Actively role-play through an encounter! Articulate the exact steps your character takes, adding in details and color to the story. Get up and act out what your character says and their mannerisms - pretend you are them and faced with the same circumstances. Don't be afraid to be funny, scared, or serious - exaggerate the situation and emotions in order to make a point. What your character plans and says can often be enough for an obvious outcome. We believe GM's should encourage Players to role-play (and possibly grant bonuses to checks - from a minor +1, to Advantage (similar to Superior Luck or Leadership), or automatic success, rather than ONLY rely on the rules of the game to resolve encounters. This also makes for better GM narration. Good role-playing means the characters are engaged dramatically, one of the first steps to a truly memorable experience.
What if I don't have the necessary Ability, skill, trait or power? Remember - part of challenge of role-playing is also acknowledging what you (AND your character - who may not have the experience to make the same informed decisions a player can) cannot do, and working within those limits. Use Feats or Advantage (similar to Superior Luck or Leadership) mechanics to push beyond the limits or rely on raw ability! The GM may allow the use of one of the modifying attributes (as appropriate to the situation) as a target level and require a Full Quality Result in absence of a normal check (assuming the character meets normal requirements). The quality requirement may be less the more role-playing draws out the scene explicitly.
At the heart of it all is role-playing - never let mechanics or rules stand in the way of or superseded good role-playing. Characters should be played using their defined knowledge, mannerisms, and abilities as best they can by both GM and player. Only the GM knows all the factors governing the situation, directing players to apply adjustments, or make them for the players when assessing the resolution.
Learning relies on knowledge, and knowledge has multiple levels of study. Bodies of knowledge are rated on the level of information and understanding they impart. Combining them to search and discover information allows the searcher to use the highest of the levels. If more than 1 is used, each additional source/library of Knowledgeable or better grants +1 on total level used for search. Without technological assistance a character can cross reference no more libraries at once than their Intelligence bonus. In addition to the normal bodies of knowledge, there usually exists Forbidden Knowledge.
Measure of Understanding/Grasp of Information
Primitive: “Humans walk and have babies.” Typical target is DC 5; non-bonus level knowledge> Considered part of Common Knowledge
Rudimentary: ‘Conversational‘ [for language] “Humans walk on 2 legs, have babies, and as mammals have live births.” Typical target is DC 10; proficiency bonus or Lore bonus +2 Considered part of Common Knowledge
Accomplished: ‘Fluent‘ [for language] “Humans walk upright on 2 legs, have babies, and as mammals have live births after 9 months.” Typical target is DC 15; proficiency bonus or Lore bonus +4 Considered part of Common Knowledge
Exceptional: “Humans walk upright on 2 legs, have babies, and as mammals have live births after 9 months gestation, typically raising them as part of a multi-person family or extended social unit. The biological parents pass some characters on to their offspring.” Typical target is DC 20; proficiency bonus or Lore bonus +6 Considered part of Uncommon Knowledge
Mastered: “Humans walk upright on 2 legs, have babies, and as mammals have live births after 9 months gestation, typically raising them as part of a multi-person family or extended social unit. Physical characteristics are based on DNA inheritance, which are typically manipulated in modern society using at-home kits and/or doctor-patient gene-therapy sessions. Parents can be of any gender given modern breeding science, and offspring are designed to be disease and age resistant in addition to physically tailored to adapt better to their target planetary environment.” Typical target is DC 25; proficiency bonus or Lore bonus +8 Considered part of Obscure/Rare Knowledge
Impression: Learning works by impressing new memories into the matrix of information, finding ways of cross referencing the information with everything else previously, and integrating it into current patterns and processes in order to build on it. Normal sapient creatures are good at this one one degree after another. The circumstances around the learning and social aspect of learning also make it easier for new ideas and facts to become integrated.
False-Impression: When the learning process is a memory imprint, a dream addled experience, or magically altered memory it lacks the shared social reinforcement. The most often that memory is used and referenced, the more often the character will notice incongruities in ho the memory got there and its meaning. Sanity checks may be required to persist the knowledge or power gained in this manner. Learning to read and wrote, research libraries, swing a sword in the dark, conjure forth a demon or call upon the aid of a divine spirit guide, or feel a locks tumblers move with your eyes closed. Places, times, dates, these never happened and could make things confusing when reconciling with real memory. Without shared memory of the world at large, the character will learn to question the reality of it and may end up losing the knowledge gained.
[Example Knowledge Block]
Knowledge is broken down by ease of discovery/availability. If nothing is indicated, assume Common Knowledge.