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Specialties provide a bonus with an ability when performing a specific action or operating in a predetermined field of expertise.

Levels of Specialty

Having a specialty grants a +1 bonus when making ability tests related to that specialty. So, for example, a character with the Pilot specialty has a +1 bonus to Coordination tests while piloting, Intellect tests dealing with aircraft, and so forth.

You can devote additional specialty choices to the same specialty and gain an increasing level of aptitude beyond specialist, as follows:

  • Expert: Expert level in a specialty grants a +2 bonus when making tests related to that specialty. Being an expert costs an additional specialty choice (for a total of two).
  • Mastery: Mastery level in a specialty grants a +3 bonus when making tests related to that specialty. Mastery costs two additional specialty choices (for a total of three).

So a character might, for example have specialties of Blades, Bows Expert, Investigation Expert, Journalism, Painting, and Stealth Mastery, indicating different levels of specialty.

Specialty List
Acrobatics Mechanics
Aerial Combat Mental Resistance
Art ★ Military
Athletics Occult
Business Performance ★
Computers Pilot
Criminology Power ★
Drive Psychiatry
Electronics Science ★
Investigation Sleight of Hand
Languages Stealth
Law Underwater Combat
Leadership Weapons ★
Martial Arts Wrestling
Medicine


Specialty Descriptions

The following are descriptions of specialties and their game benefits. The GM is free to modify this specialty list, adding to or subtracting from it, as suits the game. If you want a specific specialty for your character that you don't see on this list, talk to your GM about it, using the guidelines for the benefits provided by the different levels of specialty to determine the effects of having that specialty. Make sure the new specialty is not overly broad compared to existing ones; remember that a specialty reflects only one element of an ability.

Specialty Groups ★

Some specialties in this listing -- such as Art, Performance, Science, and Weapons -- are actually groups of similar specialties, indicated by the group symbol (above). Characters actually choose specific specialties from within these groups, which are listed separately. So, for example, you don't take the "Science" specialty, you choose a Science specialty, such as Archeology or Physics, and list it for your character. The same is true for Weapons and other specialty groups.

Generally if a character is good at an entire specialty group, it makes more sense to improve the related ability; for example, a hero good at most or all Science specialties should probably just have a higher Intellect.

Acrobatics

Add your specialty bonus to Coordination for acrobatic maneuvers, including dodging tests in combat (see Dodging, p. XXX).

Aerial Combat

You're skilled at fighting in the air; add your specialty bonus to your defensive combat tests while you are gliding or flying.

Art ★

This is a specialty group for various artistic specialties; add your specialty bonus to the appropriate ability (usually Awareness) when creating a work of art. Art specialties include: Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, and other types of visual art.

Athletics

Add your specialty bonus to tests for climbing, jumping, running swimming, or similar activities. This generally includes riding mounts, unless the GM wants a separate Ride specialty in the game.

Business

Add your specialty bonus to tests involving business acumen or knowledge of the business world.

Computers

Add your specialty bonus to ability tests, particularly Intellect, involving computers.

Criminology

You're skilled in gathering and analyzing evidence from crime scenes and using it to solve crimes. Add your specialty bonus to tests for these things.

Drive

Add your specialty bonus to tests involving operating surface vehicles of all sorts. This includes water vehicles, unless the GM wants a separate Sail specialty in the game.

Electronics

Add your specialty bonus to tests to design, build, repair, or modify electronic devices.

Investigation

You're skilled at digging up information, tailing people, and finding lost people and items. Add your specialty bonus to these and similar tests.

Languages

You're especially adept at learning and speaking other languages. Your specialty bonus improves your Intellect level when it comes to dealing with languages. See Languages, p. XXX, for details.

Law

You have an extensive background in the law of the United States or some other jurisdiction. Add your specialty bonus to tests involving knowing or practicing law.

Leadership

You are a skilled and recognized leader, able to inspire confidence and determination in those under your guidance. When you are the leader of a team, their Team Determination (see Team Determination, p. XXX) is increased by your specialty bonus. A team can only have one recognized leader at a time.

Martial Arts

This is specialty in various forms of unarmed combat; add your specialty bonus to your Prowess in unarmed combat other than wrestling (covered by the Wrestling specialty). If you are skilled in Martial Arts, use the better of your Strength or Prowess (including your specialty bonus for the latter) as the difficulty for an opponent to resist being slammed or stunned by your unarmed attacks (see Stun and Slam, p. XXX).

So, for example, a character with Martial Arts Mastery and Prowess 4 has a comparative level of 7 for purposes of slamming or stunning opponents in unarmed combat, although Stamina damage inflicted is still based on Strength.

Medicine

You're trained in providing health care; add your specialty bonus to a patient's ability level when determining how quickly they recover.

Mechanics

Add your specialty bonus to tests to design, build, repair, or modify mechanical devices.

Mental Resistance

You're skilled in resisting outside influences, including certain mental powers. Add your specialty bonus to Willpower for resisting such things. This is similar to, but not the same as, the Mind Shield power (see its description under Powers for details).

Military

You serve or served in a military or para-military; add your specialty bonus to all tests dealing with military protocols, information, and tactics.

Occult

You're knowledgeable about the occult and mystical; add your specialty bonus to Intellect tests involving them.

Performance ★

This specialty group involves the performing arts: Acting, Comedy, Dancing, Music, Singing, and such. Choose an art form and apply your specialty bonus to tests involving it.

Pilot

Add your specialty bonus to tests involving operating air vehicles of all sorts.

Power ★

This specialty group covers various powers (see the Powers section) requiring ability tests of different sorts, particularly offensive powers using Prowess and Coordination for attacks. Each power is a separate specialty. Add your specialty bonus to ability tests for the power. This specialty does not increase power level or other effects of a power.

Psychiatry

You're trained in mental health-care. Your specialty bonus applies to tests to evaluate someone else's mood or personality, notice outside mental influence, diagnose and treat mental illness, and so forth.

Science ★

This specialty group covers the various sciences; add your specialty bonus to tests involving your scientific discipline. Potential science specialties include (but are not limited to): Anthropology, Archeology, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Ecology, Genetics, Geology, Metallurgy, Meteorology, Oceanography, Physics, Radiology, and Sociology.

Sleight of Hand

You're skilled in tricks of manual dexterity and add your specialty bonus to Coordination tests where such things would be useful, from magic tricks to picking pockets.

Stealth

Add your specialty bonus to tests to avoid being noticed or to otherwise move and act covertly.

Underwater Combat

You're skilled at fighting under water; having this specialty negates the –1 penalty for actions taken underwater, while expert and mastery levels add to your defensive combat tests, much like aerial combat. This specialty is primarily useful to Aquatic characters (see Powers, p. XXX).

Weapons ★

This specialty group involves the use of various kinds of weapons, both melee weapons and ranged weapons. Add your specialty bonus to Prowess or Coordination tests to attack with weapons of the appropriate type. Weapons specialties include: Blades (all sharp and pointed melee weapons), Bludgeons (all blunt melee weapons), Bows (including crossbows), Guns (all other self-powered ranged weapons), and Throwing. Specific Weapons specialties may also exist for various exotic weapons and powers at the GM's discretion.

Mastery of all weapons or fighting techniques is essentially just a higher level of Prowess, rather than a specialty.

Wrestling

This is specialty in wrestling combat (see Wrestling, p. XXX); add your specialty bonus to all wrestling and escaping tests.