Spycraft 2.0 features no Knowledge skill. Any character may make a Knowledge check at any time about any topic. Knowledge checks are made to determine if a character knows something that the player doesn’t (though the GC is within his rights to call for a Knowledge check even if a player does know something, if he believes the character might not). Knowledge checks are called for during simple tasks driven by basic knowledge, such as navigating through an area. The GC may also call for a Knowledge check when the player forgets something that his character has been told, representing the character’s ability to remember things.

Each Knowledge check must focus on one question or simple task. It operates like a standard skill check, except that each character’s Knowledge “skill bonus” is equal to his career level + his Intelligence modifier. This number may be negative.

The base error range of any Knowledge check is 1 and the base threat range is 20. All Knowledge checks are free actions. Even though a character may call for one, a Knowledge check is always passive.

Each Knowledge check gains a synergy bonus from any one skill in the game — whichever skill the GC rules to be most appropriate. For instance, Security grants the synergy bonus when asking a question about common alarm systems, while Drive grants the synergy bonus when navigating in a vehicle.

The DC of any Knowledge check is determined by the complexity or obscurity of the question asked or task undertaken, as shown on Table: Knowledge Checks. With success, the character knows the question’s answer or performs the desired task. In the case of information, the character may then relate the information to someone else by spending the relay time shown on Table: Knowledge Checks.

With a critical success, the character gains more information than he asked for, at the rate of one additional question answered per action die spent. When navigating, the character finds a shortcut, reducing the travel time by 10% per action die spent (to a minimum of 60% standard travel time, rounded up). Other Knowledge check critical success results should follow this same basic pattern of +1 question or increment per action die spent.

With a critical failure, the GC provides the character with false information, or a simple task goes astray (e.g. to the wrong destination when navigating). If one or more characters rely upon this false information when making another skill check, each suffers a –2 discretionary modifier per action die spent.

Knowledge checks made to determine if a character has information may never be retried, nor may they become opposed, directed, team, or cooperative checks.

Task-based Knowledge checks may only be retried with GC permission, and only once every 5 minutes. These checks may become opposed, directed, team, or cooperative checks Skill tags have no effect upon Knowledge checks.

Table: Knowledge Checks
Question/TaskDCRelay Time
Common/Easy (e.g. information about home security systems/navigating through Las Vegas) 10 Free action
Uncommon/Basic (e.g. information about corporate security systems/navigating through London) 20 1 full action
Rare/Involved (e.g. information about military security systems/navigating through Venice) 30 1d4+1 full actions
Obscure/Complex (e.g. information about black box security systems/navigating through Boston) 40 2d4+2 full actions
Presumed Lost/Mind-Bending (e.g. information about gadget-based security systems/navigating through Hong Kong) 50 3d4+3 full actions