Nonweapon Proficiencies

The most detailed method for handling character skills is that of nonweapon proficiencies. These are much like weapon proficiencies. Each character starts with a specific number of nonweapon proficiency slots and then earns additional slots as he advances. Initial slots must be assigned immediately; they cannot be saved or held in reserve.

Nonweapon proficiencies are the most detailed way to handle the question of what the player character knows. They allow the player to choose from a broad selection and define the effects of each choice. Like the other methods, however, this system is not without drawbacks. First, nonweapon proficiencies are rigid. Being so defined, they limit the options of both the player and DM. At the same time, there will still be questions unanswered by these proficiencies. Whereas before such questions were broad, they will now tend to be more precise and detailed. Secondly, using this system increases the amount of time needed to create a character. While the end result is a more complete, well-rounded person, setup time can take up to two or three hours. Novice players especially may be overwhelmed by the number of choices and rules.

Unlike weapon proficiencies, in which some weapons are not available to certain character classes, all nonweapon proficiencies are available to all characters. Some nonweapon proficiencies are easier for certain character classes to learn, however.

Table 37 lists all nonweapon proficiencies. They are divided into categories that correspond to character groups. The proficiencies listed under each group can be learned easily by characters of that group. A fifth category--"General"--contains proficiencies that can be learned easily by any character.

Refer to
Table 38. When a player selects a nonweapon proficiency from those categories listed under “Proficiency Groups” for his character's group, it requires the number of proficiency slots listed in Table 37. When a player selects a proficiency from any other category, it requires one additional proficiency slot beyond the number listed.

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