Languages and Skills


  • Common Tongue (western trade language, native for most characters)
  • Dwarvish (Dialects: Standard, Deep, Old)
  • Elvish (Dialects: High, Drow)
  • Gnomish (Dialects: Lantan, Deep)
  • Goblinese / Orckish (Dialects)
  • Undercommon (Underdark trade pidgin; no better than Accented fluency is possible)

Ancient / Esoteric Languages

  • Abyssal (elder language of demons of the pit)
  • Celestial (divine language of angels and spirits of the Firmament)
  • Draconic
  • Infernal (corrupted language of fallen angels, Dialect of Celestial)
  • Netherese (language of the Old Empire)


Every-Hero Skills
In addition to Everyman Skills mentioned in DF1 (p. 16), PCs should consider the following:

  • All adventurers should have at least one each melee and ranged combat skills. One or more unarmed skills (preferably, one grappling and one striking) are recommended, but not strictly required.
  • Typical ‘Action Hero’ skills (that are often forgotten during character creation, and then sorely missed when needed) include Climbing, Jumping, Running, Swimming, and Throwing.
  • The Observation skill is used to watch someone/something from afar without being noticed; the Search skill is used to actively look for things (secret doors, loose change on goblin corpses, etc).
  • Seasoned adventurers are likely to have one or more appropriate forms of Survival (e.g. Mountain, Underground, Urban, Woodlands, etc).
  • Most characters who have spent time in the city will probably have a point or two in Savoir-Faire (depending on their particular social strata — Church, Criminal/Mafia, High Society, Magical, Military/Mercenary, etc), and/or Streetwise.
  • Other useful social skills might include Carousing, Connoisseur (any), Current Affairs (any), Dancing, Gambling, Heraldry, Intimidation, Merchant, or Sex Appeal, depending on the character’s background and interests.
  • All characters get 1 free point in Area Knowledge, for the place they grew up. Waterdeep natives, or those who have lived in the city for at least 5 years, may take AK: Waterdeep. Additional Area Knowledge skills can be purchased normally.

Dungeoneering Skills
Characters with experience in delving (or who come from the Underdark, etc) might have the following skills:

  • Area Knowledge (Undermountain), familiarity with the layout and landmarks of (the upper levels of) the Deepest Dungeon. Knowledge about deeper levels is more spotty and vague – until the character explores those levels, of course! (This skill may not be taken as a character’s free Area Knowledge – no one grew up in Undermountain.)
  • Hidden Lore (Underdark), the secrets of the Underdark and its denizens (derro, drow, illithids, etc).
  • Hidden Lore (Undermountain), the inside scoop and little-known facts about the Deepest Dungeon.
  • Navigation (Underground), orienteering and navigation in caves, dungeons, etc.
  • Survival (Underground), performing basic survival tasks in caves, dungeons, etc – identifying edible mushrooms, potable water, subterranean creatures by their marks and scat, etc.

Some Additional Considerations

  • Combat perks such as Form Mastery (Power-Ups 2: Perks, p. 5), Grip Mastery (PU2, p. 6), and Reach Mastery (DF11, p. 11) can prevent mid-combat Ready maneuvers when using certain unwieldy weapons.
  • Many spell-casters, though not all, will have one or more of Ritual Magic (or Religious Ritual), Symbol Drawing, and Thaumatology (or Theology) for use in ceremonial magic.
  • Any specialization of Esoteric Medicine precludes the need for First Aid; for a template that includes both skills, you can spend points allocated to First Aid on improving Esoteric Medicine or other skills.
  • Anything that you want to be able to quick-ready in combat (weapons, throwables, potions, gizmos, ammo, etc) needs its own Fast-Draw skill. Putting it away quickly requires a corresponding specialty of the Quick-Sheathe (DF11, p. 11) perk.
  • Any character with any Guns skill may buy the Quick Reload perk for that kind of gun (e.g. Muzzle-loader, Revolver, Breech-loader, etc), which cuts reload time in half.

Back to Character Creation

Languages and Skills

Forgotten Realms: Splendors & Shadow Lex