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A character's initial skills are purchased with character points. Rank indicates how much training and experience your character has with a particular skill. Between game sessions, you can improve your character's rank in any skill he has been studying or practicing by spending creation points. Higher skill ranks cost more points than lower ranks, so it is best to focus on improving a small number of skills that are important to your character's concept and role in the group.
Some skills are more expensive to buy than others. The point cost of a skill depends on its complexity. The complexity of a skill is based on how much information it covers, how difficult it is to learn, and how much it can impact the storyline.
The first two charts show what skill rank a character achieves based on the number of character points spent.
The third chart shows how likely a skill is to succeed, without situational modifiers, at certain ranks.
|Physical||Mental||Chance of Success|
|Rank||Easy||Average||Hard||Rank||Easy||Average||Hard||Very Hard||Rank||% Success|
Some skills require the player to choose a specialization. These mandatory specializations are indicated by brackets . For example, a character with Ancient Language must choose which race this skill applies to. A character with Ancient Language [Elves] knows nothing of the ancient languages of the dwarves. If he wishes to know the ancient language of multiple races, he must buy the skill separately for each race.
The following is a list of sample specializations.
Ancient Language - Specific race such as humans, elves, or dwarves.
Area Lore - Specific racial lands, country, region, or major city. The smaller the area, the more detail is known about it.
First Aid - Basic medical training. The first successful First Aid skill check on a patient after combat restores 1 hit point. A critical success restores 2 hit points. First Aid can be used to stop bleeding for most wounds. It takes 1 minute per point of damage to apply first aid.
Lore - Academy life, military procedure, law enforcement, hunting lodges, or caravans.
Riding - Equines, canines, felines, feathered-wing or webbed-wing flying creatures.
Savoir Faire - Human nobility, dwarf mystics, merchant guilds, sailors, or men at arms.
Survival - Desert, forest, grasslands, jungle, mountain, ocean, rainforest, or swamp.
Some skills cover a broad range of information and can be optionally specialized. These skills are indicated by asterisks (*). If a specialization is taken, the character gains an effective +3 rank when using the skill in a manner appropriate to that topic, and a -1 rank otherwise.
The following is a list of sample specializations.
Composition - Songs, poems, speeches, chants, prayers, plays, or ballads.
History - Specific race, century, region, or category (such as wars).
Mythos Lore - Mystical sites, relics, artifacts, forgotten spells, or magical creatures.
Performance - Ballet, stand up comedy, opera, parades, formal dances, or religious services.
Physician - Specific race such as humans, elves, or dwarves. The first successful Physician skill check on a patient after combat restores 1d6/3 hit points (round up). A critical success restores 3 hit points. A successful check adds a +1 bonus to a patient's healing roll for the day. A critical success gives the patient a +2 bonus. This skill is required to stop bleeding if the patient has lost a limb or taken a critical hit to an internal organ. It takes 1 minute per point of damage to attend to a patient.
Science - Astronomy, chemistry, metallurgy, or physics.
Spirit & Planar Lore - Sentient spirits, nature spirits, demons, or elementals.
Theology - Specific race, era or region.
Other skills can be purchased with a specialization, with approval from the narrator. For these skills, there is a +1 rank bonus when the situation is appropriate to the specialization, and a -2 rank otherwise.
Skill rank is combined with attribute rank when determining how proficient your character is at a particular task. Each skill has a specific attribute associated with it. In order to determine if your character is successful when using a skill, you must make a skill check. Add his rank in the skill and any situation difficulty modifiers. This is your target number. Roll 3d6, three six-sided dice, and add up the result. If the sum is less than or equal to the target number, your character succeeds. Otherwise, he fails. The greater the difference between your roll and the target number, the more impressive the success or failure.
A difficulty modifier applies a bonus or penalty to your target number. A bonus, or positive modifier, adds to your target number. A penalty, or negative modifier, subtracts from your target number. For example, a difficulty modifier of 3 is a bonus, while a modifier of -2 is a penalty.
|Difficulty Modifier||Task Description||Difficulty Modifier||Task Description|
For example, your character is trying to pick the lock on a door. He has a Lockpicking skill rank of 12. The lock on the door is particularly complex, so there is a skill check penalty of 2. Your target number is 12 – 2, or 10. After rolling 3d6 and adding the dice, you get a result of 8. You have beaten the target number, or "made it", by 2. This means that your character picked the lock quite successfully.
|Missed By||Measure of Success||Made It By||Measure of Success|
|6||Critical failure||1||Solid success|
|5||Complete disaster||2||Noteworthy success|
|4||Terrible failure||3||Exceptional success|
|3||Failed badly||4||Incredible success|
|2||Obviously failed||5||Epic success|
|1||Barely failed||6||Critical success|
In desperate situations, when your character is lacking the proper skill to handle a situation, the GM will allow you to use a related skill with a heavy penalty. The related skill must have a complexity higher than or equal to the skill your character really should be using. For example, you can use Veterinary to administer First Aid, or use Acrobatics when Climbing is the appropriate skill. In either case, there will be a negative difficulty modifier on the related skill check.
New & Modified Skill Descriptions
- Acrobatics (PH) - Ability to perform gymnastic stunts, roll, take falls, walk tightropes, swing on a trapeze, and so forth. The skill can be substituted for DX on Jumping rolls. Reduces the effective distance of a fall by 5 yards. Allows the use of the Acrobatic Dodge maneuver.
- Animal Handling (MA) - Information on the basic care, behavior, and training of domesticated animals.
- Area Lore [Locale] (ME) - Geography and information about a specific locale, such as a neighborhood, city, or country. The larger the locale, the less specific the information.
- Artist (MA) - Skill in the visual arts, such as portrait painting.
- Blindfighting (MVH) - When unable to see, use this skill or the appropriate weapon skill, whichever is lower. Defaults to combat skill at a -8 penalty.
- Bow (PA) - The ability to use bows, such as longbows, compound bows, and composite bows.
- Boxing (PA) - Advanced unarmed combat techniques. Adds 1/5 skill to hand-to-hand damage and 1/10 skill when dodging bare-handed or thrusting attacks (round down). Adds 1/10 skill to Slam, Grapple, Pin, Choke, and Break Free maneuvers.
- Brawling (PE) - Simple unarmed, hand-to-hand combat techniques.
- Composition (MH) - The ability to create new songs, poems, speeches, chants, prayers, plays, ballads, and so forth.
- Creature Lore (MA) - Accurate information about monsters such as orcs, goblins, and cychrii.
- Dialects (ME) - Information on the dialects for all languages that the character speaks.
- Fast Arm (PE) - Allows a person to don armor without assistance. Reduces the amount of time it takes to ready and wear it by 20% per success, down to a minimum of one round per piece.
- Fencing (PA) - Finesse fighting with one-handed swords. Fencing increases Parry to 2/3 weapon skill if a sword with a Thrust attack is used.
- Filch (MA) - The skills of theft, robbery, and holdout.
- First Aid (ME) - Defaults to Physician. Used to halt bleeding, neutralize poison, give CPR, prevent infection, and apply basic wound treatment. After 30 minutes of care, restores 1 hit point per battle.
- Hiking (HA) - Training for endurance travel, including pack carrying and pacing. Increases daily travel distance by 20%.
- Language, Goblinoid [Race] (MA) - The ability to speak the simplistic language of one of the goblinoid races, such as kobolds or orcs.
- Language, Metahuman [Race] (MH) - The ability to speak the language of one of the metahuman races, such as elves or dwarves.
- Literacy (ME) - The ability to read and write one's native (IE: human) language.
- Literacy, Metahuman (MA) - Literacy in all of the metahuman languages that the character speaks.
- Lore [Topic] (MA) - Information on a specific topic, such as military procedure or academy life. This can be used to substitute for savoir faire in social situations regarding the topic at a -1.
- Mounted Archery (PH) - Cannot be higher than the Bow or Crossbow skill. Allows a person to fire a bow or crossbow while riding a mount. Defaults to Bow-3 on a stationary mount or Bow-6 on a moving mount.
- Mythos Lore (MA) - Facts and legends concerning mystical sites, relics, artifacts, forgotten spells, and magical creatures.
- Naturalist (MH) - Knowledge of botany, ecology and zoology.
- Performance (MA) - How to perform in front of an audience in any venue, basics of theater design and production, and event organization.
- Physician (MH) - In addition to First Aid, used to proscribe medications, understand physiology, set bones, and perform basic surgery. When used, the patient gets +1 on daily HT recovery rolls. After 30 minutes of care, restores 1 hit point (or 2 on a critical success) per battle.
- Savoir Faire [Group] (ME) - An understanding of the culture, taboos, aesthetics, ethics, beliefs, habits, and other social aspects of a particular group.
- Science (MH) - A primitive understanding of chemistry, physics, metallurgy, and material science.
- Social Savvy (MA) - The ability to observe a group, adapt to its culture, and quickly blend in.
- Spellcaster's Argot (MH) - A written and spoken language shared by all spellcasters which includes many specialized terms related to enchanting, spellcasting, and magical theory. It can also act as a simple code language.
- Spellthrowing (PE) - Used when casting a linear range spell at a target who is concealed or has dodged, for a called shot, or when positioning a centered effect spell out of visual range.
- Spell Lore (ME) - A basic knowledge of all paths and spells. This skill does not grant the ability to cast them. It does allow one to estimate how difficult it would be to cast a spell with particular parameters, and how much mana would be required.
- Spirit Lore (MA) - Facts and legends concerning plant and animal spirits, specters, ghosts, wraiths, apparitions, and the undead.
- Storytelling (MA) - The art of telling tales; influencing mood, beliefs and opinions through poetry, chant, or the spoken word.
- Thaumaturgy (MVH) - Knowledge of the inner workings of magic. Allows a person to identify paths and specific spells. Spells which are being cast, have been cast recently, or have been imbued in an item can be identified. This skill is also used to translate descriptions of magical methodology into actual casting or enchanting instructions, and to modify or invent new spells. This skill can only be fully utilized by those who can perceive magic.
- Throwing (PH) - Used when throwing an object. Can be used to throw a weapon, but cannot be used at a rank higher than the related weapon skill. Defaults to DX-5 or weapon skill at a -6 penalty.
- Underworld Argot (MA) - A written and spoken code language invented by criminals and other members of the underworld. Skilled speakers can seem to have a conversation about a mundane topic, while actually discussing plans and illegal activities.