For the purposes of making gameplay a bit easier and less punishing, some skills have been beefed up. Because this setting has some peculiarities about it that require certain skills to be beefed up, I will list the skill, the change and why the change was added. Most of it dealing with Linguistics because this is a setting without such convenient languages as "common."
Because in this setting there is absolutely no real common racial languages, language barriers can spring up fast. Humans have no "common," and save for the magical languages (Sylvan, Draconic, Celestial, Infernal and the elemental languages) humans have languages similar to real world linguistics, in that they are very diverse.
Thus Linguistics can be used not only to decipher written text but to understand and interpret spoken words. This is an addition to the current abilities Linguistics skill checks allow.
You can decipher spoken languages that you are unfamiliar with. The base DC is 20 for the any typical speech, 25 for speech where the persons body language is obscured or isn't used or the face is not visible, and 30 or higher if the speakers body language is extremely different or is a disembodied voice. If the check succeeds, you understand the general content of what the person is trying to communicate. If the check fails, make a DC 5 Wisdom check to see if you avoid drawing a false conclusion about what the person says. (Success means that you do not draw a false conclusion; failure means that you do.)
| Condition || Linguistic Check Modifiers |
|Never before encountered language|| -2 |
|Frequently encountered language || +2 |
|Person speaks slowly || +2|
|Person speaks rapidly || -2|
|Person uses visual aides || +2|
|Multiple people are speaking at once || -2|
|*Person is trying to deceive you || -4|
Like any linguistics check you can try again. Interpreting unfamiliar speech typically takes half the time it would take to decipher text since one has access to the speaker, his or her body language and facial expressions ect... to help interpret what they are trying to say.
In some circumstances, Knowledge (Religion) can also be used in place of knowledge (Local) checks to check to see if one knows the local legal customs, and can be used in place of Knowledge (History) for general historical knowledge about the origins of people or distant historical events. Both substitutions are at a -2 to reflect a slightly lesser accuracy, possible bias, or in the case of law, not know local interpretations and precedents.
The reason for this change is because many cultures, Religion, Law, and History are often closely tethered in the same place. Laws are often stored in religious scriptures. Likewise knowledge of historical events is also often stored in religious texts.
This substitution however is purely based on location. Some cultures will have a dividing line between secular and religious practice where as others will not. In areas where church and state are often the same thing, Knowledge (religion) can be used to substitute these specific other knowledge checks.