Home > Rules > Core Rulebook > Chapter 4: Skills > Nature


You know a great deal about the natural world, and you command and train animals and magical beasts. Even if you’re untrained in Nature, you can use it to Recall Knowledge about fauna, flora, geography, weather, the environment, creatures of natural origin (like animals, beasts, fey, and plants), the First World, the Material Plane, and the Elemental Planes.

Recall Knowledge

Concentrate Secret

You attempt a skill check to try to remember a bit of knowledge regarding a topic related to that skill. The GM determines the DCs for such checks and which skills apply.

The following skills can be used to Recall Knowledge, getting information about the listed topics. In some cases, you can get the GM's permission to use a different but related skill, usually against a higher DC than normal. Some topics might appear on multiple lists, but the skills could give different information. For example, Arcana might tell you about the magical defenses of a golem, whereas Crafting could tell you about its sturdy resistance to physical attacks.

  • Arcana: Arcane theories, magical traditions, creatures of arcane significance, and arcane planes.
  • Crafting: Alchemical reactions and creatures, item value, engineering, unusual materials, and constructs.
  • Lore: The subject of the Lore skill's subcategory.
  • Medicine: Diseases, poisons, wounds, and forensics.
  • Nature: The environment, flora, geography, weather, creatures of natural origin, and natural planes.
  • Occultism: Ancient mysteries, obscure philosophy, creatures of occult significance, and esoteric planes.
  • Religion: Divine agents, divine planes, theology, obscure myths, and creatures of religious significance.
  • Society: Local history, key personalities, legal institutions, societal structure, and humanoid culture.

The GM might allow checks to Recall Knowledge using other skills. For example, you might assess the skill of an acrobat using Acrobatics. If you're using a physical skill (like in this example), the GM will most likely have you use a mental ability score—typically Intelligence—instead of the skill's normal physical ability score.

Critical Success You recall the knowledge accurately and gain additional information or context.
Success You recall the knowledge accurately or gain a useful clue about your current situation.
Critical Failure You recall incorrect information or gain an erroneous or misleading clue.

Sample Recall Knowledge Tasks

These examples use Society or Religion.
Untrained name of a ruler, key noble, or major deity
Trained line of succession for a major noble family, core doctrines of a major deity
Expert genealogy of a minor noble, teachings of an ancient priest
Master hierarchy of a genie noble court, major extraplanar temples of a deity
Legendary existence of a long-lost noble heir, secret doctrines of a religion

Source Core Rulebook pg. 239

Command an Animal

Auditory Concentrate

You issue an order to an animal. Attempt a Nature check against the animal's Will DC. The GM might adjust the DC if the animal has a good attitude toward you, you suggest a course of action it was predisposed toward, or you offer it a treat.

You automatically fail if the animal is Hostile or Unfriendly to you. If the animal is Helpful to you, increase your degree of success by one step. You might be able to Command An Animal more easily with a feat like Ride.

Most animals know the Leap, Seek, Stand, Stride, and Strike basic actions. If an animal knows an activity, such as a Horse's Gallop, you can Command the Animal to Perform the activity, but you must spend as many actions on Command an Animal as the activity's number of actions. You can also spend multiple actions to Command the Animal to perform that number of basic actions on its next turn; for instance, you could spend 3 actions to Command an Animal to Stride three times or to Stride twice and then Strike.

Critical Success None
Success The animal does as you command on its next turn.
Failure The animal is hesitant or resistant, and it does nothing.
Critical Failure The animal misbehaves or misunderstands, and it takes some other action determined by the GM.

Source Core Rulebook pg. 249
Identify Magic, particularly primal magic.
Learn a Spell from the primal tradition.

Identify Magic

Concentrate Exploration Secret

Once you discover that an item, location, or ongoing effect is magical, you can spend 10 minutes to try to identify the particulars of its magic. If your attempt is interrupted, you must start over. The GM sets the DC for your check. Cursed or esoteric subjects usually have higher DCs or might even be impossible to identify using this activity alone. Heightening a spell doesn't increase the DC to identify it.

Critical Success You learn all the attributes of the magic, including its name (for an effect), what it does, any means of activating it (for an item or location), and whether it is cursed.
Success For an item or location, you get a sense of what it does and learn any means of activating it. For an ongoing effect (such as a spell with a duration), you learn the effect's name and what it does. You can't try again in hopes of getting a critical success.
Failure You fail to identify the magic and can't try again for 1 day.
Critical Failure You misidentify the magic as something else of the GM's choice.

Source Core Rulebook pg. 238

Learn a Spell

Concentrate Exploration

Requirements You have a spellcasting class feature, and the spell you want to learn is on your magical tradition's spell list.

You can gain access to a new spell of your tradition from someone who knows that spell or from magical writing like a spellbook or scroll. If you can cast spells of multiple traditions, you can Learn a Spell of any of those traditions, but you must use the corresponding skill to do so. For example, if you were a cleric with the bard multiclass archetype, you couldn’t use Religion to add an occult spell to your bardic spell repertoire.

To learn the spell, you must do the following:

  • Spend 1 hour per level of the spell, during which you must remain in conversation with a person who knows the spell or have the magical writing in your possession.
  • Have materials with the Price indicated in Table: Learning a Spell.
  • Attempt a skill check for the skill corresponding to your tradition (DC determined by the GM, often close to the DC on Table: Learning a Spell). Uncommon or rare spells have higher DCs; full guidelines for the GM appear on page 503.

If you have a spellbook, Learning a Spell lets you add the spell to your spellbook; if you prepare spells from a list, it’s added to your list; if you have a spell repertoire, you can select it when you add or swap spells.

Spell LevelPriceTypical DC
1st or cantrip2 gp15
2nd6 gp18
3rd16 gp20
4th36 gp23
5th70 gp26
6th140 gp28
7th300 gp31
8th650 gp34
9th1,500 gp36
10th7,000 gp41

Critical Success You expend half the materials and Learn The Spell.
Success You expend the materials and Learn The Spell.
Failure You fail to Learn The Spell but can try again after you gain a level. The materials aren't expended.
Critical Failure As failure, plus you expend half the materials.

Source Core Rulebook pg. 238