3e SRD:Skill Descriptions

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Skill Descriptions

This section describes each skill, including common uses and typical modifiers.

Skill Description Format

Skill Name


The skill name line includes the following information:

Key Ability

The abbreviation of the ability scores whose modifier applies to the skill check. Exception: Speak Language has "None" listed as its key ability because the use of this skill does not require a check.

Trained Only

If "Trained Only" is included in the skill name line, the character must have at least 1 rank in the skill to use it. If it is omitted, the skill can be used untrained (with a rank of 0). If any special notes apply to trained or untrained use, they are covered in the Special section (see below).

Armor Check Penalty

Apply any armor check penalty to skill checks for this skill.

[Class Name] Only

The skill is exclusive to a certain class or classes. No character not of these classes can take the skill. If omitted, the skill is not exclusive.

Descriptive Text

The skill name line is followed by a general description of what using the skill represents. After the description are three other types of information:


What the character can do with a successful skill check, how much time it takes to make a check, and the check's DC.


Any conditions that apply to successive attempts to use the skill successfully. If this paragraph is omitted, the skill can be retried without any inherent penalty other than consuming additional time.


Any extra facts that apply to the skill, such as rules regarding untrained use, or if this skill has a synergistic relationship with other skills, or benefits that certain characters receive because of class or race.

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