Scribe (Int; Trained Only)

Decipher Script

Check: You can decipher writing in an unfamiliar language or a message written in an incomplete or archaic form. The base DC is 20 for the simplest messages, 25 for standard texts and 30 or higher for intricate, exotic or very old writing. If the check succeeds, you understand the general content of approximately one page of writing or the equivalent. If the check fails, make a DC 5 Wisdom check to determine whether you draw a false conclusion about the text. Success means you do not draw a false conclusion; failure means you do.

Both the Scribe check and (if necessary) the Wisdom check are made secretly so you cannot tell whether the conclusion you draw is true or false.

Action: Deciphering the equivalent of a single page of script takes 10 consecutive full-round actions, which is a total of one minute.

Try Again: You may not try this check again.

Special: A character with the Diligent feat gets a +2 bonus on Scribe checks.

Synergy: A character with five or more ranks in Decipher Script gets a +2 bonus on Knowledge (arcana) checks.


Check: Scribe requires writing materials appropriate to the document being forged, enough light or sufficient visual acuity to see the details of what you are writing, wax for seals if appropriate and some time. To forge a document on which the handwriting is not specific to a person, such as military orders, a government decree, a business ledger or the like, you need only to have seen a similar document before and you gain a +8 bonus on your check. To forge a signature, you need an autograph of that person to copy and you gain a +4 bonus on the check. To forge a longer document written in the hand of some particular person, a large sample of that person’s handwriting is needed.

The Scribe check is made secretly so you are not sure how good your forgery is. As with Disguise, you do not even need to make a check until someone examines the work. Your Scribe check is opposed by the Scribe check of the person who examines the document’s authenticity. The examiner gains modifiers on his check if any of the conditions on the table below apply:

Condition Reader’s Scribe Check Modifier
Type of document unknown to reader –2
Type of document somewhat known to reader +0
Type of document well known to reader +2
Handwriting not known to reader –2
Handwriting somewhat known to reader +0
Handwriting intimately known to reader +2
Reader only casually reviews the document –2

A document that contradicts procedure, orders or previous knowledge, or that requires sacrifice on the part of the person checking the document, can increase that character’s suspicion and thus create favourable circumstances for the checker’s opposing Scribe check.

Action: Forging a very short and simple document takes about one minute. A longer or more complex document takes 1d4 minutes per page.

Try Again: Retries are usually not permitted. A retry is never possible after a particular reader detects a particular forgery. The document created by the forger might still fool someone else, however. The result of a Scribe check for a particular document must be used every time a different reader examines the document. No reader can attempt to detect a particular forgery more than once; if the one opposed check goes in favour of the forger, the reader cannot try using his own skill again, even if he is suspicious about the document.

Special: If you have the Deceitful feat, you get a +2 bonus on Scribe checks.

Restriction: Scribe is language-dependent; thus, to forge documents and detect forgeries, you must be able to read and write the language in question. A character cannot learn the Scribe skill unless he has learned to read and write.


Hyborian Roads Astenodar