Carrilion Loremaster

Everything except the secrets is fine in my opinion. The secrets are too combat-oriented for my taste - boni to attack, AC, or save aren't very lore-like...

I use the following table instead:

Table I: Carrilion Loremaster Secrets
Level + Int Modifier Secret Effect
1 Instant mastery 4 ranks of a skill in which the character has no ranks
2 Item creation knowledge Gain an item creation feat
3 Knowledge Mastery +4 bonus on one type of Knowledge checks
4 Spellcraft Lore +4 bonus on Spellcraft checks
5 Metamagic knowledge Gain a metamagic feat
6 Lore Focus +4 bonus on Lore Checks
7 Natural Language Lore Gain special language lore from the list below
8 Applicable knowledge Gain any one feat
9 Divination Mastery Level of divination spells increases by one less when applying metamagic feats
10 Secret of Magic Detect Magic and Read Magic as constant supernatural abilities

The secret of Natural Language Lore enables the loremaster to comprehend and to communicate with certain animal types or even plants or fungi. The languages of the different animal types are used by normal animals as well as dire, giant and other more rare versions of these animals; even unique ones and those with a different type (like magical beast for example) may be included at the DM's discretion; shocker lizards and basilisks are listed as magical beasts, but could (should?) be included in the list of creatures that understand and speak the animal language.

Table II: Language Lore
Language Lore Languages Learned
Vertebrates Mammals and marsupials, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish
Giant invertebrates Insects, vermin (spiders, centipedes, scorpions etc.), crustaceans
Plants Trees, bushes, flowers, weeds
Fungi Mushrooms, toadstools and molds

Some mammals are agressive to humans, some are afraid of them, some are too dumb to provide useful information and some of the more intelligent animals even like people who talk to them. Some friendly mammals might be convinced to help the loremaster. Mammals typically know their area and what other creatures live near them, especially those which hunt them or which are their prey. Of course herbivores know where their food can be found too. The help of mammals provides a +4 bonus to the loremaster's Survival checks to get along in the wild and avoid natural hazards.

Communication with birds follows the same guidelines as above for mammals. Birds may know more about the area than mammals, knowing the landmarks and more details about buildings. They usually ignore creatures that are neither prey nor predator. The help of the birds provides a +4 bonus to the loremasters Knowledge (geography) checks and to Survival checks to avoid getting lost.

Normal reptiles and amphibians hibernate from fall to spring, they are active only half the year. Snakes and lizards may know of hidden caves and caverns with only small entrances to the surface. If the loremaster searches such places, the help of these animals provides a +4 bonus to the check. Toads, frogs and newts may know what is buried in the mud at the bottom of lakes and ponds. If the loremaster searches at such places, the help of these animals provides a +4 bonus to the check.

Fish dwell in every salt and sweet water except the hottest springs. They may know where sunken ships lie and where treasures have been thrown into lakes or streams. The help of fishes provides a +4 bonus to Search checks in underwater environments.


Giant invertebrates:
If a larger than normal creature has got an exoskeleton like a beetle, butterfly, spider, centipede or crab it is probably in this category. Usually they are of the vermin type and at least of tiny size. Smaller creatures are considered to be normal invertebrates for the purpose of this language lore.

A note for Carrilion Campaigns:
Giant beetles, dragon- or butterflies, spiders and centipedes are not rare on Carrilion. They can be encountered as wild or domesticated creatures in some parts of the island. The elves of the western wood have discovered the secret how to domesticate such creatures and use them as mounts, guardians, beasts of burden and for other labour.

Although these creatures are said to be mindless and without any trace of intelligence, the ability to comprehend them and to communicate with them can be discovered by the loremaster. He can discern what is the current motivation of such a creature and change it, even manipulate and control it to a certain degree. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The loremaster rolls 1d20 and adds his loremaster level and his Intelligence and Charisma modifiers to determine the check result. The typical domesticated invertebrate has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild invertebrates are usually unfriendly. To use this ability , the loremaster and the invertebrate must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an invertebrate in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.

Additionally a loremaster who chooses this secret gets four bonus skill points in the unique class skill Handle Invertebrate, which can be used just like Handle Animal. Normal giant invertebrates are considered to have intelligence 1 for the purpose of this skill. They can learn three tricks or a general purpose with up to three tricks included. The wood elves have bred beetles which can learn even more, as if their intelligence would be 2.

From the time a loremaster learns this secret, he can spend skill points to gain more ranks in this skill.

The plants know what is buried in the ground, which creatures live around them and what weather is to be expected for the next few days. They know what's going on in a surprisingly large area and with surprising detail. If they are friendly, they might warn a party of danger or lead them their way.

Plants are slow in thought and speech, but they may warn the loremaster of fast moving creatures. He should get a +4 bonus to Spot and Listen checks in the forest.

Plants can give directions and help the loremaster in other ways, effectively providing a +4 bonus to Survival checks in areas where plants grow.

If the loremaster searches for an entry to a cave, overgrown ruins or buried treasure, the help of plants provides a +4 bonus to his Search checks.

Of course these boni don't apply, if the plants are not friendly to the loremaster! If the loremaster or his company cut down trees or bushes for firewood or annoy the plants in other ways, they won't help and may even mislead the party.


Fungi and mushrooms:
Mushrooms are the small visible parts of large creatures living in the ground. A large fungus can weight thousands of pounds and have a diameter of many thousand feet. The ability to talk to these creatures should not be underestimated. They sense the flow of magic in the earth and know the passages into the faerie realm in their vicinity. Fungi are the only plants dwelling underground or other lightless places and can help adventurers in these environments.

The help of such creatures provides a +4 bonus on Search checks to find a passage into the faerie realm. In an underground environment where fungi are present, their help may provide a +4 bonus on Survival checks.

If the loremaster searches for an entry to a cave, overgrown ruins or buried treasure, the help of a fungus living in the area provides a +4 bonus to his Search checks.


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