allegiance (see below).

Emulate Ability Score: To cast a spell from a scroll, you need a high ability score in the appropriate ability (Intelligence for arcane spells, Wisdom for divine spells). Your effective ability score (appropriate to the class you’re emulating when you try to cast a spell from a scroll) equals your check result minus 15. If you already have a high enough score in the ability, you don’t need to make this check.

Emulate Allegiance: Some magic items have positive or negative effects based on your allegiance. You can use these items as if you were of an allegiance of your choice. You can only emulate one allegiance at a time.

Use a Scroll: Normally, to cast a spell from a scroll, you must belong to a class that has access to the arcane or divine spell inscribed therein. This use of the skill allows you to use a scroll as if you were of the appropriate spellcasting class. The DC equals 20 + the caster level of the spell you are trying to cast from the scroll. To cast a spell from a scroll, you must first decipher it.

In addition, casting a spell from a scroll requires a minimum score of 10 + the spell’s level in the appropriate ability. If you don’t have a sufficiently high score, you must emulate the ability score with a separate check (see above).

Use a Wand: Normally, to use a wand you must belong to a class that has access to the arcane or divine spell ensorcelled therein. This use of the skill allows you to use a wand as if you were of the appropriate spellcasting class.

Retry: You can reroll a failed check if you have access to research materials. This takes 1d4 hours. The DC of the retry check will be at +5 to +15, depending on the size of your research library.

Special: You can take 10 on a Metaphysics check, but you can only take 20 if you have access to a research library.

You can’t take 10 or take 20 when activating a magic device. Magic is too unpredictable to make the use of this skill reliable.

Modern Horror

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