Tome of Prowess (3.5e Sourcebook)/Appraisal

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Appraisal[edit]

Appraisal is an analysis skill. It signifies an attention to detail that allows you to recognize forgeries, doctored goods, or knockoffs as well as price and identify goods and even share your insights with those suffering from a lack of logic. Those with attention to detail are also those who make good adulterers and forgers of work, so this skill is also used to make objects appear to be worth more than they are. Those with substantial skill in appraisal can even determine the functions of magical objects simply by examination.

Key Attribute: Intelligence

Table: Check Modifiers[edit]
Circumstance Check Modifier Example
Minimal knowledge of subject +2 A second hand or minimal familiarity with subject, a description or very few previous interactions
Fair knowledge of subject +5 First hand familiarity with subject, many previous interactions within the recent past
Substantial knowledge of subject +10 Very familiar with subject, a lot of previous interactions stretching over a long period of time
Distracted and not fully focused -5 Being talked to, using your standard action on another task
Extremely distracted and barely focused -10 Being yelled at, defending against an obvious threat in combat, using your full round action on another task
Rushing a 5 round action to a 1 round action -5
Rushing a 1 round or full-round action to a standard action -3
Rushing a standard action to a move action -2
Rushing a standard or move action to a swift action -5


Untrained Uses[edit]

Appraise Common Items[edit]

When you’re out shopping, it’s nice to not be ripped off by the merchants. You can appraise common or familiar goods and objects. You cannot appraise uncommon, rare, or exotic items untrained. If you spend a full-round action examining an item, you can make a check against DC 10 to appraise it. You gain a bonus to this check based on your familiarity with the goods.

You also use Appraise to see past knockoffs and forgeries (but not forged documents or other non-trade goods). If you exceed the DC to detect the forgery, you learn the real value of the item and know that it was doctored to appear more valuable. If you succeed on the DC to appraise an item but do not exceed the DC to spot the forgery, you learn the false value of the item as set by the forger. You gain a bonus to this check based on your familiarity with the goods.

Base DC: 10, and Special
Check Result:

  • DC and above: You know the general value of the item. If you know the local economic conditions relating to the item, you know its exact value in the market. If the item is a forgery, you know its apparent value as a result of the forging unless your check result exceeded the forgery DC, in which case you recognize it as a forgery and know its real value.
  • DC-1 and below: You do not have a firm grasp of the value of the item. Even though you are not confident in your appraisal, you believe the item to be worth 2d6+3 times 10% (so 50% to 150%) of its actual value, or apparent value if it is a forgery. It is entirely possible to fail the check and still come up with an accurate appraisal, it’s just not a confident one.

Rank 1 Uses[edit]

Appraise Anything Mundane[edit]

You know what you’re looking for, and have a fair guess of what most things are worth. In addition to common items, you can also appraise uncommon, rare, exotic, and one-of-a-kind mundane items. This includes artwork, gems, jewelry, and all of the other pieces of loot that adventurers often find themselves saddled with. Uncommon items should have a DC no higher than 15. Rare or exotic mundane items have a DC no higher than 20 in general, but exceptions may exist. The exact DC for this check is set by the GM, but they should follow the guidelines here. It is a full-round action to appraise objects with this ability. You gain a bonus to this check based on your familiarity with the goods.

Sometimes, you may attempt to appraise goods that are counterfeit or otherwise falsified. These goods have been designed to show a different value than they actually possess. The base DC to appraise them remains unchanged, but meeting that DC only indicates that you have a clear sense of what a true item of the counterfeit's condition would be worth. You do not recognize it as a forgery unless you also beat the forgery DC, in which case you recognize it for the false thing it is and appraise it for its true value.

Some items, like artifacts or poorly-made jewelry pieces with high emotional value to wealthy kings, are fundamentally un–appraisable and likely to return a completely objective measure of their worth (which, due to their value being largely subjective, will be completely wrong). These should be rare; otherwise, this ability is worth considerably less and you should complain loudly to your GM about it.

Base DC: 12 to 20 or (rarely) above, as set by GM
Check Result:

  • DC and above: You know the general value of the item. If you know the local economic conditions relating to the item, you know its exact value in the market. If the item is a forgery, you know its apparent value as a result of the forging unless your check result exceeded the forgery DC, in which case you recognize it as a forgery and know its real value.
  • DC-1 and below: You do not have a firm grasp of the value of the item, and you know it. You are not confident in your appraisal, but believe the item to be worth 2d6+3 times 10% (so 50% to 150%) of its actual value, or apparent value if it is a forgery. It is entirely possible to fail the check and still come up with an accurate appraisal, it’s just not a confident one.

Rank 4 Uses[edit]

Forgery[edit]

Attention to detail can go both ways, allowing you to find or create forgeries and knockoffs. Anything that you can create, you can create in ways that make it look like something official or more expensive. For example, you can create fake documents, make a normal sword appear to be a masterwork one, or remove the signs from a barrel of fish that would indicate its low quality. There is no set time for use of this ability, as it strongly depends on what you’re working on. The DC to detect your forgery is your check result, plus (or minus) some special modifiers that depend on the type of object you are working with. Seeing past forged documents can be done with either an Appraise check, as explained above, or a Perception check against the above DC. Seeing past the forgery to an item’s true worth is covered by earlier appraise abilities, as explained above. If you’re attempting to sell a rare or exotic item for more than it is worth, and the buyer has never seen it before, you should be using Bluff instead of Appraise to sell it to them. Con games aren’t covered by this ability.

If you are working with art objects or sundries, you suffer a penalty that increases as you try to make it look more valuable. For items with substantially inflated market values, like most adventuring gear and weapons, you suffer a penalty for each category improvement you wish to show.

If you are instead trying to forge a document or identifying mark (such as an imperial sigil or an artist's signature), you suffer penalties to your check based on your familiarity. You must have at least glanced at an original to make a forgery of something (otherwise you’re just creating something and attempting to bluff with it), and you must be familiar with the written language if you don’t have a sample on hand to copy.

Base DC: None. Your total check result sets the DC for others.

Condition Check Adjustment
Increase/decrease apparent value of sundries −1 per 10% increase
Increase/decrease apparent value of art object −2 per 50% increase
Increase/decrease adventuring gear category (damaged to standard to masterwork) −2 per category
Forging a document you’ve never seen Not Possible
Forging a document you’ve only glanced at −5
Forging a document you’re familiar with 0
Forging a document you have on hand +2
Forging a security measure into a document (watermark, arcane mark) −3 per security mark
Rushing a job (1/4 the time) −5
Rushing a job (1/10 the time) −10

Rank 6 Uses[edit]

Eye for Magic[edit]

You can tell if an object is magical just by handling it. You may appraise magical items as easily as mundane ones, though you may still not know what it does afterwards. This is a full-round action with a DC of 15 + the caster level needed to create the item. You gain a bonus to this check based on your familiarity with the goods. A successful appraisal doesn’t mean you know what it is, just that you have an approximate idea of its value and power level.

Sometimes, you may attempt to appraise magic items that are counterfeit or otherwise falsified. These goods have been designed to show a different value than they actually possess. The base DC to appraise them remains unchanged, but meeting that DC only indicates that you have a clear sense of what a true item of the counterfeit's condition would be worth. You do not recognize it as a forgery unless you also beat the forgery DC, in which case you recognize it for the false thing it is and appraise it for its true value.

This ability may work on artifacts, but only on ones that you would have a reasonable chance of recognizing from stories or research. As such, it is essentially up to the GM if you can appraise an artifact, as well as what the DC is.

Base DC: 15 + the caster level required to create the item, or Special for artifacts
Check Result:

  • DC and above: You recognize that the item is magical and determine the caster level required to create the item. You believe its value to be 1d4+7 times 10% (80% to 110%) of its actual value. It is impossible to guess its value more closely than that without knowing what it can actually do. If the item in question is an artifact, you learn its name in place of its value (which is probably incalculable anyway). If the item is a forgery and your check also exceeds the forgery DC, you recognize it as such and guess its actual value. Otherwise, you instead make your guess based on the forgery.
  • DC-1 to DC-5: You recognize that the item is magical, but learn nothing more about it. Because you are unable to guess at its level of power, you learn nothing of its value. You still recognize that it is more valuable than a piece of mundane gear, however.
  • DC-6 and below: You fail to recognize the item as magical at all, and guess its value as if it were a mundane item.

Rank 8 Uses[edit]

Identify Magic Items[edit]

You’ve learned enough about items that you can identify them fairly accurately. You can determine the properties of any item you know to be magical, or you may attempt this check on an item you simply believe to be magical. The DC for this check is 15 + the caster level required to create the item, though it can not be used on artifacts. You do not gain a bonus to this check based on conditions, as each item is a custom piece of equipment. It takes an hour to learn the properties of an item, at the end of which you make this check. If you have activated the item blindly with another skill, you may make your initial check for the item after only 10 minutes.

Base DC: 15 + the caster level required to create the item
Check Result:

  • DC+5 and above: You learn every function of the item, and their methods of activation. This doesn’t mean you can use every function, just that you know them all.
  • DC+0 to DC+4: You learn the function with the lowest caster level that you do not yet know, as well as its method of activation. If there are no additional functions of the item, you learn that as well. If there are additional functions, you may continue your identification after another hour and another check.
  • DC-1 to DC-5: You learn nothing about the item this hour, but you may attempt identification again after another hour and another check.
  • DC-6 and below: You’re not sure if you offended the item or not with your poorly thought-out groping and babbling, but it’s probably best to leave it alone for now. You learn nothing and can not attempt further until you gain another rank in the skill.

Think It Through[edit]

Your ability to appraise a situation also lets you talk others through them. You can counter confusion and fascination effects just by talking to those suffering under them. You can not affect yourself with this ability, however, as those conditions detract from your ability to analyze a situation. As a standard action, make an Appraise check against the effect’s save DC + the effect’s level (in the case of spells like hypnotic pattern or confusion) or 10 + the effect initiator’s character level + the effect initiator’s Cha modifier (in the case of supernatural abilities without an effect level). If you succeed on the check, you suppress the ability as indicated in the check result table below, affecting up to 1 target per 2 ranks in appraise. Only make one roll for the round, and compare that roll to the DCs for each effect to see which are suppressed and which are not.

Base DC: Effect Save DC + Effect level, or 10 + Initiator’s Character Level + Cha mod
Check Result:

  • DC+10 and above: You dispel the effect on your targets. This probably annoys whoever placed it on them.
  • DC+5 to DC+9: You suppress the effect in your targets for this round, and may continue suppressing it for up to two additional rounds without an additional check. You must spend a swift action in the additional rounds to keep the effects suppressed, however. At the end of that time, the effects return if their duration has not expired, though you may make a new check as a standard action to suppress them again.
  • DC+0 to DC+4: You suppress the effect in your targets for this round. Next round, the effects return if their duration has not expired, though you may make a new check as a standard action to suppress them again.
  • DC-1 to DC-5: You fail to affect the ability this round, but may try again next round if you wish.
  • DC-6 and below: After accidentally talking them deeper into their condition, you become unable to affect this instance of the ability at all. Any further retries are futile, and you should really find something else to do with your actions next round.

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