General Skills

     # SKILL                             ATT    COST  PRE

   1    Acting                             INT       2/3/6        —

   2    Animal Training               WIL       2/2/4        —

   3    Climbing                         MOV      2/3/6        —

   4    Driving/Automobile          DEX       1/3/6        —

   5    Driving/Truck                  DEX       1/3/6         4

   6    Driving/Motorcycle          DEX       1/3/6

   7    Driving/Off-Road-

          Vehicle                          DEX       1/2/4         4

   8    Driving/Snowmobile         DEX       1/2/4        —

   9    Driving/Boat                   DEX       1/2/4        —

  10  Driving/Heavy

       Machinery                        DEX       3/3/6         5

  11  Driving/Tank                     DEX       5/3/6        10

  12  Fine Arts                          DEX       1/3/6        —

  13  First Aid                            INT       2/3/6        —

  14  Fishing                               INT       1/2/4        —

  15  Horsemanship                   MOV      2/3/6        —

  16  Hypnosis*                         WIL       5/3/6       

  17  Lip Reading                       INT       3/3/6        —

  18  Mimicry                             INT       4/2/4        —

  19  Musical Instrument             INT       1/3/6        —

  20  Navigation                         INT       4/2/4        —

  21  Parachuting                      MOV      2/3/6        —

  22  Photography                      INT       1/3/6        —

  23  Piloting/1-engine                DEX       3/4/8        —

  24  Piloting/Multi-engine          DEX       4/5/10      23

  25  Piloting/Helicopter             DEX       3/4/8        23

  26  Piloting/Large

        Helicopter                        DEX       4/5/10      25

  27  Piloting/Jet                        DEX       5/5/10      23

  28  Piloting/Multi-engine

        Jet                                   DEX       5/5/10      27

  29  Piloting/Space

        Shuttle                             DEX       5/5/10      28

  30  Radio Operator                  INT       1/1/2        —

  31  Sailing                               DEX       1/2/4        —

  32  Scuba Diving                     INT       1/2/4        39

  33  Sign Language                   INT       4/2/4        —

  34  Skiing                               MOV      2/3/6      

  35  Sleight of Hand                  REF       4/3/6        —

  36  Social Chameleon               INT       1/2/4        —

  37  Speed Reading*                 INT       3/4/8        —

  38  Stage Magic*                    DEX       5/5/10      35

  39  Swimming                        MOV      1/3/6       

  40  Throwing                          DEX       1/2/4        —

  41  Ventriloquism*                   INT       4/4/8        —

1. Acting

ATT: INT            COST: 2/3/6        PRE:

Characters with this skill can perform roles, both on-stage and off. They can pretend to feel emotions they don’t really feel — sadness, fear, confidence, joy, and so on. They can appear to believe certain facts, or think a certain way, even if they believe nothing of the kind.

A successful skill check will convince most people, most of the time. NPCs (or PCs, for that matter) who are suspicious or on their guard, must make INT checks to see through the charade.

When combined with the Disguise skill, the Act­ing skill allows a character to impersonate another person. When these two skills are used together, each level of Disguise skill gives a +5 modifier to the Acting check.

Only characters with both the Acting Ability advantage and the Acting skill can pass them­selves off as professional actors.

2. Animal Training

ATT: WIL            COST: 2/2/4        PRE:

This skill gives characters the ability to train ani­mals to perform at their command.

A successful skill check must be made for each action or command the trainer wants the animal to learn. The amount of time required to teach each command varies with the complexity of the command and the intelligence of the animal.

It takes only a few days to teach a dog to sit; the same dog might require months to learn to attack an armed man on sight. Getting a cat to do the same things would take considerably longer. Get­ting a snake to do anything at all would probably require a Lucky Break! The Admin determines whether an animal can be trained to perform a particular feat and how long the training lasts.

Under ordinary circumstances, an animal will perform any feat it has been trained to do: No skill

check is necessary. If, however, the trainer wants the animal to do something against its basic nat­ure (asking a horse to step on someone on the ground, for example), the Admin may require a skill check.

The Animal Friendship advantage gives charac­ters a + 10 modifier to all Animal Training checks.

3. Climbing

ATT: MOV          COST: 2/3/6        PRE:

Anybody can climb a mountain—if there are paths to the top. Anybody can climb a rock — if the rock isn’t too Steep. Under most circumstanc­es, no skill check is required. This is the ability to climb mountains when the paths give out and to climb sheer rock faces or brick walls, using ropes, pitons, and other climbing tools.

When the going gets tough, the Administrator will ask for Climbing checks. Generally, a single skill check will take characters to the top of any rock or wall. However, each extraordinary hazard or unusual challenge requires an additional check.

Climbing a mountain might involve several haz­ards and several skill checks. A 10 or 15 foot wall poses just a single challenge, requiring just a sin­gle check. The time spent climbing varies with the difficulty of the climb as well as the distance. The Administrator determines how much time passes during a Climbing check.

The Climbing skill defaults to 1/2 MOV.

Driving Skills

                                               ATT       COST     PRE

   4.   Driving/Automobile          DEX          1/3/6        —

   5.   Driving/Truck                  DEX          1/3/6          4

   6.   Driving/Motorcycle          DEX          1/3/6        —

   7.   Driving/Off-Road

              Vehicle                      DEX          1/2/4         4

   8.   Driving/Snowmobile         DEX          1/2/4        —

   9.    Driving/Boat                   DEX          1/2/4       —

  10.   Driving/Heavy

      Machinery                         DEX          3/3/6           5

  11.  Driving/Tank                    DEX          5/3/6         10

Driving isn’t a single skill, but a group of skills, each one of which allows characters to drive a dif­ferent kind of vehicle. There is one skill for driv­ing automobiles, and another for driving trucks; one for driving boats, and another for operating tanks; and so on. Each Driving skill must be pur­chased separately.

Driving skills allow characters to start and control a single vehicle-type. Under normal conditions, characters with the appropriate Driving skill can operate a vehicle without making skill checks. Only when characters must respond to sudden danger or attempt hazardous maneuvers will they be required to make Driving checks. Failed checks can have a variety of results, from a stalled engine to a fiery explosion — see pages 80-87 for further details.

All Driving skills default to 1/2 DEX.

12. Fine Arts

ATT: DEX           COST: 1/3/6        PRE:

This skill allows characters to create visually striking pictures, painting, or sculptures. No skill check is required to produce a rough but recognizable representation of a person, place, or thing, but the quality of a polished piece of work depends on a successful skill check.

This skill also gives characters the ability to make accurate maps — to any scale, showing distances accurate enough for nearly any purpose. Again, no skill check is required to make a rough map, but a successful check is necessary in order to produce a good map.

Finally, this skill gives characters a working knowledge of art history. A successful skill check allows characters to identify works as belonging to a specific period or movement, or as the work of a particular artist.

A character with both the Artistic Ability advan­tage and the Fine Arts skill is good enough to pass as a professional artist.

13. FirstAid

ATT: INT            COST: 2/3/6        PRE:

Characters with First Aid skill can tend their own wounds, and the wounds of others. They can also deal with the effects of CON loss (page 70). When dealing with wound or bruise damage, a successful check means the wounded character recovers one hit point in the tended area. A Lucky Break means two hit points have been restored, but an area can never end up with more hit points than it had originally.

First Aid must be applied within ten minutes of the time a wound occurs in order to have any effect.

There is no limit to the number of wounds which can be tended, but only one skill check can be made each turn, and each wound can be treated only once.

When dealing with CON loss, a successful First Aid check results in the immediate restoration of 1d10 points of CON (2d10 on a Lucky Break) A failed check has no effect. Any First Aid check, successful or not, allows an unconscious character to make an immediate check against his or her current CON. If a character’s CON is zero or less, no amount of first aid will do any good — the char­acter is dead.

14. Fishing

ATT: INT            COST: 1/2/4        PRE:

This is the ability to catch fish using a rod and reel (or hook and line, or whatever similar appa­ratus is available). A successful skill check will yield a catch of 1d6 fish per hour, assuming there are fish to be caught.

This skill also gives characters the ability to tie flies, make their own rods (when appropriate materials are available), or improvise fishing equipment. No skill check is necessary to impro­vise or build fishing equipment.

The Fishing skill defaults to 1/2 INT.

15.  Horsemanship

ATT: MOV          COST: 2/3/6        PRE:

This skill lets a character harness, saddle, bridle, and ride horses and other riding animals like cam­els and mules. Normal functions of riding, includ­ing mounting, directing the horse, and controlling its speed between a stop and a full-speed gallop, can be performed without skill checks.

Special maneuvers, such as jumping a 4’ or higher barrier, urging the horse into a rapid stream, or stopping its flight if it panics, call for a skill check. A failed check means the rider has lost con­trol of the mount, and it refuses to perform the desired action. A Bad Break means the rider falls, taking 1d4 damage to a randomly determined body part.

A rider whose horse refuses to perform an action can make a second skill check on a subsequent turn. A successful check means the horse does what the rider wants. Any failed second check results in the rider falling and taking 1d4 points of damage to a random body part.

Characters using this skill by default must make 1/2 MOV checks to mount a horse, as well as to ride at, or stop from, anything faster than a trot.

16. Hypnosis

ATT: WIL            COST: 5/3/6        PRE:

This is the ability to hypnotize a subject. A suc­cessful skill check is all that is necessary to hyp­notize a willing subject. To hypnotize an unwilling subject, the hypnotist must first make a successful skill check. The victim then gets a WIL check minus 5% for each level of Hypnosis skill the hyp­notist has. A successful WIL check means the vic­tim doesn’t succumb. A failed WIL check puts the victim under.

Hypnotized characters will do anything the hypno­tist tells them to do assuming they are physically capable of performing the task and it doesn’t vio­late their personal beliefs.

17.  Lip Reading

ATT: INT            COST: 3/3/6        PRE:

This is the ability to understand what people are saying even if you can’t hear them, by interpret­ing the movement of their lips.

Assuming characters understand the language being spoken, and can clearly see the mouth of the speaker, a skill check will allow them to under­stand approximately one sentence (the exact amount of information conveyed per skill check is up to the Admin).

18. Mimicry

ATT: INT            COST: 4/2/4        PRE:

This skill gives characters the ability to imitate any sound they have heard. They can mimic ani­mal calls, and people’s voices so well that other characters may not be able to tell the sound is faked.

Characters with special knowledge about the ani­mal or person get a 1/2 INT check to detect the fak­ery. For example, a hunter could make a 1/2 INT check to see through a bird call.

19. Music

ATT: INT            COST: 1/3/6        PRE:

Characters with this skill can read music and have a working knowledge of music history. They may, at the player’s discretion, sing or play one musical instrument of their choice. Any level of

skill will allow characters to play adequately — no die roll is necessary.

A skill check is required in order to impress a knowledgeable listener, play a difficult passage, or identify a piece as the work of a particular com­poser.

Characters with this skill and the Musical Ability advantage can pass themselves off as professional musicians.

Buying this skill for one specific instrument gives your character some ability with all similar instruments. Thus, a character who plays the trumpet can also play other brass instruments. In order to play a bugle (or a trombone, or some other brass instrument), you would have to make a 1/2 skill check.

This skill can be purchased more than once, if you want your character to sing and play an instru­ment, or you want a character who plays more than one instrument.

20. Navigation

ATT: INT            COST: 4/2/4        PRE:

Anyone can read a road map (assuming they can read at all). Anyone can follow directions and spot landmarks in a given location. This is the ability to find one’s way in the world when maps and landmarks aren’t available and there’s no one around to give directions.

Characters with this skill can determine where they are, and how to get where they’re going by the sun or stars. They can also use the compass, sextant, and other navigational tools. A successful skill check determines the character’s current position and allows the character to plot a course for a given destination.

A successful skill check also allows characters to make accurate (though not particularly attractive) maps.

21. Parachuting

ATT: MOV          COST: 2/3/6        PRE:

A character with the Parachuting skill can jump from an airplane and open his or her parachute. Jumping out of a plane is easy (if you know what you’re doing). Landing is a little more difficult. Characters must make Parachuting checks when they land.

A successful check means a successful landing, wherever the player wants his or her character to land; a failed check means a successful landing somewhere else. (The Admin decides where the character lands.) A Bad Break of 95 - 98 means a very bad landing, and the character takes 1d8 damage to one leg, determined by the Admin. A roll of 99 means the chute failed to open! This would be a good time for players to spend a Luck Point (see pages 89-90).

Characters without the Parachuting skill must make a WIL check to jump from an airplane (unless they’re pushed!). A failed check means the character couldn’t jump, and must continue mak­ing WIL checks until he or she does (or the plane leaves the drop zone).

Once in mid-air, unskilled characters must make a MOV check to open their chutes. A successful check means a successful chute opening; a failed check means the character is still fumbling around trying to get it open. Characters can con­tinue trying to open a chute until they succeed or hit the ground. Rate of fall is the same for charac­ters as for planes — see the Piloting skill descrip­tion for more details.

In order to land successfully, unskilled characters must make 1/2 MOV checks, or suffer 1d8 damage to one leg. (The Admin decides which one.)

22. Photography

ATT: INT            COST: 1/3/6        PRE:

A character with this skill has learned to operate still cameras or movie/video cameras. Characters

with this ability can use all kinds of still cameras

— from 35mm single lens reflex to instant photo to miniature spy cameras. They are also familiar with the use of video and motion picture equip­ment of all sorts — from 8mm to CinemaScope, from home video cameras to sophisticated video equipment found only in major production studios.

Note that videotapes and movies can only be viewed when proper projection or replay facilities are available. Still photos can be viewed at any time.

Taking pictures under normal conditions is sim­ple, and no skill check is required. Developing film is no more difficult, given proper equipment.

A successful skill check is required when a charac­ter tries to take photos under difficult conditions, or set a camera up to take remote pictures, and so on.

Photography defaults to 1/2 INT.

Piloting Skills

                                               ATT       COST  PRE

  23.       Piloting/1-engine          DEX          3/4/8       —

  24.       Piloting/Multi-engine    DEX          4/5/10     23

  25.       Piloting/Helicopter       DEX          3/4/8       23

  26.       Piloting/Large

              Copter                       DEX          4/5/10     25

  27.       Piloting/Jet                  DEX          5/5/10     23

  28.       Piloting/Multi-engine

              Jet                             DEX          5/5/10     27

  29.       Piloting/Space

              Shuttle                       DEX          5/5/10     28

This isn’t a single skill, but a group of skills — one for each major type of airplane and helicopter. Characters who want to be pilots must buy the skill separately for each type of aircraft they want to be able to pilot.

Under normal conditions, no skill check is required to take off, land, or pilot a plane or copter in the air. However, when attempting to pilot a craft in poor weather, or under unusual circum­stances (while being fired upon by an enemy plane, landing without wheels down, etc.) a skill check must be made to avoid losing control.

What happens when a pilot loses control varies according to circumstances. If control is lost while landing, a crash is likely. The severity of such a crash is determined by the Administrator. If con­trol is lost in mid-air, the pilot must make a skill check to regain control. Failure means the aircraft falls 1000’; then another check is allowed. If this fails, the craft falls 2000’ before another check can be made, then 4000’, then 8000’, and so on. Of course, if the craft hits the ground before the pilot can bring it under control, it crashes.

30. Radio Operator

ATT: INT            COST: 1/1/2        PRE:

This skill allows characters to use shortwave radios, direction finding equipment, and radar equipment. Under ordinary conditions, communi­cation is automatic — no skill check is required. If conditions such as bad weather or enemy counter­measures interfere with reception, characters must make a skill check to use radio equipment successfully.

The Admin may modify the roll under exception­ally poor conditions — extreme range, for example, or trying to send a signal while an enemy tries to jam it would require a — 10% modifier (or worse!).

Radio Operator defaults to 1/2 INT.

31. Sailing

ATT: DEX           COST: 1/2/4        PRE:

This is the ability to pilot sailboats. Under ordi­nary conditions — calm seas and no place to go in a hurry — no skill checks are necessary.

Rough seas or a need for speed will call for skill checks, with failure meaning the boat coasts to a stop or goes in the wrong direction. A Bad Break results in the boat capsizing. STR checks, modified by circumstances (high seas, gunfire, etc.) will right a small boat. Large boats sink at a rate determined by the Administrator.

Sailing defaults to 1/2 DEX.

32. Scuba Diving

ATT: INT            COST: 1/2/4        PRE: 39

This skill allows a character to maintain and use Scuba gear (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus). The character can dive to depths of 100 feet without skill checks. To dive between 100 and 150 feet, a skill check is required every min­ute. A failed check means the character loses id6 CON points. Between 150 and 200 feet a 1/2 skill check is required every minute. At this depth, a failed check costs 2d6 CON points. From 200 to 250 feet, anything but a Lucky Break causes a 3d6 CON point loss, and skill checks must still be made every minute.

Under normal conditions, scuba-diving characters move up to 10% of their MOV scores each turn. They can move up to 20% of their MOV scores by making more difficult checks. To speed up between 0 and 100 feet, make a full Scuba Diving Check; between 100 and 150 feet, make a 1/2 skill check; at greater depths, make a ‘/4 skill check. Failure means you suffer the effects described above.

When characters without the Scuba Diving skill attempt to use scuba equipment, the Admin rolls V2 INT checks for them. A successful check means they get the equipment on properly and it works fine. A failed check means characters find them­selves underwater with malfunctioning scuba gear. When and how badly the equipment mal­functions is up to the Administrator. Characters using this skill by default can never dive deeper than 100 feet.

33. Sign Language

ATT: INT            COST: 4/2/4        PRE:

This is the ability to communicate through hand

gestures. Characters who can see another individ­ual using sign language, and can be seen in return, can converse as quickly and fluently as they could in normal conversation — under ordi­nary circumstances, no skill checks are necessary.

Under adverse conditions, skill checks must be made by all parties involved in a sign language conversation, A failed check by either signer or “listener” means the message came across gar­bled.

34. Skiing

ATT: MOV          COST: 2/3/6        PRE:

Characters with the Skiing skill are versed in the art of downhill (Alpine) and cross-country (Nordic) skiing. Downhill, they can move up to three times their MOV score in feet per turn. Normal hazards can be negotiated without making skill checks.

If an exceptional challenge (a jump, a sharp turn, or a gun battle on skiis, for example) or a need for exceptional speed presents itself, the character must make a skill check or fall. A Bad Break indi­cates that the character was injured by the fall. Make a normal d% roll to determine amount of damage and location.

35. Sleight of Hand

ATT: REF            COST: 4/3/6        PRE:

This is the ability to perform close-up magic —palming coins, stacking decks of cards, performing simple tricks with scarves, rings, and other small objects. A successful skill check is required for each trick a character attempts.

A successful skill check also allows characters to tell when another character is using sleight of’ hand.

Finally, a successful skill check allows characters to rig card games, substitute weighted dice for legitimate ones, and so on. They can also, of course, tell if a game is rigged against them.

36. Social Chameleon

ATT: INT            COST: 1/2/4        PRE:

This is the ability to behave properly in all social situations — dining in a high class Parisian res­taurant, entertaining in the wilds of Africa, nego­tiating on the streets of New York, and so on. Characters with this skill need not make skill checks when socializing in the culture of their origin.

In foreign cultures, characters must make a skill check in social situations to avoid making a faux pas.

The Social Chameleon skill defaults to 1/2 INT.

37. Speed Reading

ATT: INT            COST: 3/4/8        PRE:

This is the ability to race through printed materi­al in far less time than non-speed readers. Normal readers take a minute to read a page of normal text; speed readers can read and retain material at the rate of a page every two-second turn.

Characters can’t speed read highly technical material, or foreign language texts. This skill also can’t be used to commit material to Photographic Memory by characters with that advantage.

38. Stage Magic

ATT: DEX COST: 5/5/10 PRE: 35

This is the ability to perform large-scale illusions  making elephants disappear, causing tables to rise into the air, sawing people in half, and so on.

A successful skill check means a character has seen a trick performed or read how it works, knows how the illusion is created, and can, given enough time and the proper equipment, recreate it.

39. Swimming

ATT: MOV          COST: 1/3/6        PRE:

This is the ability to stay afloat and move through water without drowning. Under normal condi­tions, at speeds up to 10% of a character’s MOV score, no skill check is required.

Characters who want to put on a burst of speed in the water (moving up to 20% of their MOV score in a single turn) must make skill checks, as must characters who fall into a body of water, or find themselves in a stormy sea. The Administrator determines when Swimming checks are required in order to stay afloat.

Three failed skill checks in a row mean the char­acter suffers the effects described in the Drowning section of the Administrators Guide (pages 7-8).

Swimming defaults to 1/2 MOV.

40. Throwing

ATT: DEX           COST: 1/2/4        PRE:

This is identical to the Hand Grenade skill. See page 40.

41. Ventriloquism

ATT: INT            COST: 4/4/8        PRE:

A successful skill check allows characters with this skill to throw their voices, making sounds appear to originate from someone or something as much as 10’ away. A failed check means the ven­triloquism attempt didn’t work — anybody listening knows where the sound came from.

Even a successful ventriloquism check isn’t fool­proof: Suspicious listeners get a 1/2 INT check to see if they detect the deceit.

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