Devils and Dilettantes
To find the valuable nuggets of information you must seek among a library’s vast archives, the PCs must sort through the extensive collections of texts, investigating subtle clues and tracking down hidden leads.
Each library or collection has two statistics: a Complexity rating, which reflects the confusion of the library’s contents, and knowledge points (kp), which are an abstract representation of the amount of information a given collection contains .
A library’s Complexity rating acts a s the DC for a Research check to unravel that library’s clues. A Research check is essentially a Knowledge skill check, though each library details the specific Knowledge skills that may be used for Research checks based on the nature of that library’s specific collection.
A PC can attempt one Research check for each full day of research (from dawn to dusk). Characters who access the library at night can make one further attempt for the period from dusk to dawn. A character cannot take 10 or take 20 on a Research check, but Research checks can be made untrained. Each library grants a bonus on specific Knowledge checks (including Research checks) made within that library, and each full day of research (dawn to dusk) in a library grants a cumulative +1 bonus on Research checks in that library. In addition, up to two additional characters can aid another in research; if an assisting character rolls a 10 or higher on a Research check, the characters gain a +2 bonus on the primary Research check.
Succeeding at a Research check reduces a library’s knowledge points, similar to dealing damage to a creature’s hit points. As the knowledge points decrease, a library reveals its secrets. The PCs learn the listed information when a library’s knowledge points reach various “trigger points,” as detailed in each library. How much a library’s knowledge points decrease depends on the character’s class.
- Bards reduce a library’s knowledge points by 1d12 + the character’s Intelligence modifier
- Particularly scholastic characters, such as alchemists, wizards, witches and other characters at your discretion, reduce a library’s knowledge points by 1d8 + the character’s Intelligence modifier.
- All other characters reduce a library’s knowledge points by 1d4 + the character’s Intelligence modifier.
For every 5 by which a Research check exceeds the library’s Complexity rating, the library’s knowledge points are reduced by 1 additional point. Rolling a natural 20 on a Research check acts like a critical threat. If the researcher confirms the critical hit by succeeding at a second Research check with all the same modifiers (this takes no additional time), the resulting knowledge point reduction is doubled. Conversely, rolling a natural i on a Research check automatically results in failure, and the library’s knowledge points increase by 1d8 as the library’s complexity causes a researcher to follow a wrong avenue of research. When a library’s knowledge points reach o, the PCs have learned everything they can from that library. To learn additional information, they must visit another library or collection and continue their research there.