There are twelve skills, ranked from 1 (Below Average) to 8 (Paragon). Characters roll Xd10 on Skill Tests, where X is their Skill Rank.


Proficiencies are optional sub-skills that improve the odds of success for related actions. Some are required for actions that need special training, such as to perform surgery (Medicine) or forge weapons (Blacksmithing).

Natural Talents

Natural Talents, acquired during character creation, grant a +1 skill modifier without affecting its rank or EXP cost. This is the only way to achieve the maximum skill rank of 8 (Paragon).

Skills are annotated with Natural Talents in parentheses, such as "Charisma: 4 (+1)"

Skill Distribution

Rank Name Distribution
1 Below Average 33%
2 Average 34%
3 Experienced 25%
4 Professional 6%
5 Expert 1%
6 Master 1 in 10,000
7 Savant 1 in 1 million
8 Paragon 1 in 1 billion

Skill & Proficiency List


    • Gymnastics

    • Ride

    • Reaction


    • Endurance

    • Fortitude

    • Strength


    • Composure

    • Performing Arts

    • Sense Motive

    • Socialize


    • Defense

    • Martial Arts

    • Melee


    • Blacksmithing

    • Construction

    • Engineering

    • Handicraft

    • Visual Arts


    • Criminal Lore

    • Disguise

    • Escape

    • Infiltrate

    • Sleight of Hand


    • Bluff

    • Guile

    • Persuade


    • Awareness

    • Investigate


    • Archery

    • Casting

    • Firearms

    • Throwing


    • Ambush

    • Conceal

    • Hide

    • Silent


    • Academics

    • Occult

    • Science

    • Social Studies

    • {Any Profession}


    • Logic

    • Streetwise

    • Survival

    • Tactics

    • Willpower

Skill Tests

Skill Tests use one of the twelve skills to determine the degree of success for an action. For example, jumping uses the Athletics skill.

When testing the success of an action roll Xd10, where X is the rank of the relevant skill.

Charlotte attempts a long jump using the Athletics skill. Her Athletics Rank is 5, so she rolls 5 dice (5d10).

Target Numbers

Each die that rolls 7+ scores a hit, and 10's score two hits. Rolling a 1 subtracts a hit.

Charlotte rolls [1, 4, 7, 9, 10]. The "7" and "9" score +1 hit each, the "10" scores +2 hits, and the "1" subtracts a hit, for a final score of 3 hits.


A Rank 1 Proficiency allows the character to ignore a single "1" that was rolled on a skill test. A Rank 2 proficiency also grants an automatic hit.

Charlotte has a Rank 2 Proficiency in Gymnastics. Her roll of [1, 4, 7, 9, 10] therefore ignores the "1" and gains +1 automatic hit for a final score of 5 hits.


If the final score is negative, the character botched the action. This often results in bad consequences at the discretion of the GM.

Cipher, an unskilled burglar, attempts to pick a lock. He rolls [1, 1, 9]. The 1's each score a negative hit (for -2 hits), and the 9 gains +1 hit. The final score is -1 (a botch).

As a penalty for botching, a lockpick breaks.

Critical Successes

If two or more 10s were rolled on a successful action, the character critically succeeds. The GM can grant positive consequences that would naturally result from doing exceptionally well.

Koro, a military officer, is trying to motivate his squad against dire odds. He succeeds with a critical success.

The soldiers are so moved by Koro's speech that they raise their weapons in a war cry and vow to fight to the death if necessary.

Additional 10s result in even greater successes with greater results. Three 10s is considered an epic success, and four tens is a legendary success.

Challenge Ratings

Some actions present a higher Challenge Rating than others. Tracking an animal on dry terrain is harder than tracking an elephant through snow. The higher a Challenge Rating is, the higher the score needed to succeed at the task.

The GM determines the Challenge Ratings for every task and determines the measure of success based on the score.

Fredrick attempts to fire an arrow into the bullseye of a target from fifty meters. He makes a Ranged Skill Test and scores a four. The GM says Fredrick hit the target, but doesn't succeed at hitting the bullseye (which required a score of five).

Fredrick tries again and scores a 1. The GM says Fredrick's arrow misses the target completely.

On his third attempt, Fredrick scores a 5. The GM says he hits the bullseye.


Skill Tests often have modifiers. Advantages grant bonus dice, while disadvantages subtract 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.

Galia attacks a large orc that fell to the ground. The orc is prone, so the GM grants a +1 bonus to the attack. The orc is a large target (and thus easier to hit than a normal-sized target), so the GM grants an additional +1 bonus.

Galia's attack gains a total of +2 bonus dice.

Example Challenges

Score Challenge
0 Shoot a giant, immobile object; such as the side of a house.
1 Shoot a non-moving human-sized target.
2 Shoot a moving game animal (e.g. deer).
3 Shoot a small game animal (e.g. racoon).
4 Shoot a small pumpkin as it rolls.
5 Hit a bullseye.
6 Split an arrow.
7 Split an arrow while running.
8 Split an arrow while back-flipping.


Contests occur when a Skill Test is actively contested by an opposing character, such as an attacker against a defender.

Both characters make their appropriate Skill Test, including any modifiers based on advantages or disadvantages. The highest score wins the test. Ties are won by the aggressor. If there is no "defender," the GM declares a result that one could expect from a tie.

Common Skill Modifiers

Mod The Character Is...
-1 Rushed, Distracted
+1 Cautious, Taking Extra Time
An Expert In A Tangential Field
Willing To Sacrifice Something
Already Prepared For The Action
+2 Already Familiar With The Exact Puzzle

Initiative Points

IP, or Initiative Points, are an abstraction of the character's ability to multitask and react during combat. IP is spent on actions such as aiming, attacking, stunting, or improving defense.

IP refreshes to the character's Initiative Score on the start of each combat round.

Rando's Initiative is 5, so he starts each combat round with 5 IP.

When a character runs out of IP to spend, their turn ends. A turn can be ended prematurely if desired.

Turn Order

When combat starts, all participants roll 1d6 and add their Initiative Rank to the score. Turn order proceeds from the highest score to lowest. When ties occur, players go before NPCs; or at discretion of the GM.

Rando rolls a 4 for his turn order, and adds his Initiative (5) for a score of 9.

Combat Stats

Combat Stat Calculation
Initiative (Athletics + Perception + Wits) / 2
Resolve (Wits + Charisma) / 2
Max. Health Athletics + Body + 2
Death Point 0 - (Body x 2)
Soak 0

All combat stats can change through the course of gameplay, such as when a skill improves or gear is equipped.

No character has soak by default; it can only be improved with armor or magic.


HP, or Health Points, represent the character's current physical condition. When HP drops to 0, the character is incapacitated. If HP drops to the character's Death Point, they die.

HP cannot exceed the character's Maximum Health, which equals: Athletics + Body + 2.

Genevive's Athletics Rank is 4, and her Body Rank is 2, so she has a Maximum Health of 6.

Attacks & Damage

Standard attacks involve a Skill Test Contest between the attacker and defender. Ties go to the attacker.

On successful attack, the attacker rolls the damage of their weapon.

Genevive hits her opponent for 1d6+1 damage. She rolls a "4", dealing 5 damage.

Critical hits add +2 damage for every ten rolled after the first, or improve a gambit's effect.

Genevive rolls an Epic Success (3 tens) on her attack and hits. This adds +4 damage, for a total of 9 damage.

Soak & Pierce

Damage taken by the defender is reduced by their Soak rating. However, weapons with a "Pierce" rating reduce the defender's Soak (to a minimum of 0) before Soak is calculated.

The defender has Soak 2, but is reduced to 1 by Genevive's Pierce 1 weapon. Genevive dealt 7 damage, but the defender only takes 6.

Common Offensive Bonuses

Attackers receive bonus die to their attacks when their target is in a vulnerable state.

Mod The Target Is...
+1 Die Hindered: Slowed, Encumbered
Flanked: Attacked From Behind
Vulnerable: Prone, Low Ground
Demoralized: Intimidated, Afraid
Large Target
+2 Die Bound: Grappled, Tangled, Pinned
Disoriented: Dazed, Confused
+3 Die Blinded
+4 Die Immobile: Chained, Tied Up

Defensive Advantages

Defenders automatically raise their defense scores when in a strong defensive position.

Defense Defender Is...
+1 Hit Partially Covered
At Medium Range
+2 Hits In Full Cover
At Long Range

General Combat Actions

Type IP Description
Free Action 0 Vocal commands, ready weapon, observe the scene, quick gesture, other trivial actions.
Full Move 1 A full move means the distance covered during the round required running.
Hold Action 0 Pass to the next participants's turn without spending IP. Can act later in the round.
Overwatch 3 Identical to "Hold Action," but can interrupt someone's action. This interruption may disrupt the target's action and incur penalties against them.
Prepare 2 Ends your turn. Next round, you start with +2 IP.
Quick Test 2+ Perform a quick Skill Test; e.g. a wall-jump (athletics). IP varies at GM's discretion.

Defense Actions

Type IP Description
Defense 0 Defend with a Combat Skill Test (Defense Proficiency).
Evasion 3 Forfeit all attacks this round to gain +2 dice on defense actions. Can be used while fleeing.

Offensive Actions

Type IP Description
Aim 2 Gain +2 die to the follow-up attack or gambit. Usable only once per attack.
Attack 3 A standard Combat or Ranged attack.
Cleave 2 A melee attack only. One use per round, must already be engaged in melee combat. -2 dice penalty to the attack.

Stunts, Gambits, and Called Shots

Stunts and gambits may have status effects or other bonuses at the discretion of the GM (e.g. losing a leg, being disarmed, etc).

Gambit Type IP Description
Basic (+1) 3 Large-target Called Shot: Chest, Stomach, Hips, Legs, etc. Or a simple gambit such as tripping, shoving backward, etc. +1 Difficulty, +1 Damage
Adept (+2) 4 Medum-target Called Shot: Head, Shoulder, Upper or Lower Arm, etc. Or a difficult gambit such as disarming, an environment stunt, etc. +2 Difficulty, +2 Damage
Master (+3) 5 Small-target Called Shot: Neck, Hand, Foot, Knee, Elbow, etc. Or an epic gambit such as a weapon steal, pinning, a complicated stunt, etc. +3 Difficulty, +3 Damage
Legendary (+4) 6 Tiny-target Called Shot: Eye, Nose, Ears, etc. Or a legendary gambit of an incredible stunt. +4 Difficulty, +4 Damage

Melee Weapons

Weapon Type Damage Effects
Unarmed 1d3 +2 IP for the round, +1 die bonus to gambits & called shots
Makeshift Weapons 1d6 +1 IP for the round, +2 die bonus to gambits & stunts
Bludgeon 1d6+1 +1 Parry (+1 die when parrying), +2 die for knockback gambits
Heavy Bludgeon 1d6+2 Requires Two Hands, +2 die bonus for knockback gambits
Small Blades 1d4+2 +1 IP for the round, +1 die bonus to gambits & called shots
Long Blades 1d4+3 +1 Parry (+1 die bonus when parrying)
Heavy Blades 2d4+1 Pierce 1, Requires Two Hands, -1 die penalty
Impact Weapons 1d6+1 Pierce 2
Chopping Weapons 1d8+1 No bonus
Heavy Weapons 2d6-1 Pierce 2, Requires Two Hands, -2 die penalty
Pole Weapons 1d6+1 Pierce 2, Requires Two Hands, +2 die bonus vs. mounted units
Whips 1d3+1 Short Range, +1 die bonus to gambits
Exotic Weapons 2d6-1 -3 die penalty, Requires Custom Proficiency

Ranged Weapons

Weapon Type Damage Effects
Bow 1d6 Pierce 1
Crossbow 1d8+1 Pierce 3, costs 4 IP to reload
Heavy Crossbow 1d10+2 Pierce 5, Turret (stationary), costs 8 IP (or full turn) to reload
Thrown Blades 1d4 Short Range Only, +2 IP for the round
Thrown Poles 1d4+2 Short Range Only, Pierce 1
Thrown Binds N/A Short Range Only, +1 die bonus for gambits
Projectiles ? +2 IP for the round

Weapon Quality

Quality Effect
Poor Pierce -1, or -1 Damage if weapon cannot pierce
Standard No bonuses or penalties
Exceptional Pierce +1
Legendary Pierce +2, or +1 Damage, or +1 die bonus to attacks, or +1 IP for the round


Armor Soak Effects Examples
Light or Mixed 0 +1 die bonus to defense Leather armor, studded armor, etc.
Medium 1 Chain mail, ring armor, etc.
Heavy 2 -1 die penalty to defense Plate mail, scale mail, etc.
Superheavy 3 -2 die penalty to defense Extra thick plate mail, beast scale mail, etc.
Supernatural 4 -3 die penalty to defense Thick exoskeleton, alchemical battle suit, etc.


Shield Soak Effects
Light Shield 1 +1 Parry (+1 die bonus when parrying)
Heavy Shield 2 +2 Parry (+2 die bonus when parrying), -1 die penalty to offense

Armor Quality

Quality Effect
Poor -1 Soak (to minimum of 0) or -1 die penalty to combat
Standard No bonuses or penalties
Exceptional +1 Parry (+1 die bonus when parrying)
Legendary Soak +1, or automatic +1 Defense