Sorcery represents dedicated study into the magic taught by the gods. While that study manifests itself most strongly as the ability to better understand and recognize the spells and abilities they grant, those who study Sorcery also learn the underpinnings of creatures tied into their divinity; namely, constructs, outsiders, and the undead. Characters with substantial training in Sorcery can even use and create magic items they could not otherwise use.
Your studies into Sorcery allow you to better identify the creatures related to it. Constructs and undead result from the creation or binding of life to inanimate objects and bodies, respectively, the process of which was divinely introduced. Outsiders are creatures of a similar nature, if a lesser caliber, to the gods, whom many of them serve. You know enough about the basic working of these creatures to recognize what abilities any individual member might have, even those you’ve never seen before. As an immediate action, you can attempt to identify a creature you are facing. The DC for this check is 15 + the creature’s CR. The creature does not have to be alive for you to try to gather information about it, though deceased creatures need to be largely intact.
Special: The Sorcery skill only allows you to identify constructs, outsiders, and undead. If your GM is a nice guy, he’ll just tell you which skill you need to roll to gather information about a creature. As this may reveal more information than they want, they may not tell you which skill you need. In that case, only roll once for all skills; just add your modifier from each skill to your roll and give him all 5 results separately.
Base DC: 15 + the creature’s CR.
- DC+10 and above: You correctly guess everything in the lower success results, as well as every other special quality and attack that the creature has. In a less serious game, you can just ask the GM for their notes and read up on it while everyone else gets into position.
- DC+5 to DC+9: In addition to the information learned from a basic success, you also correctly guess 3 special attacks or qualities of the creature. These are either determined randomly from those you have not yet witnessed or you may ask for further details on one you have witnessed (type of DR if you have witnessed it, type of breath weapon, etc.).
- DC+0 to DC+4: You correctly guess the creature’s type, subtypes, and any traits that would come as a result of those categories. If the creature is sufficiently common you also know its name, and that may provide other information.
- DC-1 and below: You are unable to reach any conclusion that you are happy with. You can not retry this check until you witness one of its special abilities or qualities first hand; sometimes getting bathed in acid jogs a memory.
When you run across magic, it’s nice to know if it is magic that will reveal the secrets of the universe or obliterate your mind, body, and soul. The Sorcery skill primarily deals with spells and spellcasters, though it can be used to identify psionic powers or effects. This ability allows you to identify a spell as it is being cast, identify a standing magical effect, identify magical residue after an effect ends, etc. Additionally, it allows you to learn the spell stored within a spell completion or spell trigger item. However, you must have Detect Magic or an equivalent spell active to learn anything with this ability. The action required for this depends on which spell you use.
Special: The Sorcery skill is specialized for sorcerous effects. It is less efficient at identifying psionics than Psionics, and it is useless for power completion or power trigger items. If you possess ranks in Psionics and your GM does not specify which particular skill you need to roll (and they have no obligation to tell you), you may check both skills as part of the same action. In that case roll 1d20 one time as the base and report your total check result (this d20 roll + your skill modifier) for either skill to your GM separately. Your GM is responsible for making sure that you get the most information from your individual check results.
Base DC: 16 + twice the effect’s level or 16 + caster level for effects without spell level, +2 for each degradation period passed since an effect ended.
- DC+5 and above: You recognize the type of magic (psionics, sorcery) and learn its discipline/school, subdiscipline/subschool (if any), manifester/caster level, and power/spell level (if applicable). If the magic is sorcerous, you also learn the name of the spell or effect so long as you could generate it yourself, you have compelling reason to know about it (stories, commonality, etc.), or the spell has a level less than half your character level (rounded down). If the magic is psionic, you only learn the name if you have a compelling reason to know about it.
- DC+0 to DC+4: If the magic is sorcerous, you learn its school, subschool (if any), caster level, and spell level (if applicable). You also learn the name of any spellor effect so long as you could generate it yourself, you have compelling reason to know about it (stories, commonality, etc.), or the spell has a level less than half your character level (rounded down). You learn no information aside from its type if the magic is psionic.
- DC-1 to DC-5: You recognize the type of magic (psionics, sorcery), but nothing further. Additional checks may yield more information.
- DC-6 and below: You do not recognize this effect and understand nothing about it. Additional checks may yield more information.
A little knowledge about magical theory can go a long way. With it you can attempt to use sorcerous spell trigger or spell completion items even if you lack the ability to normally use the spells within them. Additionally, your skill with Sorcery doesn’t stop there. Sorcery is based on channeling energy through a divine link, and that link can be manipulated. If a magic item requires a particular attribute or alignment to function, you can use that connection to bypass those requirements.
For items with an attribute or alignment prerequisite, this check requires a swift action. Otherwise, the action to use this ability is included in the activation action for the item (often the spell’s casting time). The DC for this check is equal to the minimum required attribute or 15 + the item’s caster level, whichever is higher. If you succeed on the check, the item functions normally for a period of time based on your check result. You may not attempt this check again during any period while it functions normally, and must wait for the item to stop responding to you before you may make an additional check. If you successfully emulate an alignment or ability score, the item responds as if you possessed the necessary requirement.
Note that this ability only activates items that are sorcerous in nature or that require an attribute or alignment. It only covers those portions of the activation. Items that have other prerequisites may not be covered by this ability. Items that have alignment or attribute prerequisites but are not sorcerous requires this ability to be used in conjunction with another skill.
Special: If your use of this ability triggers a cursed item, the cursed item becomes activated and functions normally for you until the curse is broken by a spell, class feature, or similar ability. This indefinite duration replaces the normal check based duration.
Base DC: 15 + caster level, or minimum attribute, whichever is higher.
- DC+10 and above: The item functions normally for you for 1 hour, during which time you can use charges or receive benefits as appropriate without making further checks.
- DC+5 to DC+9: The item functions normally for you for 1 minute, during which time you can use charges or receive benefits as appropriate without making further checks.
- DC+0 to DC+4: The item functions normally for you for 1 round, during which time you can use charges or receive the benefits of it as appropriate.
- DC-1 to DC-5: The item does not function for you at this time. You may make another check after spending another activation action on the item.
- DC-6 and below: The item loses 1 charge or use (if applicable) and becomes inoperable for 2d4 minutes. You recognize the temporary shutdown.