Skills

A theoretical scientist only needs Scholarship, but an experimental one needs Technician as well. A computer programmer can get by as a Technician, but needs Scholarship to be a software engineer; a pure Scholar would be a computer scientist. An artist usually has Art (for execution) and Scholarship (for art history); a house painter would only need Technician. A cook only needs Technician; a chef needs Art as well; and a molecular gastronomist needs all three.

There is no equivalent to the Mysteries skill.

Alertness

(SotC: Skill, 88; Stunts, 119; Adjudication, 228. SA: Skill, 102; Stunts, 147. DFRPG: 121; Stunts, 149.)

This is the skill of noticing things you aren’t looking for. This is reactive perception; when actively searching, use Investigation.

Passive Awareness

When the party needs to spot something, the GM may call for a roll of Alertness; the highest roll should get the full description, then lower rolls be told what they didn’t spot.

Physical Initiative

Under normal combat conditions, everyone goes in descending order of Alertness skill; opponents who are tied can roll to determine who moves first.

Avoiding Surprise

When ambushed by someone using Stealth, make an Alertness check against the Stealth of the attacker. On a failure, your defense skill is Mediocre in the first exchange.

Penetrate Confusion

In a highly confusing situation (such as a chase through a damaged cruiser whose fire suppression systems are filling the air with foam and mist as the alert klaxons blare and warning lights flash), the GM may declare that all actions are restricted by Alertness, giving a –1 penalty to all Skills rated higher than characters’ Alertness.

Stunts

Art

(SotC: Skill, 89; Stunts, 122; Adjudication, 228. SA: Skill, 103; Stunts, 149. DFRPG Performance: 135, 154.)

This is the skill for aesthetic creation and performance. A professional artist usually has the Expert stunt: a Great painter is a Good graphic artist and Fair with art in general, and probably has an aspect for their profession as well. The Art skill is primary for anyone who makes their living by aesthetics, and also important to complement skills that have an aesthetic component.

Craft

The regular professional execution of skill.

Communication

The expression of ideas, using Art as a complement to Deceit, Intimidation, Leadership, Rapport, or even Scholarship (for technical communication).

Evaluation

Evaluating the artistic quality of another’s work. This can also be done through Scholarship.

Performance

Placing a temporary aspect on the group observing the performance, much like a declaration.

Forgery

Duplicating an exact work or imitating another artist’s style.

Stunts

Athletics

(SotC: Skill, 89; Stunts, 126; Adjudication, 231. SA: Skill, 105; Stunts, 150. DFRPG: Skill, 121; Stunts, 149; Adjudication, 318.)

This skill correlates to Agility in most role-playing games; it deals with most general physical capabilities other than pure physical strength, which is Might. When in doubt, Athletics is about moving you and Might is about moving something else.

Jumping

Sprinting

Moving within a zone is free; moving a single zone as a supplemental action only costs you one shift off your main action; to travel multiple zones, roll Athletics and the number of shifts is applied with one per zone and the barrier value between each zone. The barrier value between zones may represent distance or obstacles, but Athletics is the right skill for parkour as well as for sprinting.

Climbing

HeightDifficulty
Short (6m)Mediocre (0)
Medium (12m)Fair (2)
Long (30m)Great (4)
ExtremeFantastic (6)

Climbs of Long or Extreme height are restricted by Endurance unless the climber has opportunities to rest. The base difficulties are for free-climbing up a wall with reasonable handholds; if the character has climbing gear and knows how to use it, that is worth a +1.

ModifierSlipperinessVisibilityDistractions
–1 Wet, slick Dark, raining Non-threatening
–2 Completely smooth Pitch black Potentially damaging

Falling

Falling damage ignores your stress track and goes straight to physical consequences. The default consequence given is for having rolled at least Mediocre on your Athletics check when falling; any worse, and the consequence is one step worse; if it meets the Difficulty of the distance fell, the consequence is one step better. If a falling character has fate points to burn, they may be able to reduce the damage by declaring that they have tree canopies or awnings to fall through; this can also reduce damage by one step.

Height Difficulty Consequence
Short (6m) Fair (2) Minor
Medium (12m) Great (4) Moderate
Long (can see the ground clearly) Fantastic (6) Severe
Extreme (Is that a house?) (Need Safe Fall stunt) Taken Out

Dodging

Athletics is the skill for avoiding getting hit, rather than parrying the attack.

Throwing

This is the skill for throwing simple objects like balls, grenades, and grappling hooks. To throw knives and boomerangs, you want Melee (though you can throw grenades with Melee if you have proficiency with thrown weapons). To juggle (or perform other feats of manual dexterity), you want Sleight of Hand.

Sports

Athletics is also the skill for playing sports. Most professionals have at least one aspect as well as the Sportsbeing stunt.

Stunts

Combat
[Weapon] Finesse

Requires Athletics 3.

Your skill increases the Damage Rating of an appropriate melee weapon by +1; each weapon is a different stunt. Such weapons include the dagger, shortsword, doubleblade, rapier, and force pike; finesse for a normal weapon also covers the vibroblade version of it as long as you’ve had time to train with one. You may use a bonus from the Heavy Hitter stunt or finesse; they are two different styles of fighting.

Contacting

(SotC: Skill, 93; Stunts, 130; Adjudication, 236. SA: Skill, 109; Stunts, 152. DFRPG: Skill, 123; Stunts, 150; Adjudication, 319.)

This is the skill of social mixing and schmoozing and working the crowd. In a completely unfamiliar situation, penalties can start off as high as +4— but given galactic information networks and all the traveling tramp freighters and bounty hunters, you just might have some acquaintances in common with someone to bring up some old stories, break the ice, and get introductions all round— or you could achieve the same effect if you can persuade one person who is already well-connected. In the absence of these shortcuts, the penalty drops by 1 point per week as you introduce yourself to the community.

Schmoozing can be used as a maneuver to create aspects like Welcomed or Convivial; if you’re the host of a party, you can use it to put an aspect on the gathering by setting the tone.

Gather Information

This uses the same mechanics as scholarly research: the base time is usually a few minutes of talking to the right person, and the quality of the library is the quality of your social network for the kind of information you seek.

Getting the Tip-Off

This acts much like Alertness, but for crowded social situations. (In a close discussion, use Empathy.) Your Contacting skill may tell you about trouble before it arrives.

Rumors and Gossip

You can also plant information in the network.

Trade

Connecting buyers and sellers.

Stunts

Cultures

(SotC: Skill, 85; Stunts, 116; Adjudication, 227.)

The understanding of languages, cultures, and etiquette; all the Linguistics stunts from the Academics skill are moved here. It can be complementary to many other social skills. Take Scholarship for an actual understanding of why particular traditions exist in a culture, or for an understanding of the underlying history. A person with Cultures skill is a diplomat with live experience; a person with Scholarship can do similar things, but is more apt to make errors based on the difference between book learning and the real world.

You can leave your language slots unspecified at character creation and then specify them on the fly, though you should be able to spin a yarn about how you know the language if you’re doing so.

There are technological ways to avoid learning dozens of new languages to talk to your fellow galactics:

Languages

For each point in this skill, you are fluent in a culture other than your native one; you can also roll the skill to fake it based on your extensive travels (or time spent in sims). Figuring out ultra-basic Huttese and Durese words is Mediocre for any galactic traveler; the difficulty of Shyriwook is Great for those unacquainted with Wookiees.

Etiquette

In addition to understanding languages, you also know how to be courteous (or deliberately discourteous) and avoid making a faux pas in each culture you know well, and you can roll the skill to figure out good behavior from context in an unfamiliar situation.

Stunts

Good Listener

You are good at figuring out languages, even if you don’t speak them so well. You’re one of the many galactic citizens who can easily carry on a conversation where each side is in a different language. For each language you speak fluently, there are two more languages you can understand fairly well even though you have trouble asking for more than the basic necessities.

Deceit

(SotC: Skill, 95; Stunts, 134; Adjudication, 238. SA: Skill, 110; Stunts, 154. DFRPG: Skill, 126; Stunts, 150.)

The art of lying and evasion. Deceit is usually opposed by Empathy, Alertness, or Investigation.

False Face Forward

A character may use Deceit in place of Rapport to defend against another character using Empathy to get a read on them. On a success, the other character may mistakenly believe they have discovered an aspect; on a failure, they let slip some of their true nature.

Felinx and Rodus

When another character initiates a social contest (even just an Empathy read), you can seize the initiative and counterattack, with lies that you wish to plant registering as consequences on the other character.

Misdirection

For pure prestidigitation, such as palming an object, Sleight of Hand is sufficient. When you need to divert attention, such as by pointedly looking over someone’s shoulder, Deceit is the skill.

Disguise

Deceit is complementary to Art or Technician for fabricating a disguise when makeup is required, and can be rolled directly if you just need to change your clothing and body language.

Stunts

Method Actor

When you deceive, you become what you seem to be, and feel the emotions you pretend; your pheromones, heart rate, and blood pressure respond, and you can shed tears and quiver your lip on cue. You are able to work your deceptions against people observing you through advanced technology or even the Force. Using this stunt places an aspect on yourself to represent your disguise; you can resist a compel against this aspect without paying a fate point, but you immediately break character.

Drive

(SotC: Skill, 96; Stunts, 138; Adjudication, 240. SA: Skill, 112; Stunts, 156. DFRPG: Skill, 128; Stunts, 151.)

Controlling vehicles that are constrained to a two-dimensional surface, whether it be land or water. For each point of skill, you can handle one type of vehicle:

One Hand on the Wheel

If you do something else while driving, in addition to taking a –1 for the supplemental action of driving, your skill for your primary action is also limited by your Drive skill.

Navigation

You are accustomed to reading maps appropriate to the terrain you drive; the better your Drive skill, the more easily you orient. If you are familiar with an area, your Drive skill also represents you knowledge of its layout. Someone more accustomed to darting through the urban back alleys would have Survival.

Stunts

Empathy

(SotC: Skill, 96; Stunts, 141; Adjudication, 245. SA: Skill, 116; Stunts, 158. DFRPG: Skill, 129; Stunts, 152.)

This controls initiative in social situations, just as Alertness does in combat; it can also penetrate Deceit being used socially.

Reading People

Given half an hour to talk with someone, a character can roll their Empathy against their target’s Rapport (or Deceit, if they’re using it) to make an assessment; if they succeed with at least one shift, they learn one of their target’s aspects. With continued contact, they can use this technique to learn as many aspects as their Empathy score; each try takes the next level down the time chart.

Sympathetic Ear

A listener with good Empathy can help someone else work out their minor mental/social consequences. For moderate or severe consequences, you need the Counselor stunt.

Stunts

Endurance

(SotC: Skill, 97; Stunts, 144; Adjudication, 246. SA: Skill, 116; Stunts, 159. DFRPG: Skill, 130, Stunts, 152.)

This measures the character’s ability to keep going despite fatigue and injury; it corresponds to Constitution in most role-playing games.

Long-Term Action

Endurance serves as a limiting skill toward long-term ongoing actions like running marathons, marching all day, or getting clear of the site of a conflict despite painful injuries.

Physical Fortitude

EnduranceBonus (cumulative)
+1+1 health stress
+3+1 health stress
+5+1 minor physical consequence
+7+1 minor physical consequence

A high Endurance also means you can handle more punishment than average; it increases the number of stress boxes on your condition monitor, and at high levels gives the ability to handle additional minor physical consequences.


Stunts

Gambling

(SotC: Skill, 99; Stunts, 154; Adjudication, 251. SA: Skill, 120; Stunts, 165.)

This is the skill to win at games where skill matters, and to recognize and avoid the games where it doesn’t. Athletics or Sleight of Hand can be complementary skills to Gambling when agility or manual dexterity (respectively) are required.

Games where skill matters:

Games where it doesn’t:

Playing to Win

Finding a game (or getting invited to one) requires a Contacting roll (complemented by Gambling) with difficulty equal to the quality of the game, which is the Resources value of the pot— unless the game is high stakes, where it’s two steps higher but may lead to interesting complications, such as sore losers and exotic table stakes.

Playing to Connect

Sometimes your goal is making connections, not money. You can use your Gambling skill to complement social skills applied at the gaming table: people show their true colors more easily when money is on the line. If you are only playing to not lose, as opposed to winning, you get a +1 to your skill when keeping up with the other gamblers. (You could get a +2 for obviously going on the equivalent of full defense, but that isn’t helpful when you’re just trying to connect with people.) You can also deliberately lose money by using Gambling as a maneuver to place an aspect like I’m a winner! on someone, which can then be used to soften them up for social attacks.

Cheating

Gambling is a complementary skill when cheating, whether you’re using Sleight of Hand or Technician.

Stunts

Guns

(SotC: Skill, 99; Stunts, 157; Adjudication, 252. SA: Skill, 121; Stunts, 166. DFRPG: Skill, 131; Stunts, 153.)

Guns is the skill for weapons that hurl a much smaller projectile, whether it be an arrow, dart, bullet, or plasma packet. The skill cannot be used to defend against an attack, though it can be used to create zone aspects like covering fire that can be compelled against anyone attempting to travel through the zone.

At point blank range, Melee can be used to counter Guns because the combat can interfere with gun wielding; outside of point blank range, the defense against guns is dodging, using Athletics. Making a maneuver to close quarters can give a free tag to impair the use of a gun against you; the bigger the gun, the easier it is to get that close.

In general, pistols can be used against a target two zones away and rifles for three zones, though common sense should apply when a rifle has range and line of sight.

Each point of skill in Guns makes you proficient with one group of firearms:

If you are not proficient, you take a –1 to use the weapon, and have the Nonproficient aspect (which will be fairly noticeable to other people with the Guns skill), which can be compelled in many creative ways.

Aiming

Aiming at someone is a matter of rolling Guns to place a fragile aspect on them, such as in my sights. Such aspects can be easily broken by someone deciding to duck or move suddenly, but they can be piled up through consecutive exchanges of aiming— sitting duck, head shot— this is how a sniper can actually blow through someone’s condition track to actually kill them. An unaware target has a defense value of Mediocre.

You can also use stances like Kneeling or Prone to brace yourself when firing.

Covering Fire

Any character with a gun can place a Covering Fire aspect on a zone; this is a blocking action to prevent movement through the zone and opponents taking shots. The aspect can also be tagged by an ally to be harder to hit while they travel through the zone. An opponent who chooses to go against the block needs to choose high or low risk: with low risk, they are prevented but take no damage; with high risk, they can get to take the shot or move as they rolled it, but if it is lower than the value of the block, they are hit by the number of shifts of difference.

Burst and Automatic Fire

Weapons of carbine size or larger, firing in burst mode, get a +1 to hit in ordinary combat; the bonus is for the times when hitting is what matters, not precision. (Anything smaller than a carbine can’t dissipate heat enough to use burst fire.)

When firing on full automatic, you may apply your offensive roll to each target in a zone, and gain an Out of Ammo aspect that can be free-tagged to make you reload. (This does not apply to high-capacity weapons.)

Full-auto can also be used for suppression fire; putting Suppression Fire on a zone means that you can invoke it (free tag the first time, fate points next time) to get free attacks on anyone going through the zone. If an ally enters the zone, you can be compelled to attack them.

Reloading

In general, the game avoids keeping track of the number of shots fired; one Guns roll may represent anything from one shot to several to bursts to full-auto. Cinematically, you can run out of ammunition:

Reloading can be done as a supplemental action, so as long as you plausibly have more clips, you only take a –1 on an action to clear the Out of Ammo aspect.

Knowledge

Guns skill can be used to represent your knowledge of guns: their varieties and construction. You can roll Guns to clear a jam or disassemble and reassemble a firearm for regular maintenance, though you need Technician for anything really fancy.

Stunts

Intimidation

(SotC: Skill, 100; Stunts, 161; Adjudication, 253. SA: Skill, 122; Stunts, 168. DFRPG: Skill, 132; Stunts, 153.)

The skill of using fear to get your way. Intimidation attacks against Resolve. While this is normally a social attack, it can be used to represent a kiai in combat. Fear can be quite subtle— people can be manipulated through fear of looking stupid or fear of missing out on an opportunity. (This style can work through Intimidation or Rapport. With Intimidation, you present the source of fear; with Rapport, you subtly bring them to scaring themselves.)

Wearing a helmet that completely covers your face gives you a +1 bonus on intimidating anyone who is not so accoutered, in addition to any bonuses for Threat of Violence, and a +1 on social defense (because they feel secure in their anonymity and they’re hard to read). Having this bonus for your minions far outweighs the occasional threat from upstarts who dress up as your minions to infiltrate your base.

Threat of Violence

An imbalance of offensive power is worth a +1 for the person who is clearly favored, or +2 if someone is completely at their mercy; the bonus applies either to the person wielding Intimidation or the person defending with Resolve, whoever has the power. (Being ready to blow up the whole room with a thermal detonator is only +1.)

Brush-Off

If a fight has not yet started, a quick contest of Intimidation vs. Resolve against someone who is not yet ready for combat can make someone pause or step back long enough for the aggressor to brush past them. They may follow up by calling for help, or may recover their wits and open fire, but the aggressor should have as many moves as they had shifts of success to get past. This is an excellent way to avoid hassles with minions.

Stunts

Investigation

(SotC: Skill, 101; Stunts, 164; Adjudication, 254. SA: Skill, 123; Stunts, 170. DFRPG: Skill, 133; Stunts, 153.)

While Alertness covers passive perception, Investigation is active. It covers searching, surveillance, and the piecing together of clues, and can perform assessment actions.

Stunts

Forensic Investigator

You have extensively studied the science and technology of forensic investigation, and can use your Investigation skill as Scholarship or Technician to match up chemical and DNA profiles. (Another option for investigators is to buy a forensics droid as a companion.)

Leadership

(SotC: Skill, 102; Stunts, 167; Adjudication, 256. SA: Skill, 124; Stunts, 171. DFRPG: 136, 154.)

The charismatic aspects of this are the Presence skill in the Dresden Files.

Administration

The Leadership skill of the head of an organization is usually the difficulty for bribing a member.

Bureaucracy

Leadership is also the skill for understanding and interacting with organizations that operate by formal rules, and for creating rules that are effective. (Cultures is the skill for the more flexible world of social etiquette.)

Command

When commanding troops or minions, if you spend your action exercising your Leadership, it serves as a complementary skill for their immediate activity. This only applies to their immediate, momentary actions; it cannot improve the ongoing efforts of professional skills. It does not work on non-conscious droids, which is why warships are full of organic spacers.

If you have attached minions assisting your own activity, the maximum bonus you can get from them is equal to your Leadership; the skill in which they are assisting is complementary to Leadership for this purpose, so if you have a skill at all (even if you have Mediocre (0) Leadership) you can always get a +1 from an assistant. Getting a +4 bonus from a swarm of minions requires effective Great (4) Leadership (which can be merely Good (3) if the skill they are assisting is Great). Without Leadership, the minions are uncoordinated and likely to get in each other’s way— a mob of 10 may get a +4 to their minion-level skills by ganging up, but they can’t supply the +4 to an expert.

Inspiration

A leader, through eloquent oratory, can inspire his people, creating a temporary aspect like Emboldened. The difficulty of the Leadership check is usually based on the challenge they face, often the Leadership skill of the opposing leader.

Tactics

Leadership is the skill for organized struggle, including everything from small-unit tactics to fleet battles.

Stunts

Melee

(SotC: Skill, 98+114; Stunts, 150+203; Adjudication, 249+271. SA: Skill, 120+143, Stunts, 163+198. DFRPG: Skill, 130+144, Skill, 152+156.)

Without any stunts, Melee is just the art of beating people up with fists and improvised weapons like table legs. Stunts can focus this into armed or unarmed martial arts. It corresponds to Fists and Weapons in SotC. It is useful for both offense and defense, primarily at hand-to-hand range, though the skill can be used for thrown weapons. It generally works at point-blank range, though polearms and thrown weapons can reach into adjacent zones.

Martial techniques:

Note that wrestling techniques are under Might.

Stunts

Martial Training

The difference between a brawler and a martial artist is someone who has focused training. Melee on its own is brawling; martial training is represented by a stunt. There are four different approaches to representing martial arts training. Hard Martial Art gives a permanent bonus to damage when attacking; it represents striking styles like karate, taekwondo, and Muay Thai. Soft Martial Art allows using spin to get an advantage on your attacker; it represents throwing styles like jujutsu, judo,a and aikido. All three of these come with training in specific weapons. Versatile Martial Art is flexible, but requires that you spend a lot of time in assessment or maneuver actions, or spend fate points to get particular effects. Weapon Training grants proficiency in entire categories of weapon. A character can take any or all of these stunts to represent their training.

The following list of stunts all require martial training of some sort. If it is unmarked, any of the four approaches is a prerequisite; if it says requires a Martial Art, that means that any of the three stunts named Martial Art will serve as a prerequisite.

Hard Martial Art

You are proficient in a hard martial art, using strikes with hands, elbows, knees, and feet. Your fists and feet strike as one weapon class better than usual (so Weapon:1 unaugmented, Weapon:2 with combat gloves, Weapon:3 with buzzknucks). [DFRPG’s Lethal Weapon has Weapon:2 against an unarmored opponent, Weapon:1 against Armor:1, no bonus against heavier armor.]

You also gain proficiency with one specific weapon (not the whole weapon group) for each point of skill in Melee, chosen from a list specific to your style.

Soft Martial Art

This expands on the Spirit of the Century Bend Like the Reed stunt. You are proficient in a soft martial art, using holds, throws, sweeps, and grapples, and more apt to turn an opponent’s strength against him than making use of your own Might; your attacks are not modified by your Might, and do not need to meet the threshold for your opponent’s mass. When you succeed on an attack or gain spin on a defense roll in hand-to-hand combat, you can throw an opponent and choose to either do damage to them or place an aspect on them like Prone, Pinned, Held, Arm Lock, Wrist Lock, Thumb Lock, Head Lock; if the aspect involves you maintaining a hold, you may perform blocking actions on them to prevent them from getting up (and inflict stress on them for having the temerity to try). If an opponent was silly enough to try a high kick on you, you can get them in a one-handed Leg Grapple or two-handed Leg Lock. [SOTC: Bend Like the Reed.] [DFRPG: Redirected Force allows you to sacrifice your next action to treat defense as a successful maneuver on your part.]

You also gain proficiency with one specific weapon (not the whole weapon group) for each point of skill in Melee, chosen from a list specific to your style.

Versatile Martial Art

This expands on the Spirit of the Century Martial Arts stunt. It represents a flexible understanding of multiple martial styles.

One way to use this is as style analysis: roll Melee against your opponent’s Melee to figure out their style, as a maneuver to put an aspect on them that you can tag to attack them. You get an additional +1 when tagging that aspect.

The other way is as a maneuver, to put an aspect on yourself, as you switch to a particular style you know. If you switch to a hard style, you can tag the aspect for extra damage; if you switch to a soft style, you can tag it to throw someone. More detailed styles are forthcoming, or you can invent your own. The difficulty of changing stances is usually Mediocre (0), so you can change stances as a supplemental action, taking one shift off your primary action.

You also gain proficiency with one specific weapon (not the whole weapon group) for each point of skill in Melee, chosen from a list specific to your style.

Weapon Training

Each point of skill in Melee makes you proficient with one group of common weapons, or one single exotic weapon. This stunt can be taken multiple times if you want to be proficient with lots of weapons.

Common weapons:

Exotic weapons:

Plasma Scourge Training

Training in wielding a weapon that can get you in a lot of trouble if you get it wrong.

Lightsaber Training

Training in wielding a weapon that can get you in a lot of trouble if you get it wrong.

Martial Arts

Martial arts in the galaxy:

Might

(SotC: Skill, 103; Stunts, 171; Adjudication, 256. SA: Skill, 125; Stunts, 175. DFRPG: Skill, 135; Stunts, 154; Adjudication, 320.)

This measures pure physical power, and corresponds to Strength in most role-playing games. It is used directly when lifting, moving, bending, and breaking, and complements or limits other skills.

Fighting

Normal hand-to-hand combat uses Melee, but you can switch it to Might if you can make a maneuver that changes the conflict to a contest of strength, such as a wrestling hold.

Bending and Breaking

Mediocre (0) Flimsiplast; clari-crystalline; plastiform
Average (+1) Flimsy wood; permaplas
Fair (+2) Hollow wood; bamboo plasto; interior door (apartment, house, stateroom)
Good (+3) Solid wood (e.g.: pine 2×4); interior synthplas wall; exterior door (apartment, house, stateroom)
Great (+4) Solid hardwood; exterior house wall; heavy door; plasteel; starship interior partition
Superb (+5) Reinforced wood; bulkhead door; vehicle door; starfighter cockpit
Fantastic (+6) Metal door; single layer brick wall; standard freighter hatch; bulkhead; durasteel
Epic (+7) Bending prison bars (a few centimeters); secure starship hatch
Legendary (+8) Freighter hullmetal; ferroceramic; cinderblock wall
(+10) Plascrete wall; pourstone wall; capital ship hullmetal
(+12) Reinforced metal, like a vault door; reinforced plascrete wall; reinforced pourstone wall; composisteel

Bending and breaking things can get up to two steps easier with an appropriate tool, such as a hammer, crowbar, axe, or functional utility bar.

For purposes of bending and breaking, gain an additional +1 for each person who can practically pitch in; this is usually one or two people.

Lifting Things

Difficulty Mass Example
Abysmal (–3) 5kg
Terrible (–2) 25kg Fully loaded backpack; 200 liter barrel (empty)
Poor (–1) 45kg Child
Mediocre (+0) 70kg Heavy chair
Average (+1) 95kg Most adults
Fair (+2) 120kg Most furniture, heavy-set adults
Good (+3) 150kg Large furniture, like dressers or sofas
Great (+4) 200kg 200 liter barrel (full)
Superb (+5) 250kg
Fantastic (+6) 300kg
Epic (+7) 400kg Speederbike
Legendary (+8) 1600kgSmall speeder; empty cargo module
(+9) 4.8t Midsized speeder
(+10) 12.5t Starfighter

This is the mass that you can lift by expending all of your effort; it might be possible to lug it a whole zone. Something two levels below your might can be carried short distances (a sprint roll restricted by Might, with the item’s difficulty as a border value). Something four levels below your Might can be carried with no real penalty, or thrown one zone. Something six levels below your Might can be used as a thrown weapon.

Encumbrance

Doing encumbrance bookkeeping is no fun, so stick with the rule of thumb that a character can easily carry something that is 4 steps lower than their lifting capacity, and takes a –1 on all rolls for physical skills for each step heavier than this. If they do so for more than a scene, this calls for an Endurance check against the weight of the load in each subsequent scene with the difficulty going up by 1 each time.

Stunts

Melee
Armor Proficiency

This negates dexterity penalties for wearing armor: with Might 1, you can wear light armor; Might 2, medium armor; and Might 4, heavy armor. It does not negate endurance problems (so climbing over a one-story fence isn’t a big problem, but climbing a cliff face is, and your running endurance is reduced).

Heavy Hitter

Requires Might 3.

When you hit, you hit hard. Your damage rating in all weapons that can work with hard hitting increases by 1; this will not work with a weapon that is all about grace, but most have at least one style where sheer power will do well. You only need 1 stunt for all weapons, while [Weapon] Finesse must be learned for each type.

Pilot

(SotC: Skill, 105; Stunts, 179; Adjudication, 263. SA: Skill, 129; Stunts, 179.)

Controlling vehicles that travel in three dimensions, whether it be air, space, or underwater. (Starblazer Adventures’ Starship Pilot: Skill, 139; Stunts, 192.) For each point of skill, you can handle one type of vehicle:

Note that you do not need an equivalent to SotC’s Flying Ace; if you have a Guns proficiency in steered guns, you can use your Pilot skill to aim fixed vehicle weapons. The Evil Hat wiki has rules for dogfighting.

Stunts

Rapport

(SotC: Skill, 106; Stunts, 181; Adjudication, 263. SA: Skill, 129; Stunts, 180. DFRPG: Skill, 138; Stunts, 155.)

This is the ability to make friendly conversation, make a good impression, draw people out, and persuade people to see your point of view.

First Impressions

On a first meeting, roll Rapport to determine the impression each character makes on the others.

Chit-Chat

Rapport is useful for casually extracting information from people through small talk, and for distracting them from other activities. As a social attack, it can cause consequences like Engaged in Conversation that someone employing Stealth or Sleight of Hand can free-tag.

Opening Up

When someone attempts to read a character with Empathy, they can defend with Rapport by opening up and presenting the side they wish the other to see. If the reader gets at least one shift, they find something out, as usual, but if they fail, they learn the aspect the defender wishes them to see.

Closing Down

As an alternative to opening up, they can go on full defense for a +2; this requires the character know that someone is attempting a read and obviously wipes all emotions off their face. They can defend less obviously at +1 and give a particular impression, such as being playfully enigmatic, serenely calm, or coolly aloof.

Stunts

Resolve

(SotC: Skill, 107; Stunts, 184; Adjudication, 265. SA: Skill, 131; Stunts, 185. DFRPG: Skill, 124+127; Stunts, 150+151)

This is a measure of the character’s self-mastery, which manifests as courage and willpower. This is the mental and social parallel to Endurance, and boosts the mental/social stress track just as Endurance does the physical stress track. It is split into Conviction and Discipline in DFRPG.

Mental Resilience

ResolveBonus (cumulative)
+1+1 mental stress
+3+1 mental stress
+5+1 minor mental consequence
+7+1 minor mental consequence

A high Resolve also means you can cope with more mental strain than most; it increases the number of stress boxes on your condition monitor, and at high levels gives the ability to handle additional minor mental/social consequences.

Self-Control

Through meditation and self-control, a character can induce a temporary emotional aspect in themselves. This can be useful to tag for enhancing Force powers— though they can also be compelled by others.

Stunts

Resources

(SotC: Skill, 108; Stunts, 187; Adjudication, 266. SA: Skill, 131; Stunts, 185. DFRPG: Skill, 139; Stunts, 155; Adjudication, 322.)

This is a measure of the character’s wealth: how much they have, and how they use it. Your typical working stiff has an aspect for their day job, which is compelled to make them get up and go to work each day, and they can tag it when making Resources checks.

Spending Money

ResourcesBonus (cumulative)
+1+1 wealth stress
+3+1 wealth stress
+5+1 minor wealth consequence
+7+1 minor wealth consequence

Items are rated by the usual adjective track. Anything with a cost lower than your Resources doesn’t require a roll. If the cost equals or exceeds it, the cost rating of the amount you wish to spend becomes the base value of an attack on your Wealth stress track, which you defend with your Resources skill. Wealth consequences can be free-tagged after they first appear, compelled with fate points after that, and used against you in social and gambling situations. If you don’t want to take the consequences, you can usually abort the transaction, though if it was an important deal, you may take social stress as a result of backing out. In most situations (e.g.: buying nonunique items), making a roll represents the process of gathering financial resources and comparison shopping, so it won’t work to abort a transaction and reroll at the next shop down the street— that’s outside the model of this system.

Loot comes with a rating, and can be used in several ways:

This is a loose system to make it easy to represent wealth as it works in-game; it will need to become more detailed if players take advantage of it. You can always buy specific Loot if you need to come up with a gift for an anticipated transaction; buying it to just stock up on portable valuata (which is supposed to be part of the abstraction here) is outside the model of this system.

Lifestyle

A character is generally expected to live in accordance with their means; in general, it can be assumed that if it’s the sort of thing the character would have around that costs two steps less than their Resources, they already have one. A given Resources skill comes with an expected level of lifestyle.

Lifestyle includes the quality of medical care you get; this translates to extended lifespan.

Workspaces

A character can be assumed to have workspaces for their skills at home or on their ship of a quality equal to their Resources – 2, or Resources – 1 if it’s specialized to only work in an area of focus. A workspace would a Library for research Scholarship, a Laboratory for experimental Scholarship, or a Workshop for Technician activity. Better ones can be created with a Resources check of the quality of the workspace + 2 (or + 1 for a specialized workspace), though they may take a while to put together— additional shifts can be spent to reduce the time if the character is in a hurry.

Stunts

Droid Companion

Under the reloaded rules, apply four advances to a basic droid.

Scholarship

(SotC: Skill, 85+109; Stunts, 116+191; Adjudication, 227+266. SA: Skill, p100+133; Stunts, 145+187. DFRPG: Skill, 140; Stunts, 155.)

This corresponds to Academics and Science (in Spirit of the Century or Starblazer Adventures) and Scholarship (in the Dresden Files RPG). This represents formal academic training; field-worthy trappings such as surgery and computer hacking are represented by Technician. Expertise in a particular field is represented by the Expert stunt, which applies to both Scholarship and Technician: a Great theoretical physicist is a Good scientist and a Fair scholar; a Great experimental physicist has Technician as well as Scholarship.

Declaring Minor Details

If a player wants to flesh out details in the story, possibly to their advantage, they can (subject to GM veto) make a declaration, rolling against the difficulty the GM sets for knowing a particular detail. On a success, they have introduced a new aspect that is available for a free tag; on a failure, they may develop a fragile Mistaken aspect, which the GM may compel (which is good for a fate point!).

Infodumps

If the game master needs to supply information to the party, a character with the right Scholarship specialty (or high general score) is great for the As you know, Bob... moments. If the player agrees, the game master can commandeer the character to provide necessary exposition, then return the character along with a fate point for their trouble.

Truth and Lies

Under normal circumstances, a successful scholarship roll tells you the truth, as understood by the academic community, and a failed one tells you that you don’t know. A character with a relevant aspect can be compelled with a fate point to go off on a tangent or come up with an erroneous conclusion. But it is possible to deceive someone by corrupting their library and making a Scholarship check (modified by Deceit) to plant false information; the result of the check is the difficulty of spotting the false information. If the target rolls below the quality of the deception, they find the false information; if they meet or exceed it, they recognize what has happened.

Research

Digging up information that you don’t know offhand; this can often occur after you fail a test for knowledge. Research requires a library, which can only answer questions of a given difficulty if the library’s rating is at least that high. On any planet with galactic-quality information technology, a library will fit on a thumbnail-sized chip at Good or smaller, in 2cm cube for Great, a 10cm cube for Superb, and a 200-liter drum for Fantastic; any of them may have a specialty or two where they are treated as one step higher. Libraries are assumed to get regular updates from their maintainers in order to remain accurate. The base time for common research tasks is a few minutes, modified by the number of shifts by which you failed your original Scholarship roll. The base time can be longer for more complex subjects.

Stunts

Security

(SotC: Skill, 92; Stunts, 128; Adjudication, 234. SA: Skill, 107; Stunts, 151. DFRPG: Skill, 123; Stunts, 149.)

This replaces the Burglary skill.

Hardening the Target

Security is the skill for setting up security measures as well as taking them down. Declare the difficulty of the security system you wish to set up (and you can incorporate aspects like Retina Scanners, Voice and Gait Recognition, and so on as long as you have the Resources to pay for it), and tell the GM how many fate points you’re willing to spend on your own aspects that are relevant. The GM rolls for you and sets the actual difficulty of the security system.

Casing the Joint

This can be used for assessment or declaration of security flaws.

Hatching a Plan

If the group would rather spend the time playing through a caper rather than planning one, their thieves can roll Security to have the GM give them an outline to work with. If they fail by three or more, the security system is so good they don’t know where to start; if they fail by one or two, they have some ideas for what to do to get a good reroll, like indulge that executive’s gambling habit.

Infiltration

Your Security skill is complementary to your other skills for sneaking in, such as Stealth (because you know where the sensor networks are patchy), Sleight of Hand (because you’ve seen how they handle their security badges), and Deceit (for knowing the details of the disguise to use when you walk in the front door, or the bluff to use to make them let you in).

Bypass Systems

Security is a complementary skill for the Technician work of picking old-style mechanical locks, cracking safes, hotwiring electronic locks, disabling tripwires, looping the video feeds on security cameras, and so on.

Stunts

Sleight of Hand

(SotC: Skill, 111; Stunts, 195; Adjudication, 268. SA: Skill, 136; Stunts, 189.)

This is the skill for feats of manual dexterity, including picking pockets, juggling, and prestidigitation.

Pickpocket

Ordinary pickpocketing is a contest between Sleight of Hand and the victim’s Alertness (complemented by their own Sleight of Hand). The victim normally has a +2 bonus to notice this, though they lose this if something is occupying their attention. People around the victim can make unmodified Alertness checks to notice the attempt.

Art of Distraction

Sleight of Hand can be used to conceal things from Alertness and Investigation.

Stunts

Stealth

(SotC: Skill, 112; Stunts, 197; Adjudication, 268. SA: Skill, 141; Stealth, 194. DFRPG: Skill, 142; Stunts, 156.)

BonusEnvironment
+4No visibility at all: pitch black
+2Greatly diminished visibility: dark, smoke, thick fog, no clear line of sight
+1Diminished visibility: mist, battlefield antilaser aerosols
0Dim lighting; cluttered line of sight
–2Good lighting; clear line of sight
–4Bright lighting; clear area

The skill of going unnoticed. This includes everything from camouflage to concealment to hiding in plain sight, from moving silently to skulking in the shadows to relying on people never bothering to look up.

Hiding

Stealth opposes Alertness and Investigation when hiding.

Skulking

Like hiding, but more challenging due to being in motion.

Ambush

When ambushing someone, the target gets an Alertness check just before being attacked; if they fail to meet the Stealth of the attacker, their defenses are at Mediocre for the first attack.

Cover

Anyone can use cover by making a maneuver to get behind cover, and then tag Under Cover when defending. If your Stealth is better than your Athletics, you can use Stealth to defend against ranged attacks by ducking behind cover and making it difficult for your opponent to know how to target you.

Stunts

Survival

(SotC: Skill, 112; Stunts, 197; Adjudication, 268. SA: Skill, 141; Stunts, 196. DFRPG: Skill, 143; Stunts, 156.)

Galactic-quality survival skills integrate the practical results of evolutionary biology; Survival will let you take a good guess at the rough average temperature of an area by looking at the incidence of smooth-edged and rough-edged leaves, but you need Scholarship to do the statistical work to get it within 1–2°. Similarly, Survival will let you take a good guess at the ratio of sizes of a creature’s eyes and head and guess whether it might be a nocturnal hunter.

Even a character from an ecumenopolis can have Survival, though they’ll start out only knowing about dealing with the critters that lurk in the interstices of the global cityscape or the domesticated pets that live in the buildings, and the ways of getting around on trains and turbolifts and steam tunnels.

Animal Handling

When interacting with animals, treat Survival as the catch-all social skill.

Riding

Survival is to riding animals as Drive or Pilot is to controlling vehicles. There are an astonishing number of different riding beasts in the galaxy, so for purposes of the game, we don’t bother with a mechanic for limiting the number you can learn. You automatically know how to ride a number of animals equal to your Survival score at the start of the game, and when you get on a new animal, you’ve Never Ridden One of These Before. Roll your Survival against the difficulty of the animal you’re working with to reduce the base time of a week to lose the aspect.

Camouflage

Constructing a blind or other hiding place will allow you to use your Survival as a complementary skill to Stealth. The base difficulty is Mediocre, the base time is a few hours, and the base duration is a day; shifts can either reduce the time to create the camouflage or extend its duration.

Live Off the Land

This is the skill for procuring food and basic materials (vines to serve as rope, bones or saplings to serve as spears, etc.) from the local landscape.

Navigation

This covers both orienteering and map-reading, and knowledge of the places that you’ve become familiar with.

Tracking

This is just a trapping in DFRPG; it’s a stunt in SotC. Each shift gives you one piece of information about your quarry, or increases the amount of time before you make your next tracking roll.

Stunts

Technician

(SotC: Skill, 98; Stunts, 147; Adjudication, 248; Gadgets and Gizmos, 207. SA: Skill, 118; Stunts, 161; Gadgets, 80. DFRPG: Skill, 125; Stunts, 150; Adjudication, 320.)

This corresponds to Engineering (in Spirit of the Century and Starblazer Adventures) and Dresden Files RPG’s Craftsmanship, as well as SA’s Starship Engineering (Skill, 137; Stunts, 191) and Starship Systems (Skill, 140; Stunts, 194), and moves to cover general competence at methodical, technical tasks ranging from first aid to droid instruction to device maintenance; this is a galaxy in which these fields have been overlapping for thousands of years. Characters are assumed to understand galactic-level technology; for characters from a more primitive background, modifiers for some activities may go as high as Epic (+7) for them to figure out how to deal with advanced devices.

Specialized training is represented by stunts such as Expert, and focused training in that specialty is represented by Master. A doctor is an Expert in Life Science, specialized in Medicine. Diagnosis is Scholarship; anything from lab tests to setting a broken limb to brain surgery is Technician. Scholarship is complementary to technical skill, so it is efficient to build a character with Scholarship at the peak of their skill pyramid and Technician one step down.

Using technical gear

Most technical gear are also spimes that can feed information about their use to anyone with a data visor or datapad. Someone with no Technician skill whatsoever has to rely on the natural language comprehension of droids to operate complex equipment; Average (1) Technician skill is enough to know how to compose unambiguous orders for droids, but people without any would be well advised to have a protocol droid on hand to interpret for them.

Building stuff

Building something from scratch has a difficulty equal to the cost of the item in question, and must take place in a workshop of quality at least as high as the item quality. It normally takes a day per level of item quality over Mediocre.

Improving stuff

See improving things (SotC p213–6). For inspriational ideas, there are upgrade types in Scum and Villainy p40–7,53–61.

Fixing stuff

Anyone with Technician skill can perform basic first aid, reboot a glitching droid, or clear the firing chamber in their blaster; a stunt is required in order to function as a paramedic, doctor, droid repair tech, or armorer.

Breaking stuff

If you understand how something is built, you can use your knowledge to destroy; under these circumstances, Technician skill can be used to directly inflict damage or create aspects that can later be tagged or compelled. (Setting will short out in ten seconds after applying at least 50kg load on a force field bridge allows a free compel; you don’t need to spend a fate point.)

Stunts

Expert
ArtScholarshipTechnician
PaintingArt History
ArchitectureConstruction
MusicMusic Theory
Interface DesignComputer ScienceComputer Programming
Plasma PhysicsBlaster Engineering
Force Field PhysicsRepulsorlift Engineering
GraviticsAntigravity Engineering
ChefMolecular GastronomyCook

The Expert stunt represents training in a particular area, and applies to Art, Scholarship, and Technician in relevant ways.

This gives a +1 to a field, like Hard Science, Life Science, Social Science, or Humanities, and an additional +1 in an area of specialization like Electrical Engineering. This is a generalization of Doctor, Virtuoso, and Scholar.

If you are an expert in Linguistics, you speak an additional number of languages equal to your Scholarship, in addition to those from your Cultures skill.

Master

Requires Expert.

Gives a +1 in your specialty (e.g. medicine, physics), and an additional +1 in a focused specialty (e.g. cybernetic surgery, hyperspace physics). This is a generalization of Scientific Genius and Surgeon.

Rule-of-thumb guidelines for the scope of field, specialty, and focus are below. The categories aren’t rigid— forensic anthropology has a fair amount of overlap with medicine, planetology has overlap with ecology— so be prepared to fudge things a bit. Xenoanthropology has a lot of overlap with the Cultures skill, but the former constitutes academic study while the latter constitutes practical experience.

Field Specialty Focus
Hard Science Physics Hyperspace physics / hyperdrive engineering; Gravitics
Chemistry Organic chemistry
Planetology Geology; meteorology; terraforming
Electrical Engineering Force fields; Plasma weapons
Computer Science Droid programming; Slicing
Mathematics Calculus; geometry; statistics
Life Science Medicine Cybernetic surgery; transplant surgery
Genetics Synthetic biology; gene therapy
Agronomy Crop rotation; plant breeding
Social Science Anthropology Culinary anthropology; cultural anthropology; forensic anthropology
Psychology Clinical psychology
Economics Macroeconomics
Linguistics Cognitive linguistics
Humanities Literature Culture literature; comparative galactic literature
History Planetary History
Philosophy Logic; ethics
Art Graphic Arts Painting
Music Composition; instrument
Xenomedicine

Requires Expert (Wet Science / Medicine).

You take no penalties for practicing medicine on life forms other than your own, as long as you have any plausible reason to know about them; if it’s implausible, you can spend a fate point to recognize a similarity with a life form you have treated.

Field Repair

Requires Expert.

In your field of expertise, you are particularly proficient in field repairs. Normally, someone performing repairs can remove a checkmark from a stress track for every two shifts on the roll; with this stunt, every shift past the first one improves the level of stress removed (so with four shifts, you can clear the third and fourth stress boxes instead of the first and second). If you roll well enough to clear a stress mark that is higher than their physical stress capacity, you may even remove a minor consequence. (This is a generalization of Medic, SotC p191.)

Deadline Pressure

Requires Expert.

In your field of expertise, are superb at fixing things in under time-critical conditions. The time it takes to is reduced by two steps; if the action is already at its fastest possible time, the difficulty is reduced by one. (This is comparable to Mister Fix-It, SotC p149.)

Percussive Maintenance

Requires Deadline Pressure.

In your field, you can abuse a subject of repair and get it working again. You spend a fate point and roll your skill; the subject is restored to working order for a number of exchanges equal to your roll (and has a +1 difficulty to repair afterward), or acquires a Moderate consequence— the GM determines which is appropriate. (Getting the deflector shields working in combat would be the former; escaping to hyperspace, effectively ending the combat, but needing some time repairing the hyperdrive later would be the latter.) This can be applied to any field, whether it be turning off a bunch of software safeties or giving a risky dose of stimulants to a patient. (This is generalized from Thump of Restoration, SotC p149.)