The Skills and Their Uses

There are a set number of skills, which reflect the variety abilities which characters can bring to bear during the game. All of your character’s skills are ranked according to the Difficulty and Success Ladder. Like all things measured by the Ladder, skills can range from Terrible (- 2) to Legendary (+ 8), although your skills will usually range from Mediocre (+ 0) to Superb (+ 5).

List of Skills

Below is the list of skills in the game. Following each skill is a list of common uses for the skill. Those skills with a “knowledge” can be used to make Assessments (see Assessments and Declarations ).

  • Alertness: Avoiding Surprise, Combat Initiative, Passive Awareness
  • Athletics: Climbing, Dodging, Falling, Jumping, Sprinting, Other Physical Actions
  • Burglary: Casing, Infiltration, Lockpicking
  • Contacts: Gathering Information, Getting the Tip-Off, Knowing People, Rumors
  • Conviction: Acts of Faith, Mental Fortitude
  • Craftsmanship: Breaking, Building, Fixing
  • Deceit: Cat and Mouse, Disguise, Distraction and Misdirection, False Face Forward, Falsehood and Deception
  • Discipline: Concentration, Emotional Control, Mental Defense
  • Driving: Chases, One Hand on the Wheel, Other Vehicles, Street Knowledge and Navigation
  • Empathy: Reading People, A Shoulder to Cry On, Social Defense, Social Initiative
  • Endurance: Long-Term Action, Physical Fortitude
  • Fists: Brawling, Close-Combat Defense
  • Guns: Aiming, Gun Knowledge, Gunplay, Other Projectile Weapons
  • Intimidation: The Brush-Off, Interrogation, Provocation, Social Attacks, Threats
  • Investigation: Eavesdropping, Examination, Surveillance
  • Lore: Arcane Research, Common Ritual, Mystic Perception
  • Organization: Leadership, Bureaucracy, Planning
  • Might: Breaking Things, Exerting Force, Lifting Things, Wrestling
  • Performance: Art Appreciation, Composition, Creative Communication, Playing to an Audience
  • Presence: Charisma, Command, Reputation, Social Fortitude
  • Rapport: Chit-Chat, Closing Down, First Impressions, Opening Up, Social Defense
  • Resources: Buying Things, Equipment, Lifestyle, Money Talks, Workspaces
  • Scholarship: Answers, Declaring Minor Details, Exposition and Knowledge Dumping, Languages, Medical Attention, Research and Lab Work
  • Stealth: Ambush, Hiding, Shadowing, Skulking
  • Survival: Animal Handling, Camouflage, Riding, Scavenging, Tracking
  • Tech: Breaking Stuff, Building Stuff, Computers, Fixing Stuff
  • Weapons: Melee Combat, Melee Defense, Distance Weaponry, Weapon Knowledge

Skill Points and the Skill Pillars

Any skills you don’t train in default to Mediocre (+ 0). The skills you do train in are capped at Superb (+ 5) at the beginning of the campaign. You can raise your skills to levels beyond Superb (+ 5) after the game begins.

In addition, your skill ranks are like pillars: the higher values must have lower values to support them, like a vertical pillar. Each high value is its own pillar, so each needs its own lower valued skills to support it. For example, you cannot have a skill at Superb (+ 5) without also having a skill at Average (+ 1), one skill at Fair (+ 2), one skill at Good (+ 3), and one skill at Great (+ 4). You cannot have two skills at Great, without also having two skills at Good, two skills at Fair, and two skills at Average.

Your character begins with 28. Each increase in rank costs 1 point, but remember that you need to also increase other skills to support the new rank (see skill pillars in the previous paragraph). So buying Guns at Superb (+ 5) technically costs 5 points; however, you also need to buy a skill at Great (+ 4 = 4 pts), a skill at Good (+ 3 = 3 pts), a skill at Fair (+ 2 = 2 pts), and a skill at Average (+ 1 = 1 pt), so the real cost of buying a skill at Superb is 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 15 pts.