Thursday, June 2, 2011

7K - We haz mad skillz!

This isn't the full description of the skill system. Instead, this is a brief overview, for reference while we are discussing other elements of the system.

Skill Name Skill Type Attribute
Acrobatics Physical Dex
Appraise Awareness Int
Athletics Physical Str
Bluff Social Cha
Burglary Deceit Dex
Concentration Lore Wis
Contacts Social Cha
Craft Common Wis
Disguise Deceit Cha
Endurance Physical Con
Forgery Deceit Int
Heal Lore Int
Intimidate Social Cha
Knowledge Lore Int
Language Lore Int
Notice Awareness Wis
Perform Common Cha
Power Special Any
Profession Common Wis
Rapport Social Cha
Ride Physical Dex
Search Awareness Int
Sense Motive Awareness Wis
Sleight of Hand Deceit Dex
Spellcraft Lore Int
Stealth Physical Dex
Survival Common Wis
These are the skills that are available for characters to use. You may note that the list is considerably different from the standard D&D list. This is actually pretty common for d20 variants. Even in shifting from 3.0 to 3.5, D&D changed the skill list a bit. I've tried to combine skills that seemed redundant, add a few more skills to support social interaction, and keep the swashbuckling vibe and general societal level in mind. (That's one advantage I have over D&D, in that having a specific setting means that I don't need to account for as wide a range of possible character types.)

Here is a brief description of what each skill does:
  • Acrobatics - This skill is used to cover pretty much any kind of movement in which agility is paramount. That includes tumbling, balancing, and even escaping from bonds.
  • Appraise - This is not just the skill for determining the worth of your loot. It is one-half of the secret to successful haggling (the other half would likely fall under Rapport). It is also the skill that is used by sophisticates to identify quality art, fine wines, and horses worth purchasing (or wagering on).
  • Athletics - The counterpart to Acrobatics, this skill covers movement where power is more important than grace. Climbing, jumping, and lifting are common examples.
  • Bluff - This is simply the skill of convincing a target of one thing, when the truth is something else altogether. Note, however, that this is primarily a social skill, and not a deceit skill. Lying is used much more often among friends in a tavern or salon than it is by con men.
  • Burglary - This skill covers all of the basic techniques for bypassing security systems. Casing a target, opening the locks, and disarming any traps are all included.
  • Concentration - This is the ability to stay focused on a task, regardless of distraction. It is also the ability to maintain your calm and reason when assailed by insults, pain, or distress.
  • Contacts - It's all in who you know. This skill determines who you know, and how well you know them. Each rank in the skill allows you to either identify a new ally, or improve an existing one.
  • Craft - You make things. With each rank, you can identify a new type of craft you are proficient in, or improve an existing proficiency.
  • Disguise - This covers both the act of physically altering your appearance and the techniques of pulling off an alternate identity. This can include accents, affecting a limp, or maintaining a consistent cover personality. (For heroes who want to maintain a secret identity, at least a few ranks in this skill would be advised.)
  • Endurance - Acrobatics covers agility, Athletics covers might, and Endurance covers your ability to keep going. If you need to swim across the bay, resist the pangs of hunger, or simply dance all night to impress a lady, you will need this skill. It is also used to throw off the effects of poisons and disease.
  • Forgery - The bastard child of Craft and Disguise, Forgery is the art of making things that are not what they seem. While this is most commonly documents, it can include works of art, heraldic devices, or even currency.
  • Heal - People get hurt. This skill helps you undo that. This skill also gives you some ability to remove stress damage from a victim.
  • Intimidate - Rapport is speaking softly, Intimidate is the big stick. This is, quite simply, the technique of effectively using threats to compel people to concede to your demands.
  • Knowledge - You know things. You know many things. As with Craft, you may choose a focus for your knowledge with each rank.
  • Language - Like "Speak Language" in D&D, this skill lets you pick up additional languages. But, it can also be used as a skill check to make yourself understood (and understand others) through pidgin, gestures, jargon, or even innuendo.
  • Notice - This is primarily a passive skill, that determines how aware you are of the world passing you by. It's good for spotting ambushes, smelling a familiar perfume at a party, tasting the poison in time to spit it out, or hearing her husband's carriage enter the drive.
  • Perform - Perform covers most of the arts that do not create a lasting physical object (those are covered by Craft). Singing, dancing, and the like are the most common forms, but rhetoric, writing, and even the hawking of one's wares can be types of performances.
  • Power - This is a unique and somewhat unusual skill. Specifically, it is your super power skill. Your origin will dictate what effects you can use this skill for. Also, unlike the other skills, Power is not linked to a specific attribute. Instead, you use whichever attribute makes the most sense for the check you are attempting (if you're not sure, go with Wisdom).
  • Profession - This is how you make money. More generally, it also covers all those skills that aren't covered by Craft, Perform, or one of the other skills. Lawyers, bankers, servants, messengers, and even prostitutes would have high Profession skills.
  • Rapport - People like you. They really like you. More importantly, you can convince them to do things for you. That might be as mercenary as loaning you money, or as simple as agreeing to cheer up. Where Bluff is all about concealing the truth, Rapport is simply about making people see things your way.
  • Ride - You can ride a horse. That's pretty much what this skill does. Riding a more exotic animal, or operating a carriage, also uses this skill, but requires a feat.
  • Search - Where Notice is about general awareness, Search is about deliberately turning your attention to a scene. You can seek out hidden compartments, subtle tracks, obscure clues, or the best bolt of cloth at the market. Note also that making sense of what you find may require Burglary, Survival, Knowledge, or Appraise, as appropriate.
  • Sense Motive - Notice and Search can find what is physical, but Sense Motive allows you to see what is hidden in the mind and the heart. This covers everything from knowing if someone is lying to seeing that someone is in love.
  • Sleight of Hand - This skill covers a wide variety of tasks that require quick, dextrous movements. You can draw a knife without being noticed, palm a coin or a card while gambling, pick someone's pockets, or produce a rose from behind a young lady's ear.
  • Spellcraft - Magic is a strong force in the Seven Kingdoms. Even though the average person rarely comes into contact with it directly, everyone knows what it is and has some idea how it works (though, of course, legends and misinformation abounds). With Spellcraft, you know the rules and principles of magic. You may even be able to produce some of your own.
  • Stealth - This is how you avoid the Notice of others. Hiding in the shadows, moving without making a sound, leaving no tracks, and even hiding your scent from the dogs are all included.
  • Survival - You are an experienced woodsman and capable hunter. You can sense changes in the weather, recognize tracks, gather healthy berries and avoid poisonous ones, and avoid getting lost. The default assumption is that this skill applies to the fields and forests of a temperate clime, but with feats you can use it to survive in the desert, arctic, a city, or even underwater.

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