Atlas Rules Resources Adventures Stories FAQ Search Links
Mystaran librariesby John Calvin
Listed below are 4 categories of book lots. Each category provides a different kind of circumstance bonus to Knowledge checks for characters utilising the library's resources. I'm assuming that most libraries will contain the first category (for general knowledge), and for the purposes of this thread the last 3 categories are of more interest.
General book lot: +1 circumstance bonus to all knowledge checks
Specific book lot: +2 circumstance bonus to specific topic
Comprehensive book lot: +4 circumstance bonus to specific topic
Master book lot: +6 circumstance bonus to specific topic
I'm also reprinting some of the SRD information on the Knowledge skill for quick reference.
* 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)
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (arcana), you get a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (architecture and engineering), you get a +2 bonus on Search checks made to find secret doors or hidden compartments.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (geography), you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks made to keep from getting lost or to avoid natural hazards.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (history), you get a +2 bonus on bardic knowledge checks.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (local), you get a +2 bonus on Gather Information checks.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (nature), you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks made in aboveground natural environments (aquatic, desert, forest, hill, marsh, mountains, or plains).
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (nobility and royalty), you get a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion), you get a +2 bonus on turning checks against undead.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (the planes), you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks made while on other planes.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering), you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks made while underground.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Survival, you get a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nature) checks.
The Libraries stated below follow this format:
Public Collections: These collections of book are generally available to the public (possibly with some fee associated, but with little other restrictions) and should be easy for player characters to access. In addition to that, the library may have catalogues to speed up research time as well as sages on hand to help with the finding and interpretation of information.
Private Collections: These collections are restricted to some private group, and should be difficult (but not impossible) for the player characters to access. Indexes and sages are rarely on hand to help with these private collections, so research times are normal.
Hidden Collections: These collections are never labelled and most likely are never grouped together in a cogent manner. Many of the books that make up a hidden collection are actually grouped in with part of another collection in the library (either public, private or both). Unless player characters know exactly what they are looking for, hidden collections are all but undetectable. Researching through hidden collections always takes more than the standard time.
Collections will be displayed in the following format:
I'll encourage anyone who is interested to post their own libraries (or make comments on what I throw out). Maybe eventually we can stat them all out. Marco has a put together a nice list of universities if anyone needs some ideas about where libraries might exist and what their specialties could be.
GREAT LIBRARY OF GLANTRI
* Arcana (ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols, cryptic phrases) +2: This collection deals with arcane mysteries of all sorts. It has been collected by wizards from the Great School over the centuries.
* Arcana (constructs, dragons, magical beasts) +2: Compiled by the Monster Handler's Guild.
* Dungeoneering (aberrations, oozes) +2: Compiled by the Monster Handler's Guild.
* History (Glantri) +6: There are numerous books in this collection detailing the history of the nation.
* Local (Glantri) +4: This collection provides a wealth of information about the various cultural groups that comprise the Principalities.
* Nature (animals, fey, giants, monstrous humanoids, vermin) +2: Compiled by the Monster Handler's Guild.
Private Collections: These collections are restricted to the Glantrian nobility or to students currently attending the Great School.
* Arcana (Fire) +6: This collection of books was brought to Glantri by Flaem colonists nearly 600 years ago.
* Arcana (Air) +2: This collection was compiled over 200 years ago by the followers of Halzunthram after they colonised the area.
* Arcana (Radiance) +2: This collection is hidden throughout the library, and very difficult to utilise. The books that make up this collection could also fit into the other collections of the library, and an untrained eye might classify them as such. For those that know what they are searching for, these tomes are a prized catch indeed.
* Nobility (Glantri) + 2: The nobles of Glantri are a secretive lot and actively seek to suppress information about themselves from falling into the wrong hands. Glantri's library is huge however, and some rare tomes escape their notice.
LONGRUNNER CLAN LIBRARY (?What's it called?)
Private Collections: The elves are a very private people, and will only allow other elves (preferably Alfheimers) access to their most precious books. Elves from other nations might be able to convince the librarians to let them pass, but non-elves will find this task next to impossible.
* Geography (lands, terrain, climate) +4: This collection is dedicated to the natural and magical geographical formations of the south eastern portion of the continent of Brun.
* History (Alfheim) +6: This collection is a compilation of the history of Alfheim.
* Local (Alfheim) +4: This collection relates information on each of the major clans that make up the nation of Alfheim.
* Nature (plants, seasons and cycles, weather) +6: The elves have a long history of interaction with the natural world, and have accumulated much knowledge about it (both mundane and magical).
* History (Blackmoor) +2: It may seem unlikely that the nature loving elves would have information relating to Blackmoor, but some of their interactions with that ancient culture have remained intact on the pages of dusty tomes.
Private Collections: These collections are restricted to Alphatian nobles and their select designated servants.
* Arcana (Air) +6: This is one of the most prominent collections on air magics in the entire Alphatian empire.
* Engineering (Skyship) +6: Aasla has been the eminent local for skyship construction and has accumulated quite a reference section on the topic throughout the millennia.
* Geography (local) +4: This collection details the local geography of the lands around Aasla.
* The Planes (transitive planes) +2: This collection deals with the stars and how they relate to planar conjunctions and possible planar travel.
* History (Alphatia) +4: This collection deals with the escape of the Alphatians from their doomed world and their journey to this one.