Alternate Dice Mechanics

Players and GMs may wish to use the framework of the Core Rules but with a different dice mechanic. Whereas rolling three six-sided dice (3d6) provides a nice probability curve, some gamers prefer the more linear results that rolling fewer dice provides. Here are some notes for using different dice mechanics with the Core Rules.

 

2d10

When making skill rolls and attribute rolls, instead of rolling three six-sided dice (3d6), roll two ten-sided dice (2d10).

Leave all Target Numbers and modifiers, including bonuses from spending Action Points, the same as presented in the Core Rules.

Damage from attacks should still use six-sided dice.

 

1d20

When making skill rolls and attribute rolls, instead of rolling three six-sided dice (3d6), roll one twenty-sided die (1d20).

Instead of the Target Numbers for the Difficulty Levels given in the book, use the following Target Numbers.

 

Difficulty Levels & Target Numbers

Description TN
Average/Easy 5
Tricky 10
Challenging 15
Difficult 20
Demanding 25
Extreme 30
Legendary 35

 

Using the Target Numbers listed above will change the die roll needed for a given skill roll or attribute roll from those listed on page 34. Below is a modified table to reflect the use of 1d20 and the new Target Numbers, for those who have an interest in such details.

 

Target Numbers (Roll needed, or more)
Attribute
+Skill
Avg (TN 5) Tricky (TN 10) Chall (TN 15) Diff (TN 20) Deman (TN25) Extr (TN 30) Leg (TN 35)
1 4 9 14 19 24 29 34
2 3 8 13 18 23 28 33
3 2 7 12 17 22 27 32
4 1 6 11 16 21 26 31
5 No roll 5 10 15 20 25 30
6 No roll 4 9 14 19 24 29
7 No roll 3 8 13 18 23 28
8 No roll 2 7 12 17 22 27
9 No roll 1 6 11 16 21 26
10 No roll No roll 5 10 15 20 25
11 No roll No roll 4 9 14 19 24
12 No roll No roll 3 8 13 18 23
13 No roll No roll 2 7 12 17 22
14 No roll No roll 1 6 11 16 21
15 No roll No roll No roll 5 10 15 20
16 No roll No roll No roll 4 9 14 19
17 No roll No roll No roll 3 8 13 18
18 No roll No roll No roll 2 7 12 17
19 No roll No roll No roll 1 6 11 16
20 No roll No roll No roll No roll 5 10 15

 

A single 20-sided die results in a linear probability. That is, the chance of rolling any number on the die (5%) is the exact same as for rolling any other number. Because of this linear probability, using 1d20 instead of 3d6 for skill rolls makes it easier for characters with lower attribute and skill scores to achieve low difficulty tasks, but also requires characters to have higher attribute + skill score totals to succeed at tasks of Extreme and Legendary difficulty.

The modifiers given for 3d6 rolls will be too high when using 1d20. To convert modifiers in the core rules for use with 1d20, simply divide the modifier by two and round up. For example, if the modifier for a skill roll using 3d6 is listed as +3, you would change that to a +2 modifier when rolling 1d20 (3/2 = 1.5, rounded up to 2).

Similarly, the bonus from spending an Action Point becomes +3 when rolling 1d20.

Damage from attacks should still use six-sided dice.

 

 

MILITARY RANK

A Variant form of the Membership Advantage

 

The character is a member of a military organization, such as the U.S. Armed Forces, Royal British Navy or the Colonial Space Marines. The exact name, nature and rank structure of the organization depends on the genre and setting. GMs and developers are encouraged to develop Military Rank tables specific to their own genre or setting.

The character has the perks and responsibilities commensurate with his rank in the organization. For example, a navy Captain has the run of his (or her) ship, can hold hearing for non-judicial punishment (known as "Captain's Mast"), and can issue orders to his crew, but they also must obey maritime laws and Navy regulations, answer to those of higher rank (such as Admirals), may be watched by the public and the media, etc.

Military Rank (MR) is rated 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest attainable rank within the group. When a character buys Military Rank in a group or organization, he pays 1 to 5 points for each level or "grade" within that group, depending on the importance or influence of the group in the campaign (see the table below).

 

Importance Cost/Lv Strata
Trivial 1 Enlisted ranks
Minor 2 Commissioned officer

 

The value of Military Rank may be adjusted based on the importance of the military organization within the campaign. If the military organization is the predominant feature of the campaign in which most if not all of the PCs are a part, then the suggested values below should be sufficient. If the organization is less accessible to most people in the setting but of an elevated importance within the setting, then the GM should consider increasing the importance of the Membership Rank by 1, 2 or even 3 points (see the example lists below).

Characters may substitute their Military Rank for a skill in appropriate situations, at the GM's discretion. The GM should impose penalties and bonuses to an NPCs' effect number to reflect special circumstances.

Likewise, GMs may also allow characters with Military Rank in a group with higher "importance" than the opposing character to receive a bonus to their effect number. For each level of difference of importance of each character's Military Rank, the character belonging to the group with the higher importance adds +5 to his effect number.

Lieutenant Fornier (who has a PRE of 5) is trying to order an MP corporal (E-4, or Rank 4) to let her into the custodial barracks so that she can talk to one of her soldiers, who was arrested for striking an MP the day before. The corporal (who has a WIL of 4) has orders to only allow his supervisor or higher ranking MPs into the custodial barracks, so the GM tells Christine to roll her character's PRE + Rank +5 (for being one level "higher" in importance than the corporal, who is enlisted) + 3d6. She rolls the dice and gets 10, making the total of her attempt 5 (PRE) +2 (Rank) +5 (bonus) +10 (the dice roll) = 22. The GM, meanwhile, rolls 3d6, and gets 7, making the corporal's total 4 (WIL) +4 (Rank) +7 (the dice roll) = 15. Because Lieutenant Fornier's roll was higher, the corporal backs down and lets the Lieutenant into the barracks.

If the same situation had occurred in the dead of night, when absolutely no visitors are allowed into the barracks, the GM could apply a bonus (of, say, +3 or even +6) to the corporal's roll, or simply not allow a roll at all.

This rule is intended to allow some flexibility in the use of skills and to allow players with Military Rank to use it instead of a normal skill to influence others, when appropriate. Players and GMs should note that, while making it easier to get other people to do things, using (or abusing) one's Military Rank may still have its consequences.

The opposite of this trait is the Outsider disadvantage.

 

Several suggested Military Rank tables are provided below. The GM is encouraged to create such a list for the campaign if none of the examples below are sufficient.

Notes:

* There is only one such position within the organization.

** These grades may correspond to two or more ranks; the rank depends on the duty/position of the individual.

á These grades correspond with Non-commissioned Officer ranks, as a rule.

 

 

U.S. Armed Forces -- 1775

 

Enlisted Grades (1 Point/level)

Cost Grade Rank (Continental Army) Rank (Royal British Army)
10 E-9    
9 E-9**    
8 E-8**    
7 E-7 Sergeant  
6 E-6    
5 E-5    
4 E-4 Corporal  
3 E-3    
2 E-2    
1 E-1 Private (or Musician)  

 

 

Commissioned Officers (2 Points/level)

Cost Grade Rank (Continental Army) Rank (Royal British Army)
20 O-10 Commander in Chief General*
18 O-9 Lieutenant General  
16 O-8 Major General Major General
14 O-7 Brigadier General Brigadier General
12 O-6 Colonel Colonel
10 O-5 Brigade Major Lieutenant Colonel
8 O-4 Major Major
    Aide-de-Camp  
6 O-3 Captain Captain
4 O-2 Lieutenant First Lieutenant
    Subaltern  
2 O-1 Ensign Second Lieutenant
    Cornet  

 

 

Armed Forces -- 1812

 

Enlisted Grades (1 Point/level)

Cost Grade Rank (U.S. Army) Rank (Royal British Army)
10 E-9    
9 E-9** Sergeant Major  
    Teacher of Music  
8 E-8**    
7 E-7 Sergeant  
    Quartermaster Sergeant  
6 E-6    
5 E-5    
4 E-4 Corporal  
3 E-3    
2 E-2 Dragoon  
1 E-1 Private (or Musician, Driver, Farrier, Miner, Saddler, Sapper)  

 

 

Commissioned Officers (2 Points/level)

Cost Grade Rank (Continental Army) Rank (Royal British Army)
20 O-10 General*  
18 O-9 Lieutenant General Lieutenant General
16 O-8 Major General Major General
14 O-7 Brigadier General Brigadier General
12 O-6 Colonel Colonel
    Aid-de-camp for General  
10 O-5 Brigade Major Lieutenant Colonel
8 O-4 Major Major
6 O-3 Captain Captain
4 O-2 First Lieutenant First Lieutenant
2 O-1 Second Lieutenant Second Lieutenant

 

 

Armed Forces -- 1861

 

Enlisted Grades (1 Point/level)

Cost Grade Rank (USA) Rank (CSA)
10 E-9    
9 E-9** Sergeant Major  
8 E-8    
7 E-7** Sergeant Major Hospital Steward
    Ordnance Sergeant  
6 E-6 First Sergeant Quartermaster Sergeant
    Regimental Qrtrmstr Sgt  
5 E-5 Quartermaster Sergeant First Sergeant
    Drum Major  
4 E-4 Sergeant Sergeant
    Company Quartermaster Sgt  
3 E-3 Corporal Corporal
    Farrier/Blacksmith  
2 E-2 Private Private
1 E-1 Musician  

 

Commissioned Officers (2 Points/level)

Cost Grade Rank (USA) Rank (CSA)
20 O-10 General (of the Army)* General (of the Army)*
18 O-9 Lieutenant General General
16 O-8 Major General General
14 O-7 Brigadier General General
12 O-6 Colonel Colonel
10 O-5 Lieutenant Colonel Lieutenant Colonel
8 O-4 Major Major
6 O-3 Captain Captain
4 O-2 First Lieutenant First Lieutenant
2 O-1 Second Lieutenant Second Lieutenant

 

 

Armed Forces -- 1918

 

Enlisted Grades (1 Point/level)

Cost Grade Rank (US Army)
10 E-9  
9 E-9** Regimental Sergeant Major
8 E-8 Regimental Sergeant Major
7 E-7** Battalion Sergeant Major
    Battalion Supply Sergeant
6 E-6 First Sergeant
    Color Sergeant
5 E-5 Sergeant
    Mess Sergeant
4 E-4 Supply Sergeant
3 E-3 Corporal
2 E-2 Private First Class
1 E-1 Private

 

Commissioned Officers (2 Points/level)

Cost Grade Rank (US Army)
20 O-10 General
18 O-9 Lieutenant General
16 O-8 Major General
14 O-7 Brigadier General
12 O-6 Colonel
10 O-5 Lieutenant Colonel
8 O-4 Major
6 O-3 Captain
4 O-2 First Lieutenant
2 O-1 Second Lieutenant

 

 

Armed Forces -- 1941

 

Enlisted Grades (1 Point/level)

Cost Grade Rank (US Army)
10 E-9  
9 E-9**  
8 E-8  
7 E-7** First Sergeant
    Master Sergeant
6 E-6 Technical Sergeant
5 E-5 Staff Sergeant
4 E-4 Sergeant
    Technician 4th Grade
3 E-3 Corporal
    Technician 5th Grade
2 E-2 Private First Class
1 E-1 Private

 

Commissioned Officers (2 Points/level)

Cost Grade Rank (USA)
22 O-11 General of the Army*
20 O-10 General
18 O-9 Lieutenant General
16 O-8 Major General
14 O-7 Brigadier General
12 O-6 Colonel
10 O-5 Lieutenant Colonel
8 O-4 Major
6 O-3 Captain
4 O-2 First Lieutenant
2 O-1 Second Lieutenant

 

 

Armed Forces -- 1951

 

Enlisted Grades (1 Point/level)

Cost Grade Rank (US Army)
10 E-9  
9 E-9**  
8 E-8  
7 E-7** Master Sergeant
    First Sergeant
6 E-6 Sergeant First Class
5 E-5 Sergeant
4 E-4 Corporal
3 E-3 Private First Class
2 E-2 Private Second Class
1 E-1 Recruit

 

Commissioned Officers (2 Points/level)

Cost Grade Rank (USA)
22 O-11 General of the Army*
20 O-10 General
18 O-9 Lieutenant General
16 O-8 Major General
14 O-7 Brigadier General
12 O-6 Colonel
10 O-5 Lieutenant Colonel
8 O-4 Major
6 O-3 Captain
4 O-2 First Lieutenant
2 O-1 Second Lieutenant

 

 

U.S. Armed Forces -- 2002

 

Enlisted Grades (1 Point/level)

Cost Grade Rank (USA) Rank (USAF) Rank (USMC) Rank (USN)
10 E-9 CSM of the Army* CMSgt of the Air Force* SgtMaj of the Marine Corps* Master CPO of the Navy *
9 E-9** Command Sergeant Major Chief Master Sergeant Sergeant Major Master Chief Petty Officer
    Sergeant Major Master Gunnery Sergeant Fleet/Command Master Chief PO  
8 E-8** Master Sergeant Master Sergeant Master Sergeant Senior Chief Petty Officer
    First Sergeant First Sergeant First Sergeant  
7 E-7 Sergeant First Class Master Sergeant Gunnery Sergeant Chief Petty Officer
6 E-6 Staff Sergeant Technical Sergeant Staff Sergeant Petty Officer First Class
5 E-5 Sergeant Staff Sergeant Sergeant Petty Officer Second Class
4 E-4 Corporal Senior Airman Corporal Petty Officer Third Class
    Specialist      
3 E-3 Private First Class Airman First Class Lance Corporal Seaman
2 E-2 Private E-2 Airman Private First Class Seaman Apprentice
1 E-1 Private Airman Basic Private Seaman Recruit

 

Commissioned Officers (2 Points/level)

Cost Grade Rank (USN) Rank (USA, USAF, USMC)
20 O-10 Admiral* General*
18 O-9 Vice Admiral Lieutenant General
16 O-8 Rear Admiral (Upper Half) Major General
14 O-7 Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Brigadier General
12 O-6 Commander Colonel
10 O-5 Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Colonel
8 O-4 Captain Major
6 O-3 Lieutenant Captain
4 O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade First Lieutenant
2 O-1 Ensign Second Lieutenant

 

 

 

Detailed Language Rules

 

Language Branch (Spec)

Characters with this skill understand and can speak a foreign language. If the character is literate he can also read and write the language (does not apply to languages for which there is no writing system, such as traditional Navaho).

This skill much be purchased separately for each language "branch" that the character understands. Specialties are specific languages within the branch. In order for a character to have an understanding of all languages within a given language "family," the character must purchase a minimum of one level in each branch within that family.

All characters start with a score of 3 in their native language (unless they have a trait which limits their starting score) and a score of 1 in the parent branch. The character's native language should be noted on the character sheet.

In addition to being used in skill rolls, the skill score represents the character's fluency with languages within the chosen group, as shown on the table below.

 

Level Fluency
1 Rudimentary; simple words and phrases only. Thick, noticeable accent (obviously not a local).
2 Basic; simple conversations. Moderate accent (requires Average Awareness roll to detect).
3 Conversational fluency. Minor accent or regional dialect (requires Challenging Awareness roll to detect).
4 Fluent; complex dialogue and expressions. No accent.
6 Expert; speaks perfectly, better than most natives.
8 Master; command of the language rivals the most learned scholar (a rarity!).

 

Language (Type) is a Universal Skill; all characters receive it at level 2 at no cost. The "Type" for this skill is the character's native language.

Available language groups and the Specialties (individual languages) available are shown on the following page.

Languages and language branches in italics (such as Luwian and Anatolian) are archaic or "dead" languages in a modern setting. Those indicated by an asterisk are languages with no written component.

 

Language Families/Branches*

The 20 most commonly used languages in the world are shown in bold text.

 

Afro-Asiatic Family
Berber* Shluh, Tamazight, Riffian, Kabyle, Shawia, Tuareg, Guanch
Chadic Hausa
Cushitic Somali, Galla, Sidamo, Beja, Afar, Saho
Egyptian Coptic, Egyptian, Heiroglyphics
Semitic Arabic, Maltese, Hebrew, Amharic, Tigrinya, Tigre, Aramaic, Gurage, Harari, Geez, Syriac, Akkadian, Phonoecian, Punic, Ugaritic, Nabatean
Altaic Family
Japonic Japanese, Ryukyuan
Korean Korean
Mongolian Buryat, Kalmyk, Mongolian
Tungusic Evenki, Lamut, Manchu, Nanai, Sibo
Turkic Azeri, Balkar, Bashkir, Chuvash, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Nogai, Salar, Shor, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Uigur, Uzbek
Athapascan Family

Apache, Navajo*

Austro-Asiatic Family
Mon-Khmer Khmer, Mon, Palaung, Wa, Bahnar, Sedang, Khasi, Nicobarese, So, Nancowry, Sengoi, Temiar
Munda Santali, Mundari, Ho, Savara, Korku
Viet-Muong Vietnamese, Muong
Dravidian Family
Central Brahui, Gondi, Kurukh, Kui, (Elamite)
Southern Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Tulu
Eskimo-Aleut Family

Aleut, Intuit

Gestures Family*
Gestures Deaf Sign Language (by country), Hand & Arm Signals* (military)
Indo-European Family
Anatolian Hittite, Lycian, Lydian, Luwian, Palaic
Armenian Armenian, Lomavren
Baltic Latvian, Lithuanian, Prussian
Celtic Breton, Cornish, Cumbrian, Galatian, Gaulish, Irish Gaelic, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Pictish, Welsh
Germanic Afrikaans, Anglo Saxon, Dutch, English, Flemish, Frankish, Frisian, German, Gothic, Lombardo, Old English, Old Norse, Norwegian, Scots, Swedish, Vandal, Visigoth, Yiddish
Hellenic Byzantine Greek, Classical Greek (Attic), Modern Greek (Deotic, Katharevoussa), Koine, Mycenaean
Illyric Albanian
Indic Ardhamagadhi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujerati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maldivian, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Pali, Punjabi, Romany (gypsy language) , Sanskrit, Sindhi, Sinhalese, Urdu
International Esperanto, Ido (improved Esperanto), Intal, Interglossa, Interlingua, Novial, Romanova, Unish, Volapčk
Iranian Avestan, Baluchi, Farsi, Kurdish, Ossetian, Pashto, Persian, Tadzhik
Romance (Latin) Corsican, Dalmation, French, Italian, Italo-Dalmation, Latin, Oscan, Portuguese, Romanian, Sabine, Sardinian, Spanish, Umbrian
Slavic Bosnian, Bulgarian, Byelorussian, Czech, Kashubian, Kashubian, Knaanic, Macedonian, Old Church Slavic, Polabian, Polish, Romano-Serbian, Russian, Serbo-Croation, Slovak, Slovene, Sorbian, Ukranian
Malayo-Polynesian Family
Formosan Amis, Atayal, Paiwan, Tsou
Melanesian Fijian, Motu, Yabim
Micronesian Chamorro, Gilbertese, Marshallese, Nauruan, Palau, Ponapean, Trukese, Yapese
Polynesian Branch Hawaiian, Maori, Marquesan, Niuean, Rapa Nui, Rarotongan, Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, Tuamotu, Uvea
Western Malayo Achinese, Balinese, Batak, Bikol, Buginese, Cham, Igorot, Ilocano, Jarai, Javanese, Madurese, Malagasy, Malay / Indonesian, Maranao, Pampangan, Pangasinan, Rhade Sundanese, Tagalog, Visayan
Niger-Congo Family
Adamawan Mbum
Bantu Ambo, Bemba, Bubi, Bulu, Chagga, Chiga, Chokwe, Duala, Fang, Ganda, Gisu, Hehe, Herero, Kamba, Kikuyu, Kongo, Lingala, Lozi, Luba, Lunda, Lwena, Makonde, Makua, Matebele, Mbundu, Mongo, Nkole, Nyamwezi, Nyanja, Nyoro, Pedi, Ruanda, Rundi, Shona, Sotho, Sukuma, Swahili, Swazi, Thonga, Tonga, Toro, Tswana, Tumbuka, Venda, Xhosa, Yao, Yaundé, Zulu
Eastern Banda, Gbaya, Sango, Zande
Efik Efik, Ibibio, Tiv
Ijo Ijo
Kwa Adangme, Agni, Baule, Bassa, Ibo, Edo, Ewe, Fanti, Fon, Ga, Grebo, Idoma, Kru, Nupe, Twi, Urhobo, Yoruba
Mande Bambara, Dyula, Kpelle, Loma, Malinke, Mende, Soninke, Susu, Vai
Voltaic Bariba, Dagomba, Gurma, Kabre, Mossi, Senufo
West Atlantic Balante, Dyola, Fulani, Gola, Kissi, Serer, Temne, Wolof
Sino-Tibetan Family
Sinitic Cantonese, Dungan, Fukienese, Gan, Hakka, Huizhou, Jinyu, Mandarin, Min, Min Bei, Min Dong, Min Nan, Min Zhong, Pu-Xian, Wu, Xiang, Yue
Southern Branch Miao, She, Yao
Tai Be, Chuang, Kam-Sui, Lao, Li, Nung, Puyi, Shan, Thai, Tung, Zhuang
Tibeto-Burman Bodo, Burmese, Chin, Garo, Jonkha, Kachin, Karen, Lahu, Lepcha, Lisu, Lushei, Manipuri, Meithei, Mizo, Moso, Murmi, Newari, Tibetan, Yi

 

Optional Skill Lists

The following skill lists are provided as examples of how to customize the generic skill list in the Core Rules for a specific setting or genre.

In the following lists, you will notice that some skills have been renamed, replaced with others, moved to different skill groups or omitted entirely. In addition, in some cases a skill has had the "(Type)" or "(Spec)" element removed. This was done simply to de-emphasize certain skills which will tend to come into play less often in the particular genre.

GMs are free to make additional changes to these lists to further tailor them for his or her own game, or to make up new lists entirely.

 

Fantasy/Medieval Skill List

Italicized skill names indicate a Universal skill. All characters receive this skill at level 2 at no cost.

* Indicates a suggested Common skill for serfs in fantasy and medieval settings; † Indicates a suggested Common skill for male nobles in fantasy and medieval settings; ‡ Indicates a suggested Common skill for female nobles in fantasy and medieval settings.

 

Skill Group
Skill Tools Gov Attr Spec/Types
Arts & Crafts Skill Group
Art (Type) I Body/Mind Painting, Sculpting, Sketching
Cooking I Mind  
Craft (Type)* I Body Candle-making, Carpentry, Cobbling, Shipwright, et al.
Jeweler I Body  
Smith I Body Armorer, Blacksmith, Swordsmith
Athletics Skill Group
Brawling   Body (Replaces Unarmed Combat)
Climbing   Body  
Contortionist   Body  
Sports (Type) I Body/Mind  
Swimming   Body  
Throwing (Spec)   Body Darts, Knives, Stones, et al.
Communication Skill Group
Instruction   Mind  
Negotiation (Spec)   Mind Diplomacy, Political
Orate (Spec)   Mind Bard, Speeches
Persuasion (Spec)   Mind Bribery, Fast Talk, Flirting, Intimidation
Poetry   Mind  
Writing   Mind  
Covert Skill Group
Disguise   Body  
Forgery (Spec) I Body Crests & Seals, Handwriting
Lockpicking I Body  
Shadowing   Mind  
Sleight of Hand   Body  
Stealth   Body  
Education Skill Group
Alchemy I Body  
Chirurgery ‡ I Body  
Geography (Spec)   Mind Specific region or continent
Herbalism I Body (Replaces First Aid)
History (Spec)   Mind Locality, National, Organizational
Knowledge (Type)   Body/Mind Specific topic
Language (Spec)   Mind Specific language, Native Language
Religion (Type)   Mind Specific religion (e.g., Christianity, Paganism, Wotanism)
Enterprise Skill Group
Appraisal   Mind  
Industry I Mind (Replaces Engineering)
Professional (Type)   Body/Mind Specific career (knight, squire, steward, etc.)
Stewardship   Mind  
Trading   Mind  
Focus Skill Group
Area Knowledge (Type)   Mind Specific town or region
Awareness (Spec)   Mind Hearing, Vision, Taste/Smell, Touch
Concentration   Mind  
Deduction   Mind  
Intuition   Mind  
Lip Reading   Mind  
Melee Weapons Skill Group
Axes (Spec) I Body Battle Axes, Great Axes, Hand Axes
Flexible Weapons (Spec) I Body Flails, Chains, Nunchaku, Ropes, Three-section staves, Whips
Knives I Body  
Maces/Clubs (Spec) I Body Great Clubs, Maces, Tetsubô, Warhammers
Polearms (Spec) I Body Glaives/Halberds, Spears, Lance, Ôno, Pikes
Swords (Spec) † I Body Great Swords, Foils, Longswords, Kenjutsu, Machetes, Rapiers, Short Swords, 2-handed Swords
Military Science Skill Group
Battle (Spec)   Mind Field, Seiges
Drill/ March   Body (New skill)
Sailing (Spec) I Body/Mind Sailboats, Tall Ships
Seige Weapons (Spec) R Body Ballista, Catapult, Trebuchet (Replaces Artillery)
Skirmish   Mind (Replaces Tactics)
 
Missile Weapons Skill Group
Boomerangs R Body  
Bows (Spec) I Body Longbows, Short bows, Composite bows.
Crossbows (Spec) R Body Heavy Crossbows, Light Crossbows
Sling Weapons (Spec) I Body Atlatl, Bolas, Simple Slings
Slingshots I Body  
Nature/Outdoor Skill Group
Animal Handling (Spec) I   Mind By animal (e.g., birds)
Faerie Lore (Spec)*   Mind Elves, Faeries, Trolls, etc.
Fish and Game (Spec)* I Body/Mind Fishing, Hunting, Trapping
Navigation (Spec)   Mind Land, Sea
Riding (Spec) †‡ I Body By animal (e.g., horses)
Teamster (Spec) I Body  
Tracking   Mind  
Performance Skill Group
Acting   Mind  
Dancing (Spec)   Body By culture (Saxon, etc.)
Instrument (Type) I Body Specific instrument or family
Juggling   Body  
Mimicry   Mind  
Singing   Body/Mind  
Social Skill Group
Conversation   Mind  
Intrigue †   Mind  
Society (Type)   Mind Courtier†‡, Serfdom*
Style   Mind  
Symbols   Mind Arcane & Occult Symbols, Heraldry†‡, Runes

 

Modern Military/Espionage Skill List

 

Italicized skill names indicate a Universal skill. All characters in all Action! System games receive this skill at level 2 at no cost.

* Indicates a suggested common skill in modern military and espionage/spy settings.

 

Skill Group
Skill Tools Gov Attr Spec/Types
Arts & Crafts
Art (Type) I Body/Mind Painting, Sculpting, Sketching.
Cooking (Spec) I Mind Cuisine, Ethnicity, Fast Food, Gourmet
Craft (Type) I Body Candle-making, Carpentry, Glazing (i.e., lacquering), Cobbling, Sandal-making, Shipwright, Tanning, et al.
Jeweler I Body  
Photography R Body  
Smith (Spec) I Body Armorer, Blacksmith, Swordsmith
Athletics
Acrobatics   Body  
Climbing   Body  
Contortionist   Body  
Para (Spec) R Body Hang-glider, Parachute, Paraglide, Parasail
Sports (Type) I Body/Mind Baseball, Basketball, etc.
Swimming   Body  
Throwing (Spec)   Body Darts, Football, Knives, Stones, et al.
Unarmed Combat (Type)   Body Brawling, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, Wrestling, et al.
Communication
Instruction   Mind  
Orate (Spec)   Mind  
Negotiation (Spec)   Mind Diplomacy, Hostage, Political
Persuasion (Spec)   Mind Bribery, Fast Talk, Intimidation, Propaganda, Romance, Seduction
Poetry   Mind  
Writing (Spec)   Mind Journalist, Literature, Music, Playwright, Reports, Screenwriter, Speeches
Covert Skills
Disguise I Body  
Gambling   Body/Mind  
Lockpicking I Body  
Shadowing   Mind  
Sleight of Hand   Body  
Stealth   Body  
Education
Geography (Spec)   Mind Specific region or continent
History (Spec)   Mind Locality, National, Organizational, World
Knowledge (Type)   Body/Mind Specific topic
Language (Type)   Mind Specific language, Native Language
Religion (Type)   Mind Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Paganism, Wicca or any other religion allowed by the GM.
Research (Spec)   Mind Internet, Library, Medical, Publications, Records, Scientific
Enterprise
Accounting   Mind  
Appraisal (Spec)   Mind Specific class of items (e.g., antiques, paintings, swords, gemstones, etc.)
Bureaucracy   Mind  
Business   Mind  
Economics (Spec)   Mind  
Professional (Type)   Body/Mind Specific career (attorney, courier, fire-fighter, police officer, soldier, spy, etc.)
Trading   Mind  
Focus
Area Knowledge (Type)   Mind Specific town or region
Awareness (Spec)   Mind Hearing, Vision, Taste/Smell, Touch
Concentration   Mind  
Intuition   Mind  
Lip Reading   Mind  
Meditation   Mind  
Heavy Weapons
Artillery (Spec) R Body AAA, Cannon, Rockets, Ship Gun, Tank Gun
Machine Guns (Spec) R Body Anti-aircraft, Heavy, Medium
Missile Launchers (Spec)R   Mind Anti-aircraft, Cruise Missiles, ICBMs, Orbital Platforms.
Portable Launchers (Spec)R   Body Grenade Launchers, Anti-tank Weapons, Mortars.
Vehicle Weapons (Spec)   Body Bombs, Machine-guns, Missiles, Rockets
Investigation
Cryptography   Mind Ciphers, Digital/Computer
Deduction   Mind  
Forensics R Mind Fingerprints, Fibers, Imprints
Intel Analysis   Mind  
Interrogation   Mind  
Surveillance (Spec)   Mind Bugging, Reconnaissance, Stakeouts
Medicine
Dentistry I Mind  
First Aid* I Mind  
Physician (Spec) I Mind General, Neurology, Oncology, Pediatrics, Podiatry, Psychiatry, et al.
Pharmacology   Mind  
Surgery (Spec) I Body/Mind Cosmetic, Emergency, Neuro/Brain, Oral, or any other specialty approved by the GM.
Melee Weapons
Axes I Body  
Bayonets I Body  
Flexible Weapons (Spec) I Body Flails, Chains, Nunchaku, Ropes, Three-section staves, Whips
Knives I Body  
Maces/Clubs I Body  
Polearms I Body  
Swords I Body  
Military Sciences
Combat Engineer (Spec) I   Mind Bridges, Defenses, Mines, Roads
Demolitions I Mind  
Gunsmith (Type) I Mind Heavy Weapons, Small Arms
Strategy (Spec)   Mind Land Battles, Logistics, Sea Battles, Seiges, Skirmishes
Tactics (Spec)   Mind Ambushes, CQB, Patrols, Reconnaissance
Nature/Outdoor
Animal Handling (Spec) I   Mind Birds, Dogs, Horses, et al.
Fish and Game (Spec) I Body/Mind Fishing, Hunting, Trapping
Navigation (Spec)   Mind Land, Sea
Riding (Spec) I Body Camels, Horses, et al.
Survival (Spec)*   Mind Arctic, Desert, Temperate, Tropical, Water (ocean).
Teamster I Body  
Tracking (Spec)   Mind Animals, Vehicles
Performance
Acting   Mind  
Dancing (Spec)   Body Ballet, Ballroom, Break, Disco, Tap, Tribal, et al.
Instrument (Type) I Body Specific instrument (or family, with GM's permission).
Juggling   Body  
Mimicry   Mind  
Singing   Body/Mind  
Ventriloquist   Body  
Sciences
Astronomy   Mind  
Biology   Mind  
Chemistry   Mind  
Mathematics   Mind  
Physics   Mind  
Simple Missile Weapons
Boomerangs R Body  
Bows I Body  
Crossbows R Body  
Sling Weapons I Body  
Spearguns I Body (New skill)
Small Arms
Black Powder Weapons I   Body  
Pistols R Body  
Rifles R Body  
Shotguns R Body  
Sub-machineguns R Body  
Social
Conversation*   Mind  
Intrigue   Mind  
Philosophy   Mind  
Society (Type)   Mind Corporate, High (Etiquette), Military, Streetwise
Style   Mind  
Symbols   Mind Arcane/Occult, Corporate Logos, Heraldry, Naval Flags
Social Sciences
Anthropology   Mind  
Archaeology   Mind  
Criminology (Spec)   Body/Mind Class of crime (e.g., homicide, kidnapping, burglary, etc.)
Politics   Mind  
Psychology (Spec)   Mind Animal, Behavioral, Criminal, Counseling, Profiling, or any specialty approved by the GM.
Technical
Computers (Spec)   Mind Hacking, Programming, Use
Electrician I Mind  
Electronics (Spec) I Mind Appliances, Comm, Security Systems
Engineering (Type)   Mind Architectural, Propulsion, Structural, Transportation
Mechanic (Spec) I Mind Specific part or system (e.g., brakes, jet engines)
Operate Electronics (Spec)   Mind Communication, Sensors
Transportation
Driving (Spec)* R Body Cars, Motorcycles, Tractors/Semis
Piloting (Spec) R Body Helicopters, Fixed Wing, Vectored Thrust
Sailing (Spec) I Body/Mind Sailboats, Tall Ships
Tracked Vehicles   Body (New skill)
Watercraft (Spec) R Body/Mind Hovercraft, Large Vessels, Motorboats, Submarines

 

Science Fiction Skill List

 

Italicized skill names indicate a Universal skill. All characters in all Action! System games receive this skill at level 2 at no cost.

* Indicates a suggested common skill in science fiction settings.

 

Skill Group
Skill Tools Gov Attr Spec/Types
Arts & Crafts
Art (Type) I Body/Mind Painting, Sculpting, Sketching.
Cooking (Spec) I Mind Ethnicity, race or species
Craft (Type) I Body Specific craft
Jeweler I Body  
Smith (Spec) I Body Armorer, Weapon
Athletics
Acrobatics   Body  
Climbing   Body  
Contortionist   Body  
Sports (Type) I Body/Mind By sport (Grav-ball, etc.)
Swimming   Body  
Throwing   Body  
Unarmed Combat (Type)   Body Brawling, Judo, Karate, et al.
Zero-G   Body  
Communication
Instruction   Mind  
Negotiation (Spec)   Mind Diplomacy, Hostage, Political
Orate (Spec)   Mind Commmand, Speeches, Storytelling
Persuasion (Spec)   Mind Bribery, Fast Talk, Intimidation, Seduction
Poetry   Mind  
Writing   Mind  
Covert Skills
Disguise I Body  
Gambling   Body/Mind  
Lockpicking I Body  
Shadowing   Mind  
Sleight of Hand   Body  
Stealth   Body  
Education
Geography (Spec)   Mind By continent, planet or star system
History (Spec)   Mind Culture, Organization, Star System
Knowledge (Type)   Body/Mind Specific topic
Language (Type)   Mind Specific language, Native
Religion (Type)   Mind Specific religion
Research   Mind  
Enterprise
Accounting   Mind  
Appraisal   Mind  
Bureaucracy   Mind  
Business   Mind  
Economics   Mind  
Professional (Type)   Mind By career (Diplomat, Fleet officer, Surveyor, etc.)
Trading   Mind  
Focus
Area Knowledge (Type)   Mind By city, region, planet or star system
Awareness (Spec)   Mind Hearing, Vision, Taste/Smell, Touch
Concentration   Mind  
Intuition   Mind  
Lip Reading   Mind  
Meditation   Mind  
Heavy Weapons
Artillery R Body  
Missile Launchers R Body  
Portable Launchers R Body  
Starship Weapons R Body  
Vehicle Weapons R Body  
Investigation
Cryptography   Mind  
Deduction   Mind  
Forensics (Spec) R Mind Energy, Physical
Intel Analysis   Mind  
Interrogation   Mind  
Surveillance   Mind  
Medicine
Dentistry I Mind  
First Aid I Mind  
Physician I Mind  
Pharmacology   Mind  
Surgery (Spec) I Body/Mind Cosmetic, Cybernetic, Emergency, Neuro/Brain, Oral, or any approved by the GM
Melee Weapons
Axes (Spec) I Body Primitive, Vibro
Flexible Weapons (Spec)I   Body Primitive, Vibro
Knives I Body Primitive, Vibro
Maces/Clubs (Spec) I Body Primitive, Stun
Polearms (Spec) I Body Primitive, Vibro
Swords (Spec) I Body Primitive, Vibro
Military Sciences
Combat Engineer I Mind  
Demolitions (Spec) I Mind Energy, Traditional
Gunsmith (Type) I Mind Hvy Weapons, Small Arms
Strategy (Spec)   Mind Surface, Space
Tactics   Mind  
Nature
Animal Handling (Spec) I   Mind Dogs, Albian Beetles, etc.
Fish and Game I Body/Mind  
Riding (Spec) I Body Albian Beetles, Horses, etc.
Surface Navigation   Mind  
Survival (Spec)   Mind Arctic, Desert, Tropical, Vacuum, Water (ocean).
Teamster (Spec) I Body Horses, Oxen, or any beasts allowed by the GM
Tracking   Mind  
Performance
Acting   Mind  
Dancing (Spec)   Body By type (Ballet, Ballroom, Popular, Tap, Tribal, et al.)
Instrument (Type) I Body Specific instrument or family
Juggling   Body  
Mimicry   Mind  
Singing   Body/Mind  
Ventriloquist   Body  
Sciences
Astronomy   Mind  
Biology   Mind  
Chemistry   Mind  
Mathematics   Mind  
Physics (Spec)   Mind Astrophysics, General, Nuclear, Quantum
Simple Missile Weapons
Boomerangs R Body  
Bows I Body  
Crossbows R Body  
Sling Weapons I Body  
Slingshots I Body  
Small Arms
Black Powder Weapons I   Body  
Energy Pistols R Body  
Energy Rifles R Body  
Slug-thrower Pistols R Body  
Slug-thrower Rifles R Body  
Social
Conversation*   Mind  
Intrigue   Mind  
Philosophy   Mind  
Society (Type)   Mind Corporate, High (Etiquette), Military, Streetwise
Style   Mind  
Symbols (Spec)   Mind Arcane Symbols, Corporate Logos, Starship Insignia
Social Sciences
Anthropology (Spec)   Mind Specific race or culture
Archaeology   Mind  
Criminology   Body/Mind  
Politics   Mind  
Psychology (Spec)   Mind Alien (species), Animal, Behavioral, Criminal, Counseling, or any approved by the GM.
Technical
Astrogation   Mind  
Computers (Spec)   Mind Hacking, Programming, Use
Electrician I Mind  
Electronics (Spec) I Mind Appliances, Comm, Security Systems, Weapons
Engineering (Type)   Mind Architectural, Propulsion, Structural, Transportation
Mechanic I Mind  
Operate Electronics (Spec)*   Mind Communication, Sensors, Ships Weapons
Transportation
Ground Vehicles* R Body (Replaces Driving)
Piloting* R Body  
Sailing I Body/Mind  
Starships (Spec) R Body Capital Ships, Cargo Ships, Starfighters, System Boats
Watercraft R Body/Mind  

 

Readying Pool Mechanics

To provide a slower flow to the spending of expendable points (action points, experience points, etc), GMs may chose to use these Ready Pool mechanics with the Action! System Core Rules to add a flavor of building tension between the heroes and villains, or to simulate the use of heroic luck. Rather than allowing the players to spend their points right from their total numbers, the GM can tailor his campaign to restrict point spending in a tighter direction.

 

Ready Pools

A Ready Pool is a temporary staging area usable by characters to temporarily store expendable points, preparing these points to be spent during role-play conflict. This space may be set aside for each player character, non-player characters, and game master controlled characters. Expendable points are placed into and removed from this pool by the player or GM, when the opportunity presents itself, usually during some form of conflict. Points removed from a ready pool must either be spent by the character, or placed back into the character's point totals. Points from shared ready pools, however, disappear when the conflict is over, and cannot be regained.

 

Spending Expendable Points Restrictions

Ready Pools can only be used in campaign rules where action points, action dice, experience points or any other expendable points can only be spent if they are already waiting in a pool (these points cannot be spent from the character's point totals).

 

Placing Points into a Ready Pool

At the beginning of conflict, all character and NPC pools are empty. Any points not used from the pool are removed and placed back into the character's point totals. After a character performs his action during a combat turn, the player has the option of allocating expendable points into his character's ready pool. The minimum and maximum number of points available to put into a ready pool depends specifically on the type of ready pool and what house rules the Gamemaster has imposed.

 

Removing Points from a Ready Pool

Once expendable points have been allocated into a pool, the player may access this pool to retrieve those points at any time, and spend those points (up to the maximum points allowable) according to the Action! System Core Rules on Action Point spending (or any house rules that the GM may provide). The points can be spent to boost attack, defense, damage, and skill rolls, etc.

 

Group Ready Pools

GMs may allow their player groups to maintain a "group pool" of expendable points to be shared among the members of the player group. A group pool holds points for the duration of an adventure, a subplot, or even as short as a scene; the duration depending specifically on the game theme (realistic games may only allow points in a group pool to last until the end of a scene, where cinematic or pulp games may allow points to last until the end of an adventure, after the villain has been vanquished!). Expendable points that have been allocated to a group pool disappear at the end of their duration, and are not regained by the participating members.

To spend points from a group ready pool, all the players participating in the pool must agree that someone in their party has access to these points. Once a consensus has been established, the character wishing to spend pool points may do so. Combining character and group ready pool points may not exceed the maximum number of allowable expendable points (Example: In an action point pool, the character may not spend more than a total of 3 action points using group pool and his own pool action points).

 

Depicting the Use of Ready Pools

Ready Pools can be depicted in many ways during game play. Action points (or other expendable points for that matter) may be represented by using poker chips, life point counters (from trading card games), coins, toothpicks, paper clips or other small transportable item. Small cups may represent pools, a special box on your character sheet or just a pile on the floor for your point chips. As the points are allocated and spent, the point counters can be placed in the pool cup, and taken out when they are spent.

 

Example Ready Pools

 

Action Point Pool

Action Point Pools hold and prepare action points to be spent during role-play conflict. Each player character has one action point ready pool, and may share in an optional group action point pool. During a player character's action, the player has the option of spending action points from his ready pool as if he were spending an action point as described in the Action! System Core Rules. After the character acts that turn, the player may allocate an action point into his action point pool. Once the conflict is over, the action points allocated to the ready pool are removed and reallocated to the character's total action points, paying close attention to the 3-action point per adventure limit.

 

Action Dice Pool

Action Dice Pools function the same as Action Point Pools, except that when a player spends action points from the ready pool, he rolls 1d6 for each point he spends (up to three), and adds this total to his skill roll, attack, defense, or any other relative total as defined for action point use in the Action! System Core Rules.

 

Experience Point Pool

Experience Point Pools are long term storage of experience points for player characters to spend at a later date to purchase adds to attributes, skill points, powers, or other abilities that are available to be purchased using experience points. Players can create multiple pools corresponding to separate aspects of their characters to restrict spent experience to develop those aspects (a skill only experience ready pool will allow a player to only spend experience from the pool for skill levels).

 

Other Specialized Pools

Other pools can be created and used with action points or other expendable points. Attribute pools can be created so that action points may be allocated for resistance or skill rolls. Damage pools may be used to apply extra dice to weapon or power damage, so as to simulate a power trick or stunt. Movement pools may be used to simulate sudden bursts of speed or help with control rolls. The options are endless...

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEGAL INFORMATION

This material is Open Game Content, and is licensed for public use under the terms of the Open Game License v1.0a.

Permission to copy, modify and distribute this document is granted solely through the use of the Open Gaming License, Version 1.0a. This material is being released using the Open Gaming License Version 1.0a and you should read and understand the terms of that license before using this material. Instructions on using the License are provided within the License itself.

 

Open Content

All of the text in this document preceding the 'Legal Information" section is Open Game Content as described in Section 1(d) of the Open Game License.

 

Product identity

"Action! System" is designated as Product Identity and may not be used without written permission from Gold Rush Games.

 

Open Content

The text of the "Legal Information" section of this document and the "Open Game License version 1.0a" itself are not Open Game Content. Instructions on using the License are provided within the License itself.

All of the rest of the text in this document following the Open Game License, below, is Open Game Content as described in Section 1(d) of the License.

 

Product identity

"Action! System" is designated as Product identity and may not be used without written permission from Gold Rush Games.

 

OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a

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15. COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Action! System Core Rules version 1.1 copyright 2003 by Gold Rush Games; Authors Mark Arsenault, Patrick Sweeney, Ross Winn.

Alternate Dice Mechanics: 1d20 & 2d10 Extension copyright © 2003 by Gold Rush Games. Author Mark Arsenault.

Military Rank Variant copyright © 2003 by Gold Rush Games. Author Mark Arsenault.

Detailed Language Rules Variant copyright © 2003 by Gold Rush Games. Author Mark Arsenault.

Optional Skills Lists Variant copyright © 2003 by Gold Rush Games. Author Mark Arsenault.

Readying Pool Mechanics Variant copyright © 2003 by Gold Rush Games. Author David Boddie.