Streetwise can be more than knowing where to go, who to talk to and what to look for in an urban setting. The most common use for Streetwise is to gather information, but that’s certainly not the only way to use this skill. A clever DM can launch an entire quest beginning with a simple Streetwise check. The PCs may overhear a careless word at the tavern, a trader’s rumours in the market or the vain words of a noble. Streetwise may garnish information but determining its reliability is another matter all together.
PCs trained in Streetwise should have a clear advantage over those who don’t (in addition to the +5 bonus). If the player has provided a clever back-story for how the PC gained training in Streetwise, the DM may decide that certain avenues of exploration are easier than usual to that PC in certain circumstances. The exact nature of any additional fringe benefits is left up to the player and the DM to decide.
As with all skills, Streetwise is only limited by the player’s imagination. If you’re having trouble coming up ideas on how to use Streetwise creatively, here are 10 suggestions that you may find useful.
10 New Ways to Use Streetwise
Perhaps you’re heard of me?
I know a guy
The path of least resistance
Find the criminal element
The best goods for the best price
The fix is in
Member of the Court
Use Streetwise to establish a false reputation for the PCs. This might include embellishing their accomplishments. Of course if you’re trying to avoid detection, spreading false rumours can downplay the PC’s heroics.
You have fostered a relationship with a local guard, merchant or noble. This individual provides useful information in exchange for other services.
You are familiar with crowds and the normal flow of people in an urban environment. A successful Streetwise check provides a +2 bonus on your next Perception check while following someone in an urban setting.
Much like Nature in a wilderness setting, Streetwise allows PCs to find the best routes through an urban setting, including shortcuts.
A successful Streetwise check puts you on the right track to find someone willing to fence stolen goods, sell you poison or contact an assassin.
With a successful check you pick-up regional slang gaining +2 to Bluff check to pass as a local. After making a successful Streetwise check you gain +2 to Insight checks made to identify “posers” pretending to be locals.
Discover the best place to purchase good including food and magic. Determine the going rate for supplies and equipment based on the local economy.
Your knowledge of criminal enterprise gives you a +2 to Diplomacy or Bluff checks when dealing with known criminals on a successful Streetwise check.
Learn of any crooked dealings taking place, including any fixed contests or competitions.
You have spent some time around the nobility. A successful Streetwise check provides a +2 bonus on your next Perception check to notice someone who doesn’t belong.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out all of our Skill Aides, including other entries in the Skill Focus series.