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Like Science and Perform, there are several branches of Humanities. The first time you get a rank in Humanities, pick one branch. Your Humanities modifier from skill ranks only applies to checks made in that branch. With techniques, you can access other branches, and use your full modifier in those branches as well.

The branches of Humanities are:

  1.   Religion
  2.   Psychology
  3.   Current Events and Politics
  4.   Arts and Culture
  5.   History
  6.   Geography
  7.   Law
  8.   Linguistics
  9.   Business and Economics

If a check seems to be in two or more categories (such as religious history), then a character with any of the relevant branches can make the check.


Knowledge: At its most basic, Humanities can be used to simply figure out if you know something. This check cannot be retried without the Research technique until you place another rank in Humanities. You either know something, or you don't. Making a knowledge check is a 0SA. See the table: Knowledge DCs to find out the DC for this check.

Avoid Getting Lost: When travelling through trackless terrain, a Humanities: Geography check may be called by the GM to avoid getting lost. If the check is failed, roll a scatter die; the party went in that direction instead. The GM makes this die roll secretly. The DC to avoid getting lost goes up by 1 point for each successive failure.

Purple Prose: With Humanities, you can have a conversation with another character who shares the same Humanities specialty as you without another understanding. Choose one specialty of Humanities while talking (such as Arts and Culture or Law); characters without that branch are unable to comprehend what you are discussing. As the meanings of words in technical jargon are often severely disjointed from their original meaning, a creature with the supernatural Tongues ability (or similar effect) which allows them to understand any language cannot understand Purple Prose. A pair of lawyers with this technique can have a full conversation in legalese directly in front of a Sidhe Lord without the faerie understanding a word.

To use Purple Prose, make a Humanities (your choice) check. This is the DC it takes for someone else to decipher your talking. Once you‚ve made your check, you can deliberately lower the DC by any amount you want, but you can‚t increase it further than your check result. Once someone has deciphered your meaning, the two of you can converse at any length in Purple Prose.


Universal Humanities Techniques:

  1.   Generalize: Choose one branch of Humanities. You can now make skill checks in that branch of Humanities using your full modifier. This technique may be taken multiple times, each time choosing another branch.
  2.   Research: With access to a decent library, the internet, etc., you can retry a failed knowledge check. Each retry attempt takes one hour. If you have taken this technique in Science, you don‚t also need to take it in Humanities.
  3.   Dewey Decimal Training:   [Requires Research] When using Research, you are automatically treated as having rolled a six.

Humanities: Arts and Culture Techniques: All of these techniques require access to Humanities: Arts and Culture.

  1.   Saw it on TV/Read it in a Book: You can use the Humanities: Arts and Culture to make knowledge checks in other areas (including those in Humanities, Science, Engineering, and Arcana), but at a -3 penalty. If the DC is higher than 8, you fail automatically.

Humanities: Linguistics Techniques: All of these techniques require access to Humanities: Linguistics

  1.   Linguist: You learn a language. You may take this technique multiple times, each time learning a new language. Languages available include any used by people in the setting (such as French, German and English in real life „ individual nations or regions may have their own languages); racial dialects (depending on the setting, different races such as elves and dwarves may have their own languages);  ancient or extinct languages; as well as languages primarily used by supernatural creatures, listed below with the other examples.

Language Name

Used By


Very old creatures; certain formal people and events


People who lived long ago. Found in ruins, spoken by very old creatures


Angels, devils


Elves, fae


Dwarves, subterranean creatures


Goblins, Gretchin, Orcs, Trolls


Machines, AI

*Celestial is an extremely precise, exact language with a vast vocabulary. It is said that there is a distinct word for every conceivable object and concept, and no word has more than one meaning. As such, finding a loophole in a law or agreement made in Celestial had a DC of 5 points higher than it would in another language.

â“ Roughly the equivalent of "thee" and "thou." Understandable by modern listeners, who can‚t necessarily speak it fluently. Someone speaking in a modern language to someone who only understands its Archaic form takes a  -1 penalty to Charisma checks.

Humanities: Business and Economics Techniques: All of these techniques require access to Humanities: Business and Economics.

  1.   Business Acumen: Your study of money has made your ability to make a profit more efficient. Whenever you make a skill check for profit (such as Stealth: Off-Screen Thievery or Perform: Performing for Money) you make +25% more.
  2.   Expert Haggler:   [Requires Charisma: Swindle] When you use the Charisma: Swindle technique, you can purchase goods for 20% less instead of 10% less.

Humanities: Law Techniques All of these techniques require access to Humanities: Law.

  1.   Loophole Detector: Whenever making a Charisma check against summoned magical creatures (or similar creatures who have to follow orders to the letter, not the intent) you get a +1 bonus.
  2.   Loophole Knack:   [Requires Loophole Detector] If you are for any reason bound to follow orders to the letter, you can make a Humanities: Law check to find a way out. The DC is equal to 6 + the Intelligence or Humanities: Law of the person who came up with the orders, whichever is higher.    

Humanities: Psychology Techniques All of these techniques require access to Humanities: Psychology

  1.   Behavioural Psychology: You gain a +1 bonus to Perception when using sense motive against humans and human-like creatures.

Knowledge Checks

Various skills (primarily Arcana, Science, and Humanities) allow you to make “knowledge checks.”  These are simply checks to see if your character knows something in a particular field. Regardless of the skill used to make the check, use the following system to determine what you know:

First, find the base DC. To do this, the GM must determine (roughly) how obscure the topic is within its branch of knowledge . So, while “theoretical physics” is a pretty obscure field, it is as clear to a character with a +3 bonus as law or economics is to a character with the same bonus. However, within theoretical physics there are areas that are relatively more or less obscure than others, as with any field.






Common Knowledge






Very Difficult


Extremely Difficult





Then, make your knowledge check using your skill bonus. The check is only a 0SA as you simply find out if you know something or don‚t. You can‚t retry a failed check without either the Research technique or an increase in your skill bonus (such as from increasing in level and placing more skill ranks).

Once you‚ve made your check, you can find out how much you know about the topic. Compare the base DC to your check result to see how much you know. Everything that is more than 2 points easier than your result your character knows “by heart,” without even having to think about it.


You know...


that this branch of knowledge exists, but nothing else.


a few buzzwords associated with the topic.


the basics. A few of the important thinkers in the field, some basic tenants (ex., force equals mass times acceleration)


highly technical facts in the area


things that even most experts don‚t know


everything there is to know. You have complete mastery over this area.

With the GMs permission, you can use other skills to make knowledge checks as well. For example, an ace pilot might be able to make a Pilot check to identify planes because he‚s flown them in the past, if not because he has dedicated book learning on the subject.

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