3e SRD:Forgery Skill

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This material is published under the OGL 1.0a.

Forgery (Int)


Forgery requires writing materials appropriate to the document being forged, enough light to write by, wax for seals (if appropriate), and some time. Forging a very short and simple document takes about 1 minute. Longer or more complex documents take 1d4 minutes per page. To forge a document on which the handwriting is not specific to a person (military orders, a government decree, a business ledger, or the like), the character needs only to have seen a similar document before and gains a +8 bonus on the roll. To forge a signature, an autograph of that person to copy is needed, and the character gains a +4 bonus on the roll. To forge a longer document written in the hand of some particular person, a large sample of that person's handwriting is needed.

The DM makes the check secretly so the character is not sure how good the forgery is. As with Disguise, the character doesn't need to make a check until someone examines the work. This Forgery check is opposed by the person who examines the document to check its authenticity. That person makes a Forgery check opposed to the forger's. The reader gains bonuses or penalties to his or her check as described in the table below.

Condition Reader's 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

As with Bluff, a document that contradicts procedure, orders, or previous knowledge or one that requires sacrifice on the part of the person checking the document can increase that character's suspicion (and thus create favorable circumstances for the checker's opposing Forgery check).


Usually, no. A retry is never possible after a particular reader detects a particular forgery. But the document created by the forger might still fool someone else. The result of a Forgery check for a particular document must be used for every instance of a different reader examining the document. No reader can attempt to detect a particular forgery more than once; if that one opposed check goes in favor of the forger, then the reader can't try using his own skill again, even if he's suspicious about the document.


To forge documents and detect forgeries, one must be able to read and write the language in question. (The skill is language-dependent.) Barbarians can't learn the Forgery skill unless they have learned to read and write.

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