Priest Soldier Sorcerer Spy 3e EN:Skills

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Skills allow a character to apply their attributes to solve a specific problem or accomplish a specific task. Priest Soldier Sorcerer Spy divides skills into broad disciplines. Skills cost one character point each.

Action Value

The action value of a character attempting a skill is equal to one of the character's attributes (Brawn, Agility, etc.) plus the rank of any equipment or tools being used, if any. For example, attempting to break into a locked chest would require a Finesse roll, and the character's action value would be equal to their Agility. If they had a rank 2 set of lockpicking tools, their action value would be equal to their Agility + 2. Simple or multipurpose equipment, such a basic lockpick, is generally rank 1. Ordinary equipment, such as a reasonably complete set of lockpicking tools, would be rank 2. Special-purpose or very high quality equipment, such as a set of picks designed specifically to bypass a particular model of lock, would be rank 3.

The player rolls 2d6 and adds their action value. If the player's roll equals or exceeds the target number set by the GM, the character succeeds at the task in a completely satisfactory manner: the clue is found, the language is translated, or the engine starts.

Most skills are associated with a specific attribute (Brawn, Agility, etc.). However, which attribute is relevant when using a skill might change depending on the circumstances. For example, a character with rank 4 in Agility whose combat style involves flips and somersaults would roll 2d6 + 4 when making an Athletics roll to flip over a villain, swing from a railing, and land behind them ready to fight. If the same character has rank 3 in Reason and is judging an athletic competition, they would roll 2d6 + 3 when scoring the performance of the athletes.

Being Unskilled

A character may attempt a task in which they have no skill, if the GM says it is possible. For example, anyone can attempt to fire a crossbow, but not everyone can treat a broken limb. If a character attempts a task in which they have no skill, the character's attribute is not added to their action value: their action value is equal to the rank of the equipment they are using, if any.

Typical Skills

Priest Soldier Sorcerer Spy divides skills into broad disciplines. This list of skills is not exhaustive, nor is it objective: skills are divided by their usefulness in a game, not by any objective taxonomy. This is why "Nature" is a very broad skill, while "Lockpicking" is relatively specific. A character may have a skill not listed here, subject to GM approval. However, any new skills should be approximately as useful as these skills in order to maintain a sense of fairness with other characters.

The attribute typically associated with a skill is listed here, but keep in mind that the relevant attribute might change depending on the circumstances. For example, using Stealth to follow someone through a crowded marketplace might depend on a character's Agility, while moving silently through a darkened building might call for extraordinary Perception. Also note that the same task might be accomplished in more than one way. Climbing a tree might be an exercise in Athletics, but it might also be accomplished with the proper application of Survival.

Table: Typical skills
Skill Attribute Examples
Athletics Brawn or Agility Acrobatics, climbing, running, swimming, throwing
Culture Reason Art, history, literature, politics
Deception Will Bluffing, disguise, distracting, lying, sales
Entertainment Will Carousing, dancing, music, singing, theatre
Investigation Reason or Perception Analyzing evidence, collecting evidence, eavesdropping, searching
Manipulation Will Bribery, diplomacy, interrogation, leadership, seduction
Medicine Reason Apothecary, diagnosis, field medicine, surgery
Melee Combat Brawn Axes, clubs, fists, knives, pole arms, swords
Lockpicking Agility Disabling a trap, picking a lock, repair a tiny clockwork
Nature Reason Animals, fish, plants, rivers, weather
Ranged Combat Agility Bows, crossbows, javelins, slings
Riding Agility Dolphins, elephants, goats, horses, mules, yaks
Sleight Of Hand Agility Cheating at cards, pickpocketing, shoplifting, stage magic
Stealth Agility Hiding, Shadowing, Sneaking
Survival Perception Foraging, hunting, tactics, tracking
Thaumaturgy Reason Cosmology, curses, magic objects, magical symbols, spells
Theology Reason Cults, deities, religious hierarchies, rites and rituals
Tradesman Agility or Reason Appraisal, carpentry, cooking, forgery, masonry, mining, smithing


Athletics

The Athletics skill covers the entire spectrum of non-combat sports, as well general feats of athleticism such as running, jumping, climbing, swimming, and throwing.

Athletics typically requires a Brawn or Agility roll.

Examples: Acrobatics, climbing, running, swimming, throwing

Culture

The Culture skill covers the wide range of information that provides the backdrop of our lives. It includes literary, artistic, and political tidbits of information, such as the name of the second cousin to the Emperor, or the history of the phrase Ansaru kitnul, ifridî bekâr!

Culture typically requires a Reason roll.

Examples: Art, history, literature, politics

Deception

The Deception skill is used to convince someone of the truth of a given statement or situation, usually with the aim of getting them to act on it.

Deception typically requires a Will roll.

Examples: Bluffing, disguise, distracting, lying, sales

Entertainment

The Entertainment skill is used to perform in front of an audience, making them forget their worries for a brief while.

Entertainment typically requires a Will roll.

Examples: Carousing, dancing, music, singing, theatre

Investigation

The Investigation skill covers most of the tasks involved in solving mysteries and researching obscure topics. This includes searching for clues, collecting and analyzing evidence, sifting through notes and journals, and so on.

Investigation typically requires a Reason or Perception roll.

Examples: Analyzing evidence, collecting evidence, eavesdropping, searching

Manipulation

The Manipulation skill pertains to eliciting cooperation or information from others by using flirtation, threats of violence, or just casual conversation.

Manipulation typically requires a Will roll.

Examples: Bribery, diplomacy, interrogation, leadership, seduction

Medicine

A knowledge of Medicine can be very useful in the violent world of Priest Soldier Sorcerer Spy. Any medical procedure, from treating a scrape to amputating a limb, is covered by the Medicine skill.

Medicine typically requires a Reason roll.

Examples: Apothecary, diagnosis, field medicine, surgery

Melee Combat

The Melee Combat skill covers the myriad ways that humans have found to hurt, maim, and kill one another in hand-to-hand combat. Any form of close combat is covered by the Melee Combat skill.

Melee Combat typically requires a Brawn roll.

Examples: Axes, clubs, fists, knives, pole arms, swords

Lockpicking

Lockpicking covers the skills which use a delicate touch and fine control of the hands to manipulate small mechanical devices. A Lockpicking roll might be required to pick the lock on a cell door, disable the trap on a chest, or repair a tiny clockwork device.

Lockpicking typically requires an Agility roll.

Examples: Disabling a trap, picking a lock, repair a tiny clockwork

Nature

The Nature skill covers knowledge of the natural world, including understanding the behaviour of animals, being able to identify herbs and their uses, and being able to predict the weather based on changes in temperature and the observation of clouds.

Nature typically requires a Reason roll.

Examples: Animals, fish, plants, rivers, weather

Ranged Combat

The Ranged Combat skill covers the myriad ways that humans have found to hurt, maim, and kill one another from a distance. Any form of ranged combat is covered by the Ranged Combat skill.

Ranged Combat typically requires an Agility roll.

Examples: Bows, crossbows, javelins, slings

Riding

The Riding skill pertains to controlling an animal (or perhaps a floating object like a barrel) while using it as transportation. A Riding roll might be required to stay mounted in difficult terrain, to urge a mount to head toward danger, or to make a mount perform a trick or stunt.

Riding typically requires an Agility roll.

Examples: Elephants, goats, horses, mules, yaks

Sleight Of Hand

Sleight Of Hand covers the skills which use fine control of the hands and fingers to mislead observers. A Sleight Of Hand roll might be required to slip a note to an ally, to pick someone's pocket, or to slip an ace into a hand of cards.

Sleight Of Hand typically requires an Agility roll.

Examples: Cheating at cards, pickpocketing, shoplifting, stage magic

Stealth

Stealth is the art of sneaking around. A Stealth roll might be required to hide from a monster in an old house, to sneak up on a sentry, or to shadow a suspect back to the criminal's hideout.

Stealth typically requires an Agility roll.

Examples: Hiding, Shadowing, Sneaking

Survival

The Survival skill pertains to living off the land and coping with adverse environments.

Survival typically requires a Perception roll.

Examples: Foraging, hunting, tactics, tracking

Thaumaturgy

Thaumaturgy allows the character to identify magic objects, find cures for curses, and decipher ancient arcane manuscripts.

Thaumaturgy typically requires a Reason roll.

Examples: Cosmology, curses, magic objects, magical symbols, spells

Theology

Thaumaturgy allows the character to identify a cult by the trappings of the cultists, to understand religious hierarchies, and to perform the appropriate rites and rituals for each of life's milestones.

Theology typically requires a Reason roll.

Examples: Cults, deities, religious hierarchies, rites and rituals

Tradesman

Tradesman is the relevant skill whenever a character attempts to design and build structures, machines, devices, or materials. A Tradesman roll might be required to cut and plane lumber, repair a damaged pump, or construct a raft out of timber and canvas.

Tradesman typically requires an Agility or Reason roll.

Examples: Appraisal, carpentry, cooking, forgery, masonry, mining, smithing