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
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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