Pathfinder RPG Reference Document
Pathfinder Reference Document

Skill Descriptions

This section describes each skill, including common uses and typical modifiers. Characters can sometimes use skills for purposes other than those noted here, at the GM's discretion. For a complete summary of all of the skills, see Table: Skill Summary.

Table: Skill Summary
SkillBbnBrdClrDrdFtrMnkPalRgrRogSorWizUntrainedAbility
AcrobaticsCCCCYesDex*
AppraiseCCCCCYesInt
BluffCCCYesCha
ClimbCCCCCCCYesStr*
CraftCCCCCCCCCCCYesInt
DiplomacyCCCCYesCha
Disable DeviceCNoDex*
DisguiseCCYesCha
Escape ArtistCCCYesDex*
FlyCCCYesDex*
Handle AnimalCCCCCNoCha
HealCCCCYesWis
IntimidateCCCCCCCYesCha
Knowledge (arcana)CCCCNoInt
Knowledge (dungeoneering)CCCCCNoInt
Knowledge (engineering)CCCNoInt
Knowledge (geography)CCCCNoInt
Knowledge (history)CCCCNoInt
Knowledge (local)CCCNoInt
Knowledge (nature)CCCCCNoInt
Knowledge (nobility)CCCCNoInt
Knowledge (planes)CCCNoInt
Knowledge (religion)CCCCCNoInt
LinguisticsCCCCNoInt
PerceptionCCCCCCYesWis
PerformCCCYesCha
ProfessionCCCCCCCCCCNoWis
RideCCCCCCYesDex*
Sense MotiveCCCCCYesWis
Sleight of HandCCNoDex*
SpellcraftCCCCCCCNoInt
StealthCCCCYesDex*
SurvivalCCCCYesWis
SwimCCCCCCYesStr*
Use Magic DeviceCCCNoCha
C = Class Skill; * Armor check penalty applies

Skill descriptions adhere to the following guidelines.

Skill Name: The skill name line includes (in addition to the name of the skill) the following information.

Key Ability: The abbreviation of the ability whose modifier applies to the skill check.


Trained Only: If this notation is included in the skill name line, you must have at least 1 rank in the skill to use it. If this notation 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 Untrained section (see below).


Armor Check Penalty: If this notation is included in the skill name line, an armor check penalty applies (see Equipment) to checks using this skill. If this entry is absent, an armor check penalty does not apply.

Description: The skill name line is followed by a general description of what using the skill represents.

Check: What a character (“you” in the skill description) can do with a successful skill check and the check's Difficulty Class (DC).

Action: The type of action using the skill requires, or the amount of time required for a check.

Try Again: Any conditions that apply to successive attempts to use the skill successfully. If the skill doesn't allow you to attempt the same task more than once, or if failure carries an inherent penalty (such as with the Climb skill), you can't take 20. If this paragraph is omitted, the skill can be retried without any inherent penalty other than the additional time required.

Special: Any extra facts that apply to the skill, such as special effects deriving from its use or bonuses that certain characters receive because of class, feat choices, or race.

Restriction: The full utility of certain skills is restricted to characters of certain classes. This entry indicates whether any such restrictions exist for the skill.

Untrained: This entry indicates what a character without at least 1 rank in the skill can do with it. If this entry doesn't appear, it means that the skill functions normally for untrained characters (if it can be used untrained) or that an untrained character can't attempt checks with this skill (for skills that are designated “Trained Only”).