If attributes are the character’s inborn talents, then Skills are the development and specialization of those talents. Each skill is based on an attribute, although these are not set in stone. While Deception is normally based on Charisma, the GM may decide that in a particular interaction Intuition may be better, such as a phony psychic trying to pass off clever observations as legitimate messages from a dead relative.
Skill ranks range from 0-5 like attributes. However, unlike attributes, a character cannot have a negative rank in a skill. You either know it or you don’t. A 0 ranked skill is unknown to the character, although the character may attempt the skill untrained (just using the attribute) at a -2 penalty. A single rank is equivalent to a student or hobbyist understanding, while ranks 2 to 3 represent the professional range where a character could make a living with that skill. A character with 4 ranks in a skill is considered amazing, and would likely have national or even international fame. A character with a skill ranked 5 would be a legend with fame renowned throughout world and with a legacy that will outlast their own lives.
When advancing the character with character points, the first skill rank costs 1 CP, which rank 2 costs 2 CP, etc. This progressive increase in costs is often referred to as “1 x new rank” or "one times new rank". Again, this cost doubles at the natural maximum and above.
When looking through these skills keep in mind that VERS is a universal game. As such, certain settings may add skills or change how they work. In the interest of making the base game as generic as possible, skills suitable for modern, fantasy, and sci-fi settings are detailed in this chapter, along with details for how they may fit into your story or setting.
Certain character concepts may lend themselves to skills that will otherwise be of very limited usefulness, such as Profession (Weaver) for a young squire whose family were poor weavers before he got chosen to learn the way of chivalry. Since knights rarely need a weaving skill it does not make sense to pay for that with character points. If a skill is not going to come up during the course of the game (or only very rarely) then it is a background skill.
A character gets a number of free skill ranks at character creation equal to twice the sum of their Logic and Intuition for these background skills. Whether a skill is or isn’t considered a background skill is up to the GM, but the general rule of thumb is that if the skill is not going to be useful for advancing the plot on a regular basis and is being purchased mostly for roleplay purposes, then it should be considered background.
Some skills work hand in hand with others. This is called synergy, and it is a one way path from Expertise (typically, although it could be another skill at the GM’s discretion) to other skills like Hacking. After all, having a background in the theories behind a job can greatly improve a character’s chances of understanding a problem and making the best solution. Synergy works by granting a +1 bonus on the rolled skill for every 2 ranks of Expertise. A single skill can get a bonus from multiple synergies and these are cumulative. These synergies are ultimately up to the GM, but most will be self evident.
Skills in Detail
The following descriptions detail the standard definitions and uses of each of the skills, as well as some ideas for more genre specific versions of some skills. The descriptions and uses are really just guidelines, however. GMs have final say on specific uses during game.
|VERS Playtest v20.7 - Online Rule Reference|
|Making a Character||Character Profile - Mechanical Aspects (Attributes - Skills - Abilities - Gear)|
|Gameplay||Mental Conflict - Physical Conflict - Social Conflict - Stunts|
|Optional Rules||Not Yet Complete|
|Gamemastering||Not Yet Complete|
|Storytelling and Drama||Not Yet Complete|
|Advanced Techniques||Not Yet Complete|
|Appendices||Example Abilities||Fantasy - Psionics - Superheroes|
|Example Gear||Prehistoric to Dark Ages - Medieval to Renaissance - Modern - Sci-Fi|
|Example NPCs||Animals - People - Fantasy - Horror - Sci-Fi|