Skill System


New Skill Acquisition

When and how to make skill rolls

Character Origin and training

Notes about Skills

List of Skills


Characters in role playing games are quite often superhuman. They have physical attributes which make them taller, stronger and more attractive than most of us. So too are they often more competent and well trained. These characters are the creatures of our unfulfillable desires. Well, this is atleast partially true for every game that I have ever seen or participated in. I submit that the game can be quite interesting without making the characters more comic book protagonists than leading figures in a dramatic fiction. Rather than describe a small number of character professions with a set description of skills, I provide a large assortment of individual skills. Each character will then be unique, depending on the character's training and experience. The player may not be free to choose any skill, indeed the game master may define a very narrow range of skills the character can start with given the availablity of training where the given character comes from. I find that it is always more agreeable to design a character than to select a set character type from a list. I hope you do too.

Experience and Skill Points

The general system works like this: knowledge and experience come in the form of "points." To avoid common associations with the term experience points, I will call them SKILL UNITS. A character starts with a set number of skill units, with which to acquire an original set of skills. The exact number will be determined by luck, the class origin of the character and the character's personality. Skill units are gained through experience, but they may only be applied to learning new skills or improving those skills which have specifically been used.

During a game, the use of skills should be noted by the game master. If a skill is used successfully, in a timely fashion and in a manner appropriate to the conception of the character, the character should be awarded one point (often enough to improve the skill by one GRADE. If the skill was applied less well, 1/4, 1/2 or 3/4 of a point will be awarded. These points will be applied to the skill in question, advancing it. In addition, at the end of a given scenario, the character's performance as a whole will be considered, and a number of points will be awarded. A scenario could be a single gaming session, or several if the game sessions are short. A scenario can be considered to be a short story, with a definate end. The characters will in this case end the story in a "neutral setting," where they can continue their existance in a similar fashion as before the scenario began. The scenario could also be considered a chapter in a greater story. The story should reach a point of stability, where the characters can recoup, reflect and apply their experiences to their work. In this sense, scenarios may not be contiguous with gaming sessions at all. Skill units are applied to characters in the gaps between scenarios, when arduous and nondramatic work can get done. Game masters award skill units very subjectively: it comes down to the addition of several factors:

  1. participation, initiative and involvement in the proceedings: -2 completely out of it, -1 a background character, 0 mere participation, 1 active character, 2 lead character, 3 epic character point. Do not confuse this with the relative personalities of the players. The character of an extroverted player should not have an edge over an introverted player. The subjective rating hinges upon the character's presense in the story, given the character's qualities and how well they were manifested. Try to douse the extroverts sometimes and give the centerstage to quieter players.
  2. innovation, creativity, improvisation: 0 to 3 points. This comes from combining several skills in a novel way, or creating a technique that makes use of tools or the situation on hand. This can also be awarded for particularly noteworthy and plot-furthering role playing. If a player uses the basics for a skill they have no training in (spontaneously or through intense need) these points could be awarded specifically: (2 points of Bribery, for example).
  3. experience of risk and grappling with challenges: -1 to 3 points. The classic awarding of points comes from combat situations. If an individual faces a challenge and perseveres, the extent to which they used their skills to their fullest capacity (not necessarily meeting with success!) determines how many points should be awarded. For truly exceptional successes (saving the day through brilliant strategy or luck) could award 4 points. Negative units come from avoiding the confrontation of risks.
  4. dramatic situations: -2 to 2. Characters that face major changes in attitude, great personal success or failure, personal tests or emotional trials, should gain points in this category. A character which should become involved and undergo dramatic scenes, as defined by its personality and dramatic concept. Should it fail to, or worse, to become a blank onto which no caring, tension or crisis can be written, the character should lose two skill units.
  5. other: -1 to 1. These include special and intense experiences that may not relate in any way to the skills and their use, or stories and their development. A character may be present for a miracle for instance, or witness an epic moment in history, be resurrected, discover that they are actually the rightful heir to some throne, etc.

New Skill Acquisition

Each skill has a rating, from [1] to [4]. This indicates the difficulty inherent to the skill, as well as the initial number of skill units required to learn the skill. Skill grades vary from 0 to a maximum of 20.

Skill Grade Chart

Skill GradeDescription Cost to advanceChance of success
0(no skill)----------- 0%
½Familiarity½ Rating 10%
1NoviceRating 25%
2-4Apprentice1 +5% per level
5Journeyman1+Rating/4 50%
6-9ibidibid +4% per level
10Craftsman1+Rating/2 70%
11-14ibidibid +3% per level
15Veteran1+3/4 Rating 85%
16-19ibidibid +2% per level
20Master1+Rating 99%

To these numbers are added:

  1. Special abilities. For each +1 of aptitude due to a personal, family, racial or regional predilection, add 5% to the base.
  2. Bonus skills. For each skill listed in the bonus column that can be successfully applied to the situation beforehand, add 10% to the base.
  3. Bonus Attributes. For each point over 12 of the bonus attributes in question add a 3% bonus.

When and how to apply these numbers:

In a situation in which a skill is to be applied there are 3 ways of determining success:

  1. The situation is not critical, the character has a chance to appraise the situation. In some cases, depending on the difficulty of the situation and the character's skill, no roll may be required:

Otherwise, roll normally. There are modifiers to skill rolls:

Adversarial skills: If one character tries to undo or defeat the results of another character's skill, roll as follows: Undoer's skill - Doer's skill, then multiply the result by 2. This yields the base chance for success. This chance is subject to the modifiers listed above in (2). Example: One character attempts to shadow another through a city. The follower has a "Shadow" skill of 64%, and the one being followed has an "Urban Evasion" skill of 45%. The base chance that the follower will succeed is 64 - 45 = 19, twice 19: the result is 38%. The follower is familiar with this city, though, and makes his "City Knowledge" roll which adds 10% to the roll. The follower must roll 48% or less to keep tabs on the other guy.

Character Origin:

There should be some way to determine the character's origin in society. No single system may be given to determine this by me, as I have no idea what society given gamemaster's will come up with.

Here's some suggestions though:

In a hierarchical society (where there are classes, castes, haves and have nots, etc.) the goods are distributed unevenly. Most people have little, a few people have a lot. Here is a suggestion:

  1. Ruling Elite (the king, oligarchy, trade cartels, dictator, technocratic council, etc.)
  2. Supporting Elite (could be the Religious order, a State Bureaucracy, vaste trading estates, etc.), Courtiers, Foriegn dignitaries
  3. Military, State Agents (possibly two distinct classes)
  4. Merchants
  5. Craftsmen
  6. Freeholder, free peasant, laborers
  7. Farmers, serf / bound to the land
  8. Indentured labor (working in mines, construction, etc.)
  9. Beggars and disenfranchised
  10. Slaves (if there are any)

Set up the percentages of each, in a chart. Next to it list how much relative wealth and support the character will receive in life. This may also make certain types of training easy to rationalize or unthinkable (the daughter of a slave is not a likely candidate for learning to become a diplomat...)

An example of such a chart is:

Starting Money, value of supplies Starting Skill Units
100, any equipment, retinue, servants, etc. 10, too easy a life, elite training
50, all but extravegant items, only gear for one person only 12 unless driven. Excellent training.
20, personal items of good quality15, very good training.
10, moderate amount of ecoutrements13, often of the family trade
5, minimal but sufficient gear12
2, not enough, but important things covered 11
1, some things, lacking badly10
½, a few things, insufficient11
1/10, 1-3 useful items9

The listing of starting money should be multiplied by whatever would keep one reasonably healthy and mobile in a city for a month, though not luxuriously. That will depend upon the basis of the local currency and buying system that the game master decides upon. (I will mention no currency specifically in this book.) The caste structure, and the fractions allocated to each, I repeat, are meant only as an example and should be modified for any given society in which a game is set.

Notes about skills:

Not all of the skills are completely spelled out. This is in line with the basic philosophy of this rulebook - not to make everything set in stone. Many skills will be sketchily described. If that makes you uncomfortable, don't use those skills. They should be fleshed out by the game master in accordance with his or her world, if they are used. For example: under "Diplomacy Skills" there is a skill called

Implements 3 The tools in the trade of a diplomat. These may include special maps and portfolios of information not available to any except people in the highest echelon of power, special dispensations to act on behalf of a ruler, special wards or protections, bonds of state (for purchasing power), etc.

In order for this skill to be useful, the game master would have to decide which of these (or what others) a diplomat would have at their disposal, depending on the skill rank (and prestige, mission) of the diplomat. The skill would determine the ability to acquire such things, as well as the knowledge of how to use them effectively (most likely as a BONUS to the use of other skills.)

Skills that aren't used for a long time, or ever, should decline in their skill rank. This is up to the game master to adjudicate. Languages that are never used, for instance, get rusty and are forgotten. Characters should have to put some of their time into maintaining their store of knowledge and their battery of skills.

Familiarity with a skill requires only half as many points as acquiring the skill normally. A character may become "Familiar" with a new subject in the course of a scenario (forfeiting some of their gained experience at the end). Without formal training, (or atleast a long and concentrated attempt to learn), the skill can advance only as far as fourth rank.

Skill Families group several skills under one heading, indicated by an asterix "*". These cost one skill unit per rank. The family type itself has no inherant skill description, it functions merely as a prerequisite of the other skills, by way of defining the character's overall limit in the discipline. None of the skills in the skill family can reach any rank higher than the skill family itself. Examples are: Combat Fitness for combat skills, The Military Experience for military skills, Guile for clandestine skills, etc. These will be noted clearly in the descriptions that follow.


Where there is an asterix, there is an appendix later.

Explanation of abbreviations:

B: Bonus, PR: Prerequisite (this skill must be at atleast half the level of the skill which requires it), INT= Intelligence, EMP = Empathy, EGO = Sense of self/Self Reliance, AGL = Agility, DEX = Dexterity, CON = Constitution, STA = Stamina, LIF = Life force, (R1-5) = From skill rank 1 to 5

Basic skills (everyone has/may have):

Language: everyone speaks their own language at 10th level, minimum, higher depending on the basic level of education. Literacy requires half a skill unit, the skill ending up at 4 + d6 rank.

Argumentation: everyone has this at a base of level one.

Terrain Familiarity: characters from the county know their terrain type at 8 + d6 rank. From a smaller city, 3 + d6 rank, from a large city, at d4 rank.

Bioterrain Familiarity: One third the Terrain Familiarity.

Culture Familiarity: Base of 2 + d4 for everyone. This is not "high culture," but the fabric of everyday life.

Familiarity with the following:

Every character should have some contacts ( a base of atleast 2d3):

  1. sources of info
  2. assistance or succor
  3. creditor
  4. friend
  5. enemy
  6. exlover or partner
  7. family member
  8. source of business or supplies
  9. competitor or rival
  10. corrupt or cooperative official, bureaucrat, policeman, etc.
  11. business relations or friendship with member of the underworld
  12. as 11 but for "society," ie. the upper reaches of the culture (not necessarily of politic influence.)


Hiding [1] Concealing oneself in a terrain or amongst objects immobilely.

Additional Languages * [2] Speaking other languages, to some extent.

Climbing Free [2] Climbing natural or constructed surfaces without equipment. B: DEX, AGL, STR

Climbing Assisted [2] As climbing free, but with ropes, etc. B: DEX, AGL, STR, Climbing Free

Evasion [2] Moving through any familiar terrain so as to preclude being pursued. B: Erasing Tracks. PR: Stealth

Mapping [1] Create accurate depictions of architecture, terrain and important features

Physiology [2] General knowledge of the health and physical workings of animals. PR: Bioterrain Familiarity.

Stealth [1] Move without being seen or heard. B: INT, EMP. PR: Terrain Familiarity.

Incitement [1] Create arguments, tensions, fights, etc. B: EMP. PR: Culture familiarity

Memorize [2] Memorize (R1-5) text or spoken fragments, (R6-10) epics, odes, long spoken interchanges, (R11-15) complete works of an author or whole discourses, (R16-20) everything heard or read. Analogously, this may be used to memorize visual, stylistic or other impressions (including the use of one particular group of skills - say Assassin Skills, etc.)

Odors [3] Recognize elements in one's Terrain, Culture and Bioterrain Familiarity by smell (for non olfactory-macho races). Higher levels would allow for recognizing subtleties, gaining detailed info, etc.

Sketch [1] The ability to render objects or diagrams so as to be understood clearly by others (or themselves) at a later date.

Geography [2] General knowledge of different types of terrain. For one's own Terrain Familiarity, this skill yields specific knowledge of its natural history and details of its formations/layout.

Cooking [1] Make good food for folks.

Terrain familiarity * [1] One type, such as mountains, plains, river deltas, deserts, snowy high plateaus, etc.

Culture familiarity * [1] Not specifically one locality, but a unity of custom, language, practice and mores. Could be a nation, or a minority within it. It also could be spread out across many nations.

Bioterrain Familiarity * [1] The creatures (animals, insects, plants) which occur in one locality. Mountain Terrain Familiarity is not the same as Bioterrain Familiarity in the Howling Mountain Region. However, one has 1/3 their Bioterrain Familiarity skill rank in any similar Terrain.


Long Distance Running [1] Allows 1/2 Combat Speed movement for one mile per 2 CON. PR: Regular training.

Jumping [1] Jump = height from a standstill, twice that running. This skill will allow fancier and longer jumps at higher levels, as well as a chance at dodging. B: STR, AGL

Balancing [1] Safe movement on ledges, walkways and at high levels across ropes, etc. B: AGL

Acrobatics [2] Flips, rolls, trapeze work, vaulting, contortions, etc. B: AGL

Breakfall [1] Allows falls of up to 3/2 height safely, twice hieght maybe safe, (+20% height/level safe, +33% per level may be safe). Subtract 1 mt from time it takes to get up after falling. B: AGL

Erase Tracks [3] Leave no marks or evidence of passage. At higher level, include scents, and even psychic residues. B: Terrain Famil.

Gliding [3] Using gliders, kites, parachutes or other equipment to descend or catch air currents and move long distances. B: AGL. PR: Equipment and special training.

Skiing [1] Movement over snowy surfaces. Also skating, sledding, etc. B: AGL

Swimming [1] Ability to move far and fast in fluids, to go underwater for a time, to remain in water for a long time. B: STM

Sailing [1] Crew skills, and at higher levels, general control/command of a sailing vehicle. (Other vehicles possible other than sailboats under this heading)

Combat Maneuvers [2] Basic knowledge of manipulating boats, gliders, skis, (whatever vehicle, etc.) in a combat situation. Allows weapons to be used, defense to be maintained, evasion, engagement, etc. cf. 3.619 Pilot Skills

[Horse]manship [1] Riding skills of a horse (or other riding beast). At first, the animal will merely bear the rider. At higher levels, the rider and mount can work together and fancy things may be done. Minimum of R5 to ride a horse/etc. in combat. B: EMP, AGL


Combat Fitness [1] This is a prerequisite to all other Combat skills, be they Combat or Martial art skills. See 3.44.

Weapon Skill * [3] Learn one Weapon Class, as a Primary. [2] Learn a Class as a Secondary or one Weapon as a Primary. [1] Learn one weapon as a Secondary. See Appendix 3.7.

Shield Skill [2] Use a shield to Parry, Ward or Block. Parry deflects a blow, Ward increases armor rating, Block absorbs an entire blow.

Sniping [1] Use of a missile weapon from hiding to strike at long range very precisely. Includes the discipline of waiting.

Indirect fire [3] Use of special missile weapons to fire over obstacles or terrain. B: Tactical Command, Scouting. PR: knowledge of target location.

Big Gunnery [3] Operate weapons that require teamwork and constant maintenance (as siege engines).

Moving Gunnery [1] Use of fixed weapons on a moving platform (as on a ship). This is very hard to do successfully! (Always roll skill to see if the shot can even be aimed.)

Throwing [2] This skill allows objects to be thrown with great precision, whether weapons or otherwise.

Pain Control [2] Normally pain from injuries can cause severe penalties, particularly in the case of burns and some magical attacks. A successful roll of pain control eliminates incapacitation due to pain and halves penalties due to general wounds.

Disarming [3] First a normal attack must be made, then this skill must be rolled, as if against a skill of (3 x DEX as a %) of the opponent. If successful, the opponent's hand held weapon is tossed away, retrievable only in d6 mt engaged, or d2 mt otherwise. B: Hand to Hand.

Hand to Hand [2] Allows hand to hand attacks to be used even when fighting with weapons. Normally such attacks open a fighter up (halving their defence, or -3 whichever is worse.) Such blows aren't severly damaging, but if the skill roll is successful, the attack is made at a +4 roll.

Escape [2] Physical contortions and gyrations allow escape from the grip of tentacles, claws, entangling weapons and the pinning hold of opponents. B: Hand to Hand.

Pinning [3] This skill must be rolled after a successful Hand to Hand attack. It allows, if successful, an opponent to be immobilized (escape is only STR + DEX as a % without Escape skill, multiplied by the square of the ratio in size. Someone twice as large has four times the chance of escaping as someone the same size.)

Taking out sentries [2] From behind, an attack successfully made and this skill rolled, a sentry will be killed. B: Stealth, PR: Familiarity with the physiology of the victim.

Knocking out unawares [4] As above, but the victim may be knocked unconscious without any permanent damage (save a light wound to the head, perhaps.)

Entangle [4] Using entangling weapons, this skill is rolled after a successfull attack. The victim will be immobilized if half the roll is made (legs or wings grabbed). Otherwise, only one limb will be fast, and the attacker can use that to his or her advantage (+2 on subsequent attacks, chance of tripping, etc.) If more than one entangling line is used, the victim's defence lowers by 1/2 or -3 per attacker over 1.

Trip [3] Using either a normal weapon, a Hand to Hand attack or an entangling weapon, the attacker causes the victim to fall. (3 x AGL of opponent is considered an adverserial skill). B: Hand to Hand, Entangle

Evaluate own injuries [2] Know precisely the state of one's own body, if one is bleeding seriously, poisoned, etc.

Evaluate other's injuries [3] As above, for others. PR: Physiology skill of the same rank as the Evaluate skill.

Camouflage [2] Allows Bonus to stealth, evasion, hiding, etc. Requires time and some supplies.

Martial Arts Techniques - nonspiritual

Target Sensing [4] If successfull, and 100% concentrating, the martial artist will sense motion even if unable to see, hear or otherwise perceive it. This allows him or her to attack at 1/2 attack or -5 whichever is worse the following melée turn, and to defend at 1/2 immediately. If the target is attacked, or the martial artist ceases to concentrate, the skill must be rolled again.

Deflection [4] Requires 100% concentration. One missile weapon may be deflected per mt per 5 skill ranks. Only works on arrows, thrown weapons, etc. not bullets. PR. Target Sensing.

Hand to hand combat [3] Allows special hand to hand attacks that do damage as a weapon. Level x = weapon: 1-4: stick, 5-8: small claw or cudgel, 9-12 claw or mace, 13-18 small blade or staff, 19-20: sword or maul. PR: Hand to Hand Attack at same level

Knock out in combat [3] The intention to use this skill must be announced prior to the attack. A successful targeted blow to the head, if this skill is rolled, will knock an opponent out. If it is not rolled, only half damage is done. PR: Knocking out unawares.

Multiple Opponents [3] Normally full defense occurs only against one opponent, against others from the front and sides, one half, from behind one fourth. This skill adds one opponent per 3 levels, as long as the skill roll is made (once per engagement.)

Breaking [3] Requires d3 mt of preparation. An attack is made, if against a particular weapon or piece of arm of an opponent. If attack and skill roll are successfull, the object will break (subtract 10% per hardness number). If a failure, martial artist suffers a light wound.

Multiple Attack [4] Allows more than one identical strike (or parry) with a given weapon or weapons (if more than one weapon is held.) Such attacks occur with only 2/3 attack and defense bonuses, or -2 whichever penalty is greater. Number of attacks depends upon the DEX of the character: 12-15 = two, 16-18 = three, 19-21 = four, 22 and up = five.

Directing Opponent [4] This skill depends on a prior Feint or Hand to Hand attack being effective, and this skill being rolled despite an antagonistic skill of the opponent's (DEX + attack bonus) * 3 as a %. If all this is successfull, the victim's next attack can be directed as an attack on anyone within the victim's reach, including the victim him/herself! This attack is made at +1 per 3 levels of Directing Opponent skill.

Drawstrike [3] No roll required: The drawing of a weapon is done in such a way as to allow an immediate attack. This is faster than normal (prepare a weapon, next mt use it.) It also allows for surprise attacks, if the skill is rolled.

Hardening [2] Body becomes hard, functions as a real weapon. At lower levels, a fist might function as a cudgel, later as a club, and finally as a hammer. P.R. Hand to hand combat, CON 14.

Military Skills

The Military Experience * [1] Special skill success chance : 30% + 10% per level. This skill is a prerequisite for all military skills, and forms the maximum skill level of any individual skill in this category. It encompasses experience in organized military institutions, working in them: their beauracracy, supply management, rank and discipline as well as black markets, politics and subterfuge.

Warfare [1] Organized and sustained campaigns. Maneuvers, supply use and rationing, communications, field law, sustained discipline under difficult situations, managing intelligence, and so forth.

Occupation [2] Techniques for holding enemy territory, subverting resistence, encouraging collaborators, systematic looting and economic undermining, infiltration and spying, enforcing law of held territory and maintaining discipline. PR. Warfare.

Sentry [1] Where to post them, how to be one (staying alert and alive on duty, best positions and techniques) perimeter defense tactics.

"Erase" Battle [3] Cleaning up after a skirmish. If not erasing signs that anything occured (which may be impossible), at least leaving ambiguous remains. Thus, a scout will into be able to know what forces met, how many there were, when it occured, and so forth (all of this information is of course valuable to one's opponents.) B: Terrain familiarity.

Leadership [2] Call upon others to do one's bidding and guage (1) whether they will in terms of loyalty and ability, (2) what the limitations of those led are, (3) when the leadership is effective and how to adapt it. This ability involves using oratory as well as manipulation, while at the same time using keen observation. B: Cultural Familiarity (of the troops), Empathy.

Synchronize/Coordinate [3] Organize distant simultaneous actions: rendezvous, distractions, coordinated troop movements and so forth. PR: Signals & Battle Communications

Mining [2] Setting and patterning antipersonnel / vehicle devices. Either mining devices must be available or traps and booby traps can be set. B: Terrain familiarity.

Mine Removal [3] Finding and disarming of traps, mines and stationary passive defenses. Tools are usually required.

Trenching [1] Carving terrain for use in defense against direct missile fire, holding a line and so forth. Combined with camouflage, this may hide troops. Finally, combined with mystical tools and knowledge, the 'trenches' may be designed on spiritual lines rather than physical and provide defense against direct magical assault and detection.

Bivouac [2] Isolated, fortified and tactically defensible encampment for any number of troops. PR: Terrain Familiarity, Sentry. B: Trenching.

Troop Movement [2] Movement of a large number of troops quickly and safely. Requires supply line management, communications, running scouts, etc. PR: Strategic Command, Supply Management

Triage [2] Immediately ascertain the status of a wounded man: will live, may live, will die. B: Physiology.

Siege [3] Wage and maintain an assault on a fortified position. Requires advanced supply line management when it is undertaken in enemy territory, as well as the use of indirect or magical weapons. PR: Bivouac, L5 Supply Management for a force of under 100, L10 for forces of several hundred soldiers or more.

Supply Management [2] Acquire, transport safely and distribute supplies for a military force. Guage needs and possible environmental hardships, etc. This includes not only food and drink, but ammunition, spare weapons, repair materials for upkeep of vehicles and armor and so forth. PR: Warfare

Tactical command [2] Control and deploy groups of soldiers on the level of a squad (ie. less than 4 soldiers times the level of the skill). Provided that discipline and training are good, the tactical command can do the following (a). Increase the effectiveness of the entire team (by +1 per 3 levels of commander, where oppropriate), (b). quickly communicate vital information to all (capable) operatives, (c). Reduce the potential for surprise and mistakes within the operation. B: Leadership, PR: well trained team under the leadership of the commander. Must be under the persons command a minimum of 13 weeks - level of commander/2.

Strategic command [3] Control and deploy soldiers on an entire battlefield or over multiple battlefields. Allows the bonuses of the strategic commander (Leadership, Warfare experience, Terrain Familiarity, Diplomacy, Tactical Command) to be transferred to the entire body of troops. When communication is limited, tactical commanders are needed as conduits of this experience. PR: Remote Leadership, L10 Warefare, Terrain skills/knowledge, B: Guage and Alter Morale

Remote leadership [3] The capacity to lead either a squad or an army from afar. PR: Signals and battle communication, at 1/4 level of the remote leadership.

Signals and battle communication [1] The reading and sending of signals for controlling fighting units. This includes intercepting others' communications, using signals to mislead, developing codes and subterfuge in message passing and so on. This is a prerequisite for several kinds of Military Intelligence, see below. PR: Warfare.

Terrain skills/knowledge [3] Knowledge of uses of terrain for military purposes. Sea, Swamp, Desert, Jungle, etc. Allows for bonusses in literaly all military skills. PR: Terrain familiarity, B: Relevant Bioterrain Familiarity. One new terrain that one is familiar with may be made 'skillful' per 3 levels. This skill will add a +1 bonus per 3 levels to all appropriate actions in the terrain, and +1 per 5 levels to defense in combat in these areas.

Scouting [3] Reconnaissance of a particular region: learn terrain information that can be useful to a strategic commander, positions of enemy troops, fortifications, sentries, equipment and supplies, possible targets and so forth. PR: Evasion, Warfare B: Terrain familiarity, Cultural Familiarity.

Military Intelligence [4] Deduction of enemy actions and reactions, preventing or sending infiltrators, enticing collaborators or traitors and managing them, codes, intercepting and decoding communications, decoying, counterintelligence, etc. While any character can undertake these things, a successful role here indicates they have been done well: This will indicate that the action was effective, if not to say 100% successful. Clandestine business is not so clear cut, as it doesn't end at any given point. PR: L5 Warfare, Signalling and battle communications where appropriate.

Guage/Alter Morale [3] Know the morale of one's own or enemy troops and how to weaken it. PR: L10 Military Experience.

Diplomacy Skills

Adapt [2] Learn the structure and nuance of other cultures quickly: This will reduce the time that it will take to get cultural familiarity which is very often a PR. in this skill bracket. It will also very quickly get one to the point where one understands taboos, sympathies and antipathies of a new culture. PR: Cultural familiarity of atleast two cultures. Speed of acquiring new familiarity is equivalent of one point of familiarity per 21 days - level of diplomat.

Bargain [3] Change prices of goods and deals up to +/- 5% (2% additional per level over). Also, notice others marking things up and possibly override their bargaining ability. Counterbidding capabilities, playing to a customers fears or weaknesses, etc. B: Cultural Familiarity.

Ettiquette [1] Learn the subtleties of high society. Bonus for dealings with them. Notice when one is being snubbed in with subtlety, and how others hold you in their esteem. PR: Cultural Familiarity, B: Language skill, Oratory.

Economics [3] The system of largescale monetary dynamics. Guage the direction and situation of businesses (in terms of general sectors), governments, markets, resources, political action on economic matters based on history and personalities, the regional value of craftsmen and industries, and so forth.

Communication [2] Special devices, means and methods of long range communication, either secret or overt. Includes codes and hidden compartments, traps and self destroying stationary, etc. Success allows the diplomat's expertise to be valuable far away, or someone's skills far away to aid the diplomat.

Implements [3] The tools in the trade of a diplomat. These may include special maps and portfolios of information not available to any except people in the highest echelon of power, special dispensations to act on behalf of a ruler, special wards or protections, bonds of state (for purchasing power), etc.

Legal Systems [1] Allows court processes and rights to be bargained and performed in foriegn lands. This is important for business between polities and also defending one's own subjects that run afoul of other nations' laws.

Mob Perception [4] Understand the sentiment and ideas of whole regions, cities and countries. This is useful in guaging the status of political contacts, the direction politics will take, and so forth. PR: Personal Assessment, Cultural Familiarity.

Negociations [3] Allows tense situations to be resolved rationally: compromise, cease fires, prisoner exchanges and even treaties might result. This is not so much an art of persuasion as that of getting parties to bargain with each other on the basis of Machiavellian self interest rather than based on the heat of conflict. PR: Personal Assessment, Deduce Conflict, Cultural Familiarity. B: Induce Trust.

Bureaucracy/Protocol [1] Manage and perform the myriad duties of national and international red tape. Can give bonusses to other skills or penalties if it is not detected and carried out. Generally this is a very mundane process. PR: Cultural Familiarity.

Personal Assessment [3] Allows the character, temperment, reactions and reliability of individuals to be determined. Also, others' assessment skills may be mislead.

Induce Trust [3] Bring others to trust you. It is useful when representing the interests of others and gives bonuses to the strength of relations established, etc. B: Cultural Familiarity

Political Alliance [3] Form alliances and treaties, sense whether others have, establish agreements with foreign powers or disrupt others' agreements, assess how far the other party will go in honoring the agreement. PR: Negociations

Sense Trust [3] Determine the bonds of loyalty through observation. PR: Personal Assessment, Cultural Familiarity

Seduction [2] Allows sensual or ideological seduction to the end of swaying opinion, inducing trust or loyalty. Can be used later as a means of blackmail, contact or control. B: Woo, argumentation and Oratory.

Political Situations [4] Knowledge of political machinery, causes and effects of different political events and processes, determining them from history, current events, known tensions and experience. PR: Political Alliance, Cultural Familiarity, Mob Perception

Deduce Conflict [2] From observing a culture one is familiar with, especially when there is a high level of conflict: determine what the conflict is really about. This may actually go deeper than the population of a region/city/country actually suspect themselves; for instance, they may be being manipulated and goaded on. This information is very useful as intelligence, material to use in resolving the conflict or making use of it. PR: Mob Perception, Cultural Familiarity


Guile * All spies must have the savvy to remain constantly on their guard and aware of all others that are not. This is a prerequisite to all skills in this category.

Composure [3] The ability to resist torture, suggestion, seduction, manipulation and any circumstance of coersion in which a "slip" might be made.

Torture [2] The use of torture to extract information or compliance (momentary) from someone. B: Interrogate

Intimidate [1] The application of torture or threats to coerce someone into an act they would normally be opposed to.

Dependence [1] A reverse form of intimidation in which someone becomes afraid of the consequences of NOT relying on the character. This skill is used for blackmail, slavery, longterm control of agents and operatives, and so on.

Terrify [3] The victim becomes completely dependent on the character, doing only what they are instructed and compelled to do. PR. Dependence, Intimidate.

Interrogate [3] The use of questioning, in either brief or long interchanges, obviously an interrogation or casual conversation, to ascertain what someone knows and feels. This is a subtle art which allows the interrogator to interpret little clues and reconstruct what someone is and is not saying.

Escape [2] Breaking out of physical binds such as chains, or out of small spaces, such as cells or cages. PR: Picklock (when held by a lock). Also allows slipping out of the grasp of tentacles, nets and so on.

Egress [3] Buildings, cities, labrynths, sewer systems, ducts, fortresses: these all can be broken out of - without tripping alarm systems or alerting guards. This skill also allows a bonus to stealth within structures, and can be used to break in as well as out.

Extraction [1] The planning and execution of escapes from outside. This requires some knowledge of the facility in question. Used to rescue people or to plan break-ins. P.R. Egress, Stealth.

Mimic [1] Take on the vocal and linguistic qualities of someone else, their manerisms, etc. Useful for seeming to be someone else on the other side of a door or a telecommunication device.

Disguise [2] Wear clothing, masks and even body puppetry in order to appear to be someone else even of another race. This is very difficult to do in order to look very much like another specific person. For that see "Impersonate," below. This skill is useful when one wants to mix in unnoticed.

Impersonate [3] Impersonation requires that a particular person is studied beforehand. This requires atleast .25 skill units per person and the quality of the impersonation will depend on the quality of the research (what is found out.) The impersonator must mimic all the person's behavior, speech, wear the appropriate clothing and do the same things. It is very difficult to fool those that are closest to the person (requires a minimum Rank 10), but mere acquaintances can be easily fooled. PR: Disguise, Mimic. B: Immersed.

Intelligence [3] The gathering of information surreptitiously, but not just any information: Intelligence involves acquiring SENSITIVE information, such as military secrets, the behavior and relationships of important people, the location and security of valuable objects, trade secrets, political events such as treaties, alliances, prisoners, hidden oligarchies, religious scandals and schisms and sacreliges, etc. The key here is to know what one is looking for and how to get the information without arousing suspicions.

Counter Intelligence [4] Using detective work to track down those making inquiries about sensitive information. This skill requires very subtle work, one can easily tip off a spy that one is closing in on her. Intelligence work involves being aware of whether someone is trying to catch them and hinder them. Counter intelligence involves the deliberate feeding of false information to spies, catching them and if possible turning them into double agents. Counterspies must know how to ambush, snare, feed false leads, manipulate people and appear harmless.

Sabotage [3] This requires information of the facility or operation that will be sabotaged. Not only are arms stockpiles, bridges and industrial sites worthy targets, but also critical political meetings, magical rituals, important religious sacrifices and rites, trade routes or dealings, etc.

Terrorism [4] Whereas Sabotage hinders progress and sets an operation back, terrorism is aimed at people not directly involved in decision making or the materials they are deciding about. Terrorism decreases morale within a population or army, and can lead to social unrest or even incite popular insurrection. In general, however, it leads to widespread hatred and fear - of the terrorist(s).

Search Close [2] Search a person or single piece of furniture, clothing, etc. for hidden objects or compartments.

Search Area [2] Search a room or region for hidden objects, compartments or portals.

Hide Objects [2] Either putting things carefully where they won't be found, or using secret compartments to hide things.

Signals [2] Complicated information can be conveyed in such a way as not to arouse suspicions. The usual signal would be a written message in a code, but it can also involve putting objects in public places, using unwitting messengers to run errands that tip someone else off that something is going on. Many possibilities. The skill involves not getting caught, getting the message through, and conveying the message accurately. Any of these things can go wrong.

Reproduce [3] The spy can copy some important document, record in notes the exact proceedings of a given conversation or event, sketch out floor plans from memory, all for later use and review by himself. To produce these records in a form that others can use them, skill rank 5 is required. The spy can also create faccimilies of important documents and objects, and leave them in place (stealing the original). This forgery will not fool anyone when closely examined, it merely buys the spy some time to make an escape, etc. For this, skill rank 10 is required.

Implements of Intruige [3] These need not be James Bond gizmos, although they can be. Not every fantasy game world has amphibious automobiles and the like as part of the technological context. These implements could be high tech, mechanical, alchemically powered, or magical. That is up to the given game master, as well as their availability. What I will list are the functions of given artifacts, leaving HOW THEY ARE MADE an open question.

  1. Transmitters/Receivers. Allows voice communication, possibly visual communication, data, or even matter transmitting (like teleportation. Can living material be transmitted, or only nonliving material?)
  2. Tracers. Requires one unit on the being or vehicle to be traced, another for the spy to carry in order to locate the tracer unit.
  3. Detonators and explosives (mass destruction devices)
  4. Automated maps (which allow one to look at a region at different scales and from different perspectives), map making devices, scanning devices (depths of water, sonic contour mapping or invisible foe sensing, etc.)
  5. Versitile disguises. Supplies to make different costumes, masks, body puppetry, etc. Some can be modified while still wearing them.
  6. Security system detectors. Detect scanners, detectors, traps, sentries, etc.
  7. Image reproduction. This could be photography or maybe some mechanically assisted sketching machine.
  8. Bugs, remote listening devices, or even remote viewing devices.
  9. Concealed weapons
  10. Concealed breaking and entering equipment, climbing gear,
  11. Water breathing gear, parachutes, survival gear, all for surviving in hostile terrain while making escapes or infiltrating. This gear could possibly be concealable.
  12. Authentication equipment, to check whether a particular object is genuine or a duplicate/forgery/etc.
  13. Antidotes, poison detection material, poisons, poison applicators. See the skill under Assassin, and Drugs and Poisons.

Detections [3] The implementation and availability of these devices is left to the GM's discretion (as above).

  1. Mechanical traps
  2. Hidden compartments and portals
  3. Communications devices (source, strength and what is transmitted)
  4. Infrared (body heat in the dark)
  5. Light amplifiers
  6. Special material detectors (such as radioactive material, necromantic animation, metal, magical force, etc.)
  7. Evesdropping equipment
  8. Periphery scanners for testing if anyone is crossing a particular threshold (and equipment for finding such 'tripwires.')

All detections must be ranged and have a limited chance of success (up to 150' at 75%, for instance.) Sometimes they have a secondary range at less effect ( 150' at 75%, to 300' at 30%), or "half range and effectiveness indoors," or "half effective in bright light," etc.

Immerse [2] The spy can assimilate into the culture that she is in. This requires 200 weeks - 9 weeks per skill rank. Prior culture familiarity reduces the time by 30%. Using this skill, the spy can appear to everyone as if she were a native of a country, region, even a small village, all her life. PR: language skill.

Quick Talk [1] Equivocation can get a spy out of some jams. Whoever is questioning the spy will become confused and temporarily easy to convince of whatever preposterous lie. The less likely the story, the bigger penalty to the skill roll (up to -50%!)

Seduction [2] Normally, the user of this skill arouses sexual desire in someone. It can also be used in political, business and professional contexts. It is used to bring someone into a willing action against their better judgment and even against their normal moral values. Seduction requires the spy to have a temptation, and skill in applying that temptation to lure and snare someone into acting on it.

Bribery [2] The spy can induce people to act in their behalf by offering them recompence. Bribery is difficult, as the bribed individual is under no normal compulsion to do what they agreed to do when accepting the baksheesh. They can also use the bribe as a pretense to apprehend the spy.

Personal Injury [2] ?

Urban Skills

(Similar to: Diplomat, Legal systems) All the following skills with a "@" symbol after it require a city familiarity at the same skill rank as the skill in question, otherwise the skill is usable only at 1/2 the normal level.

Forced Entry [1] Breaking into structures that have been secured.

Securing [2] Barricading, locking, putting effective bars on windows, locating all points of entry and tying them down. This skill prevents undesired entry into a building or part of a building. In some cases, when spiritual incursion is a problem, the precautions may be more involved, using wards, magical threshholds, runic traces, holy icons and symbology and so forth.

Personal Inquiry @ [3] Find out who someone is, what they do, who they work with, what they are like, own, what power they have, and so on. All the person's secrets, motivations, history. This may also be done for a historical person, or a person in a former time.

Following [1] Pursue someone without their noticing. If one half the required roll is done, the person may be listened in on and watched closely without their noticing.

Losing Pursuit [1] The capacity to notice one is being followed and to ditch the pursuer(s). This is of course an adverserial skill to the one above. B: Street Invisibility, City familiarity, Knowledge of the person following.

Using Info Resources @ [1] Every city has many available sources for information. This skill allows them to be used effectively and efficiently. Examples: Public (libraries, bureaus, agents of the state), Private (experts, tradesmen, sages, institutes, private libraries), Underground (stoolpigeons, bookies, other streetwizards, stolen documents, corrupt officials, etc.)

Cache [1] Hide goods within a city so they will not be found, and will be waiting in case of some future emergency. One usually caches clothes, disguises, valuables, weapons, vehicles, etc.

Notice Crime @ [3] Notice what sundry events are taking place in a city and ascertain how that will effect things in general and one's own interests in particular.

Religion Knowledge @ [2] I am assuming that in a fantasy world religion is more than something that is inextricable with public opinion and morale, more than a group of wealthy institutions and a validation for or support for conservative political power. Holidays and rites are of course important and will effect what goes on in a city. But beyond that, religious cities are protected against magic, undead and demonic activity. The small fanes surrounding and through a city act as ramparts, the religious icons outside of buildings as wards, the symbology within as domains of protection. Further, priests are sensitive to these sorts of entities entering or acting within the city and have the power to hinder or prevent them. If there is more than one religion present in a city, the borders will be spiritually turbulent, capable of harboring antireligious forces. Finally, the services and restrictions imposed by local religions are understood, as well as all of the above.

Urban Navigation @ [1] Find fastest way through a city, hidden routes, secret markets and rendezvous, the location of important of select people, the movement of goods and information, where to best buy, sell and obtain services, where and what dangers lurk.

Escape Routes @ [3] A prepared safe, secret or atleast discrete way out. May include fortifications. Sometimes there are not available, and the user of this skill could realize this ahead of time and prepare the "best way."

Recognize Turf @ [1] Different gangs, political factions, racial minorities, trading cartels and so on endlessly, can divide a city up into turfs. These can have an impact on whatever one does in a city. It can make business good or impossible, obstruct travel, limit connections, and even put one in danger. This skill allows one to negociate a cities subtleties and put them to work when possible.

Hide Out @ [4] This is an improved secured structure, in that it is secret. No one knows where it is, and how one gets in and out. It can have lots of supplies and allow people to disappear within for long stretches of time. PR: Escape routes, securing, caching.

Connections @ [3] These are the most important urban resource. They allow many opportunites, ways out of jams, assistance, advice and so on for an urban based character. They are at times a burden, too, as the connections may require the character to be of assistance. This skill is more like a general level of involvement in the city. The higher the rank, the more important the people involved, and the greater the capacity to make things happen in the city. Rank 20 would certainly include the mayor, the chief of the local militia if not the sovereign of the entire country.

Guage worth of Contacts [4] The intuitive and practiced appraisal of contacts - are they trustworthy, what good are they, what harm can they bring?

Facilities [3] Knowledge of traps, architecture, guards, goods, how to move goods, communication, and security through facilities, and so on. This is very important for a character that must rob, assault, infiltrate or secure buildings where important things go on. PR: Securing.

Disease Knowledge @ [1] Knowledge of how one contracts local diseases, what happens to the afflicted, how to cure them.

Street Invisibility [4] The ability to vanish in any city, becoming one of the normal residents or travelers, to go into a public market or tavern and not cause any notice to be taken, to move without leaving a trace.

Wilderness Skills

Hunting [1] Laying traps or tracking game to kill and either eat or obtain valuable parts of.

Tracking [2] Finding a series of traces left by the movements of an animal or being. The tracker can move quicker at higher skill ranks, and follow through more difficult terrain. At rank 1, the tracker can only move slowly through terrain that she is very familiar with.

Find Water, shelter, etc. [1] Find the necessary materials and places in order to survive a semihostile environment (one where there is shelter, water and so forth, though not necessarily obvious.)

Hostile Environment Skills [2] These exist for several environments: desert, mountain, glacier, tundra, seascape, dangerous jungle, etc. Each of these are distinct skills. What these terrains have in common is that they are all very dangerous, and there is a lack of either water or shelter. In a short time, without these skills, a person would die.

Direction [1] Maintain a sense of direction, learn the important elements of a terrain while travelling and find ones way either back or toward a goal. B: Navigation equipment. With a map, this skill is often not necessary past skill rank 1 through 5.

Optimum routes [2] Move faster, stealthier and safer over terrain. PR: terrain familiarity. B: navigation equipment, double bonus: maps.

Special evasion [3] Using terrain, move with complete secrecy over terrain. If successful, periodic evasion rolls need not be made. Few tracks are left, either, making tracking hard (adverserial skill).

Find locations [3] Given general information about where a place is, or near, this skill allows it to be found. This requires searching, scouting, investigating traces of passage from others, asking local people.

Assassin *

The basic mind set of an assassin requires quite a bit of work and experience. Their composure must remain firm, and their compassion disassociated. (Spy/Clandestine: Egress, Urban Skills: Forced Entry, both get B: structure research)

Sniping [1] Long distance marksmanship is only one part of this skill. The others are patience and secrecy during long waits for the intended victim, and researching the appropriate place to wait for him or her. Sniping yields a +3 missile weapon bonus, +1 per 3 skill ranks over first.

Poisoning: Success with these skills overcome the following problems and indicates how difficult it will be to track down the assassin and put the blame on poisoning.

(food) [3] Clandestine administration of toxic materials into food. What can go wrong? The food may not get to the person. The food might show signs of tampering and make the person suspicious, cooking the poison might dilute or neutralize it. Someone else other than the intended victim might eat it. The poison might not be potent at the time of use.

(area) [3] Poison is placed on clothing, a doorknob, anything that another person will touch, or breath. These poisons are dangerous to put into effect (a failed roll will poison the assassin!), and volitile - they usually remain effective only a short time.

(weapons) [1] Weapon poisoning has the fewest complications. The poison might rub off ahead of time, the assassin might prick herself, the poison might no long be (as) potent, the weapon might not fully stick into the victim - yielding only partial results.

Backstabbing [1] Secret attack from behind, combining stealth and good acting.

Advanced Stealth [2] Whereas normal stealth allows undetected movement using normal terrain and subtlety, advanced stealth allows undetected movement in areas that normally would be inaccessible, (ie. along the bottom of creeks, along ledges, through trees, along the ceiling of a hallway, while climbing, over rooftops, etc.) Sensing rolls are at -25% and often cannot be made as sentries are not posted in those regions. PR: Stealth. B: Structure research.

Deadly Tools [3] Normally an assassin uses a ranged weapon such as a crossbow or rifle. Other more specialized options might include:

  1. Explosives
  2. Small needles to attatch to likely locations, coated with poison
  3. Needle darts, hard to see, easy to throw without being noticed, range max = 10'
  4. Gas, released suddenly or slowly, into a confined space where the victim is
  5. A garut or other strangulation device
  6. Sabotaging a vehicle (could also mean making a riding mount dangerous or unsteady in a dangerous area,)
  7. Use of proxy magic to control or harm the victim in effigy (see Necromancy)
  8. Use of psychic magic or illusions to delude the victim into a deadly situation or vulnerability
  9. Releasing a deadly monster after the victim or into a room or building where the victim is
  10. Use of infectious magic or diseases to contaminate the area around the victim and eventually him or her as well. The skill does not indicate the availability of these techniques, only the knowledge of how to use them and obtain them provided that they can be acquired in the gaming world itself.

Victim Research [2] Requires .25 skill units per victim. Depending on how well this skill is performed, the victim's habits, weaknesses and defenses will be learned. More can be investigated, such as how to make the death appear to be an accident. PR: structure research.

Structure Research [3] Learn about the interior of buildings for breaking in and moving stealthily.

Arrange Accident [4] This technique of assassination makes the death appear natural. Some normal event takes the individual's life, such as a traffic accident, catching a disease, etc.

Naturalize [4] Make a violent death appear to have been due to "natural causes," such as a wild animal, a struggle (instead of a neat and silent assassination), a suicide, etc.

Forced Entry [1] Breaking into structures that have been secured.

Beast Master

Beastiary [2] Knowledge of the capacities, needs, value and particulars of most animals. The skill indicates the breadth and depth of the knowledge.

Capture [2] Techniques for capturing animals without harming them.

Break [2] This skill simply breaks the will of an animal, allowing it to be trained in some way. The Beast master imposes her will over the animal and forces it to behave in a specific way.

Tame [1] Taming reduces a normally independent being to one that is docile in a setting unlike its natural one, and will exhibit ambivolent behavior around the beast master (and perhaps a few select others, or maybe all others save natural enemies.) If the beast is injured, surprised, aroused, angered, afraid, etc. the taming may not be sufficient to keep the animal docile. PR: Break.

Train [2] Depending on the intelligence of the animal and how young it was when it was trained, very sophisticated training is possible. The training might include tracking a scent, making noises when intruders are scented, performing a dance or little drama, etc. PR: Break.

Savagery [1] A beast may be made to be savage, to attack all that it can sink its stingers and wrap its tentacles around.

Riding Training [3] Beasts may be trained so as to be mounts. The trainer must be over 5'th level for difficult maneuvers (swimming, jumping, etc.), over 10'th level to train a mount to not freak out in combat situations. PR: Train.

Combat Training [3] This training allows the beastmaster or new master to command an animal to attack. These commands can be sophisticated, indicating who to attack and under what conditions. PR: Train.

Instill Devotion [3] The trainer makes the animal loyal, willing to sacrifice itself for the owner or trainer. This is required of animals that must act on their own initiative (as mounts, in combat, etc.)

Beast Reporting [4] An extremely intelligent animal can be sent out to scout. It can then return and report what it observed. The animal can make various signs, perhaps a range of 3 to 10. Examples of signs would be: People, Water, Huntable game, City, A particular person that the animal knows, etc. The animal might also be able to indicate the distance and direction. PR: Train, Instill Devotion.

Breed [2] The beastmaster can breed for given traits: savagry, speed, aptitude as a "Reporter," size, beautiful pelt, docility, intelligence, etc. This requires a long time (at least 7 generations, I arbitrarily write.)

Rearing [2] Animals that are born in captivity often go mad and do not behave as they would in the wild. This skill prevents this from occurring. It also adds +5% or +1 bonus per 3 skill ranks of beastmaster for all subsequent training related skills.

Hobble [1] Bind an animal so that it is unable to move, fly or otherwise mobilize. This can include binding it so that it cannot attack those around it (with muzzles, chains, etc.)

Animal Parts [1] Some parts of animals can be valuable (Hydra teeth, feline pelts, the gemstone eyes of certain magical monsters, etc.) The beastmaster has knowledge of the value and market for such goods, and how to remove the parts and prepare them for sale.

Remove Dangerous [2] A hobbled and immobilized animal can be defanged, declawed, destingered, etc. to make it a less dangerous pet. This does not prevent these animals from attacking, it merely lessens the possible damage they can do. PR: Hobble.

Remove Venom, etc. [3] Animals with venom or other dangerous and volitile substances can be milked or disected when dead, and the materials removed. The beastmaster must know about the animal in question. Many venoms, etc. keep only for a short time outside of an animal.

Containment [2] Construction of cages for specific animals.

Transport [2] The care and keeping of animals while they are transported by cart, etc. Animals can go insane if improperly transported. PR: Upkeep

Upkeep [1] Keeping animals so as to retain their health, fitness, acute senses and training.

Valuing [2] Knowledge of the market for particular living animals, with given skills and qualities as well as how to bargain, what connections to seek, what laws hinder or help commerce, etc.


A courtesan is not a prostitute, although they share certain professional duties. He or she also provides a client with company and knowledge in a culture or region that the client is unfamiliar with. They often escort a client not only to entertainments but also to business meetings (working as a language interpreter or to inform their client of cultural or regional subtleties.) Since the Courtesan becomes intimate with the client, he or she has an opportunity to do things that no one else can; learning secrets, the personality of the client, and even manipulating the client. Courtesans must have some performing arts skills, culture familiarity, and extensive language skills. They quite often are also spies.

Lovemaking [1] Techniques of sexual encounters. 

"Massage" interrogation [2] Relaxing a client physically and emotionally so as to ply him or her for information. This can be done subtly so that the client has no idea they are giving out info, but details can be obtained in this manner only after 13'th rank.

Woo [1] Seduction of someone that has no intention of being seduced. This is not coquetry, which leads to willing seduction, but a calculated and sometimes very gradual overcoming of a person's resistance accepting the courtesan's offer(s).

Personality profiling [2] The Courtesan can quickly determine the nature of the client's personality. With lots of experience and time with the client, he or she can say how the client would respond to such and such. B: EMP

Induce Dependence [4] After the Courtesan and the client become intimate, (physically or otherwise,) this skill allows the Courtesan to slowly dominate the will of the client. The client will feel he or she needs the Courtesan and defer. This may take quite some time.

Love potions [3] These intoxicants may be simple aphrodesiacs (bonus to lovemaking, woo), or tamper with the client's judgment (bonus to manipulate, interrogation, personality profiling), or weaken his or her will (bonus to induce dependence, relationship control.) The Courtesan will know where to buy them at what price (if they are available at all.)

Manipulate [3] Situations can be eased or made more tense, the Courtesan can alter the mood in conversation or in company. If the client is confused, afraid, rushed, etc. this skill allows decisions to be forced that otherwise wouldn't have been taken.

Relationship control [4] Tensions may be created between the client and others he or she knows by the Courtesan. This requires a lot of time (minimum 21 days - 1 per rank of courtesan), and success with the Manipulate skill, above. PR: Manipulate, Personality Profiling


(Other skills of interest to the Business skilled individual: Diplomat: Bargain, Legal systems, Bureaucracy; Clandestine: Quicktalk, Bribery, Underworld: Blackmarkets, Security Systems, Lie)

Trading Connections * It goes without saying that a merchant has many contacts. Business connections make commerce possible: who to buy from, to sell to, who will transport your goods, who to go to in times of trouble, etc.

Determine Value [2] The merchant can appraise goods to within 20% of their value on a market she knows, or within d100% in an unfamiliar market, -1% per skill rank over 1. B: Familiarity with a particular kind of merchandise or material.

Accounting [1] Book keeping which is essential for sophisticated businesses.

Administration [1] Managing businesses that are often extensive and occuring in far away places. PR: Accounting, Communications.

Advertising [2] Promotion of particular merchandise. This skill makes no sense outside of "media" oriented cultures.

'Art' Knowledge [2] Familiarity with the markets of art objects, as well as their background and significance. In a fantasy world setting, art objects may have political, religious or historical significance - a statue of an exiled monarch might rally her oppressed people, etc. PR: History

Communications [3] The use of messages and messengers as well as any long ranged communication that is available (technological, magical, carrier pigeons, etc.) to relay vital information to remote trading missions and so forth. This skill is really crucial when conducting trade over long distances.

Hiring and Management [1] Any large scale business will have many employees. This skill allows efficient and trustworthy workers to be signed on, and their energies profitably directed. The merchant can solve problems that arise between them and negociate wages and conditions favorible to herself.

Investment / Borrowing [3] Perhaps the most important skill in business. No merchant can finance all of his or her own ventures, atleast at first. All undertakings involve a risk and funding. The ability to obtain loans, or to make them, under favorable terms, and to fulfill their conditions (without getting legally trapped, etc.) fall under this skill. B: Legal Systems

Sources (info, etc.) [2] Merchants may need to research markets, the availability of certain goods, or some way to recover spoiled or damaged goods. This skill indicates how available information resources are to a merchant.

History [3] Knowledge of the history of a city, state or wider region, as far as their economic prosperity and dealings went. This helps place antiquities in a context and is helpful in all sorts of business.

Predict economy, market [4] Determine which commodities will become more valuable, which less, how much capital will be available, what trading opportunities will arise. B: History, PR: Assess Value, Culture Knowledge, Sources

Install security [3] This involves using devices which detect whether a facility is broken into, whether things are stolen, as well as to secure buildings, valuables, and restrict access. These could be mechanical devices, magical, technological, etc. Examples: Locks, tripwires, electric eyes, secret panels, reinforced walls, alarms, etc.

Install traps [4] As for security, above, except when an intruder or thief is detected, an active response occurs: a pit opens and the victim falls, an automatic crossbow is fired, flame jets, acid mist, quick drying cement spray, a net drops, a fierce monster is released, etc.

Manufacturing * The following skills allow goods to be made on a large scale. A factory or assembly shop is required. facility design[3] allows them to be designed. It is built using facility construction[2] skills, involving contracting and building techniques. Rank 1-5 in these skills suffice for most small shops, whereas higher ranks allow massive operations to be installed. With large scale management[2] a hierarchy of efficient management can be put in place (normal management is ineffective when more than a dozen or so employees are required. Some manufacturing facilities can produce a wide range of goods (such as a weaving factory.) Other enterprises have more limited in scope but operate far more efficiently (using the Specialist[3] skill.) Some products need testing[1]. To promote goods and make large sales, marketing[1] is required. In a nontechnologically based media intensive setting (such as most fantasy gaming worlds), this skill would be used by agents to go to large trading houses to try to make large deals. Shipping[2] distributes and delivers goods, safely and without them decaying or being damaged. Lastly, merchants maintain their vital information with industrial secrecy & espionage[2], which also allows other merchants' secrets to be stolen.

interpersonal * A specialized set of skills to figure out business partners or rivals. The merchant must always maintain a critical and "scheming" frame of mind to use the following skills.

Analyze[3] Discover their intentions and motivations through careful investigation of their actions and statements over time.

Hide[2] Prevent oneself from being analyzed or predicted. Deliberately mislead those that are spying.

Improve relations[2] Even long standing tensions can be lessened or resolved. This allows thawing of conflicts and forming of alliances between rivals or foes.

Measure loyalty[2] Allows employees and contacts to be put through temptation or other devices, so that the trader knows their loyalty at all times.

Dupe infiltrators[1] Discover and then feed false information to infiltrators into an organization or to a spy. PR: Hide.

Manipulate[3] By playing on rivalries and providing false information, a merchant can manipulate those that he is very familiar with. The manipulated person will be inclined to do something in particular that they would normally not do (such as not getting in on a particular deal, selling at a lower rate, etc.) This yields a bonus to many skills: lying, bribing, extorting, seduction, etc.

Cargo/customs skills. These are not really in a single skill family, though they are often learned together.

Evaluation [1] A large amount of stored goods can be examined, and their quality, security and ability to last maintained.

Maintaining [2] Cargo shipped over large distances, over difficult terrain or in harsh climates, or held for a long time require special techniques to keep it from getting ruined.

Security [1] Guarding, hiding, securing (locks and firm walls, perhaps even magical barriers and anti-detection enchantments), alarms and so forth.

Stowing [1] How to carry the most in the least space, what transportation means are safest, how to recover from disasters.

Underworld *

Familiarity with the workings of the underworld requires constant immersion and a network of contacts, much as a merchant requires.

Fake documents [3] Many levels of officialdom require documents. These include papers for foriegners, bills of sale, tax forms, legal records, bureaucratic records for mail, outstanding debt, contracts, etc. These can be altered or fabricated, but they must then be planted or used for misrepresentation - also an aspect of this skill.

Panhandling [1] Gain money by agressive begging or nuisancing. This is not to be confused with begging or soliciting, one done by tramps, the other by street artists.

Embezzlement [2] Use one's trusted status to abuse access to funds or valuables, and steal it. This skill allows one to insinuate herself into such a trusted position and then leave without being suspected.

Pick lock [2] Using tools, open secured portals. Some locks are not physical, but require magical or literary keys - these too can be picked, but only at rank 15 and above.

Detect Trap [3] Using tools, traps can be located. Traps are not triggered by a lock being effectively picked, except in special cases. Traps will, however, be triggered by failed lock picking, and in many cases, by handling objects or containers without knowing where the trap triggers are. Trap triggers on locks, inside containers and within buildings may be searched for. This requires d20 mt, d100mt and d10 minutes (per 5' radius) respectively, less 5% per skill rank over first. For magical traps, special tools are required (rule of thumb: rank 10 is the prerequisite for this kind of deactivation.)

Deactivation [3] As for detect trap above, exept this deactivates a trigger or makes it ineffective.

Fraud [2] The ability to enter into business arrangements as though one were someone else, with perhaps far more expertise and resources than one really does. This makes for Conning, Misrepresentation, and so on. B: Faked documents.

Gambling [1] Expertise with gambling games, still governed by the laws of chance.

Gambling/cheating [3] Ways of manipulating games and winning without other players realizing it. Often requires accomplices. B: Sleight of hand.

Ambush [3] Setting up ambushes so as to surprise the intended victim(s) and provide tactical advantages. This skill also lets one recognize when and where one would be at a tactical disadvantage and to sense/see warning signs of an ambush (1/3 normal chance). Sensing an ambush is an adverserial skill to ambushing.

Kidnapping [2] Abducting people, and keeping them unaware of who did it, where they were taken, and so on, without harming the kidnapped person (necessarily.)

Sleight of Hand [2] The ability to move objects without it being seen. This is used for stealing, putting things down or into hiding places, apparently taking something out of someone's pocket or hand, preparing a small weapon for use, operating machines secretly, etc.

Ventriloquism [2] Not only projecting one's voice, but also making sounds and signs at a distance that would indicate that the ventriloquist (or someone else) is in some distant location (up to 15' + 3' per skill rank over one).

Extortion [1] Forcing someone to comply by the use of threats, either direct or indirect, immediate or postponed. The extorted victim will be powerless, afraid to go to the authorities or resist, if the skill is very successful.

Mania-ware Management [2] This skill covers the handling of goods such as propoganda, weapons, religious icons or texts, drugs, that are illegal and yet desperately needed by a particular group of people. Such goods are dangerous to buy, store and sell, because the customers and vendors are quite often desperate and irrational, taken in by the dangerous aspect of the goods themselves. This skill provides knowledge of the market (buyers, sellers, equipment, smuggling avenues, laws, corrupt officials, etc.)

Fencing [3] A specific set of contacts that can purchase very sensitive stolen articles. This can be very dangerous, as the fencer may easily be turned in, double crossed, inadequately paid, etc.

Security Systems [2] These include all manner of locks, alarms, automatic sentries, remote sensors, magical detection devices, sensitive animals that become agitated when intruders approach, fortifications, traps, false doors, secret passages, panels, compartments, and so on. This skill represents knowledge of how such things are used, how to avoid being troubled by them (detecting and avoiding) as well as who to go to to have such security systems built and installed.

Networks [2] This allows one to be part of an organized criminal association, where every part knows only a bit of the whole, receives constant and anonymous support (and has equal demands put on her.) This is the safest corner of the underworld, profitable but not easy at all for rival organizations or authorities to investigate.

Pickpocket [2] Remove objects from another person (including jewelry after skill rank 15). Objects may also be placed on or in the clothing of someone without their noticing it. B: Sleight of hand.

Slavery *

Dealing with people as goods requires long and intensive training, as well as a morally despicable society. By listing slaving skills I in no way approve of slavery. I acknowledge that in some fantasy settings there are evils such as slavery. How can we hope to understand and adequately deplore the horror of slavery if we don't admit it into our fantasies of evil? Through fantasy games, morally dispicable institutions such as slavery can be effectively struggled against. This struggle is necessary but difficult in our everyday dealings. Slavery presents a moral conflict in our history. It can be better understood, perhaps, and its subtle remnants in our society discerned, if it is allowed to be a sinister element in our fantasy worlds. Slavery must not be glorified in any way in fantasy games, that would be dispicable. I do not recommend that player characters become slavers, nor genocidal maniacs.

Capturing [3] Use of man traps, nets and other devices to capture people without injuring them.

Binding/security [1] Chains, knots, special harnesses and the like that reduce a captives mobility or ability to use their limbs. These may be required for very strong individuals or for long periods of time, without harming the captive.

Transport [1] Transporting of people without harming them, or allowing them to harm themselves or each other.

Breaking [3] The first step of slavery, breaking the new slave's will. This is not neccesary, nor permanent, but while it is in force, the slave lives in constant fear and uncertainty. Such slaves will behave as they are compelled to do with a rigid discipline. Breaking creates hatred and resentment which will emerge as soon as given a chance. Not all slaves are broken, normally only the first generation (or two) suffer these techniques.

Behavior modification [2] Through diabolical manipulation, people can be made to behave (respond, act, work) by command, though they may be unaware why they are doing it. The victim of this modification loses their ability to exert their will in certain respects, and merely responds to cues. PR: Breaking.

Forced Labor [1] Slaves and prisoners can be forced to do hard labor. This skill allows the slaver to make them work hard, carefully and efficiently, unlike most forced laborers.

Value Maintainance [2] The slaver must take care of the the slaves diet, living conditions and health in order to maintain his or her value. This might involve the use of cosmetics to hide injuries, disease or scars.

Slave Drugs [1] Certain drugs will pacify or addict a population, which is in the interest of the slavers. Opium was used to control chinese laborers by the british and others, for instance.

Slave Medicine [2] Cheap and alternative medicines, that would not be used on people who aren't slaves, exist for slaves. Examples: Such drugs might temporarily increase a person's vitality, allow someone to work despite an injury or survive a disease but at a terrible cost.

Drugs and Poisons - nonmagical.

Knowledge of magical drugs and poisons requires alchemical skills.

Poison Familiarity (by type) [1/2 each, 2 for all]

Cures [1] There are 3 categories of cures,

  1. Panacea, which has a certain % chance of curing any form of toxic substance]
  2. Antitoxin, which works on a specific category of poison (see above)
  3. Antidote, which cures a specific drug within one of those categories. This skill grants a person knowledge of the uses of these cures, how effective they would be in a given case and sources to purchase them.

Emergency counters [3] These are cures as above, but rarer and more expensive. They will immediately stop the progress of particular poisons. Some may be taken before the poisoning to protect against possible attacks. They must be used very swiftly. This skill includes the knowledge of where to obtain such emergency counters to poison.

Drug Familiarity (by type) [1/2 each, 2 for all]

Brewing [4] Knowledge of how to manufacture given poisons or drugs. Each new type requires 1 skill unit to learn, 1/2 skill unit for each particular substance in that class. This requires facilities (which the brewer doesn't know how to construct, that is an alchemical skill): the brewer will need to rent, buy or borrow equipment. The materials are rare and expensive, and a skill roll must be made to find them (a good roll might lower the price some, or indicate lots of the material was found.)

Side Effects [1 for each class of cure] Some cures have side effects. These are subtle and require additional knowledge to discern and know beforehand.

Researching [2] Allows new cures and poisons to be found. Given enough poison and a good laboratory, a skilled researcher can find an antidote. This may then be brewed.

Performing Arts (Scholarly: History, Memorize, Mythology)

Musical Instrument [2] Playing one, memorizing music, learning by ear, composing new songs, the ability to arouse feelings through playing.

Dance [1] The art of dance might also allow specific ideas, moods or urges to be communicated.

Art Production [3] Either art for the sake of business (as a part of promotion, large scale decoration or a tourist goods for a ready market, for example), or merely creative expression (possibly linked to the artistic production of other artists in the same time and location.) Important aspects of this include the ability to make portraits, statuary and iconography used for religous, political or military authority, edification and influence.

Interpret [2] Translation of language accurately into another language, or possibly into another medium (such as a symphony, remaining true to the intent and ideas of the original author.

Oratory [2] The ability to move others (usually in large numbers) through speech. This can use arguments, or merely move people. It can convince them of something opposed to their ordinary beliefs, and even lead to them converting their political, social or religious allegiance, although this requires much skill. PR: Culture knowledge over 10th rank.

Theatrics [1] The ability to create a drama with or without an actual theater (or cinema) that captures the attention of an audience and leads them to respond to the fiction on its own terms (in other words, they suspend their normal criteria of belief for the sake of the story. A comedy or tragedy have their own forms and consistency, actors can carry out a battle symbolically, rather than actually fighting, and so on. This skill allows audiences to be drawn into a drama and to receive its intended message or effect.

Sense ROLES [2] In a drama, this would be what character an actor is taking on. In life, an imposter could be noted: not by observing who the imposter was before, but instead that he or she is taking on a role. This can see through disguises, illusions and cons.

Articulate [1] Some languages are difficult to pronounce and master, and some ideas are just difficult to express. This skill allows both to be put across. The actor can communicate ideas even past severe language barriers.

Production [2] Includes costuming, set design, business side, getting performers together, promoting.

The following skills have as a prerequisite some performing art listed above. They can be no higher skill rank than the skill in the permorming art they build off of.

Solicit [1] Gathering money after a performance from an audience.

Depict [3] The creation of a particular place, event or time so that the audience or viewer of the piece of art recognizes both this subject and is moved by the artists evaluation of it.

Instill Idea [4] A particular idea, interpretation, dogma can be infused in a work and be transmitted to a viewer or audience, even if there is no language in common.

Captivate [3] A performance (or possibly even a work of art) can completely absorb an audience, making them think of nothing else and lose track of time. This skill could be used to distract people from something (like a theft or coup d'état), to take them away from some trouble so as to raise their morale, etc.

Alter mood (environment) [2] The artist can incline the mood of a region 10% + 3% per skill rank over 1. This means that in the area where a song is being played or a sculpture is displayed, people will be inclined (some chance) to feel as the artist wants them to (enraged, soothed, aroused, apathetic, etc.) Each piece takes 1/4 skill unit to produce.

Alter mood (individual) [3] This skill focuses the effect of a work on a particular person (whom the artist must have studied previously, this requires 1/2 skill unit per person), and will work as above, 20% + 4% per level.

Performing Woo [2] The target of this woo will be seduced by the performer. This is usually a sexual seduction, but there at higher skill ranks it can also be an ideological, rhetorical or spiritual seduction, inclining the victim to do something or believe something they would not normally do. (The intended victime can roll their EGO to resist, Rank 1-4: Ego x 5; 5-8: Ego x 4, 9-12: Ego x 3, 13-16: Ego x 2, 17-20: Ego, although some intended victims might choose not to resist.)

Know Audience [2] The performer can appraise the reactions of his or her audience and determine their mood, what is problably going to happen next, and so on. The constituency of the audience can also be determined (are there some strangers, are some of the people actually in command of the others, are there any people hiding in the audience, etc.) PR: Culture knowledge

Play Audience [4] The audience can be roused to perform some action. This means that they will spontaneously act, rioting, revolting, demonstrating, rushing out to save someone or clean up some public place, etc. PR: Alter mood (environment) 10th rank or greater.