Skills may be used with attributes other than their base attribute in some cases.
|Alertness||Base attribute: Perception|
Physical Ability: This is the skill of noticing things, hidden, sneaking up on you, obvious, you name it. There is no penalty for lack of skill. The average pedestrian has a 0 in this skill; only professionally watchful people develop it. (This avoids the problem of matching stats against AVs when deciding on how well hiding and sneaking work.)
|Bows||Base attribute: Manual Dexterity|
Physical Ability: Although this skill is called “bows,” it applies to all ancient projectile weapons that aren’t simply thrown directly at the target. You must buy each weapon category— bows, crossbows, slings, atlatls, boomerangs and chakrams (a real historical weapon from India, also known as a chakrum or chackra), and blowguns— separately, as per Driving. Characters start with 1 weapon category for every 5 full points of starting Bows AV. Note that the usual range penalty on bows is –2 per 20 meters. Fortunately, Bow Schticks can offset this.
Knowledge: You know the advantages and disadvantages of different missile weapons, and can judge the quality of such weapons.
Contacts: You know archers, bowyers, and fletchers.
|Chirurgy||Base attribute: Intelligence|
Physical Ability: Chirurgy is based on the Feng Shui standard skill Medicine; it encompasses basic first aid, surgery, and preparation of medicines whose basic operation is chemical. Characters from most islands are limited to a skill bonus of +3 until they can undergo a training sequence in a place practicing advanced medical procedures. Some magical sources of damage inflict wounds that cannot be aided through magical healing, but can be helped with chirurgy.
You are completely competent to perform preparations of magical herbs, once you have been acquainted with their use.
Knowledge: You are familiar with human anatomy and the healing properties of herbs, leaves, moldy bread, and so on.
Contacts: You know other chirurgeons; if you are from a place where chirurgeons and healers are not bitter rivals, you know healers as well. If you come from an island with any academic tradition at all, you know researchers who dissect human corpses in quest of better knowledge of healing the living.
|Craft||Base attribute: Varies|
Physical Ability: You can perform a particular craft— engineering, tanning hides, sewing, cooking, you name it. Craft skills are fairly broad at low levels: Smithing covers working with any metal, Weaving covers everything from spinning to weaving to sewing. If your Skill Bonus reaches +5, choose a specialty (ironwork, dying); within this specialty, you can produce masterworks (which are significant for the enchantment system).
Knowledge: You know the theory behind the craft as well as its practical application.
Contacts: You know the signs and protocols for the guild, the guilds that supply it and those that it supplies, and regular customers.
|Creature Powers||Base attribute: Magic|
Only available to Supernatural Creatures.
Physical Ability: You can trigger and control your supernatural powers.
Knowledge: You are familiar with the functioning of other powers than your own, and know about the kinds of counters that can be used on your own powers and others. You know about famous historical figures, both monsters and their hunters, and the locations of spawning pits and summoning circles that are popular among creatures of magic.
Contacts: If you are not a native of this level of reality, you may have been summoned here before; if you are a native, you may know hunters, rangers, diplomats, or spies that you have survived encounters with in the past.
|Deceit||Base attribute: Charisma|
Physical Ability: Fooling others and detecting foolery. Lying, disguise, mimicry, forgery, acting, negotiation, schmoozing.
Knowledge: Cons, cheats, and frauds. Tricks of the trade.
Contacts: Con men, lawyers, agents of the law, thieves, gangsters, businessmen, merchants, spies.
|Detective||Base attribute: Perception|
Physical Ability: Deductions, detection of lying, getting past security to get a look at the evidence, analyzing evidence.
Knowledge: Laws, famous crimes, forensic techniques.
Contacts: Members of the town watch, judges, stoolies and snitches.
|Gambling||Base attribute: Fortune|
Physical Ability: You know how to make the games of chance come out in your favor, both through strategy and cheating, and can spot other cheats. You can find opportunities to gamble anywhere it’s happening, and can judge a person’s body language to figure out if they’re bluffing.
Knowledge: You know the rules, odds, and statistics of games of chance, and the etiquette to get into just about any gambling game.
Contacts: You know gamblers, bookies, innkeepers with games going in the back room, and soldiers who can’t seem to keep their pay in their pockets every week.
|Healing||Base attribute: Magic, or Attunement|
Physical Ability: Healing is based on the Feng Shui standard skill of Medicine; it encompasses methods such as acupuncture and application of magical plants, which vary in effectiveness from island to island. (While acupuncture has many uses in the real world, it has been moved up to a mystical level of efficacy for gaming purposes.) It also covers matters of first aid that hold a person together long enough to benefit from magical methods of healing; a skill bonus of +2 works the same as a similar Chirurgy skill, though higher skill bonuses only add half the bonus to attempts at first aid, round down. (Thus, a priest with Medicine +7, Intelligence 5, and Attunement 8 could perform first aid with an AV of 8 and Healing with an AV of 15.)
Knowledge: You are familiar with human anatomy, including the meridians along which chi energy flows, and plants that possess magical healing virtue for rebalancing the bodily humors.
Contacts: You know other healers; if you are from a place where healers and chirurgeons are not bitter rivals, you know chirurgeons as well. If you come from an island with any academic tradition at all, you know researchers who commune with gods of healing in quest of better knowledge of healing the living.
|Info||Base attribute: Intelligence|
Physical Ability: None.
Knowledge: You know details about your field and where to find more information.
Contacts: You know other experts in the field, personally or by reputation, and know where to make contact with them.
|Intimidation||Base attribute: Charisma|
Physical Ability: You know how to scare people to the degree that they’ll comply with your requests.
Knowledge: You are familiar with classic intimidation tactics.
|Intrusion||Base attribute: Agility|
Physical Ability: Opening locks, picking pockets, finding and removing traps, scaling walls, sneaking, hiding, finding things that are hidden, and spotting sneaky people.
Knowledge: Security measures and countermeasures, classic heists and thieves.
Contacts: Thieves, fences, middlemen, fixers, cops, lawyers, judges, and jailors.
|Languages||Base attribute: None|
Physical Ability: You can speak a language. A skill of 1 is sufficient to find the privies, and a skill of 5 is fully fluent with a native accent.
Languages cost x xp to improve, where x is the new level you’re going to. You can learn them by immersion.
|Leadership||Base attribute: Charisma|
Physical Ability: You exude an air of authority.
Knowledge: You know a particular theory of leadership and discipline, perhaps from an analogue of Confucius... or Machiavelli. You also understand military tactics.
Contacts: You know others in the leadership hierarchy you belong to or belonged to.
|Martial Arts||Base stat: Agility|
Physical Ability: This skill covers acrobatic styles of combat. The weight and bulkiness of armor gets in your way, so you rely on your ability to dodge and parry to avoid getting hurt.
You must buy each weapon category— barehanded, blades, polearms, staves and clubs, chains and flails and whips, thrown weapons (such as daggers, darts, and shuriken)— separately. Characters start with 1 weapon category for every 5 full points of starting Martial Arts AV.
Knowledge: You know the history and philosophy of your own martial arts school and can identify others. You can estimate another person’s competence by observing how they move.
Contacts: You know other practitioners of your school...
|Melee||Base attribute: Manual Dexterity|
Physical Ability: This covers the arts of swinging massive weapons while wearing heavy armor with the intention of bludgeoning your opponent into unconsciousness. If your Melee skill and Strength are high enough for your armor, you take no Agility penalties for wearing it. However, you cannot perform the acrobatic stunts that Martial Artists are capable of, nor can you use Fu powers.
It is easier to train someone up from Brawling to Melee than it is to train them to Martial Arts.
You must buy each weapon category— barehanded, blades, polearms, staves and clubs, chains and flails and whips, thrown weapons (such as daggers, darts, and shuriken)— separately. Characters start with 1 weapon category for every 5 full points of starting Melee AV.
Knowledge: You know the tales of legendary warriors, and the rules of duelling and chivalry (such as they are in your native land).
Contacts: You know other warriors— some from meetings, some by the reputations that travel through the tavern as you hoist tankards of dark ale after a long and dusty day. You know people involved in tournaments of arms, from judges to patrons.
This combat skill requires weapon categories like Martial Arts, but does not permit the fancy maneuvering of Martial Arts stunts. Instead, it ignores the penalties of wearing heavy armor as long as you have the stats for it.
You must buy each weapon category— barehanded, blades, polearms, staves and clubs, chains and whips— separately, as per Driving. Characters start with 1 weapon category for every 5 full points of starting Martial Arts AV.
|Police||Base attribute: Perception|
Physical Ability: You were undoubtedly a member of the town guard.
|Ranging||Base attribute: Perception|
Physical Ability: Ranging is to Rangers what Intrusion is to thieves. In a rural environment, it functions for stealth as well as Intrusion does in an urban one; Intrusion and Ranging are at –3 in foreign environments. A ranger is assumed to have a familiararity with their native terrain type; any others they pick up cost one XP each after spending at least a week in such terrain, and they are at a –1 penalty until then. (Compare to the Drive skill.) Terrain types are forest, jungle, desert, tundra, swamp/marsh, mountain, prairie, and ocean. The skill is good for tracking, preparing simple traps (for catching animals and unwary pedestrians), picking out edible herbs and plants, and performing basic cooking. (Advanced trail cooking is a craft in its own right.)
Knowledge: You know what belongs in the natural world, its habits, and you can pick out unnatural behaviors.
Contacts: Fellow rangers, hunters, wizards who pay well for pieces of unusual creatures, nobles who enjoy nothing more than a good hunt.
|Riding||Base attribute: Manual Dexterity|
Physical Ability: You can ride and handle animals, and drive vehicles drawn by muscle power. Horses, ostriches, dragonsteeds, aggrobats, riding dolphins— if anyone can ride it, you can figure it out. Like the Driving skill, you are at a +1 difficulty modifier for animal types for which you have not purchased a familiararity; radically different forms of locomotion (your first time on a giant bird after a lifetime of horses!) take an additional penalty equivalent to a juncture modifier: +4 the first time, +2 the second, +1 the third.
If your Skill Bonus is at least +5, you can train animals, whether or not you can ride them. You take a +1 penalty for animal categories for which you do not have a familiararity, and juncture-level modifiers the first time you work with a radically new sort of animal. (Categories are broad: felines, canines, ... You may not be able to ride them, but you can still teach them.)
Knowledge: Breeds of various different creatures.
Contacts: Riders, stablers, hostlers, breeders, farriers, trainers.
|Sabotage||Base attribute: Manual Dexterity|
Physical Ability: It’s amazing how much havoc you can wreak without explosives. This is the dark side of Fix-It: you know how to make things come apart.
|Sailing||Base attribute: Dexterity|
Physical Ability: You are trained in the use of vehicles that ride the wind; you can handle sailboats, iceriggers, and dirigibles. Like the Driving skill, you are at a +1 difficulty modifier for vessel types for which you have not purchased a familiararity; types currently include sailboats, galleons, iceriggers, airships, and dirigibles. You can perform basic Fix-It tasks on such vessels.
Knowledge: You are familiar with the hazards of sailing in various environments, and can judge the quality of a vessel with a bit of time to observe it.
Contacts: Sailors, captains, navigators, weather wizards, longshoremen, drydock owners...
|Seduction||Base attribute: Charisma|
Physical Ability: The mirror image of intimidation: getting people to want to do things for you.
Knowledge: You know how people react emotionally and to what stimuli...
|Talespinning||Base attribute: Intelligence|
Physical Ability: This is the equivalent of Journalism, and a favorite skill among bards. You can tell stories (with Charisma + Talespinning) to relate facts as well as make them up on the spot.
Knowledge: You have a large base of folklore to draw upon for storytelling around the campfire at night.
Contacts: You know other tellers of tales, scholars of legends, and librarians.
|Thaumaturgy||Base attribute: Magic|
Physical Ability: You can cast sorcerous spells.
Knowledge: You understand the occult workings of reality.
Contacts: You know other wizards, alchemists, suppliers of occult paraphernalia, and libraries.
|Theurgy||Base attribute: Attunement|
Physical Ability: You wield the power of the gods.
Knowledge: You are well versed in matters of theology and cosmogony.
Contacts: You are part of whatever network of priests, acolytes, ... your religion has.
|Tinkering||Base attribute: Perception|
Physical Ability: Engineering in the days before gunpowder. You can probably get anything up to movable type working. This is basically the Feng Shui skill of Fix-It.
Knowledge: In a world of magic, you know the practical details of engineering. To roleplay this well, study books on the mechanical feats the ancient Greek and Chinese philosphers were capable of, and borrow Max’s tome Ancient Inventions.
Contacts: Tinkers, blacksmiths, and their customers.