© 1994 by Scott Gray and Sharon Tripp. These pages may not be reproduced for profit. They may be copied, provided they are not altered and the authors' names remain attached.Previous section | Next section | Contents
Learning a skill often requires that the character have access to particular resources. The character will sometimes require something or someone with which to practice -- a sparring partner to practice a combat technique with, a cadaver to practice a medical procedure on, etc. A character generally requires a treatise on the subject or another person skilled in that area to teach him/her. A character may only learn skills through self-study if (s)he has a relevant research ability.
Research ability halves the cost of any related skills (round up if this produces a fraction).
Some skills can be used even if the player has not spent skill points for his/her character to learn them. Such skills may be used by a character working directly from the formula, provided (s)he has learned all prerequisite abilities and skills necessary to use the skill. This includes most magical rituals (but not magical powers), alchemy, and engineering. The character works directly from the grimoire, recipe, or blueprint.
Skills which never fall into this category are any combat or physical skills, chirurgery, and magical powers.
Some skills are only appropriate for particular cultures within a campaign -- for instance, most rites of faith. A character should generally pay two to three times as much to learn a skill outside of his/her native culture.
New skills must fit within the tone of the campaign. An elementalist school of magic which allows the casting of fireballs is only appropriate for certain high fantasy campaigns, whereas as a druidic type of elementalist is appropriate for others.
When a player with research ability tries to craft a new spell, formula, medical technique, or other skill, (s)he should tell the GM what his/her character's initial assumptions are. If the character begins the research with little or no information, the GM should make the research cost more skill points, or have limited results. The more complete and accurate the character's starting information, the simpler and more productive the research will be. If the character begins his/her research with false or misleading premises, the GM may require the expenditure of skill points but give an incomplete or incorrect formula.
If a character is researching to create something that is significantly more potent than anything which currently exists, then the research time should be increased further. Research is not guaranteed to be successful. Failed research should still expend skill points (although only a fraction of the amount that would be spent to successfully craft the skill).
The GM should feel free to let discoveries come from research that are unrelated to the original aims of the research. In most such cases the facts and/or formulas discovered should be less valuable than the number of points paid in research for what was sought.
In addition to creating new skills within the existent framework, the GM might wish to design whole new areas of skills. A cyberpunk campaign would probably have a set of skills for the creation of cybernetics (as well as a bioengineering ability required in order to learn skills for the building and maintenance of cybernetics). A high fantasy setting might have an elemental school of magic in addition to or in place of the schools detailed within this manual.
When creating new classes of skills, it is important to make sure that the new skills are not unbalancing. This might be done by having the point cost for the skills be high, the equipment needed to use the skill be expensive or rare (such as parts for cybernetics), or ingame strictures which preclude constant or open use of the skill (such as the illegality of counterfeiting money, or a weapons check done at the gates of the military compound, etc.).
For the creation of an elemental school of magic, for example, the GM would need to determine the casting requirement. Perhaps the spells would be represented by throwing bean bags at the target of the spell, the spell taking effect only if it hits its target, as is done is several other live action games. Or it might be represented by using magic tricks appropriate to the spell (flash paper for fire spells, some sort of sparkling confetti for air, etc.), and only usable in non-combat situations.
Casting requirements greatly affect the tone that spells have within the game. If elemental spells are useable in combat, there will likely be mages tossing off fireballs to annihilate their enemies. To balance out this power in a high fantasy setting where magery is legal, a spell of that magnitude might have a tremendous drain upon the caster; perhaps costing a large number of temporary health points, one or two permanent health points, or the inability to move from that spot, even to defend him/herself, for several minutes afterward. Or perhaps the cost would be in components which must be gathered ingame in order to cast the spell.
If none of the elemental spells have combat applications, the tone of the elementalists would be quite different; perhaps able to cause great destruction in non-combat situations with spells such as cause earthquake, but having only partial control of the forces (the summoned earthquake causing damage indiscriminately within a certain area).
The normal classification of skills doesn't always fit a GM's or player's need. In such instances, the GM may come up with a new way of classifying certain skills. For example, a GM may wish to allow a "research (thief)" ability. The skills which this would cover might include such disparate things as lockpick improvising, hide, breakfall, minor trap mechanisms, certain alchemical mixtures, conceal item, and detect forgery.
The following is not a definitive list; the GM may decide not to allow certain skills in his/her campaign, or may introduce new ones. If there is a particular skill that a player wants for his/her character, (s)he should talk to the GM about it; if it doesn't already exist, the GM might add it.
Some skills have brackets after their names. In such cases, each listed subset in the brackets represents a separate variant of the skill. A character may learn more than one variant, but must purchase the skill separately for each. For instance, distance killing blow [missile weapon, thrown, firearm] must be purchased separately for each weapon type with which the character wishes to learn it.
Skills often require that the character have access to particular people or items to learn. This might mean a teacher, book or special items (proper tools, components, etc.). Some skills require something or someone with which to practice (a sparring partner to practice a combat technique with, a cadaver to practice a medical technique on, etc.). Unlike abilities, the GM must be given proof that the character has access to whatever (s)he would need to study it: a chirurgeon may not study a medical technique without a treatise on the subject or another chirurgeon skilled in that area teaching him/her; a fighter may not specialize in a weapon if (s)he is spending all his/her time using a different type of weapon. A character may only learn certain skills through self-study (without the aid of a teacher or book) if (s)he has a relevant research ability.
Remember that the following is not a definitive list; the GM may decide not to allow certain skills in his/her campaign, or may introduce new ones. If there is a particular poison/ritual/ medical technique not listed that a player wants for his/her character, (s)he should talk to the GM about it; if it doesn't already exist, the GM might add it.
Keep in mind that research ability halves the cost of any related skills (round up if this produces a fraction).
Some skills described below have brackets after the name. In such cases, each listed subset in the brackets represents a separate variant of the skill. When learning such a skill, the player must decide which of the variants is being learned. A character may learn more than one variant, but must purchase the skill separately for each. For instance, distance killing blow [missile weapon, thrown, firearm] must be learned separately for each weapon type with which the character wishes to learn it.
12 Breakfall P: dodge 24 Break limb P: shatter 18 Choke hold P: weaponless combat 24 Distance killing blow P: weapon ability [missile, thrown, firearm] 3 Familiarity with [character's] style S 18 Fast load P: weapon ability [crossbow, arquebus, or blunderbuss] 18 Garrotte P: waylay 30 Hide P: escape 36 Intrinsic killing blow P: weapon mastery, quick kill [melee, entangling weapons, firearms, missile, thrown, or weaponless combat] 36 Quick kill 12 Scar P: disarm or tangle arm 30 Secondary weapon P: off-hand weapon ability, R: 1.0 to 1.6 strength 30 Sever limb P: two shatters, break limb 12+6 Siege weapon(ballista, cannon, catapult, trebuchet) P: missile weapon 40 Specialization (melee, entangling) P: weapon ability 24 Specialization (small, thrown) P: weapon ability 32 Specialization (missile, firearm) P: weapon ability 30 Stealth in armor 36 Street fighting P: weaponless combat 18 Swordbreaker P: disarm 36 Tangle weapon P: tangle arm or disarm and entangling weapon ability
9 Break fever P: chirurgery 12 Diagnose disease P: chirurgery 12 Diagnose infection P: chirurgery 18 Diagnose poison P: chirurgery 30 Forensic medicine P: chirurgery 6 Midwifery P: first aid 24 Physical therapy P: chirurgery 12 Set limb P: chirurgery 1-8 Treat disease (x) P: chirurgery 12 Treat infection P: chirurgery 18 Veterinary (x) P: chirurgery
6 Animal trap P: engineering, 1 Caltrops 12 Crossbow trap P: engineering 18 Locked door trap P: engineering 12 Needle lock trap P: engineering 6 Pit P: disarm/set traps 12 Tripwire P: engineering
2 Alcohol P: alchemy or brewing craft ability 3 Consumption P: alchemy 4 Consumption antidote P: alchemy 4 Death's kiss P: alchemy 2 Dizzy P: alchemy 6 Ellenic fire P: alchemy, explosives use skill 2 Entleris P: alchemy 5 Gunpowder P: alchemy, explosives use skill 1 Healing salve P: alchemy 2 Hunger P: alchemy 2 Intensity P: alchemy 1 Isselyn P: alchemy 2 Lethargy P: alchemy 3 Lethargy antidote P: alchemy 5 Malexite P: alchemy, explosives use skill 2 Qat P: alchemy 2 Rage P: alchemy 2 Saaleni P: alchemy 3 Seros P: alchemy 4 Shimara P: alchemy 2 Sleep P: alchemy
12 Absolution P: confession skill 42 Banishment 6 Blessing 36 Cast out 12 Cleansing P: confession skill 3 Confession 3 Confirmation 12 Consult scripture 3 Funeral rites 18 Heal quickly P: empathy 36 Heroic endurance 3 Last rites 42 Locating Stick P: Urukin background, or Research (Other Culture: Uruk) 3 Marriage rites 6 Meditation 6 Oath giving 12 Prayers for luck 24 Sanctification P: banishment 12 Seal away P: banishment 24 Strength of will R: faithful to beliefs 42 Tarot reading by dream 24 Transfer wounds P: fleshshaping, level 2 healing 42 Unheroic endurance P: fleshshaping 24 Wrack with pain P: fleshshaping
18 Cast through pain R: Magery 2 12 Fury P: 24 points magic, of which 12 must be adept, R: Magery 5 30 Gain ability P: 48 points of magic skills, R: Magery 3 12 Gain fatigue R: Magery 3 12 Improve strength R: Magery 3 6 Inhuman strength P: Improve strength, R: Magery 4 12 Protect self from [aura] P: 12 points of adept skills, R: Magery 4 12 Sixth sense R: Magery 1
18 Call item R: Magery 4 6 Call magic R: Magery 2 30 Prestidigitation P: 72 pts conj, illus or transmuting R: Magery 4 12 Send item elsewhere R: Magery 3 12 Sense alien creature R: Magery 1 12 Shadow form P: Send item, cantrip, R: Magery 4 24 Shadow walk P: Shadow form, R: Magery 5
12 Determine abilities P: Know secrets, R: Magery 4 12 Determine harmful intent P: Know secrets, R: Magery 3 18 Know secrets R: Magery 2 12 Question P: Know secrets, R: Magery 3 12 Sense magic P: 24 points of magical skills, R: Magery 1
36 Charm R: Magery 3 18 Forget P: 18 pts illusion or enchanting skills, R: Magery 3 18 Group charm P: Charm, R: Magery 4 30 Pacify P: Charm or forget, R: Magery 4 18 Puppetmaster P: Charm or pacify, R: Magery 5 12 Sense magical compulsion P: 12 points of enchanting, R: Magery 1 18 Sleep R: Magery 2
6 Cantrip R: Magery 1 18 Greater Hallucination P: Hallucination, R: Magery 3 18 Hallucination P: Cantrip, R: Magery 2 24 Invisibility P: 48 points of magic skills, R: Magery 5 30 Mass illusion P: 84 pts of magic skills, of which 36 must be illusion and/or enchanting, R: Magery 6 6 Sense illusion P: 12 points divin or illus, R: Magery 1
12 Banish undead R: Magery 2 12 Control undead P: Banish undead, R: Magery 4 36 Create zombie R: Magery 5 24 Death P: 132 pts of magic including sense death, R: Magery 6 18 Determine cause of death R: Magery 3 36 Drain health R: Magery 3 12 Sense death R: Magery 1
18 Attunement R: Magery 2 30 Contract P: 72 pts magic, of which 36 must be sorcery, R: Magery 6 18+ Curse varies 24 Dispel P: Attunement, R: Magery 2 18 Reflect R: Magery 5 3 Sense Curse P: Curse
6 Destroy armor P: Destroy weapon, R: Magery 4 12 Destroy weapon R: Magery 3 18 Flesh to stone P: 48 points magical skills, R: Magery 5 6 Hold object R: Magery 2 18 Lighten armor R: Magery 3 6 Sense false form R: Magery 1 30 Transmute self P: 72 pts magic incl. flesh to stone, R: Magery 5 24 Transmute weapon P: 66 pts magic incl. lighten armor, R: Magery 4 12 Weaken creature R: Magery 2
18 Alter perception of reality P: Mass illusion, R: Magery 6 12 Anonymity to opc P: 24 pts divin or conj, R: Magery 3 18 Anonymity to all opc P: 24 pts divin and conj, R: Magery 5 9 Bind other planar creature R: Magery 3 3 Call other planar creature 6 Cause animosity R: Magery 1 6 Cause fear R: Magery 2 12 Cause insanity R: Magery 5 6 Cause love P: Cause anim., cause fear, or cloud judgement, R: Magery 4 6 Cause passivity P: Pacify, R: Magery 5 6 Cloud judgement R: Magery 3 18 Commune with other planar creature R: Magery 4 12 Conjuration P: Call item, R: Magery 5 9 Contingency R: Magery 5 18 Control other planar creature R: Magery 5 6 Corpse candle R: Magery 2 6 Damnation R: Magery 3 9 Detect presence within area R: Magery 3 12 Disguise P: 24 points worth of transmuting, R: Magery 3 18 Dispel R: Magery 1 18 Drain mana P: 96 points of magical, R: Magery 6 36 Enchant item P: 42 points of sorcery, R: Magery 3 3 Feign death P: Sense death, R: Magery 1 12+2Find demonic formula P: 12 pts of demon-oriented skills 15+ Golem P: 54 pts of sorcery and transmuting, R: Magery 5 12 Great power R: Magery 1 18 Illusory creature P: Greater hallucination, R: Magery 4 6 Illusory trap P: Hallucination, R: Magery 2 6 Increase mana P: Gain fatigue, R: Magery 5 18 Know demonic price P: 24 pts of demon-oriented skills, R: Magery 3 18 Know truth R: Magery 5 9 Life beyond death P: Skeleton band, R: Magery 4 6 Paranoia P: Cause fear or cause animosity, R: Magery 3 12 Possession P: 36 pts of necromancy, R: Magery 6 18+ Quickening P: 72 points of magical skills, R: Magery 4 18 Reincarnate P: 72 points of magical skills, R: Magery 5 12 Skeleton band P: Create zombie, R: Magery 3 6 Summon other planar creature P: Call opc, R: Magery 2 12 Suppress magic P: 36 pts of sorcery, R: Magery 6 9 Talk to dead R: Magery 2 12 Transform self P: Gain ability, R: Magery 5 15 Transform to beast P: 60 pts of transmuting, R: Magery 4 18 Wall of aversion P: Forget, R: Magery 6 15 Wall of thorns P: 54 points of sorcery, R: Magery 6 12 Warding P: 48 pts of magical skills, R: Magery 4 3 Waste R: Magery 1
18 Conceal item 15 Detect forgery S 12 Dry herbs 18 Explosives use 6 Improvise lockpick P: One level of appropriate lockpick skill [angled, bendable, curved, diminutive] n Innovation [choose area] varies 12 Locksmithing P: One level of lockpicking 3 Resistance to [poison] S