Animal Handling is a broad range of skills covering all aspects of looking after and training animals. When an animal is sick, injured or in labour, you know what to do.
- Issue a command to a trained animal.
- Teach an animal a new command.
- Diagnose and heal a wounded animal.
You are practiced at creating works of art in your chosen medium. You may be familiar with the work of others and can usually spot a fake.
- Recall the history of a work of art.
- Identify a piece of art as genuine or fake.
- Create a new or forged piece of art.
Calligraphy, Cartography, Carving, Engraving, Mosaics, Painting, Tattooing, Sculpture, Weaving.
As an athlete you are able to run, jump and tumble with the best of them. You are good at games as well as tests of physical strength, agility and stamina. You also know all about different sports and sports personalities.
- Run a long distance.
- Leap from one building to another.
- Give a rousing speech to your players about tactics.
You think nothing of diving head first into a fast flowing river to save a child. Spooks and monsters hardly even phase you. You are made of sterner stuff.
- Plucking up the courage to ask someone on a date in front of an audience.
- Standing firm against one of the undead, while they reach towards you with rotted hands outstretched.
- Resisting the effects of torture, both physical and mental.
Anyone can climb, but not everyone can climb anything. If you practice enough, the only thing you will fear is failure (especially if you are several hundred feet up dangling by your fingertips).
- Scaling a wall or fence to escape pursuers.
- Fixing your harness and ropes and knowing what all the different bits of climbing gear are for.
- Rattling off the names of famous climbers that have scaled the highest peaks, unaided.
While not as common as they once were, computers and computing devices are still around and can be a great source of information for the discerning computer nerd. They also double as great time wasting devices for those self same discerning computer nerds.
- Interrogate a security terminal to find out which cell the princess is being held in.
- Search a database of information to find key facts about a particular subject.
- Disable a security system or reprogram a robot to do your dirty work for you.
Sometimes you don’t need distractions. Sometimes they happen anyway and you just have to ignore them as best you can and move on.
- Completing a ritual and thus a spell, while those pesky adventurers are fighting your henchmen in the same flipping room!
- Scanning a computer system quickly while the security guards are just down the hall and coming your way.
- Researching late into the night after a really long day and there is a nice warm bed calling your name.
Everyone has to eat, but you have a flair for making things that are edible rather more delicious. As well as being able to tell which end of the spoon to stick in the pan, you can usually figure out what is in the food you are eating too.
- Cook a meal! It’s a bit obvious really.
- Identify the ingredients of a meal, including anything nasty that shouldn’t be there, like poison.
- Name and identify a bunch of things you call ingredients, but that most people think are just weeds, or pests.
It may just be an assumed accent, or a subtle change in the way you move, or you might go full on with a fake moustache, a wig and some cleverly applied makeup. Either way you have a knack for appearing to be someone or something else.
- Impress your friends at a dinner party by impersonating each of them in turn.
- Blag your way into a high security building by impersonating one of the personnel there.
- Assume a fake identity and go into deep cover, possibly for years.
Sometimes the best defence is to get the hell out of Dodge. Erm, that is to dodge out of the way. Falling objects, projectiles and even a giant swinging a club can all be dodged.
- Avoid a falling rock.
- Step back as you hear the twang of a crossbow being fired as you step on an unremarkable looking pressure plate.
- Sidestep a knight on horseback charging at you with his lance levelled at your chest.
Drive is a series of separate skill specialisations, with each specialisation covering a group of vehicles. You should only need to make a test when things get a bit hairy, like during a speed chase.
Aircraft, Automobiles, Bicycles, Boats, Skateboards
- Get from A to B as fast as possible without hitting anything.
- Jump a fence or other obstacle without breaking yourself or your mount.
- Perform basic maintenance on your vehicle of choice.
Physical exertion is your bread and butter. When you push yourself you can run marathons, or stay up all night partying, shrugging off tiredness and the effects of alcohol in equal measure.
- Performing strenuous activity for extended periods of time.
- Ignoring pain and carrying on regardless.
- Resisting the effects of poison and disease.
Lady Luck may be your friend, or perhaps you have developed a ‘system’ for your favourite card game. Either way you like to gamble and you are better at it than most.
- Betting on a horse race and hopefully picking the winner.
- Knowing the rules of various games of chance, including card games.
- Earning a modest income from all sorts of gambling activities. Until the house decides you have had enough that is.
Everyone gets hurt at some point and you have learned the basics of patching people back together again. With enough experience and practice you can even perform surgery.
- Diagnose a patient suffering from an illness.
- Treat wounds suffered in battle.
- Perform surgery on a patient to remove a tumor, or attach a cybernetic limb.
You know how to impose your will on others. Whether by flexing your muscles and looking mean, or cowing your students with your vast intellect, people generally fear you and what you might do.
- Get someone to give up some information or they’ll know what pain is.
- Scare your opponents into turning tail and fleeing.
- Cow your subordinates into rushing headlong into the enemy, because facing your wrath is surely going to be a hell of a lot worse.
You have a specialist and in depth knowledge about a particular subject. You might be a herbalist or outdoor type and know all about the different plants and properties they have. You could be a scientist with extensive knowledge of chemistry and how to make explosives and other useful compounds. You might just be a hobbyist that knows an awful lot about Vabraxian culture. The possibilities are endless.
- Create a healing remedy to soothe the nerves and dull the pain following an injury.
- Identify the origins of an ancient artifact and what it may have been used for.
- Display your in depth knowledge of a local area and head straight to the nearest drinking house.
You are an experienced weight lifter, possibly even competitively, but most likely you have had a past lifting boxes or moving furniture. Either way you aren’t just good at lifting, you know how to lift safely and without doing permanent harm to yourself.
- Stopping the portcullis from closing just long enough for your friends (and yourself) to escape.
- When Open Sesame doesn’t work, someone has to move that boulder and it might as well be you.
- Identify famous strong men and women and the deeds they have done.
Everyone is fluent in their native tongue (and can read and write it too), but you have learned to speak another language other than your own. You can also read and write in your chosen language.
NB: If a character needs to make a Linguistics test using their native tongue, assume they have 50 advances. GMs may decide it is better to record this on the character sheet.
- Decipher an ancient script found in a tomb.
- Translate a message from a foreign ‘ally’.
- Ask for two beers and some nibbles in a Saurian drinking den.
Perhaps you are a locksmith, or a private investigator… yeah right. Who cares about the law, you just want to find out what is in the chest, or behind that door that is worth stealing. Whatever the truth behind your motivation, you know about locks and how to open them without using the actual key.
- With a hair pin and a little patience, you can spring yourself out of jail.
- You need to find those secret documents and the only place you haven’t looked, is this locked filing cabinet. Time to break out the lockpicks.
- You know all about locks, who made them and how difficult they are to pick. You might be able to learn something about the person that created the lock you are trying to open.
You are practiced at close quarter fighting. You might be a brawler drawing on any number of disciplines to punch and kick your way through a fight, or you might be experienced at using weapons of all types to inflict serious injury.
- Match an opponent blow for blow in a boxing ring.
- Defend yourself using a sword and shield.
- Recognise a particular fighting style and deduce who may have taught your opponent.
Knowing where you are and how to get to where you want to go is a very important skill. Especially if you are trying to make your way through the maze of tunnels called Safe Haven, or trudging through the jungle at night.
- Hold a map the right way up and read it properly.
- Navigate by observing your surroundings and noticing tell tale features of the landscape.
- Reading your position using the stars, or some other celestial body.
You notice things that others tend to miss and have a knack for spotting important details. Things find it harder to sneak up on you too, which is always useful. Perhaps you are a detective, security guard or a hunter?
- Search a room for clues and important evidence.
- Spot someone trying to pick your pockets.
- Notice the big bad beast sneaking through the undergrowth before it has a chance to pounce.
You’re an entertainer of one type or another. You might be a singer, a storyteller or comedian. You might play a musical instrument, be a ventriloquist or perhaps you are just good at acting.
Comedy, Musical Instrument (pick one), Singing, Stage Magic, Storytelling, Ventriloquism, etc.
- Play in front of an audience to earn a few coins busking.
- Write a play, poetry or short story.
- Use your acting skills to put on a convincing performance. It helps if you are also good at Disguise.
You have the gift of the gab. You’re just good at sounding convincing, or getting people to go along with you despite their reservations. People might call you smooth talking or a strong leader.
- Bluff your way past the guards to get into the building with the secret documents you are looking for.
- Convince a crowd of people to follow you into battle to save the village from the enemies literally at the gates.
- Use your charm offensive to get a cheaper price at the market and possibly a date with the retailer.
You are good at hitting things from a distance with your weapon of choice. You might prefer throwing things like stones, knives and shuriken. Perhaps you have had training with a bow and arrows, or maybe you are into the more high tech weapons that are available.
Artillery, Firearms, Primitive, Siege, Throwing
- Pick the best quality weapon out of a range of similar items.
- Strip down a gun, clean it and reassemble it.
- Strike a moving target from 100 meters right between the eyes.
You are good with your hands and can use your skills to fix and modify things you are familiar with. You might be a mechanic, computer technician or some other specialist.
Aircraft Engineer, Blacksmith, Bowyer, Carpenter, Computer Technician, Cyberneticist, Mechanic, Mason, Roboticist, Weaponsmith
- Fix a broken down vehicle.
- Repair and then upgrade a computer.
- ‘Heal’ a Vabraxian in your party.
You know how to train and ride a certain type of creature. Most commonly this will be horses, but others are possible too. A skilled rider can make their mount jump obstacles and run quickly through difficult terrain.
Camel, Dire Wolf, Dragon, Elephant, Horse, etc.
- Break a horse and train it to respond to basic commands.
- Ride like the wind and jump across obstacles in your path.
- Check harnesses are secured before riding, or noting that a strap has been cut.
You are skilled at laying traps and disarming them if the need arises. You might be a game hunter or a demolitions expert, or just a thief or gun toting archeologist.
- Lay a series of traps to alert you when someone approaches the camp at night.
- Catch a game animal to feed you and your companions.
- Disable the pressure sensitive plate that your friend just stepped on before it goes kaboom!
Sleight of Hand
When you are around things have a habit of going missing and finding their way into your pocket. It’s great when you are ‘performing’ a trick and produce your mark’s – I mean – customer’s watch from behind their ear, but not so great when they suspect something is up.
- Pick someone’s pocket without them noticing.
- Taking rings off fingers is like taking candy from a baby to you. All it needs is a shake of the hand, a pat on the shoulder to distract them and the jewellery is as good as yours.
- The incriminating evidence that was sitting right there on the desk a moment ago… has suddenly vanished. Better clear out before someone decides to search you.
You know how to move quietly, sticking to the shadows where possible. You can also lose yourself quite happily in a crowd, or disappear into the background by being unobtrusive or uninteresting.
- Sneak around in the dark to survey the enemy camp before planning an assault.
- Masquerade as an orderly or some other mundane servant that no one pays attention to.
- Hide your tracks and remain hidden from the people searching for you.
If you know what you are doing and where to look, you can find enough food and shelter to live quite happily in the wild. That includes places like forests, grasslands and jungles, but also more exotic locations like cave networks and barren landscapes.
- Set up camp by finding shelter and enough wood to build a fire.
- Gather berries and other edible plants, or hunt for small animals that you can cook.
- Know what NOT to eat and which places might be dangerous, or that may leave you open to ambush.
You have learned how to swim and won’t automatically drown if you find yourself in deep water. Skilled swimmers can swim faster and further than those less practiced and will have an easier time in strong, fast moving water.
- Swim back to the boat after falling (or being pushed) in.
- Retrieve something from the bottom of a pool.
- Check your breathing apparatus and other equipment before doing a deep dive.
You have learned to read the signs of a creature’s passing and can follow the trail right to the source. A foot or hoof print here, a broken twig there and other such tell tale signs are obvious to one with your talent.
- Follow the trail of an animal or some other creature.
- Identify the type and number of creatures that have left markings. You might even be able to ascertain their size and weight.
- Tell the difference between a false trail and a real one.
There is one word to describe you. Stubborn. You don’t like giving up and will carry on through sheer determination when others would have gone home and put their feet up.
- Resisting the temptations of a succubus.
- Refusing to give in to mental torture (saying no to that extra donut).
- Defending yourself against a psychic assault.