Critical hit! On my Religion check!

I figured out how knowledge checks fit into the 20 and 1 are magic rule.

If you roll a natural 20 on a knowledge check, you write down on your character sheet that you have expertise in a particular sub-branch of knowledge. From then on, you get a +5 bonus to all such knowledge checks. For instance, if you crit on a knowledge check about the Death God’s sacrificial rites, you write down “expert in Death God rites”.

If you roll a natural 1 on a knowledge check, you write down your ignorance on the subject (“ignorant about Death God rites”.) From then on, you automatically fail on any checks on that subject.

This lets you collect knowledge like treasure, and randomly fills out your character’s interests. It also lets a good or bad Knowledge check inform further ones.

5 Responses to “Critical hit! On my Religion check!”

  1. Phil says:

    So what happens if you later roll a natural 1 on a subject that you’re supposed to be an expert in? Does it eliminate your expertise (because you found out there’s an entire area you know nothing about), or is it treated like a normal failure (as you attempt to connect some leaps of logic and then fail)?

    Also, the natural 1 rule seems a little harsh – is there any way to ever undo that? Sure, I might not know jack about Death God rites right now, but is there any way to learn about them and undo my penalty – or do I just fail forever and ever about Death God rites, rendering my character completely unable to learn more about them?

  2. Jason Dawson says:

    I like this, but will probably implement it as as a +5 on a nat 20 and -5 on a nat 1. I think that balances better than auto failure. The knowledge specialization concept is brilliant, though.

  3. Rory Rory says:

    A possible remedy to rolling a natural 1 could be tied into the game world. Simply go out and read up on the subject to remove your ignorance! So the next time you find a town you might hit up the local library or go to book-shop.

  4. Elbuagnin says:

    Hey, that’s pretty nifty. I like it.

  5. paul says:

    Or be tied up on the Death God’s black spine altar, while hooded acolytes prepare the Elixir of Joyous Rebirth to turn you into a bat-winged emissary of death. Whether or not you escape, that’s like a master class in Death God-ology.

    Also, the -5 instead of auto-fail does seem more balanced.

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