Improving stone sense.

In my home campaign we have been playing a very dwarf heavy game and the question of “improving” stone sense with a proficiency has come up multiple times. I am wondering if any of you have ever house ruled something similar, or if it is better to keep them separate.

Engineering seems like a natural choice, providing similar benefits at a better roll. But that seems to represent more of a profession then a mystical 6th sense. Perhaps something like alertness that adds a +4 to their rolls, plus another +1 initiative.


Assuming you mean Sensitivity to Rock and Stone, which gives +1 to surprise rolls, I would absolutely not under any circumstances give them another +4.

Surprise rolls are on a d6 >.>

The Creating New Custom Powers section in the Player’s Companion (PC page 97) has advice on this, since a proficiency is the same thing as a custom power. An additional +1 bonus to surprise rolls and a +1 bonus to initiative, both only while underground, would be appropriate according to these guidelines.

I’m not an Autarch, but that would be my first try if I wanted a proficiency that improved it.

(Note that this might make you think Sensitivity to Rock and Stone is a weak power, and you’ve be right, because it’s only half a power. The Hardy People bonus to saves is 2.5 powers.)

It could be just as easy as making it literally Alertness, in that they can hear the slightest echo or sense vibrations in stone, and then add the +1 to initiative in lieu of the +1 to surprise, all only when underground.

Limiting it to only when underground may weaken it to around a .75 of a power, perhaps; but dungeons are underground and they have secret doors, so it’s not that much of a limitation in the long run, maybe. Espc. if “dwarf heavy game” translates to “underground a lot”.

If it feels weak (i.e., you’re aboveground 50%+ of the time) throw in a +2 to detect stonework/earthen traps when underground, maybe.

Upon re-reading the class description I am seeing that I was referring to two separate abilities. The ability I think my players wanted to improve was the detects traps, false walls, hidden construction or sloped passage on a 14+ ability. I was thinking of a modified version of Alertness that would grant the +4 to the above abilities instead of hear noise and detect secret door, with a passive chance to detect on 18+. I think the +1 to surprise would make it a bit too appealing at that point, maybe and intuit depth type ability on an 11+ instead?

I see. For that ability, yeah, a +4 would do fine.

In general, taking a proficiency twice qualifies you for a +4 bonus on its relevant rolls. The dwarven trap detection/etc ability is a single custom power (therefore a single proficiency), so giving a +4 to all relevant rolls should fit it fine. Be wary of stepping on the toes of thief classes, though; if you have a dwarven delver in the party, they would need to reach 7th level to have better than a 10+ to find traps.

So now that I say that, I think I’d want to limit it to a +2 to the relevant rolls, and include a different power as well. Perhaps a limited version of the Caving proficiency could be workable to add to this.

Adding in the intuit depth on 11+ seems like it wouldn’t add a lot of power but be flavorful, so I’d be fine with it too.