Knowledge tests when encountering a new monster

This came up a couple of times in my latest game…
If the characters encounter a new monster unexpectedly, can they make a knowledge check (Hunter/Lore Master/Theologian) to get information about it? Or is this only an option when they have advance warning? It seemed a little strange that they wouldn’t recognize a creature immediately, but on the other hand making a test eats up a turn, so maybe you don’t have time when monsters are bearing down on you? If the later, anyone have ideas for good fictional justifications for why they wouldn’t recognize a monster immediately?

It’s generally up to the GM to decide whether there’s time for this sort of thing. It’s always possible that things are simply too frantic in the heat of the moment to do it. Personally, I allow the players to make this sort of test if they’re in control and setting the terms of an engagement, but don’t let them do so if the encounter is the result of a twist.

The GM can also rule it a Good Idea and just give the info if it seems justified.

Also the character should know a creature that falls under his wises (like Dragon-wise, or even Bloodbark Forest-wise for a creature native to the area [or at least I would give some info]). If the players find these kind of tests important, one of them should write an Instinct about it.

Stay cool :cool:

Like DagaZ, I really on Wises. If they have the wise, they know the basics. And he’s spot on, if they want this kind of info best to write an Instinct.

We have a character who’s Instict was to educate the party with her knowledge of new monsters we encounter. Whenever we encountered a new monster, she would make a free Lore Master check to see what her character new about them. Her result may or may not have been helpful, depending on success, twists or conditions due to failures. Without that instinct, it should probably cost a turn to do something like this.