Arcana is the skill of using magic, the occult and the esoteric to cast spells, converse with creatures of the outer realms, harness the power of the ley lines and hop dimensions.
The Athletics skill represents your character’s general level of physical fitness, whether through training, natural gifts, or genre-specific means (like magic or genetic alteration). It’s how good you are at moving your body. As such, it is a popular choice for nearly any action-y character. Athletics is all but ubiquitous among every genre appropriate for […]
The Burglary skill covers your character’s aptitude for stealing things and getting into places that are off-limits. In genres that rely on the use of a lot of technology, this skill also includes a proficiency in the related tech, allowing the character to hack security systems, disable alarm systems, and whatnot.
Contacts is the skill of knowing and making connections with people. It presumes proficiency with all means of networking available in the setting.
Crafts is the skill of working with machinery, for good or ill. The default skill is called Crafts because it’s what we use in the examples, but this skill might vary a great deal depending on the setting and what kind of technology is available. In a modern or sci-fi setting, this might be Engineering […]
Deceive is the skill about lying to and misdirecting people.
The Drive skill is all about operating vehicles and things that go fast. Like Crafts, how the Drive skill appears in your games is going to depend a lot on how much action you intend to have inside of vehicles or other forms of transportation, and what kind of technology is available in your setting. […]
Empathy involves knowing and being able to spot changes in a person’s mood or bearing. It’s basically the emotional Notice skill.
The Fight skill covers all forms of close-quarters combat (in other words, within the same zone), both unarmed and using weapons. For the ranged weapons counterpart, see Shoot.
Investigate is the skill you use to find things out. It’s a counterpart to Notice—whereas Notice revolves around situational alertness and surface observation, Investigate revolves around concentrated effort and in-depth scrutiny.
The Lore skill is about knowledge and education. As with some other skills, we called it Lore because that fits the particular flavor of our examples—other games might call it Scholarship, or Academics, or something like that. If your game has a reason to prioritize different fields of knowledge as being separate from one another, […]
The Notice skill involves just that—noticing things. It’s a counterpart to Investigate, representing a character’s overall perception, ability to pick out details at a glance, and other powers of observation. Usually, when you use Notice, it’s very quick compared to Investigate, so the kinds of details you get from it are more superficial, but you […]
The Physique skill is a counterpart to Athletics, representing the character’s natural physical aptitudes, such as raw strength and endurance. In our example game, we have this skill broken out as something separate in order to create two distinct types of physical characters—the nimble guy (represented by Athletics) and the strongman (represented by Physique). In […]
Provoke is the skill about getting someone’s dander up and eliciting negative emotional response from them—fear, anger, shame, etc. It’s the “being a jerk” skill. To use Provoke, you need some kind of justification. That could come entirely from situation, or because you have an aspect that’s appropriate, or because you’ve created an advantage with […]
The Rapport skill is all about making positive connections to people and eliciting positive emotion. It’s the skill of being liked and trusted.
Resources describes your character’s general level of material wealth in the game world and ability to apply it. This might not always reflect cash on hand, given the different ways you can represent wealth in a particular setting—in a medieval game, it might be tied to land or vassals as much as gold; in the […]
The counterpart to Fight, Shoot is the skill of using ranged weaponry, either in a conflict or on targets that don’t actively resist your attempts to shoot them (like a bull’s-eye or the broad side of a barn). Again, as with Fight, if it’s important to your setting to make a distinction between different types […]
The Stealth skill allows you to avoid detection, both when hiding in place and trying to move about unseen. It pairs well with the Burglary skill.
Survival is the skill used to stay alive in environments disconnected from easy food, clean water or readily available shelter. It is also the skill used to navigate difficult terrain, avoid getting lost and mitigate environmental hazards.
The Will skill represents your character’s general level of mental fortitude, the same way that Physique represents your physical fortitude.