Secondary Skills

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 animals.

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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