Core Rules: Skills

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Skills

Skills are generally things that are learnt, rather than things that someone can inherently do (i.e. Talents).

Skills are earned and trained with time, measured in in-game days. To improve a skill, a character will gain days of training, usually in between adventures when they are not earning money, that can be spent on improving your skill in certain areas. A day when regarding training in skills is assumed to be about 8 hours in length. This is all of the day's waking time, less what is needed for travel, food, personal chores, and so on.

This page lists general skills that characters might have to do as part of their day-to-day lives and during their adventures. Trade skills are skills that are more specialized, and will generally be used to earn money. Weaponry skills are used to define how well a character can use different weapons, and are noted on the weapons page.

Starting Characters

A starting character over the age of 25 has 5000 days - or about 13 years of productive learning - to spend on skills, weapon training skills and trade skills at the beginning of the game. The GM may wish to give fewer days to younger characters to reflect their lack of wisdom and worldliness. All training bought at character creation is assumed to be under tutelage with training materials at hand, and thus incurs no time penalty.

Any days that remain unspent when play commences are lost. Players are encouraged to allocate any days remaining during character creation, and any they earn during gameplay, to part-complete skills as they earn them.

Using Skills

A character can elect to roll on a particular skill at any time deemed suitable by the GM, or when the GM specifically asks for a roll against a skill. As examples: a character may proactively roll their awareness when entering a new room, or the GM may require that characters roll a balance test when they are shimmying along a narrow ledge.

Each skills lists a few examples of when they would be used in play and how difficult a skill is in a variety of circumstances. Difficulty numbers are modifiers to the character's target number for that particular test. Easier modifers will increase the target number, and more difficult ones will decrease it. Note that they are all rough guides: the GM has the final say on the level of difficulty involved after taking into account the circumstances.

It is a very good idea to negotiate between the GM and the player before the skill is rolled as to its outcomes. A player's expectations may differ from the GM's, so by giving the player the opportunity to judge the effects of a roll before it is made

Training in Skills

Noted below is the amount of time (in days) needed under expert tuition to achieve the level of expertise listed. When spending a character's initial 5000 days, it is assumed that you have access to expert tuition - schooling, on the job training, and so forth. If no expert tuition is available, double the amount of time needed to study from the previous level.

If the skill is particularly cerebral or specialized you will also need have access to books, notes, equipment and so forth to practice the skill. Skills that need such materials will say so in their description. The GM should restrict learning of these particular skills to the vicinities of suitable centres of learning as appropriate. If no materials are available and are required, but expert tuition is present, double the amount of time needed to study from the previous level. Skills that require learning materials cannot be trained if neither the materials nor an expert is on hand.

The casting skill may not be trained directly - training for casting is done for each magical element. See the Magic page for details.

Skill Training Expert Available Expert Not Available
Materials Not Needed No penalty Double learning time
Materials Needed Double learning time Cannot train

The time taken to learn a skill from the defaults below is reduced in days by your Intelligence Bonus. For example: If a character's intelligence bonus is 3 and they wish to train a skill to level 4, they would spend 57 days instead of 60.

GM Tip: You can specify if an increasing intelligence bonus works retroactively or not - that is, if a character's increasing intelligence bonus discount affects levels already achieved. This is important, as the electronic character sheets available on this website do not factor for an increasing intelligence bonus when working out how much discount a character recieves, and thus apply discounts retroactively. It is best to decide before the game begins whether to retroactive discounts are applied.

Training in levels 7, 8 and 9 must be spread over at least 1 year each in-game time.

Training for all skills is thus, with the time required measure in in-game days:

Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Time required 15 30 45 60 75 90 105 120 135

Acrobatics - Pse + Tgh

This skill covers flips, jumps, dives and rolls - and generally being a cinematic showoff without breaking your legs or neck. The test used is an acrobatic test - Pse + Tgh. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any acrobatic tests.

This skill cannot be used by someone who has no training in it, and does not require learning materials to learn.

The primary use of acrobatics is to make long or high jumps and to soften falls. A rough guide to difficulty follows - the GM should feel free to add/subtract difficulty on the specifics, such as hand holds / smooth surface / etc.:

Type of jump Difficulty
Horizontal - like a long jump Distance of the jump in yards x 2
Vertical - like a high jump Distance of the jump in yards x 3

You can use training in Acrobatics to circle and enemy somehow (be that fancy footwork, somersaults, running between their legs, etc.) without incurring the immediate wrath of said enemy. You can't do this if you're wearing anything except no armour or light armour, and aren't encumbered.

There should be a sensible limit to the length of a jump that someone with acrobatic training can pull off: Long jump champions can vault around 9 yards, and high jumpers can reach about 2½ yards in height, both with a considerable run up - although this is left to the GM to decide.

If you deliberately fall from a height, you can make an acrobatics check at the same difficulty for horizontal jumping to see if you land on your feet. If you pass, you will not take damage. For any distance fallen over 6 yards, you must roll forwards equal to half of the distance fallen to absorb the energy from the fall.

Some talents might require an acrobatics test as a defence against negative consequences. If this is the case, a character may make an acrobatics test even if they don't have the skill trained.

A roll that only just fails (such as a 27 when needing a 25 for example) should have the character in question stuck, unable to move, falling on their arse or something annoying but not outright dangerous.

Appraising - Int + Per

The art of figuring out what items are, and whether or not you've gotten a good deal for yourself. The test used is an Appraise Test - Int + Per. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any Appraise tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does require learning materials to train.

A successful appraise test will determine the value of an item between rarity levels 1 to 4, and the value will be based on that character's market economic knowledge. A failure that's less than 5 or so (the GM to decide in secret) will get the value of the item within about 25% of its true worth. Any failure more severe, and the GM is free to make up a supposed 'value' on the spot.

GM tips: It would be wise to think of this value before the roll is called, as any delay in thinking of a cost will clue the players up that you're lying. You might wish to keep the rarity of the item involved a secret if declaring it will give the game away. You could also roll the test secretly - it's up to you - but be consistent.

Factor Difficulty
Familiar with the nation of origin +1
Familiar with the group of technology (e.g. guns/coins/etc.) +2
Unfamiliar with the nation of origin -2
Unfamiliar with the group of technology -4
Item rarity level 5 -1
Item rarity level 6 -2
Item rarity level 7 -3
Item rarity level 8 -4
Item rarity level 9 -5
Item rarity level 10 -6

You can use this skill before buying things to see if you're getting a good deal.

Any attempt to use this skill by the same character on the same object after the first try will always yield the same result - unless you can get a second opinion and be convinced that you're wrong.

The larger the object, the longer it will take to inspect and appraise - the GM should rule on this.

Assault - Agi + Int

The art of rapidly reacting to changing circumstances. The test used is an assault test - Agi + Int. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any assault tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does require learning materials to learn (In this case, martial training facilities and sparring partners, for example).

Assault is used to change actions in combat after intent has been declared. Generally, if the first action a character takes would render their remaining action(s) useless, they can change their intent after passing an assault test.

Assault will grant users an additional combat action each at level 5 and level 9, for a total of 4 combat actions per turn.

The assault skill itself is called upon during combat - see Combat and Damage for the full rules on how this skill is used.

Awareness - Per + Rea

The art of noticing things. The test used is an awareness test - Per + Rea. Each level of training gives +1 to the target number of any awareness tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to train.

A GM can require characters to use this skill for any situation that involves sight, hearing, smell, touch, or taste. Some characters may be unable to use certain senses, for example if they are deaf or blind.

A successful awareness test will yield important information about the character's surroundings. This information can be anything from finding someone in a crowd, noticing traps, spotting poison in food, hearing the muted cry of a kitten, and so forth. It should always be something pertinent to the charcter's current situation.

The better the success, the more information that the character should recieve: A success of 0 to 4 would yeild something important, but relatively vague; whereas increasing levels of success would give more specific information, and possibly suggestions on how to exploit that information.

Do not confuse search with awareness. Awareness is the act of looking passively, searching is the act of actually looking for hidden things.

Balancing - Str + Pse

The art of keeping ones balance in tricky circumstances. The test used is a balance test - Str + Pse. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any balance tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to train.

Balance is used to move on narrow surfaces and really rough or uneven ground without falling flat on your face. A passed balance test means that you can move at half your walking speed across said tricky surface. Being encumbered increases the difficulty of the test by -2. Here's a rough guide to the levels of relative difficulty:

Width of Surface Difficulty
1 yard or wider 0
½ yard to 1 yard wide -2
¼ yard wide -4
â…› yard wide -6
less than â…› yard wide -8
a couple of inches wide -10

If you take enough damage to cause injury whilst balancing then you must pass a second balance test at the same difficulty or fall.

The greater the level of success, generally the more mobile a character is whilst balancing. For example, if they are balancing on a ledge and score well, they would cover more ground than someone who barely passes. The GM is free to use greater levels of success in other ways to aid the characters.

A roll that only just fails (such as a 27 when needing a 25 for example) should have the character in question stuck, unable to move or something annoying but not outright dangerous.

Casting - Ptc + Per

The art of conjuring magic. The test used is a cast test - Ptc + Per. Casting is the standardized test for almost all magical abilities - it cannot be directly trained. Training is instead done at a magical element level - each level of training in an element gives +1 to the target number of any cast tests for spells belonging to that element. 

Casting is the skill used to envoke any magical power or ability. Each spell will have a difficulty, and this will be noted in the spell's profile. Spell difficulties subtract from the target number.

As magic and casting are relatively complex with a lot to cover, full rules are located on the Core Rules: Magic page.

Charming - Wil + Cam

The art of getting people to share your point of view, by being nice to them. The test used is a charm test - Wil + Cam. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any charm tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to train.

Charm can be used to persuade others to agree with you, resolve differences between parties, and resolve conflict though negotiation.

You can change the attitude of an NPC towards yourself by passing an opposed charm vs. displine test. Any success makes that NPC think better of you, a failure of up to around 6 means that the NPC's attitude remains the same, and any failure greater than around 6 means the NPC will think less of you. The GM has final say on the outcome of a charm test in this regard.

Here's a rough guide to the levels of relative difficulty based on how the NPC perceives you to begin with:

Attitude Difficulty
Very Friendly +4
Friendly +2
Neutral 0
Unfriendly -4
Hostile -8

If an NPC is neutral towards you, you can ask requests of them. This is an opposed charm vs. displine test. Any success should make the NPC carry out your request. Failure could means that the NPC will not carry out your request at this time but may do so at a date not too far in the future, or the NPC will not consider the request at all for a long while. Here's a rough guide of the sorts of things that you could request from someone else:

Request Difficulty
Render unspecific advice or directions +4
Render specific advice or give basic help 0
Give help that could tie them up for a long while -4
Give help that would put them in danger -6
Give help that would result in punishment -8
Render an important secret -8

If an NPC is friendly towards you, most simple requests will be rendered without the need for a roll; unless the request is goes against their morals or puts them in serious danger. More complex requests my require other modifiers. Some requests will automatically fail if they brush the NPC the wrong way enough - for example something that they consider abhorrent.

You can't use charm on anything that cannot understand you. You can't attempt to charm an NPC to do something specific more than about once a day.

Once combat has begun, charm is generally pretty useless, although reluctant fighters may still be open to it.

Climbing - Str + Pse

The art of shimmying up things that weren't designed to be shimmied up. Climbing uses a climb test - Str + Pse. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any climb tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to train.

You'd need to use your climb skill for anything over about 60° in pitch that you can't jump or vault over - usually about 2 yards in height. For vaulting over things, have a spy at the acrobatics skill. Climb can still be for such obstacles used if you like, but will take longer than vaulting. The GM has the final say in the matter.

A slope is distinct from a wall or cliff in that it's not nearly vertical. A slope would typically be about 60° to 80°, and a wall/cliff greater than that. Completely smooth surfaces cannot be climbed, with the exception of ice - see below.

A passed climb test means that you can move at a ¼ of your walking speed across the thing you are climbing, in all directions. Being encumbered gives a -4 penalty to the test, in addition to slowing the character. Here's a rough guide to the levels of relative difficulty. The GM is free to assign bonuses and penalties as they see fit.

Factor Difficulty
An opposing wall to brace against:
e.g. a chimney, a very narrow gap between two buildings
+4
Using a climbing aid:
e.g. a rope, crampons and an ice axe*
+3
Another wall that you can brace against
e.g., at an inside corner, a nearby tree
+2
A grassy/muddy/rocky natural slope too steep to walk up or down
e.g. steep hills, but not cliffs
0
A surface with wide ledges to hold and stand on:**
e.g. a very rough cliff, ship's rigging, secured rope ladders
-2
A surface with 'adequate' hand/foot holds:
e.g. a challenging cliff, most trees, rough stone block walls
-4
A surface with very narrow hand/foot holds:
e.g. a well built stone block wall, some brick structures, smooth-ish cliffs
-6
Ice - only with an ice axe and crampons - apply normal bonuses for them:
e.g. a glacier face
-12
Slippery surface - additional penalty applied to the surface in question
If the surface is wet, it's generally slippery
-4
An overhang - additional penalty applied to the surface in question -4

* only apply the bonus once, but reduce the chance of a serious failure if two or more climbing aids are used.
** including anything you could realistically use a balance check for - climbing concerns itself from moving between these ledges.

You can use climb as a bonus to resist getting knocked off ladders and ledges at half your training level, rounding up. You can use this bonus during climbing and balancing for example, and anything that involves the character in precarious situations where falling is a serious worry.

If you take damage whilst climbing, you must pass an immediate climb test or fall.

You will need both of your hands free to climb - but you can freely dangle from whatever you're climbing with one hand to do something else. If the ledge is wide enough, you can use a balance test instead - the GM will have the final say. While climbing, you cannot dodge or use a shield.

You can attempt to double your climb movement for an additional -6 penalty.

You can make your own hand and foot holds if you like - as long as you have a hammer, something sturdy to hammer in and the surface isn't too hard. A limestone cliff would be more accepting than a granite one. It'll probably take at least a minute to hammer your own hand holds in, and you'll need one every yard or so.

Combat Skill - Agi + Per

Combat skill is the art of bashing an opponent to death at close range. The test used is a combat skill test - Agi + Per. Combat skill is the standardized test for almost all attacks made whilst in engagement - it cannot be directly trained. Training is instead done per weapon, and should be noted next to each weapon on a character sheet. Each level of training in a weapon class gives +1 to the target number of any combat skill tests for attacks made with that class of weapon. Some weapon classes benefit from training in other, similar weapon classes - these will be noted under the entries in the Gear: Weapons section.

Combat skill is also used for any ranged weapons that are capable of being used in engagement, i.e. pistols.

Combat skill itself is called upon during combat - see Combat and Damage for the full rules on how this skill is used.

Commanding - Wil + Ldr

The art of getting people to share your point of view, by ordering them. The test used is a command test - Wil + Ldr. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any command tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to train.

Command is used mostly to give orders, especially to those who are unfamiliar with you.

If an NPC is at least neutral towards you, you can command them. This is an opposed command vs. displine test. If both characters hold a military rank and are of similar alligience, or your character is in a position of authority over them, they test at half their willpower. Any success makes the NPC carry out your order, a failure of up to around 4 means that the NPC will not carry out your order at this time but may do so at a date not too far in the future, and any failure greater around 4 means the NPC will not consider the request at all for a long while and will think less of you for the attempt.

As those who you are friendly with are more likely to follow your orders, here's a rough guide to the levels of relative difficulty based on how the NPC perceives you to begin with:

Attitude Difficulty
Very Friendly +4
Friendly +2
Neutral 0
Unfriendly -4
Hostile -8

Here's a rough guide of the sorts of things that you could order from someone else:

Request Difficulty
Render unspecific advice or directions 0
Render specific advice or give basic help 0
Give help that could tie them up for a long while -4
Give help that would put them in danger -6
Give help that would result in severe punishment -8
Render an important secret -8

If an NPC is friendly towards you, most simple orders will be rendered without the need for a roll. most simple requests will be rendered without the need for a roll; unless the request is goes against their morals or puts them in serious danger. More complex requests my require other modifiers. Some requests will automatically fail if they brush the NPC the wrong way enough - for example something that they consider abhorrent - unless you are part of a ranked organisation of some sort and of a rank higher than them.

You can't use command on anything that cannot understand you.

Once combat has begun, command is generally pretty useless against your enemies, although reluctant fighters may still be open to it.

Constitution - Tgh + Wil

The art of generally not falling unconscious due to physical harm. The test used is an constitution test - Tgh + Wil. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any constitution tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does require learning materials to learn (In this case, martial training facilities and sparring partners, for example).

The constitution skill itself is called upon during combat and resolving the effects of injuries - see Combat and Damage for the full rules on how this skill is used.

Deciphering - Int + Per

The art of figuring what the hell someone else has written or said (coded communications or forgotten languages, rather than just doctor-grade poor handwriting). The test used is a decipher test - Int + Per. Each level of training gives a +1 bonus to the target number of any decipher tests.

This skill cannot be used by someone who has no training in it, and does require learning materials to learn.

The difficulty of a decipher test is related to how obscure the thing being deciphered is. Foreign, but related languages to your character's native language would of course be much easier than a key-less set of ancient hieroglyphs.

Of course, if your character doesn't know how to speak the language that the cipher is in, they might be able to decode the glyphs, but still won't be able to understand the meaning of the message.

Here's a rough guide to the levels of relative difficulty - assuming that:

  • the person figuring out the cipher doesn't have access to a decoded passage to compare to
  • there is enough coded material to work from:
Circumstance Difficulty
Some knowledge of the cipher up to +5
Substitution cipher -2
Unfamiliar Alphabet -2
Transposition cipher -4
Mechanical-mathematical cipher -8
Totally unique glyphs with no existing reference -12

Obviously, the harder a cipher is to crack, the longer it will take. The GM should rule on this, but as a rule of thumb, the level of difficulty should translate at least to months of passing time.

A pass on a decipher test will give vague but generally correct meanings to any encoded message, with additional levels of success yielding more complete and accurate information. A roll that only just fails (such as a 27 when needing a 25 for example) should have the approximately correct information revealed, but with misleading additions.

If there is a scenario available whereby the character has access to a decoded passage of the same text to compare, the difficulty should be at least halved.

GM Tip: This is a prime candidate for a test that should be rolled secretly.

Discipline - Int + Wil

The art of resisting persuasion, seduction, and attempts to alter ones opinions. The test used is a discipline test - Int + Wil. Each level of training gives a +1 bonus to the target number of any discipline tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to train.

Representative of how immune to persuasion a character is and how good they are at resisting temptation. Generally discipline is the counter to other skills such as intimidate, charm and command; but would also be used to check if a character can resist giving into their vices.

Be careful not to confuse discipline with nerve.

Disguising - Per + Int

The art of hiding yourself as someone else, or hiding something as something else. The test used is a disguise test - Per + Int. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any disguise tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to learn.

Disguise lets a character pretend that they are someone else: either inspecifically, to hide their own appearance from any who might wish to find them; or specifically, to pretend to be someone else.

The difficulty of a disguise is obviously based upon how much you're altering your appearance by. Run your plan past the GM, and they'll apply an appropriate level of difficulty. Dressing differently is pretty easy to do, although not too effective if people are looking for your face; whilst growing a beard, dying your hair and adding glasses would be more difficult to do well, it's more likely to throw people off the scent if it works.

Disguise gives a penalty to other character's tests to see through the disguise. To see through a disguise, other characters must pass either an awareness test or an evaluate test. Awareness is used when merely in the presence of a disguised character, with a penalty equal to double the success rate of the disguise. Evaluate is used when interacting with a disguised character, and has a penalty equal to the success rate of the disguise.

If a character fails their disguise roll, then other characters recieve a bonus to either of the tests equal to the failure rate of the disguise.

For example: If a character needs a 26 on their disguise test and rolls a 22, the penalty that others take for seeing through the disguise is -4 for evaluate or -8 for awareness. If the character had rolled 29, other characters would get a +3 bonus, instead.

If a character is being disguised as a specific person - such as the mayor of a town - then people who would interact with this person should get bonuses to their awareness and evaluate tests, based on how often they interact with them.

If you're pretty discrete, and don't draw attention to yourself, then this penalty can be further enhanced at the GM's discretion - or the possibility of being discovered eliminated entirely.

GM Tip: A disguise test is another test that can be made secretly by the GM, and the result not shared with the players, if the GM deems that knowledge of the result would adversely affect the game.

Dodging

The art of avoiding incoming attacks. The test used is a dodge test - Agi + Per. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any dodge tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does require learning materials to learn (In this case, things being thrown at or attacks being made against the character).

Dodges are used to avoid incoming attacks by moving out of the way. The dodge skill itself is called upon during combat - see Combat and Damage for the full rules on how this skill is used.

Escaping - Agi + Str

The art of removing oneself from being trapped (as opposed to 'escaping' from combat, that's dealt with under the combat rules). The test used is an escape test - Agi + Str. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any escape tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to learn.

Getting oneself out of poorly tied ropes obviously is easier than trying to remove yourself from reinforced shackles. Here's a rough guide to the sorts of levels of difficulties involved:

Substance Difficulty
Having the key to your bindings (shackles, etc.) +4
Awkward space 0
Poorly secured rope -2
Badly fitting shackles -2
Bolas -4
Tossed net -4
Well secured rope -6
Secured net -6
Well fitting shackles -8
Very cramped space -8

It will take you at least 5 minutes to free yourself from most of these situations, although the more difficult something is, generally the longer it will take to escape from. If you have the misfortune to be stuck in a really cramped space with very little room to move, the difficulty level above assumes that you can just about squeeze your widest body part through.

For squeezeing through tight spaces will probably need to multiple tests to get though, depending on the amount of distance that the character wishes to move through. A good rule of thumb would be a test every yard.

If a hole is smaller than a character's head and/or the width of their shoulders, you've got no chance of fitting through.

A roll that only just fails (such as a 27 when needing a 25 for example) should have the character in question temporarily stuck, unable to move, falling on their arse or something annoying but not outright dangerous.

Evaluate - Per + Cam

The art of sussing other people out, gauging their intent and trustworthiness. The test used is a evaluate test - Per + Cam. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any evaluate tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to learn.

Evaluation is the primary counter to lying, and a secondary counter to disguises. Characters can also use evaluate as a 'first impression', although this shouldn't be too precise.

Evaluation should generally be rolled straight, as bonuses and penalties are taken in the tests that oppose it. However, if the situation warrants it, the GM can impose some penalties or give bonuses as they deem necessary.

First Aid - Int + Per / Int + Tgh

[Others / Self]

The art of stopping yourself or others from dying. The tests used are either a first aid (others) test - Int + Per, or a first aid (self) test - Int + Tgh. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of the relevant tests.

First aid is a single skill that uses two separate rolls. Training is bought in first aid as a skill, and the test used depends on whether the character is using the skill on themselves - first aid (self), or another character - first aid (others).

All characters can use the first aid skill, even if they have no training in it, and this skill does require learning materials to learn.

First Aid does cover everything from immediate and basic first aid, to complex medical surgery. You can't use first aid (self) on other people, and you can't use first aid (others) on yourself.

Combat First Aid

The the most basic level, first aid's primary use is to recover from injury. As noted in the Injury rules, a character can make a first aid (self) test to recover 1 level of injury to a location as a combat action, with a difficulty equal to twice the level of injury that they have on that location. Characters can also take a first aid (others) test if they're helping someone else.

Any permanent fatigue will be removed when an injury level is healed from. Temporary fatigue gained will remain until healed from separately.

Regardless of the number of first aid tests carried out, combat first aid will not bring the target down beyond 1 level under the maximum injury that they have sustained. Any further healing will need to be done as a longer-term endeavour.

Staunching Bleeding

Bleeding is the life threatening rapid loss of blood from an injured character.

To staunch bleeding, a character must pass a successful first aid test (others or self, depending on the target). They must be equipped with a bandage or other suitable apparatus for constructing a torniquet to stop bleeding. Rope, clothing or anything that can be tied tightly can be used. Bleeding will also stop if the level of injury that caused it is healed from.

If a character is attempting to stop the bleeding on another character, and the bleeding character is conscious, the bleeding character may elect to take a constitution test as an assist to the first aid test. The pass (or failure) of this constitution test is then used as an additional modifier to the first aid (others) test.

Others may use first aid (others) tests as assists like any other test.

Poisoning of Other Characters

A chracter can care for a poisoned character by taking a first aid (others) test each time they take damage from the poison. The pass (or failure) is then used as an additional modifier to their constitution test.

Long Term Care

Permanent fatigue only goes away once its root cause has been dealt with. This is what long(er) term care is primarily for. Once combat has ended and everyone's adrenaline has dissipated, longer term care will be needed for any but the lightest of injuries. These take much longer than combat first aid tests, but are generally more forgiving. Long term care is always done using a first aid (others) test.

Level of injury Difficulty Timescale Examples of Facilities Required
Minor 0 1d3 Days None
Light -2 1d3 Weeks None
Heavy -4 1d6 Weeks Place of rest or Shrine
Major -8 1d6 Months Hospital or Temple
Severe -12 2d10 Months University Hospital

You can heal up multiple locations of injury at once, for example severe injuries to both the arms and legs. All injuries can be healed at the same time, but will need seperate rolls.

You can only make one roll for long term care per timescale, assuming that you're getting fixed up at appropriate facilities. Both places of religion and hospitals of various sorts offer care. Depending on the type of injury, you might be able to continue adventuring or working whilst making regular appointments to recieve treatment over the recovery timescale. The GM should rule on appropriate levels of facilities available, but generally the more severe the injury, the larger the settlement needed to house said facilities.

If your character is the one giving the long term care to another, you will need some supplies: e.g. bandages, painkillers, alcohol to clean wounds, and so on; and a suitable place to practice your care. You can care for up to 2 people in this manner. To practice as a Doctor, see the doctor trade.

GM Tip: Although it's pretty unlikely, one can never trust RPG players to be sensible about the timing of whipping out their scalpels to start conducting a heart bypass in the middle of a fight with the BBEG. It might be a good idea to give suitable restrictions on when they can perform more complex tasks.

Hiding - Agi + Per

The art of placing stuff where it won't be seen. The test used is a hide test - Agi + Per. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any hide tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to learn.

Hide tests are generally paired with an opposing awareness or search test. When you're setting yourself up in an ambush for example, you'd use a hide test. The amount that you pass (or fail) a hide test by is then used as a modifier to your foes' awareness or search tests.

Hiding things is hindered by 3 factors: How big the thing to be hidden is, what you're hiding it with, and how much noise / smell it is making.

When placing something large behind a wall, this doesn't warrant a hide test, as it's just plain out of sight from some angles. If you'd try to hide the thing in a wood, covered in branches and camoflague of sorts, this would warrant a hide test.

Here's a rough guide to the sort of levels of difficulty involved:

Circumstance Difficulty
Object sized the palm of your hand or less +8
Object sized half a human or less +4
Object around about human sized 0
Object larger than twice human sized (GM to decide) -1 to -12
Covered with foliage (or in foliage) 0
Camoflagued to some degree +1 to +6
Hiding in a hurry (such as being chased) -2
   
   
   

The GM should roll hide tests in secret.

Initiative - Agi + Int

The art of fast reactions in combat. The test used is an initiative test - Agi + Int. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any initiative tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does require learning materials to learn (In this case, martial training facilities and sparring partners, for example).

Initiative is rolled at the start of combat to determine who acts first in a combat turn. The target number for an initiative roll is always the initiative score (Agi + Tgh + any training bonuses) of the character. The character's initiative score is then subtracted from the result of the initiative roll to yield an initiative value. If the character rolled higher then their initiative score, they will have a negative initiative value for this combat.

The initiative skill itself is called upon during combat - see Combat and Damage for the full rules on how this skill is used.

Inquiring - Cam + Per

The art of garnering information from the masses without drawing attention to yourself, and uses an inquire test - Cam + Per. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any inquire tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to learn.

Inquiring is a relatively long term skill - it will certainly generally take at least an hour, and could stretch for an indeterminate timescale if the information needed is extremely secret or challenging to get hold of. Examples might be searching a 1'000'000 book library for a single paragraph in a single book only found there, or engaging in subterfuge to learn a deep held secret of a hostile nation.

Just how difficult the test is depends almost entirely on how complex it is. Obviously, more complicated tasks often also take significantly longer than simpler ones.

Passing your inquire test means that you make some headway, and you can detract the amount of time shown in the table below for the task.

Failing your test means that you make no headway. Failing by 10 or more means that you've been set back, and you'll need to add the time shown in the table below instead. Once you've completed the time needed, you gain access to the information that you've been seeking.

Circumstance Pass/Fail Total Time Difficulty
Trivial task - such as gaining gossip from a public place 1d3 hours 1d3 hours +8
Easy task - reading through some publicly available records 1d3 hours 1d6 hours +4
Uncomplicated task - searching for a lost obscure book in the town library 1d3 days 1d3 days +2
Involved task - hunting a wanted local criminal 1d3 days 1d3 weeks 0
Complicated task - 1d10 days 1d3 months -4
Difficult task - 1d10 days 1d6 months -8
Herculean task - tracking down a dragon or other mythical creatures 1d3 months 1d3 years -12

It is similar to Charm in that it's a reasonably positive method of information gathering. People aren't going to react negatively to an inquire test unless they already really dislike you. Here's an approximate breakdown of the effects on inquiry:

Attitude Difficulty
Very Friendly +4
Friendly +2
Neutral 0
Unfriendly -4
Hostile -8

It's important to note, if the people you're asking really, really hate you, and you're trying to do something really hard, there is an extremely low chance of success.

Intimidating - Str + Ldr

The art of getting people to share your point of view, by being threatening to them. The test used is an intimidate test - Str + Ldr. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any intimidate tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to learn.

Intimidate can be used to persuade others to agree with you, resolve differences between parties through force, and conflict negotiation by being bigger/scarier. It would be quite unwise to use this ability on people who you are friendly with, any time you successfully use intimidate on an NPC, there is a good chance that they will think negatively of you as a result.

You can demand request from an NPC through intimidation. This is an opposed intimidate vs. discipline test. Any success makes the NPC carry out your request, a failure of up to 4 means that the NPC will not carry out your request at this time but may do so at a date not too far in the future, and any failure greater than 4 means the NPC will not consider the request at all for a long while; as they lol, rofl and so forth at your pathetic attempt at intimidation. Here's a rough guide of the sorts of things that you could request from someone else:

Request Difficulty
Render unspecific advice or directions +4
Render specific advice or give basic help 0
Give help that could tie them up for a long while -4
Give help that would put them in danger -6
Give help that would result in punishment -8
Render an important secret -8

When you use intimidate, there is a good chance that an NPC will think of you quite negatively. The number that your test was passed by becomes a negative modifier to your target's subsequent discipline test. If they fail, the GM is encouraged to drop a level of friendliness - from Neutral to Unfriendly, and Unfriendly to Hostile, and so forth. the GM has the final say on whether an intimidation attempt would cause an NPC to act more negatively.

Some requests will automatically fail if they brush the NPC the wrong way enough - for example something that they consider abhorrent.

You can't use intimidate very well on anything that cannot understand you; but you can look big, mean and scary. Once combat has begun, intimidate is generally pretty useless, although reluctant fighters may still be open to it. You can't attempt to intimidate an NPC more than about once a day for the same reason. Here is an approximate difficulty level based on how much your target hates you:

Attitude Difficulty
Neutral, Friendly and Very Friendly 0
Unfriendly -2
Hostile -4

Investigating - Ldr + Per

The art of stringing pieces of information together to form a coherrent whole, and uses an investigate test - Ldr + Per. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any investigate tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to learn.

Investigate is very similar to Inquire: except that investigate deals with piecing the clues that you've acquired through inquiry together.

Investigate, like Inquire, is a relatively long term skill - it will certainly generally take at least an hour, and could stretch for an indeterminate timescale if the information needed is extremely complicated or particularly obtuse to piece together. An example would be poor quality, very disparate clues on a crime.

Just how difficult the test is depends almost on how complex it is and the quality of the information available. Obviously, more complicated tasks often also take significantly longer than simpler ones. Passing your investigate test means that you make some headway, and you can detract the amount of time shown in the table below for the task. Failing your test means that you make no headway. Failing by 8 or more means that you've been set back, and you'll need to add the time shown in the table below instead. Once you've completed the time needed, you have your eureka moment and then slap your head for not thinking of the result earlier.

Circumstance Pass/Fail Total Time Difficulty
Trivial task - such as gaining gossip from a public place 1d3 hours 1d3 hours +8
Easy task - reading through some publicly available records 1d3 hours 1d6 hours +4
Uncomplicated task - searching for a lost obscure book in the town library 1d3 days 1d3 days +2
Involved task - hunting a wanted local criminal 1d3 days 1d3 weeks 0
Complicated task - 1d10 days 1d3 months -4
Difficult task - 1d10 days 1d6 months -8
Herculean task - tracking down a dragon and other mythical creatures 1d3 months 1d3 years -12

It's important to note, if the people you're asking really, really hate you, and you're trying to do something really hard, there is an extremely low chance of success.

Lying - Cam + Ldr

The art of not telling the truth. Lying is always an opposed test against your opponent's evaluate skill, and uses a lie test - Cam + Ldr. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any lie tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to learn.

When lying to convince or fool someone into thinking something incorrect, a successful test will mean that they have believed you. The difficulty of the test is modified by the state of the person you're lying to and how far fetched (i.e. believable) the lie is. Here's a rough guide to the levels of relative difficulty:

Circumstance Difficulty
Target is inebriated somehow (booze, etc.) +4
You have 'proof ' of your lie (well forged papers, etc.) up to +6
Target wants to believe you +4
Target is unsuspecting 0
Target is suspicious -4
Lie is believable 0
Lie is unlikely -4
Lie is pretty far fetched -8
Lie is nigh impossible -12

Lies are an important test that the GM should consider doing in secret at all times; even the bonuses that apply - as to give the players the best immersion and to avoid the temptation to meta-game. The GM can roll openly if they desire, if it's pertinent to do so, and they believe that it adds to the game.

Attempting to lie takes just as long as talking - 3-5 seconds of speech per combat action.

Once you fail a lie test on someone, any further attempts should have a penalty applied: –4 being a sound place to start. The character could also be annoyed enough at the attempt to make it impossible.

Navigating - Per + Int

The art of making sure that you're not lost, and uses an navigate test - Per + Int. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any navigate tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does require learning materials to learn.

When you're reading a map, blazing a path through dense woods, and walking about out a new town for the first time, you'd use navigate to chart your course and to find your way back again without getting lost. You can also do all sorts of nifty map and navigation related malarky once you're well practiced enough.

A successful test once a day will be perfectly acceptable for not getting lost. Tests will generally be a little more difficult in woodland or flat and featureless landscapes, and easier in rolling hills and places with plenty of unique landmarks. Here's a rough guide:

Landscape Difficulty
Urban area +4
Rolling hills +2
Moorland 0
Light woodland -2
Dense Forests -4
Featureless Plains -6

Nerve - Wil + Ldr

The art of not running away. The test used is a nerve test - Wil + Ldr. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any nerve tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does require learning materials to learn (e.g.: martial training facilities and sparring partners).

Nerve is called upon whenever a character may act involuntarily during combat, for example when subjected to an ambush. See Combat and Damage for the full rules on how this skill is used.

Physical Training - Tgh + Agi / Str + Agi / Str + Tgh

[Short / Long / Power]

The art of not collapsing because of unfitness. Although the tests, applications and timescales are different, they all work the same way. They use either a physical exertion (long) test - Tgh + Agi, a physical exertion (short) test - Str + Agi, or a physical exertion (power) test - Str + Tgh. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of the relevant physical exertion test.

Unlike first aid, which is one skill with separate rolls for context; physical training is 3 separate but very closely related skills, with separate training.

All characters can use these skills, even if they have no training in them, and none of them require learning materials to learn.

Thankfully, all that is needed for training these skills is physical exersion of some sort. The GM could well give the players 'training' for physical exertion when the characters are doing anything physical in-game. This can be heavy lifting at a dockyard, trekking large distances, continual sprinting in combat or any manner of activity.

Mutual exclusivity

After a certain level of training - level 4 - these skills become mutually exclusive. A character can't be good at all kinds of physical excersion at the same time. Champion long distance runners are tremendously lean and comparatively weak, but have exceptional stamina; champion sprinters are powerhouses who cover ground quickly but rapidly tire; and champion weight-lifters have tremendous core strength, but are hampered in speed by such.

For example: A character can have physical training (long) level 8 and physical training (short) level 4; but cannot have physical training (long) level 5 and physical training (power) level 5.

Resisting - Wil + Tgh

The art of resisting magical attacks. The test used is a resist test - Wil + Tgh. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of any resist tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does require learning materials to learn (In this case, training and magical assaults being made against the character).

The resist skill itself is called upon during combat - see Combat and Damage for the full rules on how this skill is used.

Searching - Wil + Per

The art of searching for hidden stuff, either people or objects, and uses a search test - Wil + Per. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of all search tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does not require learning materials to learn.

Do not confuse search with awareness. Awareness is the act of looking passively, searching is the act of actually looking for hidden things.

The sorts of things that you'd be after with a search test are hidden objects, hidden people, clues, footprints, and so on. Generally, if something's been hidden using the hide skill, you'll have the additional modifier of the hide test in addition to any others. Although the GM doesn't need to roll a search test in secret: if the players pass a test, but would be otherwise unable to find something because of secret hide modifiers, the GM should lie to them.

A search test is generally enough to cover about 10 to 30 minutes of active looking. If the players are searching an area for longer, then the GM should let them take multiple tests.

Generally, there aren't many modifiers to search tests, as any modifiers have been taken into account with the hide skill. However, if something hasn't been deliberately hidden, here's a rough guide to things:

Circumstance Difficulty
Object sized the palm of your hand or less -8
Object sized half a human or less -4
Object around about human sized 0
Object larger than twice human sized (GM to decide) +1 to +12
Covered with foliage (or in foliage) 0
Camoflagued to some degree -1 to -6
Hiding in a hurry (such as being chased) +2
   
   
   

Shooting Skill - Pse + Per

Shooting skill is the art of blasting an opponent to death at long range. The test used is a shooting skill test - Pse + Per. Shooting skill is the standardized test for almost all attacks made at range in combat, and whilst not in engagement. It cannot be directly trained - training is instead done per weapon class, and should be noted next to each weapon on a character sheet. Each level of training in a weapon class gives +1 to the target number of any shooting skill tests for attacks made with that class of weapon. Some weapon classes benefit from training in other, similar weapon classes - these will be noted under the entries in the Gear: Weapons section.

Shooting skill itself is called upon during combat - see Combat and Damage for the full rules on how this skill is used.

Sobriety - Tgh + Wil

The art of chugging poisons and alcohol without feeling the full effects of them. The test used is a sobriety test - Tgh + Wil. Each level of training gives a +1 bonus to the target number of any sobriety tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does require learning materials to learn (In this case, an ample supply of intoxicating substances to 'practice' on).

Sobriety covers imbibing alcohol, illicit substances and poisons. Each time you consume a 'portion' of ale/wine/whiskey/whatever-it-is, make a sobriety test. Failure gains you a level of temporary fatigue. If you're daft enough to pass out, you'll be unconscious for at least 1d10 hours, reduced by your toughness bonus, down to a minimum of 1 hour. Any poison that's not designed to kill you will act in the same way.

A poison that is designed to kill will keep working when the character loses consciousness. The character must keep passing sobriety tests, and potentially losing levels of fatigue, until they're either dead or have had the antidote administered properly.

Substance Difficulty
Ale / Lager / Beer / Mead 0
Stout -1
Cider / Perry -2
Wine -3
Liqueur -4
Gin / Rum -5
Whiskey / Brandy -6
Absinthe -7
Weak Deadly Poison -4
Strong Deadly Poison -8

Sneaking - Agi + Int

The art of moving about without being seen and/or heard. Sneaking is always an opposed test against an opponent's awareness or search skill, and uses a sneak test - Agi + Int. Each level of training gives a +1 to the target number of all sneak tests.

All characters can use this skill, even if they have no training in it, and does require learning materials to learn.

Generally, the difficulty of the test will be how much movement you're undertaking, and how noisy the surface is that is being traversed. Here's a rough guide:

Surface Difficulty
Stone or Rock +4
Grass +2
Sand* +2
Dirt 0
Mud* -2
Forest (twigs etc.) -4
Snow* -4
Water -6
Hedge -8
Gravel -8

* These surfaces will typically leave trails that can be followed, unless broken up by changing conditions or hidden by the character causing them. Even hiding under boxes will still yield traceable footprints.