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Spellcasters may attempt to conceal the fact that they are attempting to cast a spell. This is an especially important skill for wizards, who are all-too-frequently the unfortunate target of mpromptu lynch mobs. When casting a spell, a spellcaster may attempt to conceal verbal and somatic components by making a Bluff check as a move action, to distract any witnesses. Onlookers may oppose the roll with a Sense Motive or Spellcraft check.

Situation DC Modifier
The spellcaster is defiling –20
Spellcraft or Sense Motive
Target is closely observing spellcaster +5
Target knows the character is a spellcaster +5

Casting spells in cities with witnesses can be very dangerous. Lynch mobs, templars and even other wizards generally flock to the scene when someone cries “Wizard!”


Special: To determine how much time it takes to make an item, find the itemʹs price or have the DM set the price for an item not listed. Put the price in bits for non–metal items. Unless you have the Metalsmith feat, you suffer a –5 penalty to Craft checks made to create metal items, and it takes 10 times longer to craft metal items (put the price in ceramics for metal items). 1 gp = 10 sp = 100 Cp = 1,000 bits.

A masterwork component’s price is put in bits regardless of material used (metal or non–metal).


Ancient History

This is a very unusual skill, and the DM should take great care to see that this skill is not treated casually. While most people have heard legends of a better time, to most they are simply disregarded as fanciful mythology.

Knowledge of the Green Age, the Cleansing Wars, the Champions, and of Rajaat is shrouded in mystery and peppered with disinformation. The sorcerer-kings have destroyed most written records of the history of Athas, and what little remains is plagued with half-truths and outright lies.


You are knowledgeable in organized warfare. Some of the aspects of warfare this skill covers are: supervising construction of defenses, supervising construction of siege weaponry, logistics, commanding siege weapon operations, commanding war beetle operations, teaching in the use of weapons and communication through signals and messengers (including the relevant terminology).

Check: Answering a warfare-related question has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions, such as identifying troop types or formations, assessing logistics and supplies, or establishing camps and simple patrols), 15 (for basic questions, such as identifying favorable or unfavorable terrain, deploying simple offensive or defensive troop formations, or establishing scouting parties), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions, such identifying or establishing ambushes, deploying complex troop formations, or coordinating several levels of interlocking strategy).

In many cases, you can use this skill to identify tactics, armies, and battle formations. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the army's Encounter Level. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that particular army, or tactic or battle formation. For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the DC, you recall another piece of useful information.

Coordinate Allies: You can also use Knowledge (warcraft) to coordinate allies. Each creature to be affected must be able to see and hear you, and able to pay attention to you. To coordinate, make a Knowledge (warcraft) check with a DC equal to 15 + the number of allies affected. If the check succeeds, all affected allies gain a competence bonus on attack rolls or a dodge bonus to AC equal to your Charisma modifier. You choose which of the two benefits to impart and must impart the same benefit to all affected allies. The benefits last for 1 round. You cannot use this ability on yourself. Coordinate allies does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Action: Varies. A Knowledge (warcraft) check made to coordinate allies is a full-round action. A Knowledge check to answer a question doesn't take an action—you simply know the answer or you don't.

Try Again: Varies. Retries are allowed when you are trying to coordinate allies, but you may attempt such a retry only once per round. Each retry carries the same chance of failure.

Special: If you have the Field Officer feat, you get a +2 bonus on Knowledge (warcraft) checks.

Untrained: An untrained Knowledge (warcraft) check is simply an Intelligence check. Without actual training, you know only common knowledge (DC 10 or lower).


You can identify a poison's creator just by studying it.

Identify Poison Signature: Identifying the creator of a poison requires a successful Knowledge (local) check. The base DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the manufacturer's ranks in Craft (poisonmaking). Several modifiers may apply to the Knowledge (local) check, as given on the table below.

You can only identify poison created by a character that you know, or know of. If you have no way of knowing the character who manufactured the poison, you are not able to identify them by name, but would still get the -4 DC modifier to recognize another poison made by the same character in the future.

Familiarity DC Modifier
You have identified a poison from this bard before -4
You know the bard personally -2
The bard is from the same "bardic community" as you 0
The bard is from a different "bardic community" than you 2
You have only heard of the bard in passing 4


The ability to read has been outlawed for thousands of years by the sorcerer-kings. All characters in a Dark Sun campaign start without the ability to read or write, and must take ranks in literacy in order to read anything.

Whenever you put a rank into this skill, you can choose to be literate (read and write) or to speak a new language. Note that the ability to speak the language is not required to be literate, nor vice-versa. Common languages (and their typical speakers) are listed below.

Language Speakers Alphabet
Racial Languages
Aquan Water-based creatures Barazhad
Auran Air-based creatures, aarakocra Barazhad
Druidic Druids (only) Druidic
Dwarven Dwarves, muls Davak
Elven Elves, half-elves Rellanic
Entomic Insectoid creatures, scrabs Chachik
Giant Giants Davak
Gith Gith Rellanic*
Halfling Halflings Rhulisti
Ignan Fire-based creatures Barazhad
Kreen Thri-kreen, tohr-kreen Chachik
Rhul-thaun Rhul-thaun Rhulisti
Saurian Jozhals, pterrans, ssurrans Barazhad
Sylvan Druids, halflings Rhulisti
Terran Earth-based creatures, taris Barazhad
Yuan-ti Yuan-ti Barazhad
Language Area Alphabet
Regional Languages
Common (Trade) Trade Language Tyrian
Balacian Balic Tyrian
Draji Draj Tyrian
Gulgan Gulg Tyrian
Nibenese Nibenay Tyrian
Raamish Raam Tyrian
Tyrian Tyr Tyrian
Urikite Urik Tyrian
Ancient Languages
Bodachi Bodach Lokharic
Draxan Ur Draxa Lokharic
Giustenal Ancient Giustenal Lokharic
Kalidnese Kalidenay Tyrian
Rhulisti Ancient Halfling Rhulisti
Saragarian Saragar Lokharic
Yaramukite Yaramuke Lokharic

In addition to the table above, each city-state and Dynastic Merchant House has its own language, although merchant houses chiefly use it in cipher form.


Terrain types affect the amount of food and water available through hunting and foraging. The DC of the check depends on the conditions of the climb. Compare the task in the Player’s Handbook with those on the following table to determine an appropriate DC.

Terrain Type Examples DC Modifier
Abundant Forests, oceans, gardens +0
Fertile Verdant plains, savannahs, swamps, mud flats +5
Infertile Rocky badlands, stony barrens, scrubland +10
Barren Boulder fields, stony barrens, scrublands +15
Desolate Salt flats, sea of silt +20
Void Obsidian Plains +25


Large bodies of water are so uncommon on Athas, that swimming is not a class skill for any class other than for some clerics of elemental water.