○- No Slot Gained, ●- 1 Slot Gained, ❷- Two Slots Gained
Starting Skills Just like people in real life, the characters are skilled in trades that can keep them fed in-between adventuring. And it is assumed that most characters had a life before adventuring. They may have had trades, menial jobs; they may have been students, or seminarians, or even street thugs. It was during this time that the character was taught many of the skills that he or she begins the game with. Some character classes begin the game with bonus proficiencies, due to schooling and certain mandatory life experiences. In choosing a background for the character, the right skills can be helpful in adding both flair and functionality.
Depending on the profession, the character starts with 2-10 slots in both combat and noncombat skills. It takes two slots to make a usable skill, but only one slot to increase the level of mastery (intensity) of a known skill. Additionally, a character may gain a one-time bonus of slots due to high intelligence. Slots earned this way may be divided among combat and noncombat as the player desires.
A player should spend skill slots acquiring a variety of skills. At first level, no skill can be higher than int(2), and the mastery can advance only one point in intensity per level of experience. Note that players can leave skill points “floating” for later use - this is required if they wish to take the two points needed to start a new skill.
It is good for characters to have professions instead of just being hired as sell-swords. For instance, a Wishsinger might also be a craftsman of musical instruments. A Priest might also be a teacher. Thus, the character’s non-combat skills allow her to pay the bills between adventurers.
All non-combat skill checks are determined by rolling a 20-sided die. A success is indicated by rolling the character's associated attribute (i.e. Endurance, Perception, etc.) or less on the die. The check is gains a +1 bonus for each intensity level past the first that a character has in a given skill. So, if a character has Intensity (3) Blacksmithing, he would gain +2 to his Blacksmithing checks.
GM Note: Keep an eye on character’s skill progression and, if needed, feel free to force characters to actually seek out people to teach them non-combat skills. This prevents characters from just “learning” a currently valuable non-combat skill when leveling up even when their character had no opportunity to learn that skill or previous use for it. For example, unschooled Barbarians that just “happen” to know Engineering (because Engineering has suddenly become useful in the campaign) reduce the credibility of the adventure and the adventuring world.
Related Skills: Consult the table that cross-references related skills. If the character knows a related skill, then that knowledge grants a +1 on all proficiency checks. Note that the GM can assign or revoke related skill bonuses where fit:, though this should not be over-used. For example, when Cooking in a foreign land, Cultural Knowledge of that land could proof useful. On the other hand, identifying a particular star with Astronomy gains little benefit from Mathematics.
Bonus Skills As stated earlier, some skills come with the character class. For instance, a Wishsinger would have to know how to sing, and a Priest would have to know religion. These bonus skills grant the character the minimal use of that class. Obviously the minimums are just that -- enough to get by and no more. Split classed characters gain the bonus skills of both classes.
A word about the Read/Write skill: Taking the Read/Write skill is beneficial because it grants the character to read at progressively more advanced prowess as extra ranks are added. However, It is assumed that most World of Gaianar characters have benefited from some semblance of civilization. Therefore, it is understood that all characters who do not take the Read/Write skill will have the ability to read and write at a level between 6th grade and 8th grade. They can read a newspaper, an invoice, and a menu but might have difficulty plowing through the "classics" and will be easily tripped up by complicated contracts.
These proficiencies are by no means the only skills that a player character, or any other sentient being could possess. If it should come to pass that the players and the Game Master agree that a new proficiency should be created, by all means do so. The aforementioned are merely the most obvious choices. The words "skill" and "proficiency" are interchangeable.
Skills in this category rely on the player character's Endurance attribute. Endurance is calculated as the arithmetic mean of Strength and Constitution, with all fractions dropped. Most Endurance related skills involve doing strenuous activity for long periods of time. Constructs do not have access to some of these skills due to the fact that they lack a biology that generates adrenaline.
Blacksmith / Metal Craft
Practitioners of this craft are able to control the powers of the forge to make common objects like nails, tools, weapons, and the like. For each slot spent in Blacksmithing, the metal crafter can either learn a new metal, or achieve greater mastery of an existing metal skill. Note that similar metals are grouped together in the same category - one does not need to take separate skill points for Iron, Steel, Carbon-steel, Corrosion-resistant Steel, and so on. However, Gold, Silver, and Steel are all different metals. If a Blacksmith is working with a material that he is not familiar with, his Checks are made at -1 if the metal is similar to a metal he is experienced with and -2 if it is not.
For example, a Blacksmith with three slots available can choose to place them all into iron, in which he would then be very skilled in that one metal, or he could spend one slot each in iron, steel, and copper and thus be able to work several metals but not with the skill of a master. Blacksmiths can forge new creations on a successful Blacksmithing check and repair existing metal items at +1. Note, however, that a failed repair attempt will further damage the item, possibly making it irreparable.
Critical Success: The item will be of high quality and will resist damage from critical fumbles while in use.
Critical Fumble: The item will appear to be of excellent quality and will function as such for the first 1d12 uses, but will then chip, rust, lose its edge, or otherwise rapidly deteriorate and be unrepairable.
This skill has to do with small wind or oar powered boats, of the kind used on rivers and lakes. Rowboats, kayaks, and canoes are examples of watercraft usable by this skill. It does not confer the ability to manage large ships of see (this is accomplished through the Ship Handling skill.) When the skill is chosen, the character must specify whether she is learning sailboats or oar-powered boats. Taking the skill to int(2) allows for the use of both types.
Critical Success: The rower or sailor is able to maneuver the boat at twice normal speed or make the boat function as if 50% more seaworthy.
Critical Fumble: The boat overturns, runs aground, or suffers some other misfortune appropriate to the situation.
Characters with this skill are knowledgeable in the ways of weight training, personal fitness, and muscle building. By engaging in proper exercise and diet, the character can temporarily exceed his or her normal Strength or Endurance. A health-conscious character also heals faster. On a successful Bodybuilding check, the character can augment one Strength related action (a melee attack, a force door roll, etc.) by one point (or 5%) per intensity of the bodybuilding skill. Additionally, any other skill that uses Endurance can be boosted by +1 per intensity of this skill. Finally, the character enjoys a faster natural healing at the rate of one extra point per two intensities and a 5% disease resistance per intensity. This skill must be maintained, however. The character must engage in three hours of strenuous exercise each week or else the skill is unavailable the following week. Constructs may not take this skill.
Critical Success: The character functions as if one intensity higher. If three critical successes are rolled sequentially, the character's Strength score is improved by one point permanently.
Critical Fumble: The character strains a muscle, making the skill unavailable for one week.
Similar to masonry or blacksmithing, practitioners of this skill learn to make valuable tools or other constructions of size from wood. While this skill is not designed for the construction of wooden weapons like bows, it does allow a character to build homes, bridges, and even siege engines, although Engineering would be needed to design and build a siege engine. A character with this skill can also make repairs or modifications to existing wooden objects.
Critical Success: The item will be of high quality and will resist damage from critical fumbles while in use.
Critical Fumble: The item will appear to be of excellent quality and will function as such for the first 1d12 uses, but then will begin to splinter, warp, and be irreparable.
These skills implement the character's personality and good looks to accomplish things. Influence is the arithmetic mean of Charisma and Comeliness, with all fractions dropped. Constructs do not access to some of these skills due to the fact that a Construct’s voice has a very limited range of intonation, and thus cannot sing or mimic the voices of others.
This ability allows the character to act out roles for the purpose of stage plays and public performances. While this is the primary use for this skill there are other uses for this ability. Characters attempting to impersonate others (such as a guard or a messenger, etc.) can do so through the use of acting. In this case, however, the Acting check is done at -4 against the normal proficiency because the people the actor is trying to fool are not engaged in an active suspension of disbelief. Constructs may not take this proficiency.
Critical Success: The actor gets a standing ovation and his name is spread forth as an actor of great skill. If this skill is used for clandestine purposes, then the actor's job of impersonation is so good that the victims are left without the slightest shadow of doubt.
Critical Failure: The actor's job is so bad that he is treated to having rocks and bits of food hurled at him.
This skill allows a character to gain an understanding of the etiquette, politics, and culture of various regions of the world. For each point invested in this skill, the character may chose to either increase his understanding of a given area or learn about a new culture or region. A point invested in this skill will buy the character either general knowledge of one of the main landmasses or nations of Gaianar, or more detailed information about a more specific area or cultural group. Note that while one might feel this skill counts as a Knowledge Skill, it is the character’s Influence, not book-learning, that allows them to adapt to the new environment, successfully interact with the people there, and quickly pick up the nuances of a new culture.
With enough points invested in Cultural Knowledge of a given area, a character may be able to become a Diplomat, a job that commands prestige a high salary. However, diplomatic immunity in the world of Gaianar simply does not exist. In fact, depending on the hostility of the diplomat's home city-state, the diplomat may have to pay dearly for botched trade agreements or for precipitating intercity incidents. This skill is also useful in hostage negotiation, and collective bargaining.
Note that a character can use this skill away from the bargaining table or embassy. A Cultural Knowledge check can help a character make sense of what he sees in nation or city, such as politics, cultural details, etiquette, current events, and important historical events. Constructs can take this skill and use it to store details regarding cultures and nations, but they suffer a -4 penalty when trying to negotiate with other cultures because of their limited ability to express themselves and their habit of interpreting everything literally.
Critical Success: The diplomat is fully able to accomplish his or her goals in a way that may be much more advantageous to his home city-state than had first been anticipated. Or, the character using the skill determines something of great value regarding the culture or nation of interest.
Critical Failure: The diplomat causes an intercity incident, souring relations with the foreign city in question. Or, the character using the skill misinterprets an important aspect of the culture or nation of interest.
This is “darker side” of acting, for it allows a character to impersonate others. If the character is attempting to impersonate a specific person that he has encountered, the check is made with a -4 penalty. Note that the character cannot impersonate any individual or group that he is not reasonably familiar with (technically, he CAN try, but he will fail, even on a Critical Success.) Unlike Acting, this skill has little to no use for gainful employment unless one can find a way to get people to pay to see impersonations of others.
Critical Success: The disguise or impersonation is so perfect that nobody doubts the identity of the character. Critical Failure: The character’s cover is blown and trouble will almost surely follow.
This proficiency is useful to the thrifty adventurer. By having skill in verbal manipulation, the player character can bargain down prices with merchants and dealers. For each intensity in Haggling, the character may attempt to bargain down a set price by 5%. To accomplish this, the character must match his Haggling check against the Willpower of the clerk. If the match is successful, then the purchase price is lowered accordingly. The merchant will not, however, lower the retail price below actual unit cost (in other words, the merchant cannot be forced to lose money on the deal.)
Of course, sellers can also use haggling to increase the price of their wares during a sales negotiation. A successful haggling check will allow the seller to get away with increasing the price by 5% (or 10% if the seller also is skilled in artistic ability). Haggling cannot actually force a customer to buy a product. Should both the buyer and seller make successful haggling checks, a simple Willpower resistance roll (buyer versus seller) will determine the victor.
Buyer Critical Success: The merchant sells the item at unit cost. Buyer Critical Failure: The shopkeeper is insulted and throws the adventurer out of the store or simply tries to sell the item at an outrageously increased price.
Seller Critical Success: The buyer is so enchanted by the sales pitch that he/she will pay a 20% premium for the product or service.
Seller Critical Failure: The buyer feels insulted and may make a dramatic scene in the store in which he/she publicly and loudly decries the greed of the seller.
This proficiency is useful in extracting information from unwilling subjects by threatening physical harm or by manipulating or tricking the character into talking. To determine the depth of information gleaned from the subject, the character must match his interrogation skill check three times against the subject's Willpower score. For three successes, the subject will talk freely and accurately. For two successes, the subject will talk truthfully in some detail, and withhold other specific information. For one success, the subject will talk freely, but will most likely intersperse misinformation along with truth. For zero successes, the subject refuses to cooperate, no matter how much he is manipulated. Constructs may take this skill and incur a +2 bonus. Constructs, by their very nature, appear threatening before they even say a word. Unfortunately, Constructs are not terribly skilled at asking all the right questions, but the fear they instill is usually enough to get the job done.
Critical Success: The subject is completely cooperative. Critical Failure: The subject will tell only lies, and the lies will be fairly believable.
A required skill for the legal profession, Law Twisting enables the practitioner to make dramatic and manipulative courtroom diatribes in an attempt to pervert justice. Constructs may take this skill, but have a –3 penalty due to their lack of facial features and limited vocal range.
Critical Success: the jury unplugs their brains and lets even an OJ-like criminal off Scott free. Critical Fumble: The case is lost, horribly. Even appeals will not help.
This skill gives the character the ability to influence a mob of people with his words and actions. A master of this skill can turn a peaceful group of people into an angry one, or defuse a violent mob before too much harm can be done. This skill is difficult to quantify, but there are several rules to remember. First, small manipulations of a mob’s thoughts and feelings are easier than large ones. Second, the larger the mob, the harder it is to impress them. Finally, the more the mob has in common, the easier it is to influence them, while a mob of completely random individuals is harder to manipulate. Constructs may take this skill, but have a –3 penalty due to their lack of facial features and limited vocal range.
Critical Success: The mob whole-heartedly agrees with the character and is willing to work with him to a very reasonable extent. Critical Failure: The mob realizes that they are being manipulated and turns on the character.
This ability allows the character to carry a tune and read sheet music. This proficiency is required for all Wishsingers. With the aid of this skill, the character may be able to find employment by way of singing, based on the intensity of the skill. Constructs may not take this skill.
Intensity 1. The character is basically a garage band singer.
Intensity 2. The character is able to get steady work as a pub singer.
Intensity 3. The character is able to tour regionally in small to medium sized venues.
Intensity 4. The character is able to get the big gigs in the largest music halls.
Critical Success: The singer is hailed and respected. Critical Failure: The singer sounds as bad as an old crow.
Most of the Knowledge skills are the result of heavy-duty book learning. The calculation of Knowledge is (Intelligence*3 + Wisdom) / 4. The resultant number is rounded to the nearest integer.
This type of healing allows the physician to perform surgery and deliver babies that result from complicated pregnancies. At higher intensities, reconstructive surgery is also possible. This type of healing requires a sterile and well-stocked medical office or clinic. Moreover, a skill in reading/write and a minimum of Intensity 2 in Healing are also required.
Critical Success: No residual infection. Patient does not scar.
Critical Failure: Patient must make successful system shock save or suffer the worst possible consequences of the medical procedure.
Intensity 1. Can perform minor surgery; appendectomy, tonsillectomy, and the like. Can create casts to set broken bones. The character must also have Read/Write (2) and Healing (2). Intensity 2. Can attempt limb reattachment. Intensity 3. Can perform delicate limb reattachment surgery. Can perform abdominal surgery. The character must also have Read/Write (3) and Healing (3). Intensity 4. Can perform brain surgery, open-heart surgery. Can perform cosmetic reconstructive surgery to restore Comeliness lost due to scarring or cleft palate.
This skill allows the character to learn an ancient, dead language. Because these languages are no longer spoken, verbal pronunciation is only 50% + (10% per Intensity). The ancient languages are based on current languages the character already knows. Thus a character that knows Abalesque could reasonably read fading scroll written 1,500 years prior in a language from which Abalesque sprung forth. But if he did not know Abalesque, the ancient document would be incomprehensible.
Critical Success: Character is able to fully understand the writing and can actually read it aloud as well. Critical Fumble: Character gets confused and interprets the meaning to be the opposite of what it really means or simply is unable to translate the important parts of the language.
A character with this proficiency has studied the old and forgotten technologies and can thus identify the function of technological relics. If the character makes a successful Ancient Lore check, he or she will be able to identify and use a technological relic; if Engineering is also known, ancient devices can also be repaired.
Alternatively, a character can learn Ancient Lore as history. In this case, the character does not know specifically about devices of the past, but instead knows about the people and events of the past.
Thus, this skill has two versions: Ancient Lore/Technology, and Ancient Lore/History. By spending two intensities, the character can learn both applications of the skill.
Critical Success: The character knows the details of operating the device or recalls all of the important information regarding the historical event in question. Critical Failure: The character has “just enough knowledge to be dangerous” of the historical device and no knowledge of the historical event.
This skill allows the character to identify animals on sight by growls or chirps, residual tracks, or by smell. The person with Animal Lore will, on a successful proficiency check, know the name (species) of the animal, its anticipated hostility to man, its feeding habits, and its activity cycle. If the character has the Healing and/or Herbalism skills, he or she may treat the injuries and diseases of animals.
Critical Success: The character knows an astounding amount of detail about the animal.
Critical Failure: The character may confuse the animal with something that appears similar but is different in an important way (confusing poisonous snakes with non-poisonous ones, etc.)
This skill grants the character the ability to design homes and buildings. With greater intensities of the skill, the character can design larger and more complicated dwellings. This ability also allows a character to identify aspects of buildings that he did not build or design, such as figuring out the most likely layout of a mine based upon similar mines or old and often incomplete maps, or the most likely purpose of various unmarked rooms in a castle. This skill can even be used as a primitive form of trap-detection - the character can use this skill to determine the most typical ways a castle gate may be defended from invaders, for example.
Critical Success: The home has 12 hit points per structural point instead of the usual ten. Critical Fumble: The home looks sound, but in fact have only 5 hit points per structural point and has a 5% per year (cumulative) of collapsing when exposed to violent acts of nature, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.
Intensity 1. Can design a cottage, tool shed, bungalow, or shack. Intensity 2. Can design a townhouse or single-family dwelling Intensity 3. Can design a mansion medium-sized fortress Intensity 4. Can design a castle Intensity 5. Can design a truly formidable strategic stronghold
A skill in astronomy allows the character to chart the stars and planets. This skill is quite useful in ship navigation at night, or by traveling at night on land without a map. Aside from granting the character knowledge of stars and other stellar objects, it also doubles as Direction Sense and Navigation (but only at night). This skill can also help the character understand certain occult events that deal with the placement of planets and stars.
Critical Success: The character navigates as intended and knocks a day off the travel time, if possible.
Critical Failure: For whatever reason, the character just can’t figure out his current location or the location of his destination that night.
With this skill, a character has the ability to concoct alcoholic beverages. With each additional intensity, the character can choose to either improve his skill an existing beverage type (beer, for example), or choose to acquire a new alcohol type. Constructs may take this skill, but incur a –2 penalty because they cannot smell or taste.
Critical Success: A prime batch is created. Successive batches made with this recipe will yield double profit and will age well, netting considerable profit in later years.
Critical Failure: A really bad batch is crafted. Drinkers must make a poison save or become physically ill with food poisoning.
This skill allows the user to make high-quality maps. As the user's level of intensity increases, so does the complexity of the maps.
Intensity 1. Can make a basic map of a dungeon. Intensity 2. Can make street maps. Intensity 3. Can make nautical maps, including depth and current progressions. Intensity 4. Can make highly detailed maps, including isometric topographical projections.
A skill in Chemistry is useful in making gunpowder, metal alloys, and in making antidotes to poison. For the latter, this skill functions as an inorganic version of Herbalism. Characters with Chemistry can also make poisons, bombs, gunpowder, acids, bases, buffers, and other concoctions, provided they have a well equipped laboratory. A character with Chemistry can also attempt to create a healing potion of intensity equal to that of the skill.
Critical Success: The character creates the formula in half the time and at double the yield.
Critical Failure: Something goes horribly wrong. In most cases, this simply means that the character fails miserably, but in the cases of more dangerous chemicals, the results can be very open-ended and dangerous.
Beyond basic in-house cooking, the Cooking proficiency allows the player character to earn a living by use of his culinary skill. As the character adds intensity to this skill, he is able to land higher paying chef jobs between adventures. Also, a good cook can make a meal out of almost anything, thus for every intensity of this skill, the characters eating the cook’s food gain a +1 bonus to their Save vs. System Shock if food poisoning is a risk. Thus, a truly skilled cook can make an old shoe almost edible, which is good considering the awful food that most adventurers end up eating! A Construct may take this skill, but suffers a –4 penalty because they cannot taste or smell.
Critical Success: Perfection! The meal is remembered for a long time, and may earn the chef a bonus.
Critical Failure: The chef botches the meal and patrons must make a poison save or contract food poisoning (disease resistance is applicable).
Intensity 1. The character is a greasy spoon chef. Can prepare a delightful batch of road kill.
Intensity 2. The character is a competent short-order cook.
Intensity 3. The character is a three-star restaurant cook.
Intensity 4. The character is a gourmet chef of exquisite cuisine.
The engineering character can design war machines, ships of sea, hang gliders, bridges, aqueducts, dams, and tunnels. Any large-scale project can be planned and designed by an engineer. If the character also has blacksmithing, masonry, or carpentry, he or she can also make repairs to an engineering project. Finally, this skill is useful in creating and repairing Constructs.
Critical Success: the project has double the service life and only incurs half normal maintenance costs. Critical Fumble: The project works well for 1d4 years, and then has a 5% per year (cumulative) chance of failing, often catastrophically, when used.
As opposed to native languages, these languages must be studied before they can be read or spoken. A character who knows a foreign language will be able to read, speak, and understand that language, but will sound like a foreigner if used in the nation of that language's origin. As a simple example, an American student who studies Spanish for two years can get by in Spain, but it will be obvious to the Spaniards that the person is from America. Constructs taking Foreign Languages can benefit from a more thorough command of the language, but their artificial voices will always sound tinny and monotonous.
Intensity 1. Talks like a tourist. Can speak and read simple sentences (3rd grade equivalent; few idioms known) Intensity 2. Talks like a worldly tourist; well versed in that language. Does not insult listeners simply by speaking. (6th grade equivalent) Intensity 3. Firm command of the language. Foreign accent is still a giveaway, but natives will appreciate the dedication the character has toward their language. Decent knowledge of idioms. (10th grade equivalent) Intensity 4. Masterful command of the language. Only a faint trace of accent remains. Most of the nuances of the language are known. (College-level equivalent.)
Intensity 5. Diplomatic command of the language. You speak better than most natives.
This skill allows the character to notice important things about a crime scene. With this skill, the character can determine the mode of death of a corpse, as well as detecting hair and blood around the crime scene.
Critical Success: Flawlessly interprets evidence and is able to identify the exact cause of death. If the cause is murder, the character can identify the killer.
Critical Fumble: Various results possible: if the nature of the crime was obvious, the character will haul in the wrong person and charge him with committing the crime. However, the character will have evidence that SEEMS at first glance to point to that person’s guilt, although a more detailed investigation would show that the evidence is obviously faulty. If the nature of the crime is not obvious, the character will be lead astray and end up making faulty assumptions.
Intensity 1.Probably doubles as the town Undertaker.
Intensity 2.The character is competent enough for a small town with few murders.
Intensity 3.Can handle work in a violent city.
Intensity 4.Could give Holmes a run for his money.
This is more of a first aid and general practitioner version of medicine. With this skill, the physician can diagnose illnesses, suture open wounds, administer CPR, deliver babies (but not via Cesarean section), administer chiropractic care, set broken bones and make casts. Bullets cannot be removed via the Healing proficiency. For bullets lodged inside a patient's body, the Advanced Medical skill is required.
A wound can be treated only once per day for the healing benefits listed below. The healing benefit is determined by the intensity of the skill.
Critical Success: The healing benefit is doubled.
Critical Failure: The patient is wounded for an amount equal to the intended healing.
Intensity 1. Healing benefit is 1d2 hit points.
Intensity 2. Healing benefit is 1d3 hit points.
Intensity 3. Healing benefit is 1d4 hit points.
Intensity 4. Healing benefit is 1d6 hit points.
This skill allows the physician to concoct treatments for diseases and poisons. Once a disease or poison is identified, the physician may attempt to formulate an antitoxin or antibiotic. The determinant is a successful Herbalism proficiency check, modified at -4 for mild diseases and -8 for critical or terminal diseases. For treating poisons, the character can concoct an antidote of intensity equal to the Herbalism skill. A character with Herbalism can also attempt to create a healing potion of intensity equal to that of the skill.
Critical Success: The physician can treat all future manifestations of this particular disease or poison at +1. Or, if preparing potions, the time to make the potion is halved and the yield is doubled. Critical Failure: The patient has an allergic reaction to the drug. Patient must save versus system shock or break out in a rash (if applied to the skin) or vomit and suffer 1d6 damage for 1d6 rounds (if ingested). If preparing potions, the creation process fails miserably and produces a harmless cloud of stinking fumes and slimy liquids bubble over out of the potion jar.
The companion skill to Law Twisting, this lets a character know the legal structure of a single type of society. If the character travels to a different land, this skill is penalized, depending on how different the laws may be. By spending additional intensities, the character can either become more proficient in one society, or learn another society's laws.
Critical Success: The character understands the nuances and details of the laws in question.
Critical Failure: The character grossly misinterprets a law and may suffer for doing so.
A requirement for the Mathematician class, this skill gives the character deep understanding mathematical formulae. Characters can make accurate theoretical models, estimate timetables for projects, shoot pool better, gamble better, and manage their finances better. Use of this skill is open-ended, and creativity is encouraged to determine where knowledge of Mathematics would directly benefit a character’s actions. If the character is of the Mathematician character class, the understanding of math is so deep that the character can actually use formulae to literally change the world.
Critical Success: Solves the challenge in question in half the time and at double the performance. Critical Failure: Botches the math and thus earns a random and unpredictable result.
This skill allows the user to recognize the religious practices, incantations, summonings, rites, and writings of a particular occult religion. It also allows the user to identify and classify Undead, as well as know the powers and abilities of the Undead type identified. Of course, one person’s “Religion” score is another person’s “Occult Knowledge” score. For example, a Dommalon Wayfinder would have the Religious Doctrine proficiency in his own religion, but may have Occult Knowledge for his understanding of Elementalism. However, for an Elementalist, the knowledge of the ways of Dommalon would constitute Occult Knowledge. In the case of knowing Scaxathromism as an occult religion, the chances of successfully enacting a spoken revocation are also listed below. Constructs may take this skill, but take a –4 additional penalty when attempting to speak revocations (as a result of their limited tonal range when speaking.)
Critical Success: Can perfectly identify the occult information in question. If used in conjunction with a spoken revocation, the effect is as if an Abjure. Critical Fumble: The character fails to grasp the meaning of what he has seen, and thus the results may vary from him simply looking foolish to his peers if he is trying to explain the Occult to them, to him coming under attack by an angry spirit that he has insulted with his ignorance while trying to bargain with it.
Intensity 1. Has the knowledge of a layperson in the occult religion.
Intensity 2. Has the knowledge of an active, fully participatory member in the occult religion.
Intensity 3. Has the knowledge of a low-level ordained station (a Deacon equivalent.) Can attempt to speak revocations at -8.
Intensity 4. Has the knowledge of the Priesthood. Can attempt to speak revocations at -4.
Intensity 5. Has the full knowledge of a High Priest. Can attempt to speak revocations at -2.
The character with physics has a handle on how the physical world functions. He knows and understands the fundamental forces of the universe and seeks to understand how all matter and energy relate to one another. Physicists are able to detect Stillpoints with an accuracy rate of 10% per intensity within a 10// radius.
Critical Success: The character solves the physics problem in half the normal time.
Critical Failure: The character fails miserable or comes to a false conclusion.
This skill allows the user to identify and classify plants and herbs. On a successful proficiency check, the user will know if a specified plant is poisonous, edible, and /or useful for medicine. Moreover, the user of Plant Lore will know the life cycle of the plant and how it functions in the local ecology.
Critical Success: The character knows more than expected about the plant in question.
Critical Failure: The character confuses key aspects of the plant or mistakes it for something similar (confusing ivy with poison ivy, for example.)
All characters should seek after this very basic skill. By having the Read/Write skill, the character is made literate in any language he or she can speak. If the character maximizes read/write to intensity 5, he or she also gains a +1 to Advanced Medical, Religion, Foreign Language, and Occult Knowledge.
There are NO results for Critical Rolls with this skill since it is so basic, although a GM may assign humorous and harmless results to a Critical Failure or Success where appropriate. Additionally, all character classes, with the exception of the Barbarian, are assumed to have at least Intensity 1 in this skill when starting. Better-educated character classes will gain this skill as a Class Skill, in which case assume that they start with Intensity 3 Read/Write.
Intensity 1. Sixth grade literacy. Intensity 2. High School literacy. Intensity 3. College - level literacy. Intensity 4. Graduate - level literacy. Intensity 5. Doctorate - level literacy.
This skill gives the character knowledge of the Holy Scriptures of the character’s own religion. All Priests, Shaman, and Protectors require this skill. It is strongly recommended for Paladins. For using the optional “Clergy of other faiths” rules, Religious Doctrine refers to the character’s own religion, not the Church of Holy Truth. There are no special results for Critical Success or Failures when rolling to determine information about one’s own faith, though one may look particularly brilliant (or stupid) depending upon the outcome.
Intensity 1. The character has basic Priestly knowledge Intensity 2. The character has full Priestly knowledge. Intensity 3. The character has the knowledge of an assistant Bishop. Intensity 4. The character has the knowledge of a Bishop.
A requirement of all Barbarians and Shamans, this skill allows the character to draw and/or identify sigils.
Critical Success: The character understands the general function of the rune even if he is not very familiar with it.
Critical Failure: The character may mistake the rune for one that appears similar.
Most of these skills involve the character's ability to notice things about the people and objects in the environment around him. The perception attribute is a mean of Intelligence and Wisdom, with all fractions dropped.
This skill gives the character the ability to treat mental illnesses. To remove one point of insanity intensity, it takes ten Counseling sessions. For each additional intensity of Counseling, the quantity of sessions required is reduced by one. Constructs may take this skill, but since they lack facial features, they are not as well able to empathize with their patients. Because of this, they incur a –2 penalty to their skill in Counseling.
Critical Success: The counselor cures two points of insanity.
Critical Failure: The counselor’s treatment fails completely and the insanity is increased by one point.
While Dwarves get this skill by virtue of their genetics, other races can approximate the Dwarfish ability by virtue of careful training. On a successful proficiency check, the character with Direction Sense will know the direction he or she is facing, even if there is no compass, stars, or sun available. By virtue of this skill, the character also gains a +1 to Navigation and a +1 to Cartography. If a Construct takes this skill, the entity gains a +2 bonus in the absence of strong magnetic fields, but takes a –4 penalty in the presence of magnetic distortions.
Critical Success: The character has an uncanny sense of where he currently is and where he is going.
Critical Failure: On a simple failure, the character simply cannot tell the direction and is forced to guess. On a critical failure, the character will think he knows the correct direction, but will in fact be off by 90, 120, or 180 degrees (GM rolls a 1d3 for this determination).
The knowledge of plant farming allows the character to raise crops. The character will know the proper time of season to plant seeds, when to harvest, how to irrigate. Additionally, the farmer will know what pests and vermin the crops are vulnerable to. While the farming skill requires Perception in the planning stages, the actual act of farming requires Endurance. Thus, once the crops are planned, (Perception), they must then be planted and subsequently harvested (Endurance.) Farmers also have keen knowledge of proper prices for farm goods (it is thus much harder for them to be ripped off by merchants selling such goods) and because of their knowledge, they can usually get a 10% reduction in the price on farm products by going to the best merchants assuming that there are multiple merchants in town.
Critical Success: The crops will yield 1d10x10% more than expected.
Critical Failure: The crops will yield only 1d6x10% of normal density.
This skill gives the character knowledge of fish, lures, and lines. Characters with this skill know how to catch, clean, and cook fish. For each hour spent fishing, a successful proficiency check indicates that fish are caught. Assuming reasonably plentiful fish, the intensity of this skill is equal to the number of people the fisher can feed with his catch.
Critical Success: It’s the big one, and it didn't get away. Fish is trophy size.
Critical Failure: The fish winds out all the line, then bites off the lure.
This skill gives the character knowledge of the games of chance. The character will know how to play poker, roulette, and many other kinds of gambling games. Moreover, this skill gives the player the ability to both cheat, and detect cheating. Basically, to cheat, the player has to make a Gambling proficiency check. If successful, his score, hand, or whatever is increased by one order; for example, in poker, a player cheating could fiddle with the deck to make his three or a kind become a full house.To detect cheating, the character must match his gambling proficiency against the other player(s) Gambling proficiency or proficiencies on the Universal Matrix. If successful, the character will know if the scrutinized player is cheating at the gambling game.
Critical Success: The gambler cheats or catches cheaters in a very impressive manner.
Critical Failure: The gambler completely misses a cheater or gets caught cheating.
This skill gives the character knowledge of animal husbandry and livestock. The character knows how to feed, breed, and care for livestock. If the herder needs to transport livestock across a long distance, this skill gives the herder the capacity to organize the animals into a logical and well-maintained herd formation. Additionally, he or she will know how to harvest (butcher) livestock for sale. Finally, those skilled in Herding gain a 10% bonus to Tracking since herders spend time hunting down lost members of the herd. Constructs may take this proficiency, but suffer a –8 penalty, due to the fact that they are much too heavy to ride horses, have a slow ground movement, and have a limited vocal range for commanding animals.
Critical Success: Travel time while guiding a herd is reduced by 20%.
Critical Fumble: The herd stampedes.
Characters with this skill know how to dig for ore (coal, iron, copper, uranium, gold, salt, and etc.) Those so skilled have the knowledge of mine layouts, mining safety, the dangers of underground work, how to detect tunnel gasses, and cave-in survival protocols. Like farming, this skill requires two checks. Perception tells the miner where and how to dig, while Endurance is required for the actual digging. For day-to-day mining, no proficiency check is required. A Mining check is required when starting a new digging operation (which may or may not result in a cave-in). Constructs may take this proficiency and incur a +2 bonus. Their high Strength attribute and innate tirelessness makes them uniquely suitable for mining operations.
Critical success: The miner finds a rich vein of ore, exceeding expectations by 20%.
Critical Fumble: A cave-in occurs.
This skill is required for charting courses across the seas or other empty, featureless areas. Characters with navigation can plot courses by virtue of nautical maps, a compass, or by the sun and stars. This skill has more far-reaching applications than Directional Sense, but it requires equipment and time to use. Characters with navigation also aid in directing the course of a sailing ship.
Critical Success: The navigator is able to plot a very efficient course, subtracting 10% from the travel time.
Critical Fumble: The navigator gets the ship hopelessly lost. A new Navigation check may be tried in a day or if it becomes obvious that the ship is lost.
With this skill, the character can generally determine the emotional state of an individual by observing his or her nonverbal cues, body posturing, speech, and inflection. While this skill is not supernatural (like Empathy), it does have its uses. A character skilled with Read Emotion can tell if he is being lied to by first making a successful proficiency check, then by successfully matching his or her Read Emotion score against the target's Willpower score. This skill functions at -3 when evaluating a member of a different culture (unless the character has the Cultural Knowledge proficiency), and -5 when evaluating a member of a different race. These penalties are cumulative. Constructs may not take this skill.
Critical Success: Not only does the character grasp the emotional state of the individual, he has a hunch regarding deeper details (why the person is angry, etc.)
Critical Failure: The character misinterprets a signal and comes to a very wrong conclusion.
A skill handy for sailors, travelers, and farmers alike, this ability grants the character with a foreknowledge of the next day's weather. By observing the sky, and consulting notes on previous day’s weather patterns, the character can predict the weather for the following day.If a successful proficiency check is made, the character can know the next day's weather. On a simple failure, the character has to guess. For determining the weather more than one day in advance, there is a cumulative -2 penalty for each additional day predicted; thus, looking two days into the future would incur a -2 penalty, while looking a week into the future would incur a -12 penalty to the Predict Weather skill. It
Critical Success: The character knows the next three days weather patterns.
Critical Failure: The character not only doesn’t know the weather, but he misses weather events that could be important. Perhaps he fails to predict severe thunderstorms in the summer or a blizzard in winter.
Note that the GM should generally determine weather beforehand and not edit the weather based upon a critical fumble - don’t add a storm just because a character didn’t see it coming.
With this skill, a character can know the contents of a conversation without being able to hear the actual words. As long as the character can see the target's facial movements, the content of the spoken words can be gleaned. All that is required is a successful proficiency check by the character.This skill has a range of 8//. Beyond this range, the character is penalized by -1 for every 1// distance beyond 10// (Changelings excepted: they are penalized by -2 at a range of 6// or less, but unpenalized at 7// to 1 mile). Additionally, the observing character must know how to speak the language that the target is speaking.
Critical Success: The character has a very good understanding of the conversation.
Critical Failure: The character catches parts of the conversation and reads just enough to be left confused and wondering about the details.
A character with the tracking skill is granted a tracking percentile chance of 10% - this bonus is added to the tracking that some character classes (such as Rangers) already get. For each additional point put into this skill, the character gains 5% to the tracking percentile. To use this Tracking skill, the character must first make a proficiency check, then roll under his tracking percentile score. If, however, the character class already has Tracking, the proficiency check may only be required when tracking challenging prey.
Critical Success: The trail is good: when the next tracking check must be made in this hunt, the character gains a 20% bonus to tracking for that roll.
Critical Failure: The trail has gone cold: when the next tracking check must be made in this hunt, the character gets a 20% penalty to tracking for that roll.
Any proficiency that uses Skill is based on eye-hand coordination and a fine control over one's body. Thus both Intelligence and Dexterity are required for these skills. The Skill attribute is calculated as a mean of Intelligence and Dexterity with all resultant fractions dropped.
This character is skilled at crafting and repairing armor. The type of armor he or she can create depends on the other crafting skills he has. For instance, if the crafter has blacksmithing, then he or she can create metal armor; if the character has leather crafting, then he can fashion armor from leather. If the crafter has Artistic Ability, then he or she can create armor that has great beauty -- the stuff worthy of Knights and powerful warriors. Note that Artist Ability is NOT required to make enchanted armor, but then again, enchanted armor may not appear much more impressive than normal armor without the use of Artist Ability.
Critical Success: The character has created armor that is of truly lasting value. On percentiles, a 01 to 79 indicates that the armor is +1 to AC (excellent craftsmanship); an 80 to 95 indicates that the armor has a +2 bonus to AC (masterful craftsmanship); a 96 to 00 indicates a +3 bonus to AC (unearthly craftsmanship).
Critical Failure: The character has created armor that will appear to be of good quality in every respect. However, the first time it is struck in real combat, the armor will reveal a critical flaw and thus have a -2 penalty to AC. Nothing short of scrapping the armor and starting over can fix this problem.
Additional Skills needed to produce various kinds of Armour:
- Metal armor (chain mail, plate mail) = Blacksmithing
- Advanced tech armor (Kevlar) = Chemistry and Weaving or Tailor/Seamstress. Note that building Advanced types of Armour is not an easy task and the character must have high intensities in the appropriate skills to even begin to understand how to design such armor.
- Shields: Blacksmithing or Woodcraft. Metal shields are heavier but will not burn in fires.
- Helmets: Blacksmithing or Leather Craft. Leather caps are cheap, but don’t last through too many seasons or battles when compared to metal helmets.
This skill allows the wielder to define a specific craft not otherwise mentioned in this section. Examples of definable crafts are: Ballooner, Boat maker, cabinet maker, carter, chandler, cobbler, gun smith, hang glider maker, locksmith, potter, tailor, seamstress, wheelwright, etc. The Game Master will decide which crafts are available in the particular campaign setting.Basically, any kind of job that requires fine handiwork and produces a lasting tangible product can be considered a definable craft. Depending on the nature of the craft, the Game Master may limit a Construct’s ability to learn the skill.
Beyond ordinary contemporary dancing, characters with this skill have the ability to perform ballet, traditional dances, religious/tribal/ceremonial dance, and most other forms of uncommon dance. This skill is required for work in a theater company and similar organizations. Having a skill in dancing gives the character a +1 to parry and a +1 to the character's save versus magical weapon roll. Constructs may not take this skill, due to their slow movement speed and limited flexibility.
Critical Success: Functions at one intensity higher and is a memorable performance.
Critical Failure: Character trips a lot, and falls off the stage.
Intensity 1. Could play an extra in "Flash Dance".
Intensity 2. Could find a home in a modest sized ballet / theater company.
Intensity 3. Respectable skill; Considered irreplaceable to the ballet/theater company. Could be Michael Flatly.
Intensity 4. Renowned for skill. Could be Mikhail Baryshnikov.
With this talent, the character can find work as a jeweler. He or she has the skill to appraise gemstones, repair jewelry, detect frauds, and, if the character has artistic ability, craft necklaces, rings, brooches, and the like. While Artistic Ability is required to use this skill to produce attractive jewelry worthy of sale, it is not needed to produce “boring” enchanted jewelry. Note that Blacksmithing is required if the jeweler intends to create the metal components for jewelry, but not to cut, set, or appraise the gemstones themselves. If the character also has Chemistry, the gemologist can also attempt to fashion artificial jewelry. A less-than-honest craftsman may even attempt to pass off false jewelry as the genuine article.
Critical Success: The gem-smith creates a wondrous piece of jewelry with triple the normal value.
Critical Failure: Not only did the piece not work out, the jewels were damaged in the process.
With this skill, the character has the knowledge of glass blowing, coloration, and shaping. If the character has artistic ability, he or she may also create stained glass windows. With this skill, the character can create drinking glasses, tumblers, test tubes, lenses, and other glass items. If the character also has Artistic Ability, he or she can engage in caning, a process in which colored glass rods are inserted into a clear glass piece of jewelry (or other item) for decorative effects.To be hired by the Saboo Treasury for the making of glass coins and fragment coins, the artisan must have Glass Blowing (4) and Artistic Ability (4). Constructs may not take this skill, since they don’t have mouths, and cannot blow glass. They also lack the artistic sense needed to make much of anything of interest with this skill.
Critical Success: The character has created something of truly lasting value. This item can be sold for five times the normal price, and has a +2 to all item saving throws.
Critical Failure: The object created fails to withstand thermal contraction and destroys itself upon cooling. Of course, if the glass items are your money, then you’re really out of luck.
Users of this skill can juggle objects with the greatest of ease. Additionally, the juggler can parry thrown objects with just his bare hands; this includes missile weapons from most sources other than firearms. The juggler gets a +1 to parry by having skill points in juggling. To actually catch a missile object, the juggler attempt to parry it with a -3 penalty. The number of objects juggled depends on the intensity of the skill.
Critical Success: Juggler functions at one intensity higher and executes flawless performance.
Critical Failure: Not only does the juggler drop objects, but also some of them actually hit people; can be very embarrassing when juggling torches.
Intensity 1. Can juggle: Five spherical objects, or four non-spherical same-shape objects, or three unequal objects.
Intensity 2. Can juggle: Six spherical objects, or five non-spherical same-shape objects, or three unequal objects.
Intensity 3. Can juggle: Seven spherical objects, or five non-spherical same-shape objects, or four unequal objects.
Intensity 4. Can juggle: Eight spherical objects, or six non-spherical same-shape objects, or five unequal objects.
Intensity 5. Can juggle: Nine spherical objects, or six non-spherical same-shape objects, or six unequal objects.
This skill allows the wielder to craft objects from leather. This includes boots, bags, leather mugs (huzzah!), harnesses, and the like. If the Armour Craft proficiency is known, then the wielder can create and repair leather armor. Having this skill also allows the wielder to tan hides and stuff/preserve the carcasses of game animals for the purpose of trophies (i.e. taxidermy).
Critical Success: The character has created something of truly lasting value. This item can be sold for five times the normal price, and has a +2 to all item saving throws.
Critical Failure: The object created shrivels and rots 1d4 months after creation.
This skill gives the character the ability to play a musical instrument and read sheet music. The instrument type must be defined (i.e. flute, cello, timpani, etc.) This skill is required of all Wishsingers. For each additional intensity, the character can either learn an additional instrument, or become more proficient in the instrument already known. If the character has Craftsmanship (of instruments) and either woodworking or blacksmithing, the character can also create musical instruments. Constructs may not take this skill. They don’t have mouths (required for wind instruments), and they lack the necessary flexibility in the fingers for stringed or percussion instruments.
Critical Success: A flawless rendition.
Critical Fumble: Character chokes (if using a wind instrument), or drops the pick or bow (if a stringed instrument), or drops a drum stick or baton (if a percussion instrument.)
With this skill, the character can make a living painting houses, walls, gates, ships, and the like. The character is given knowledge of color mixing, brush types, application and drying methods, paint removal procedures. If this skill is combined with Artistic Ability, the character can become a fine arts painter.
Critical Success: The perfect mix of pigments and oils are created, allowing the panted surface to remain intact for 25% longer than usual. The painting sells for double the normal value.
Critical Fumble: The first time the paint is exposed to 90-degree heat, the paint oozes off the surface. The first time the paint is exposed to 30-degree chill, the paint contracts, leaving the surface riddled with crazing. The painting may sell for its normal value, but one can bet that whoever purchased the defective painting may want his money back after it is ruined!
With this skill, the character knows how to knead clay, formulate glazes, spin a potter's wheel, and operate a kiln. With this skill, the character can make bowls, plates, cookware, vases, and the like. If the character has Artistic ability, then the character can create ceramic works of art. Constructs may not take this skill. Their fingers lack the fleshy finger pads that organic humanoids possess.
Critical Success: A work of truly lasting value has been created. This item will sell for five times the normal value.
Critical Failure: The items in the kiln crumble into useless shards.
Ride, Air Creature
With this skill, the character can ride and control large winged creatures for the purpose of transportation. Of course, the Animal Handling skill is also recommended.
Critical Success: The mount is kept under control and automatically makes the next Ride check.
Critical Failure: The mount panics and the rider must hang on for dear life.
Ride, Air Device
There are three common air devices on Gaianar: the hang glider, the paraglider, and the hot-air balloon. When this proficiency is learned, the character can choose which one of these three he or she will be able to control.
Critical Success: The vehicle is kept completely under control and automatically makes the next Ride check.
Critical Failure: Poor judgment or bad luck! The vehicle begins to slip out of control and lose altitude.
Riding, Land Creature
The most common land beast is the horse. However, a character may choose to use a donkey, a mule, an elephant, or a camel (or any other animal that could be conceivable domesticated and ridden.) The character must choose which animal he or she will learn how to ride. By spending extra slots, the character can learn how to ride additional animals. Of course, the Animal Handling skill is also recommended.
Critical Success: The mount is kept under control and automatically makes the next Ride check.
Critical Failure: The mount panics and the rider must hang on or risk being thrown.
Rope Use (Knot Tying)
With this skill, the character can tie all kinds of knots in ropes; granny knots, square knots, hangman knots, sheepshank, etc. All that is required is a successful proficiency check. If the character has been tied up with ropes, he or she may attempt escape; a successful proficiency check at -4 allows gains the character freedom from his restraints. For escaping from other types of personal restraints, the check is at -8. Constructs may take this skill, but the entity will suffer a –3 penalty due to the fact that a Construct’s fingers are more rigid than an organic humanoid’s.
Critical Success: The knot is perfect and can take twice the normal load or the character escapes the ropes flawlessly.
Critical Failure: The knot is flawed and can take only half the normal load or the character not only fails to escape the ropes but also becomes entangled so that all future Rope Use checks to escape are made with a -2 penalty.
With the Ship Handling skill, the character knows how to trim the sails, man the helm, and perform routine ship functions. The character knows all of the appropriate procedures for running a ship.
Critical Success: The rower or sailor is able to maneuver the boat at twice normal speed or make the boat function as if 50% more seaworthy.
Critical Fumble: Random results, but generally the boat will end up in whatever trouble awaits it, such as capsizing in storm, getting lost in fog, running aground on a coral reef, and so on.
Tailor / Seamstress
A character with this skill can make clothing through the use of sewing, knitting, or crocheting. With the Tailor/Seamstress skill, a character can judge the quality of fabric, can repair garments, and make new garments if given a pattern. To design new garments without a pattern, the Artistic Ability skill is needed. Constructs may take this skill if the entity also spends an available accessory slot for generating a compact sewing machine attachment.
Critical Success: The item is particularly valuable and will sell for five times its normal value.
Critical Failure: The item begins to unravel only a month after purchase.
Intensity 1. Can make basic garments and items, such as trousers, shirts, blouses, and undergarments. Can make drapes and curtains.
Intensity 2.Can make fancier garments, such as suits. Can also make simple plush toys.
Intensity 3.Can make garments suitable for High Church and weddings. Can make fancy plush items.
Intensity 4. Can make clothes suitable for nobility and royalty.
With this skill, the character can create weapons of war. If the character has Blacksmithing (or metal craft), then he can create swords, axes, and weapons created from metal. If the character has Woodcraft, then the character can create staves, clubs, bows, and other weapons made from wood.If the craftsman has Artistic Ability, then he or she can create weapons of great beauty. He can create swords, bows, and staves with delicately inscribed runes and knots.
Critical Success: The character has created a weapon that is of truly lasting value. On percentiles, a 01 to 79 indicates that the weapon is +1 to either hit, parry, initiative, or damage (excellent craftsmanship); on an 80 to 95 the weapon gains a +2 bonus to hit, parry, initiative or damage (masterful craftsmanship); on a 96 to 00 the weapon gains a +3 bonus hit, parry, initiative, or damage (unearthly craftsmanship).
Critical Failure: The character has created a weapon that will appear to be of good quality in every respect. However, the first time it is used in real combat, the weapon will reveal a critical flaw and from that point on, it will function at -2 in all respects. A weapon flawed in such a way cannot be repaired.
Additional Skills needed to produce various kinds of Weapons:
- Primarily metal weapons (swords, guns, axes) = Blacksmithing
- Arrows and bolts = Woodcraft
- Bullets = Blacksmithing and Chemistry
- Sling-stones = Masonry
- Molotov cocktails and similar explosives = Chemistry (and Glassblowing for the glass container)
Woodcraft (Small Items)
Characters with this skill can craft items from wood. This includes tools, household implements, cups, pitchers, frames, and etc. If the character has Artistic Ability, then the character can sculpt in wood. If the character has Weapon Craft, then he can create weapons from wood. If the character has Science: Architecture, then the character can design and build houses.
Critical Success: The character has created something of truly lasting value. This item can be sold for five times the normal price, and has a +2 to all item saving throws.
Critical Failure: The object created fails to resist dry rot and crumbles to nothing in 2d4 weeks.
With this skill, the character can weave rugs and tapestries and other floor and wall coverings. If the character has Artistic Ability, then he or she can create woven items of great beauty as well as functionality.
Critical Success: The character has created something of truly lasting value. This item can be sold for five times the normal price, has a +2 to all item saving throws, and lasts for three times the normal wear time.
Critical Failure: The object created starts unraveling after only a month after purchase.
Skills in this category implement the wielder's inner strength, drive, and ambition. Willpower is composed of equal parts Faith and Wisdom.
With this skill, a character gains the ability to train animals to response to verbal commands and nonverbal gestures. The extent of trainability depends on the nature of the animal and the skill of the trainer. The character must choose which type of animal he or she will learn how to train. Animals that are useful to train include horses, dogs, wolves, falcons, homing pigeons, snakes, and beasts of burden. Constructs may take this skill, but suffer a –6 penalty, due to their lack of vocal range and intonation, and their inability to make eye contact with the animals (Constructs don’t have faces.)
Critical Success: The animal has been trained exceptionally well, and functions at +1 to Intelligence. This animal can be sold at three times the normal value due to its trainability, response time, versatility, and loyalty.Critical Failure: The animal can never be trained to do anything. Improper conditioning has effectively ruined it.
1. The training process takes six months.
2. The training process takes four months.
3. The training process takes three months.
4. The training process takes two months.
This skill is usually combined with other skills to produce works of art. For instance, Artistic Ability and Stone Crafting can produce a sculptor. Artistic Ability and Read/Write can produce a novelist or playwright. Artistic Ability combined with Singing and Musical Instrument allows the character to be a composer. Many such combinations can be made with Artistic Ability. Living Constructs may take this skill, but Awakened Constructs cannot. To truly have artistic ability, one must have a soul.
Critical Success: The artist has created a truly valuable piece of work; something memorable that increases in value as the years pass.Critical Failure: The artist thinks he or she has created something of truly lasting and appreciative value -- until the artist tries to actually sell this creation; then the ridicule has only begun!
1. The artist can scrape by on his talent, provided he has a part time job.
2. The artist is favored in local circles; can make a living.
3. The artist is generally known and liked. Some of his works will increase in value after his death. Lives a middle class lifestyle.
4. The character is an elite artist, renowned for skill, precision, inspiration, and craftsmanship. His artwork increases in value before he's dead
Not the nicest of skills; the practitioners of this skill are usually of evil alignment. People with this skill can place subliminal commands into their victims, create multiples (people with dissociative identity disorder), implant a multiple with an introject alter (an alter that is hostile to the primary personality), implant an insanity, make a person into a slave, implant helplessness, and give their victims selective amnesia. Constructs are absolutely incapable of learning this skill.
Critical Success: The victim is helpless before your power, and will serve you always without hesitation (or at least until somebody else Deprograms him!) Critical Failure: The victim gains the dissociative identity disorder insanity, and a vengeful (and clear-minded) alter will seek to accomplish your doom at an indeterminate time.
GM’s note: This skill can proof to be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands and can wreck campaigns when key NPCs are turned into drones of the players. A GM may wish to limit the powers of this skill or reduce the effects of critical success and failures.
This skill is the logical countermeasure to Brainwashing. Practitioners of Deprogramming can attempt to undo the damage inflicted upon a subject by brainwashing. Deprogrammers are able to diffuse self-harm and self-destruct commands, as well as neutralize introjects. Moreover, the Deprogrammer can help the victim recover repressed memories. The time required for a full deprogramming depends on how long and to what intensity the victim was brainwashed. Deprogrammers that have the Counseling skill gain a +1 to their proficiency checks. Constructs are absolutely incapable of learning this skill.
Critical Success: The victim recovers at twice the normal rate.Critical Failure: The victim must make a save versus sleep/charm or succumb to a random insanity - usually dissociative identity disorder or a form of schizophrenia.
GM’s note: If Brainwashing is a key factor in your campaign or if the player’s are getting way too much mileage out of it, make sure that there are NPCs who can Deprogram key characters or other NPCs as needed.
This skill functions in an identical manner as Intimidate, except that the inquisitor browbeats the subject into talking with complex mind-games, as opposed to simply scaring him or impressing him with is own power.
By virtue of this skill, the character is able to order and structure his or her thoughts in a logical and patterned way. This order of thought grants the character greater defensive capabilities against forces that would alter thought processes. For each intensity of Mental Defense, the character is granted a +1 to spirit combat Defense. For each 2 intensity points put into this skill, the character gains a +1 bonus to Save vs. Sleep Charm. To use this skill, the character much make a successful proficiency check at the commencement of spirit combat.
Characters with a Structured (Saintly, Lawful, or Despotic) alignment get a +1 to this proficiency check, while Neutral-aligned characters are unaffected, and those with a Random alignment are penalized at -1 for this skill. Only Living Constructs can take this skill. Since Awakened Constructs do not have souls, they don’t need this skill anyway, because they cannot be attacked spiritually.
Critical Success: The character functions as if the skill were one intensity higher.
Critical Failure: The character's thoughts are thrown into disarray, and are at -2 to spirit combat Defense, and -1 to sleep/charm for the next 2d4 rounds.
A must for all Priests, Deacons, and Shamans (or any religious leader), this skill allows the character to write sermons and preach the tenants of his faith to both believers and nonbelievers. However, if attempting to convince nonbelievers of the merits of one’s faith, this check is made with a -4 penalty in most cases. Usually, the setting is a church, temple, or similar place of worship, though this skill is equally useful when giving a sermon in an inn or upon a hillside. A character without this skill can still try to preach, but he has no real hope of convincing anyone of the value of his religion or truly explaining its deepest meaning to a nonbeliever.
If a successful Preaching proficiency check is made, then the listeners’ function at +1 to Religious Doctrine, and +1 to spirit combat Defense for a 24-hour period (due to the great inspiration of the speaker). Living Constructs may take this skill, but suffer a –3 penalty, due to their inability to maintain eye contact, and lack of vocal range.
Critical Success: The aforementioned bonuses are doubled, and last for two days.Critical Failure: The Priest or preacher has taught heresy from the pulpit. All listeners must make a save versus sleep/charm or function at -2 to Religious Doctrine and spirit combat attack for one day.
A character with Teach may confer his skills to another person. As a teacher, it takes 4 months with five hours of instruction per week to grant a character a skill of intensity 1. For each higher intensity, it takes an additional 4 months + one month per intensity level; thus if an instructor was teaching Swimming to a student who already knew the skill at intensity 2, it would take six months at five hours per week to raise that skill to intensity three. The instructor can only teach a student to a maximum intensity of whichever of the following is lower:
A.) The intensity of the Teaching Proficiency
B.) The intensity that the teacher has of the skill being taught.
At the end of the instructional period, the Teacher must make a successful proficiency check, and the student must make a successful Knowledge check. If both checks are successful, then the student has learned the skill. If the instructor fails his or her check, then the student still learns the proficiency, but at one intensity lower than what would have been expected if the Teacher had made his check. If the student fails his knowledge check, then the lessons have failed, and the student cannot be reevaluated without additional lessons, equal to 1/2 the original required time.
It should be known that Teaching supersedes the usual progression of character skill acquisition per level.
Critical Success: The student functions at +2 in that skill.
Critical Failure: The student fails the lessons, and the student will function at -4 in that skill no matter how many more lessons are taken from the same teacher. Of course, the student can go to another teacher and “unlearn” what his previous teacher taught him to attempt to master the skill he desires to understand.
GM’s Note: The Teaching skill is a formal way to handle questions regarding what is involved to gain additional skill points outside of those acquired when leveling up a character. Without this formal rule, players may attempt to “blend” the characters in party. For example, one of them has Healing at Intensity 4, so the other might characters feel that some of that knowledge should “rub-off” on them, thus giving them the Healing skill. It is up to the GM to modify the time needed to gain additional skill points if needed, but it is important to establish clear rules for gaining them.
A final note to GM’s: The Critical Success and Failure results are used to establish boundaries on the best and worst results that one can achieve by attempting to use a given skill. However, care should be taken with these, as with all Critical Successes and Failures. Don’t have characters dying by Critically Failing a Chemistry attempt to recall a specific element, and don’t have them just “knowing” how to pilot an ancient jet fighter because they rolled a Critical Success. Unlike combat skills, the limits and uses of non-combat skills are far more open-ended and challenging to control. Also, don’t hesitate to put situational modifiers on these checks depending upon how favorable or unfavorable conditions are to use a given skill.
Things to Remember
It takes two free slots to start a brand-new skill, but it only takes one free slot to improve an existing skill.
Some skills offer bonuses to other skills (such as herbalism to chemistry).
A character can role-play learning a new skill (under the GM's direction). For example, a character may spend six months in game time as a blacksmith's apprentice to learn blacksmithing.
Certain magical books will convey new skills.
A Player Character can cash in a wish to learn a new skill.
Constructs can choose to either learn new skills or develop a new accessory.
Skills cannot be unlearned.
It is preferable to learn at least one "career" skill so that the Player Character has plausible employment in-between adventures.
Throughout the text, the terms "Skill" and "Proficiency" are used to describe the ability to wield weapons and complete skilled tasks. It should be known that "skill" and "proficiency" are interchangeable terms.