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Skills

Skills cover every action that a character could reasonably attempt to do without training, but would do better with training. In contrast, abilities are specializations that either enhance a character’s skills or allow the character to do unique things, such as cast magic, that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.

Characters start out with training in eight skills, one that comes with their class and seven others that the player chooses. A character may attempt to use any skill on the skills list, but they will have a better chance of success when attempting skills that they are trained in.

Required Tools: Some skills involve the use of tools. Any character trained in one of these skills starts out with tools. These tools are required in order to perform specific tasks. For example, tinkering tools are necessary in order to use the Manual Dexterity skill to pick locks. Because these tools are requirements for doing a specific task, they do not grant additional benefits to that task, and having them does not count as preparation.

If a required tool is lost, other items from the environment can be substituted for them. Based on the situation, the game master and player decide how this improvised tool affects the dice roll for the skill. Here are some possibilities for how the roll could be altered.

  • No Change: If it took effort to get or make the improvised tool, it is perfectly fine to have the dice roll for using this tool be the same as it would be for a regular tool.
  • Side Effect: Using the improvised tool could have an inherent draw back that can’t be avoided. For example, this tool could be loud, might take a long time to use, or it could break after one use.
  • Bigger Consequences of Failure: If the improvised tool is less safe to use then it makes sense for a failed roll to result in a more significant consequence, such as an injury.
  • One Die Penalty: This means that the player rolls one less die in their skill roll. It is for situations where the improvised tool makes the task significantly harder. In this situation, a character without training, preparation, or help can’t do this task.
This is a digital artwork of a yellow and green budgerigar sitting on a branch with a tiger head that is the same color as its yellow feathers.

This is a digital artwork of a yellow and green budgerigar sitting on a branch with a tiger head that is the same color as its yellow feathers.

 

 

Body Skills

These three groups of skills are all primarily physical. When a character attempts one of these skills they use their body number for their dice roll.

 

Martial Skills

  • Unarmed Fighting: You are trained in a school of unarmed combat. Fighting techniques may include grabs, holds, pins, locks, punches, kicks, head butts, elbow jabs, and other related actions. In general, unarmed combat is only effective at harming unarmored areas of your opponent, though nonlethal techniques like tripping, disarming, and pinning can still be effective.
  • Melee Combat: You are trained in a school of melee combat. The details of your training are up to you, but it includes using multiple different melee weapons, such as swords, spears, axes, maces, staves, and daggers. When you are trained in Melee Combat, you acquire one melee weapon. Choose which weapon this is. A melee weapon is required to do Melee Combat.
  • Ranged Combat: You are trained in a school of ranged combat. The details of your training are up to you, but it can include using multiple different ranged weapons, such as bows, crossbows, slings, and throwing daggers. When you are trained in Ranged Combat, you acquire either a set of throwing weapons, or one ranged weapon with ammunition. Choose which weapon this is. A ranged weapon, with ammunition if applicable, is necessary to do Ranged Combat.

 

Strength Skills

  • Athletics: You are skilled at strength- and endurance-based activities. Athletics includes having the physical capacity to repeatedly do things like run, jump, throw, catch, push, lift, and pull objects. It also includes playing sports and doing physical activities that are primarily based on strength and endurance, like skiing and snowshoeing.
  • Climbing: You are skilled at climbing up and down trees, rocks, and other steep surfaces. When you are trained in Climbing, you receive climbing gear. Climbing gear is required to climb up and down difficult surfaces with minimal risk of falling.
  • Flying: You are skilled at the technical aspects of flying. This includes avoiding collisions, flying quickly, performing complex maneuvers, hovering, and handling challenging weather conditions. Note that this skill does not grant you the ability to fly, but it does make you better at flying any time that you do have that capability.
  • Riding: You are skilled at riding and interacting with mounts. Riding includes making friends with a new mount, caring for mounts, handling a mount in stressful situations, safely traversing difficult terrain, jumping over obstacles, and doing complex mounted maneuvers. When you are trained in Riding, you acquire a mount. Choose what kind of animal your mount is, consulting with your game master if you want something unusual. You also have a saddle, tack, and all of the equipment necessary to care for your mount.
  • Swimming: You are skilled at the technical aspects of swimming. This includes holding your breath, diving, taking actions underwater, swimming quickly, performing complex maneuvers, avoiding collisions, and handling challenging underwater conditions like strong currents.

 

Dexterity Skills

  • Acrobatics: You are skilled at feats of agility, flexibility, and balance. Acrobatics includes bending, rolling, tumbling, flipping, tucking, springing, swinging, vaulting, and leaping. It also includes keeping your balance in challenging situations, swinging from object to object, and landing safely after a fall.
  • Mobility: You are skilled at using agility and flexibility to deal with obstacles that impede movement. This includes slipping through a crowd, weaving through dense bushes, darting past combatants, squeezing through tight spaces, twisting free from a hold, and squirming out of restraints.
  • Manual Dexterity: You are skilled at using your hands, or any other body part capable of grasping, for tasks that require precision and delicacy. This includes pick pocketing, sleight of hand, lock picking, untying restraints, and disabling traps. When you are trained in Manual Dexterity, you receive a set of tinkering tools. Tinkering tools are required to do fine work in hard to reach spaces, such as picking locks and disabling traps.
  • Stealth: You are skilled at taking actions without attracting attention. This includes staying out of sight, hiding, holding still, staying downwind, moving silently, drawing a weapon without being noticed, and using subtle hand motions to discretely cast a spell.

 

 

Mind Skills

These three groups of skills are all primarily mental. When a character attempts one of these skills they use their mind number for their dice roll. In addition, for communication-based skills like diplomacy and deception, characters need a shared language to communicate anything but the most basic of concepts.

 

Knowledge Skills

  • Arcana: You know about magic and arcane matters. This includes identifying the spells others cast, determining the properties of magical objects, understanding how to use magical devices, and theorizing about magical phenomena. Note that the knowledge of magic provided by this skill does not grant characters the capacity to cast magic.
  • Culture: You know about the customs, religions, history, and achievements of many different peoples. This includes cooking, bartering, respectfully interacting with different people, being proficient in multiple languages, and recognizing different types of undead beings.
  • Nature: You know about animals, plants, and other aspects of the natural world. This includes detailed knowledge of physiology, illness, injury, poisons, herbs, medicine, and the rudiments of alchemy. Nature also includes geology, geography, weather, and agriculture.
  • Technology: You know the basics of mathematics, engineering, and crafting. This knowledge allows you to deduce the function of new mechanical devices that you encounter. You are also skilled at making and repairing things. When you are trained in Technology, you receive crafting tools and materials. While you can always create and repair simple objects from whatever is on hand, crafting tools and material are required to create and repair complex objects.

 

Social Skills

  • Communicating with Animals: You are skilled at using sounds, body language, and gestures to communicate with animals. For this skill, an animal is any type creature that is capable of communication, but doesn’t have a full language. Communicating with Animals includes being nonthreatening, being intimidating, getting an animal to do a desired behavior, and training animals.
  • Deception: You are skilled at misleading others. Deception includes hiding your emotions, lying through omission, fast-talking, convincingly telling blatant lies, and disguising spell casting as something else. Note that successful use of Deception can make others believe that you are being honest, but you can’t control how they act on this false belief.
  • Diplomacy: You are skilled at communicating honestly with others. Diplomacy includes being polite, resolving conflict, sharing your honest intentions, and convincing others that you are sincere. While successful use of Diplomacy can make others listen to your arguments favorably, they don’t have to agree with you.
  • Intimidation: You are skilled at using fear and awe to gain cooperation. Intimidation includes giving a stern lecture on respectful behavior, frightening someone into going away, goading someone into a rash action, convincing a person to surrender, and impressing others with your strength and determination. Keep in mind that cooperation based on fear is often temporary.
  • Performance: You are skilled at getting and holding people’s attention. Performance includes making a connection with an audience, being entertaining, and using artistic expression to communicate an experience. It also includes distracting others, making speeches, putting on disguises, and impersonating specific people. Choose two types performance to be your main performance styles. Some possibilities are singing, playing a musical instrument, acting, juggling, dancing, motivational speaking, comedy, and storytelling. When you are trained in Performance, you receive any equipment needed for these two performance styles. Choose what this equipment is. Based on common sense decide whether this equipment is necessary to do each type of performance.

 

Awareness Skills

  • Insight: You are skilled at reading people. Insight includes assessing social situations, reading people’s emotions, understanding subtle interactions, evaluating whether or not someone is telling the truth, and noticing small signs in people’s behavior that something isn’t as it seems.
  • Perception: You are skilled at noticing subtle things in the environment around you. This includes spotting something that is hidden, noticing the first signs of danger, overhearing people who are talking quietly, and being quick to notice a change in the environment. Perception can be used with any sense.
  • Survival: You are skilled at navigating and sustaining life in a wide range of environments. Survival includes wayfinding, tracking, locating food and water, creating shelter, and performing first aid. While non-magical healing takes time, first aid can be used to stabilize injuries and to minimize the effect that they have on a character’s ability to function. When you are trained in Survival, you receive a first aid kit. First aid kits are required to treat serious injuries.

 

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