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Skills

A NEW, SIMPLIFIED SYSTEM

Why a new system? 1) There are skills in DnD that would “realistically” be tied to more than one ability. 2) Intelligence should matter more and represent more of “what you learn in school” than it currently does.

THE SKILLS

  1. Academics (INT/INT) – Folklore, Hell Science (anatomy of the ultracortex; forensic psychology of the psion; history of; &c.—non-power-related. You must specify how you have acquired knowledge of humanity’s burgeoning psychic evolution), the Humanities, Language/Linguistics (must specify which languages/language groups you study; you may speak, poorly, 1 language per point of Academics; 2 points = passing fluency; 4 = total native expertise), Science (any, specify which)
  2. Athletics (STR/CON) – Climb, Run, Swim, Wrassle
  3. Bushcrafts (DEX/WIS) – Animal Handling (including breaking in a mount, but not riding), Botanicals (applied botany), Fire Building, First Aid, Homeopathy, Survival Skills, Tracking
  4. Crafts (DEX/INT) – Build, Brew, Repair, Dismantle (all may require Hand-Eye checks, if the crafts being created are very small)
  5. Deception (CHA/WIS) – Act (theatrically, also requires a Performance check), Advertise, Bluff/Persuade, use Diplomacy (may require a Law check), Disguise (may require a Crafts check), Intimidate, Make a Speech, Market/Sell, Negotiate (may require a Law check)
  6. Economics (INT/WIS) – Accounting, Appraise, Barter/Haggle (also requires a Deception check, unless you’re really not trying to fuck over your customer), Business/Profession/Trade (any, specify which)
  7. Hand-Eye [Fine Motor] Skills (DEX/INT) – Disable, Sleight-of-Hand, Open Locks, Surgery, Pick Pockets
  8. Hell Science (INT/CHA) – (All specialties are power-related—you must specify how you have acquired knowledge of psionics) – Concentration (while manifesting a hell science power), Hell Science, Hell Tattoo, Psicraft, Science of The Blood, Use Blood, Use Hell Science [Psi] Device
  9. Kinesthetics (DEX/DEX) – Acrobatics/Tumbling, Escape, Hide, Ride, Stealth
  10. Law (INT/CHA) – Bribery (may require a Deception check as well, if undercutting the bribee), Bureaucracy, Law, Politics, Statecraft
  11. Medicine (INT/INT) – First Aid/Heal, Medical Science, Pharmacology, Psychology, 1/2 Surgery (Surgery = check Medicine, then Hand-Eye)
  12. Performance (DEX/CHA) – Dance (may require Athletics and/or Kinesthetics checks as well, depending on the dance), Perform Music (specify instrument, check requires Hand-Eye as well), Perform Opera, Sing
  13. Perception (WIS/WIS) – Concentration (non-hell science), Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Spot
  14. Piloting (DEX/INT) – Drive, Fly, Navigate, Operate Automaton or Robot (may require a Hand-Eye check as well, if the controls are physically difficult to manipulate), Sail

THE FINE PRINT

  • There are now two ability score modifiers per skill, which can be the same ability, modifying the action twice.
  • Humans still gain +1 skill point / level.
  • Max ranks you can put into any one skill = your current total level + your INTmod. (In my example, Url, at 7th level with a +3 INTmod, can have 10 ranks max in any one skill.)
  • Reading the Code (the ancient machine language that represents the DNA of all archaetech) requires an Academics (read Code) check. Hell Science is an unrelated skill representing a) being human and b) having a piece of your brain evolve to give you access to new invisible forces and then c) learning about these forces and how to control them. Archaetech = Academics. Actual Hell Science manifester powers = Hell Science.
  • If there’s a parenthetical specialty after a class skill, that means you have that non-optional specialty for all three of your free class skill ranks. For ex., as far as Kinesthetics (ride), fighters/barbs/etc. are onlyspecialized, automatically, in riding common bad-ass animals (zogs and saurians) around, killing shit. They have to spend ranks to gain further specializations such as Tumbling Like a Male Ballerina and Riding Dolphins. (Unless you’re a quan, in which case, Riding Dolphins is pretty much par 4 tha course.) Specializations = +1. Should be at least as specific as “geology” is to Academics. (I.e., more specific than “science;” doesn’t need to be “Hadean age stratoliths” or “ferric meteors found in the southeast Chasm” only, although those both sound awesome.)
  • Class skills = +3, per Pathfinder. List below.

THE PHILOSOPHY

Example 1: Url (human male Hell Scientist 7) is smart (17 INT), with a +3 INT mod. He takes 5 ranks of Academics in History of the Tephnian Empire. Academics’ skill mod = INT/INT. Later, in an ancient Tephnian lab, he makes an Academics check to figure out what the original purpose of the lab was—and what artifacts (and dangers) his team will encounter deeper within it. Url rolls an 11, adding +3 INT mod, +3 INT mod, and +5 ranks for a total of 22. Since the DC was 20 (difficult), he is successful.

Because there are fewer skills, you get fewer skill points. This is good. It means the Pathfinder +3 class bonus to a skill is huge. It means the feats that grant +3 to skills are huge. It means beating 10 is actually medium-hard, beating 15 is hard, and beating 20 is super-hard.

Also, because each skill point is “worth” more, please note down any specialities. I count 1 speciality per skill rank, so a 3 in Economics is good for general rolls, but specifying that you specialize in “Bartering in Lothay City” gives you an additional +1 when actually bartering in a big suq in L.C.

Because these skills are more abstract/basic/easy, you may very well make more one-two pairs or one-two-three sets of skill checks. For example, stabilizing a wounded comrade is one Medicine roll. But surgery is a Medicine roll followed by a Hand-Eye roll, and curing a disease may involve Academics, Medicine, and then, in the actual crafting of the curative infusion or injection, Crafts and Hand-Eye. This is easier. Why? Everything makes sense. The old system was a series of category mismatches (hyper-specific skills mixed in with mega-categories like Knowledge, etc.).

Example 2: Later, Url is swept away in an underground river beneath the lab! He has to make an Athletics check (STR/CON). He has poor STR (8, giving him a -1 mod) and okay CON (11, giving him nothing), and zero ranks in Athletics, being a bookish telepath. He rolls a 7, and with his -1 gets a result of 6, which he fails. He is drowning and has to be saved by his asshole robot teammate, Deth-Roid the Junkbot. Poor Url.

SKILL POINTS BY CLASS

Prestige classes acquire skill points by base class (so, a Cryptospark = Thief; Scissipar = Hell Scientist; etc.).

BADASS

  • Fighter – based on the Fighter Pathfinder class – the fighting man, able to learn many more combat feats than others. 2 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 1 point + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Athletics, Bushcrafts, Deception (intimidate), Kinesthetics (ride).
  • Gunslinger – based on the Gunslinger Pathfinder class – the shooter, able to perform deeds that require grit. 2 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 1 point + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Athletics, Bushcrafts, Crafts (bullet-molding), Deception (intimidate), Hand-Eye, Kinesthetics (ride), Perception.
  • Barbarian – based on the Barbarian Pathfinder class – the savage berserker, able to rage. 4 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 4 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 2 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Athletics, Bushcrafts, Crafts (primitive weapons and armor), Deception (intimidate), Kinesthetics (ride), Perception.
  • Ranger – based on the Ranger Pathfinder class – the wilderness fighting expert, able to use various special combat skills related to his roving. 6 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 3 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Athletics, Bushcrafts, Kinesthetics (ride), Perception.
  • Monk – based on the Monk Pathfinder class – the unarmed fighting expert, able to evade attacks and use a flurry of quick, unarmed blows. 4 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 2 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Academics (your faith), Athletics, Deception (intimidate), Hand-Eye, Kinesthetics, Law (monastic), Medicine (first aid), Perception.

BADASS FROM HELL

  • Malmain – based on the Soulknife Pathfinder class – the hell science adept who manifests his own weapon, able to imbue that weapon and specialize its powers. 4 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 2 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Athletics, Bushcrafts, Deception (intimidate), Hell Science, Kinesthetics.
  • Black Legionary – based on the Psychic Warrior Pathfinder class – the hell science fighting adept, able to manifest some hell science powers while enjoying the benefits of a warrior’s training. 2 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Athletics, Bushcrafts, Deception (intimidate), Economics (imperial), Hell Science, Kinesthetics (ride), Law (legionary).

HELL SCIENTIST

  • Hell Scientist – based on the Psion Pathfinder class, absolutely no psicrystals or astral constructs – the master of the mind, able to manifest the widest range of powers. 6 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 3 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Academics, Deception, Hell Science, Perception.
  • Snakehead – based on the Wilder Pathfinder class – the wild master of the mind, able to manifest fewer powers but much better augment them than the hell scientist. 4 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 2 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Deception, Hand-Eye, Hell Science, Kinesthetics.
  • Blooder – NEW – the master of the nanofluid Blood, able to manifest a small range of uniquely impressive combat- and Code-oriented powers. 2 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 1 point + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Academics (anatomy, basic nanosmithing), Crafts (Blood containers), Deception, Hand-Eye, Hell Science, Kinesthetics (proprioception: Blood), Medicine (Blood-administration, dose titration, surge triage).

DOCTOR

  • Phyisotech – based on the Artificer Pathfinder class; you invent weird science contraptions and weapons to mimic lost archaetech effects. 8 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 4 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Academics (archaetech, physics, read Code), Crafts, Hand-Eye, Medicine, Perception, Piloting.
  • Mutagenicist – based on the Alchemist Pathfinder class; you research retrogenetic algal infusions that act as Alchemist formulae. 8 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 4 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Academics (chemistry, genetics, mycobotany), Bushcrafts (botanicals), Crafts, Hand-Eye, Medicine, Perception.
  • Steammonk – NEW – you work to synthesize a dilettante’s knowledge of physics/archaetech/Code + chemistry/genetics/longevitics + nanosmithing/Blood into a biotech Apotheosis of consciousness. You can create both physiotech weird science devices and mutagenicist infusions, but not as expertly as either of these classes. 8 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 4 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Academics (read Code, choose 2 other specializations), Crafts, Deception, Hand-Eye, Law (choose 1 based on your bureaucratic/monastic training: ex. ammon, imperial, etc.), Medicine, Perception, Piloting.
  • Reverberator – NEW – a healer who uses the music of the Red Crystals to repair living tissue. Reverberators also create hell science tattoos. 8 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 4 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Academics (anatomy, crystopathy, geology), Bushcrafts (botanicals, homeopathy), Crafts, Hand-Eye, Kinesthetics, Medicine, Perception.

ROGUE

  • Thief – based on the Rogue Pathfinder class – the classic burglar, pick-pocket, and/or backstabber. 8 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 4 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Athletics (climb), Bushcrafts (tracking), Deception, Economics (appraise), Hand-Eye, Kinesthetics, Law (bribery), Perception.
  • Assassin – NEW – the trained killer, the unstoppable fedayeen. 6 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 3 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Athletics (climb), Bushcrafts (tracking), Deception, Hand-Eye, Kinesthetics, Law (your guild/clan/secret organization), Perception.
  • Zanni – based on the Bard Pathfinder class – the harlequin, rake, rogue, storyteller, and jack-of-all-trades who can dazzle friend and foe alike with performative (often joke- or taunt-based) minor hell science effects called lazzi. Think “bard” gone Coney Island/steam-renaissance Italian. 6 points + INTmod at 1st lvl. 3 points + INTmod / each lvl after. Class skills: Bushcrafts (urban lore: your city), Deception, Economics (appraise), Hand-Eye, Kinesthetics, Law (bribery), Perception, Performance.
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