Skills: The Basics

All skills in the SCRPG fall into one of nineteen categories, and each Category of Skills will cost a certain amount of Training Points (TP) which varies depending upon Calling choice. The Eighteen Skill Categories are as follows:

Melee Combat
Ranged Combat
Elemental Combat
Combat Maneuvers
Stealth: Avoidance
Stealth: Attack
Survival: Perception
Survival: Hunting
Survival: Nature
Survival: Animal
Survival: Urban
Social: Influence
Social: Language
Social: Arts
Lore: Elemental 
Lore: Crafts
Lore: General
Lore: Magical

Skills: The Basics

With Training Point costs determined by a Character’s Calling, the Learning Rate of Skills becomes the place for the Player to make their mark on the Character. This initially involves assigning Learning Rates and Specializations, and down the road Double Specializations. 

For starters, each Character is assigned Learning Rates by the Player in each Skill Category, which isn’t as nasty as it might sound. Basically speaking, what the player is going to do is assign three Categories as Primary, three Categories as Secondary, three Categories as Tertiary, and the rest will be unassigned or Quaternary. In addition, the player will assign two Specializations in each Primary Category, and one specialization in each Secondary and Tertiary Category, as well two specializations anywhere in the Quaternary Categories. Specializations, for most skills, add an additional rank that the character may train in each skill.

Standard Skill Progression

The Standard Skill Progression as used by most skills in the game follows Table CC4 below to determine the number of Skill Points each rank gives the Character in a given skill as determined by whether the Skill Category is Primary, Secondary, Tertiary or Quaternary. You will also note a category called “Primary 2spec’d” which is short for saying a Double Specialized Primary Skill. When a Player Double Specializes a Character’s Skill that is already Primary, then it will use this column of the table for advancement. 

Double Specializing a Skill effectively makes that individual Skill one step faster in learning rate, making a Double Specialized Secondary Skill advance like a Primary Skill, and a Tertiary advance like a Secondary, and a Quaternary like a Tertiary.

The Effects of Physical & Mental Attributes

Every Skill is modified by at least two Attributes and their Bonuses, both as a lump sum right up front, and then small amounts as the Skill is trained. For example, the Composite Bow Skill (CB for short) is modified by the Character's Intuition and Agility. Dancing Cat (an Ile'Sivstro) has a +16 Intuition Bonus and +40 Agility Bonus, which averages to +28. Ranged Weapons are a Secondary Skill Category, and at first level Dancing Cat trained CB 3 times as he specialized in that weapon, and therefore he gains 3+2+1=6 points for his 3 ranks, which is added onto his +28 for 34. 

Specialization in Spell Trees

Specializing in a Spell Tree allows the Character to train spells away from the Trunk of the Tree. The first Specialization allows for training First Branch Spells, and Double Specialization allows training Second Branch Spells. Specialization will also impart bonuses to the study of Player created spells.

NON-STANDARD SKILLS

Most Skills within the SCRPG are Standard Skills which progress exactly as described above. There are, however, a few major deviations from this standard:

Vitality - this skill involves die rolls per rank trained, the die being determined by Race/Culture.

Combat Maneuvers - Combat Maneuvers are broken into Universal and Advanced, and train a bit more like spells than skills. Everybody is considered to have "trained" once in Universal Maneuvers, while untrained Maneuvers may be attempted, but suffer a -50 to the attempt until trained once. Each Maneuver may then  be Specialized and Double Specialized for additional benefits.  

Spell Trees - Spell Trees are considered part of Lore: Elemental for training costs, but follows different rules. See Skills: Spell Trees

Skills And Maneuvers

Skills are abilities that Characters pick up throughout their lives and represent fairly broad categories. For our first example let’s take a look at Acrobatics, which obviously covers a whole list of potential activities, from walking a tight rope to tumbling.  

A Skill is trained in ranks with the total number of ranks equating to a number as determined by the Character’s prowess with the category of skills (Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Quaternary) as seen in Table CC2. By training one’s Acrobatics in this example, the Character gets better at all those things the skill covers.

This is a simple and clean system for the game to handle these mechanics, but what if a particular campaign focuses on a variety Characters who grew up in a circus or for some other reason will have a focus on Acrobatic abilities? Instead of developing a bunch of new skills to handle all the possibilities, instead the GM and Players can create a multitude of Maneuvers associated with the Acrobatics Skill. 

If you are already familiar with Combat Maneuvers and/or Social Conflict, you are already familiar with this concept. Maneuvers are expensive to train, but can only be trained a maximum of six times, with each Degree of Mastery giving bonuses or perks to the the use of that particular maneuver. 

Maneuvers come in two types, Universal and Trained. A Trained Maneuver that has not been trained receives a negative modifier to attempt (-35). A Universal Maneuver is considered to be trained once automatically IF the associated Skill has been trained, and therefore automatically has a modifier of 0. 

  • Example - Tumble: The GM decides that this is a pretty standard maneuver for acrobats and declares it to be Universal, so anybody who trains Acrobatics automatically gets 1 Degree of Mastery in Tumble to nullify the base -35. A 2nd Degree gives any Tumble a +10 modifier, a 3rd Degree allows multiple tumbles up to 5 without a negative modifier, a 4th Degree allows the Character to tumble with a small weapon in hand with no negative modifier, a 5th Degree allows the Character to grab something from the ground without a negative modifier, a 6th Degree allows the Character to attack form a tumble. This is purely for examples sake and should not be considered an official rule.

Background Art by Jon Gibbons

© 2018 L. James Rice