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You are well-educated and can use your broad knowledge to quickly answer questions or to analyze clues.



You generally use Perception to find clues and Academics to analyze them. If you have access to a crime lab, use the Academics skill to collect and prepare samples for the lab.

Analyze ClueEdit

You can make an Academics check to apply forensic knowledge to a clue. This function of the Academics skill does not give you clues where none exist. It simply allows you to extract information from a clue you have found. The base DC to analyze a clue is 15. It is modified by the time elapsed since the clue was left, and whether or not the scene was disturbed. Success gives you information based on the clue (as determined by the GM).

Circumstances Penalties
Every day since event 1
Scene is outdoors 2
Scene slightly disturbed 1
Scene moderately disturbed


Scene extremely disturbed 3

Collect Evidence ManipulationTools RequiredEdit

You can collect and prepare evidence for a lab. This use of Academics requires an evidence kit. To collect a piece of evidence, make an Academics check (DC 15). If the check succeeds, the evidence is usable by a crime lab. If the check fails, a crime lab analysis can be done, but the lab takes 2 penalties on any necessary check. If the check fails by 5 or more, the lab analysis simply cannot be done. On the other hand, if the check succeeds by 10 or more, the lab gains 1 bonus on its checks to analyze the material. This function of Academics does not provide you with evidence. It simply allows you to collect evidence you have already found in a manner that best aids in its analysis later.

Knowledge KnowledgeEdit

Make an Academics check to answer a question in one of the following fields (which are mostly liberal arts):

  • Art: Fine arts and graphic arts, including art history and artistic techniques. Antiques, modern art, photography, and performance art forms such as music and dance, among others.
  • Business: Business procedures, investment strategies, and corporate structures. Bureaucratic procedures and how to navigate them.
  • Civics: Law, legislation, litigation, and legal rights and obligations. Political and governmental institutions and processes.
  • Current Events: Recent happenings in the news, sports, politics, entertainment, and foreign affairs.
  • History: Events, personalities, and cultures of the past. Archeology and antiquities.
  • Theology and Philosophy: Liberal arts, ethics, philosophical concepts, and the study of religious faith, practice, and experience.

The DC is 10 for easy questions, 15 for basic questions, and 20 to 30 for difficult questions. The GM may make a Academics roll for you, so you don’t know whether or not your information is accurate.


You can also use Academics to help learn more quickly, preparing yourself for a grueling exam by improving your Knowledge or practicing how to open a particular kind of safe with Infiltration. Rigorous studying allows a character to gain one or more temporary Bonuses to any skill check. You must specify in advance exactly which use of which skill you will study in advance. You cannot study any Resistance or Attack skill (including Melee Attack, Ranged Attack, or Finesse).

Studying for a skill check is the equivalent of "Taking 20", so it takes 20 times as long to study on that skill as it would take to use it in the first place. Make an Academics check (DC 20). If you succeed, you gain 1 Bonus on the next skill check you make with the specified use of the skill. If you succeed by 5 or more, you gain 2 Bonuses instead of 1. If you succeed by 10 or more, you gain 3 Bonuses instead of 1. These bonuses last only until after you have made that first skill check, after which they are lost. At the GM's option, they may last the whole of an extended skill check.

You may only study for a single skill check in this way.


Make an Academics check (DC 20) to try to decipher some ancient script, understand a spoken language, or communicate in a language other than your native language. If you succeed, you can understand the general gist of what a spoken or written form of communication is attempting to get across, or you are able make yourself understood with short sentence fragments or body language. A good deal of detail is lost in this way, though, so misunderstandings are likely to occur.

For true fluency in a language, use the Linguist feat.

Try AgainEdit

Generally, analyzing a clue again doesn’t add new insight unless another clue is introduced. Evidence collected cannot be recollected, unless there is more of it to take.

For Knowledge, you cannot retry an Academics check. The check represents what a character knows, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something you didn’t know before. The GM may allow another Academics check if a character gets access to a better source of information. For example, a character who doesn’t know the answer to a particular question off-hand might get another check with access to a library or online database (and could take 10 on that check, depending on the circumstances).


Analyzing a clue takes two actions. Collecting evidence generally takes at least a minute. Knowledge can be a reaction, but otherwise requires two actions.


You can take 10 when making an Academics check for Knowledge. You can take 20 on Knowledge with rigorous research and access to the materials and time necessary to search out information in such a manner.