knowledge skill is useless. But giving players knowledge is not, as some people have been talking about this week.
What would be a useful knowledge skill?
One that told you how you knew the information you are being told!
2d6, printed on a card. + 1 if related to your class. +2 if related to a specialty.
2.) You were told by your father. Sadly, this means you are 100% positive about being correct, even though you have the worst possible information. If someone tries to correct you, they are saying your father was an idiot, so they had better not.
3.) You have no idea.
4.) You don't know offhand, but you know a sage who does.
5.) You don't have the information at hand, but you know exactly where to look to find it.
6.) It's right on the tip of your tongue, and you just can't seem to recall it. Spend 1-4 turns engaging in bizarre activities in order to regain your train of thought, which happens if the time is spent.
7.) You learned that in your early years from a book.
8.) Your mentor or teacher passed that information on to you.
9.) One of the basic facts of the field, the information is so common in your studies that you can't even recall how you learned it.
10.) There was an event where you needed this knowledge and for whatever reason got the answer very wrong. You've never forgotten the correct answer again, even to the point of you becoming a minor specialist in the area of study.
11.) You picked the information up last week. It's fresh in your mind and you have the latest and most up to date information available.
12.) You can nonchalantly recite anything related to the topic. Relevant quotes, analysis by experts, pros and cons to consider, it is literally a focus of your study and you are very comfortable understanding it. People witnessing this view you more favorably (+1 to loyalty and future reactions). Smart people have always been attractive.
13.) Eureaka! Something that has befuddled you for ages suddenly becomes clear in the perspective of this new question. You have the answer, but now you're totally focused on your new insight. Optional: gain 1d6 times 100 experience.
14.) This is new! The question for whatever reason has stirred up some new insight. Optional: gain a permanent minor bonus of some sort to some sort of related skill or task.
Adjust as needed (no father and raised by your aunt? You were told by your aunt.)