Skills

Skills are used to determine how effective a character is at the tasks they perform. Each skill has proficiency categories within it, which allow characters to specialize in their abilities.

SkillProficiencies
Athletics
  • Body (Strength, Fortitude, Pain Tolerance, Resist Poison & Toxins)
  • Endurance (Long Distance, Jog, Run, Swim)
  • Gymnastics (Acrobatics, Balance, Climbing, Contortion, Tumble)
  • Ride (Cavalry Fighting, Horse Riding, Flying Mounts)
  • Reaction (Speed, Initiative, Join Combat, Quick Reflexes)
Charisma
  • Bureaucracy (Leadership, Management)
  • Composure (Bravery, Mental Fortitude, Resist Influence, Temperance)
  • Manipulate (Bluff, Conceal Truth, Misdirect)
  • Performing Arts (Act, Dance, Play Music, Sing)
  • Persuade (Comfort, Haggle, Interrogate, Influence, Seduce)
  • Socialize (Appearance, Confidence, Etiquette, Poise)
Combat
  • Defense (Dodge, Parry, Block, Shield Use, Evade, Flee)
  • Martial Arts (Brawling, Wrestling, Gambits)
  • Melee (Melee Weapons, Armor Use)
Craft
  • Blacksmithing (Armor, Iron & Steel, Weapons)
  • Construction (Architecture, Carpentry, Landscaping, Masonry)
  • Engineering (Locksmithing, Mechanical, Siege Equipment)
  • Handicraft (Cobbling, Fletching, Furring, Leatherwork, Tailor)
  • Hardware (Modern Electronics & Vehicles, Robotics)
  • Visual Arts (Design, Drawing, Sculpting, Forgeries)
Larceny
  • Infiltrate (Bypass Traps, Crack Safes, Pick Locks)
  • Sleight of Hand (Cheat, Filch, Pickpocket)
  • Stealth (Conceal, Hide, Smuggle, Silence, Shadow Target)
  • Disguise (Inconspicuous, Blend In, Mimic)
Perception
  • Awareness (Alert, Notice, Perception)
  • Investigate (Search)
  • Sense Motive (Body Language, Read Expression)
Ranged
  • Archery (Bow, Crossbow)
  • Firearms (Muskets, Pistols, Shotguns, Rifles)
  • Thrown Weapons (Poles, Nets, Knives, Projectiles, Casting)
  • Siege Weaponry
Studies
  • Academics (Culture, History, Law, Mythology, Theology)
  • Demolitions (Explosives, Structural Integrity)
  • Medicine (Anatomy, Diagnosis, First Aid, Surgery, Torture)
  • Occult Lore (Chasms, Dimensions, Energy, Magic, Thaumaturgy)
  • Science (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics)
  • Software (Data Mining, Hacking, Programming)
Wits
  • Animal Ken (Animal Lore, Handling, Training)
  • Logic (Ciphers, Puzzles, Riddles)
  • Pilot (Mechs, Planes, Subs, Tanks, Cars)
  • Streetwise (Criminal Lore, Cultural Insights, Contacts)
  • Survival (Agriculture, Cooking, Hunting, Navigation, Tracking, Vegetation)
  • Tactics (War Strategy, Command, Training Units)

Skill Ranks

Skill Ranks indicate the character's effectiveness in broad area of experience, such as Combat or Athletics (refer to Skill List). Rank 2 is considered average; the character is adequately familiarized and competent. Rank 6 is the highest Skill Rank that can be purchased. However, Natural Talents and Proficiencies can influence Skill Tests.

Natural Talents

Natural Talents are acquired during Character Creation through Merits. They permanently modify a Skill Rank by +1 each, but they do NOT count toward experience purchases.

For example, if "Charisma" is at Skill Rank 4 and the character has two Natural Talents that apply to Charisma, it would be treated as an effective Skill Rank of 6. This is written as "Charisma 4 (+2)" to indicate that there are two Natural Talents affecting the Rank. Charisma would be upgraded as though it were still Rank 4.

Level of Skills

RankNameDistribution
1Below Average33%
2Average34%
3Experienced25%
4Professional6%
5Expert1%
6Master1 in 10,000
7Savant1 in 1 million
8+Supernatural1 in 1 billion

Proficiency Ranks

Proficiencies indicate the character's effectiveness in a specialized areas of expertise, such as Martial Arts or Engineering (refer to Skill List). When specialized with a Proficiency, the Target Number for scoring on Skill Tests is reduced by the Proficiency Rank (see "Scoring & Target Number")

Proficiencies also allow the character to make Skill Tests that require specialized training. For example, a character with a Rank 1 "Medicine" proficiency could attempt to perform surgery; which is something a normal character could not.

It is difficult and time consuming to master a proficiency. However, true masters of a proficiency are nearly impossible to compete with when all other variables are equal.

Skill Tests

When a character performs an action, they make a Skill Test to see how well they performed. The more "hits" scored in a Skill Test, the better the character performs. To make a Skill Test, the player rolls a number of d10's equal to their Skill Rank.

Charlotte attempts to wall-jump to a roof, which uses the Athletics skill. Charlotte's Athletics Rank is 3 (+1), so she rolls 4 dice (4d10).

Scoring & Target Number

The Target Number indicates the lowest value that a d10 must roll to score a "hit." Rolling 10's and 1's also affect the score, as shown in the chart below:

ScoreDie Roll
+2 Hits10
+1 Hit>= Target Number
 < Target Number
-1 Hit1

By default, the Target Number is 8. It can be modified with Proficiencies, which reduce the Target Number by the Proficiency Rank.

Jared tries to solve a difficult riddle with a Wits of 4. He rolls 10, 8, 6, and 7. The "10" scores 2 hits and the "8" scores 1 hit for a total of 3 hits.

Sam tries to solve the same riddle, and also has a Wits of 4. However, he has a Proficiency Rank of 2 in "Logic," which reduces his Target Number to 6. He rolls 10, 8, 6, and 7. He scores five hits.

Contested Rolls

Contested Rolls happen when a Skill Test is actively contested by another character, such as an attacker against a defender. Both characters make their appropriate Skill Test after applying modifiers. The highest score wins the test. Ties are won by the defender. If there is no "defender" in the contest, the GM declares a result that one could expect from a tie.

Skill Difficulty

For an action to succeed, the score must match or beat the difficulty set by the GM. The higher the score, the better the results.

DifficultyRatingExample
< 0BotchThe action is botched. The GM applies negative consequences for a terrible failure.
0EasyShoot a giant, immobile object (side of a house). Typically wouldn't require a roll.
1CompetentShoot a non-moving human-sized target.
2SkilledShoot a moving game animal (e.g. deer).
3ChallengingShoot a small ball as it rolls.
4ComplexSplit an arrow.
5MasterfulSplit an arrow while running.
6EpicSplit an arrow while back-flipping.
7LegendarySplit an arrow while back-flipping and blindfolded.
8SupernaturalShoot two arrows while back-flipping and blindfolded. The first hits a tiny bullseye at 100 meters, and the second arrow splits the first.

Critical Successes

If the Skill Test was successful and two tens were rolled (or more), the character critically succeeds at the action. The GM can grant positive consequences that would naturally result as a consequence of doing exceptionally well at the action. Three tens is considered an epic success, and four tens is a legendary success.

Combat

Initiative Points

IP, or Initiative Points, are an abstraction of the character's ability to multitask and react during combat. Characters with high Perception, Wits, and Athletics will have strong Initiative and be more adaptive to chaotic battle scenes. IP is spent each round to perform actions, such as aiming, attacking, stunting, or improving one's defense.

Each round, all participants start with IP equal to their Initiative Rank. Initiative Rank is tracked on character sheets and is equal to half the total value (rounded down) of: Wits + Perception + Athletics.

Rando's Initiative Rank is 5, so he starts every combat round with 5 Initiative Points.

Turn Order

When combat begins, all participants roll 1d6 to determine turn order. They can optionally spend their first turn's IP to raise their score. Turn order proceeds from the highest score to lowest. If there are ties, players go before NPCs. Additional ties can be settled between players or at the GM's discretion.

When a participant runs out of IP for their turn, their turn ends. They can also end their turn prematurely or hold action. When all turns have been completed, the next round begins and the turn order repeats. Turn order remains the same even if participant's change their IP during combat.

Attacking & Defending

Standard attacks involve a contested Skill Test between the attacker and defender. An attack is successful if it matches or beats the defense roll.

After a successful attack, damage is calculated. Damage is equal to the attacker's weapon damage plus any extra hits the attacker scored on their attack test (only count hits that exceeded the defense score). The defender's soak value reduces the total damage, but any weapon with a "Pierce" rating will reduce the defender's soak rating (to a minimum of 0) before it is calculated.

Combat Actions

The list below identifies all actions available during combat:

General Actions

TypeIPDescription
Free Action0Vocal commands, unsheathing weapons, observing the scene, quick gestures, and other trivial actions.
Half Move0The character's total movement for the round averaged no faster than jogging.
Full Move1The character's total movement for the round required running.
Hold Action0The character allows initiative to pass. They can continue their action later in battle (though cannot interrupt).
Overwatch2A held action, plus the character observes the entire scene, waiting for an opportunity to interrupt. Upon any following action, the character can choose to interrupt if possible to do so (movement + IP). The target interrupted will have attempted to complete their action, often resulting in movement, but will not have completed it.
Prepare2The character ends their turn, no longer to make any actions other than defense. Next round, the character starts with +2 IP.
Standard Action3+The character performs a non-combat skill test, such as a social or athletic action. The IP cost can vary at GM's discretion, based on the action taken.

Defensive Actions

TypeIPDescription
Defense0The character defends with a Combat Skill Test (Defense proficiency, if applicable). This is made any time the character needs to defend.
Evasion3The character forfeits all attacks this round, but gains +2 dice toward all defense actions. This can be used while fleeing.

Offensive Actions

TypeIPDescription
Aim3The character gains +2 die to the follow-up attack. Usable only once per attack.
Attack3An attack is a standard Combat or Ranged Skill Test intended to damage an opposing target. Only one attack can be made per round.
Two Attacks (+1)5Attack twice, either against the same target or on two targets within movement range. -1 Die Penalty on both attacks.
Three Attacks (+1)7Attack three times, either against the same target or on three targets within movement range. -1 Die Penalty on all attacks.

Called Shots and Gambits

TypeIPDescription
Basic Gambit (+1)3A large-target called shot: Chest, Stomach, Hips, Legs, etc. Or, a simple gambit such as tripping, shoving backward, etc. Defender gains +1 Defense Dice.
Adept Gambit (+2)4A medum-target called shot: Head, Shoulder, Upper or Lower Arm, Upper or Lower Leg, etc. Or, a difficult gambit such as disarming, a basic environment stunt, etc. Defender gains +2 Defense Dice.
Master Gambit (+3)5A small-target called shot: Neck, Hand, Foot, Knee, Elbow, etc.. Or, an epic gambit such as a weapon steal, pinning, a complicated stunt, etc. Defender gains +3 Defense Dice.
Legendary Gambit (+4)6A tiny-target called shot: Eye, Nose, Ears, etc. Or, a legendary gambit of an incredible stunt. Defender gains +4 Defense Dice.

Modifiers

Various skill tests, such as during combat, may have modifiers to the roll. An advantage grants bonus dice, while a disadvantage subtracts penalty dice. The GM has full discretion on what modifiers are applied, though the player is encouraged to remind the GM of any modifiers they feel may be relevant.

Modifiers are based on a tier system rather than stacking together. Add the *best* advantage and subtract the *worst* disadvantage. If two or more modifiers fall within the same tier, the tier is raised by one level.

Korvin is attacking Drek. Drek is strongly tangled in vines, suffering great movement difficulties and the "Bound" disadvantage. Drek is also surrounded by Korvin and three of his allies, suffering the "Surrounded" disadvantage as well. Since Drek has two tier 2 disadvantages, it raises to a tier 3 disadvantage.

When Drek rolls for defense, he receives a -3 dice penalty.

The following lists should serve as a comprehensive guideline for modifiers, but other creative modifiers may exist. All modifiers are subject to GM's discretion.

Combat Disadvantages

TierSummary
1

• Hindered (slowed, lightly encumbered, etc)

• Flanked (by two opponents; no cover)

• Vulnerable (prone, large target, has low ground, etc)

• Demoralized (low morale, intimidated, afraid, etc)

2

• Bound (grappled, tangled, hands tied, pinned, etc)

• Disoriented (excrutiating pain, dazed, confused, etc)

• Surrounded (by three or more opponents; no cover)

• Surprised

• Terrified

3

• Blinded (lacks primary source of observation)

4

• Immobile (strongly bound, chained, caught in a net, etc)

Defensive Advantages

TierSummary
1

• Defender is Partially Covered

• Defender can Parry (has a parrying weapon that can counter the attacking weapon)

• Defender is a Small Target (small target)

• Defender is at Short Range from attacker (not in melee range)

2

• Defender has Full Cover

• Defender is at Medium Range from attacker

3

• Defender is at Long Range from attacker

Challenge Advantages

TierSummary
1

• Character is taking their time on the attempt (long attempt, not rushed).

• Character is willing to inflict acceptable losses (such as breaking pins while lock-picking).

• Character has a tangential bonus (such as being an expert in a supplementary skill).

• Character is using exceptional equipment.

2

• Character has thoroughly prepared for this exact attempt in advance.

• Character has previous solved this exact challenge before.

• Character has already created a replica (such as for crafting).

• Character is using legendary equipment.

Magic System

Magic is the act of influencing the classical sciences through the proper manipulation of the forth and fifth dimensions. It requires the user to possess inherent magical abilities (sorcery; doesn't require any special casting techniques) or to understand the intricacies of how the underlying metaphysics work (wizardry; typically uses gestures, verbal commands, wands, etc). Though the lore distinguishes between the two, the game mechanics are abstracted to simplify them.

Mana

Mana is the availability of magical essence within one's body that the individual can use to activate magic, cast spells, and attune to magical assets. Mana is used for all of a wizard's spellcasting needs.

A character's mana pool represents the most amount of mana they can store at once; their "maximum" mana. The amount of mana they currently have available will fluctuate, depending on how much they spend. During the character's primary sleep period, the character refreshes their mana supply.

Hector has a mana pool of eight. Hector activates the spell "Osmosis," which costs one mana. Now Hector has seven mana available. When Hector sleeps, he will regain his current mana back to his maximum mana pool of eight.

Mana Commitments

Mana can be "committed" to attune to a magical asset. Committed mana doesn't regenerate during the character's primary sleep. Instead, the mana remains bound to the magical connection they're sustaining.

Willard commits to a pair of "Boots of Speed" - a magical item that costs one mana to commit to. Willard commits one mana to sustain the connection. When Willard sleeps, that mana does not regenerate. However, when he wakes up, the Boots of Speed are still attuned to him.

A month later, Willard decides not to attune to the Boots of Speed. When he sleeps that night, the mana will finally regenerate.

Spellcasting

Spells are cast to perform magic, and each will indicate much mana it costs to activate it. Every spell is also marked with one of the following keywords: Action, Concentrate, or Enchantment.

KeywordSpecializations
ActionThe standard way of casting a spell, which is cast like a regular action.
ConcentrateThe spell is cast normally and lasts until the mage is no longer concentrating on the spell's effect and purpose. If the mage is significantly distracted from the spell's effect (such as if attacked), the spell's effect will be disrupted and end. Other spells cannot be cast while the mage is holding this power.
EnchantmentOnce purchased, this spell is permanently imbued into the mage and always active. It can be imbued as a magical tattoo, a chakra alignment, or an aura and essence attunement. The enchantment is always active unless the mage chooses to suppress the effects, and unlike spells it does not cost any mana. Enchantments still require considerable effort and training by the mage before they can use the abilities the enchantment offers.

Experience Ladder

A spell's Experience Ladder consists of one or two experience costs separated by a "/", such as: (8) or (4/6). The first value is the EXP cost to purchase the spell. The second value, if provided, indicates the experience required to reduce the mana cost by 1.

The spell "Illusion" has an Experience Ladder of (5/7) and costs 2 mana to activate. Chester purchases the spell for 5 experience, and can now cast it with 2 mana. Chester upgrades the spell for an additional 7 experience, and can now activate the spell using 1 mana.

Some spells also have upgrades available, indicated by a "+" sign. The "Illusion" spell has two upgrades available, including "+ Increased Size (3)" and "+ Mobile Illusion (5)". These upgrades can be purchased by spending the additional experience listed (3 and 5, respectively). Upgrading spells makes them more powerful, and represents the caster's superior training with that spell.

Experience

Experience Costs

TraitExperience Cost
SkillsNext Rank x 3 EXP. Cannot exceed Rank 6.
SpellsRefer to Spell's Experience Ladder.
Spell UpgradesRefer to Spell's Upgrades, if any listed.
ProficienciesNext Rank x 5 EXP. Cannot exceed Rank 7 (best ever).
Magical Language6 EXP
Magical Dialect6 EXP

Ending a Session

• +3 EXP to all PCs (for participation).

• +1 EXP to all PCs that coordinated well with the party.

• +1 to +2 EXP if the session was "epic" (GM discretion).

• +1 EXP to all PCs that did something cool or useful.