As detailed in Player’s Guide to the Wilderlands, with minor adjustments and significant embellishments on sub-pages.
When making skill checks for historic information, the DC for the check is influenced by two major factors: inherent obscurity of the information and distance from present. Even basic information from the distant past can be difficult to pin down accurately.
Some information is available in different historic periods. The names of major ports in the Imperial period, for example, would be basic knowledge in Imperial times, and uncommon in the Distant period. Thus, a scholar with ranks in Knowledge (history [Distant]) could find this information, even without ranks in Imperial history.
For Knowledge (history), Knowledge (region), and Knowledge (local), and Bardic Knowledge checks the following tables apply.
|Rarity of Information||DC|
|rare or obscure||20|
|rare and obscure||25|
|secret or special||30+|
The following modifiers apply, and stack:
|intimately familiar region (10+ years resident)||- 5|
|unfamiliar region||+ 5|
|unfamiliar district||+ 5|
|unfamiliar plane||+ 5|
|regional/ local knowledge||- 1 per rank (incl. mod)|
Familiarity involves exposure to a significant part of the region in question for at least 6 months, or dedicated study represented by ranks in the appropriate Knowledge (region) skill.
Further modifiers apply to more distant historic periods:
History before the much-debated false date of creation up to the founding of the Empire of Kelnore. Players can never know this history through study absent direct intervention of the Judge (through a god or an ancient artifact). Bardic Knowledge checks are not possible for this time period.
Priests and scholars debate the pre-history of the world endlessly. Most agree that the world was created from chaos and mighty beings, called the Elder Races by some, walked the lands with the gods themselves. Where the Elder Races came from, none know. Tales tell of great wars by a race called the “First Men,” who rode dragons and fought with the Elder Races. Some sages tell of the First Men conquering the Elder Races. Still others say that both the First Men and the Elder Races were subjugated by the mysterious Markrabs.
Whether they were fantastic wizards and elemental beings or travelers from a far off world in ships of strange propulsion, none know. But most sages agree that the Markrabs began what came to be known as the Uttermost War, decimating the dragons, First Men and the Elder Race. Ancient legends tell that the Markrabs built a great fortress in what is now known as the Valley of the Ancients. Still other legends tell of a citadel built by the Elder Race that was abandoned. Some elder sages claim that the City State is built on the ruins of that ancient citadel.
Legends also tell of a great empire, the Empire of Kelnore, which arose and fell in the many ages between the Uttermost War and the subsequent War of the Pious and Philosophers, which ended some 6000 years ago (and was mistaken for the Uttermost War by Ralibarn and his fellow scholars).
According to ancient records, the War of the Pious and Philosophers pitted the devout followers of the gods and wielders of magic against the followers of reason and science. The Pious were the clear victors of this lengthy war and as a result the persecution of wielders of magic ended and there was an increase in the number of gods in the Wilderlands. The war resulted in great destruction of temples, spell books and scrolls by the Philosophers as well as much destruction of machines, tools and crafting shops by the Pious. As a result, there is nearly no record of history prior to this war. Some sages claim to have discovered ancient relics of the Philosophers, calling the strange items “technology.”
History from the founding of Kelnore to the War of Pious and Philosophers (the war that was incorrectly identified by Ralibarn as the Uttermost War) and the Great Dispersal onward to the founding of Viridistan. This history is the stuff of rumor and legend and is unclear even to the greatest Sages. Material detailing this period is lost due to the destruction of records from numerous wars.
Bardic Knowledge checks DC 35+.
History from the founding of Viridistan until the founding of the City State of the Invincible Overlord. This history is available for research by Sages and scholars, but there are many holes in the historical record.
Bardic Knowledge checks DC 25-30.
History from the founding of the City State of the Invincible Overlord untill the Gnoll Times – a time of great destruction.
Bardic Knowledge checks DC 20-25.
History from the Gnoll Times to about 40-50 years ago. Modern history, though not always accurate, is generally known or easily learned by denizens of the Wilderlands.
Bardic Knowledge checks DC 10-15.
This time period covers the previous 40-50 years. This is common knowledge. Information from this period is widely available and usually accurate if concerning the region in which the researcher is inquiring.
Bardic Knowledge checks DC 5.