The second method for determining what your character knows is to assign
secondary skills. Secondary skills are broad areas of expertise. Most correspond to
occupations that your character may have been apprenticed in or otherwise
picked up before beginning his adventuring life. Secondary skills are much more
general than nonweapon proficiencies. They should not be used in combination with
nonweapon proficiencies, which are explained later.
Every player character has a chance at a secondary skill. Either choose one
from Table 36 or take a chance and roll randomly. A random roll may result in one, two, or
no secondary skills.
Once a character has a secondary skill, it is up to the player and the DM to
determine just what the character can do with it. The items in parentheses after
each skill describe some of the things the character knows. Other knowledge
may be added with the DM's approval. Thus, a hunter might know the basics of
finding food in the wilderness, how to read animal signs to identify the types of
creatures in the area, the habits of dangerous animals, and how to stalk wild
Like the previous method ("Using What You Know"), this method has strengths
and weaknesses. Secondary skills do not provide any rules for determining whether
a character succeeds when he uses a skill to do something difficult. It is
safe to assume that simple jobs succeed automatically. (A hunter could find food
for himself without any difficulty.) For more complicated tasks, the DM must
assign a chance for success. He can assign a percentage chance, have the character
make a saving throw, or require an Ability check (see Glossary). The DM still has a lot of flexibility.
This flexibility means the DM must sometimes make up the rule to cover the
situation, however. As mentioned earlier, some DMs enjoy this; others do not,
their strengths being elsewhere. While secondary skills define and limit the
player's options, they do not greatly simplify the DM's job.
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