Requires training: No
Check: The main use for appraise is in an opposed check against a merchant's appraise skill, resulting in a favourable reaction of up to 30% discount on prices, or an unfavourable reaction of up to 30% additional cost. Some conversations allow for an appraise check to be made also.
Use: Automatic (merchants), Selected (conversations)
The Appraisal checks are covert and occur when the store inventory opens on the player (partially scripted in ginc_item.nss include, partially hard-coded within the OpenStore function). Note that only the player character's Appraisal skill is checked, so giving skill ranks in this skill to any other party members is pointless, unless required for a particular prestige class.
In earlier versions of the game, the Appraise check was partially random. This changed in recent versions of the game, now the check is fixed and works like this:
1) The game checks if the merchant has any Charm or Dominate spell effects on him. This is some junk code leftover from NWN1 and will never work in NWN2, because it is not possible to cast hostile spells like Dominate Person on friendly NPCs, and besides, even if it were possible, it is not possible to affect plot characters. However, if it were possible, the charmed/dominated merchant would get a 10-20 penalty to his Appraise skill.
2) The game checks the player's Appraise skill and the merchant's Appraise skill. The player Appraise skill is then subtracted from the merchant's Appraise skill. There is a hardcap of 30 or -30. The final prices are then calculated according to the following formulas:
nBonusMarkUp is added to the stores default mark up percentage on items bought by player (-100 to 100 - negative is good for player). Effect on selling items is only half of effect on buying items:
nBonusMarkUp = base nBonusMarkUp + nAdjust/2;
where "base nBonusMarkUp" is the default mark up percentage (depends on merchant), as modified by nAdjust/2, which represents half the difference between the player Appraise and the Merchant Appraise (if merchant's appraise is 0, 1 is assumed).
nBonusMarkDown is added to the stores default mark down percentage on items sold by player (-100 to 100 - positive is good for player):
nBonusMarkDown = base nBonusMarkDown - nAdjust;
where "base nBonusMarkDown" is the default mark down percentage (depends on merchant), as modified by nAdjust, which represents the full difference between the player Appraise and the Merchant Appraise.
Note that the hard-coded MarkUp/MarkDown function is bugged, resulting in WORSE "Sell to store" prices if the player's Appraise is too high (in general, once the player's Appraise skill reaches 25, she will get less money for items sold to most merchants). The greater the difference between Markup<->Markdown becomes the less money you get for selling items to store (buying items from stores is not affected by this bug).
The following special aspects of appraise are not included in NWN2:
- If you have 5 ranks in any Craft skill, you gain a +2 synergy bonus on Appraise checks related to items made with that Craft skill.
- Dwarves, including the Gold Dwarf and Duergar subraces, gain an Appraise bonus on stone or metallic items.
- This skill was only added with the expansion packs, not the original game.