D&D 3E/3.5 Was 3.5 Knowledge Local ever settled?

Minnzy

First Post
So we started a campaign awhile back with me creating a Wizard 7/Loremaster 3 Grey elf. He is meant to be a know it all bookworm roleplay wise but according to the DM and another player I must spend almost 60 points in Klocal to have 1 point in all areas which to me sounded so stupid I couldn't begin to grasp where it came from. Since that time I have looked into it and found a great many people share their belief with all discussions on this to have no answers and ending almost a decade ago. I was wondering if somewhere someone came out with a definite answer because this has actually lead to arguments and a bit of frustration.


I know in some version is specifies a location but this seems to A: Give more detailed information on a successful check than 3.5 books seem to indicate B: Are meant to hold campaigns in which your characters live and die in select areas and C: Seem older than 3.5.


Badly written mess below.


If Klocal is specific to an area (Given my loremaster is in a custom campaign/world makes it even more silly) I argued this scenario: A Cleric, Knight, Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard and Rogue party enter super Foreign city in super far country Z. The cleric speaks up and states the church further up worships the god (Super foreign god), the Knight states this area is ruled by the Noblemen (super foreign Nobleman) the druid seems to love seeing the super exotic animals and tells you interesting things about them, the sorcerer explains how certain things are working and what that glowing creature is in the sky, the wizard already knew all of that plus walks upto a local builder and tells him what's wrong with his design and explains how to make his own buildings while discussing the awesome mountains in the area and how bad that brutal war was 10000 years ago and there stands the rogue, glass eyed and confused. He can't speak the language and looks over his Knowledge local skill and sees his 1000000000000000 points were only spent in 100000000000000 areas and not this one... meanwhile the wizard starts giving lectures on creatures from the highest of celestial plans to the deepest pits of the abyss with his knowledge of 20 planes.
 

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Dandu

First Post
Actually, there's an infinite number of planes, at least one of which (the abyss) has infinite layers.
 

Celebrim

Legend
I settled it by getting rid of it. If you really want to be a local yokel, I made a feat 'Local' that gave you +5 on all knowledge skills as they pertained to a particular small region you were familiar with. Thus, you'd know more about local law, local history, local politics, local persons, local geography, and so forth. Both the Feat and the Skill are what I like to call 'NPC abilities' in that they make a lot of sense to invest in if you are an NPC, but little sense if you are a PC adventurer.

The fundamental idea behind Knowledge (Local) was always bad. Knowledge (Local) overlaps all the other skills. So if it applies to every region in the campaign, it's the only knowledge you need. And if it only applies to one region in a wide ranging campaign, then it's a terrible investment.

3.5 tried to resolve this by having 'Local' kill some of the skills it overlapped with, and then have it apply to everywhere which meant at the least the skill was now badly named since it was really Knowledge (Global). But the problem I had with it is that it still overlapped other skills. For example, both it and nobility told you about people, both it and religion told you about legends, both it and geography told you about lands and customs and their inhabitants. So I figured I'd do it the other way around.
 

Local is one of those skills that could be outright replaced with other skills or just folded right into Bardic Knowledge.

I've never enforced Know(Local) to be for one specific area. All your DM is doing is hitting you with a skill point tax. The only way I could see having a separate knowledge for each region is if the party discovered some long lost continent that no one has seen for hundreds of years. But even then, a few good Gather Info rules and you've got the lay of the land. ;)
 


N'raac

First Post
The rules say:

Like the Craft and Profession skills, Knowledge actually encompasses a number of unrelated skills. Knowledge represents a study of some body of lore, possibly an academic or even scientific discipline.

Below are listed typical fields of study.
•Arcana (ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols, cryptic phrases, constructs, dragons, magical beasts)
•Architecture and engineering (buildings, aqueducts, bridges, fortifications)
•Dungeoneering (aberrations, caverns, oozes, spelunking)
•Geography (lands, terrain, climate, people)
•History (royalty, wars, colonies, migrations, founding of cities)
•Local (legends, personalities, inhabitants, laws, customs, traditions, humanoids)
•Nature (animals, fey, giants, monstrous humanoids, plants, seasons and cycles, weather, vermin)
•Nobility and royalty (lineages, heraldry, family trees, mottoes, personalities)
•Religion (gods and goddesses, mythic history, ecclesiastic tradition, holy symbols, undead)
•The planes (the Inner Planes, the Outer Planes, the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, outsiders, elementals, magic related to the planes)

Nothing I see says Local Knowledge is restricted to a small locality. Nothing indicates that any other Knowledge will provide information on legends, personalities, inhabitants, laws, customs, traditions or humanoids, so if the DM is giving that knowledge to other skills, he is adding to those skills.

To me, Knowledge (Local) incorporates an ability to rapidly get the lay of the land, and quickly know the various details presented as the things those with Knowledge (Local) know, together with a wide knowledge of various locations. History is old. Geography is physical features. Local is the practical ability to be "street smart" in a variety of settings.
 

delericho

Legend
I always treated Know (Local) as a more general Streetwise skill - the character was well versed in the way societies in general were structured and so was quickly able to learn information about a new setting that a more cloistered character would simply miss.

Restricting it to a single named locality is way too restrictive, unless almost the entire campaign takes place in that one small locale.
 

Minnzy

First Post
So many seem to agree I am correct about 3.5 Knowledge local meaning a potential global skill with a successful roll at least. To me any other way makes no sense due to other skills allowing so much more anywhere you go but sadly the fact 3.5 books don't outright state "This skill doesn't have to be chosen for specific regions" to the 2 others it means old/weird sources take priority. Not saying something to them is saying something it seems.

In Pathfinder (I don't know too much about it) I believe it states an ALTERNATE rule for knowledge Local to be region based which given people call it D&D 3.75 shows that even its makers knew it to be global at the time. Given the arguments that previous threads seem to show I thought somewhere down the line Wizards may have clarified it officially somewhere but that doesn't seem to exist.
 


Minnzy

First Post
I think Living Greyhawk used to have specific regions for Knowledge Local. Could they be thinking/remembering that?

That is something I have brought up. Greyhawk and I think another does also which I have conceded. However as I said to them at the time they specify this in writing to which no other 3.5 source I have found does but they take the not mentioning it as it following older sources it seems.
 
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Celebrim

Legend
I'm pretty confident 3.0 Know (Local) was restricted to a particular locality, and 3.5 Know (Local) was not.

I'm guessing that Living Greyhawk predates 3.5, and retained its 3.0 era well defined region specificity.

Both 'Know' lists are in my opinion dysfunctional in their own manner. The easiest way to see this is that both lists have the same keywords (or synonyms for the same keywords) appearing in multiple entries in the list. The only thing remotely well defined in the 3.5 era is which creatures the skill covered in terms of knowing monster specific lore. But even that contains some weird gamisms, like an arcane necromancer knowing nothing about the undead, because knowledge of undead is siloed off as religious training.
 

The only thing remotely well defined in the 3.5 era is which creatures the skill covered in terms of knowing monster specific lore. But even that contains some weird gamisms, like an arcane necromancer knowing nothing about the undead, because knowledge of undead is siloed off as religious training.

Really, this is where the DM needs to fudge it a little. Roll Knowledge A or B, whichever is higher. However, B won't give you as much knowledge as A would.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Really, this is where the DM needs to fudge it a little. Roll Knowledge A or B, whichever is higher. However, B won't give you as much knowledge as A would.

This is a classic case of arguing that a rule isn't wrong, because it can always be house ruled. I agree that a DM would need to fudge a little here to make the rule as written coherent, but if the DM has to fudge a rule to use it, it's not a very good rule.
 

delericho

Legend
Both 'Know' lists are in my opinion dysfunctional in their own manner. The easiest way to see this is that both lists have the same keywords (or synonyms for the same keywords) appearing in multiple entries in the list.

I don't see why that's a problem - it just means there's overlap between topics. And both Know (history) and Know (nobility) should tell you something about royal families. But an overlap doesn't mean they're the same - history will tell you about migrations but not famility mottoes, while nobility will tell you about the mottoes but not the migrations.
 


Minnzy

First Post
Oddly enough I attempted to contact Wizards directly but when making an account I was told my email is in use, when attempting to retrieve my details I was told my email isn't in use so got annoyed and gave up. I doubt many there were really around during 3.5 these days so even that may result in a zero chance clarification.

I am glad at least everyone else seems to be in agreement as to 3.5 which makes me feel a lot better. I'd love more opinions but for now I'll just have to give in and write off local as a dead skill as the DM wishes it to be worthless.
 

In my campaigns:

Knowledge Local: You know who the local ruler is, you know local laws and common traditions and rules. And if you have been to the area before, it might help you instantly find locations that would be common knowledge. It does NOT apply to everything. It is basically a streetwise skill in my campaigns.

Knowledge Religion: You can identify depictions of deities and saints, and know them by name, and what they stand for. You know of local rituals, beliefs and religious festivals. You may also know some things about undead and angelic beings as well. The cleric in my group used this skill to identify various statues of deities, and to identify the use of a golden chariot in a church.

Knowledge Arcana: You understand magical devices, runes and rituals, and can understand how certain magical things work. You can also use this skill for information about aberrations, dragons and magical creatures. Or to identify magical factions simply by their garments. Simply put, if someone asks you if that weird magical thingabob might be dangerous, you probably know the answer.

Knowledge Nature: You know most things about plants and animals. You can use this skill to identify a plant, and figure out if that plant is poisonous. You can also use it to identify animals, know their weaknesses, and understand their behavior. And it also applies to forest creatures, such as Dryads and Fey. If a forest is dangerous, you will know with this skill. For example, a Druid in my campaign used this skill to identify that a giant centipede was agitated due to tremors caused by footsteps. And that if they all walked quietly, they could pass it undisturbed.

Knowledge Nobility: You know the names of local nobility, their customs, and how to properly behave in the company of nobles to the point where you could pass as one yourself. My players used this skill to know what exactly the rules are of a duel between two nobles.

Knowledge Geography: You know the lay of the land, and can use this skill to plan out a long journey, or determine where you are on a map. My players use this skill all the time to plan a voyage across the sea.

Knowledge Piracy: You know the names and ships of important pirates, and any rumors about them. You are also familiar with the practices and customs of pirate factions, and know anything a pirate should know regarding pirate culture. This skill comes up all the time when the players meet a new pirate faction. One of my players knew that the Stoneoar pirates did not like to be called "dwarves", which was considered a terrible insult to them. Good to know.

Bardic Knowledge: You know rare legends, folk stories, ancient myths, and legendary creatures. You may have heard tales or gossip about important people, or special items. This skill does NOT cover common knowledge, only obscure information spread through tales. The bard in my group used this skill to identify a legendary sea monster, and he knew a popular story that a famous warlord was said to have the ability to turn herself into a dragon. But he did not know if this story was really true.
 
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