Shimmering Kingdoms FATE
Assigning your Skills
Players select 14 starting skills from the Skills List below. Skills are the things that the character is proficient at and forms the basis of how they will interact with the story and their success in the many Tests they will face.
Selected Skills should be logically consistent with the character’s background material as elaborated in the Backstory Phases. Skills are selected so that they are appropriate for the characters about whom we’ve now learned quite a lot (with even more existing in the players’ imaginations).
There is one skill that you must select: Resources. The Resources skill defines how wealthy you are rated from slave through to a mighty king. The level that you set will be determined by your character’s story and agreed with the Storyteller
Another skill to explicitly mention here is Languages. Player characters will know the language of their background. Further languages, or literacy in any of these tongues, requires levels in the Languages skill.
In addition to the Mental, Physical and Social skills, a character might have a magical skill. These skills are rare. Having one must be justified by a character’s background story and an appropriate Aspect (usually their High Concept).
Once you have selected your skills you need to assign a numeric skill level to each of them. The skill level tells you how proficient the character is with the skill. A skill level of Average (+1) represents a basic grounding in the skill. A skill level of Legendary (+8) means the character has mastered all possible elements of the skill and is one of the greatest in all the kingdoms of men.
Characters start with the following:
• Two skills at Level 4 (GREAT)
• Three skills at Level 3 (GOOD)
• Four skills at Level 2 (FAIR)
• Five skills at Level 1 (AVERAGE)
Skills of Shimmering Kingdoms
|Mental Skills||Level||Physical Skills||Level||Social Skills||Level|
|Professions [Type]||A||Missile Combat||A||Provoke||B|
Skills are split into four categories: Mental, Physical, Social and Magical. This is largely for convenience and has no impact on the game. Although a character might be built to be capable in a wide range of Tests, drawing a balance of skills from each of the first three categories, it is much more fun (and closer true to the nature of Shimmering Kingdoms) if you follow your character’s concept and draw out the key skills that you think their Tales support. During play, as your character advances, they can pursue training to fill in the gaps where they find themselves lacking, given enough time and resources.
Skills are rated on the adjective ladder. The higher the rating, the better your character is at the skill. Taken together, your list of skills gives you a picture of that character’s potential for action at a glance—what you’re best at, what you’re okay at, and what you’re not so good at.
We define skills in two ways in Fate—in terms of the game actions that you can do with them, and the context in which you can use them. There are only a handful of basic game actions, but the number of potential contexts is infinite.
Basic skills (B, above) default to Mediocre (+0) if a character does not possess the skill at some higher level. This represents innate abilities that all people possess to some degree, in the way that anyone may attempt to be stealthy or carry a heavy load.
Advanced skills (A, above) default to Terrible (-2) if a character does not possess the skill at some higher level. This represents abilities that require knowledge, training, or experience to have any reasonable chance of success.
Exclusive skills: (E, above) Magical skills may not be attempted untrained, except in specific circumstances. A character must have a Magical Calling Stunts associated with the specific Magical Skill to use that skill.
Whenever the Crafts, Lore, or Professions skills are taken, a particular subset [type] of lore must be specified. Examples are given in the individual skill descriptions.
Basically, even though the FATE CORE can allow characters to pull off incredible feats of skill, the Shimmering Kingdoms campaign has a certain grounding in reality, a reality based on the aforementioned inspirational sources. When choosing or improving skills, the player must justify the reasoning behind the choice. The selection must make sense within the scope of play. It is a reach to imagine that a character with the high concept of Dirty Little Orphan Thief could justify having a Melee Combat score of Great (+4) without a good narrative reason.
What you can do with a skill sometimes depends on where you live and grew up. Using Husbandry to ride, for example, might apply to camels if you grew up in a desert, horses in other environments, or even ostriches or flying creatures depending on your homeland. If a character tries to ride a camel and has never seen one before, the Story Teller should increase the difficulty by +1 or +2 levels to reflect the character’s unfamiliarity. If it’s something very different, such as a bronze age character with the Craft skill trying to repair a steam-powered harpoon, the Story Teller is justified in disallowing the attempt completely. Unless a specific use of a skill falls within a character’s “cultural idiom”, he’ll face a difficulty modifier to his skill check at best.
Cultural idiom requires some careful adjudicating, and shouldn’t be a “once and forever” decision. For example, a stone age barbarian may not be able to use a black powder weapon at all (these do not exist in SK), even though he may have Great (+4) Missile Combat. Given time, though, it’s possible to mitigate this prohibition; maybe the Story Teller declares that after a few days observing how the black powder pistol works, the character can try and make a Missile Combat roll at -2 against a difficulty of (say) Good (+3) to get a little familiarity. If successful, the character can now use the pistol at a -2 penalty. Later, if the character gains a Boost on a Missile Combat roll using the pistol, the -2 penalty may drop to -1, and then disappear altogether. In this way, characters can become gradually familiar with things they didn’t originally understand at all.
CRAFTS [Type] Mental, Advanced
When this skill is taken, a particular craft must be specified. Examples are given below. A specialism be selected within the craft type. Essentially, any skill a character might use to create something that is not covered by the other skills in this section can be taken as a craft skill. So, if Craft [Carpenter] is selected, a specialism Stunt can also be selected with possible examples being: Building, Installation, Repair, Furniture, Structures, Interiors, Exteriors, Roofs, etc.
This skill can be taken multiple times to provide knowledge for a range of crafts, however you may need an appropriate aspect to justify having more than one trade. Formal guild membership may be required, and therefore must be represented by one of your Aspects.
This list of Craft skills are but some of those available in this campaign:
Alchemist (makes alchemical items)
Apothecary (studies the mixing of chemicals, elements and other materials for predictable results, and sells such items to others)
Arrowsmith (forges arrow heads)
Basketweaver (makes baskets from willow, straw, cane and other flexible plants, or from wire)
Bellfounder (makes bronze and brass bells and other such items)
Blacksmith (makes armor, shields, tools, weapons and other metal items from iron and steel)
Bookbinder (makes and binds books and folios)
Bowyer (makes archer’s bows from horn, wood and/or sinew)
Brewer (makes beer by soaking, boiling and fermenting)
Brownsmith (makes items from copper)
Builder (constructs buildings and monuments from wood and stone)
Carpenter (makes and repairs objects and structures, typically of wood)
Calligrapher (produces decorative handwriting or lettering with a pen or brush)
Chandler (makes candles of tallow and wax)
Charcoal Burner (burns wood, bone char or other substances, producing fuel primarily for furnaces and forges)
Clockmaker (makes mechanical and water clocks)
Cobbler (a person who repairs shoes)
Composer (creates music from simple songs to quartets music and symphonies)
Cook (creates and prepares food for consumption)
Cordwainer (makes shoes and other articles from fine soft leather)
Embalmer (preserves a corpse from decay using spices, includes preparing mummies from dead bodies)
Fletcher (makes arrows from wood or rushes)
Gemcutter (cuts, shapes and polishes gemstones)
Glassmaker (makes glass from silica and varied other ingredient)
Glassblower (makes glassware by blowing air through a tube of semi-molten glass)
Goldsmith (forges or casts items from gold)
Herbalist (creates herbal medicines and remedies)
Illuminator (creates illuminations and border artwork for books, usually religious texts)
Jeweler (makes items from precious metals and gems)
Leatherworker (creates functional items and armor from cured leather)
Locksmith (makes and repairs locks and such mechanisms)
Mason (builds with brick or stone)
Papermaker (presses paper from wood pulp using a mill)
Painter (makes works of art using various pigments)
Pewtersmith (forges or casts items from pewter)
Playwright (or Dramatist, writes dramatic literature, usually intended to be performed as plays)
Poisonmaker (creates poisons and toxins)
Potter (makes items in clay)
Reed Presser (makes papyrus)
Sculptor (carves statues or reliefs, usually from stone or wood)
Shipwright (builds boats and ships)
Silversmith (forges or casts items from silver)
Stonemason (fashions many stone blocks for use in great keeps, cathedrals and other buildings)
Tailor (makes clothing and outfits, usually from cloth or soft leather)
Tanner (makes leather goods and parchment)Tattooer (punctures the skin and inserts pigments, marking the body with an indelible design)
Tinsmith (forges or casts items out of tin)
Trapmaker (builds traps and snares from a wide variety of materials)
Vintner (makes wine)
Wattler (constructs walls, fences, and roofs consisting of poles intertwined with twigs, reeds, or branches)
Weaponsmith (forges weapons)
Weaver (spins and weaves cloth)
Wheelwright (makes wheeled vehicles such as chariots)
Whitesmith (someone who polishes or finishes metal)
Wigmaker (makes hair pieces for men and women from the hair of others)
Woodworker (makes wooden items decorative items such as woodcuts)
Wordsmith (creates works using words, such as poems, epic tales, stories, and such works as reference books)
Overcome: Crafts allows you to build, break, or fix a particular object, including machinery, presuming you have the time and tools you need. Often, actions with Crafts happen as one component of a more complex situation, making it a popular skill for challenges. For example, if you’re just fixing a broken door, neither success nor failure is interesting; you should just succeed and move on. Now, if you’re trying to fix that wheel on your carriage while a pack of werewolves is hunting you…
Create an Advantage: You can use Crafts to create aspects representing features of a piece of constructible material (or a construction itself), pointing out useful features or strengths you can use to your advantage (Armor-Plated, Rugged Construction) or a vulnerability for you to exploit (Flaw in the Cross-Beam, Hasty Work).
Creating Crafts advantages can also take the form of quick and dirty sabotage or jury-rigging on mechanical objects in the scene. For example, you might create a Makeshift Pulley to help you get to the platform above you, or throw something into the ballista that’s firing on you to give it a Jammed Pivoting Joint and make it harder to hit you.
Additionally, one makes a living from their craft, creating advantages for Resources checks, given the appropriate circumstances and time performing the service.
Attack: You probably won’t use Crafts to attack in a conflict, unless the conflict is specifically about using machinery, like with siege weaponry. Talk this over with the Story Teller if you are really interested in taking this skill. Usually, weapons you craft are likely to be used with other skills to attack—a guy who makes a sword still needs Melee Combat to wield it well!
Defend: As with attacking, Crafts doesn’t defend, unless you’re somehow using it as the skill to control a piece of machinery or other costruction that you block with.
Always Making Useful Things (Crafts)
You don’t ever have to spend a fate point to declare that you have the proper tools for a particular job using Crafts, even in extreme situations (like being imprisoned and separated from all your stuff). This source of opposition is just off the table.
Better than New! (Crafts)
Whenever you succeed with style on an overcome action to repair something, you can immediately give it a new situation aspect (with a free invoke) reflecting the improvements you’ve made, instead of just a boost.
Surgical Strikes (Crafts)
When using Crafts in a conflict involving your craft (i.e. machinery), you can filter out unwanted targets from whole-zone attacks without having to divide up your shifts (normally, you’d need to divide your roll between your targets).
Apprentice (Crafts) Requires an associated aspect
Pick a broad category such as smithing, woodworking or stonecutting, and reduce the time required by one step when using Crafts for such tasks. You may take this stunt more than once under special circumstances. You can’t usually be an Apprentice of two crafts due to guild membership restrictions.
Journeyman (Crafts) Requires Apprentice
The character gains a +1 Crafts bonus in his chosen field. Also, you may pick a specialty in it (such as swordsmithing, shipbuilding or masonry), for which you get a +2 bonus.
Master Craftsman (Crafts) Requires Journeyman
When using Crafts for tasks even tangentially related to your field, such as a bowyer crafting a bow, reduce the task difficulty by two. You may also use Crafts instead of Lore for topics within your field.
Crafter’s Connections (Crafts) Requires Journeyman
You can complement your Contacts skill with your Crafts skill when dealing with another guild or other craftsmen in your field, as long as your skill as an craftsman is relevant.
Crafter’s Reputation (Crafts) Requires Journeyman
The character’s name raises eyebrows within his community. When your reputation as an Craftsman benefits you, you can complement your Rapport with your Crafts skill.
Artisan (Crafts) Requires Apprentice
Items produced by the character are finely crafted works of art. Use Crafts to take one step longer on the Time Increments Table to create items which also count as artworks (ie as if made with a Crafts (Art Type)) with a quality two less than the item’s normal quality. For example, a Good (+3) quality axe made with this stunt is also an Average (+1) quality artwork.
Personal Device (Crafts)
The character owns a special or unique non-magical device based on technology appropriate to the campaign setting, such as masterwork crossbows, collapsing ladders, finely-crafted lockpicks, Alchemical fire projectors, portable man-traps, and so on. The device has three improvements; at least two of these, along with the device’s basic nature, must be defined when you take this stunt. You may take the stunt multiple times, either for multiple devices or additional improvements to the same device.
Universal Device (Crafts)
A universal device is a personal device you define on the fly, in the midst of play, as if your character happens to have “just the thing” just when it’s needed. The device follows the same rules as Personal Device, above, but with two improvements, not three. Once defined, the device is fixed for the rest of the session. You can take this stunt multiple times.
Armorer (Crafts) Requires one other Crafts stunt
The character has a knack for crafting weapons and armour. When using Crafts to repair, design, upgrade, or otherwise work with a weapon or item of armor, reduce the difficulty by -1; the time taken to do the work is also one step less on the Time Increments Table. These benefits only apply to weapons and armor normally found in the campaign setting.
Engineer (Crafts) Requires one other Crafts stunt
The character can create, repair, and dismantle constructs such as castles and bridges. Constructing ships and other vessels requires the Shipwright (Crafts) stunt below or the Boatwright (Professions: Pilot) stunt, but otherwise uses the same rules.
Creating a construct costs 2 levels less than buying one outright, as shown on the table below, together with the difficulty to create it and the time required. Time, costs, and difficulties depend upon the scale of the construct in question: the figures below are approximate, and may change depending on circumstance (building a wooden boat in a desert is more expensive, for example). Construct creation also assumes the engineer is hiring the required workforce, and has access to a construction facility (mason’s, shipyards, etc) equal in quality to the job difficulty.
Using Engineer in this way creates a construct with basic skill points as per the Construct Scale Table. Any further improvements are done using the advancement rules. You can use shifts to speed up the work, or increase the time taken to gain a retroactive bonus. You can also use Engineer to repair constructs.
|Construct Creation Table|
|Construct Scale*||Examples||Time to Create||Cost to Create||Difficulty|
|Medium (3)||Small ship, tower, house, shrine, bridge||A month||3 x Superb||Fair|
|Large (4)||Large ship, small castle, temple||A year||3 x Epic||Great|
|Huge (5) +||Medium castle, cathedral||A lifetime||3 x Legendary||Epic|
The character’s an expert when tunneling beneath fortifications and using archaic explosives (if available). Properly undermining fortifications and setting fires or charges to target a structure’s weak points gives a +3 Crafts bonus to the resulting fire or explosion’s force.
This bonus doesn’t apply without preparation and a study of the target structure, such as placing petards hastily or lobbing black powder grenades at pursuers.
She’ll Hold Together (Crafts) Requires one other Crafts stunt
The character is an expert with any vehicle with wheels, runners, or sails, and Crafts roll difficulties and time taken are both reduced by -1 when dealing with them. Effects only apply to vehicles appropriate to the campaign’s technology level; if you’re in an Iron Age setting and discover a crash-landed spaceship, you won’t be able to make head nor tail of it (at least, not without significant time and effort).
Shipwright (Crafts) Requires one other Crafts stunt
This stunt operates like the Engineer stunt above, except the character can construct ships and other vessels instead of castles, bridges, and other structures.
Siege Engineer (Crafts)
The character is a veteran of many sieges, and can quickly pinpoint a structure’s strengths and weaknesses. You gain a +2 Crafts bonus to declare such an aspect on a structure.
The character can conceive, create, and disable traps. Roll Crafts against a difficulty of Mediocre (+0): every shift obtained is a point that can be spent on a trap skill. For full details of traps and how they work, Devices, Artifacts, and Magical Items.
Characters are limited by available materials as well as time; building a trap takes a few minutes, plus steps on the Time Increments Table equal to the trap’s skill points. Working with improper materials, such as creating a pit trap without a shovel or a poisoned-dart trap without decent poison, increases the time required by a step or two, at the Story Teller’s discretion.
Example: Bosko is setting up a concealed spiked pit trap for the Thieves’ Guild. His player rolls Crafts and gets a Great (+4), giving him four points to spend on the trap. Three points buy Good (+3) Stealth, making it difficult to notice, and the last buys Average (+1) Melee Weapons (for the spikes). The trap’s quality is Good +3), so it has 5 stress boxes and three aspects – in this case, Deadly Spikes, Out Of Sight, and Gotcha!
Good as New (Crafts)
When repairing an item-related consequence, treat the item’s quality as one lower. So, removing a Moderate consequence from a Good (+3) long sword (normally Superb (+5) difficulty) is only Great (+4) with this stunt.
Rush Job (Crafts)
You may repair items four steps faster on the Time Increments Table than normal. On a success, the consequence remains but can’t be tagged or invoked during the next scene the item is used: the item is repaired well enough to work as usual – for a short while. However, the consequence still counts for determining how many consequences you’ve taken or can take. After the scene the consequence returns in full. You can pay a Fate point to extend the stunt for another scene, but the difficulty to repair the item increases by +2 for each Fate point.
To The Mallet Born (Crafts)
The character can repair things under time-critical circumstances, taking two steps less on the Time Increments Table. If the time is already the fastest possible, the repair difficulty is reduced by one. Bonuses stack with She’ll Hold Together.
Thump of Restoration (Crafts) Requires To the Mallet Born
Sometimes all a repair needs is a good swift thump. With this stunt, spend a Fate point and roll Crafts: the device or contraption you’re repairing starts working immediately, regardless of difficulty, and continues for a number of exchanges equal to the roll’s effort. After that it stops working again, and the repair difficulty increases by one (you did hit the thing!). For another Fate point you can thump it again, but the Crafts roll difficulty increases by one each time.
HEALING Mental, Advanced
The Healing skill encompasses many varieties of healing. To use anything more than basic first aid or healing (see below) requires a special Healing Stunt. Additionally, you may also purchase a specialism (a stunt) providing a skill focus to your specialty, including first aid.
First aid may only be applied to the removal of stress tracks, and healing may be performed to justify the start of recovery from mild and moderate Consequences. To use healing on severe and extreme consequences, an appropriate Healing Stunt is required.
Letting blood is a common remedy, and is conducted by venesection, cupping or leeches. There are no antibiotics, which means it is almost impossible to cure illness and diseases without the magic of the gods’ servants. Medicines in the Shimmering Kingdoms are made from herbs, spices and resins. The medicine is applied in drinks, pills, washes, baths, rubs, poultices, purges and ointments. Such medicines may slow the progression of diseases or even lessen the time that such maladies ravage their victims, but there are few true ‘cures’ for the many sicknesses and ailments that exist in the world.
Surgery: Surgery requires an appropriate Healing Stunt (see below). It otherwise acts similarly to first aid with respect to long-term care. Additionally, It is possible to use surgery to defeat certain diseases or maladies, such as gangrene. Amputation is common, especially in war. Many a war veteran has taken an extreme consequence of Dying on the Battlefield, to be given field triage by a surgeon (sometimes one with little training) to come home with a permanent Aspect of Lost My Leg in the War.
Poisons: Antidotes against many poisons exist. The problem derives from not knowing which poison has affected a victim. Symptoms alone may not be telling, therefore poison is a dangerous threat in the Shimmering Kingdoms. Like diseases (below), most poisons must be allowed to run their course. Herbs and other agents won’t usually counteract a poison, but make its effects less severe, help purge it from the system, or hasten its time within the body.
Disease and Medicine: Medicine, per se, is limited. Physickers generally have no idea what causes the terrible illnesses and diseases that plague the land. The Pantheist Church believe that illnesses are a punishment from the gods for sinful behavior.
NOTE: The healing skill will usually have no affect on damage to the composure track. Rare cases of certain surgical procedures exist that may cure a person’s mental malady, but create other, more permanent physical damage (such as a lobotomy). Empathy is usually the default skill for aiding in the recovery from mental or social stress, although certain professional skills might also work, depending on the professional skill and the disorder aspect.
The Healing Skill in the Campaign
Below are the typical occupations of those who may possess the Healing Skill.
Physicker, Leech: Generally, a practitioner of classical medicine. Leaches, salves, ointments, unguents, and caurterization, perhaps some stitching of lacerations (via thread or ant heads)
Physicians, or Physickers, are academics. They are trained and often work exclusively in universities. They mostly deal with patients as an observer or a consultant. They consider surgery to be beneath them.
The primary tool of the physicker is to balance the patient’s humors. The Physicker performs an initial examination to properly evaluate the patient. The patient’s home climate, their normal diet, and astrological charts are regarded during consultation. Physickers are taught that the heavens influence every person in different ways by influencing elements connected to certain humors, important information in reaching a diagnosis.
The physician will determine which humor is unbalanced in the patient and prescribe a treatment, such as leeching, the application of various concoctions, or recommending a new diet to restore that balance. Such a diet not only includes food to eat or avoid but also an exercise regimen and medication. These practitioners must be literate, for their training requires the study of historical tomes, their practice involves careful observation and note taking.
Clergy, Friars & Monastics: prayers, herbs, some classical medicine, Ritual. Similarly, magical applications would require the Faith Skill.
Medicine has become steeped in superstition and the Pantheist Church effectively dominates the direction the medical world has taken. Any views different from the established Pantheist Church view could veer towards heresy – with all the connotations and repercussions. Therefore, when the Church states that illnesses are punishments from the gods and that those who are ill have become so because they are sinners, few argue otherwise. This is one reason the Church’s Houses of Healing are nearly exclusive in treating disease, and usually at a high price to any victim fortunate enough to afford their blessings. Those who cannot pay the price, go uncured and suffer the consequences. If they survive, they are typically ostracized by their peers, and feared by the common folk.
Chirurgeon (surgeon): Bone setting, bullet and arrow removal, cauterization, possibly some potions.
The Chirurgeon is one of the most common medical practitioners of in Shimmering Kingdoms – generally charged with looking after soldiers during or after a battle. Surgery is not generally conducted by Physickers, but by chirurgeon (or barbers, below). Chirurgeons typically traverse the battlefield to determine whether the soldiers are dead or alive. Some surgeons have become specialized (specialism) in removing arrow heads from their patients bodies.
Barber: Bloodletting, some surgery (see Chirurgeon above), dentistry, and often potions. Plus hair and beard trimming.
The other form of surgeons in the Shimmering Kingdoms are the Barber surgeons. Barber surgeons may be found in any medieval town and mainly cut beards and hair. On occasion these men will be called for doing small operations like bloodletting (the practice of taking small quantities of blood to prevent illness or disease) or treating sword and arrow wounds. When doing operations on patients, they generally only use anesthetics on the patients who have enough money to pay for its use. Most of the time patients are simply given a piece of wood or leather to bite down on during the surgical procedure. Surgery requires…
Chymist/Chemist/Alchemist, Pharmacist, Apothecary: Toxins, drugs, some antidotes, potions. This refers to mundane alchemy and chemistry. The magical Alchemy Skill expands on the Healing Skill.
Associated with the supernatural and alchemy, the apothecary is a leading practitioner whose field of expertise is based on science and who often treats patients directly. Some maintain businesses, some are housed within a liege’s stronghold, and many are affiliated with the clergy. Many sell medicines along with syrups, perfumes, and wines. Some sell broadly, others are hired or retained by the nobility. Most sell their tinctures and potions to other healing practitioners. Apothecaries typically base their medicines on demonstrable physical effects.
Many Apothecaries, if not most, have the knowledge and ability to create toxins, poisons, and drugs. To create a poison requires the With a Single Drop Stunt.
Wisewoman, Witch, Medicine Man: potions, herbs, ritual. Again, these are purely mundane uses. The Plant and Root Skill is used for magical applications.
These practitioners usually hail from the lower classes and are rarely Noblesse. Many are forced to practice their skills in secrecy for fear of catching the notice of the Holy Inquisition. No special stunts are required to practice these basic healing skills.
Wife or Mother: Most nursing care is simply done by the women of the house, using the basic Healing Skill.
First Aid: To apply first aid in a fight, both the character and his patient must devote a full exchange to the process. The difficulty is equal to the greatest stress-point box for which the character has taken damage, even if there are empty stress boxes between the lowest and the highest. A failure removes no checks on the stress boxes. On a success, the patient removes the highest point of damage from his Health stress track. Succeeding with style heals 1 additional point, plus one more for every two shifts thereafter.
- Success can also “stabilize” someone with an apparently life-threatening Health consequence (ie “Bleeding to Death”), limiting the extent to which the aspect can be compelled. A given subject can’t receive more than one first aid attempt per exchange.
Healing: Treating longer-term injuries requires appropriate herbs, poultices, or a “healer’s kit”, and targets a specific consequence, taking a full scene. A successful first aid check is justification for Recovery. The obstacle is the consequence that you took, and first aid may only treat mild and moderate consequences. The difficulty for this obstacle is based on the shift value of the consequence. Mild is Fair (+2), moderate is Great (+4). If you are trying to perform the recovery action on yourself, increase the difficulty by two steps on the ladder.
- Keep in mind that the circumstances have to be appropriately free of distraction and tension for you to make this roll in the first place—you’re not going to clean and bandage a nasty cut while ogres are tramping through the caves looking for you. The GM has the final judgement call.
- If the first aid check succeeds and you begin recovery, you get to rename the consequence aspect to show that it’s in recovery. So, for example, Broken Leg could become Stuck in a Cast, Nearly Gutted aspect could be Bandaged, and so on. This doesn’t free up the consequence slot, but it serves as an indicator that you’re recovering, and it changes the ways the aspect’s going to be used while it remains. Whether you change the consequence’s name or not—and sometimes it might not make sense to do so—mark it with a star so that everyone remembers that recovery has started. Multiple attempts may not be made. A failed Healing Test cannot be attempted again, unless a Fate point is spent to do so, or circumstances change for the better.
*If you succeed with style, the time required to recover from the consequence is reduced by one step on the Time Increments Table.
- Again, Severe and Extreme consequences can only be treated by a trained practitioner, usually in a house of healing of a quality equal to or greater than the difficulty. Several Healing Stunts allow characters to treat such wounds.
Extreme Consequences: Any extreme consequence needs immediate treatment, it there is any hope of surviving the ordeal. It is often better to concede than risk taking an extreme consequence. No amount of application of the healing skill, however, can start the recovery to diminish an extreme consequence—the healing skill simply saves their life. Characters are subsequently stuck with the extreme consequence until their next major milestone. After that, they can rename the extreme consequence to reflect that they’re no longer vulnerable to the worst of it, as long as they don’t just switch it out for whatever the old aspect was. Taking an extreme consequence is a permanent character change; treat it as such. It is possible for greater magic to heal a such a character. See Consequences for information on magical healing regarding extreme Consequences.
- Healing Poison and Disease: Damage from a typical poison or disease may not be healed for as long as the poison or disease is in the victim’s system: typically a few days for a poison, or a month for a disease. This time varies by the individual poison or disease. A Healing Overcome Test at difficulty 0 can be made to reduce this time according to the time track. In other words, without magic, poisons and diseases may not be cured, but the length it takes them to run their course may be hastened, with the use of first aid. As is the case with any form of Healing Test, a failed Test cannot be attempted again, unless a Fate point is spent to do so, or circumstances change for the better.
Create an Advantage: The most common advantage is to use the healing skill to create a poultice or infusion which will aid in the attempt by themselves or another when they treat a wound or other ailment, giving the subsequent healing check a favorable aspect such as Balm to Soothe Burns, or Battle Wound Salve.
On rare circumstances, a character may use the Healing skill to create an advantage that may assist them with poisons. For example, with fore-knowledge that their liege lord may be poisoned by one of his rivals, his protectors might attempt to Investigate the reported poisoner to see which is his favorite brew of choice. Discovering the poisoner favors Blood Bane, they might concoct an herbal antidote which when imbibed before the poison is ingested, would create an obstacle which the poison would have to beat. Alternately, a Healing check might create an appropriate aspect, warding the lord. This aspect can be invoked as normal, adding to the lord’s Physique roll to resist/lessen the effect of the poison. Failing the heal skill check might still place the advantage, at the cost of their remedy actually making the lord sick.
Crafters of poison would use the Create an Advantage action to make Exotic Poisons.
Attack: Healing isn’t generally used in conflicts, except when a poison attacks a victim’s Physique .
Expert Healer (Healing)
The character has a talent for helping the wounded recover from their ills. You gain a +2 bonus to the Healing Skill when providing first aid or healing.
Physicker (Healing) _Requires Expert Healer
The character is a respected authority in the field of physick and healing. If his skill level is low, it merely means he’s towards the bottom of the circles of expert healers.
You gain a +1 Healing Skill bonus to remove consequences, and can ignore increased difficulties from any one factor (such as poor facilities, sanitation, lack of a particular herb, etc). Physickers have the +2 bonus from Expert Healer, for a total +3 healing bonus.
Additionally, you may perform healing to treat long-term ailments, with the ability to affect severe and extreme consequences. A character MUST have treatment in order to begin recovery, however there is no recovery action to diminish an extreme consequence.
Surgeon – Chirurgeon or Barber Surgeon (Healing) Requires Expert Healer
The character is talented at treating wounds in the field. With this stunt, you can clear a stress box for every shift generated by the Healing Skill roll (rather than one box per two shifts after the first when succeeding with style). If the shifts exceed the target’s Health stress capacity (ie 7 or more shifts for a character with Mediocre (+0) Endurance), you may also remove a Mild Physical consequence.
Additionally, you may perform healing to treat long-term injuries, with the ability to affect severe and extreme consequences. A character MUST have treatment in order to begin recovery, however there is no recovery action to diminish an extreme consequence.
With a Single Drop – Apothecary (Healing)
The character has a knack for brewing poisons, gaining a +1 Healing bonus. Also, you may pick one poison category (damaging or exotic) when taking this stunt, in which you get a total +2 Healing bonus.
Swift Brew (Healing)
Crafting a deadly poison can take days, but not for your character: reduce the time required by one step on the Time Increments Table.
Improvised Poisoncraft (Healing)
You can make the best of limited resources when making poisons, increasing the quality of any workshop by +1, and reducing any increased difficulties due to unfavorable conditions by one.
Deadly Nightshade (Healing) Requires With a Single Drop
Few can match the effectiveness of your character’s damaging poisons, which do +1 damage. Also, succeeding with style on a Physique roll against one of your poisons doesn’t stop it attacking its target each exchange for the rest of the scene.
Venomous Visions (Healing) Requires With a Single Drop
The character’s exotic poisons are especially debilitating. When invoking an aspect created by one of your poisons, you gain an additional +1, for a total +3 bonus. Also, if the target’s Physique roll fails by three or more, you get a boost on the victim.
INVESTIGATE Mental, Basic
Investigate is the ability to actively look for things and, hopefully, find them, such as searching an area for clues, secret doors, traps and so on, or looking for a hidden enemy. Characters with Investigation include trackers, scouts and city guards (some of them, anyway). The main difference between the Notice and Investigation skill is that the Investigate skill is used for a systematic search over a relatively protracted time, whereas Notice is about picking up something using the basic five senses. Certainly a character might find things with Investigate where he has no chance with Notice, but of course Investigate takes time.
Overcome: Investigate obstacles are all about information that’s hard to uncover for some reason. Analyzing a crime scene for clues, searching a cluttered room for the item you need, even poring over a musty old tome to try and find the passage that makes everything make sense.
Racing against the clock to collect evidence before the cops show up or disaster occurs is a classic way to use Investigate in a challenge.
Create an Advantage: Investigate is probably one of the most versatile skills you can use to create an advantage. As long as you’re willing to take the time, you can find out just about anything about anyone, discover nearly any detail about a place or object, or otherwise make up aspects about nearly anything in the game world that your character could reasonably unearth.
If that sounds broad, consider the following as just a few of the possibilities for using Investigate: eavesdropping on a conversation, looking for clues at a crime scene, examining records, verifying the truth of a piece of information, conducting surveillance, and researching a cover story. Another use for Investigate is to assess deep patterns and hidden flaws regarding a subject.
Scene of the Crime (Investigate)
A character revisiting a place where he’s used Investigate before may spend a few seconds immediately on an Investigate roll to determine what’s changed since he was last there, as if it were an unusually detailed Notice check.
Eye for Detail (Investigate) Requires Scene of the Crime
With a little concentration the character can recall any place he’s been to in exacting detail, sometimes even finding details he hadn’t consciously noticed before. To do so, the character spends a Fate point, and make a roll (usually, but not always, Investigate) to search things as if still at the scene, no matter how long ago he left.
Uncanny Hunch (Investigate) Requires at least one other Investigate stunt and one Empathy stunt
Sometimes your hunches play out to great advantage. Once per scene, you may guess what the “deal” is with a character, object, location or situation. Don’t say it out loud, but note it down and pass it to the Story Teller, who must accept it as a valid hunch that would be something of a revelation if true (ie nothing too obvious, like “I’m convinced that the ocean is made of water!”). If the hunch later proves correct, you may use Investigate or Empathy instead of any other skill concerning its target for one exchange. (A savvy Story Teller occasionally alters her characters’ motives to match your hunches, which is absolutely perfect!)
Lip Reading (Investigate)
The character can use Investigate to eavesdrop on conversations he can only see. If the Story Teller normally allows lip-reading attempts, the Investigate difficulty is reduced by two.
Focussed Senses (Investigate)
The character can concentrate on one sense to the exclusion of the others; the sense must be specified when the stunt is taken. With a few moments concentration, the character enters a focussed state, gaining a +2 bonus to all Investigate actions using the focussed sense as long, and a corresponding -2 to all non-Investigate rolls due to the intense focus.
You may take the stunt multiple times, each time for a separate sense; the focus covers all selected senses at once.
Impossible Detail (Investigate) Requires Focussed Senses
The character’s senses operate at a profound level, allowing him to perceive details no one else can. It’s still a deliberate search, rather than a casual use better suited to Notice. With the stunt, you incur no increased difficulties due to the smallness or subtlety of physical details. For example, the difficulty to detect nearly any poison is reduced to Mediocre (+0).
Using this stunt may color the details a Story Teller reveals on a successful Investigate roll; let the Story Teller know you have this stunt when rolling Investigate.
Quick Eye (Investigate)
The character can search locations much more quickly than others, while remaining thorough. Searching takes one to two steps less on the Time Increments Table, allowing the character to make one or two additional rolls in the same time, or conclude the search faster.
Attention to Detail (Investigate)
You can use Investigate instead of Empathy to defend against Decption attempts. What others discover through gut reactions and intuition, you learn through careful observation of microexpressions.
On a successful Investigate roll to create an advantage by eavesdropping on a conversation, you can discover or create one additional aspect (though this doesn’t give you an extra free invocation).
The Power of Deduction (Investigate)
Once per scene you can spend a fate point (and a few minutes of observation) to make a special Investigate roll representing your potent deductive faculties. For each shift you make on this roll you discover or create an aspect, on either the scene or the target of your observations, though you may only invoke one of them for free.
LORE [Type] Mental, Advanced
Lore is a catch all skill representing important areas of knowledge. When this skill is taken, a particular type of lore must be specified. Lore skills are also very useful as supporting skills in a Test, providing knowledge and understanding to help overcome difficulties. You may take more than one specialty or field of study. When trying to use the Lore skill outside your specialty, the Storyteller will assign a penalty to your check, depending on the obscurity of the knowledge sought.
Lore measures the character’s learning. It doesn’t necessarily give someone the ability to put the knowledge into practice. It merely grants them an understanding of the principles and the information. Lore is actually a collection of skills and a player must purchase lore separately for each bit of knowledge he wishes to be competent with. Characters with Lore skills include scholars of antiquity, professors and know-it-alls.
The GM is free to invent new areas of lore as she sees fit, but for now the following are the more common types of lore available:
Ancient lore (specific time periods)
Culture (specific cultures)
Folklore (specific culture)
Heraldry and Noble Houses
History (specific regions)
Magical Lore (specific traditions)
Mechanics and Engineering
Philosophy (specific philosophies)
Plants and Herbs
Religious Lore (specific religions)
The main use of Lore is to answer a question. Questions covered by Lore include those of history, literature, sociology or any of the “soft” sciences.
The player can ask the GM “What do I know about this subject?” or “What does this mean?” Often, there will be no need to roll, especially if the subject is within the character’s specialty, but if the GM feels the information is something that should be hard to attain (such as a clue) then she may call for a roll. The difficulty will be set by the GM. If the character succeeds, he receives the information. If he fails, he does not, but he may still attempt to research the topic – or, perhaps more entertainingly, may stumble onto a false lead that gets him deeper into trouble.
Overcome: You can use Lore to overcome any obstacle that requires applying the knowledge that your character has to achieve a goal. For example, you might roll Lore to understand the meaning behind some barbarian custom ritual, under the presumption that your character might have researched barbarian culture at some point.
Frankly, you can use Lore as a go-to skill any time you need to know if your character can answer a difficult question, where some tension exists in not knowing the answer.
The following uses are also covered under Overcome:
Research: Researching a topic is frequently a time-consuming and arduous task, and exactly the sort of thing worth skimming over with a few quick dice rolls. It is treated as an extension of what knowledge the character has – he can answer some questions off the top of his head, and other questions because he knows what book to find the answer in.
Research is also something that can be represented with a Skill Challenge when the GM expects that there are particular steps that need to be followed to gain certain info.
Declaring Minor Details: The player can use Lore to declare facts appropriate to the skill, filling in minor details which the Story Teller hasn’t mentioned. The Story Teller can veto details she considers too contradictory, difficult to weave into the story, or silly. If the Story Teller agrees, the player makes a declaration: if successful, the fact is true; if not, the character is mistaken. If a character takes action based on the declared fact, they can invoke the declared aspect once for free. If the character is wrong, there’s no penalty, but there may be complications: the Story Teller can place a temporary “Mistaken” aspect on the article in question, compelling it to represent the fallout (and netting the mistaken character a Fate point!). If the character was right, the aspect is treated normally.
The Truth: A character sometimes has no way of knowing a wrong answer from the truth. Such errors should only result from one of two things: a compelled aspect (the player receives a Fate point for his character to go haring off on a tangent or jump to the wrong conclusion), or an active deception (ie someone planting bad information).
To plant bad information, the player decides what general question he’s providing misinformation about, and must have access to the target’s library. He makes an Lore roll modified by Deceive, in addition to whatever rolls are needed to get in and out of the place the information is stored. Alternatively, the player can lie to the target’s face – this is usually a Deceive roll restricted by Lore.
The result of the roll is the difficulty to spot the false information using Lore. If the target’s roll ties the difficulty set by the deception, then the false information is discovered one time increment earlier than the real information might be; on a significant failure (a margin of three or more), the true information may be unavailable. If the researcher exceeds the roll for the deception, he finds the false information and recognizes it for what it is.
Create an Advantage: Like Investigate, Lore provides a lot of very flexible opportunities to create advantages, provided you can research the subject in question. More often than not, you’ll be using Lore to get a story detail, some obscure bit of information that you uncover or know already, but if that information gives you an edge in a future scene, it might take the form of an aspect. Likewise, you can use Lore to make create advantages based on any subject matter your character might have studied, which gives you a fun way to add details to the setting.
One important note: because the GM is not always obligated to reveal the difficulty of a given roll, players may not know how much they failed it by, which means they don’t know how long they’ll need to research. Usually they’ll just research until they find the answer, but sometimes, when time is tight, they may be limited to less time.
Lore research requires access to knowledge. Most knowledge will be found by performing research in a library, or by talking to those who might have the knowledge, or by seeking out some sort of lore keeper or teller. Whatever the knowledge source it will have a quality rating. The quality of the knowledge source determines the hardest possible question that can be answered within it (so a question of Good difficulty requires a Good source or better). If a character is attempting to answer a question in a library that’s not equipped to answer it, the GM is encouraged to be up-front about its shortcomings.
Most non-library authorities are Mediocre, Average, or Fair knowledge sources. They do require a bit of social interaction to get information out of them This is another opportunity for a Challenge.
Most libraries will be Average, Fair or Good Knowledge sources. The libraries associated with Academies or Universities are Great resources. Many Libraries also have a specialty or two where they are considered one step higher. Characters may own libraries of their own or be repositories of knowledge that others may seek out.
Exposition and Knowledge Dumping: The Story Teller can use the character with the highest Lore skill to impart information to the group. The player receives a Fate point for introducing the information in an interesting way: “I recall a similar account in Chrant’s Annals of the Second Kingdom, a text I studied as a young acolyte in Koborreth….”
I’ve Read about That! (Lore)
You’ve read hundreds—if not thousands—of books on a wide variety of topics. You can spend a fate point to use Lore in place of any other skill for one roll or exchange, provided you can justify having read about the action you’re attempting. This also allows you to dredge up information from outside your particular specialty.
Walking Library (Lore)
The character’s prodigious reading has paid off, and he can recall minute details from even the most obscure works within his field. The character is always considered to have the equivalent of a library on hand of a quality equal to his Lore skill, enabling him to answer questions with a base difficulty less than or equal to his Lore skill using nothing more than his brain and some time for contemplation. Additionally, research performed in a real library takes one time step less, and libraries with a quality less than his Lore skill don’t limit the difficulty of the question asked as they normally would.
Shield of Reason (Lore)
You can use Lore as a defense against Provoke attempts, provided you can justify your ability to overcome your fear through rational thought and reason.
Choose a field of specialization, such as herbology, criminology, or zoology. You get a +2 to all Lore rolls relating to that field of specialization.
Perfect Memory (Lore) Requires Walking Library
If the character has read it, he remembers it. If the answer lies in something you’ve read before (within reason), then reduce the time required for research by two steps on the Time Increments Table Coupled with Walking Library, a half hour’s worth of researching written material you’ve already read can be resolved in seconds, a day’s worth in a mere hour.
Studied Recall (Lore) Requires Perfect Memory
The character’s incredible memory extends beyond books and scrolls. Once per scene, you may spend a Fate point and roll Lore against a difficulty of Mediocre (+0). Each shift generated may specify a detail you wish to memorize – returning later, in your mind, to assess new details (using an appropriate Notice skill – usually Investigate).
This stunt differs from Investigation’s Eye for Detail stunt in that Eye for Detail covers the entire location after the fact, whereas Studied Recall requires you to specify which parts of a location you’re studying while still at that location.
Scholar (Lore) Requires appropriate aspect
Your character is a respected authority in a specific academic field, such as history, dragons, magic, and so on. In the elite circles of that field you’re recognized for your expertise, and even if your skill level is low, it merely means you’re at the junior end of your circle.
Additionally, pick a specialization within your field, such as ancient Laklander history or a single species of dragon. When you make an Lore roll pertaining to your field, you receive a +1 bonus: when it involves your specialization, you gain an additional +1 bonus, for a total +2.
Research efforts involving the specialization take one step less time; this may be combined with Walking Library for lightning-fast research. When taking part in academic synods and conferences, or otherwise interacting with others in your field, you may use Lore to complement your social skills (Rapport, Empathy, Deceive, etc) using your skill level plus bonuses: someone with Good (+3) Lore, acting in his area of specialization, would complement skills as if his Lore were Superb (Good+2).
This stunt may be taken multiple times for additional fields; field bonuses don’t overlap.
Dizzying Intellect (Lore) Requires Scholar
The character’s specialized knowledge is so advanced, no one can tell if he’s making things up. Whenever your field (as defined by the Scholar stunt) is relevant, and you would use Lore to modify Deceive, you may use Lore instead of Deceive, gaining its full value rather than a simple +1. If you’ve taken Scholar multiple times, this stunt applies to all covered areas.
It’s Academic (Lore) Requires Scholar
The character’s scholarship gives him flashes of insight into all manner of things. Once per session, you can use this ability when about to perform an action within your field. The connection can be tenuous, provided you can explain to the Story Teller how it might apply.
Make a declaration attempt as described under “Declaring Minor Details” above. If you tie, you successfully declare one aspect about the subject in question; if you succeed, you may declare an additional aspect (so two aspects); succeeding with style gains you a third aspect. If you opt to declare only one aspect, you may instead convert each additional aspect into a non-aspect fact
Rhetoric and Debate (Lore) Requires Scholar
The character may use Lore instead of Rapport, etc, in social conflicts involving scholastic debate.
NOTICE Mental, Advanced
Notice measures the character’s passive awareness. When characters are surprised, roll Notice to determine who has the drop on whom.
Who Goes First?
In most cases, the GM can decide who goes first based on how the scene was introduced and/or the consensus of the group. It could be the established leader, the fastest PC (highest Athletics), the most perceptive (Notice or Empathy) or it could be the player who declared the action that pushed the scene into a conflict. If a decision can’t be made, roll Notice skill checks for everyone involved. Whoever rolled highest goes first, discard the other results.
To avoid arguments, and the potential for any GM to slip into abusive GM territory, for an NPC to act first in an encounter, the GM must spend a fate point from the NPC fate point pool.
Who Goes Next?
Every character gets a turn to act in an exchange. After a player’s action in a turn has resolved, the GM asks the player, “who do you want to go next?” The player of the character who just acted decides who goes next. This gives the player who just resolved their action tactical control over the exchange.
It can be in the player’s best interest to follow the flow of the narrative to determine who goes next, even choosing an NPC before another player, because the last player to act in an exchange chooses the character to act first in the next exchange, the only caveat is the same character cannot act twice in a row (but the same player can, like a GM with multiple NPCs). If the players want to control who goes first in the next exchange, they’ll want a PC to go last in the current one.
When a player chooses another PC to go next in an exchange, the GM can override that decision and have an NPC go next instead. To do so, the GM must give a fate point to the player who would have acted next out of the NPC fate point pool. The NPC receiving the action cannot have already acted in this exchange.
Characters with high Notice include bodyguards, outdoorsmen, and criminals who don’t get caught.
Notice has similarities to Empathy and Investigate: in social situations and conflicts, use Empathy to determine initiative instead of Notice; if the character’s actively looking for something, use Investigation. There’s often a fine line between looking for a clue and just happening to spot one. If it’s something relatively obvious that nobody bothered to look for, like a bloodstain on the floor, a Notice check can bring it to the players’ attention. If it’s something they need to proceed anyway, let them find it automatically, and use Notice checks to reveal additional information.
Whenever ambushed, a character may make one final Notice check against his attacker’s Stealth to see if he’s surprised. On a failure his defence is Mediocre (+0) for the first exchange.
To simulate a confusing situation, where it’s difficult to see clearly because of smoke, mirrors or too much activity, the Story Teller may restrict all actions by Notice.
Overcome: You don’t really use Notice to overcome obstacles too often but when you do it’s used in a reactive way: noticing something in a scene, hearing a faint sound, spotting the concealed gun in that guy’s waistband.
Note that this isn’t license for GMs to call for Notice rolls left and right to see how generally observant the players’ characters are; that’s boring. Instead, call for Notice rolls when succeeding would result in something interesting happening and failing would result in something just as interesting.
Create an Advantage: You use Notice to create aspects based on direct observation—looking over a room for details that stand out, finding an escape route in a debris-filled building, notic- ing someone sticking out in a crowd, etc. When you’re watching people, Notice can tell you what’s going on with them externally; for internal changes, see Empathy. You might also use Notice to declare that your character spots something you can use to your advantage in a situation, such as a convenient Escape Route when you’re trying to get out of a building, or a Subtle Weakness in the enemy’s line of defense. For example, if you’re in a barroom brawl you could make a Notice roll to say that you spot a puddle on the floor, right next to your opponent’s feet that could cause him to slip.
Defend: You can use Notice to defend against any uses of Stealth to get the drop on you or ambush you, or to discover that you’re being observed.
Keen Hearing: (Notice) +2 on Notice rolls made to detect sounds.
Danger Sense (Notice)
You have an almost preternatural capacity for detecting danger. Your Notice skill works unimpeded by conditions like total concealment, darkness, or other sensory impairments in situations where someone or something intends to harm you.
Body Language Reader (Notice)
You can use Notice in place of Empathy to learn the aspects of a target through observation.
Reactive Shot (Notice)
You can use Notice instead of Missile Combat to make quick, reactive shots that don’t involve a lot of aiming. However, because you’re having a knee-jerk reaction, you’re not allowed to concretely identify your target before using this stunt. So, for example, you might be able to shoot at someone you see moving in the bushes with this stunt, but you won’t be able to tell if it’s friend or foe before you pull the trigger on that crossbow. Choose carefully!
I’m On Top Of It (Notice)
The character’s reaction time is unparalleled. You may spend a Fate point to go first in an exchange, regardless of initiative. If multiple people use this stunt, they go in normal initiative order, but before those without the stunt can act. If the exchange has already started, and you haven’t yet acted, you may spend a Fate point to go next, out of initiative order.
This may only be done between characters’ actions, not as an interruption (so if you spend the Fate point while someone else is acting, you must wait until they’re done). Your character can’t already have acted in the exchange.
Cut Off (Notice) Requires I’m On Top Of It
The character’s always watching for his opponents to try to get something past him and can cut them off even when he fails in his primary effort against them.
Whenever your character attacks an opponent or creates an advantage, the opponent suffers a -1 to his defense result.
Saw It Coming (Notice) Requires Danger Sense
The character is never surprised; he may always take a full defence action when ambushed, and his base defence is never reduced to Mediocre (+0) by surprise.
Take It All In (Notice) Requires two other Notice stunts
The character has fine-tuned his Notice so that if he takes a normal Investigation length of time to open his senses to a location, he can roll his Notice skill in place of Investigation.
Information gained comes with a different set of details than a methodical approach would yield. Conclusions may precede supporting details; the Story Teller might choose to describe the middle part of a piece of information before the beginning or the end, or without providing the context the character would’ve obtained with Investigation.
One Eye Open (Notice)
It’s difficult to get the jump on you as you’re always just a little bit paranoid. You gain a +2 on Notice rolls when asleep.
Sudden Clarity (Notice)
If you’re subject to a surprise attack that misses, you gain a +1 to whatever action you choose to take in response.
PROFESSIONS [Type] Mental, Advanced
When this skill is taken, a particular profession must be specified. Examples are given below. A specialism can be selected within the professions type. Essentially, any skill a character might have that is not covered by the other skills in this section can be taken as a professions skill. So, if Professions [Engineer] is selected, a specialism Stunt can also be selected with possible examples being: Bridges, Dwellings, Hillforts, Civil engineering, Shipbuilding, etc.
This skill can be taken multiple times to provide knowledge for a range of crafts, however you may need an appropriate aspect to justify having more than one trade. Formal guild membership may be required, and therefore must be represented by one of your Aspects.
Certain situations may require the use of a Professions Skill checks, such as driving a cart (Professions [Driver]) during a chase. Other professions rely on skills related to their nature, such as Rapport Skill checks for a professional Diplomat. Additionally, in many cases, the Professions Skill will not replace the need for another skill. For example a character with Professions [Surgeon] will still need to take the Healing Skill (and the appropriate stunt) in order to actually perform surgery. In other instances, the Professions Skill may suffice for the performance of duties, such as the cart-driving example above.
In general, treat the Professions Skill as the administrative side of the business, and use it as a catch-all for aspects of the profession that might otherwise slip through the cracks, skill-wise. It is important to note that while a character could not (for example) perform surgery without the Healing Skill, nor would they be able to practice as a Chirurgeon or Barber-Surgeon without taking an appropriate Professions Skill (and perhaps a Professions Stunt as well).
Typical professions are given below. This list is not exhaustive.
Ale-conner (a civil servant whose duty it was to test and ensure the quality of local ales and beers)
Ale Draper (an ale-house keeper) [females: Alewife]
Artist (a catch-all term for those who professionally create (using Crafts Skills) works of art) [visual: artist, artisan, fresco painter, glasspainter, illuminator, limner, painter, sculptor; literary: composer, illuminator, limner, playwright, poet, writer]
Artillerist (loads, aims and fires cannons)
Assassin (kills for money or political or religious reasons)
Astrologer (follows the night sky for astrological signs; for use with spellcasting, or to determine clues revealing the future)
Barber Surgeon (performs bloodletting and some surgery, dentistry, plus hair and beard trimming)
Bard (a professional poet, employed by a patron, such as a monarch or nobleman, to commemorate the patron’s ancestors and to praise the patron’s own activities)
Bailiff (a manager, overseer or custodian; a legal officer, responsible for executing the decisions of a court, also in charge of the bailey)
Bawd (the woman in charge of a brothel)
Barrister (speaks on a client’s behalf in court as instructed by a solicitor)
Bartender (serves drinks at a bar) [also called tapster]
Beadle (minor official who carries out various civil, educational, or ceremonial duties)
Boatman (pilots small water craft, usually earning a living by transporting people or cargo)
Bookkeeper (keeps records of the financial affairs of a business)
Butler (the chief manservant of a house)
Chimney Sweep (cleans out the soot from chimneys)
Chirurgeon (one who mends broken bones and tends to other internal injuries by penetrating the skin and making incisions)
Clerk (record keeper who undertakes routine administrative duties; one who is employed by a judge, barrister or solicitor to perform legal research)
Coistell (a groom in charge of the care of a knight’s horse)
Commander (the leader of a body of troops)
Cook (prepares food for a household or large group of people)
Concubine (generally a woman performing an ongoing, matrimonial-like relationship by economic arrangement, with a man whom she cannot marry, usually because she is of lower social rank)
Council Member (one who serves on a legislative body)
Courtesan/Courtier (ones who attends the court of a monarch or other powerful person, usually offering gratification and/or companionship to such influential persons)
Dancer (performs physical dances for employment)
Digger (a person who performs the manual labor of digging, such as ditches, trenches or graves).
Diplomat (an official representing a country abroad)
Diviner (a fortune teller who may or may not have occult powers – each type of divination should be learned separately: Astrology, Augury (Omen Reading), Card Reading, Dice Reading (also Runecasting), Dream Interpretation, Oracle (Divine Possession), Palmistry, Scapulomancy (Bone casting/reading), Scrying, Tea Leaf Reading, Visionary (visions).
Doctor (a physician who uses medicine and skill to heal the wounded and sick – usually without penetrating the skin or making incisions)
Driver (one who drives carts, wagons, chariots, and coaches) [also called drayman, carman, carter, wagoner)
Engineer (designers and maintainers of engines, machines, or public works)
Executioner (used to kill helpless people efficiently)
Factor (a commissioned agent; one who sells goods for another in his own name for a commission)
Famulus (a servant or attendant, esp. of a scholar or a magician)
Farmer (owns or manages a farm)
Farrier (specialist in equine hoof care)
Fisherman (catches fish for a living)
Functionary (performs official functions or duties; an official)
Gambler (one who earns his living by undertaking games of chance, usually by swindling other by various ways of cheating)
Gleeman (an itinerant poet and entertainer, often traveling between towns, villages, inns and taverns – for the common folk) [also known as a strolling minstrel, circler, or cantabank]
Gong farmer (removes night soil (human excrement) from privies)
Governor (one who manages a household or an estate; also one who manages children of those of high social position)
Grave Robber (steals bodies and sells them to those wishing to study anatomy, or for the body parts for necromancy, or to steal any valuable items buried with the deceased)
Groom (a person employed to take care of horses)
Guardsman (a member of a military or civilian force)
Guide (one who knows an area, region, or district and is employed to help others find their way in and through them)
Handmaid (a female servant, usually a personal attendant of a socially elevated woman)
Hayward (a cross between herdsman, bureaucratic functionary, grounds-keeper and look-out) [also called hedge warden]
Herald (part messenger, part town crier, part scholar, and part artist, also part officer of arms)
Herbalist (studies and collects herbs and remedies)
Herdsman (owner or keeper of a herd of domesticated animals)
Hunter (a person that hunts for others, or hunts and sells the animal meat, hide and by-products to others)
Hure (a sex worker) [also called public girls, jennies, meretrix, rove wenches (traveling prostitutes), harlots, and sometimes courtesans (if one is privelaged enough to be recruited into the guild.)]
Innkeeper (maintains and runs an inn)
Jester (performer of songs, music, storytelling, acrobatics, juggling, and magic, usually in a comic style) [also called fools, although many such ‘Fools’ are innately nit-witted, moronic, or mad)
Judge (a public official appointed by a leader or council to decide cases of law in their stead)
Laborer (performing unskilled, manual work for wages)
Librarian (one who administers assets in a library)
Link boy (boy who carries a torch to guide people through the night) [Link man – like a link boy, only older]
Landlord (one who manages a building with the intent to house others within)
Lobbyist (one who is hired to influence others, such as public officials, usually by persuasion or diplomacy)
Lumberman/Lumberjack (one who fells trees, cuts them into logs, or transports them to a sawmill)
Maid (a female domestic servant)
Marshal (a horse tender)
Mercantyler (a person involved in trade, usually trading and selling goods and wares) [also called merchants]
Messenger (carries messages, written or verbal, for others)
Midwife (one who is trained to assist women in childbirth) [also called accoucheur, accoucheus]
Milkmaid (a girl or woman who milks cows)
Miller (one who grinds works in or owns a mill, grinding a solid substance into a powder or pulp, usually grist to flour. Also wood into paper pulp, or korba into its powder form)
Milliner (sells hats and clothing to men, women and children, and occasionally makes new clothing from old clothing (Craft: tailor skill))
Miner (one who works in a mine, usually digging tunnels to excavate ore or coal)
Minstrel (entertainer who performs songs whose lyrics tell stories of distant places or of existing or imaginary historical events, traveling from stronghold to stronghold – entertaining the nobility) [also known as a Jongleur]
Moneylender (a usurer whose business is lending money to others who pay interest, or exchanging currencies for a fee)
Mountebank (a person practicing quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame or other advantages via some form of pretense or deception) [also known as charlatan, swindler or shyster]
Mummer (actors who perform seasonal folk plays) [also called guisers, rhymers, pace-eggers, soulers, tipteerers, galoshins, guysers, or wrenboys]
Navigator (one who directs the route or corse of a ship by using instruments and maps)
Nursemaid (a woman or girl employed to look after a young child or children)
Ostler (one employed to look after the horses of people staying at an inn, manor, or keep)
Painter (paints buildings, walls, ceilings and woodwork)
Physicker (also known as Leech – an academic trained in treating the imbalance of humors using classical medicine and general medical practice)
Pinder (an animal catcher -rounds up loose animals and takes them to the Pinfold)
Pilot (the person who controls a ship or other large vessel)
Piss Boy (a manservant whose job is to mind the bucket of urination for aristocrats) [ sometimes function as potboy – cleans out chamber pots]
Porter (employed to carry luggage and other loads; one who carries supplies on an expedition)
Rancher (manages a ranch, often for nobles)
Rag and bone man (the equivalent of the Garbage Man – travel the streets with a wheelbarrow or horse-drawn cart, into which people throw various bits of rubbish)
Rat-catcher (catching rats as a form of pest control)
Reed-cutter (harvests and gathers reeds and rushes for used in matting, baskets, for floor covering, and the making of papyrus)
Reeve (a senior official with local responsibilities under the Crown e.g. as the chief magistrate of a town or district)
Sailor (one who works on a large sailing vessel, and often manipulates smaller vessels through the water)
Scribe (one who copies out documents and books) [also called scrivener]
Seneschal (senior steward)
Servant (performs duties for others, such as domestic duties or as a personal attendant)
Scullion (the bottom-rung servant in a household)
Shepherd (tends and rears sheep)
Shopkeeper (manages the affairs of a shop, often employed by the shop owner)
Siege Engineer (designer and constructor of fortifications and weapons of war)
Slave Trader (procurer, trader and seller of sentient beings as slaves)
Solicitor (an attorney who can act in the place of their client for legal purposes and may conduct litigation by making applications to the court, writing letters in litigation, to the client’s opponents and so on)
Stableman (employed in a stable, usually mucking out stalls, feeding the horses and maintaining the stable)
Steward (chief servant of a landed estate)
Tavernkeeper (manages and runs a tavern)
Teacher (an expert who instructs others in their field of expertise)
Teamster (the driver of a team of animals; dock or warehouse workers who load and unload ships and wagons)
Town Crier (a civil servant whose duty it is to deliver the news, laws, other proclamations verbally to as many people as possible)
Translator (one fluent in multiple languages hired to make communication possible between parties that do not speak each other’s languages
Trencherman (carver, trench-digger)
Troubadour (a composer and performer of lyric poetry and music, even acting – typically under the patronage of nobility at high court) [females are called Trobairitz]
Undertaker (prepares dead bodies for funeral rites, often the one who digs the graves and builds the coffins)
Userer (a moneylender)
Valet (a man’s personal attendant, responsible for his clothes and appearance)
Water-seller (transports and sells water, usually in a large city or in remote locales where water is scarce)
Wet Nurse (a woman employed to suckle another woman’s child)
Whipping Boy (a young person educated with a young noble or royal person and punished in his place when the noble would otherwise deserve punishment)
Woodcutter (cuts wood, usually for fuel or for use in building)
Overcome: You use the Professions skill to perform a specific professional service, usually in exchange for money or barter. Each profession often is comprised of many different types of skills. For instance, a boatman will know how to pilot a watercraft, but will also have knowledge of rivers, or a region similar to a Lore skill. As such, a character can utilize their profession skill where applicable, even if they don’t have the associated skill. Frequently actions with Professions happen as one component of a more complex situation, making it a popular skill for challenges. For example, if you’re just guiding foreigners to their destination, neither success nor failure is interesting; you should just succeed and move on. Now, if you’re taking a shortcut through the slums on the insistence of said dignitary, while a pack of thugs are shadowning you…
Create an Advantage: The majority of the time you will use Professions Skill will be in creating advantages, usually to enhance other skills. You could use the Professions [Solicitor (attorney)] Skill to create an advantage when using your Rapport skill, or vice versa. You might use your knowledge of procedures in a noble court to twist a subjects words to make him Confounded and Distracted, for example, which you could then invoke for a bonus to your Rapport Skill check. Or perhaps your Professions [Shopkeeper] skill would benefit from an assessment of the buyer’s mood by way of the Empathy Skill.
Additionally, one makes a living from their profession, creating advantages for Resources checks, given the appropriate circumstances and time performing the service.
Attack: Professions isn’t usually used as an attack skill, instead defaulting to another more appropriate skill (A Professions [Artillerist] would typically use their Missile Combat skill to fire their ballista, for instance). But a Professions [Driver] might use the attack action to run over his nemesis in the street, depending on the circumstances. If you want to ram a vehicle, you can attack with Professions [Drive], but you take the same shifts of harm you inflict. Additionally, one might use their Professions Skill to otherwise engage in a Social Conflict not covered under those skills.
Defend: Like the Attack Action, Professions is not the usual default skill for Defend, but could be used where appropriate, particularly in certain Social Contests or Conflicts.
Avoiding damage to a vehicle in a physical conflict is one of the most common uses of Professions [Drive]. You can also use it to defend against advantages being created against you or overcome actions of someone trying to move past you in a vehicle.
Apprentice (Professions) Requires an associated aspect
Pick a broad category such as smithing, woodworking or stonecutting, and reduce the time required by one step when using Crafts for such tasks. You may take this stunt more than once under special circumstances. You can’t usually be an Apprentice of two crafts due to guild membership restrictions.
Journeyman (Professions) Requires Apprentice
The character gains a +1 Crafts bonus in his chosen field. Also, you may pick a specialty in it (such as swordsmithing, shipbuilding or masonry), for which you get a +2 bonus.
Master Craftsman (Professions) Requires Journeyman
When using Crafts for tasks even tangentially related to your field, such as a bowyer crafting a bow, reduce the task difficulty by two. You may also use Crafts instead of Lore for topics within your field.
The Artist’s Eye (Professions)
The artist constantly examines the world for the creative hand at work. He recognizes the “signatures” of other individuals in their works, even in endeavors which have nothing to do with art, ascertaining common traits, themes, and behaviors. Characters with this stunt may use Professions instead of the usual skill to try and determine the creator of a thing; if the character has encountered several creations by the same person, he can confirm a common source. The character can also connect the artist’s metaphor – his work – with the artist himself: when encountering any artwork, the character can roll Professions to gain insight into the artist, as if he were using the Empathy skill on the artist himself (resisted by the usual skills). It allows a character to make assessments against the target in absentia.
This stunt may only be used once per piece of art.
The character is master of an art form – painting, composition, singing, conducting, playing music, etc (whatever your profession may be) – and is a widely-recognized virtuoso or expert). Even if his skill level isn’t high, he’s on the list of the land’s finest professionals – just not necessarily at the top of it. The character receives a +1 bonus in his profession, and may pick a specialty (an instrument, school of painting, aspect of the profession) in which he gets a +1 skill bonus. The virtuoso can produce artworks one time increment faster than usual.
Moving Performance (Professions) Requires Virtuoso
Whenever the artist uses Professions to create a scene aspect, it persists into any subsequent scenes involving the audience, up to a day from the end of the performance. This essentially moves the aspect from a scene to the story itself, persisting across many scenes and many audience members. This is not specifically restricted to performance based professions. An assassin might leave the household Steeped in Fear, for instance. Or perhaps a Shopkeeper creates Bargains Galore, and those present might remember that there was good deals to be had.
Razor Tongue (Professions)
The character knows how to craft the most exquisite insults, and automatically complements social skills used this way with his Professions skill. The stunt grants an additional +1 bonus when using Provoke to get a rise out of someone, regardless of Professions skill: for example, a character with Good (+3) Professions, Fair (+2) Provoke, and this stunt has an effective Provoke of Great (+4) when trying to get a rise out of someone.
Poison Words (Professions) Requires Razor Tongue
The character’s profound satirical skill takes the whole audience with him. The professional chooses a target (not necessarily in the audience, although it should be familiar to them). Normally, aspects resulting from performances aren’t specific: with this stunt, the player can actually specify a target for any scene aspect he creates. So, while an professional can usually only add a “Hate” aspect to a scene, one with this stunt can specify “Hate Lord Octavian.”
Stage Presence (Professions) Requires Virtuoso
The character’s artistic works or professional skills can’t be ignored. The character halves (round down) any difficulty increases due to distractions.
All the World’s a Stage (Professions) Requires one other Professions stunt
The character has a natural talent for acting, and may easily, convincingly adopt a persona off-stage. The professional may roll Professions instead of Decption to convince a target he’s someone he isn’t.
Commissions (Professions) Requires Virtuoso
The character’s works, performances or services are much sought-after, and pay handsomely. Once per session, you can use Professions instead of Resources, representing a successful past commission or debt.
Do You Know Who I Am? (Professions) Requires Virtuoso
The character’s professional reputation precedes him. When identifying yourself in a social or other applicable situation, your Professions skill complements Contacts, Deceive, Provoke, and Rapport rolls. This only applies if your reputation means something to the opposition; odds are the Uncultured Goblins of Kuldum aren’t familiar with you or your poetry, skills or services, although as always you can spend a Fate point to ensure they are (maybe they’re not as uncultured as first thought?).
Weight of Reputation (Professions) Requires Do You Know Who I Am?
The character is so well-known that his reputation compensates for his social shortcomings. For a Fate point, you may use Professions instead of Contacts, Deceive, Provoke, or Rapport, provided the opposition knows your reputation.
Gambling Man (Professions) Requires a compellable gambling-related aspect
As a gambler, the character can rarely refuse a wager or the chance to take a risk, not just in gambling but in life in general. Compels involving your gambling aspects are incredibly difficult for you to refuse: you must either spend two Fate points to avoid them, or gain two Fate points if you accept them.
Double or Nothing (Professions) Requires Gambling Man
Once per scene, after failing a Professions (Gambler) roll, you can declare “Double or nothing!” Both sides re-roll, without using Fate points: if the gambler wins, ignore the initial roll; if he loses, he loses double the initial loss. Such a move often elevates a normal game to high stakes, and a high stakes game to a matter of life and death.
The Devil’s Own Luck (Professions) Requires Gambling Man and one other Professions stunt
In games of pure chance, like knuckle-bones, where skill wouldn’t normally affect the outcome, the character may use his Professions skill at full value.
Know When To Fold ‘Em (Professions) When gambling with extras, the player can request their Professions rolls be made in advance. The rolls are made, secretly, and the Story Teller indicates to the player whether the extras’ rolls are above or below the character’s Professions skill – but not by how much. The player then chooses whether to participate in the Gambling contest; if so, the Story Teller reveals the roll, and may still spend Fate points on the extras’ behalf once the contest begins.
Never Bluff a Bluffer (Professions)
The character’s gambling experience gives him occasional insights into other parts of life. When bluffing, you may use Professions instead of Deceive, and when detecting a bluff, Professions instead of Empathy. Remind the Story Teller you have this stunt whenever you’re targeted by a possible bluff, so the Story Teller can determine the appropriate skill to roll.
The character wins more than he loses, and is often flush with gold. Once per session, use Professions instead of Resources to represent these winnings, as long as you haven’t recently experienced a loss. You must provide a quick one- sentence description of the resource and how you won it. This is not restricted to Professions (Gambling).
Gambling Den (Professions) Requires at least one other Professions stunt
The character has played in so many games in so many places it’s rare he can’t find someone who knows him. You may use Professions instead of Contacts when making a Contacts roll, which invariably colors the results with the nature of gambling. This skill can be used with any Professions type, not just gambling. It represents your influence over the market of your profession.
Two of a Kind (Professions) Requires Gambling Den
Once per session, you may introduce a companion character on the fly. This companion has the Independent and Skilled (Gambling) advances and two other advances which you may define then or later. Again, not necessarily restricted to gamblers. This may represent any business acquaintance.
Hard to Shake (Professions)
+2 to Drive whenever you’re pursuing another vehicle in a chase scene.
Pedal to the Metal (Professions)
You can coax more speed out of your vehicle than seems possible. Whenever you’re engaged in any contest where speed is the primary factor (such as a chase or race of some kind) and you tie with your Professions roll, it’s considered a success.
• Ramming Speed! (Professions)
When ramming another vehicle, you ignore two shifts of damage. So if you ram and hit for four shifts, you only take two yourself.
Custom Carriage (Professions)
The character has a special wagon or carriage. When driving it, you receive a +1 Professions bonus to drive it. Additionally, you’ve added a little extra to the vehicle, and may, once per session, spend a Fate point to reveal an extra feature, such as sharp blades extending from the axles, concealed arrow slits, and the like. For guidelines, see the Universal Device Crafts stunt. You can’t go too crazy with these improvements: this isn’t a magical carriage, and many improvements aren’t available to this stunt. To drive a truly unusual vehicle, take Prototype Carriage.
Prototype Carriage (Professions) Requires Custom Carriage
The character has a one-of-a-kind vehicle. It can have any one allowable skill at Fair (+2), and two at Average +1), in addition to any skills allowed by the vehicle. Alternatively, it can have three improvements, on top of the Craftsmanship improvement provided by Custom Carriage.
Secondly, you may select three additional improvements, including magical improvements. These must be defined in advance of a session, though you needn’t pick all of them when you take the stunt. Once picked, they’re set until you can work at changing them.
The vehicle is instantly recognizable as something unusual, unless you spend an improvement making it look like any other vehicle of its type. Regardless, once people find out about it, there are almost certain to be attempts to steal it or otherwise learn its secrets. You’d be well advised to take an aspect tied to the vehicle, so you can get Fate points when this happens!
Wainwright (Professions) Requires at least two other Professions stunts
Your character may not understand the broader aspects of engineering, but he knows chariots, carts, and carriages inside and out, and may use Professions (Driver) instead of Crafts when working on them. You may also use Professions to work on more unusual vehicles, like mobile siege engines and giant war machines, at a -1 penalty.
Racing Team (Professions)
The character may have had training in chariot races, and is an expert at keeping his vehicle in one piece, regardless of circumstances. Whenever attempting to create an advantage using Professions (Driver) in a chase, treat the difficulty as one lower; the difficulty isn’t affected for any other vehicles in the chase.
Unsafe At Any Speed (Professions) Requires one other Professions stunt
The character is the bane of street markets and rickety awnings. Any damage you do to the environment (but not characters or vehicles) when driving a vehicle is doubled. An object taken out by the damage should do so spectacularly, exploding or collapsing. This isn’t always guaranteed to work in the character’s favor, though it often should!
A Friend in every Port (Professions)
The character has seen many harbors in his time – maybe too many. When in port, or when your experience or reputation as a sailor applies to your current situation, your Professions skill complements your Rapport or Contacts.
Corsair’s Instincts (Professions)
The character is a master of sea battles. When commanding a vessel in ship-to-ship combat, your Professions skill complements any Missile Weapon attacks made by your allies. Also, you gain a +2 Professions bonus in maneuvers in ship-to-ship combat.
Flawless Navigation (Professions)
The seas are an open map in the character’s mind. He can never get lost at sea unless bizarre circumstances are afoot, and even then his Professions rolls are never reduced by more than -2.
Flotsam and Jetsam (Professions) Requires two other Professions stunts
The character may go down with his ship, but that’s not the end of him. When a ship you’re commanding is sunk, you and your passengers get the benefits of the Death Defiance stunt (see Physique ), and are considered “out of sight” when the ship sinks.
Naval Tactician (Professions) Requires Corsair’s Instincts
The character can exploit any tactical advantages against enemy vessels, gaining a +1 bonus (for a total +3) when invoking free aspects and boosts on an opponent, your ship or a scene in ship-to-ship combat. This doesn’t apply to invoking your own aspects, or your allies’ aspects.
Sea Legs (Professions) Requires one other Professions stunt
Your character is so at home onboard a ship that he practically gets land-sick. When on watercraft, you can use Professions instead of Athletics.
Sea Dog (Professions) Requires Sea Legs
To you, a boat or ship is a repository of improvised weaponry – gaffs, clubs, oars, rope. When on watercraft, you may use Professions in place of Melee Weapons.
Weathered Mariner (Professions)
Whether in the dead of night or a raging storm, the character’s sailing skills always see him through. You never face increased Professions difficulties because of environmental factors, such as darkness or inclement weather.
Personal Vessel (Professions)
You have a personal watercraft that you own or have exclusive right to. This stunt functions like the Custom Carriage stunt (above) for waterborne vessels.
Prototype Vessel (Professions) Requires Personal Vessel
This is identical to the Prototype Carriage stunt (above), but for watercraft.
Boatwright (Professions) Requires two other Professions stunts
The character may not understand the general principles behind creating and maintaining devices, but he knows ships and boats inside-out. You may use Professions instead of Crafts when working on ships and boats, and due to shared principles you may work on other vehicles at a -1 penalty.
RESOLVE Mental, Basic
Resolve measures a character’s self-mastery, courage, and willpower. It represents your character’s general level of mental fortitude, the same way that Physique represents your Health fortitude. Resolve indicates grace under pressure and determination, and is key to resisting torture and mind-affecting magic. Characters with high Resolve include explorers, adventurers, and spell casters.
Resolve is almost always rolled in response to something, rather than on its own. Primarily a defense against scary things and social or magical manipulation. It shines in out-of-control situations, allowing a character to keep his head and respond calmly. A high-Resolve character can often soldier on when all seems lost.
Resolve also affects a character’s Composure stress track, indicating resilience in the face of mental and social stress. By default, players have 3 Composure stress boxes, but a Resolve higher than Mediocre (+0) gives a bonus. When your Resolve score reaches level 5 and 7, you gain an extra mild composure consequence as well. Some Stunts increase this further.
|1 to 2||4|
|3 to 4||5|
|5 to 6||6||additional mild composure consequence|
|7 to 8||7||additional mild composure consequence|
Resolve failure should never remove a character from the player’s control. A bad Resolve roll affects a character’s behavior, how well or poorly he convinces others he’s unfazed by events. A character exposed to something disconcerting (like a fright) makes a Resolve roll to see how well he “keeps it together”, and may affect whatever penalties he incurs, but how the character reacts, such as whether they run from the room, is a decision for the player. Decisions are influenced by aspects normally, but skill failure only removes control of the character when he’s taken out.
A good way to handle very stressful situations or other crises where keeping your cool is paramount is to use Resolve as a modifier or restriction on the character’s principle skill, like using Physique to restrict skills when tired.
Overcome: You can use Resolve to pit yourself against obstacles that require mental effort. Puzzles and riddles can fall under this category, as well as any mentally absorbing task, like deciphering a code. Use Resolve when it’s only a matter of time before you overcome the mental challenge, and Lore if it takes something more than brute mental force to get past it. Many of the obstacles that you go up against with Resolve might be made part of challenges, to reflect the effort involved.
Contests of Resolve might reflect particularly challenging games, like chess, or competing in a hard set of exams. In settings where magic or psychic abilities are common, contests of Resolve are popular occurrences.
Create an Advantage: You can use Resolve to place aspects on yourself, representing a state of deep concentration or focus.
Attack: Resolve isn’t really used for attacks. That said, in settings where you allow psychic abilities, full-on psychic conflict might be something you can do with this skill. That’s the sort of thing that would be added to Resolve by taking a stunt or extra.
Defend: Resolve is the main skill you use to defend against mental attacks from Provoke, representing your control over your reactions.
Strength From Determination (Resolve)
Use Resolve instead of Physique on any overcome rolls representing feats of strength.
Sleep Later (Resolve)
Use Will instead of Physique whenever trying to resist any effect having to do with fatigue, exhaustion, or sleep deprivation.
Hard Boiled (Resolve)
You can choose to ignore a mild or moderate consequence for the duration of the scene. It can’t be compelled against you or invoked by your enemies. At the end of the scene it comes back worse, though; if it was a mild consequence it becomes a moderate consequence, and if it was already moderate, it becomes severe.
+2 to defend against Provoke attacks specifically related to intimidation and fear.
Smooth Recovery (Resolve)
Your character is great at handling stress, regaining his footing in the face of the direst outcomes outside of physical conflict. You can take one additional Moderate Composure consequence.
Self-Possessed (Resolve) Requires Smooth Recovery
The character is so at ease under social stress that nothing seems to dent his calm. As a full action once per exchange he may roll Resolve against a Mediocre (+0) difficulty; on a success, he recovers a point of Composure stress, and may also spend a Fate point to remove Composure stress equal to the shifts generated.
Aplomb (Resolve) Requires Smooth Recovery
This character is so confident he can stand up to any social situation. Ignore the first point of stress from any social attack.
Unflappable (Resolve) Requires Smooth Recovery
The character is simply not prone to fear. Provoke attacks against him may provoke other emotions, but they rarely scare him: he gains a +2 Resolve bonus when defending against fear-based Provoke actions.
Right Place, Right Time (Resolve) Requires Unflappable
The character always seems to be in a safe spot, without obviously moving. When targeted by a physical attack, you may defend using Resolve instead of Athletics or a combat skill, and also use it to move or take cover (as long as you merely saunter – no sprints allowed). To everyone else you seem to be simply staying put, unfazed as attacks miss you by inches.
Inner Strength (Resolve)
Whenever someone’s trying to get inside your head, whether through magic or torture, you receive a +2 Resolve defense bonus even when not taking a full defense. Actually taking a full defense gives you an additional +1, for a total of +3.
Steel Determination (Resolve)
The character will go to great lengths to get what he wants. When you bluntly speak your true intentions in a social interaction, you get a +1 bonus to all subsequent Provoke or Resolve rolls, and any social defense, for that scene. However, you can no longer use Rapport with the same audience, as you’ve peeled away the façade of civility.
Still Standing (Resolve) Requires Inner Strength
The character simply doesn’t know when to quit. He may take one additional Moderate consequence of any type, allowing four consequences in total. Combined with Feel the Burn (Physique Stunt) he can take up to five consequences in a physical conflict; with Smooth Recovery (above), he can take up to five in a social or mental conflict.
Driven (Resolve) Requires Still Standing
The character draws inspiration from his setbacks, no matter what the circumstances. You can spend a Fate point to invoke any consequence you’ve taken with no other justification.
Unyielding (Resolve) Requires Driven
The character’s willpower keeps him going in the direst of circumstances. Any time you take Health stress, you may spend a Fate point to take 2 Composure stress instead.
SURVIVAL Mental, Advanced
Survival represents skill and experience in the natural world, how to endure its hardships, how to thrive by manipulating it to one’s own purposes, identifying useful (and dangerous) things in nature, and generally staying alive when far from civilization. Survival corresponds to Husbandry, but deals primarily with the physical environment and passive living things such as plants and other flora.
Overcome: Use this when trying to find a safe place during a storm, gathering sufficient food to feed the party, tracking a fugitive through the woods, etc. Not getting lost also falls within this use as well as navigating from one place to another by the sun and stars.
Racing to cross a wilderness before an opponent or competing for limited game would constitute contests.
The Survival skill is also used to Overcome an obstacle that involves some difficulty faced in the wilderness, such as starvation, exposure, or simply navigating around a rough landscape.
If you need to scrounge something up from the wilderness – sticks, bones, sharp rocks, vines to use as rope, even food – you can roll Survival against a difficulty based on how likely it is to find and how interesting to use.
|Mediocre (+0)||Likely||Wood or vine in a forest, food in season in fertile country|
|Good (+3)||Possible||Strong wood in a swamp, something to eat out of season or in the wrong place|
|Superb (+5)||Unlikely||Wood or drinking water in a desert|
|+1||—||Each additional search criterion|
Each qualifying criterion increases the difficulty by +1: if a character needs sticks in a forest, the difficulty is Mediocre (+0), but if he needs sticks of a certain size and strength (2 criteria) the difficulty is Fair (+2). Building something, like a trap, requires an Crafts check, modified by Survival.
Create an Advantage: Advantages often come in the form of preparations made beforehand, like setting a snare or gathering firewood to ensure the hunt is easier or the fire keeps brining through the night. It also represents using knowledge of the land to identify potential help or hazards in a scene, such a Vipers beside our Opponent.
Survival can be used to Create an Advantage by determining some useful characteristic of the environment. You can use Survival to construct blinds and other ways to remain hidden outdoors. On a Mediocre roll, you can build a blind or create a place to hide, allowing Survival to modify Stealth. It takes a few hours to build, and lasts one day plus one extra day per shift.
You can use Survival to construct blinds and other ways to remain hidden outdoors. On a Mediocre roll, you can build a blind or create a place to hide, allowing Survival to modify Stealth. It takes a few hours to build, and lasts one day plus one extra day per shift.
Defend: It isn’t a defense skill unless starvation or some natural disaster put the character at risk of physical harm.
Herb Lore (Survival)
As long as the character is in a natural environment, they can use Survival instead of Lore to find a particularly useful plants or herbs. It also confers knowledge of how to use plants to treat wounds or sickness, adding +2 to Healing rolls.
Wilderness Medic (Survival) Requires Herb Lore
A character with this stunt may use Survival instead of Healing to perform first aid.
The character never gets lost, even in the worst weather or unfamiliar surroundings. Their internal compass is always right and they always know which way is north and the general direction of major landmarks. If they ever find themselves in truly alien surroundings they are still always allowed to make a Survival roll against Good (+3) to know where they are in relation to known landmarks.
The character is a skilled tracker, and can infer a great deal of information from a trail. When studying the scene where tracks are present, you may roll Survival instead of Investigation: each shift generated provides one piece of information about the person or creature tracked (ie weight, how they were moving).
Additionally, you gain +2 to Survival rolls made to find and follow tracks in natural environments.
Trackless Step (Survival) Requires Tracker
Trying to track the character outdoors is futile, and anyone trying suffers a -2 penalty and takes one step longer than normal on the Time Increments Table. For a Fate point, this applies to anyone you’re travelling with as well.
Hunter’s Grace (Survival) Requires Trackless Step
The character’s tread is as soundless as an animal’s. In a natural setting, you may use Survival instead of Stealth to skulk or hide.
Champion of the Wild (Survival) Requires one other Survival stunt
The wilderness is more than your character’s home – it’s tactical terrain. When in a natural setting, your Survival skill complements either your Melee Combat skill or Missile Combat skill (pick one when you take this stunt).
ATHLETICS Physical, Basic
The Athletics skill represents your character’s general level of physical fitness, whether through training, natural gifts, or genre-specific means (like magic or genetic alteration). It’s how good you are at moving your body. As such, it is a popular choice for nearly any action-y character.
A character’s general physical capabilities – running, jumping, climbing, swimming, and other broadly physical activities – are reflected in the Athletics skill (apart from sheer physical strength, covered by Physique). Characters with high Athletics include cat burglars, warriors and scouts.
Overcome: Athletics allows you to overcome any obstacle that requires physical movement—jumping, running, climbing, swimming, etc. If it resembles something you’d do in the decathlon, you roll Athletics. You use overcome actions with Athletics to move between zones in a conflict if there’s a situation aspect or other obstacle in your way. You also roll Athletics to chase or race in any contests or challenges that rely on these types of activities.
Create an Advantage: When you’re creating an advantage with Athletics, you’re jumping to high ground, running faster than the opponent can keep up with, or performing dazzling acrobatic maneuvers in order to confound your foes.
Defend: Athletics is a catch-all skill to roll for defense in a physical conflict, against close-quarters and ranged attacks. You can also use it to defend against characters trying to move past you, if you’re in a position to physically interfere with who-ever’s making the attempt.
You move two zones for free in a conflict without rolling, instead of one, provided there are no situation aspects restricting movement.
Hardcore Parkour (Athletics)
+2 to overcome actions with Athletics if you are in a chase across rooftops or a similarly precarious environment.
Long Jumper (Athletics)
+2 to any Athletics roll to leap.
Cat’s Grace (Athletics)
Use Athletics instead of Stealth when moving quickly to avoid detection
Dazing Counter (Athletics)
When you succeed with style on a defend action against an opponent’s Melee Combat roll, you automatically counter with some sort of nerve punch or stunning blow. You get to attach the Dazed situation aspect to your opponent with a free invoke, instead of just a boost.
Combat Dodge (Athletics) Requires appropriate occupation aspect (Warrior, etc)
The character gains a +1 defence bonus in combat when using Athletics to defend.
Advanced Combat Dodge (Athletics) Requires Combat Dodge
The character gains a +2 defence bonus in combat against 1 designated opponent when using Athletics to defend. “Designating” is a free action.
You can fit into and through spaces and shapes that no normal human can. Effectively you have an additional Athletics trapping: Contortionism. For those without the stunt, contortions are impossible to attempt, or at best default to a (non-existent) Contortion skill rated at Mediocre (+0).
You can perform impressive acrobatic feats. Difficulties for complex manoeuvres (e.g., walking a tightrope, casting a complex spell while hanging from a rope) are reduced by two. Falling rolls gain a +2 bonus. When used acrobatically, your Athletics never restricts another skill, only complements it.
Body Check (Athletics)
Use Athletics to charge an enemy at least two zones away, and the roll counts as a physical attack. Even if the opponent defends successfully, the character can still move into their zone, so long as movement would otherwise have been unrestricted by a scene aspect
Roll with the Blow (Athletics)
When succeeding with style on a defend action against an opponent’s Melee Combat roll, the character gains a scene aspect with a free invocation, as opposed to just a boost.
Safe Fall (Athletics) Requires Acrobat
The character can skip effortlessly down sheer surfaces without harm, safely falling great distances. A character falling near a wall, rope, or something similar, treats all falls as two categories shorter (and may be reduced another step with Athletics as normal).
Slippery (Athletics) Requires one other Athletics stunt
The character is effortlessly mobile, and others have difficulty controlling his movements. Gain a +2 to defend against being pushed or knocked back, and attempts to escape from bonds.
Fancy Footwork (Athletics) Requires one other Athletics stunt
The character is a master at maneuvering around the enemy. You gain a +2 bonus to make or overcome actions using Athletics.
Marathon Training (Athletics)
You can conserve energy when performing lengthy athletic activity (long-distance running, multi-day climbs, etc.), and use Athletics instead of Physique under such circumstances. In most other cases you can complement Physique rolls with Athletics.
Fast as a Leopard (Athletics) Requires Sprinter
The character is incredibly fast, gaining a +2 Athletics bonus to overcome situation aspects between zones. You may set aside the bonus to be considered on an “even footing” in a race with a horse or chariot, etc, without having to make a roll.
Strong Swimmer (Athletics)
The character gains a +1 Athletics bonus when swimming.
Fast Swimmer (Athletics) Requires Strong Swimmer
The character can swim very quickly. You gain a +2 to Athletics checks when swimming fast, and may use any shifts to reduce the time taken.
Distance Swimmer (Athletics) Requires Strong Swimmer
The character gains a +2 to Athletics checks when swimming a long way. Under ideal conditions you needn’t roll at all; you can swim all day.
Spider Climb (Athletics)
The character can climb surfaces he oughtn’t to be able to. You receive a +2 climb bonus and can spend a Fate point to eliminate all environmental difficulty modifiers (so you can climb a slick, mostly flat surface in a rainstorm at a greatly reduced difficulty).
Mighty Leap (Athletics)
The character’s leaping ability borders on the superhuman. Reduce any height-related zone borders by three.
The character can use Athletics instead of Husbandry when riding horses or other beasts meant for carrying passengers.
Brawling Physical, Basic
Brawling represents unarmed combat ability, including kicks, throws, and grapples – and when using clubs or improvised weapons. It’s the primary physical attack skill for the natural weaponry of most monsters, often renamed to something like “Bite” or “Claws”. With specialized training, it also includes unarmed martial arts.
As a combat skill, Brawling allows characters to defend as well as attack. You may also use it as a limited knowledge skill covering the identification and analysis of unarmed fighting styles. Characters with high Brawling skill include sailors, thugs and martial artists.
Overcome: Since you don’t really use Brawling outside of a conflict, it’s not often used to overcome obstacles. You might use it to display your prowess in a demonstration, or to participate in some kind of regulated bout or sport fighting, which would allow you to use this skill in a contest.
Create an Advantage: You’ll probably use Brawling for most of the advantages you create in a physical hand-to-hand conflict. Any number of special moves can be covered with advantages: a targeted strike to stun, a “dirty move,” disarming, and so on. You could even use Brawling to assess another fighter’s style, spotting weaknesses in his or her form that you can exploit.
Attack: This is self-explanatory. You make physical attacks with Brawling. Remember, this is for close-in work, so you have to be in the same zone as your opponent.
A one handed improvised weapon does +1 damage. A two-handed weapon of this nature does +2 damage. Such improvised weapons have a damage bonus just like normal weapons, but last only one attack before breaking, regardless of whether the attack is successful
The Brawling skill can also be used to wield other melee weapons, but they do basic Brawling damage as a one-handed or two-handed club when used in this way .
Defend: You use Brawling to defend against any other attack or ‘create an advantage’ attempt made with Brawling, as well as pretty much any action where violently interposing yourself could prevent it from happening. You can’t use this skill to defend against Missile Combat attacks (see Athletics). Certain stunts may allow you to catch missiles or swat them from the air.
Success with Style in a Brawling attack creates the Dazed aspect on the target and grants a free invoke, instead of just a boost.
Gain +2 to create advantages involving improvised weapons such as bottles, chairs etc.
The character’s at his best when surrounded by multiple opponents. Whenever you’re outnumbered in a fight, your defense rolls with Brawling are at +1. You also get a +1 damage bonus when fighting two or more minions.
Dirty Fighter (Brawling) Requires Brawler
Your character fights dirty, pulling all manner of tricks to get the upper hand. You get a +1 Brawling bonus whenever you first gain a free invoke on an opponent’s aspect in a fight or a scene aspect affecting your foe.
Crippling Blow (Brawling) Requires Dirty Fighter
When you injure an opponent with Brawling, spend a Fate point to force the target to take a consequence rather than stress, regardless of the amount of stress damage done. You can only do this once per opponent in a given fight scene. The target may choose not to take the consequence if he’s willing to concede.
Signature Strike (Brawling) Requires Crippling Blow or Fist of Death
Your character has a specific attack which he’s honed to devastating perfection. It may be a dramatically named formal punch (Thousand Whirlwinds Strike As One!), or a complete mastery of the kick in the crotch.
You can use the strike once per opponent per fight, clearly describing the build up and the strike itself, and rolling the dice. If you inflict any damage at all, you also cause an additional consequence, meaning if you already caused a consequence, the target suffers two consequences from the attack.
Mix It Up (Brawling) Requires Brawler
Overwhelming odds are the character’s bread and butter. When you succeed with style on a Brawling defense, you may save the boost for your next attack, no matter how many other actions happen in between. You can even stockpile multiple successful, boost-generating defenses for a single humongous bonus on your next attack.
Tavern Regular (Brawling) Requires Mix It Up
The character is a one-man army. Opponents don’t get the usual ganging-up bonus when you’re outnumbered.
Bottles and Barstools (Brawling) Requires Brawler
The character is skilled with improvised weapons, using Brawling instead of Melee Weapons. Improvised weapons tend to break, and don’t usually last for more than one exchange; this stunt allows the character to keep using the improvised weapon until they finally connect and do damage, at which point it breaks.
Frenzy (Brawling) Requires Brawler
Swinging wildly, the character strikes an opponent over and over again, wearing down his defense with each blow. Opponents attempting full defense against your Brawling attacks don’t get a +2 bonus.
Martial Artist (Brawling) Requires appropriate Aspect
The character has undertaken intensive martial arts training from a formal fighting school or specialist teacher, honing his unarmed combat abilities into a finely disciplined form as much art as skill. You may use Brawling, opposed by your opponent’s Brawling, to place an aspect on the target, and invoke this aspect for an additional +1 to your attack (for a total of +3).
Brickbreaker (Brawling) Requires Martial Artist
The character’s blows are devastating to solid materials. Double any Brawling damage you deal to an inanimate target once per exchange.
Demoralizing Stance (Brawling) Requires Martial Artist
The character’s very stance makes it unequivocally clear he’s capable of handing someone his ass. Roll Brawling instead of Provoke when displaying your fighting stance or techniques.
Flying Kick (Brawling) Requires Martial Artist
The character can leap through the air with a powerful kick that can lay an unsuspecting opponent out. If there’s nothing preventing you from doing so, you may move two zones and make a Brawling attack without penalty. On a success, pay a Fate point to add your skill level as a damage bonus. Other actions, including those with Brawling, that aren’t a Brawling attack described as a flying kick, follow the standard rules for overcoming obstacles between zones.
Flow Like Water (Brawling) Requires Martial Artist
The character gains a +1 Brawling bonus on a full defense, for a total of +3.
Bend Like The Reed (Brawling) Requires Flow Like Water
The character’s flexible martial arts style lets him turn an opponent’s force against himself. Whenever you succeed with style on a Brawling defense roll, you may immediately use your boost to create an advantage against the attacker.
Lethal Weapon (Brawling) Requires Martial Artist
The character’s martial arts skill is dedicated to dishing out punishment. Whenever your opponent takes a Mild or Moderate consequence from your Brawling attack, spend a Fate point to increase the consequence severity by one step (Mild to Moderate, Moderate to Severe, etc). The opponent may reconsider whether to take the consequence after all, or concede. If the opponent already has a Severe consequence, a Moderate consequence is increased to Extreme.
Fist of Death (Brawling) Requires Lethal Weapon
When he concentrates his force into a powerful blow, the character can devastate even the most powerful opponents. Once per opponent per fight, spend a Fate point on a successful Brawling attack to cause an automatic consequence, regardless of how much stress you would normally inflict.
HUSBANDRY Physical, Advanced
Husbandry is the art of dealing with domesticated animals and wild beasts, riding them, caring for them, taming them, and otherwise knowing how to act and what to do around them. In many ways it corresponds to Survival, but deals primarily with active living things such as animals and other fauna.
Husbandry replaces all social skills when dealing with animals – which is not to say animals are great conversationalists, just that when you’re trying to calm or stare down an animal, Husbandry is the skill to roll.
In the Shimmering Kingdoms, it is usual for knights and noble ladies, along with favored men-at-arms, to learn to ride. Not all of these folks know Husbandry. Although Husbandry is an Advanced Skill, anyone with an appropriate background aspect know how to ride at Mediocre (+0) without suffering the -2 penalty for Husbandry being an Advanced Skill). At all other tasks, however, they suffer the penalty for not having skill levels.
Overcome: The Husbandry skill is best used to Overcome obstacles that involve controlling the behavior or dealing with the needs of animals – one particularly common use is to ride a mount under risky conditions or get them to perform tricky feats.
Also, Husbandry is the equivalent of Athletics when mounted on a horse, donkey or pony. It is used to successfully accomplish movement in the face of difficult circumstances, like rough mountain terrain, small amounts of clearance, or jumping, etc. It is ripe for contests, especially chases and races.
Create an Advantage: Most things that apply to Athletics also apply to Husbandry. Additionally Husbandry can be used to determine the best way to get somewhere using an animal, and a good enough roll might reveal features of the route that get expressed as aspects, or declarations of a Convenient Shortcut or something similar. It can deliver bursts of speed.
Advantages created using Husbandry often revolve around getting good positioning, attempting difficult maneuvers, like jump obstacles, or putting an opponent at a disadvantage.
Husbandry can also be used to Create an Advantage by taking exceptional care of a mount or animal companion, knowing a specific creature’s weaknesses, or coercing animals to act a certain way.
Attack: Normally, breaking in a mount is a conflict between rider and steed. The rider makes Composure attacks (using Husbandry against Resolve) on the animal while the animal makes physical attacks (using Athletics or Brawling (Hooves and Bite) against Husbandry) on the rider. When one party is finally taken out, takes a consequence or concedes, either the animal is broken or the rider is thrown, and the animal’s Composure track clears immediately.
Otherwise, Husbandry isn’t an attack skill (though there is a Stunt that allows the rider to utilize the horse as a weapon).
Hard to Shake (Husbandry)
+2 to Husbandry whenever chasing another rider or wagon.
Like the Wind (Husbandry)
+2 to Husbandry bonuses when creating an advantage based on speed.
Use Husbandry (and the mount) to attack another character by charging through them. This includes jousting. There’s inherent danger in taking such an aggressive action, though. Unless the result is success with style, the mount gets a aspect representing the damage done to it. Failure or a Tie requires the mounts lowest consequence slot to be filled instead! That could result in a fall and stress being applied to the character.
Animal Ken (Husbandry)
Animals are naturally inclined to like you. Hostile animals tend to grow calm in your presence, and you have a gift for training them. Spend a Fate Point to gain a +3 bonus on any roll required to interact with an animal in a non-violent way.
The Whistle (Husbandry)
The character can spend a Fate Point and whistle for their mount (which they have to have owned for a while) to arrive ‘just in time’.
Hands Free (Husbandry)
The character is a skilled rider and can multitask in the saddle. You may move across up to two unrestricted zones and make a Melee Combat attack. This is a key stunt for mounted combat.
Ride Anything (Husbandry)
If it can be ridden, your character can ride it. You suffer no Cultural Idiom penalties or increased difficulties for lack of familiarity, no matter how strange the mount – dragon, dinosaur or giant bird of prey.
Breaking It In (Husbandry)
The character’s an expert at breaking in new mounts, gaining a +2 Husbandry bonus. If successful, he gets a +1 to all Husbandry rolls with the broken-in creature for the duration of that session.
Trick Rider (Husbandry)
The character can urge his mount to jump chasms, charge through burning buildings, face dangers no sane mount would ever consider. Treat overcome and create an advantage difficulties in chases as one lower for you only (ie they’re unaffected for any other pursuers).
Master Horseman (Husbandry)
The character ignores increased Husbandry roll difficulties due to constricted space when riding, unless it’s physically impossible for you and your mount to fit.
Animal Companion (Husbandry)
The character has a close companion from the animal kingdom. Animal companions have four advances, but operate only with a “physical” scope, and must spend at least two advances on “Skilled” or “Quality”; “Skilled” advances must take Athletics, Brawling, Physique, Stealth or Survival, although you may take one other skill, within reason, based on animal type. For example, a raccoon might have Larceny; a lion might have Provoke (this is unsubtle, and not considered a violation of the physical scope).
You may ride the creature as a mount at a +1 Husbandry bonus if it’s the appropriate size, and may use its Athletics skill instead of Husbandry. Athletics is also used to speed up when the rider is too busy to “steer” the animal himself.
Animal Friend (Husbandry)
The character can communicate with a particular type of creature (select one, such as cats, dogs, horses, etc), and gains a +2 bonus when interacting with them. This doesn’t imply any particular intelligence on the animal’s part, so communication is relatively simple. The character uses Husbandry instead of social skills when dealing with these animals.
Animal Healer (Husbandry) Requires Animal Friend
The character’s preference for animals over people gives him an intuitive understanding of how to treat their injuries. When treating an injured animal using first aid, use Husbandry instead of Healing.
Call of the Wild (Husbandry) Requires Animal Friend
The character can summon nearby friendly animals by calling out in a “native” voice. A number of creatures up to the shifts generated on a Mediocre (+0) difficulty Husbandry roll heed the call – ten times that for small creatures like birds or cats, or a hundred times for vermin like rats or spiders. Only creatures affected by Animal Friend or King of the Beasts will respond.
King of the Beasts (Husbandry) Requires Animal Friend
Like Animal Friend, but the character speaks to an entire broad category of animals, rather than just one type, either sea creatures (fish, whales, seabirds), land creatures (dogs, primates, cats, birds) or vermin (bugs, rats and other small scuttling things). The categories overlap loosely – pigeons are in all three – and the Story Teller should be generous in her interpretation.
LARCENY Physical, Advanced
Larceny represents the capacity for crime, theft, and getting into places they aren’t supposed to be. It covers a general proficiency with locks and other security, as well as a sense for avoiding suspicion and figuring out how to sneak past observers and steal things (though actually carrying out those plans may involve multiple skills). Most users of Larceny have a stunt reflecting their special capacity for some specific illicit activity.
The Larceny skill also includes sleight of hand skills such as conjuring tricks, picking locks and stealing items directly from someone’s belt. The first and last of these are also usually opposed by an observer’s or victim’s Notice skill.
Overcome: The Larceny skill allows you to overcome any obstacle related to theft or infiltration. Bypassing locks and traps, pickpocketing and filching, covering your tracks, avoid leaving traces, and other such activities all fall under the purview of this skill.
Create an Advantage: You can case a location with Larceny, to determine how hard it will be to break into and what kind of security you’re dealing with, as well as discover any vulnerabilities you might exploit. You can also examine the work of other burglars and larcenists to determine how a particular heist was done, and create or discover aspects related to whatever evidence they may have left behind and how they committed the crime.
Defend: Same here. It’s not really a conflict skill, so there’s not a lot of opportunity to use it to defend.
Always a Way Out (Larceny)
+2 on Larceny rolls made to create an advantage whenever you’re trying to escape from a location.
Security Specialist (Larceny)
You don’t have to be present to provide active opposition to someone trying to overcome security measures you put in place or worked on. (Normally, a character would roll against passive opposition for that.)
Talk the Talk (Larceny)
You can use Larceny in place of Contacts whenever you’re dealing specifically with other thieves and ne’er-do-wells.
Criminal Mind (Larceny)
The character’s acute understanding of casing and breaking and entering enables him to investigate crimes from the perspective of the criminal who committed them. You may use Larceny instead of Investigate when investigating crimes committed using Larceny. If the crime matches one the character himself has committed, he gets a +1 bonus for familiarity.
Trap Sense (Larceny)
The character has run into so many traps he’s developed an instinct for avoiding them. You may roll Larceny instead of Notice or Investigate to detect or otherwise avoid a trap.
When your Story Teller calls for a Notice roll, make sure to tell him you have this stunt – it may change the skill you use.
Trespass Tempo (Larceny) Requires Trap Sense
The character has an internal clock when breaking and entering, and always knows exactly how much time has passed. You may use Larceny instead of Notice to determine initiative as long as everything’s going to plan.
Lock Master (Larceny)
The character can pick locks with nearly anything that could pass as a suitable tool, such as a piece of wire, a brooch pin, etc. You never suffer increased difficulties for lacking proper tools on a Larceny roll, and with the correct tools you pick locks one time increment faster.
Mental Map (Larceny)
The character can visualize the whole of a target based on just a part of it. You get a +2 Larceny bonus when casing a location.
Master Thief (Larceny) Requires Mental Map and at least one other Larceny stunt
Normally, when casing a location you reveal or declare only one aspect in advance. With this stunt, you reveal or declare an additional aspect if you succeed with style.
Also, Larceny declarations needn’t be made entirely in advance. Instead, you may make declarations during the job itself, effectively introducing elements retroactively you’d already planned for. You can only make one such declaration per scene, but truly big heists are rarely only one scene.
Alternatively, you can trade in one of your retroactive declarations to declare up to three non-aspect facts about the scene. You can do this in addition to making an aspect pick for that scene.
Your character is exceptionally skilled at taking advantage of distractions to make a quick grab. You may spend a Fate point to make a Larceny attempt to pick a pocket or palm an object as a free action.
Cool Hand (Larceny)
The character’s hands never shake or waver no matter how hairy the situation. Ignore all environmental difficulty increases when performing fine manual work (even if it doesn’t involve Larceny, such as Crafts or Healing). Also, once per scene you may eliminate a single non-environmental penalty to Larceny rolls.
Sucker Punch (Larceny)
If you’re initiating an attack with someone who isn’t expecting it, you may use Larceny instead of Brawling in the first exchange, provided you can directly interact with the target and narrate a reasonable distraction as your prelude.
The character has a talent for juggling, including throwing around and catching dangerous objects (knives, torches, etc) without harm. You gain a +2 Professions bonus for juggling, or instead may roll Larceny instead of Professions for a performance that dazzles your audience. Also, your Larceny skill complements your Melee Combat when making thrown weapon attacks. The stunt doesn’t allow you to catch weapons thrown at you as an attack, which comes under the Catch stunt for Melee Combat Combat.
The character’s magic tricks effortlessly draw the eye. When performing a magic trick, you may use Larceny instead of Professions to perform and entertain with a +1 bonus. If you’re hiding some other activity at the same time, your concealment efforts get a +1 too.
Stage Magic (Larceny) Requires Legerdemain
Under appropriately controlled circumstances, you can perform misdirections on a huge scale. Provided you’re acting within an arena you control (like a stage or area you’ve had time to prepare), your Larceny efforts aren’t limited by size (within reason).
MELEE COMBAT Physical, Advanced
This is the skill for fighting with hand-to-hand weapons, from swords and knives to axes and clubs, and anything in between. It covers everything from dueling swordsmen in imperial courts to club-wielding thugs jumping you in a dark alley.
Melee Combat also covers the ability to throw small handheld weapons up to one zone, or use weapons with unusually long reach (like whips or polearms) to attack adjacent zones; characters use this skill to be equally good at fighting with knives as throwing them.
Melee Combat includes the ability to defend oneself in a fight, and so may be rolled for defense. Users are well-versed in fighting styles and weapons, and may use this skill as a limited knowledge skill covering those areas. To actually create weapons, use Crafts.
Characters with high Melee Combat include nearly every adventurer, as well as nobles, barbarians and some circus performers.
Overcome: Since you don’t really use Melee Combat outside of a conflict, it’s not often used to overcome obstacles. You might use it to display your fighting prowess in a demonstration, or to participate in some kind of regulated bout or sport fighting, which would allow you to use this skill in a contest.
Create an Advantage: You’ll probably use Melee Combat for most of the advantages you create using a hand to hand weapon in a physical conflict. Any number of special moves can be covered with advantages: a targeted strike to stun, a “dirty move,” disarming, and so on. You could even use Melee Combat to assess another fighter’s style, spotting weaknesses in his or her form that you can exploit.
Note that the use of bare-knuckle fisticuffs and improvised weapons are handled with the Brawling Skill.
Attack: This is self-explanatory. You make physical attacks with Melee Combat. Remember, this is for close-in work, so you have to be in the same zone as your opponent, unless you use a weapon with Reach, or some other Aspect that allows you to strike into an adjacent zone.
Defend: You use Melee Combat to defend against any other attack or create an advantage attempt made with Melee Combat, as well as pretty much any action where violently interposing yourself could prevent it from happening. You can’t use this skill to defend against Missile Combat attacks, that would be Athletics.
Melee Combat Stunts
Heavy Hitter (Melee Combat)
When you succeed with style on a Melee Combat attack and choose to reduce the result by one to gain a boost, you gain a full situation aspect with a free invocation instead.
Backup Weapon (Melee Combat)
Whenever someone’s about to hit you with a Disarmed situation aspect or something similar, spend a fate point to declare you have a backup weapon. Instead of a situation aspect, your opponent gets a boost, representing the momentary distraction you suffer having to switch.
Killing Stroke (Melee Combat)
Once per scene, when you force an opponent to take a consequence, you can spend a fate point to increase the consequence’s severity (so mild becomes moderate, moderate becomes severe). If your opponent was already going to take a severe consequence, he must either take a severe consequence and a second consequence or be taken out.
Flawless Parry (Melee Combat) Characters taking a full defense action using Melee Combat gain a +3 bonus rather than +2.
Riposte (Melee Combat) Requires Flawless Parry
If a character is physically attacked in melee and succeeds with style on defense, he may inflict one Health stress on the attacker, immediately, as a free action. Armor doesn’t protect the attacker who’s inadvertently exposed a weak point.
Turnabout (Melee Combat) Requires Riposte
You can turn an opponent’s action into an advantage for yourself. Once per opponent per scene, under the same conditions as Riposte, spend a Fate point and use your boost to treat your defense roll as a free-action attack, dealing Health stress equal to the shifts on your defense roll (at least three points since you succeeded with style).
Heavy Hitter (Melee Combat)
Success with Style in a Melee Combat attack can generate a scene aspect with a free invoke, instead of just a boost.
Strong Wrists (Melee Combat)
+2 to create a Disarmed aspect on an opponent.
Hurled Weapon (Melee Combat)
Melee can be used to throw close-quarter weapons, not usually balanced for throwing, into adjacent zones. Doing so puts a scene aspect called Disarmed on the character, which they will have to deal with, but no one gets to invoke that for free.
Hidden Weapon (Melee Combat)
Whenever hit with a Disarmed situation aspect, spend a Fate Point to declare the presence of a backup weapon. The Disarmed aspect is ignored but the opponent still gets a boost instead, representing the momentary distraction of drawing the backup weapon.
Master of the … (Melee Combat) Requires Military Training occupation stunt or similar aspect
Choose a type of close-combat weapon in which to specialize, e.g. swords, maces, spears, etc. The character gains +2 to all Melee Combat rolls when using that type of weapon.
Weapon Specialist (Melee Combat) Requires Master of the …
The character receives a +2 damage bonus to the weapon with which they are specialized.
Weapon in Both Hands (Melee Combat) Requires Weapon Specialist
Normally, fighting with two weapons just looks cool, without providing a bonus. With this stunt, a two-weapon fighter has an advantage, and whenever he causes at least one stress damage (excluding the weapon’s damage bonus), the damage is increased by one (meaning he never hits a target for less than two stress). Also, he gets a +1 defense against maneuvers aimed at depriving him of either weapon.
Cleave Through Hordes (Melee Combat) Requires Weapon Specialist and three other Melee Combat stunts
Using his specialist weapon, the character automatically takes out as many groups of minions as he has generated shifts.
Crippling Strike (Melee Combat) Requires Weapon Specialist and three other Melee Combat stunts
Using his specialist weapon, the character automatically inflicts a number of consequences on a target equal to the points of shift.
Whirlwind Attack (Melee Combat) Requires Cleave Through Hordes
The character may spend a Fate point to hit multiple opponents in his zone. This is treated as an area attack; roll Melee Combat against a Mediocre (+0) difficulty to determine the difficulty of the Athletics roll required to avoid it. It affects 1 target, plus 1 additional target per shift on the Melee Combat roll.
Weapons damage bonuses are added to the shifts generated for those affected by the area attack.
Great Blow (Melee Combat) Requires Weapon Specialist and Cleave (Physique stunt)
The character can attack targets beyond his usual scale range. Each point of shift generated on an attack roll may be used to affect an additional point of scale.
For example a scale 2 hero attacks a scale 5 monster and generates 9 shifts. He uses 1 shift to hit an out-of-scale target 1 level above his maximum scale, and uses the remaining 6 shifts for other effects.
Catch (Melee Combat)
The character can use Melee Combat instead of Athletics to defend against thrown weapons. If you succeed with style against a thrown object, you may declare you’re catching the item, provided you have a free hand and it’s something you have the Physique to catch. For a Fate point, you can also throw it back as an attack in the same exchange.
Ricochet (Melee Combat)
The character can bounce a thrown weapon off one or more surfaces, so that it comes at an opponent from an unexpected direction. Describe the throw and take a -1 attack penalty; if successful, you deal +2 stress damage. You may also use this stunt to throw a weapon at a target around a corner, provided you can see him somehow (maybe with a mirror?).
Good Arm (Melee Combat)
The character can throw weapons with great force, making them effective at a longer range than usual. You may take a -1 Melee Combat penalty with a thrown weapon to increase the attack’s range to two zones instead of the usual one.
Anything Goes (Melee Combat)
The character incurs no penalties for awkward or improvised weapons – virtually anything is a lethal weapon in his hands, as long as he can comfortably and casually lift it. The weapon must be improvised, ie a chair, priceless urn, beer bottle, etc. You never need to spend a Fate point to declare an improvised weapon, unless the surroundings overtly prevent it (such as a prison cell). Most improvised weapons don’t survive more than a single use unless you also have the Bottles and Barstools stunt.
Close at Hand (Melee Combat)
The character brings his weapon to hand faster than the eye can see, allowing him to draw a weapon as a free action. If someone’s actively blocking the action, the block incurs a -2 penalty. Combined with Anything Goes, the character
is always effortlessly armed in an even moderately cluttered environment.
Weapon of Destiny (Melee Combat) Requires an aspect referring to the weapon by name
The character has a signature weapon well-known in certain circles, with a name and a long, checkered history. It has a tendency to be always near at hand, even when circumstances conspire against it. If you’d normally need a Fate point to ensure it’s nearby, you can do so for free; if it would be normally impossible to access it, you can spend a Fate point to get access to it anyway. Once the Fate point is spent, the Story Teller doesn’t have to furnish the weapon immediately, but must work to bend circumstances to make it available in short order. So, you can’t be deprived of the weapon for long unless you voluntarily give it up or pass it to another.
The weapon has the Craftsmanship improvement, giving it a +1 bonus; plus one other improvement.
Weapons of the World (Melee Combat) Requires any three Melee Combat stunts
Every proper (not improvised) melee weapon in the world has been in your hands at one time or another, and you never face a familiarity penalty no matter how strange a weapon is. Also, if you tell a quick (two or three sentence) story about how you came to use the weapon before, you may get a +1 bonus for a scene, once per “new” weapon per session, at no cost. The story may be told aloud or an internal monologue shared with the other players.
Shield Training (Melee Combat)
The character has trained extensively with shields. This stunt is required to be able to use shields properly.
First, the stunt allows your shield to give you a defense bonus instead of an armor bonus, and to accept a Mild or Moderate consequence for you (like armor). Second, when taking a full defense or create an advantage action, your shield acts as an aspect. Third, if you succeed with style on a Melee Combat attack when fighting an opponent with a shield, his shield doesn’t benefit him at all, including any benefits he might normally gain from this stunt.
MISSILE COMBAT Physical, Advanced
Use Missile Combat when attacking targets several zones away, whether with bow, crossbow or sling, either in a conflict or on targets that don’t actively resist your attempts to shoot them (like a bull’s-eye or the broad side of a barn). The skill is similar to Melee Combat, except it applies to ranged attacks and can’t usually be used defensively. A character who’s both a good shot and good at getting out of the way should also invest in Athletics or Brawling (or both!). Remember that Melee Combat is used for hurled weapons.
Missile Combat can be used as a limited knowledge skill for fighting styles, construction techniques, and so on. To create ranged weapons, use the Crafts skill.
Characters with high Ranged Weapons include soldiers, scouts and hunters.
Overcome: Unless, for some reason, you need to demonstrate your Missile Combat ability in a non-conflict situation, you probably won’t be using this skill for normal obstacles much. Obviously, contests involving Missile Combat are a popular staple in the Shimmering Kingdoms. Most cities on the Tournament Circuit sponsor an archery contest, usually open to the the commoners – a very popular event.
Create an Advantage: In physical conflicts, Missile Combat can be used to perform a wide variety of moves, like trick shots, keeping someone under heavy fire, and the like. You might even be able to disarm people and pin their sleeves to walls—pretty much anything you’ve seen in an action movie. You could also make the argument for creating aspects based on your knowledge of missile weapons (like placing a Faulty Mechanism aspect on an opponent’s crossbow).
Attack: This skill makes physical attacks. You can make them from up to two zones away, unlike with Melee Combat. Range is usually only truncated by line of sight obstacles, but the GM can decide that a target is at long range or out of range. (Sometimes the range will change with the weapon.)
Note that although Missile Combat is an advanced skill, when using the Attack Action with a crossbow, the weapon may be fired untrained without the usual -2 penalty. In essence, crossbows are Basic weapons, for the Attack Action only. Trying to do anything fancy with them will remain at the normal penalty for not having levels in the Missile Combat skill.
Defend: Shoot is unique in that it doesn’t really have a defense component to it—you’d use Athletics for that. You could use it to lay down some covering fire—which might act as a defense for your allies or provide opposition to someone else’s movement— though it could just as easily be represented by creating an advantage (Covering Fire or Hail of Arrows, for example).
Missile Combat Stunts
Called Shot (Missile Combat)
During a Missile Combat attack, spend a fate point and declare a specific condition you want to inflict on a target, like Shot in the Hand. If you succeed, you place that as a situation aspect on them in addition to hitting them for stress.
Fast Hands (Missile Combat)
You can use Missile Combat instead of Notice to determine turn order in any physical conflict where shooting quickly would be useful.
Uncanny Accuracy (Missile Combat)
Once per conflict, stack an additional free invoke on an advantage you’ve created to represent the time you take to aim or line up a shot (like In My Sights).
Master of the … (Missile Combat) Requires Military Training occupation stunt or similar aspect
Choose a group of missile weapons in which to specialize, e.g. bows, crossbows, slings etc. The character gains +2 to all Missile Combat rolls when using that type of weapon.
Killing Shot (Missile Combat)
Once per scene, when an opponent is forced to take a consequence, the character can spend a Fate Point to increase the severity of the consequence (so mild becomes moderate, moderate becomes severe). If the opponent was already going to take a severe consequence, they must either take a severe consequence PLUS a second consequence, or be taken out.
Long Shot (Missile Combat)
The character’s accuracy over distance is exceptional: the range of any ranged weapon he uses is increased by one zone.
Defensive Archery (Missile Combat)
Expert timing and precision shooting keeps the character’s opponents off-balance. You may use Ranged Weapons to defend against ranged physical attacks.
Stay on Target (Missile Combat)
Give the character a moment to aim and he’s nearly guaranteed to hit. When performing an aiming maneuver to declare an aspect on a target, you gain a +1 to your Ranged Weapons roll.
Trick Shot (Missile Combat)
The character gains a +2 Missile Combat bonus against inanimate objects. While this can’t be used to attack other creatures, it can be very useful for indirect effects like shooting down a chandelier or severing the rope holding up the drawbridge from a distance.
Extra Ammunition (Missile Combat)
With this stunt, you may spend a Fate point to remove an “Out Of Ammunition” Mild consequence at the end of any exchange. Also, you get a +2 defense bonus whenever you’re the target of a maneuver intended to deplete your ammunition (for example, one resulting in an “Empty Quiver” aspect).
Make It Count (Missile Combat) That last arrow has a kind of magic to it. With this stunt, you may declare you’re down to your last shot, and gain a +3 to your next Missile Combat roll. However, this is your last shot – you can’t make any further shots unless a new weapon or ammunition is available in the scene. Even the Extra Ammunition stunt won’t remedy this – you really are out of ammunition.
Fight in the Shade (Missile Combat)
The character’s skilled at laying down suppressive fire. When blocking with Missile Combat, you may ignore up to a -2 penalty imposed by the Story Teller due to complexity.
Quick Shot (Missile Combat)
The character can bring his weapon to bear in the blink of an eye. You may draw your bow or other ranged weapon and fire it in the same action; if someone’s actively blocking such an action, you gain a +2 bonus to overcome it.
Lightning Hands (Missile Combat) Requires Quick Shot
The character and his weapon are as one; the thought to aim and shoot is the same as the action. With this stunt, you may use Ranged Weapons to determine initiative instead of Alertness.
Reflex Shot (Missile Combat) Requires Lightning Hands
Once per exchange, between or before other characters’ actions, you may spend a Fate point to pre-empt the usual exchange order and act next, as long as your action involves a Missile Combat roll. You do this in addition to your normal action, but each time it’s done in the same scene, the Fate point cost increases by one.
Crafter’s Instinct (Missile Combat) The character is a skilled craftsman of ranged weaponry. When creating or repairing such weapons, you may roll Missile Combat instead of Crafts.
Signature Ranged Weapon (Missile Combat) Requires Crafter’s Instinct
The character has a bow, crossbow, or similar ranged weapon that’s a cut above. It’s a device with the Craftsmanship improvement and one other improvement. It’s so well-made it never needs lengthy repairs if damaged; reduce repair times by four steps.
PHYSIQUE Physical, Basic
The Physique skill is a counterpart to Athletics, representing the character’s natural physical aptitudes, such as raw strength and endurance.
Physique also affects a character’s Health stress track, measuring how much physical punishment the character can sustain before they face physical Consequences. Minor cuts and bruises, winded or fatigued, slightly under the weather. By default, players have 3 Health stress boxes, but a Physique higher than Mediocre (+0) gives a bonus. he Physique skill increases the Health score. For every two Physique skill levels (round up) add one to Health. When your Physique score reaches level 5 and 7, you gain an extra mild health consequence as well. Some Stunts increase this further.
|1 to 2||4|
|3 to 4||5|
|5 to 6||6||additional mild health consequence|
|7 to 8||7||additional mild health consequence|
Overcome: You can use Physique to overcome any obstacles that require the application of brute force—most often to overcome a situation aspect on a zone—or any other physical impedance, like prison bars or locked gates. Of course, Physique is the classic skill for arm-wrestling matches and other contests of applied strength, as well as marathons or other endurance-based challenges.
Create an Advantage: Physique has a lot of potential for advantages in physical conflict, usually related to grappling and holding someone in place, making them Pinned or Locked Down. You might also use it as a way of discovering physical impairments possessed by the target—grappling the old mercenary tells you that he has a Bum Leg or somesuch.
Defend: Though you don’t generally use Physique to defend against attacks, you can use it to provide active opposition to someone else’s movement, provided you’re in a small enough space that you can effectively use your body to block access. You might also interpose something heavy and brace it to stop someone from getting through.
+2 to Physique rolls made to create advantages on an enemy by wrestling or grappling with them.
Take the Blow (Physique)
You can use Physique to defend against Brawling attacks made with fists or blunt instruments, though you always take 1 shift of stress on a tie.
Tough as Nails (Physique)
Once per session, at the cost of a fate point, you can reduce the severity of a moderate consequence that’s physical in nature to a mild consequence (if your mild consequence slot is free), or erase a mild consequence altogether.
Is That Your Best? (Physique)
Once per scene when the character takes physical harm, they may spend a Fate Point to immediately inflict an equal amount of composure harm on their attacker.
Once per scene the character may use Physique instead of Provoke to make a mental attack.
Last Leg (Physique)
The character won’t go down without a fight. Whenever you suffer a Health consequence, you may spend a Fate point to delay that consequence for another exchange, or until you take another consequence, whichever comes first. You may keep spending Fate points as long as you have them: when you run out, or stop spending them on this stunt, all delayed effects come to bear at once.
This means that with a whole handful of Fate points you might carry on for three exchanges with no consequences, then suddenly keel over from Multiple Bruises, a Broken Rib, Internal Bleeding, and whatever else you have coming. If that includes more than three consequences, you’re taken out, even if the attacker has been defeated in the interim!
Feel the Burn (Physique)
The character can push through incredible pain to reach his goal. You can take one extra Moderate Health consequence, allowing you to take a total of four consequences in a physical conflict before being taken out.
Normally, someone missing a night’s sleep takes a consequence indicating his lack of rest, which can only be removed by getting the requisite amount of sleep. Not the character with this stunt.
Whenever the character needs to sleep, roll Physique and spend the shifts generated to reduce the amount of time needed for a regular night’s rest. Each shift reduces the time increment for a full night’s rest by one: one shift reduces 6-8 hours to 3-4; two down to an hour; three to half an hour; and four to a few minutes.
The character may continue sleeping past that point, but if awoken suddenly he’s had sufficient sleep and is refreshed and alert. The difficulty is Mediocre (+0), plus one for each night of sleep skipped. On a failure, the character must sleep 6-8 hours to “reset” the clock; if he succeeds on subsequent nights, and chooses to sleep, he can still sleep for the truncated amount of time.
Bounce Back (Physique)
The character heals faster than usual, reducing the severity of consequences resulting from physical injury. Reduce the amount of time to recover from a given consequence by two steps on the Time Increments Table: Mild Health consequences are removed between scenes even if there’s no “break” between them; Moderate consequences take about an day of rest instead of a week; Severe consequences reduce from a month to a week; and Extreme consequences are removed after a month, although the permanent aspect gained from an Extreme consequence will linger, likely for the rest of the character’s life.
Shake It Off (Physique) Requires Bounce Back
The character doesn’t let minor cuts and bruises get in his way. Once per exchange, as a full action, you can roll Physique against a difficulty equal to your current Heath stress damage, and clear Health stress damage equal to the shifts generated.
Death Defiance (Physique)
If a character is ever taken out away from the view of other characters and death appears imminent, certain, or absolute (such as dropping off a cliff, being swallowed by a dragon, and so on), then coincidence conspires to keep the character alive. Spend half your remaining Fate points, rounded up (minimum one), to survive against all odds.
Once you have a story, your character re-enters play in a subsequent scene in as dramatic a fashion as you see fit, with his Health stress cleared and a Moderate consequence reflecting the dangers survived.
This stunt doesn’t protect a character from dying “on camera”.
Developed Immunities (Physique) Requires one other Physique stunt
Through natural aptitude or careful exposure, the character is immune to most common poisons, and highly resistant to uncommon ones. You receive a +2 Endurance bonus when resisting poisons not previously encountered, and a +6 when resisting poisons you’ve encountered already, even in trace amounts.
This character doesn’t feel pain, and absorbs more punishment than others. You get one more Health stress box above those granted by your Physique bonus, eg with Superb (+5) Endurance you’d have seven Health stress boxes.
One Hit to the Body (Physique) Requires Thick-Skinned
The character’s toughness verges on the unreal. Once per session, pay a Fate point to either ignore the stress caused by one attack, as long as no consequences would be applied; or reduce the severity of a consequence you’ve just incurred by one step.
Made of Steel (Physique) Requires One Hit to the Body
The character ignores the first point of Physical stress taken each exchange.
Now You’ve Made Me Mad (Physique) Requires two other Physique stunts
The character can turn a wound into pure motivation. Once per scene, after taking Health stress, spend a Fate point to add a bonus to your next exchange’s action equal to the stress taken from an attack, as long as the action is against the person who inflicted the stress in the first place.
Herculean Strength (Physique)
The character is incredibly strong, capable of lifting great weights. All weight-based difficulties not involving combat are reduced by two steps.
Piledriver (Physique) Requires Herculean Strength
The character lands powerful blows with hammer-like force, ripping apart steel cages and knocking down walls. You gain a +4 damage bonus to Physique attacks against inanimate targets.
When physically restrained by chains, a mob of people, etc, you gain a +2 Physique bonus to break your bonds. Combined with Piledriver, you simply can’t be held by most mundane methods.
Unstoppable (Physique) Requires Herculean Strength and one other Physique stunt
Once in motion, the character’s very difficult to stop due to his sheer muscular force. You may use Physique instead of Athletics for move actions, including sprinting. Further, all movement obstacles, including borders which can be “smashed” through, are considered to be two lower.
Wrestler (Physique) Requires one other Physique stunt
The character is a trained wrestler. You may use Physique instead of Brawling in combat.
Hammerlock (Physique) Requires Wrestler
The character gain a +1 bonus to create advantage actions when grabbing hold of someone. If the target tries to break (overcome) the aspect and fails, you may inflict 1 Health stress.
Savage Fighter (Physique) Requires one other Physique stunt
The character makes up in strength for what he might lack in skill. When fighting with a two-handed weapon, you may use Physique instead of Melee Combat.
Cleave (Physique) Requires Herculean Strength and an appropriate occupation aspect
When fighting non-minions hand-to-hand, you may use any overflow against another target in your zone. For example, if you take out a named enemy with four shifts to spare, you may apply those four shifts against another named enemy or group of minions in your zone.
STEALTH Physical, Basic
Most activities where a character desires to hide or stay unnoticed are governed by the Stealth skill. Using the Stealth skill needs at least some sort of cover. Generally, when Stealth is tested, it is rolled against another character’s Notice skill, or the highest Notice skill of someone in a group. It pairs well with the Larceny skill.
Overcome: You can use Stealth to get past any situation that primarily depends on you not being seen. Sneaking past sentries and security, hiding from a pursuer, avoiding leaving evidence as you pass through a place, and any other such uses all fall under the purview of Stealth.
Create an Advantage: You’ll mainly use Stealth to create aspects on yourself, setting yourself in an ideal position for an attack or ambush in a conflict. That way, you can be Well-Hidden when the guards pass by and take advantage of that, or Hard to Pin Down if you’re fighting in the dark.
Defend: You can use this to foil Notice attempts to pinpoint you or seek you out, as well as to try to throw off the scent of an Investigate attempt from someone trying to track you.
Face in the Crowd (Stealth)
+2 to any Stealth roll to blend into a crowd What a “crowd” means will depend on the environment—a marketplace requires more people to be crowded than a small tavern.
Slippery Target (Stealth)
Provided you’re in darkness or shadow, you can use Stealth to defend against Missile Combat attacks from enemies that are at least one zone away.
The Hidden Blade (Stealth)
Use Stealth instead of Melee Combat on your first attack in a conflict if the opponent thinks you are unarmed, or is surprised by them.
In Plain Sight (Stealth)
The character can conceal himself even in broad daylight out in the open, given the slightest opportunity. Ignore all environment-based difficulty increases when using Stealth. Once hidden, people actively searching for him don’t get the +2 bonus to Notice or Investigate. The ability only functions as long as you don’t move or do anything but hide. The moment you do something else, you break cover and are immediately visible.
Master of Shadows (Stealth) Requires In Plain Sight
Your character is one with the shadows. You gain the benefit of In Plain Sight, and may also move one zone per exchange without automatically breaking cover, remaining hidden when moving, even when you shouldn’t be able to hide at all. In an environment that could give a Stealth bonus, like one with a “Dark” or “Smokey” aspect, or even one that simply justifies using Stealth to hide, you may pay a Fate point to make a full sprint action without automatically breaking cover.
Discovery penalties while moving are halved. Outside of conflict, this leaves observers at +1 for a cautious creep, +2 for walking,+3 for jogging (short sprint) and +4 for an out-and-out sprint. During conflict, observers only get a +1 to detect the character for every zone moved in an exchange. Combined with Like the Wind (below), these discovery bonuses are eliminated entirely.
Shadow Strike (Stealth) Requires Master of Shadows and Vanish
The character strikes from the darkness, leaving his foes bewildered. When hidden, you can attack while remaining hidden, and use Stealth to defend against physical attacks for that exchange.
Deadly Shadows (Stealth) Requires Shadow Strike
The character uses his concealment offensively as well as defensively. When hidden, you may attack as well as defend with Stealth, rather than Melee Combat, Missile Combat or Brawling.
Quick Exit (Stealth)
A momentary distraction is all the character needs to vanish from sight. Provided you’re not in a conflict, you may roll a quick contest between your Stealth and the highest Notice in the area. If you succeed, the next time someone turns to look at you, you’re not there.
Vanish (Stealth) Requires Quick Exit
Like Quick Exit (above), but the character may vanish as a full action even if he’s in a conflict. This requires some dramatic flourish (smoke bombs or bright flashes are classics), or tagging an appropriate environmental aspect (like “The Darkness of the New Moon”) for effect. This places the Vanished boost on you. While you’re vanished, no one can attack or create an advantage on you until after they’ve succeeded at an overcome roll with Notice to suss out where you went (basically meaning they have to give up an exchange to try). This aspect goes away as soon as you invoke it, or someone makes that overcome roll.
Your character’s stealth extends to nearby allies. As long as they stay with you and follow your hushed orders, you may make a single Stealth roll for your whole group using your skill alone. Anyone breaking from the group immediately loses this benefit, and may reveal the rest of you without a little stealth of their own.
You can’t apply the benefits of any other stunts to this roll, though you may invoke or tag your aspects as normal. The maximum number of additional people in the group is equal to your Stealth.
The character is difficult to track or trap, gaining a +2 bonus to circumvent traps or tripwires depending on pressure or other weight-based triggers. Any attempts (such as with Investigate or Survival) to trace your steps face a -2 penalty.
Like the Wind (Stealth) Requires Lightfoot
The character is almost impossible to detect when skulking. All discovery bonuses are halved, meaning that out of conflict, observers only get +1 for a slow creep, +2 for walking pace, +3 for jogging, and +4 for a sprint; in a conflict, observers only get +1 per zone moved. Combined with Master of Shadows, above, no movement you make, even a sprint, ever grants a bonus to efforts to notice you.
CONTACTS Social, Advanced
Contacts represents your friends, acquaintances, and partnerships. It is also the ability to network and locate people. Using Contacts is the ability to find things out from people. A character may know a guy who knows a guy, or maybe he just knows the right questions to ask. Characters with high Contacts range from guildmasters and courtiers to pirates and spies.
Characters with high Contacts know a wide variety of people and have at least a slight connection with virtually any organization (within reason).
Overcome: You use Contacts to overcome any obstacle related to finding someone you need to find. Whether that’s old-fashioned “man on the street” type of work, polling your information network, or searching archives and historical ancestries, you’re able to hunt down people or somehow get access to them.
Create an Advantage: Contacts allows you to know who the perfect person to talk to is for anything you might need, or to decide that you know the perfect person already. It’s likely that you’ll create story details with this skill, represented by aspects. (“Hey, guys, my contacts tell me that Jeramy Manykeys is the Best Locksmith For A Thousand Leagues—we should talk to him.”)
You can also create an advantage that represents what the word on the street is about a particular individual, object, or location, based on what your contacts tell you. These aspects almost always deal with reputation more than fact, such as Known as a Mean Guy or Notorious Swindler. Whether that person lives up to their reputation is anybody’s guess, though that doesn’t invalidate the aspect—people often have misleading reputations that complicate their lives.
Contacts could also be used to create aspects that represent using your information network to plant or acquire information.
Defend: Contacts can be used to defend against people creating social advantages against you, provided your information network can be brought to bear in the situation. You might also use it to keep someone from using Deceive or Contacts to go “off the grid”, or to interfere with Investigate attempts to find you.
Ear to the Ground (Contacts)
Whenever someone initiates a conflict against you in an area where you’ve built a network of contacts, you use Contacts instead of Notice to determine turn order, because you got tipped off in time.
+2 to create an advantage when you plant vicious rumors about someone else.
The Weight of Reputation (Contacts) Requires appropriate background aspect
You can use Contacts instead of Provoke to create advantages based on the fear generated by the sinister reputation you’ve cultivated for yourself and all the shady associates you have.
Destroy Reputation (Contacts)
Spend a Fate Point to use Contacts instead of Provoke to attack social status/emotional health.
The character knows someone important. Define a specific contact, with a name, brief personality note, and relationship to your character. The contact is a companion, able to accompany you on your adventures, with the Independent advance and three additional advances. For maximum effect, allocate one of your aspects to this contact. You can take the stunt multiple times, defining a different contact each time.
Close Contacts (Contacts) Requires at least one Contact
The character’s contacts are more valuable than most; you may distribute three additional advances among your existing contacts. You can take this stunt multiple times, but can’t apply more than six additional advances (nine advances total) to any one contact.
Network of Contacts (Contacts)
The character can choose from a large number of contacts, and can define a contact in the middle of an adventure rather than beforehand. When introducing the contact, all you need is a name and a few brief cues for the Story Teller to base a personality on. The contact starts out at Average (+1) quality with the Summonable and Variable Summons advances, and up to two additional advances.
Each time you take the stunt you receive another two advances to reveal an additional contact per session, or create a more capable contact on the fly.
You can only do one “reveal” of this kind per scene: once revealed, the contact will be involved and reasonably available at least until the end of the adventure. No contact created with this stunt can have more than six advances in total, but there’s no limit to the number of contacts you can create.
Optionally, you can make the contact available to you for only one scene before she’s “written out” of the story, starting the contact with three advances instead of two. Once the scene ends, the contact is removed from the adventure, one way or another; you can’t create a new contact until the next adventure.
I Know a Guy Who Knows a Guy (Contacts)
Sometimes it’s not who you know, but who those people know – and your contacts are well-connected. All Contacts rolls take one step less time, and you receive +2 to any “second rolls” to corroborate information from a second source. Consequently, this bonus is useful on a follow-up, not the initial roll.
The character can navigate bureaucracies and organizations easily, not because he understands them, but because he knows people inside who can provide shortcuts. Normally, Leadership is used to deal with bureaucratic entanglements; with this stunt, you may roll Contacts instead.
Walk the Walk (Contacts)
The character’s familiarity with foreign lands and peoples allows him to function as easily abroad as he does at home. You ignore any additional difficulty from unfamiliar circumstances when using Contacts.
Famed (Contacts) Requires a matching aspect
The character is not just well-connected in his community, but a person of great importance. Choose a specific field (Criminal, Business, Politics, Espionage, or a foreign culture are the most common) for the stunt, ie Big Man in Court, Notorious Criminal, Famous Noble.
The character may also use Contacts instead of Resources for things relating to members of his field. You can take the stunt multiple times, each time for a different field.
Talk the Talk (Contacts) Requires Famed
When dealing with members of his field, the character puts out the right signals and says the right things. You can either take a +2 Rapport bonus or use Contacts instead of Rapport.
Renowned (Contacts) Requires Famed
The character’s reputation makes him well-known even outside his field. The first time you deal with someone who’s heard of you (spending a Fate point can ensure they have) and you’re using your name, you get a +2 bonus to Rapport and Provoke rolls.
Epic Repute (Contacts) Requires Renowned
The character’s reputation has reached great proportions, and people believe all sorts of things about him. For a Fate point, you may use Contacts instead of Rapport, Provoke, Deceit, Leadership, or Resolve, providing you’re dealing with someone who’s aware of your reputation (a second Fate point nearly always ensures they are). The stunt combines with Renowned to provide a +2 bonus when using Contacts instead of Rapport or Provoke.
DECEIVE Social, Basic
Deceive is the ability to lie through word and deed. Characters with high Deceive include thieves, spies and successful merchants. Sometimes, Deceive lies behind rather than at the forefront of an action – for example, trying to win an academic debate using both factual and fabricated evidence – and so may modify, restrict or complement other skills.
Overcome: Use Deceive to bluff your way past someone, or to get someone to believe a lie, or to get something out of someone because they believe in one of your lies. For nameless NPCs, this is just an overcome roll, but for PCs or named NPCs, it requires a contest, and the target opposes with Empathy. Winning this contest could justify placing a situation aspect on your target, if buying into your lie could help you in a future scene.
Deceive is the skill you use for determining if a disguise works, whether on yourself or others. You’ll need to have the time and supplies to create the desired effect.
You can also use Deceive to aid in Larceny checks involving sleight-of-hand and misdirection.
Create an Advantage: Use Deceive to create momentary distractions, cover stories, or false impressions. You could feint in a swordfight, putting an opponent Off-Balance and setting you up for an attack. You could do the whole, “What’s that over there!” trick to give you a Head Start when you run away. You could establish a Wealthy Noble Cover Story for when you attend a royal ball. You could trick someone into revealing one of their aspects or other information.
Attack: Deceive is an indirect skill that creates a lot of opportunities you can capitalize on, but it doesn’t do direct harm to an individual.
Defend: You can use Deceive to throw off Investigate attempts with false information and to defend against efforts made to dis- cern your true motives with the Empathy skill.
Lies upon Lies (Deceive)
+2 to create a Deceive advantage against some one who has believed one of your lies already during this session.
Mind Games (Deceive)
You can use Deceive in place of Provoke to make mental attacks, as long as you can make up a clever lie as part of the attack.
One Person, Many Faces (Deceive)
Whenever you mee tsomeone new, you can spend a fate point to declare that you’ve met that person before, but under a different name and identity. Create a situation aspect to represent your cover story, and you can use Deceive in place of Rapport whenever interacting with that person.
The character can read a target like a book. Use Deceive instead of Empathy to get a “read” on someone, but aspects revealed are always limited to the target’s weaknesses or faults, never his strengths or other advantages (unless you control which aspect is revealed). Some aspects completely miss you; a Good Hearted Person might just fly right over your head.
Lucky Dice (Deceive) Requires Charlatan
The character is adept at cheating, and can use Deceive instead of Profession. Doing so means you’re cheating: a failed roll means you’re caught, and the game’s loss is treated as a high stakes game, even if it wasn’t originally.
Pretender (Deceive) Requires Charlatan
The character is adept at assuming traits and mannerisms of society’s higher strata, and may use Deceive instead of Leadership when dealing with bureaucracies.
Sucker (Deceive) Requires Charlatan
The character has a mark completely suckered – and if not, the mark’s rich enough not to care. Design a companion with two advances; he’s automatically Fair (+2) quality and skilled with Resources. He buys things for you, along with whatever else he does. The downside is he’s a sucker – you hooked him, but he’s a Poor (-1) difficulty target for anyone looking to sucker him too. You may even be fond of the guy: you certainly won’t hang him out to dry, and not just because he pays for everything, despite the fact the relationship’s not entirely honest.
Big Sucker (Deceive) Requires Sucker
The character hit it big – this guy’s loaded! Your companion’s Resources skill is two steps higher than his quality: if you’ve advanced him to a maximum quality of Great (+4), he has Fantastic (+6) Resources! You can also spend one additional advance on him: he’s not just about the money, you know.
Clever Disguise (Deceive)
Normally, a disguised character can’t withstand intense scrutiny. With this stunt, you can defend against Investigate – anything short of physically removing the disguise – using your full Deceive skill. You can also assemble disguises in a matter of minutes, providing you have a well-equipped disguise kit.
Mimicry (Deceive) Requires Clever Disguise
The character can imitate the mannerisms and voice of anyone he’s studied. Usually Deceive can convince people you’re someone else, but only generally: you can seem to be a city guard or sorcerer, but not a specific person without a lot of work and increased difficulty. With this stunt, you can, removing a potential reason to have a disguise examined, perhaps convincing someone who can’t see you you’re someone else, even though you’re undisguised.
Studying someone usually takes half an hour of constant exposure, but not a dice roll. You can reduce the time by making an Empathy, Investigate, or Deceive roll (as appropriate) against a Mediocre (+0) difficulty, plus one for each step faster on the Time Increments Table.
Master of Disguise (Deceive) Requires Clever Disguise and Mimicry
With a little time and preparation, the character can pass himself off as nearly anyone. To use this ability, the player spends a Fate point and temporarily stops playing: the character’s presumed to have donned a disguise and gone “off camera”.
At any subsequent point during play the player may choose any nameless background extra in a scene (a villain’s minion, a random deckhand, the city guardsman who just stopped the party at the gate) and reveal that that extra is actually the missing player character in disguise!
The character may remain in this state for as long as the player chooses, but if anyone is tipped off that he might be nearby, that person may spend a Fate point and roll Investigate against the disguised character’s Deceive. If the investigator wins, his player (which may be the Story Teller) gets to decide which filler character is actually the disguised player character (“Wait a minute – you’re the Black Knight!”).
Infiltrator (Deceive) Requires Master of Disguise
While disguised (see Master of Disguise), the character may make a single Investigate roll against a Mediocre (+0) difficulty, and use the shifts generated to either: gain a useful (but general) piece of information about the area or group being infiltrated; or leave a clue, hint or message for the rest of the player characters without revealing himself.
Disguise of the Mind (Deceive) Requires Master of Disguise and a Deceive skill of Great or better
The character’s disguises are so complete that he gains insight into the assumed persona and unlocks hidden skills and knowledge he doesn’t normally possess. While disguised, roll Deceive at a -2 penalty (so Fair if Great, or Good if Superb) instead of any other skill (but not a magical skill) the disguised persona might reasonably have. If you’re imitating someone specific, this might give you a higher skill than they actually have – which is fine. You’re not a mind-reader, but just so good at pretending that you can temporarily unlock a skill you believe your persona could have.
Whenever you use this stunt, either pay a Fate point or roll Resolve against a difficulty equal to the “false” skill. On a failure, you become lost in the persona for a time, and are subject to one free compel before you break out of it. The aspect compelled might not be one of your own, but one possessed by the persona you’re mimicking!
The Honest Lie (Deceive)
The best lies are the ones that contain a healthy dose of truth. Whenever the character incorporates the truth into a lie, he gains a +2 Deceive bonus. The truth must be relevant and significant, and on par with (or bigger than) the lie itself.
Takes One to Know One (Deceive)
The character is an accomplished liar and especially sensitive to lies told by others: use Deceive instead of Empathy when trying to ascertain if someone’s lying. This isn’t the same as getting “a read” on someone; instead, it’s a quick check: is this guy lying? Is it a big lie or a small one? Is he mixing in the truth or is it all fabrication?
Clever Facade (Deceive) Requires either the Honest Lie or Takes One to Know One
Whenever the character puts a false face forward in response to being targeted by an Empathy “read”, and wins the contest, as well as providing a false aspect to the reader, he gets a read on the reader himself, revealing an aspect. The reader has fallen for your trap!
EMPATHY Social, Basic
This is the ability to understand what other people are thinking and feeling. It’s useful when a character is trying to spot a liar, or wants to tell someone what that person wants to hear. You can use Empathy to defend against Deceive, and to determine initiative in social conflicts. Characters with high Empathy include gamblers, swindlers and socialites.
Empathy Tests can be made to guess when someone is trying to conceal something, whether the truth or an emotion. A Test can also be made to attempt to get some insight into someone’s motivation or personality, to reveal something beyond the obvious and the visual.
Special: Empathy is the main skill you use to help others recover from consequences that are mental in nature.
Overcome: You don’t really use Empathy to overcome obstacles directly—normally, you find out some information with it, and then use another skill to act. In some cases, though, you might use Empathy like you would Notice, to see if you catch a change in someone’s attitude or intent.
Create an Advantage: You can use Empathy to read a person’s emotional state and get a general sense of who they are, presuming you have some kind of interpersonal contact with them. Most often, you’ll use this to assess the aspects on another character’s sheet, but sometimes you’ll also be able to create new aspects, especially on NPCs. If the target has some reason to be aware that you’re trying to read them, they can defend with Deceive or Rapport.
You can also use Empathy to discover what circumstances will allow you to make mental attacks on someone, figuring out their breaking points.
Defend: This is the skill to go to in order to defend against Deceive actions, allowing you to pierce through lies and see through to someone’s true intent. You can also use it to defend against those creating social advantages against you in general.
Eye of Truth (Empathy)
+2 to all Empathy rolls made to discern or discover lies, whether they’re directed at you or someone else.
Nose for Trouble (Empathy)
You can use Empathy instead of Notice to determine your turn order in a conflict, provided you’ve gotten a chance to observe or speak to those involved for at least a few minutes beforehand during this scene.
Once per session Empathy can be used to reduce another character’s Composure consequence by one level of severity (severe into moderate, moderate to minor, minor to nothing at all). Requires success against a difficulty of Fair (+2) for a minor consequence, Good (+3) for moderate, or Great (+4) for severe. This requires at least half an hour of conversation and can’t be used by the character to reduce the severity of their own consequences. (Normally, this roll would only start the recovery process, instead of changing the consequence level.)
Good Listener (Empathy)
You are a natural practitioner of the ‘talking cure’ that can be used to help others recover from social or mental consequences. +2 to the Empathy roll.
Ebb and Flow (Empathy)
The character is so aware of social currents in a situation that he can glimpse what’s coming before it arrives. At the beginning of any social exchange, before the usual initiative order, spend a Fate point to attempt a quick read as a free action, looking for surface moods and other social cues, on one target of your choice. You may then act on your turn as usual.
Pre-emptive Grace (Empathy) Requires Ebb and Flow
The character is so tuned into social situations that he may act quickly and decisively to shape the situation to his liking. With this stunt, your Empathy is considered two higher for initiative purposes. If you’re tied for initiative with someone without this stunt, this stunt breaks the tie.
Track the Soul (Empathy)
The character’s deep understanding of people he’s met gives him an easy sense of how to find them. Whenever you’re tracking down or trying to find someone you’ve met before, you may roll Empathy instead of Contacts, Investigate, or Survival, provided the circumstances are appropriate. For example, in a city or location you both know well, you can make reasonable guesses about the target’s behaviour – but if you’re both stranded on a strange island, simply knowing your target well isn’t enough to track him down the way you could with Survival.
The Sceptic’s Ear (Empathy) Requires one other Empathy stunt
The world is full of lies and liars, and your character is always on the lookout for them. He always knows when someone is using the Deceive skill on him, and may make a full defense (+2 bonus) with his Empathy, if appropriate.
Normally, deception isn’t easy to spot, so justifying a full defense is difficult. Determining someone’s trying to deceive you isn’t the same as revealing the truth, however, no matter how well you do.
Cold Read (Empathy)
Normally, using Empathy to get a read on someone requires at least a few minutes of conversation. Characters with this stunt do so two steps faster on the Time Increments Table.
Heart’s Secret (Empathy)
The character has an instinct for getting to a person’s heart and finding out what matters most to them. On a successful Empathy read, the Story Teller must reveal one of the most important of the target’s aspects, unless you explicitly request otherwise. Normally, the Story Teller has freer rein in her selection.
This still doesn’t let you trip over anything that’s truly still a secret to you – it isn’t an instant mystery-solving stunt, after all.
Hit Them Where It Hurts (Empathy)
Your character’s skill at reading people makes her adept at getting people angry, depressed, or similarly upset. Normally, you’d use Provoke for this; with this stunt, if you’ve succeeded at an Empathy roll against the target previously, you can use Empathy instead. This is especially lethal when combined with a successful read on someone that reveals an aspect.
A Peek Inside (Empathy) Requires two other Empathy stunts
The character understands others so deeply he can make fairly accurate guesses about their behaviour. Normally, trying to learn something specific about another person is very imprecise – you learned something, but is it what you were looking for? At best you reveal an aspect.
However, with this stunt, after a successful read, you may immediately ask the Story Teller a hypothetical question about the target’s motives, which the Story Teller must be able to answer with yes, no, or maybe. The question must relate to the kind of person the target is, not things they’ve done, though it may ask if they’re capable of doing certain things. If the Story Teller answers maybe, you can ask a second question for clarification; this second question may seek details, rather than another one-word answer.
Uncanny Hunch (Investigate) Requires at least one other Empathy stunt and one Investigate stunt
Sometimes your hunches play out to great advantage. Once per scene, you may guess what the “deal” is with a character, object, location or situation. Don’t say it out loud, but note it down and pass it to the Story Teller, who must accept it as a valid hunch that would be something of a revelation if true (ie nothing too obvious, like “I’m convinced that the ocean is made of water!”). If the hunch later proves correct, you may use Investigate or Empathy instead of any other skill concerning its target for one exchange. (A savvy Story Teller occasionally alters her characters’ motives to match your hunches, which is absolutely perfect!)
LANGUAGES Social, Advanced
Exotic scrolls written in forgotten tongues are a fantasy staple. A character may speak one language (not counting his native language) for each point of Languages above Mediocre (+0). The player needn’t define these languages beforehand, but may choose them in the course of play, as convenient.
Most folks in the Shimmering Kingdoms are illiterate. The Languages skill is also needed if you wish to know how to read, as well as fluency in other tongues. Here’s how it works. Each level of the Languages skill grants either knowledge of a foreign language or knowledge of an alphabet, and literacy in that alphabet.
Overcome: You can use Languages to overcome any obstacle that requires applying the knowledge of languages and linguistics. For example, you might roll Languages to decipher some ancient language on a tomb wall, under the presumption that your character might have researched it at some point using Lore. Likewise, wordy technical jargon might need some figuring out to understand. This skill is also used to translate foreign or archaic (or archaically worded) manuscripts.
Create an Advantage: In combination with other social skills, Languages can be used to twist other’s words, or make a document wordy and hard to comprehend, adding aspects like Poorly Worded, or Overly Complicated when creating a document (using Crafts to physically write the thing, or Professions to make it specific to a certain audience). Once can also make assessments regarding a written work, discovering its author’s intent, mood, or influence, much like using Empathy.
Linguist (Languages) Requires at least three ranks in Languages
Normally, someone may only speak a number of additional languages equal to their Languages skill level. With this stunt, the character may speak five additional languages. This stunt may be taken multiple times.
Gift of Tongues (Languages) Requires Linguist
There’s no “mainstream” language you can’t read or speak, and there’s no need to pick languages as you normally would. You may use your usual language “slots” to read and speak languages you have no business having learned, such as languages from long-dead races or ancient civilizations.
Your slots remain increased by the Linguist stunt, so someone with Average (+1) Languages and these two stunts can speak every normal language in her civilization plus six (1+5) very unusual ones.
LEADERSHIP Social, Advanced
The kingdoms need great leaders to keep them free from the evils that plague the world, people that can inspire others to unite against the common foe, and return the land to prosperity and freedom. Leadership is the ability to organize, inspire and direct groups of people and whole kingdoms to act together. Characters with high Leadership include military officers, politicians and diplomats.
The Leadership skill also measures a character’s experience and understanding of battles, whether large or small.
Large battles are resolved by contests involving the Leadership skills of the two commanders, modified by the forces under their command and perhaps the actions of the player characters. Most all other skills normally used by individuals may be used by an army’s General. The individual skills may enhance the Leadership rolls, or vise versa, depending on the situation. The Story Teller makes the final call.
A good leader understands organizations and their rules, including laws, bribery and other ways of dealing with red tape. Leadership is an all-purpose knowledge skill for knowing how to act in a given organization, including important things like how much to bribe.
It is also used in large scale battles. A General may use the overcome action to maneuver his troops past ambushes and barriers.
Create an Advantage: A successful Leadership Test, as a maneuver, against a difficulty of 2, creates motivation, courage and belief in the target audience. Place a temporary Aspect on a scene or individual related to this with the first use available for free.
A Test can be made to place an Aspect on an opponent army or an environment during a battle, or to assess the nature of a battle unit, and to discover any aspects that they may possess or that have been placed on them (i.e. their orders).
Attack: Leadership is used to determine the results of large scale battles. It modifies the Army Skill Level. Each General (or army/unit leader) is responsible for rolling attacks for his army/unit.
Defend: Leadership is also used for Defense in large scale battles. It modifies the Army Skill Level, as in Attack. Each General (or army/unit leader) is responsible for rolling the defense for his army/unit.
Squadron or Unit Leader (Leadership)
When commanding a squadron of sailing ships or unit of troops, the character gains a +1 bonus to Leadership rolls.
Fleet or Battlefield Commander (Leadership) Requires Squadron or Unit Leader (as appropriate)
When commanding a fleet or army, the character gains a +1 bonus to Leadership rolls.
Admiral or General (Leadership) Requires Fleet or Battlefield Commander (as appropriate)
When commanding multiple fleets or armies, the character gains a +1 bonus to Leadership rolls. The character must be in a leadership position controlling several armed forces.
Legendary Commander (Leadership) Requires Admiral or General
The character has an incredible reputation and a series of titles and honours (or a row of heads on pikes) to prove it. Pay a Fate point to add +3 to a Leadership roll in any naval or army combat situation. The character must be in a leadership position within an armed force.
Quick Decisions under Fire (Leadership)
The character’s cool head and quick thinking gets him into the action fast, giving a +2 initiative bonus when outnumbered.
Battlefield Veteran (Leadership)
The character has seen his share of combat and can quickly assess a conflict’s tactical advantages. Once per scene, spend a Fate point to roll Leadership against a difficulty derived from the table below. Shifts generated become a pool of bonus points you can distribute to your allies for combat-related rolls during the scene. For example, a Leadership roll of +5 against a Fair (+2) difficulty provides a +3 bonus to an ally’s combat-related skill roll, +1 to three such rolls, or a +2 and a +1 to two. Allies must be able to see or hear you to receive these bonuses.
The Leadership roll’s difficulty depends on how formidable the opposition is.
|Difficulty||Strength of Opposition|
|Mediocre (+0)||The opposition seems insurmountable.|
|Fair (+2)||The opposition outnumbers the PCs or is obviously superior.|
|Great (+4)||The player characters and opposition seem evenly matched.|
|Fantastic (+6)||The player characters outnumber the opposition by 2:1 or more or are obviously superior.|
The tougher the opposition, the easier the Leadership roll: that’s because battling the vanguard of the Suvethian Empire is much more heroic and dramatic than dog-piling a handful of peasants. Shimmering Kingdoms combat is about drama, excitement and heroism, not playing it safe: the tougher the odds, the cooler the character looks when he snatches victory from the jaws of defeat.
Warlord (Leadership) Requires Battlefield Veteran and an appropriate stunt (such as Great Blow, Tactical Advantage, etc)
The character can distribute shifts received on a Leadership roll to his followers, to use as if they were shifts generated by the Great Blow or Tactical Advantage Melee Weapon stunts in the same action.
Mythic Leader (Leadership) Requires Warlord and Group Combo stunt
A character can perform a maneuver to create an impromptu “combo” from his followers on the next exchange, regardless of whether they have the Group Combo stunt. Each shift allows you to add one more follower to the combo. This stunt is extremely effective for leading a group of warriors and welding their weapons skills together into a single mighty attack.
Personal Conspiracy (Leadership)
The character is a member of a major conspiracy, and may have an associated aspect, too. You can call upon one of the conspiracy’s functionaries or thralls, creating a companion on the fly. The companion is either: a minor functionary with the Summonable and Variable Summons advances, plus one other advance; or an officer with Summonable, Variable Summons, Independent and two other advances, although if you bother an officer with requests, he may request you to assist with his own objectives.
The Independent advance operates differently for this stunt: the Story Teller selects the companion’s two aspects: one is usually the player character’s aspect relating to the conspiracy; the other is whatever the Story Teller thinks appropriate, or will lead to mischief! For the rest of the scene, both character and companion receive the aspects, and the player may not refuse compels for either of them without offending the conspiracy, possibly leading to banishment, punishment, being marked for death, or worse.
You have a single, exceptional companion , well-equipped to handle leadership duties in your stead. He’s Fair (+2) quality, with the Independent and Skilled advances and one other advance. You can take this stunt multiple times to build a more capable companion, providing three additional advances to the Lieutenant each additional time.
You have lots of minions. In a scene you have the bare minimum on hand – up to three Average (+1) minions. Each has the Strength in Numbers advance and three additional advances. You can take the stunt multiple times, each additional time providing another three advances. You must spend all advances at the start of the scene when you first bring in your minions, but you needn’t bring them all in right away.
Reinforcements (Leadership) Requires Minions
During a fight, you may spend a Fate point to call in reinforcements to replace up to half your lost minions. Reinforcements appear at the start of the next exchange.
The character is well-acquainted with royal precedents, popular traditions, and tribal laws anywhere he’s spent a significant amount of time, and is skilled at manipulating people’s perceptions of it to his advantage, making stirring speeches before clan moots and royal courts. You gain a +2 bonus when using Leadership under such circumstances, and can penetrate the labyrinth of courtly or tribal precedence one step faster on the Time Increments Table.
Law Lord (Leadership) Requires Lawspeaker
Your extensive exposure to royal custom and tribal law means you can exercise authority in any tribal moot or royal court anywhere. You never suffer increased difficulties from lack of familiarity with a locale’s laws and traditions; your experience is so broad you either know it already, or can make accurate guesses about its functions.
Funding (Leadership) Requires appropriate aspect
You head a profitable organization. Pay a Fate point for it to temporarily increase a Resources skill up to the value of your Leadership, regardless of whether you’re present. Personally using these resources may take some time to filter through the power structure, and the Story Teller may increase the time it takes to acquire something by one step.
Born Leader (Leadership)
You’re a natural leader of people, and receive a +1 bonus to an organization skill check in an organization of any size. The stunt provides no benefit unless the character is in a leadership role in an organization.
Hero (Leadership) Requires Born Leader
In battle you lead your troops from the front whether on the ground or at sea, gaining a +1 bonus to your organization’s relevant Arms or Security skill checks. The stunt provides no benefit unless the character is in a military or security leadership role in an organization.
Master Diplomat (Leadership) Requires Born Leader
You know the court, tribe, or government inside out, gaining a +1 bonus to any organization Diplomacy skill checks. The stunt provides no benefit unless the character is in a leadership role in an organization.
Emperor, King, or Tyrant (Leadership) Requires Hero or Master Diplomat
The character excels at leading the people, controlling or lying to them. His presence or even attention engenders considerable pride or fear among staff, soldiers, diplomats or services. Gain a +1 bonus to organization skill checks, or pay a Fate point to gain an additional +3 if you’re present at the heart of the action, exposing you to all the considerable associated risks. The stunt provides no benefit unless you’re in a leadership role in an organization.
Instant Functionary (Leadership)
The character sees the shape of an organization from the underside, and in organizations of sufficient size can convince anyone he’s just a cog in the machine. You may use Leadership instead of Deceive whenever faking the role of a minor functionary in an organization.
Centre of the Web (Leadership)
The character is like a spider at the centre of a web in any organization he belongs to. Information flows his way naturally, taking one time increment less to reach his attentive ears than usual, and as long as he’s able to contact the outside world, he can quickly find out about the organization’s dealings. With Story Teller approval, spend your Leadership shifts to improve the speed of information by up to two steps: figure a base time period of fifteen minutes for information to spread in a scale 1 organization, plus 1 step per point of scale above that.
Power behind the Throne (Leadership) Requires Centre of the Web
First, this stunt increases the power of the Centre of the Web stunt, causing information to flow your way two time increments faster; second, it removes the requirement for contact with the outside world. Your ties in the organization are so widespread that the outside world stays in contact with you. For a Fate point, your organization can even make some fairly unreasonable efforts to stay in contact.
Respected Leader (Leadership) Requires an associated aspect
The character is famed for being just and heroic, and is respected by those under him. When this reputation would benefit you, you may use Leadership instead of Rapport in social situations.
Quake Before Me (Leadership) Requires an associated aspect
The character is reviled and feared, and stories of his merciless cruelty precede him wherever he goes. When this reputation would benefit you, you may use Leadership instead of Provoke to cause fear.
Recognized Leader (Leadership) Requires one other Leadership stunt
The character is a recognized leader – a ranking guild member, military officer, politician, etc. Even if his skill level is low, he’s still considered a fine leader, just not necessarily the best, and receives a +1 reputation bonus when using Leadership in a single chosen milieu, such as combat, politics or business. He may also pick a specialty (such as a specific military unit, city, or guild) for which he receives an additional +1 bonus.
PROVOKE Social, Basic
Provoke is the skill about getting someone’s dander up and eliciting negative emotional response from them—fear, anger, shame, etc. It’s the “being a jerk” skill.
To use Provoke, you need some kind of justification. That could come entirely from situation, or because you have an aspect that’s appropriate, or because you’ve created an advantage with another skill (like Rapport or Deceive), or because you’ve assessed your target’s aspects (see Empathy).
There are more graceful social skills for convincing people to do what a character wants, but they lack the pure efficiency of communicating that failure to comply may result in physical harm – nothing personal.
Provoke is a blatant social attack, defended against with Resolve. It’s the skill for interrogation (as opposed to interviewing (Rapport)), as well as scaring the bejeezus out of someone. Even without a basis for fear, it can provoke strong negative emotional responses (provoking people to fight or anger): it’s never pretty. Characters with high Provoke include pirates, villains, haughty nobles, and especially frightening monsters.
This skill requires that your target can feel emotions—constructs and zombies typically can’t be provoked.
Overcome: You can Provoke someone into doing what you want in a fit of emotional pique. You might intimidate them for information, piss them off so badly that they act out, or scare them into running away. This will often happen when you’re going up against nameless NPCs or it isn’t worthwhile to play out the particulars. Against PCs or important NPCs, you’ll need to win a contest. They oppose with Resolve.
Create an Advantage: You can create advantages representing momentary emotional states, like Enraged, Shocked, or Hesitant. Your target opposes with Resolve.
Attack: You can make mental attacks with Provoke, to do emotional harm to an opponent. Your relationship with the target and the circumstances you’re in figure a great deal into whether or not you can use this action.
Defend: Being good at provoking others doesn’t make you better at avoiding it yourself. You need Resolve for that.
Armor of Fear (Provoke)
You can use Provoke to defend against Brawling attacks, but only until the first time you’re dealt stress in a conflict. You can make your opponents hesitate to attack, but when someone shows them that you’re only human your advantage disappears.
Provoke Violence (Provoke)
When you create an advantage on an opponent using Provoke, you can use your free invocation to become the target of that character’s next relevant action, drawing their attention away from another target.
Okay, Fine! (Provoke)
You can use Provoke in place of Empathy to learn a target’s aspects, by bullying them until they reveal one to you. The target defends against this with Resolve. (If the GM thinks the aspect is particularly vulnerable to your hostile approach, you get a +2 bonus.)
+2 to Intimidate attacks made to cause mental stress, provided the implements of torture are at hand and can be used against the target.
Enough Talk! (Provoke)
Use Intimidate instead of Melee Combat in the first round of a conflict to make a physical attack.
Provoke lets you scare people, but sometimes fear isn’t an option. That doesn’t mean you can’t get up someone’s nose, though, if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of the control that fear gets you.
With this stunt, you receive a +2 bonus when trying to infuriate someone. If this results in an attack or other action against you by the target, you can complement the skill you use on the first exchange with Provoke – after all, you made it happen, so you were ready for it.
Subtle Menace (Provoke)
The character exudes menace far in excess of his capability to act. Even bound and behind prison bars, the character is so ripe with the awful things he could do that he’s still scary. You may use Provoke no matter what the power imbalance in the situation is, and reduce a target’s superior position bonus by -2 (to a minimum of +0).
Serpent’s Tongue (Provoke) Requires Subtle Menace
It’s hard not to talk to this character – not because he’s approachable, but because it seems such a bad idea not to. Fear makes people uncomfortable, and they occasionally let things slip they otherwise wouldn’t.
With this stunt, the character may use Provoke instead of Empathy or Rapport when getting information out of someone in a “softer” fashion. On a success, the target is rattled, not in the pleasant state Empathy or Rapport might leave him in. If used to get a “read”, aspects revealed are limited to those which might be expressed in the language of fear.
It’s difficult to manipulate someone when you’re constantly reminded of how scary they are. With this stunt a character may use Provoke instead of Resolve to defend against Rapport, Deceive and Empathy.
It’s clear to even to other intimidating folks that the character is someone you just don’t want to cross. With this stunt, you can resist Intimidation attempts with your own Provoke instead of Resolve.
Aura of Menace (Provoke) Requires Scary
Characters with an Aura of Menace terrorise all who oppose them. Their victims are often powerless to describe what’s so unsettling about them, but regardless are rooted to the spot and believe every threat they make.
Once per scene per target, you may spend a Fate point to Provoke a target as a free action, no matter what the circumstances, immediately (if between actions), or immediately after the current action underway.
Aura of Fear (Provoke) Requires Aura of Menace
The character can Provoke entire crowds. Once per scene as a full action, you may spend a Fate point to make an Provoke roll at a -2 penalty against all opponents in the scene. You roll only once, effectively setting the difficulty everyone must beat: if your effort beats the quality of any minions present, at least half their number are affected automatically regardless of their roll, unless they have a leader with Leadership present, who may make a second defense roll on their behalf using his Leadership skill.
The Promise of Pain (Intimidation) Requires Scary
The character makes a promise (really, a threat) to a target, and makes an Provoke attack. If he does one or more Composure damage, he may spend a Fate point to cause a consequence instead. The consequence must be an appropriate response (such as Folding Up in Fear or Broken Spirit) to the threat.
Steely Gaze (Provoke) Requires Scary
Your character’s unflinching gaze can root an opponent to the spot. Both characters are locked in a contest of wills, and may only take Provoke actions against one another until one takes a consequence, concedes or is interrupted (violently, in many cases). Any defense rolls made against interrupting actions suffer a -2 penalty.
Fearsome Gaze (Provoke) Requires Steely Gaze
The character’s gaze is so terrifying that those facing him may be paralyzed with fear. This stunt is used like Steely Gaze, except if the opponent takes a consequence, he immediately takes another, second consequence too. If this means he’s taken out, he may still concede after recording both consequences, keeping his right to define the nature of his defeat (subject to the gazer’s approval).
Master of Fear (Provoke) Requires Fearsome Gaze and Aura of Fear
Your character is a master of the terrifying, and can have an entire room cowering within moments. He avoids the -2 penalty when using the Aura of Fear stunt. Moreover, minions whose quality is beat by the roll fail automatically, foregoing a defence roll unless their leader takes a full action to roll Leadership in their defence. Without a leader, minions flee, faint, or otherwise take an immediate consequence, to the last man.
RAPPORT Social, Basic
The flipside of Provoke, Rapport is the ability to talk with people in a friendly way and make a good impression, perhaps convincing them to see your side of things. Use this skill whenever you want to communicate without an implicit threat. Characters with high Rapport include politicians, diplomats, entertainers, and priests. Rapport is the fallback social skill: while Empathy, Deceive and Provoke have fairly specific applications, Rapport covers everything else.
The Rapport skill is all about making positive connections to people and eliciting positive emo-tion. It’s the skill of being liked and trusted.
Overcome: Use Rapport to charm or inspire people to do what you want, or to establish a good connection with them. Charm your way past the guard, convince someone to take you into their confidence, or become the man of the hour at the local tavern. For nameless NPCs, this is just an overcome action, but you may have to enter a contest to sufficiently ingratiate yourself to a named NPC or PC.
Create an Advantage: Use Rapport to establish a positive mood on a target or in a scene or to get someone to confide in you out of a genuine sense of trust. You could pep talk someone into having Elevated Confidence, or stir a crowd into a Joyful Fervor, or simply make someone Talkative or Helpful.
Defend: Rapport defends against any skill used to damage your reputation, sour a mood you’ve created, or make you look bad in front of other people. It does not, however, defend against mental attacks. That requires Resolve.
Best Foot Forward (Rapport)
Twice per session, you may upgrade a boost you receive with Rapport into a full situation aspect with a free invocation.
+2 to Rapport when you’re delivering an inspiring speech in front of a crowd. (If there are named NPCs or PCs in the scene, you may target them all simultaneously with one roll rather than dividing up your shifts.)
If you’re in an area where you’re popular and well-liked, you can use Rapport in place of Contacts. You may be able to establish your popularity by spending a fate point to declare a story detail, or because of prior justification.
Provided Resources is no lower than 2 shifts below the difficulty of the roll, use Rapport instead of Resources to buy things from stores and individual merchants.
Use Rapport instead of Provoke on first meeting someone to create an advantage based on intimidating demeanor.
Best Foot Forward (Rapport)
The character is great at first impressions – he might not improve someone’s preconceived attitude, but can at least ensure he doesn’t get off on the wrong foot. When rolling to make a first impression on an extra, no matter how severe the failure, this stunt prevents them getting a lower opinion of you than they already had, unless you’re actively aiming at that, ie that even if the extra gains defensive spin, his attitude doesn’t degrade by one step.
Five-Minute Friends (Rapport)
For a Fate point, you can make a steadfast friend in a place you’ve never been with just five minutes of conversation. This stunt makes nearly impossible opportunities to make friends merely improbable, improbable opportunities probable and probable opportunities outright certain.
The character’s mastery of etiquette leaves him comfortable, even glib, in any situation. You never suffer penalties or increased difficulties through unfamiliarity, making it easy to manoeuvre through local customs you haven’t encountered before and cover up any gaffes with a laugh and a sparkle in your eye.
Comely Lad / Lass (Rapport)
You’re adept at catching the eye of the opposite sex, and keeping it. Any seduction attempts with Rapport receive a +2 technique bonus, provided the target is someone who could be receptive to it (not always a simple case of gender and preference).
It’s not that you’re a good liar – possibly far from it. It’s more that you’re so good at not letting the other guy get a word in edgeways that he can’t work out if you’re lying or not.
As long as you keep talking, you can cover up increasingly ludicrous lies. Start fast-talking the target as a contest between your Rapport and their Resolve or Rapport. If you win, the conversation continues; repeat the roll on the next exchange. If you fail, no matter how poorly, you can spend a Fate point to continue as if you had. As long as you keep talking and continue to spend Fate points to defer failures, your endless blathering prevents the target from working out what you’re doing. The difficulty of any perception (usually Notice) checks by the target relating to the fast talk are based on your Rapport skill, or your last successful roll, whichever is higher.
The target of the fast talk, although definitely distracted, is by no means helpless: he responds normally to being attacked or otherwise disturbed, and to obvious stimuli like friends being attacked, shouting, etc. Using Blather on multiple opponents allows each to defend, and you incur a -1 penalty for each additional opponent. Once you stop talking, it may be time for a quick exit…
Heart on my Sleeve (Rapport)
You’re a regular up-front guy with no secrets, at least as far as anyone knows, and you’re in control of which part of your best face you put forward. Whenever “Opening Up” to defend against an Empathy read, you gain a +1 Rapport bonus, and if you gain defensive spin may substitute one alternate true, non-trivial fact about yourself instead of revealing an aspect. The reader must still get an insight if you’re providing a fact, just not necessarily one with the weight of an aspect.
The Right Questions (Rapport)
As a skilled conversationalist, you can extract the larger truth from a single individual. Provided the target is at least neutral towards you, you may use Rapport instead of Contacts to gather information. Results are limited and colored by the target’s knowledge, but it’s also possible he doesn’t know that he knows certain things. As such, your acquaintance acts as a small “cluster” of contacts.
Natural Diplomat (Rapport)
The character can step into a bad situation and calm it down to something more reasonable. As long as you’re not the direct cause, you get a +2 Rapport bonus to placate them.
RESOURCES Social, Advanced
A character’s wealth, whether a few coins in her pocket or the family silver, is measured by Resources. The Resources skill represents material wealth and lifestyle, including not only currency, but also physical assets such as land and precious artwork, and intangible assets such as vassals and servants.
Usually this skill passively informs the Story Teller what the character has at her disposal, but Resources may also be rolled for large expenditures, like purchases and bribes. Some large-scale conflicts may involve out-spending the other guy. Characters with high Resources include crime lords, powerful nobles and successful merchants. A character with high social rank, a noted hero, a prince or even a king will usually have high Resources, though in the current era of chaos impoverished Lords are not unheard of. For many rulers, most of their resources are tied up to the running of the kingdom.Resources also affects a character’s Wealth stress track, indicating a buffer of wealth before your character becomes destitute. By default, players have 2 Wealth stress boxes.
More rules for the Resources skill and buying things, as well as Wealth Stress Track can be found in Wealth and Buying Things.
Overcome: You can use Resources to get yourself out of or past any situation where throwing money at the problem will help, such as committing bribery or acquiring rare and expensive things. Challenges or contests might involve auctions or bidding wars.
See Wealth and Buying Things for more specifics on how this works.
Create an Advantage: You might use Resources to grease the wheels and make people more friendly, whether that represents an actual bribe (I Scratch Your Back…) or simply buying drinks for people (In Vino Veritas). You can also use Resources to declare that you have something you need on hand, or can quickly acquire it, which could give you an aspect representing the object. One can create advantage aspects that will aid in Resources checks as well (Money Borrowed from My Uncle, Sir Barton).
Regular income such as from a profession or craft, etc… can be invoked for a Fate Point to assist on Resources checks.
See Wealth and Buying Things for more specifics on how this works.
Money Talks (Resources)
You can use Wealth instead of Rapport in any situation where ostentatious displays of material wealth might aid your cause.
Vast Holdings (Resources)
You get an additional free invoke when you create advantages with Wealth, provided that they describe a monetary return on a money-making venture you made in a previous session. (In other words, you can’t retroactively declare that you did it, but if it happened in the course of play, you get higher returns.)
Lineage (Resources) Requires an appropriate aspect
You have familial connections of some sort that can help you get whatever you need. You gain a +1 on Resource rolls when your family, or knowledge of your family, might affect the outcome.
Silver Spoons (Resources) Requires an Lineage or other appropriate Stunt
Twice per session, you may take a boost representing a windfall or influx of wealth.
Gold Cools The Blood (Resources)
The character may use Wealth to remove mental consequences, provided they can narrate a reason why the consequence is something that can be dealt with by throwing money at it.
The Price of Favour (Resources)
There’s one language that everyone speaks, especially in the courts of nobility: gold. In a situation where bribes are accepted, you may use Resources instead of Rapport or Leadership.
Filthy Lucre (Resources) Requires The Price of Favor
You know the darker side of money. You get a +2 bonus when using Resources in illegal or corrupt ways.
Money Whispers and Shouts (Resources)
Rather than looking for something yourself, you can offer a reward. You don’t need to literally do so, but just make an obvious display of wealth at some venue or other. You spread money around and use Resources instead of Contacts to find a person or thing. The downside is that it’s highly public, at least within certain circles, and anyone interested will know what you’re looking for.
One of your character’s properties – a library, laboratory or workshop – qualifies as a full-blown stronghold, such as a manse, castle or secret cave. Its quality is equal to your Resources skill, or Resources +1 for a specialized function. It may also include one of the following elements:
Expert Henchmen: your stronghold has a small retinue of competent individuals: two with Average (+1) skill (choose the skill when defining the henchman), and a head henchman with a peak skill of Fair (+2). These are companions you may call on to assist you, but are bound to the stronghold, and can’t ever leave without losing their companion qualities (dropping to Mediocre (+0) outside). The Trusted Retainer stunt (below) can further improve one of these henchmen.
Secondary Facility: your stronghold normally serves one primary function – library, laboratory or workshop. This allows you to define a second function at a quality equal to your Resources minus 3.
Extensive Security: security measures like traps and alarms make your stronghold difficult to compromise. All difficulties for bypassing its security are increased by one.
Utmost Secrecy: your stronghold’s location is a closely guarded secret. Few know of it; even those nearby may be unaware. The difficulty of any Investigate or Contacts check to find your stronghold is equal to your Resources.
Communications Center: your stronghold is the centre of a web of communications channels, and any communications passing to, from or through take one step less on the Time Increments Table to get where they’re going, or provide a +1 bonus to communications checks due to the efficiencies offered.
Lair (Resources) Requires Stronghold
The character’s stronghold has three elements, rather than one.
Stately Pleasure Dome (Resources) Requires Lair
The character’s lair is a wonder of the world. It has all the elements listed under Stronghold, but one of them may be traded out for something unique and distinctive, such as:
A world-class workshop granting a +2 bonus to the quality of one facility, speeding research up in that facility by one step on the Time Increments Table.
An exotic location (the bottom of an ocean, inside a steaming caldera, among the forbidding peaks of the Mountains of the Mad, etc), including a means of access.
A larger and highly competent personnel: the head henchman is Good (+3) quality, with two Fair (+2) and three Average (+1) members.
The distinctive element could even be something weird, such as being mobile (movement is slow, and moving around tends to attract lots of attention!).
Home Away From Home (Resources)
Normally, a character may have a single library, lab or workshop with a quality equal to his Resources minus 2. This stunt provides a second workspace in a different location; you can specify (and lock in) the location during play or in advance.
Trusted Retainer (Resources) Requires a Stronghold with the Expert Henchmen element
Choose one henchman, usually the head of your facility, to accompany you as a full companion, including retaining his companion status outside your stronghold. He’s Fair (+2) quality with the Independent advance and three other advances.
Wealthy (Resources) Requires an appropriate aspect
The character has financial clout, possibly including land holdings, interest in guilds or business, or a ranking position in the church. The character gains a +1 to Resources checks, and one additional Wealth Stress Box. Furthermore, he may remove one Wealth Stress check mark between sessions.
Extremely Wealthy (Resources) Requires Wealthy
The character has extreme wealth, which leads to extreme power. The character gains a +2 to any Social Skill roll where being rich would influence the outcome (and +3 if that Social Skill is Resources, for being Wealthy to begin with). Additionally, the character adds a second additional Wealth Stress Box. Furthermore, he may remove all Wealth Stress check marks between sessions.
Filthy Rich (Resources) Requires Extremely Wealthy
The character has more money than he can spend in several lifetimes. He can freely throw money at any obstacle, taking a check to his Wealth Stress track. He is not limited to the once per session special purchase limitation. Furthermore, at the end of any session, he may begin recovery from one Wealth consequence, automatically lowering it to the next free, lower consequence slot.
The Best that Money can Buy (Resources)
The character has discerning taste and an instinct for spending money on nothing but the best. You gain a +1 Resources bonus when purchasing “the best” (the best clothes, the finest food). This may involve prices several steps higher than normal; this stunt helps soften the blow.
Treasure Hoard (Resources)
The character has a secret, hidden cache of gold, jewels or other valuables. Once per session, you may sell one valuable, converting it to a +2 treasure. Treasures unused in Resources rolls by the end of the session are lost, but may be used to remove checks from the Wealth Stress Track, just as normal treasure.
Money is no Object (Resources) Requires two other Resources stunts
Once per session, you may spend a Fate point for a +5 Resources bonus. You may do this after the dice have been rolled, even combining it with Treasure Hoard for a +7 Resources bonus (and +8 if it’s the Best That Money Can Buy). Your Resources skill then operates at -2 for the rest of the session: you’ve tapped into everything at your disposal to make the purchase.